Aplscruf's Music, Art, and Literature Blog

The Paperboys Friday, Dec. 23, 2011

The Paperboys

After a busy November and hectic December, we managed to squeeze in The Paperboys for one last show of 2011.  We were so fortunate to see so many great artists this year, many for the first time.  The Paperboys are one of our top 10 favorite bands.  They bring so much joy to the stage, that even the worst moods can turn around while listening to their jubilant sound.  On this evening, I found myself literally filling my lungs, trying to absorb as much of that joy and energy as I could.  So much stress and drama seems to surround me this month, and I wanted for one night to forget it all and just surround myself in a protective blanket of music and love.  I got my Christmas wish.  And a new camera!

Hattie's Hat, Circa 1904

We started out the night at Hattie’s Hat, our favorite dark little bar, circa 1904.  The food, a shared beef brisket, cooked 10 hours, and steamed greens and other veggies.  We then walked up to Bastille and had a trifecta of drinks to accompany our fantastic dessert.  The trifecta arrived first: Jameson followed by a sip of Baileys, then a sip of espresso.  The dessert soon arrived: vanilla ice cream with tiny dark chocolate chunks nestled in between puff pastry and doused in warm caramel.  Decadent!  Full and happy, we entered The Tractor, and again, like some kind of miracle, our little table next to the stage was available; the show would start in ten minutes.

Tractor Tavern

We set up our drinks (with plenty of water, knowing the night would be long and warm), hung our jackets and prepared to smile.  I briefly glanced at the names of the opening act, but soon realized the duo would be the only opener before The Paperboys took the stage.  One of the members of the duo was none other than Kendel Carson, the beautiful blonde fiddle player who used to play with The Paperboys.  This was going to be a great night!

Dustin Bentall and Kendel played for close to an hour of folk music, and warmed our hearts.  They were a sweet duet and her playing was so skilled.

Dustin Bentall and Kendel Carson

Our anticipation grew as the crew set up for The Paperboys.  The crowd crushed closer to the stage, but we stood our ground.  One annoying woman pushed her way next to me and never even excused herself.  She knew the band, but that was still no excuse to be rude, especially since we’d already been standing there for over an hour.  We were able to keep our table, though, and that was ok with us.  Also, across the stage from us was our favorite little lady, who was seated at her special table.  Her husband, who is Pat’s doppleganger Dad, was not with her this night.  We’ve seen them every time The Paperboys play.  We spoke with them last time, and they said they aren’t related to the band, but just love them so much, that they never miss a show.  They even admitted they follow them around to other gigs in Washington!  Groupies!  I hope we still go out 25 or 30 years from now.

The Paperboys did not disappoint.  Once again they played the old favorites and a few new ones, but always kept the crowd on their feet dancing and swaying and clapping to the upbeat sound.  Their music cannot be categorized; it’s a soup of multi-cultural flavors, from Mexican and Cuban influences to Celtic fiddles and Reggae beats.  Each musician got their turn at wowing the audience with solos and accompaniment.  Kendel joined Kalissa for a rollicking fiddle showdown.  It was a joyous evening, and I didn’t want it to end.

More pics…

Brad Gillard on Banjo and Bass

Kalissa Hernandez and Tom Landa

Tom's Birthday Banner with Sam Esecson on Drums

Dueling Fiddlers


Flanked by Fiddles

Standing on Table for Solo


December 31, 2011 Posted by | Concert Season 2011, The Paperboys, The Tractor Tavern | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five…No…Ten Favorite Shows of 2011

I was lucky enough to see a show almost every month of 2011, and some months, two or three shows.  We’re winding down now, getting ready for the holidays and visiting with family and friends.  We’ll still see a couple of shows between now and the end of the year, including The Paperboys on December 23, one of my Top 10 favorite bands of all time.  Click Here For Previous Review.

So far, though, I do have a list of my Five Favorites of 2011.

5.  Screw it.  I can’t make a decision, so I’m going to go with my Ten Favorites of 2011.

10.  The B-52’s at Chateau Ste. Michelle – This show was great because The B-52’s brought the energy, the showmanship and the great songs we all love to a beautiful outdoor venue.  We were there with a large family group and danced and sang along.  Click Here For Review.

The B-52's

9.  Vicci Martinez at Big Daddy’s Place – This was a chance to see Vicci, a Tacoma, Washington local, wail her lungs out in a small suburban venue before becoming a national sensation on The Voice.  Click Here For Review.

Vicci Martinez

8.  Massy Ferguson and Brent Amaker and The Rodeo at The Tractor – Our first introduction to Massy Ferguson and Brent with The Rodeo back on a smaller stage.  Curtains For You, a poppy, energetic band opened the show, and a biker in the front knew all the words.  I love the picture of Brent Amaker smiling while the biker is in the moment.  No whiskey this time, but now that the stage performer liquor laws have changed, we’ll get to hear “Bring Me The Whiskey” at the next show!

Curtains For You, Brent and Biker

Massy Ferguson

Brent Amaker

7.  Star Anna at Neumos – We saw Star four times this year, but this time, even P was completely hooked by her vocal prowess.  He connected.  Click Here For Previous Review.

Star Anna

6.  Jackrabbit and Massy Ferguson at Nectar Lounge – Jackrabbit, reincarnated after North Twin’s demise, and again Tony Fulgham won me over.  Massy was celebrating their EP release, and I got to post my review of the show on
RandomvilleClick Here For Review.

Tony Fulgham of Jackrabbit

Ethan Anderson of Massy Ferguson

5.  Jackrabbit and The Gourds at The Tractor – Jackrabbit opened and rawked the set, warmed up the crowd for The Gourds, another crazy night of crossover music, from 60’s psychedelic rock to old-timey revivals.  Most memorable moment was approaching Mr. Kevin Russell at Hattie’s Hat and telling him I was going to review his show.  His response: “Oh, Shit!” I later gave him the ol’ two-fingered stink-eye when he noticed me in the audience, and I mouthed, “I’m watchin’ you!”  Click Here For Review.

Tony Fulgham of Jackrabbit

The Gourds

4.  Old 97’s at The Showbox – My first press pass!  Right up front.  I loved every minute, and sang my heart out to every song.  Click Here For Review.

Old 97's

3.  Flight To Mars at The Showbox – Another press and photo pass!  My sister-in-law joined me and took absolutely brilliant pics of the boys (Click This Link for her pics), including local Tim DiJulio (Lazy Susan and North Twin) and Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready.  Click Here For Review.

Tim DiJulio and Mike McCready of Flight to Mars

2.  Nashville (Will Kimbrough, Marshall Chapman, Minton Sparks, Slim Chance and The Can’t Hardly Playboys) – the whole Nashville experience was wonderful.  Kept to small venues and the Americana singer/songwriters.  Click Here For Review.

Marshall Chapman and Will Kimbrough at The Station Inn

Zach and Josh of Slim Chance and the Can't Hardly Playboys at Layla's

1.  Los Straitjackets at Slow Food Roots Music Festival – A bizarre series of events.  Marshall Chapman’s book had a chapter on Eddie Angel who once played in Marshall’s band.  Now Eddie’s fronting Los Straitjackets, and just happened to be playing in Seattle and a small fair in Stanwood within two weeks after I finished the book.  I brought the book, my son, our appetites to the festival.   We ate delicious local food, watched some pretty loco boys in Mexican wrestling masks play instrumental surf music, and were completely blown away by their skills and entertaining antics.  My son loved every minute of it.  To top off a perfect afternoon at the festival, they all signed Marshall’s book!  Click Here For Review.

Los Straitjackets

November 19, 2011 Posted by | Americana, Big Daddy's Place, Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, Chateau Ste Michelle, Concert Season 2011, Flight to Mars, Jackrabbit, Langhorne Slim, Los Straitjackets, Marshall Chapman, Massy Ferguson, Music, Nectar Lounge, Neumos, North Twin, Old 97's, Randomville, Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs, The B-52's, The Gourds, The Paperboys, The Tractor Tavern, Vicci Martinez, Will Kimbrough | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Top 10 Live Shows

I thought I’d take a moment and share my top 10 favorite live shows.  Some are very specific by date and venue, and  some are by artist only.   This will change over time, I’m sure.  And after looking it over, I left out a few, such as The Rolling Stones in 1994.  That was a spectacular show, but it was in the Kingdome, and the band was about 1/4 mile away.  Didn’t really feel the love.  We saw Bruce Springsteen a few years ago, and I felt the same way.  Great, energetic show, but we were looking down on them from afar.  The lucky few hundred who got to be right against the stage, now they had a show to remember!

[You can also view this post and other reviews and features on Randomville]

Anyway, on with the list (all pics taken by me except Jimmy Buffett below):

Jimmy Buffett

10.  Jimmy Buffett – The man has paradoxically built an empire on the Margaritaville philosophy!  I’ve only seen him once back  in 2003, but was thoroughly entertained.  The show was pure fun, with hula girls, tiki gods and fire dancers.  And the Parrothead audience was a spectacle in itself.  He brought along a slew of veteran musicians and singers.  If you’re lucky enough to go to his show, his lead guitarist for the night might be Will Kimbrough, a talented musician, singer/songwriter and producer who has also collaborated on several songs with Jimmy.  You can forget all your problems for two hours Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays!

The Paperboys

 9.   The Paperboys – The Vancouver-based Paperboys have been lifting people’s spirits with their high energy shows for 16 years.  The eight-piece band plays in small venues in BC, Seattle and Portland, and captivates the audience with their joyful, upbeat and very eclectic music:  Mexican, Canadian, Celtic, and Reggae soup.  They make quarterly appearances at The Tractor Tavern in Ballard.

8.   Ryan Adams – – Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA January, 2008 – I smiled until my cheeks hurt.  Ryan brought along The Cardinals and tore the place up with songs from his album, Easy Tiger, along with many greats from his prolific song library and a few covers. He’s such a quirky character and a comedian, too–a sad clown.  The rest of the talented band seemed patient and knew when to wait for him to calm down, light his cigarette, have a little chat with the audience, etc.  I loved the train-wrecked Ryan, back when he could write a soul-crushing, alt-country song.  Glad he sobered up and married a pop star, because you know after the divorce, the songs will be good again.   

7.  Brent Amaker and the Rodeo Foot-stompin’, belt buckle-wearin’ cowboys in black.  The lead singer dons a red cape, has a stripper assistant and sounds like Johnny Cash–with a potty mouth. Campy country at its best.  A Seattle treasure.  Catch them at The Crocodile, The Sunset and other small venues throughout the year. 

Brent Amaker

6.  The Gourds Texas and Louisiana, sex and religion, country and rock, bluegrass and Snoop Dogg all rolled into a mandolin, violin, banjo, and accordion.  Their shows feel like an old-timey revival in the Deep South.  I get more salvation from their shows than I ever did in church.  The band’s motto: “For The Unwashed and The Well-Read. “  They’ve been featured at SXSW, Austin City Limits, and are regulars at The Tractor Tavern in Ballard, WA.  Yes, they’re the ones who covered Snoop’s “Gin and Juice” on mandolin.

The Gourds









5.  Old 97’s – Alt-country/rock, Texas-style.  Sweat, spit, roaring guitar riffs, and a faithful audience that knows all the words.  There’s even a glossary on their website if you need help understanding the lyrics.  See them LIVE one time, and you’ll want to follow them around the country.

Rhett Miller of Old 97's





4.  Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Anywhere!) – Tom and the band are American Icons.  Just go see them—anywhere.  The Gorge Amphitheatre in George, WA is a beautiful place to sing along to “Free Fallin’” while the desert sun sets behind the enormous stage.

3.  Todd Snider and the Nervous Wrecks at The Nugget, Sparks, NV 2009 – Wrecktacular.  The whole package.  Comedy, Americana, Folk, and Good Ol’ Rock-n-Roll.  And Will Kimbrough (the man gets around) on screaming, other-worldly guitar solos.  Todd’s solo show is also worth seeing.  He’s a Nashville transplant, originally from Oregon and plays the Northwest once or twice a year.  He can spin a yarn like no other.  Just get him started with stories about Slash or Garth Brooks, and you’ll think you’re at a stand-up comedy show.

Todd Snider and Will Kimbrough

2.  Sir Paul McCartney at The Tacoma Dome, WA 2002, – I was too young to see him when he visited Seattle in the 70’s.  To hear him play not only Wings songs but Beatles tunes with an incredible backing band, priceless.  And the show was a gift from my boss.  I pulled my hair, grabbed my face and screamed like it was 1964.

1.  Tom Petty with Mudcrutch at The Troubadour, Los Angeles, CA 2008 – Tom, 10 feet away.  My Musical Messiah–my Jesus of Rock ‘n’ Roll.  He smiled at me (ME!) and I was saved.  I can clearly remember standing there near the stage saying, “I can die now; my life is complete!” Tom reunited his old band (pre-Heartbreakers) and played a few gigs, mostly at The Troubadour, to support their new album.  Tom and the band, which included Mike Campbell on wicked guitar, seemed relaxed and happy.  No big light show, no grandstanding, just a regular band out to enjoy themselves and connect with the audience.  TEN FEET AWAY!

Tom Petty and Mike Campbell

February 8, 2011 Posted by | Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, Jimmy Buffett, Music, Old 97's, Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones, The Gorge Amphitheatre, The Gourds, The Paperboys, The Tractor Tavern, Todd Snider, Tom Petty, Will Kimbrough | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Paperboys with Benjamin Doerr 12.17.2010

Benjamin Doerr

Tom Landa

Joyful Fiddler

The Paperboys featuring:

Tom Landa (Founder): Guitar, Jarana, Vocals, Piano, Bass

Geoffrey Kelly: Flute, Whistles, Bass, Percussion

Sam Esecson: Drums, Percussion

Kalissa Hernandez: Fiddle

Brad Gillard: Banjo, Bass

Nick La Riviere: Trombone, Bass

Kareem Kandi: Saxophone

Greg Lyons: Trumpet

Benjamin Doerr of St. Paul de Vence Opened featuring:

Benjamin Doerr: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Concertina

Alex Malloy: Bass, Vocals

Mike Sievers: Accordion, Piano, Concertina, Vocals

Tractor Tavern, Ballard


We book-ended 2010 with The Paperboys.  The band joyously rang in the New Year on January 2nd at The Tractor, and we saw them again on Friday, December 17th.  Not a bad way to end the year.

Friday evening started with a tour of Ballard’s side streets, our usual troll for a parking space.  Finally, after circling for 20 minutes or so, one opened just a couple of blocks from The Tractor.

P and I were hungry and wanted to try out the new restaurant called 5 Corner Market Bar & Kitchen, located on Market Street, where Lombardi’s resided for a couple of decades.  It is supposed to have amazing roasted meats as well as lots of beer on tap.  We could see from the street that other people agreed with the positive reviews, as eager diners were queued up at the door.  Impatient and hungry, we settled for our old standby, Hattie’s Hat.  I love the old mahogany bar and dim lighting in Hattie’s.  We snuggled up in a small booth in the bar and shared meatloaf smothered in Guinness gravy with steamed veggies.

We strolled a couple of doors down to The Tractor and were happy to nab our favorite spot, left of the stage, with a little table in front for drinks and camera.  As usual, the place was pretty empty, but people slowly entered in small groups.  We looked across the stage and noticed our favorite older couple (the man is a doppelganger of P’s dad), who have been there the last two times we saw The Paperboys, seated against the right side of the stage.   The crowd grew around us as 9:00 approached.

The opener, Seattle transplant Benjamin Doerr, entered the stage a bit late, to a large crowd of cheerful, noisy patrons.  His recently-formed three-piece band, called St. Paul de Vence, is named after a small French town in which his grandfather lived during World War II.  Benjamin Doerr assembled a concept EP called When Our Boys Have Been Buried,  songs that are musical interpretations of his grandfather’s experiences growing up and joining the military during The War.  Doerr played acoustic guitar, with two bandmates:  Alex Malloy on electric bass and vocals, and Mike Sievers on accordion, piano, concertina and vocals.  The songs are simple and heartfelt, and are a beautiful way of capturing his grandfather’s stories.

St. Paul de Vence

The Set List:



Way Down

She’ll Go

Hummingbird, Heron & Honeybee


War Love

When Our Boys Have Been Buried

The folk songs had that hint of French flavor as the accordion played such a crucial role in most of them. The song “She’ll Go” picked up the pace with fast acoustic strumming and keyboard.   “Hummingbird, Heron & Honeybee” included nice harmonies with the phrase “Fly Over Me” repeated.   Doerr introduced the song “War Love” by explaining that his grandfather had two insignia (pins) on his military uniform, but only one remained because he “…might have given one to a girl,” his grandpa told Benjamin with a wink and a smile.  Doerr said, “If an 85-year-old man tells you that, you’ve gotta write a song about it!”

Between other songs, Doerr spoke of his talks with his grandfather, and mentioned that when his town was freed from German occupation, “…his heart sang out–his heart sang out.”  It was a lovely, meaningful set of music; I only wish the noisy audience were a bit more respectful of his work and listened to the heartfelt stories he told.

During the intermission, I screwed up my courage and worked my way through the thick crowd to talk to P’s doppelganger and his wife.  What a nice couple!  I asked if they were related to the band, but they said they are only friends, but have gotten to know all of them and their girlfriends, etc!  The sweet wife seemed embarrassed when she confessed they follow the band around to different shows, and will be attending one in Tacoma on the 18th and Bellingham on New Year’s Eve.  I told the man we enjoy seeing him here, because he looks so much like my husband’s late father.  He said he feels like he’s the oldest one in the place.  I told him there is nothing wrong with that, and we hoped to be doing the same thing at their age.  The Paperboys were gathering onstage, so I let them go to enjoy the show.

The Paperboys

The Paperboys, a Vancouver-based band, have been lifting people’s spirits with their high energy shows for 16 years.  There is no way to pinpoint their music to one genre.  Their music incorporates such a wide variety of cultures, instruments and tempos.  On their website, The Paperboys try to explain who they are: “Call it Guinness with a tequila chaser while listening to an Americana jukebox.”  Tom Landa, the Mexican-Canadian lead singer, plays acoustic, electric and Mexican 8-string guitars.  On Tom’s right, his flute-playing Scotsman, Geoffrey Kelly, who plays several pipes of varying sizes and sounds.   Behind is the drummer Sam Esecson who keeps alive the various tempos, ranging from Celtic jigs to reggae beats.   On Tom’s left, his adorable, smiling fiddler Kalissa Hernandez who holds her own with upbeat Celtic solos, pop melodies or emotional songs of love.  The banjo/bass player Brad Gillard is versatile, and steps in with accordion or keys as needed.  A trio of brass rounds out the eight-piece band.  The sax, trumpet and trombone get their turn at solos near the end of the set.

Sax Solo

Trombone Solo

The Set List:

Zambonie (instrumental)


Country Life



America (played with capo on third fret)

Goodbye Berlin

Worms (instrumental)



McGoldricks (fiddle solo, then banjo and rest join in for rollicking instrumental)

Toenail Moon

Watchtower (Dylan cover)

Rain on Me

Oh Maria (medley on last two songs include covers of “Pass the Dutchie,” “I Wanna Be Sedated,” “The Gambler,”
“Three Little Birds” and others, kept at same tempo and key)


After a brief wardrobe malfunction during the first song (XYZ, Tom!) we settled in for a night of rollicking, uplifting Celtic/Latin/Caribbean/Folk/Pop/Americana/Canadiana/Rock/Polka/World Roots music!

All of their songs, save one, were up-tempo, upbeat, positive vibes.  My cheeks hurt from smiling all evening.   My favorite song of the evening was “California,” a cheerful pop song with flute and fiddle solos adding that Celtic rhythm.  The audience joined in on the chorus, “Califooorrrnia! Califooorrrnia!  I think I’ll stay here, I think I’ll stay here for a while.”  “Fragile” was the only song that had more of a somber tone, but any seriousness was quickly doused with the next instrumental, “McGoldricks,” which began with the fiddle solo and ended with the whole band joining in.  The whooping audience clapped along and stomped their feet to the music as it became more intense; the volume increased when each instrument joined in.

The encore included the last two songs melded into medley of various pop, country and reggae covers, and the audience was encouraged to sing along.  I loved how easily one song slid into another, keeping the same tempo and key.


Tom Landa’s smiling eyes and beautiful vocals,  and the band’s positive, upbeat songs energized the audience the whole night.  We left at 1 am feeling strangely refreshed and a little hungry.  A Dick’s Special and a milkshake solved our hunger issue.  We made our way home, fulfilled and happy.

Flute Face

December 26, 2010 Posted by | Benjamin Doerr, Concert Season 2010, Music, St. Paul de Vence, The Paperboys, The Tractor Tavern | , , , , | Leave a comment

North Twin and Paperboys 6.7.2009

Diary written June 8, 2009 
North Twin: Tony Fulgham-vocals/guitars; Rebecca Young-bass/vocals; Tim DiJulio-guitars/vocals; Rick Cranford-drums/vocals
Paperboys: Tom Landa-vocals/guitars [I will find names of the other musicians and add at a later date] 
Finally. Another real show. Tractor Tavern last night. Two bands: North Twin (opener) and headliners The Paperboys. Both amazing, both a rollicking good time.

We got to Ballard around 8:00 and spent about 45 minutes just trying to find a parking space! It was crazy down there. Everyone was out enjoying the mild weather, so the restaurants were flowing out to the curb with people. Also, there was a strange bicycle race just south of Market Street, and the cops blocked off the side streets. The bikes must have made pretty tight turns in the two-block course. All the participants and cyclists parked alongside the course, which happened to be about a block from the Tractor, so we were screwed for parking. We drove around and around, hoping something would open up. Finally, people started leaving, so we were able to park about two blocks away.

We got to the Tractor about 9:00, but decided we were too hungry to go in just yet, so we ended up at Hattie’s Hat next door for some amazing salmon quesadillas and a cocktail. We love Hattie’s. It’s another dive bar with a few booths and a beautiful old walnut bar that must be at least 100 years old. They always serve good comfort food, much better than the bar standard. The Tractor doesn’t serve anything but nuts, so we knew we’d better eat before we committed to the 4 hours we’d spend there. We got lucky, and because of the bike race, they extended the start time of North Twin to 9:30. We walked right in and nabbed our little spot by the stage just in time for the show.

North Twin consisted of 5 musicians including a female bass player that looked like a smaller-featured version of Sheryl Crow. They were country-rock, leaning toward a big rock sound on some of the guitar solos. Very lively and entertaining. We enjoyed every song. 

The Paperboys had a Celtic sound, but also infused rock, reggae, and Latino grooves. We loved them! Their seven-piece band consisted of lead singer/guitar, bass, long, blonde-haired twenty something female fiddle (I think P was in love with her, or possibly the bass player from North Twin, or both), flute/recorder (who was a real kick to watch), drummer, trumpet, sax. We heard loads of lively music, a Celtic medley, a couple of other songs where they kept the same tempo/key and would throw in popular song verses, and lots of original stuff from an upcoming new album. A foot-stomping, hand-clapping good time. 

I should have brought the camera [Picture of North Twin shown is from show in October 2009].  I love watching the musicians’ faces, watching how much fun they are having, watching their reaction to the crowd, watching the crowd’s reaction and interaction with the band. We were on the far left side of the small stage and had a sideways view of the band. It’s a good spot, close to the water and the restrooms, and also not in the speaker blast zone. I like looking across the stage as the musicians line up at the mics. I missed my camera. We saw P’s “dad“, a man who looked so much like him, sitting at a little table on the other side of the stage. He was there with his tiny white-haired wife, and they were just living it up. He didn’t move around much, just watched and smiled. She was wiggling and clapping along in her chair. I told P, “That’s us in 30 years!” I hope so. I enjoyed myself so much last night. 

I love discovering bands and getting to experience them for the first time. Sometimes it’s hit-and-miss at the Tractor. They always seem to have quality shows, and the openers have usually been good, but sometimes I just don’t get into the style of music. Some of the folk artists have been too slow for me, or the female voices a little nasally to handle for more than ½ hour. The women in both of these bands backed up the lead singers and had beautiful, harmonic voices. And they were damn good on their instruments. At one point near the end of the show, the fiddle player broke a couple of horse hairs off her bow. She bit them off with her teeth and kept going! 

Afterward, we stopped in at Dick’s for Dick’s Special burgers, chocolate shake and root beer float. Yum! 

January 25, 2010 Posted by | Concert Season 2009, Music, North Twin, The Paperboys, The Tractor Tavern | | Leave a comment

My First Concert Blog

This is my first blog.  Ever.  I am technologically challenged, so even to be writing online at this point seems like some sort of miracle.   I’m learning as I go here, so I will most likely go back and edit multiple times.

My main goal is to get my hundreds of pages of concert journals online and share with anyone who might be interested in reading about the joys of  live music.  Maybe it will motivate the reader to go out and see a live show and experience a similar positive reaction.

I’m not a music critic by any means, but a huge music fan.  A self-proclaimed married groupie.  I know a little about a lot of things on music and musicians, and I’m not a scholar of music or expert on any musical subject or musician, which might be frustrating to some of you musicophiles.   I don’t always have all the details I’d like or the time to research, so bear with me.  I’m not anal enough to write every song of every set list, or know the middle names of  musicians, etc.  Just please bear with me, as this is definitely a work in progress.  I wrote most of my journals within a couple of days of seeing a show, without many revisions.  Therefore, many of them will seem unpolished or incomplete and read more like a diary.  I will try to fill in details as I go, without destroying the essence of the original journals.  I’ve been keeping journals for years, and have kept just about every concert ticket and article on the bands and musicians I’ve seen.  What I’m hoping to do here is to share the joy.  Music, especially live music, feeds my soul.

I think I’ll start with my most recent concert, which just took place Saturday, January 2, 2010. I enjoy the experience of going out to see shows, but also like to record information about where we ate or where we stayed in town.  I’ll work backwards from here when I have the time to go through the previous journals.  I work, play, have a family, so I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to do this, but just happy I got started.


Tom Landa of The Paperboys


Concert Season 2010

Saturday, January 2

 The Paperboys

Opener: The Kings of Outlaw Country

Tractor Tavern, Seattle (Ballard), WA

We started out the year right by going to see The Paperboys at the Tractor, our favorite music venue. Sure, there are only two stalls in the ladies’ bathroom, and sure, you’re in for a 4 hour session of standing in a very warm and sometimes stinky crowd. But there’s always a good time had by all. P. gave me the tickets for Christmas, since I am always telling him I’d rather have an experience than receive gifts.

The show didn’t start until 9:00, so we decided to leave around 5:30 to first get some food. We should have made reservations somewhere, but we usually just wing it. There are so many choices in Ballard. I really felt like going somewhere different this time. P. had read about a good little Mexican café called Senior Moose. After 15 minutes trying to find a good parking spot, we were able to get close to the Tractor. We walked a block or so up and over to Sr. Moose. Unfortunately, even though it was only about 6:15, the line was out the door. We gave up and walked around the block to see what else was around. We almost settled on The Matador, but had just been there in November when we saw North Twin. So we walked across the street to Lombardi’s, an Italian restaurant that has been in Ballard for a few decades, I believe.

We were pleasantly surprised to get seated immediately. We checked out the menu and ordered something unusual instead of the usual spaghetti or fettuccine. P. ordered chicken cacciatore with polenta and I ordered pumpkin ravioli. The ravioli were so flavorful! You could taste the pumpkin and nutmeg! I think they also had caramelized onions mixed in, and the sauce was a sage cream. There was also yellow squash cubed and cooked just right on the side. Oh, and pancetta cooked crisp and sprinkled on the top of the ravioli! To die for! Every bite was a little mouth orgasm! P. enjoyed his chicken, too. We also shared a nice salad with poached pears, walnuts and goat cheese. So yummy! I had an “ok” glass of red wine, which was Lombardi’s signature Yakima Valley wine, but I guess nothing will ever compare to the wine we had in Italy! [That sounded snobby, but that was a trip of a lifetime, which will be shared at some point in a different blog].

We tried to eat slowly, and I would have stayed longer, but the place was getting packed around us. We decided to leave just before 7:30. Still having time to kill (heaven forbid we’d have to find a place and just talk! Ha) we went to another new place for us, a little brew pub right next to Hattie‘s Hat. It only served beer and wine, but it did have a menu, so we decided to order dessert and port wine. The dessert, although small, was delicious. It was a warmed brownie with walnuts served with very delicious vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate drizzled over the whole mess. Yum! We were quite stuffed. We had a nice conversation there. It wasn’t real crowded, so we were able to talk without yelling. I told him I felt I needed to do something with all my writing. He suggested I start my blog, [ta-da] just like Paul Griffith [drummer from Daddy, Nervous Wrecks–and that’s another future blog] told me to do! I think I will do that this week. We gave up on our dream of owning a bar and hiring the bands. Too much work and too much to invest. So we’re on to new adventures this year, I hope. Everyone keeps asking us where we’re going this year, but I just want to get through the year with my job intact and money in the bank!

We still had about 45 minutes to kill, so we walked next door to Hattie’s Hat, just a door down from the Tractor. Had a drink at Hattie’s, but it was pretty crowded, too. Finally, on to the Tractor.

There was a small line to get in, but it went fast. The first band, the Kings of Outlaw Country got started right on time. They are a Seattle band and play covers of Waylon Jennings, Robert Earl Keen (Christmas song) and some Cash. They were alright, lively, fun. The lead singer could be Tim Curry’s brother. The bass player was a very cute, spunky young woman with pink hair. She could be Band Camp’s sister.

There was an intermission and the crowd grew larger. Everyone was there to see the Paperboys. We were lucky and had our little place right in front of the stage, just to the left of the lead. We usually camp out all the way to the left, closer to the bathrooms and water. We were happy to have a little table to place our drinks and camera, though.

The Paperboys

The Paperboys, fromVancouver, consist of eight people: lead singer/guitar (a little guy with a big voice); a flute player who was originally from Scotland–very vibrant, bouncy, gangly with long legs and arms in constant motion; a talented drummer; violinist (Not the same blonde-haired girl who played with them in June, much to my husband’s disappointment) who was versatile in both Irish traditional tunes, original Paperboys music, and various Mexican, Reggae, and Skaa influences; bass player, also proficient on banjo; and a horn section with sax, trumpet and trombone. They have such a unique blend of Irish, Mexican, Caribbean sounds. It’s hard to pinpoint a genre on them. Very mixed, extremely fun. We smiled all night. [I’ll eventually add names of the band members and with any luck, a set list]


They played a very long set and took a short intermission in the middle. I wasn’t sure I could make it to the end, but I thought if the “silver fox” flute guy could do it, so could I! We ended up leaving before the encore. I was toast. We didn’t get out often enough to refill on water, so I got so thirsty. It was really hot near the stage. We had a good crowd around us until the last 20 minutes, when this dumb girl shoved her way in between me and the woman on my right. So irritating. Usually, the Tractor crowds, although somewhat drunk, are well-behaved. The girl finally left when she couldn’t get us to budge. So rude. There was another couple in the spot by the bathrooms that were really cute. Turns out they met on a first date 10 years before at a Paperboys show. They have since married, so they were out celebrating. They sent a note up on the stage explaining that. Very adorable couple.

So then we snuck out before the encore. Before leaving our spot, I decided to nab a set list. A girl started yelling at me that they would need that for the encore. I rolled my eyes at her as I replaced the list on the stage. [Therefore, no set list]

Tom and Kalissa

We weren’t exactly hungry, but we hadn’t eaten since 7:30 and now it was 1 am. We decided to go to Dick’s in Lake City. My tummy wasn’t feeling very well after all that rich food, as well as the 2 cups of coffee I had at the Tractor. I wasn’t planning on getting any food, but couldn’t resist Dick’s–ha.  Anyway, I ended up just getting a plain burger and asked P. to share some fries. He didn’t want very many fries, so I ended up eating most of them. Ugh, they were so greasy. So I crawled in bed and my blood pressure shot up. I didn’t drink enough water, then had to contend with a grease ball in my stomach.  After at least and hour and a half, I finally drank enough water to calm down and drift off. I’m beat today.

But we had a great night of good conversation, great food, and fantastic music.

January 8, 2010 Posted by | Concert Season 2010, Music, The Paperboys, The Tractor Tavern | , , | Leave a comment