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15 Jun 08 A haircut can change it all

One thing that’s really struck me lately is how quickly kids learn. As I was having a full-length, adult-like conversation with Marley today, I suddenly realized (with awe) that she’s learned how to talk so well just from listening to others. She can write her name. She’s phoneticizing words. She’s “reading” books. All in just under 4 years. Everyone says that your kids grow up quickly and they’re right.

As Nicole’s grown, I’ve learned to not take the speed of growth for granted. At almost two, Nicole is finally crawling on all fours. She is also just pulling herself up to standing. What I’ve taught myself is to be patient and have faith that she will achieve everything she needs to, eventually.

Then we got her haircut.

Nicole enjoying lunch just after her first haircutIn a matter of minutes, her face, and the way I perceive her, transformed. She no longer looks like a baby. And then I realized that while things take a little longer with her, she’s growing up at a crazy speed, too. She’s mastered many sign language words, she says “I got” when she picks something up, she can point to trees, noses, babies and other things when asked. Tonight, while using her hands to say “all done” at dinner, she actually said it out loud. Several times. Like any two-year-old, we may be the only ones who understand her, but for now, that’s all that matters.

20 Jun 07 Moments of musical inspiration

Every Christmas and on my sister’s birthday, I prepare a music compilation. I like to think of it as a peek into my mind. What am I listening to? I never go so far to think much about what it means because I usually don’t think so much about what it means. It’s more about how it feels to me. Unlike Karyn, I do not listen to lyrics. It’s the music that traps me.

Recently I have been completely trapped by a few bands. So inspired that I feel like I need to blog about it. The music I listen to is not mainstream. Most of my “normal” friends don’t get it. But my music friends (you know who you are) share this appreciation to the extreme. That’s what makes my music friends so special to me. It’s like an unspoken understanding. A common bond. Something inexplicable but incredibly comfortable.

So what am I listening to that got me inspired to write this post? Well, here’s an overview.

  1. This Will Destroy You – These guys are all about dynamics. Twinkling beauty magically transforms into raw intensity. I love it! They’re playing in Brooklyn on July 20! Can’t wait.
  2. The Twilight Sad – A band from Glasgow, as if the accent doesn’t give that away. I have always had a soft spot for Scottish bands and these guys are one of the most original and exciting bands I’ve heard of late. Most of their songs spring from sparse melodies to lush romps of chaotic textured noise. Playing at a festival at Coney Island on July 21st!
  3. Hammock – Just seeing some of the friends this band has amassed on MySpace shows you where they’re coming from. Artists like Brian Eno, Mogwai, The Album Leaf, Johnny Marr, Robin Guthrie and my all-time faves The Church are all listed. These guys soar with the best of them and crash in blinding beauty.
  4. The Daysleepers – When Karyn first heard this she said it sounded like my guitar from my days in blueScreen. Ah the good old days, and now it’s new again. Long live shoegaze!
  5. Blonde Redhead – I grabbed their album, 23, a few months ago and must have listened to it 10 times in the first couple of days. It’s diverse and eclectic. Playing in Brooklyn on August 5th!

There are others including God is an Astronaut, Eluvium and Arcade Fire. Music seems to be on an upswing, at least for me! It makes me want to pick up the guitar again, hook up the old effects and create some astounding sounds. We’ll see. If only I can find the time.

Thanks for indulging me. Let me know what you think of these bands. Any other suggestions?

27 Apr 07 NYC gets Hip


The Tragically Hip @ The Fillmore (NYC)

Originally uploaded by thebradfields.

Last night (April 25, 2007), we made it to The Fillmore at Irving Plaza in Manhattan to check out The Tragically Hip, Canada’s biggest rock band. The club is a medium-sized venue. In Canada, you’re lucky if you get within 1,000 feet of the band in an arena, but we were within 40 feet of the stage and could see the sweat drip off Gord Downie. The sound was incredible and the band played many of our old favorites. During Bobcaygeon, the band references Toronto and the crowd at the show let out a great cheer. We were surrounded by Canadians. Gord Downie is a mad man and a true entertainer.

Seeing the guys on stage was like a real homecoming. They also did a great cover of Lightning Strikes by The Clash during their encore.