As some of you may know, I have the good fortune to be married a very creatively gifted man. Guion is the singer/songwriter for a band called Nettles, and they are seriously good. Describing Nettles is a difficult endeavor, but I like to think of it as the music that floats over a misty swamp surrounded by Spanish moss-laden trees. Or the sounds that rise up from a garden in the cycle of growth and decay. Or the harmony elicited by a falling star. It’s a mystical Charlottesville folk band, you know? These kinds of things come up.
Over the past four years, Nettles has been in the process of making their first album. Now, they need your help to finish it. Nettles has a Kickstarter campaign to raise $5,500 in 25 days. Would you consider helping them out? Every little bit counts.
We spent more than week away from the “real world,” which was magical.
First, we spent a little time in the Pines with Nettles…
and left Pyrrha at doggy summer camp with Guion’s wonderful parents, and her puppy BFF, Georgia.
And then we went to Hatteras and ate lots of food and talked and wandered around on the beach.
I didn’t get any glamorous beach shots, because I didn’t want to take Louis in the sun and water, but these two photos give you a general idea of what we mostly did (ate and talked and ate and talked, and sometimes watched appallingly riveting television, such as “Swamp People”).
You guys, I love these people that I happen to be related to by blood (and marriage).
20 September 2008: Prehistoric Nettles! Guion performs for one of the first times in Chapel Hill, in the basement of the Student Union.
20 September 2009: A rare moment of quiet in the kitchen at McCauley Street, the house I lived in during my senior year at UNC. I don’t think this kitchen ever looked this clean again.
18 September 2010: Hiking Crabtree Falls with our new friends, Sam, Sean, and Julie. Sam’s apple rolled down a rock face right before this photo was taken, but he decided to eat it anyway.
24 September 2011: Jonathan and I visit Catherine and Ava in Virginia Beach. Here we are looking out from Balboa Towers.
17 September 2012: Pyrrha, lazing around the house. Kind of feeling like I might do a third 365 Project (first done in 2008, second done from 2009-2010), maybe starting in January 2013? I miss being able to look back through the years and remember every single day. I am reminded that I have the most boring, well-documented life. But it makes me happy and I think my memory gets an artificial jolt from all of those photos.
I also got some much-coveted time alone, in which Pyrrha and I took a 2-hour hike along the Rivanna River and she nearly died from heat stroke. Then we both came home and napped. Peace, solitude, I have missed it all.
Oh, this schizophrenic half-winter of ours: Snowstorm this morning and now, at noon, it has ceased and the sun is coming out.
This weekend: Nettles, the Hill and Wood, and Luke Wilson played at The Southern; Matt Kleberg had a really wonderful opening at McGuffey; I began to re-read and fall in love with Absalom, Absalom! and retract every bad thing I ever said about it; and we got to watch UNC gloriously shame Duke at the McDermott’s on brew day. A very good weekend, by my estimation.
On Friday, I transcribed a painstaking, largely unsuccessful interview with a 106-year-old man, a legend in the industry. These were the important takeaways to me: If you are 106, you have the right to say things like, “Are you here just because you failed in the movie business?” to the unctuous young videographer coaxing you for an answer you thought you already gave. If you are 106, you don’t have to do anything if you don’t feel like it. If you are 106, your brain will start to winnow out all of the unimportant things, so that when the interviewer asks you to talk about your big career highlights, you will instead talk about your sons and how they graduated at the top of their class and how they tried to avoid going to war and how you named them after your best friends.
Unreachable father, when we were first
exiled from heaven, you made
a replica, a place in one sense
different from heaven, being
designed to teach a lesson: otherwise
the same–beauty on either side, beauty
without alternative– Except
we didn’t know what was the lesson. Left alone,
we exhausted each other. Years
of darkness followed; we took turns
working the garden, the first tears
filling our eyes as earth
misted with petals, some
dark red, some flesh colored–
We never thought of you
whom we were learning to worship.
We merely knew it wasn’t human nature to love
only what returns love.
. . . . . . . . . . . . .
Get it, Louise Glück. Happy weekend, y’all. I’ll be spending mine clinging to Guion, begging him not to leave me for 10 whole days, since he’s taking off with Nettles and The Hill and Wood and Camp Christopher (hint: all the same people) to play SXSW! I’m SUPER excited for them, but I’d like to raise this point: Wouldn’t this absence be easier to bear if I had a dog to keep me company? Wouldn’t it?? Le sigh. These days, I feel like June is a year away and I am going to die dog-less.
This weekend, we went to Chapel Hill and Carrboro for a mini-reunion with family and friends and to see Nettles and the Hill and Wood perform at Night Light. The visit was short but enjoyable. We got to see everyone we loved in a very short amount of time: I got to have tea with Jonathan at Weaver Street; tons of family and friends showed up at the concert; stayed the night with Shaun and Ann-Marie; got breakfast with Granddad; had lunch with Kelsey and Grace. A photographic sampling:
Also, I think I’m retiring the Monday Snax segment for the indefinite future. I’ll still provide links here and there, but I’d like to do more thinking and writing rather than linking and captioning. More life reflections, you know? Sigh. I was a better blogger when I was 15. Whatever that means.
This weekend has been a whirlwind, as we are house/dog-sitting for friends, and because we bought this:
So. Yes. It is a lot of fun. Driving to work this morning was actually very exciting. Lots happening! Guion also got the part-time job he wanted at the Wine Guild, so we are thrilled about that. I’m still feeling a bit blurry and hazy from the weekend, so here are some Snax with a lot of caffeine:
A Night with Nettles. Grace took some photos of Nettles‘ recent concert at the Tea Bazaar. A very good show. (Grace’s other photos from the family trip to town can be seen here. For all the Baby Charlie fans out there, there are some amazing shots of him.) If you’re in town, come see Nettles on Friday night at JohnSarahJohn. They’ll be performing for an art opening by Matt Kleberg. (Como Say What?)
Mariachi Band Serenades a Beluga Whale. This is all over the Cool Lady blogosphere, but I will join them in adding my delight over this clip. It will make you happy. I promise. (Door Sixteen)
Felix’s Felicis. Natalie got a bunny, named him Felix, and broke my heart. I want a bunny! Not as much as I want a dog, but almost! I think Felix and Frances should meet and fall desperately in love. (Peregrinations of NJM)
The Last Thylacine. This is one of the strangest-looking animals I’ve ever seen. It’s a marsupial, but it looks so much like a proto-canid. Those stripes! Sad that it’s extinct. (How to Be a Retronaut)
In Which Vladimir Nabokov Navigates Hell for Lolita. Yes, the protagonist is very icky, but I think it’s one of the greatest novels of all time. Even Nabokov had a hard time convincing people of this, though, as you can see from his letters about the book, compiled here. (This Recording)
To Go-To Snacks of Literary Greats. A series of cute illustrations of what the big writers liked to eat while writing. I don’t think Michael Pollan can be called “a literary great,” but it is interesting that he likes to drink his tea in a glass. I remember seeing that on Food, Inc. and wondering about it. (Mod Cloth blog)
Last night, Stephanie of The Charlotte posted a generous and brilliant review of local band Nettles–aka Guion and friends. We were really excited about it! Naturally, I think Nettles is incredible, but people take my opinion with a grain of salt, owing to my conflict of interest (i.e., being married to the front man). It was thrilling to hear Stephanie’s opinion, particularly since she and her husband, James, have such refined and carefully cultivated tastes in music. All that to say, enjoy her review here at The Charlotte.
And if you’re in town this weekend, you’re in luck: Nettles is playing at the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar this Saturday night, July 30, at 9:15. $7 at the door. Hope to see you there! If you can’t be there, listen to some of the new tracks on the Nettles Band Camp page here.