Vignettes: Newport Picture-Palooza!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Greetings and salutations, one and all!

Just wanted to post more pics from my weekend in Newport, both of the performers I saw and some slightly less unkempt (I hope) shots of myself. lol

Follow along below the jump!


Since I am nothing if not a narcissist ;c), I will begin with... me!

First up, here is me headed out for dinner with T, J, and F on Saturday evening:


This is my favorite dress - so far. I reserve the right to change my mind later, of course. (Woman's perogative, and all that...) :c)

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I don't have a full-length shot from Sunday night; my main concern by this point was remaining awake, given how little sleep I had had the preceding week. :c) But this is a dress similar in length to the green dress above. 


As I have learned, I checked and then fixed my bra so it was *not* showing before I went out. lol

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This is one of three dresses I picked up on Monday while out shopping with J: 


I lovelovelove it! I am a sucker for anything with stripes, as you can probably tell from these pics, but this practically jumped off the rack when I saw it. It also received J's seal of approval, which helped matters considerably.

Here's a closeup, which I included so you could see the Celtic cross I picked up as well.


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This is a shot J was nice enough to take for me on Saturday. The lighting was dim, so it is a bit fuzzy, but I like how it looks. It really captures how I felt all weekend (girly and very, very happy), if that makes any sense:


BTW, I am clutching my biceps not to show off my guns (or lack thereof), but to avoid frostbite. lol It was SO cold in our room! And it sounded like a 747 when I kicked on, as J noted. Good thing I was already an insomniac, as this would have done the trick on its own.

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Lest you think I spent all of my time perspiring and being a clothes horse, here is a shot of my breakfast from Monday morning. 


Yes, I ate it all (I didn't even leave a bite for Mr. Manners, as my grandmother used to advise). :c)

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This is a coffee mug I purchased from a glassblower friend of T and J. 


He is a true artist, as you can see. I hope to buy more pieces from him during future visits.

As an aside, he met me multiple times before in boy mode. When we visited Monday, he clearly did not recognize me, referring to me as "she" on several occasions! 

It was both mind-boggling (even though it isnt the first time it has happened) and very, very affirming. I think the sunhat pictured in my previous post helped matters considerably. :c)

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Here are a few of my favorite shots from the festival. 

I have found that the best strategy for me is to decide which artist I most want to say each day. If they are on a side stage, then I get there as early as possible to get as close as possible. As you will hopefully see from these shots, it pays off.

This is the wonderful bluegrass prodigy Sarah Jarosz: superb singer, terrific songwriter, and dazzling multi-instrumentalist (she switched between guitar, banjo, and mandolin with ease throughout her set).




For the record, I am not in any way jealous of her long legs. So there's no point in even mentioning them, right?

:c)

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This is Rayland Baxter, one of those pleasant surprises that so often pop up at Newport. I was so impressed I bought his album upon returning to my hotel room on Saturday evening.


I couldn't resist including this shot of him indulging in a bit of liquid courage about 15 minutes into his set. He shared it with his bandmates, and joked that he forgot to bring enough for all of us as well. lol



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Next up, Iris DeMent, whose far-too-infrequent output is compensated for by how remarkable each of those all-too-rare albums (she has only released five in 20 years, and her latest is her first in 16 years) are.


Spirit Family Reunion joined her for the final song of her set, the standard "Keep On The Sunnyside":


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I mentioned in my previous post that Jason Isbell was the #1 person I wanted to see this weekend; he did not disappoint.






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The only act I saw on the main stage all weekend were The Avett Brothers. We departed a bit early so we didn't miss our dinner reservation, but the half-dozen songs we watched matched their high standard from the other five times I have seen them play.




Isn't it a beautiful location for a concert?


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This is Cold Specks (a stage name she uses to protect her conservative, religous family, who apparently do not approve of her music career). While she had minimal stage presence, her songs - and particularly her voice - were riveting. This is the last picture I took of her during what turned out to be her final song.


She was clutching that guitar so tightly I thought it would disintegrate. And that haunted look in her eyes has stayed with me for days afterward.



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Once again we see Spirit Family Reunion, who played one of the most joyous, life-affirming sets you could ask for.




For their final song, they invited Hurrah for the Riff Raff, another terrific band that was new to me. I picked up their new album too.



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Here are a few shots of Lord Huron, who played a storming set set that combined folk, rock, a touch of African/Carribean rhythms with breath-taking percussion.




Just to clarify matters once again, please note that the 20-30 pictures I took of Lord Huron's bass player, above, were strictly due to my sincere appreciation for his musical dexterity, and not for his chiseled features, lean, lanky frame, or brooding charisma. I am a serious music fan, and would never stoop to noticing, say, how well his jeans fit each of the 46 times he turned to face the rear of the stage.

No sir. Not me.

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 Next up was another set of brothers, in this case upper New York State's Avett Brothers, who mixed a quieter, moodier sound in with their trademarked mix of blues, folk, and rock:




I have seen them before, and had previously found myself like their albums more than their live shows (a rarity), but this time I was quickly won over by their warmth and good humor, particularly James, who was totally unfazed when his accordion strap snapped mid-song. He nonchalantly spun it around to get a proper grip, placed it on the ground, and bounded over to his keyboards - all without missing a note. Well done!


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And finally, here are some shots of Andrew Bird, a classically trained violinist who is also a superb singer and songwriter (and wonderful whistler, incidentally).


Much to my surprise and delight, he shared the stage with Tift Merritt, a country and folk singer. I would never have placed them as kindred spirits, but it turns out that is precisely what they are. Their delight in collaborating together was a joy to behold:




All in all, it was yet another wonderful weekend of music, this time made extra special because I attended it as myself for the first time.

It will not be last. :D


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Here are a few songs from my favorite performers of the weekend. 

First up, Jason Isbell, whom I mentioned in my last post.

Here's what I wrote to my friend JC, who was unable to attend this year's festival while she recovers from surgery (so glad you are on the mend, sweetie!):

"He played on the Harbor Stage (what used to be called the Borders Stage, around the corner from the Main Stage). I have found that those stages, more often than not, have the best performances and audiences."

About halfway through his set he picked up his acoustic guitar. 

"I'm going to play a song I rarely play during the day, and that I *never* play at festivals," he said. "Because I get the sense you all don't mind a quiet song with a lot of lyrics, and don't really give a damn if it's happy or sad."

Then he played this:


The only sound you heard when he finished was the crowd walking behind the people lined four deep outside the tent.

The entire album sustains that level, if you can imagine it. His first three studio albums are all top-notch as well. He is a major, major songwriter. It won't be long before he is mentioned alongside Steve Earle and Ryan Adams. 

Yes, he is *that* good."


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Next up, Spirit Family Reunion:


What a life-affirming band they are! 

And speaking of which, here is Hurray for the Riff Raff, one of several bands in my annual "how have I never heard of these guys before today?!?" category:




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And here is another: Lord Huron.




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In conclusion, Andrew Bird, whom I *had* heard of for years, but did not realize how wonderful he is until the last few years, courtesy of my Newport friend A:


All of these artists are worth checking out; you will not regret it!

Keep an eye peeled for my next post, btw: there is some news coming your way! :c)

5 comments:

Rhiannon on August 2, 2013 at 2:07 AM said...

So jealous! That dress is so so cute. I'm going to hunt for another Summer dress before the Summer is over. :o)

Rhi x

Becca on August 2, 2013 at 2:49 AM said...

Looking good Cass, looking good !!

Like the nails as well. Clearly being in your line of work you have time to file and shape your nails !

I am guessing that the ones that 'don't know' at work actually probably do know ......

Cassidy on August 2, 2013 at 10:08 PM said...

@ Rhi: I think we're even, hon, because I get jealous of how great your look in your LBDs! lol

I simply adore that dress. I think I have a serious sundress addiction; good thing I live in New England, or I might go broke! Then again, I also love boots... ;c)

@ Becca: Thank you, hon!

I asked April and my friend R earlier tonight if it was OK for me to be giddy with joy about wearing my new nightgown. lol (The verdict: yes, it is OK!)

Full disclosure: I do nothing with my nails, other than continue to *not* chew them. I chewed them my entire life - until about two months or so before I realized I had to transition. I had no idea I had stopped until a co-worker pointed it out to me. The subconscious mind is a powerful thing, is it not?

My co-worker friends R and S both note that I am more and more myself (that is, girly-girl, as they put it), and less and less able to pretend to be "him" with each passing day.

They're right; he is fading away, and I really don't want to have to pretend anymore. Stay tuned for news on that front. ;c)

Thanks again, sweetie!

Hugs,
Cass

bashashhazbaz on August 8, 2013 at 5:32 PM said...

that is a very pretty dress!

Cassidy on August 9, 2013 at 9:55 PM said...

Thank you! I love it too! :D

== Cass

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