If memory serves me correct, I first saw Lost & Found at a church youth group event in Stevens Point [most likely in middle school]. My friends and I didn't know any of the words, however, were surrounded by others who did. Also, most of the other people attending brought slinkys. To throw in the air for one song. Weird.

After that concert, the next time we saw them was in Atlanta for another youth gathering. By this time my friends Megan, Amber and I knew most of their songs and were quite excited to see them again. We also knew the slinky [aka Lions <---check out this video for the explanation] song by this point. 

From there we went to many more concerts whenever they made their way to Wisconsin. My mom recalls driving us to a bunch of concerts and she recently told me she always had a great time with us. I'm glad to hear that since thinking back to when some of the only CDs I was listening to were Lost & Found, my parents heard A LOT of their music, especially on road trips. At this point I should maybe point out, their sound is unique. I mean, I think it's great but I know it's a bit jarring to some. 

I remember one of the main highlights at each concert was that George [the keyboardist, recording engineer, music director, photojournalist and beverage consumer] would always take a picture of the crowd and later on this photo would wind up on their website. It's hard to imagine for all you youngsters out there, but back in the day it was super exciting to try and find a picture of yourself online. For some reason seeing our picture on their website from a concert was the best thing ever. 

Also, it should be mentioned these guys are funny. We'd bring up some of their jokes / puns randomly and laugh while retelling them. One saying that is so great is Stein Auf, meaning Rock On in German. However, if you are fluent in German, you will know it doesn't really translate into Rock On and it's more like saying Stone On Top Of. Many years ago while getting my mountain bike repainted, I had Stein Auf! painted on the top tube.

Anyway, enough chatter about the past and onto the concert they had in Lebanon, WI at St. Peters. I've attended this church on multiple occasions over the years, most recently when one of my cousins got married. It's a small, intimate church with lovely stained glass windows.

This concert was part of their farewell tour. I attended with my two friends I went to concerts with years ago. One of them brought her eldest daughter. Hooray for second generation L&F fans! My grandma even attended! She didn't really know what she was getting herself into, but I will admit I saw her laugh a few times. Some of my other relatives were there as well, including Samantha who also was taking pictures

It was fantastic that we got to hear all our old favorites. My friend Megan got to request Banner, which got everyone on their feet in order to do the motions that go along with the song. 

I could go on and on about my favorite songs and memories from over the years, but I'll leave you with these pictures. 

There's still many dates left on their farewell tour! Go see them if they are coming to your town!

P.S. If either George or Michael are reading this, I still really need to know!

Why is BLSQD spelled that way?

And why does my Speedwood CD have a Parental Advisory sticker on it? It's printed on the booklet. I'm quite sure a friend had the same CD without it. [Although, it always made me feel like a bit of a rebel, so thanks.] 

P.P.S. Thanks for all the great memories. Stein Auf!

santa cruz, part 3

On our second full day in Santa Cruz, we left the hotel early in the morning. The last two nights of our trip we stayed at Hotel Paradox. It was not on the beach, but it was a nice hotel none-the-less. The check-in desk was part of a huge redwood and there were nature-esque decor all around, which I'm a big fan of. 

The morning was cloudy and rainy but we were hoping it would clear up by the time we got to our destination to do some sight-seeing. 

Our first stop was at the Baylands Nature Preserve in Palo Alto. It was not raining, so we got to walk around for a bit. The goose below did not like me taking pictures and tried to attack me. 

Because we were still craving tacos, we drove to downtown Palo Alto to go to Tacolicious for lunch. It was still a little early, so we browsed the farmer's market and did some window shopping before making our taco stop. 

The drive to Big Basin Redwoods was beautiful. VERY curvy roads and almost every other vehicle we passed had a Christmas tree they were hauling home. We didn't get to hike that far into the woods since we didn't have much time before we needed to head back. Also - surprise! It started to rain again. 

The only thing I'm bummed I did not see was a banana slug. Maybe next time. 

Before heading to supper, we went to watch the sunset at Steamer Lane. Many others had the same idea and the beach was filled with couples and families trying to soak up the last of the sun before it set. 

Finally it was the night I had been waiting for - the Aimee Mann Christmas show. It was held at the Rio Theater [iPhone pictures below] which was a bit smaller than we had expected. There were a bunch of seats in the middle-front which were reserved but all others were general admission. We decided to sit on the right side, second row. Yes, we were right by the speaker but knew it wasn't going to be deafening. However, we overheard countless people complain before the show about how it was going to be too loud, or they weren't even going to chance it. Wimps! 

Also pre-show, I enjoyed other overheards like:

"I think it's a small band, her husband is here.", referring to Ted [not her husband].

"Who's the opener?" "I don't know but it will be good since she's a music snob."

The show was filled with both comedy and music. The main story was that Santa was murdered backstage and it was Aimee and Ted's job to find the murderer. The opening for the show was an amazing video of "Murder, She Sang". [I just tried to search for the video since I keep hoping it finds its way online. It hasn't but I found the skit from Wits which must have started this idea?]

Along with being excited to see The Both [Aimee and Ted] I was also excited to see comedian Tim Heidecker. I'm pretty sure no one at this theater understood his humor. We, along with maybe one other guy, were the only ones laughing. Santa Cruz - stop being scared of loud music and comedians! 

Anyway, I just want Aimee, Ted and Tim to know - we enjoyed the show! We laughed with you and also at you [well, mainly just Ted in his baby New Year outfit]. 

nick waterhouse

It has been quite a few years since we have gone to Jazz in the Park in downtown Milwaukee. When Eric saw the schedule for this year and that Nick Waterhouse was playing, he put it on our calendar immediately. 

This past Thursday was the concert. It was a beautiful night out - not too hot or too cold. Nick played a great set that made for a fantastic night. 

fall in minnesota

In October, Eric and I went to Minnesota for two main reasons: to visit my brother and to see Neko Case in concert. We arrived on a Thursday, the night of the concert.  Eric, my brother, his friend, and I started out the evening by stopping at Element Pizza to pick up supper.  We then took the pizzas to Dangerous Man Brewing Co.  What a great find!  The Brewery doesn't serve food, so they encourage you to bring in food from other places.

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We kind of lost track of time and before we knew it we needed to head over to First Avenue for the concert.  I've wanted to see Neko for a long time, so I'm glad I finally got the opportunity.  Also, it was nice to go to a venue other than the ones we normally attend in Wisconsin.

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Friday morning we headed over to visit the farm my brother is living as well as helping out on.  There's a dog and turkeys and cows and cats and goats…and it's pretty much the best.

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From the farm we drove over to the Carpenter Nature Center.  Minnesota still had some great color - mostly yellows and reds. It was a little chilly, but still a great day for a walk around the little nature trail.

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Thanks for having us Minnesota.  You never disappoint.