Sometimes, good luck and cosmic grace gift me with amazing opportunities. This very thing happened just a few days ago as I was spending a few minutes reading my Twitter stream. I just happened to be on as The Dandy Warhols made an announcement about their upcoming show at the second-annual Great Idea Music Festival. HMM, I said, what's this?? So I went to investigate, and when I did I said, HOLY CRAP, WOOOO!, because the Great Idea Music Festival was being held at Enchanted Forest Theme Park in Turner, Oregon. A 4-hour drive south to see the Dandies at a charming old-school kiddie park? YES! I bought 4 tickets immediately, put in for a photo ask (not needed, as it was open to all), reserved a hotel room in Salem, told the kids we were going on another Dandiventure (like the Kennedy School show was saw in Portland), they said WOOOO, and all was right with the world.

After the drive down the night before, we spent Friday morning leisurely eating the free hotel breakfast, swimming in the free hotel pool, and enjoying the free hotel wi-fi and free parking. (We were so very leisurely that we ended up leaving the hotel mid-afternoon and then ate lunch at unassuming-but-spectacular Word Of Mouth bistro. All of agreed it was one of the freshest and best meals we ever had, so it would totally be worth your while to go there, even if it's out of your way.) Stuffed and sated, we rolled on down the road to Enchanted Forest, arriving around 3:30PM. What a cool place, and what a mix of people there -- school day camp groups, grandpas and grandmas running after giddy toddlers, and rock stars and hipsters galore. The day was utterly perfect: sunshine, a balmy breeze, temps in the mid-70s, and this amazing, strange event in a surrealist fairytale world. (You can see some of the weird and funny non-music photos I took there by clicking right here.)

I didn't want to miss seeing Brush Prairie perform, which is the roots-country band project of the Dandies' Zia McCabe. We hustled over to the English Village and got there just in time. The whole thing just made me smile -- the setting, the people walking by, the people watching, the laid-back vibe, the simplicity, even the curlers in Zia's hair.

I shot a video with the 60D - first time, full HD! Sorry about the noise; that's a rollercoaster you hear every so often in the background!

To make it all even more sweet, Zia's daughter Matilda joined the band for a song, too.

(Brush Prairie Flickr set)

After Brush Prairie finished up, we walked around and looked at more parts of the park, got some ice cream, and heard little bits and pieces wafting our way from some of the other bands playing. HMM, what do I hear? The Dandy Sound Check at the "Rope A Steer" game/stage! Let's go! Hey, and that's the Dandies' original drummer Eric Hedford sitting in tonight, too! Cool!

As you can see, this was a very small area for the Dandies to play in; obviously no seats, no raised stage, and there were going to be a lot of fans there soon. So I decided it would be best if I just hung out and held a view spot before everything got jammed up, which is the endless pursuit of the music photographer. I was sorry to miss the other bands, and shall plan better next time. I sent the kids off to ride rides and explore caves, which they enjoyed tremendously, and they rejoined me at the front right before the show started.

Well, happy days! I don't know who was having a better time -- the band or the crowd, but everyone was relaxed and enthusiastic, and the Dandies sounded just great, maybe even the best I've heard them play. Definitely another Dandy Warhols love fest going on, and it just seemed very clear that the band really wanted to give their all for the local fans and fellow musicians who came to watch them as the sun went down. The set stayed mainly to their earliest albums and hits like "Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth," "Bohemian Like You," and crowd-faves like "Cool As Kim Deal," "Every Day Should Be A Holiday," "Grunge Betty," a cover of AC/DC's "Hell's Bells," and two of my huuuuuuge personal faves, "(Tony This Song Is Called) Lou Weed," and "Minnesoter." Matilda briefly came up to the front during the show to tell Mama Zia about a cool bracelet she got, hee hee.

(Dandy Warhols Flickr set)

I didn't video because I was just a little too close and the sound would've blown out the camera's mic anyway, but here is a video of the aforementioned "...Lou Weed" from another crowd member to give you more of a idea about what it was like. You can see just a teeny bit of me and my camera, front and center. The More You Know.

Now let's finish by talking about good luck and cosmic grace again.

What is my favorite song of all time?

The Rolling Stones' "The Last Time."

What did the Dandies play near the end of the show?


Oh, yes, I yelled and WOOOO-ed and jumped up and down and sang loudly.

And then, what was being played on the PA as the show finished and everyone was leaving the Enchanted Forest?

The KINKS' "Village Green Preservation Society!"

Right???? I KNOW!!!

And THEN? Then what?

We drove back to Salem, went to the Denny's by our hotel to get a late post-show dinner, and what song was playing over their PA as we walked in?


My face nearly split from grinning.

Thank you Dandy Warhols, for doing the unexpected and giving me and my family such great music and cool adventures. Happy trails to you...until we meet again!