Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mullen Hall Playground

With two kids under 5, I spend a good deal of time at local playgrounds, especially during the summer. I've been meaning to post something about this playground for quite some time, but I wanted to wait until I had decent pictures. Built last Spring, the Mullen Hall Playground has a science/nautical theme, including friction slides, a DNA ladder, boats, and a replica of a lighthouse. The community raised the cash and it was constructed in just 7 days, built completely by local volunteers. Up to 300 people a day turned out to help. I volunteered one night and helped to finish the "Tot Lot" (for kids 2-5). It was amazing to watch the transformation of this massive project, I've never seen anything like it. As far as I know, it is the largest playground in Massachusetts. My two little ones love it.

Part of the "Tot Lot" that I helped to build.

Listening to: Joe Strummer & The Mescalaros- Global A Go-Go

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Magnolia Electric Co.- Upcoming Box Set and Fall 2007 American Tour Dates

I've seen Magnolia Electric Co. live a few times, and in my opinion, Jason Molina is one of the best songwriters going today. He flies under the radar but puts on one of the best live shows I have ever seen. Really looking forward to the boxset and catching the band when they pass through Boston. They will also be playing in Austin when we are there for the ACL Festival, I may just have to forgo the festival for the night. Here is what the MEC website has to say about the boxset and upcoming fall tour:

magnolia electric co. will release their most ambitious work to date later this summer. on august 7th, secretly canadian will issue a 4xcd, 1xdvd deluxe box set entitled ’sojourner’. it includes all of the projects discussed over the past year and then some. ‘nashville moon’, recorded with steve albini in 2005. ‘the black ram’, recorded by david lowery with all sorts of guest musicians including andrew bird. the ’sun session’ ep, recorded at the legendary memphis studio in one day. and of course, the mysterious ’shohola’, recorded at home by jason molina. but that’s just the stuff you might have heard about. there’s also a dvd including the film ‘the road becomes what you leave’ by todd chandler and tim sutton that follows the band as they trek across the prairie provinces of canada. the amazing set is rounded out by deluxe packaging including a medallion and postcards, all housed in a wooden box.

In support of the upcoming ’sojourner’ release, magnolia electric co. will hit the road in late august for a nearly two month north american tour.

8/23 - Bloomington, IN - Bluebird
8/24 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
8/25 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
8/26 - Omaha, NE - Waiting Room
8/27 - Kansas City, MO - Grand Emporium
8/28 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theatre
8/29 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
8/31 - Vancouver, BC - Richard’s On Richards (early show)
9/01 - Seattle, WA - Bumbershoot Festival
9/02 - Portland, OR - Someday Lounge
9/04 - Arcata, CA - Muddy’s Hot Cup
9/05 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom Of The Hill
9/06 - Los Angeles, CA - Echo
9/07 - Pioneer Town, CA - Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneer Town Palace
9/08 - Pioneer Town, CA - Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneer Town Palace (Jason Molina solo)
9/09 - San Diego, CA - Casbah
9/10 - Phoenix, AZ - Modified Arts
9/11 - Tuscon, AZ - Club Congress
9/13 - Austin, TX - Emo’s
9/14 - Oklahoma City, OK - Conservatory
9/15 - Denton, TX - Rubber Gloves
9/16 - Houston, TX - Rudyard’s Pub
9/17 - New Orleans, LA - Howlin’ Wolf
9/18 - Memphis, TN - Hi Tone
9/19 - Jackson, MS - Hal & Mal’s
9/20 - Birmingham, AL - The Bottle Tree
9/21 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl
9/22 - Athens, GA - 40 Watt Club
9/23 - Columbia, SC - Columbia Music Festival Association Space
9/24 - Mount Pleasant, SC - Village Tavern
9/25 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle
9/26 - Charlottesville, VA - Satellite Ballroom
9/27 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
9/28 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
9/29 - New York, NY - The Blender Theatre at Gramercy
9/30 - Portland, ME - Space Gallery
10/1 - Cambride, MA - Middle East
10/2 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse
10/3 - Montreal, QC - Pop Montreal at La Sala Rossa
10/4 - Ottawa, ON - Zaphod Beeblebrox
10/5 - Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
10/6 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick

Check out the footage of "What Comes After The Blues" below. Good stuff.

Magnolia Electric Co.- "What Comes After The Blues"

Monday, July 16, 2007

Happy Campers

I haven't slept in a tent since we backpacked in Montana back in 2001, but that changed this past weekend when we headed to Maine. We stayed outside of Freeport at the Recompence Campground with five other couples and our collective 12 kids. Those of you with children know that trying to camp with 12 kids, all under the age of 6, could be a recipe for complete disaster, but all of us were pleasantly surprised how well the kids did. There were a few melt downs, but the great thing about our group of friends is that our kids see each other often and we all have similar parenting styles, so it is easy to manage. Now this was hardly roughing it by any means, it was strictly car camping, but with so many little ones it was perfect. The campground was very family friendly; big field for the kids to run around in, walking distance to a farm, and ocean views. We spent a morning at the farm, checking out the baby lambs and chickens, then spent the afternoon exploring the tide pools and swimming in Casco Bay. After the kids crashed we hung around the campfire and enjoyed the stars. I haven't seen stars like that in a long, long time. It was great to hang with so many friends and their families. Next year we will definitely bring the bikes and there is talk of staying a few more nights.

Listening to: The Flaming Lips- The Soft Bulletin