Monday, April 12, 2010

White Light Spins Through the Fog

Last night, April 11th, was date night for me and the hubby. It's been a long time since we've had a date night. And last night gave us a great reason for one. One of our favorite bands, IO Echo, was playing in Denver at the Bluebird Theater, opening for A Place To Bury Strangers and The Big Pink.

We first saw IO Echo in Seattle in October of '07. They and Kenna were opening for She Wants Revenge. I had never heard of IO Echo, but by the end of the set I was a fan. I bought the cd they were selling at the venue and soon became my own street team for spreading the word about this incredible band. I had done the same with Kenna after hearing him for the first time in '03. When I fall in love with an artist who doesn't get the radio airplay or media attention that others get, I tend to go into uber-fan mode and do what I can to get people to notice them. It's the music-addict-geek in me, I guess, that makes me do it...

Anyway, since moving to Denver, I wasn't sure if and when I would get to see IO Echo live again, and once I saw that they would be playing here, I knew I had to go. I wasn't sure how we would do it as every penny we have is watched pretty carefully these days. But then by pure chance and luck, an opportunity came to me that I could not and would not pass up. We were going to see the band! Thank you Joanna for that gracious gift.

We got to the theater early-ish and got a spot dead center in front of the stage, not on the floor as it's about 4' below the stage, but on the first tier up - maybe 5 feet from the stage. Perfect. When the band came out I was one of just a few people to scream and whoop, but by the end of the set, the whole audience was clapping and cheering. And it's not a surprise.

Starting out with some new songs that will hopefully find their way onto a cd in the near future, I was totally impressed. Then Joanna announced that she had been battling bronchitis - you would have NEVER guessed, she sounded great. Soon came "While You Are Sleeping" which started with Joanna down on her knees on the stage and worked her way up to bouncing around. "I'm On Fire" started and my hubby said to me, "this is where she wins over the crowd." And she did. This song starts "quiet, they're all so quiet." It lingers and then like a kick to the face the drums and guitars assault the senses while she wails "I'm on fire!" - only to go back to the soothingly soft sounds of the beginning of the song. The set ended with "Doorway" which is one of my favorite songs. Still no signs of the bronchitis Joanna had been fighting - she sounded spot on. They left the stage to a cheering crowd, as it should be.

I got some pictures from the set, here are a few of them:

After the set we headed up to the merch counter, in hopes that they would be there. Leo was behind the counter, and the other band members, plus a few others were there talking. Finally, Joanna came up. She talked to the boys for a minute, then as I was going to go say hi, she turned around, saw me, said hi to me by name (uh, yeah, super cool that she knew who I was), and gave me a hug. We talked for a bit, I bought a limited edition t-shirt, then I got a pic with Joanna and Leo. We then went and watched A Place To Bury Strangers (which was good, albeit too loud - the guitars were way too loud and the vocals way too quiet - but still good music and a good set), and then headed home.

I had the best night - out with my wonderful hubby, an amazing live show in a great little venue, chatting with Joanna - couldn't have asked for more from date night! Thanks to IO Echo for their great performance!

Check out IO Echo on Facebook and MySpace. Listen to the music, become a fan. And if you get the chance to see them live, do!

Thanks for reading from Rdwnggrl's World!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's Time To Give a Damn.

The semi-famous Stacy Soap Box has been pulled out today because I have something to say.

I am mad. I am disgusted. I am sad.

I was 7 or 8 years old, I think, the first time I heard the word "gay" in reference to people. I'm sure at that time I didn't fully understand it, but I do know I didn't seem to have a problem with it. By junior high and high school I had formed my outspoken attitude toward acceptance and equality.

Today, in 2010, you would think homosexuality wouldn't still be seen as a disease. You wouldn't think that the GLBT community would still have to live in fear of being disowned by family and friends or of being the victim of horrible hate crimes. You would think that the rampant discrimination they face at home, at work, at church, in society in general would have faded away. But sadly these are still daily issues.

I understand that a lot of people have issues with homosexuality because they don't understand it, or for morality sake. I get that. What I don't get is why that means it's okay to treat family, friends, and total strangers as if they should not be allowed to be loved and treated with respect, dignity, and equality. I guarantee you that whether you know it or not, there is at least one gay, lesbian, or bisexual person in your life - it could be a family member, your co-worker, former college roommate, a classmate, mail delivery person, hairdresser, a member of your church, your dentist - anyone.
Do they suddenly change when they tell you they are gay? No. They don't change, YOU do. You suddenly have other places to be, people to see, things to do. You are too busy to take their phone call. You are feeling under the weather so that lunch date has to be canceled. You change. They don't. They are still the same person who helped celebrate your birthday. They are still the same person who helped you conquer your fear of heights. They are still the same person who held your hand when your boyfriend broke up with you. They are still the same.

I've been following the case of Constance McMillen. If you don't know, she is a young lesbian woman who wanted to take her girlfriend to the prom. Her school said no and canceled the prom. Then it was announced a prom would be held and Constance could go and take her girlfriend. But it was a fake prom. There were 7 students at this fake prom. Besides Constance, the other students in attendance were kids with disabilities. Where were the rest of the classmates of these kids? Oh, yeah, they were at another prom that the parents (and probably the school officials) put on, the "real" prom. It angers me to no end that they did this. What does that say about them as people, as a community? Not only did they discriminate horribly against Constance, but they discriminated against those with disabilities. They essentially said that if you are different from us, then you are not allowed to be with us and enjoy the things we enjoy. That is cold, heartless, and despicable.

I've also been disgusted by the reports of kids and teens committing suicide due to bullying. This is slightly off topic because not all the cases have to do with the child being gay or perceived as gay. But the fact that it's happening at all, for ANY reason is sickening. The kids doing the bullying can't take all the blame. If they are learning this type of anger, hate, discrimination, or behavior from their parents - then the parents need to have their parental rights stripped away. If you think it is okay for your kids to act this way, then you deserve to be punished as much, if not more, than your children that are doing these awful acts.

Here are a couple of organizations that are bringing attention to the issues of the GLBT community:
We Give A Damn
Human Rights Campaign

Get involved. Speak your mind. Show your support.
Even if you disagree with the lifestyle, but support the people in your life who are gay or lesbian, you can get involved. You can still show the ones you love, and the world in general, that you stand behind them and that they matter - as family & friends, as important members of society, as human beings. Just take that step. It could help open hearts and minds everywhere.

Okay, I'm putting my soap box away again...for now. Please be kind. Please show love. Our differences do not make us good or bad, better or worse than anyone else. Our differences make us stronger, better people when we can learn to live with and accept those differences for what they are.

Thank you for reading from Rdwnggrl's World.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kids That Care Do Great Things!

It may be April 1st, but today's blog is no joke.

There is a young man named Tyler Chilcote who is raising money for the Diabetic Youth Foundation. His family (himself included) has been affected by Type 1 Diabetes. And as a family they are participating in the Families In The Forest Walk and FUNraiser in Sacramento. The event starts on April 18th and Tyler has set a goal of raising $3000 for the DYF.
PLEASE help Tyler and his family reach their goal. Their personal donation page for the DYF is HERE. Giving and helping is easy! Just click on the Sponsor Us Now link toward the bottom of the page. Enter how much you want to donate, your info, and you are set! It doesn't matter if you give $5, $50, or $500 - every little bit helps!

I would also like to suggest that you visit Diabetes Dog from Peticular Fashions on Zazzle. All proceeds from sales of Diabetes Dog products will go toward DYF.
Here are a few of the great products you can find there:

Also, if you would, join the Peticular Fashions Facebook page. You will not only get to see some of the great products available at their Zazzle shop, but you will hear updates about Diabetes and other causes that they support.

Thank you for reading from Rdwnggrl's World!