Unpacked

Formerly Travels of an Overpacker,
Returning and Unpacking to life in America

Posts tagged bon iver

0 notes &

This video parody of “Merry Indie Christmas) is pretty awesome. The clips at the bottom of the post (found here) are spot on a hilarious (perhaps only if you know the artists/their musical stylings.) 

I’m headed back to Minnesota tomorrow for nine days (yes, nine!) of following my mom around the house forcing my dad to play word games with me hanging at home.

Happy Holidays!

Filed under buzzfeed bon iver funny the national music hipster

9 notes &

Bon Weekend

I don’t even know where to begin. If I pass out due to the excitement whilst writing this blog post you’ll soon know why.

Last Wednesday Jack went to a Megafaun concert. I didn’t go with him (unfortunately) but when he said he was going to semi-road trip it up to Madison on Friday I thought, “Hey, I get to see Megafaun and get out of town for a little bit!” (No offense to Chicago but sometimes you just need to leave where you are for a moment.)

Backstory on Megafaun, they’re a band of primarily Wisconsinites who now live in North Carolina. Most of the members were previously in a band with Justin Vernon of my dreams Bon Iver fame. (I think I’ve blogged about him once or twice before…)

So there we were, having a beer, waiting between the opener (another former bandmate) and Megafaun when this guy in a ridiculous hat walks by. Clearly I was focused on the Snookie-esque hat (sorry) but Jack was wise and said something to the effect of, “That’s Justin Vernon.”

Holy. Shit.

It was a small venue (aka High Noon Saloon in Madison) and we had perched ourselves towards the front and right by the backstage/side door thingy. Jack spotted Mike Noyce in the venue a little further back but, by the best luck in the entire universe (too much?) Justin Vernon watched the show RIGHT next to us. By the worst luck in the entire universe (too much?) there was an enormous fan that blocked my direct contact with Mr. Vernon. It took all my willpower not to knock it over and to “be cool” (which is not my default setting) standing mere feet from my most-obsessed over musician. Jack kept catching me staring (my willpower isn’t that strong!) but I managed to catch most of the concert and maintain my composure. 

Jack, My Foe the Fan, and there in the dark background, Justin Vernon. I swear he’s there!

 We were even treated to an encore that included Mr. Vernon. 

I kept reminding myself not to scream à la a preteen at a Justin Bieber concert. Yes, I’m 25.

After the show Jack and I headed outside where, being the eagle-eyed person I am, I spotted Mike Noyce, a Bon Iver band member and native Wisconsinite. Being the very large chicken that I am, Jack and I debated on whether or not I could ask for a picture.

Turns out, I could not. Thankfully, Jack could and did ask, and Mr. Noyce was kind enough to oblige. 

God bless your iPhone camera Jack.

Then, en route to the car, it happened.

I saw Justin Vernon, between two cars, texting and smoking a cigarette (leave it alone, I know, I know). He probably wanted to be left alone but, I mean, come on! Again, I was frozen in place (slash I’m a huge weiner) but Jack saved the day again!

Yes he looks a little different with a clean shaven face, yes I see the cigarette and the man-bag—leave him alone!

It was truly a magical evening and if there’s one thing that I took away from it all it would be that I’m never washing that sweater again. Justin Vernon touched it!! (Yes it’s dry clean only so it wasn’t going to get washed all that often, but you know what I mean.)

Filed under bon iver justin vernon mike noyce megafaun madison wisconsin chicago music

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Fortune Telling

I feel like I often begin sentences with, “I’ve had the good fortune to…” which is fortunately the case for me a lot of times. I’m not trying to brag (well, maybe a little) but luckily, sometimes I’ve had really good timing.

My birthday was one of those instances. I got to see Beirut (one of my faves) play at First Ave in Minneapolis. A week later it was my friend Jack's birthday, and we got to see our fave Bon Iver play in Chicago. Due to Jack's brother's cleverness, we even moved up to the second row (a la Pitchfork in Paris). The show was amazing (once again) and I felt more fortunate than ever to have seen Bon Iver twice in one year.

Jack and I drove back to Minneapolis on Monday where we had to drive through Justin Vernon’s (who is the lead of Bon Iver) hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He was playing the first of two homecoming shows that night, despite the shows having sold out months prior, Jack and I decided to test our luck. We arrived early enough to get our spirits down about the prospects of entering the show. After a pitcher of beer (mostly me, Jack still had to drive) and some delicious grilled cheeses we headed over to the venue one last time. Jack and I were prepared to pay semi-top-dollar to go to this show. Due to some sleuthing on my part (and by that I mean the scalper flashing his extra tickets to anyone and everyone) we approached. The following was our interaction:

Jack: Do you have any tickets?

Scalpy (the Scalper): Yeah man, how many do you need.

Jack: Two. How much do you want for them.

Scalpy: Face.

Jack: I beg your pardon?

Me: Are you SERIOUS? What’s that, like 25 dollars?

Scalpy: Twenty two.

Jack: Seriously?

Scalpy: Yes, I’ve been standing out here for two hours without anything so I’m happy just to get rid of them.

Me: Are these real tickets?

Jack: We’ll take them.

Scalpy: Man, I should have started at a higher price, you guys probably would have paid it.

Then, Jack and I did something that will forever solidify us into the “wost-scalpers-ever” category. We paid more. Only one dollar more than he asked (only by a dollar!)—we each gave him 23 because we felt a little bad for the guy. I know, pitying a scalper.

But, the real story is that Jack and I got to go to a Bon Iver concert, for the second time in four days, in the band’s hometown.

I may have not gone gracefully into 25, but maybe 25 won’t be so bad. Just so long as I get to keep starting my sentences with, “I’ve had the good fortune to…”

Filed under bon iver justin vernon eau claire wisconsin minnesota beirut chicago travel

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Weekend Update

So as Michaela’s guest post said, this past weekend I was at the first Pitchfork Music Festival Paris. (And no, nothing incredible or life changing happened, sorry Mic.) It was a great weekend with many incredibly talented musicians and I was pretty fortunate to have this as the ending to my last days in Paris. 

The highlight was, of course, Saturday night with the curator and headliner of the concert, Bon Iver. I got there early (in order to see the earlier acts) as well as to snag a spot at the front for Bon Iver. I left the spot once (bathroom)—I guess front space at festivals can be pretty cut-throat which I learned as I was gradually moved from the front row to the second. Still, I had an incredible vantage and one that I’m not likely to get again. (However I am fortunate enough to be seeing Bon Iver again in Chicago in December.) 

A few pictures from the weekend (sorry my camera was not feeling the lighting at these shows)!

The Rosebuds

Jens Lekman—I highly suggest checking him out! He’s pretty dang funny.

Magical

And, to give you all a little hint as to my Halloween costume (yeah I dressed up—pictures tomorrow) here’s a photo taken from the Pitchfork Paris Facebook album (thanks Jack!). Can you spot me? (Hint: You can’t see my full face but I’m there!)

Photo by Tom Spray

Filed under bon iver justin vernon pitchfork paris music france

10 notes &

The Michaela One


Guest Poster: Michaela

Relation: Former roommate/coworker/half of an increasingly codependent couple/travel partner/friend (foreverrr)

Current Location: Oslo, Norway

Additional Info: I was fortunate enough to have a voluntary guest poster (that never happens!) and such a perfectly timed post as well. My beloved Michaela wrote me a guest post because she knows that I’m at the Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend and am too busy obsessing over Bon Iver (and standing next to the stage six hours before his show to ensure the best spot) to be creative. Sorry. But thank goodness for Michaela!

 —————————————————————————————————————————

Right now Jill is watching Bon Iver live in concert, and her life is changing. Seriously, this concert is truly a pivotal moment for her, and not just because he’s an amazing artist and I’m extremely jealous.

No, it’s because this concert has dictated so many decisions in young Jill’s life that I really believe Bon Iver has some subconscious overarching power over her destiny.

First, she booked this concert in July across the world in Singapore. Where she also booked the flight from Oslo to Paris…wishful thinking.

In choosing to leave Oslo, she battled with losing the Paris ticket, with not going to the concert – with missing the one and only Bon Iver, not to mention losing some serious Euros.

As we know, Jill went to Paris “to learn French” but I think she went to wait for Bon Iver. Coincidentally, she scheduled her apartment, her language class and her return ticket to the states to all coincide with this very concert.

Also, coincidentally, she’ll be seeing him again in concert upon her arrival in the states.

In fact, in a way, the last two months and two major decisions of her life are completely revolved around this very concert, on this very day.

So I’m curious, what does it all lead up to? Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I’m convinced Jill will meet her French husband at this concert. That years from now when she’s surrounded by her French speaking children and American nanny moving to Paris unemployed to learn French and wait for Bon Iver all led up to some magical love story that only Paris and Bon Iver could create.

But hey, that’s just me.

I think it’s safe to say, that even if this concert doesn’t lead to a French husband or job offer or unexpected scooter ride around the city, it will still be the end to a pretty amazing chapter and mark a milestone for many more to come. 

Filed under bon iver concerts eau claire justin vernon oslo paris singapore travel wisconsin denison

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Sucker Punch

I, Jill Carr, am a total sucker. I can’t bargain, I don’t like to do a back-and-forth over the price of an item, and I have the emotional range of a five year old (super sad to super DUPER excited to murderous rage to teary eyed emoting to cartwheeling excitement in one sentence). These characteristics make me terrible on a beach in Bali (or a market in Turkey, a beach in Greece or Spain, or any place where something’s price is negotiable) where people are in a constant state of hawking items. 

These beach and market sellers seem to have a super power, the power to spot and harp on weaklings. Weaklings like me. 

You see, the only way to get out of the seller’s line of vision is to pretend they do no exist. To completely ignore them. I was brought up (thanks mom & dad!) with a certain set of behavioral expectations. Not that I was always a well behaved child/preteen/teen/twentysomething (sorry mom & dad) but I knew that when an adult addressed me I should answer them (and I still have trouble calling my friend’s parents by their first names-sorry it’s a force of habit!). So when these people address me on the beach it pretty much goes against my nature to ignore but when you respond, even with a “no” and a head shake or in my case, “no thank you,” it’s all over. They will talk to you and offer and show things and talk to you until you either buy something or ignore them completely. Contrary to their beliefs, I don’t have a lot of money (nor room in my bag to bring a pirate ship kite home), and I cannot afford to buy every item. I hate to be rude and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but I don’t know what else to do.

If I do want to buy something it’s just as bad. I love sale items but I cannot bargain. I feel terrible while bargaining-I know it is something I am supposed to do, but these people seemingly have so little, and TSA can tell you that I have so much and I don’t want to cheat them and it mostly just makes me feel sick.

All I know is I’m going to get eaten alive (or sent to the poorhouse) while I’m in SE Asia. I love markets and street vendors (the sights, smells, people, and sounds make them all too alluring) but the bargaining makes me a little queasy. Thankfully, I’ll be with an expert traveler and bargainer in all of these places. Mic knows how to navigate the markets and maybe I’ll learn from her skills and become an expert myself-or just make her bargain for me.

Filed under bali travel singapore greece spain sucker punch turkey bon iver

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Guesstimate

While I’m away (in Bali! Sorry to gloat) I’ve basically stolen blog content…

I had the pleasure of guest posting (yet again!) on my friend Jack’s blog. It’s a great music blog so go over there and check it out if you haven’t already.

He typically posts a photo of the guest poster along with the post, and since I don’t like the photo he used (hey, I’m a girl, and picky about photos like that) I’ve decided to steal his blog post (hey, I wrote most of it) and place it here, along with the photo he should have used.

So, the blog post: (if you want to watch the song video you’ll have to go to Jack’s blog though)

song du jour: amos lee.windows are rolled down

it’s been a while since we’ve had a guest post, eh? let’s go ahead and remedy that. as a matter of fact, this guest post comes to you from, i believe, the last person to make a guest appearance on your song du jour, my guest-posting friend jill (this marks her record-making third guest spot. step up your game, other guest posters).

as of this week, jill is back abroad. this time, she finds herself in singapore after spending a couple toasty months in houston. therefore, as of this week, i spend my time in perpetual jealousy of her life again (houston allowed me a break from this). she has about five weeks in singapore ahead of her, followed by two weeks of travel in southeast asia before she makes her way back to oslo for a couple of months (the reason for the jealousy, if not clear already, now should be). as always, keep up with her adventures on her own blog, here.

before jill wrapped up her time in houston, she came home for a weekend and we were able to spend a (hot and humid) evening with amos lee and ray lamontagne (as you’ll read below), and with that, over to her…

jack and i, admittedly, have a minor love for justin vernon & bon iver. but before JV, and throughout my JV obsession, there was and will be, amos lee. i’ve said that i would love amos lee even if he made an album banging on a pot, but thankfully he has yet to produce an album in which kitchenware is his main instrument. 

this song is off his newest album, mission bell, and i am completely enamored with it. to me, it is the perfect song for summer. windows down in a car or those perfect summer evenings where you’re sitting on a balcony, porch, deck, or just in a room with open windows, good friends, and a cold beer. i’m not sure life gets better than that.

i was home a couple of weekends ago in the car and i heard that amos lee and ray lamontagne would be playing that night at the basilica block party that local minnesota radio station cities97 hosts annually. immediately, i called jack to inquire if he had known and if we could still get tickets. oddly enough he had just come across the evening’s lineup and was about to ask if i wanted to go. a few hours later we were listening to amos lee, and i stand corrected. a summer evening, good friends, and cold beer (well, that we had for ray at least) listening to the music you love, live is probably the best it gets.

And the (ahem) correct picture (which I think Jack didn’t post because he refuses to post a picture of himself on his blog. His lack of conceit is really disturbing!)

Filed under amos lee bon iver music friends blog