I MADE YOU SOME CHRISTMAS CARDS (2017)

(Click to enlarge, ho ho ho)



PHOTOS & REVIEW: LARS FINBERG, DREAMSALON, & SSDD @ HIGHLINE BAR, SEATTLE, WA. 12/8/17

If you still get excited about things, like I do, there's nothing like the Christmas+birthday-like anticipation of an excellent live music event coming up. No concert is exactly like another, even for the "Hello (fill in the city)! Are you ready to ROCK??" type of gaseous entertainment providers I avoid. There's an element of unpredictability and the uniqueness of the performer/audience vibe that appeals to me as a Know-It-All™, because the experience of being musically surprised keeps me from being mildly insufferable and dustily long-winded with jaded one-upping back-in-MY-day tales, which hold as much value as a 20-year-old cat turd in a Ziplock bag.

So, it was with great glee that I polished up the ol' Canon Image Sucker and headed over to Seattle's Highline Bar to see three of my most-favorites play: Steal Shit Do Drugs, Dreamsalon, and ol' fren Lars Finberg. It was in fact a FrenFest™ as so many of the people I love and hang with showed up to support this extra-special show: Dreamsalon's last, and Lars Finberg's first in Seattle. Wait, now just hold up, Miss Supposed Know-It-All™, I hear you say, this Finberg character has played here umti-billions of times in The Intelligence and the A-Frames and with the Oh Sees and such! WELL, nitpickers, maybe so, but this is the first time he is appearing as LARS FINBERG, SELF, with his nifty three-piece combo, the Bakersfield Moonlighters, in support of his just-released "Moonlight Over Bakersfield" album on In The Red Records! I'm WAY into this record (as you might note), so to be able to hear the new songs played live was firing up my dopamine neurotransmitters and putting a giddy smile on my face.

Was my anticipation of happy surprises realized? CHECK BOX: YES. SSDD's set's surprise brought Pink Parts vocal powerhouse Nicki on guitar for their in-ya-face Stooges-style punk, and Dreamsalon absolutely rose to the challenge of a final performance and packed the Highline floor with fans for maybe the best set I've ever heard from them -- tight, powerful, just the right level of crazy. (Min, Matthew, and Craig are making plans to do more music, just not as Dreamsalon, so do not be too sad!) And Lars Finberg's new songs? Filled to the rim brimming with riffs I wish I could hold hands with I like them so much, notably stellar drumming from Fren Kaanan Tupper, and Finberg's signature mordant songs that sum up so much of the weirdness of being on the planet as a fallible human.

I was able to contain my joy enough to hold a camera steadily, which I see as part of my lifetime skill set. Click on each image to enlarge or click on the Flickr set link to see them in their native land. Thank you Highline, SSDD, Dreamsalon (salute), and Lars Finberg!









TRACK BY TRACK: "MOONLIGHT OVER BAKERSFIELD," LARS FINBERG (IN THE RED, 2017)


"GALLMART" 2017 BLACK FRIDAY HOLIDAY SHOPPING FLYER!

(Click each page to enlarge, CONSUMERS!)


I MADE YOU SOME MORE THANKSGIVING CARDS (2017)

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MICROFICTION: CRANBERRY STATE

"...Cranberry State, cranberry hate, Cranberry State, cranberry hate..."

Red, oozy bubbles formed around the berries, sugar and water and heat popping them to make the sauce, fresh always for Thanksgiving, always Joanie who made it. She didn't even like cranberries, she thought to herself, frowning slightly as she stirred, the childish rhyme repeating in her head. The air in her mother's kitchen was thick with the smells of holiday dinner, turkey and gravy and sweet potatoes and green beans and rolls begging to be slathered with butter, each of the aunts and sisters and daughters working at their tasks, as always.

Her mother, bent over and rummaging loudly through a cabinet, let out a sudden, forceful sigh of exasperation and slammed the cabinet and stood facing it, her back to all. Everyone stopped working; the only sounds now were the bubbling of the sauce and boiling potatoes and the muffled conversation from fathers, brothers, uncles, and sons in living room, punctuated by a cheer or cry depending on what was going on with their football game.

No one in the kitchen moved.

Joanie stared into the pot, cranberries boiling too furiously now, thickening, like coagulated, angry blood. "I left this place, and learned from it!" she blurted. "Why didn't you?"

Her mother's shoulders lowered. That's the problem, she thought sadly: you leave, you change. It used to be no one left, and nothing changed.

Silently, the women went back to the food and the silverware and the serving dishes, while another triumphant yell from the men filled the empty space.


I MADE YOU TEN HALLOWEEN CARDS, 2017 (MILDLY NSFW)

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IPHONE PHOTO ROUNDUP: GET STUFFED! TAXIDERMY AT THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, GOLDEN GATE PARK, SAN FRANCISCO, CA.

Recently, I was in the beautiful Bay Area to shoot the fab Burger Boogaloo, but also made the trip into a mini family vacay, and we ended up in Golden Gate Park at the impressive California Academy of Sciences. Now, any normal parent would be talking about all the cool exhibits with her teenagers and learning all about science stuff. But instead, I (relatively quietly) hooted and snorted and grinned like a mule eatin' garlic when I came across the gorgeous horror of native dead preserved animals. While others were soberly reading about the exhibits and doing nifty science projects on pretty blond wood tables, I was taking close-ups of birds, reptiles, and others, frozen in time with expressions they probably never exhibited in the wild, forever aghast or judgy or angry, or stunned, or pensive, or just plain loopy. This is how I cope; I used to cry buckets over taxidermy when I was little! The pathos was just too much.

But now, hey, I see it as they live on, people can appreciate them or see things that went extinct, and support conservation in a time of destruction of our lovely world. Also, these make great social media avatars, so, you're welcome. Click to enlarge and please to enjoy.


PHOTOS & REVIEW: THE BACKYARD BUNKHOUSE BBQ BRAWL & ROCK N' WRESTLING RAGER, SISTERS AND BROTHERS BAR, SEATTLE, WA. 7/15/17 (NSFW)

(I couldn't be more proud and excited to have worked on this post with none other than my oldest son, Evan Spellman -- he did the explosive write-up and I took the photos! Thank you, Evan! Workplace readers and sensitive souls {like me}, please note: a few of the images near the end of the post are very graphic and display some pretty shocking and gory stuff... and also there is quite a large fake phallus being tossed about indiscriminately. PS. Everyone is A-OK now, so don't worry! -- Marianne)


The Backyard Bunkhouse BBQ Brawl & Rock n’ Wrestling Rager turned Sisters & Brothers Bar into Lovers & Fighters last Saturday with electrifying performances and devastating dropkicks. One full year in the making, rock n' roll World Champions Stallion hosted the event, uniting punk rock and wrestling for an unforgettable day of champ-class, top-flight entertainment, powered by the good folks at Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, and ending in a wild, end-times battle that Seattle will not soon, if ever, forget.



PHOTOS & REVIEW: BURGER BOOGALOO 2017, DAY TWO, 7/2/17, OAKLAND, CA., WITH JACUZZI BOYS, LA LUZ, NRBQ, FM KNIVES, SHANNON & THE CLAMS, X, AND BUZZCOCKS!

At last, you patient punks: here's my coverage of Day Two of Burger Boogaloo 2017 in swingin' Oakland, Cal-i-for-ni-a! When we last left off, it was the end of a very full and exciting Day One (<-- CLICK THAT to read all about it) which included thrilling sets by the likes of Redd Kross, Guitar Wolf, and (OMG) Iggy Pop, and the far-less-enjoyable Fence Incident™. Said Incident had Your Indomitable Photographer moving slowwwwly on Day Two, which led to me not being able to cover the first three bands of the day on the Gone Shrimpn Amphitheater stage (Patsy's Rats, who are going to be at Seattle's Capitol Hill Block Party July 21, the glamorous Glitter Wizard, and cool cat Roy Loney), and then later in the day, the fab and far-out Quintron and Ms. Pussycat). I regret these omissions and encourage all of you nice people to check out their music and buy their things! Well, only the things they want to sell you like music downloads and t-shirts; don't show up at their homes trying to get a deal on a pencil sharpener or duvet cover or dining set, OK?

By the way, every music festival should have John Waters as host and a giant billboard with his face on it.



PHOTOS & REVIEW: BURGER BOOGALOO 2017, DAY ONE, OAKLAND, CA., 7/1/17 WITH IGGY POP, GUITAR WOLF, NOBUNNY, REDD KROSS, BLOODSHOT BILL, LOSIN' STREAKS, BABY SHAKES, WOUNDED LION, PERSONAL & THE PIZZAS, VERTIGO, AND CAR CRASH!

I'm going to start this multi-day post about Burger Boogaloo 2017 with a video that properly illustrates my deepest feelings about the 8th annual Oakland, California garage/punk music festival. Also, it may inspire you to dance along while you read this, I fervently hope. (Also, this may take forever to load with all the pictures, so dancing is a healthy way to deal with your frustration.)


PHOTOS, VIDEO, REVIEW: STALLION VS. RED RIBBON @ 2017 NWA ROCK N ROLL CHAMPIONSHIP, SEATTLE + PREVIEW: BACKYARD BUNKHOUSE BBQ BRAWL AND ROCK N WRESTLING RAGER!

While all you lazy, good-fer-nuttin' slackmeisters are getting your summer on, all greased up with fancy French sunscreen and playing with $100 vintage recalled Jarts in your frou-frou flowery backyards, Seattle's very own Rock n' Roll Champs™, Stallion, have been "destroying and demolishing as always," brutally wresting aside any competitors on their way to claiming the NorthWest Alliance title of World Rock N' Roll Champions! The belt match was held on June 16, 2017 at Seattle's esteemed Timbre Room where one "Emma Danner" and her band Red Ribbon took on the Trio of Triumph in a nailbiter. Some backstory:


PHOTOS & VIDEO: THE WOGGLES, FUNHOUSE, SEATTLE, WA. 6/23/17 (WITH BONUS SUPPORT VIDEO!)

Do you remember that feeling when you were a kid of how excruciatingly long it seemed to take until your next birthday came around? You'd maybe even diligently mark off months, weeks, and days on a calendar, wailing to anyone who would listen how slowwwwwwww time was moving and that you simply could not wait much longer before exploding! Well, that's how the crowd at Seattle's Funhouse club had been feeling, I am sure, since it's been a jaw-dropping 12 years since the great garage-soul combo The Woggles have played in our fair city! The Emerald City was ready for a ramjam, rollickin' rave-up with the Professor Mighty Manfred and Friends and more than got it in the Funhouse's packed hothouse dance floor. In fact, in all the shows I have ever attended, I have never come out afterward so thoroughly drenched as to appear as I had just exited from an extended swim in Lake Washington. Wooooooo!


PHOTOS & VIDEO: TACOCAT, BOTHELL BLOCK PARTY & BREWFEST, BOTHELL, WA., 5/20/17

Yes, I know we whine about the rain a lot here in the Pacific Northwest, but we just had the wettest wet season on record so let me tell you, when you finally get a sunny day in the 70s here in late May, you celebrate it like all your birthdays rolled into one. How does one handle such bubbling joy? Why, you head on over to the Seattle suburb of Bothell to see Tacocat play the Bothell Block Party and BrewFest, that's what! I had to arrive late and leave early, but I and the generously-sized yeast-and-hops-infused crowd was delighted to see our pop punk feminist sweetheart warriors perform on a stage set up in the cute downtown area. Thank you Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce and UW Bothell! Please to enjoy!

(Click on the photos to enlarge, and click on THIS HIGHLIGHTED LINK to see them on my Flickr!)


14 THINGS I WANTED FROM THE BACK OF BETTER HOMES & GARDENS MAGAZINE IN THE 1970s

When I was growing up in the '60s and '70s, two strong characteristics emerged for me early on: I loved to read and I loved to shop. I did not discriminate in what I read when I was a kid; if it had WORDS on it, it was to be read. Spaghetti-Os can, Dad's camera manual, Reader's Digest? I GOT YOU. And a chance to get OUT of the house and BUY something, even cereal or socks? YES! We always had lots of books and magazines in the house, including a subscription to Better Homes & Gardens, which like everything else I read cover to cover. In the back of the magazine were small ads, purportedly curated by the editor, many which ran for years. The people reading these ads were housewives and me. These were some of the things I hoped to buy there (and mostly never did) when I was about 9 to 11 years old. Please to enjoy.