If you notice that I'm not on The Mountain for awhile, don't panic -- it's because I'm going to be off the air for the holidays. I'm not going away for good, though; I'll definitely be back in the new year.
Oh yeah, and there's this: I'm getting married.
Here's me and my bride-to-be, Melinda, and our little monster Dawson. (Yes, we did things in a sligthly different order than a lot of couples.)
Our wedding date: December 21. The winter solstice, and, if you believe the Mayan calendar, the day that the world will end. So it's either going to be love and marriage and champagne and laughter, or this:
I like going out to dinner; you probably do too. Seattle's a great restaurant town. So with visions of a new year full of great food ahead, here's a story in Seattle Weekly you might want to check out::
Healthy kids' meals, barrel-aged cocktails, beer-based cocktails, popcorn in everything, and of course, charred octopus tentacle. Just some of the delicacies we can look forward to in 2013. See the whole list here. Bon Appetit!
One of the quirkier chapters in the Beatles story was the movie Magical Mystery Tour. It didn’t get great reviews when it came out in 1967, but maybe that was because the people who went to see it weren’t tripping like the Beatles were when they made the movie. Anyway, a documentary about the making of Magical Mystery Tour aired on PBS last week, and if you missed it, which I’m sure you did, now you can stream it. It’s actually pretty entertaining and really captures the era in which they made the movie. It's a quick 20 minutes, and it's worth a look. Enjoy. (You might have to click into "fullscreen" mode or it'll look squished.)
Yeah, that really is Paul McCartney, with Dave Grohl on drums behind him.
Courtney Love was reportedly "not impressed," but for the rest of us, including the former members of Nirvana, it was fantastic to see Paul McCartney singing with Dave Grohl, Krist Novaselic, and Pat Smear on stage with him at the Hurricane Sandy benefit in NYC.
This is a pretty lo-fi video of the song, "Cut Me Some Slack," which will be in the Dave Grohl documentary Sound City, But you get the idea:
Mick Jagger had time to kill before tonight's Hurricane Sandy benefit show and the Stones' two remaining concerts in Newark later this week, so he dropped by The Late Show with David Letterman to deliver a Top Ten list. What comedic timing! Enjoy:
Some sad music news: Ravi Shankar died. He was the master of the sitar, an Indian instrument that was foreign to most AMericans until George Harrison got interested in it, used it on the Beatles song "Norwegian Wood," met Shankar at a party in L.A., became his student, and started adding the sitar to more Beatles songs. And the two collaborated on the legndary and influential Concert for Bangladesh.
Not everybody understood his music at the time; there's his famous line at the Concert for Bangladesh, after the crowd applauded his playing: "If you enjoyed the tuning up that much, I hope you enjoy the music even more."
Dubbed the Godfather of World Music by his most famous student, George Harrison, Shankar learned to play several Indian classical instruments in his teens and began touring abroad in the 1950s, introducing Indian ragas to audiences in Europe and the U.S.
"When George became my student, I got a new audience: the younger generation," Shankar told Rolling Stone in 1997. "And, of course, they came like a flood because the whole thing happened with the hippie movement and this interest in Indian culture. Unfortunately it got all mixed up with drugs and Kamasutra and all that. I was like a rock star . . . I never said one shouldn't take drugs or drink alcohol, but associating drugs with our music and culture, that's something I always fought. I was telling them to come without being high on drugs. I said, 'Give me the chance to make you high through out music,' which it does, really. I think it's good I made that stand, and that's why I'm still here today."
Here's a sweet video of Shankar giving Harrison a sitar lesson in 1968:
If you're a cyclist, like me, you know there are situations where people in cars are totally oblivious to . . . .well, to anything, really, but espcially us, on our bikes, and that can be deadly. We're always looking for new ways to make ourselves visible to motorists, but here's an even better idea -- a device that lets us sound like another car. It's the Loud Bicycle Car Horn.
Cycling in traffic can be frightening and dangerous. The Loud Bicycle horn prevents accidents by alerting motorists with a familiar sound. The safety benefits of the horn give more people the confidence to travel by bike.
Drivers react to car horns before they even know where the sound is coming from. A driver that gets beeped at while backing out of a driveway for example, will immediately brake. These kinds of reflexive reactions are perfect to keep cyclists safe. Some motorists don't realize that their driving habits can be dangerous for cyclists. Drivers will learn to be more aware of cyclists after a Loud Bicycle horn is honked at them.
It actually seems like a pretty good idea. This is a Kickstarter project, which means they're trying to raise the funds to make a go of it, so you can't buy the device yet.
Read more about it, hear it in action, and maybe even kick in a few bucks to help make it happen, by clicking here.
This Sunday is the first day that same-sex couples can legally tie the knot in Washington, and even though all 140 slots are filled for the ceremonies being performed at City Hall in Seattle, you can still be a part of the festivities and show your support.
From the City of Seattle, here are some FAQs about this Sunday's events:
Can I still come if I'm not getting married?
To come inside City Hall, you'll have to be an invited member of a wedding party. However, the community will be celebrating this historic day on City Hall Plaza, on 4th Avenue, where you can cheer to congratulate each couple as they exit the building. Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. Please join us on 4th Avenue at any point during the ceremonies to help make this an extra special moment.
How do I get a marriage license?
Washington State has a three-day mandatory waiting period after you receive your marriage license. In order to get married at Seattle City Hall on December 9th, you must obtaina marriage licenseon Dec. 6th, the first day they are legally available. Marriage licenses are issued by county auditors.
For more on requirements to be eligible for a marriage license in Washington State (age requirements, residency, etc.) and to download the required forms in advance, check out this FAQ from King County: http://www.kingcounty.gov/courts/marriage/faq.aspx
Below is information from King County on how to obtain your marriage license:
The Recorder's Office in the King County Administration Building, 500 Fourth Ave. in downtown Seattle, will be open for extended hours.
Thursday, December 6: 12:01 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Friday, December 7: 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 8: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Administration Building will be the only location in King County where couples can obtain a marriage license on these three days.
Licenses will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.
Couples can begin lining up on the Administration Building North Plaza (off James Street) two hours before the office opens each day. An official queuing area will be set up on the Plaza.
For individuals with mobility issues, an accessible entrance is located on Fourth Avenue. These individuals can enter the building from Fourth and use the elevator to access the North Plaza queuing area.
All couples who are in the official queuing area two hours before closing time will be served.
All couples applying for a marriage license, regardless of gender, will need to wait in line on these three days.
The application process takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
To help reduce delays, couples are strongly encouraged to download and fill out an application ahead of time, and bring it with them to apply.
Both applicants need to be present and have a photo ID to apply, along with the $64 fee (cash or local check, no credit or debit cards).
Once we have our license, can we just show up at City Hall on the 9th?
In order to make this work well for as many as possible, we asked people to RSVP in advance, noting that space was limited. We reached our limit on November 29th and are no longer accepting RSVPs. If we have cancellations or no-shows, we may be able to serve a few people who walk in without an RSVP but we can't make any guarantees, so it might be wise to make other plans.
If you'd like to wait on standby, feel free to come down to City Hall between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and join the celebration. Just be sure to let our staff know when you arrive that you'd like to get married so they can place you on the standby list. We'll try to serve everyone on the standby list, but our first priority will be those who registered in advance, so we can't make any promises.
What should I do when I arrive at City Hall?
Come to the 5th Avenue entrance of City Hall, between Cherry St. and James St., at the check-in time you were assigned via email after registering on line. We will have volunteers waiting there to check you in. Please arrive with your entire party. You will not be able to check in until your whole party is present.
We'll be letting people into City Hall only a few groups at a time to ensure that everyone's ceremony is a special moment in an appropriate atmosphere We will bring you inside early enough to primp a bit in our restrooms and get settled before your ceremony.
How long will I have to wait outside? What if it's raining?
You will have to wait outside for at least a little while, hopefully not more than a few minutes if you arrive on time. The 5th Ave. entrance to Seattle City Hall has an ample covered area.
What time does this all start?
The first weddings will be performed at 10 a.m. If you're getting married, please arrive at the check-in time you were assigned via email. If you're coming to celebrate on our 4th Avenue plaza with the community, arrive whenever you like between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. What if I'm late and I miss my check-in time?
Please don't be late! We may be trying to marry a lot of people who have waited for this day a very long time. The goal is to make the day and each ceremony special. If you arrive late, we may have to place you on standby. We will do our best to accommodate everyone on standby, but we can't make any promises.
How do I get there? Where can I park?
The City of Seattle parking garage across the street on 6th Ave. and James St., SeaPark, will be open especially for this event, though regular parking rates will be in effect. City Hall is right next to the Pioneer Square Station of Link light rail and Metro buses, and there will be taxis available outside City Hall to whisk you away after your ceremony if that's what is most convenient for you.
What can I expect to see when I arrive at City Hall on Dec. 9th?
We are working with local artist Jennifer Zeyl (http://www.jenniferzeyl.com) and Celeste Cooning (http://www.celestecooning.com) to create temporary art installations to provide a beautiful location for each couple's big moment. These installations will be tasteful, dignified and appropriate to the solemnity and joy of the moment. This is a big day that many have waited years or even decades to enjoy.
After your ceremony, there will be non-alcoholic drinks and snacks available, and an area to take photos. Seattle City Hall is one of several locations around the city hosting ceremonies. We hope you'll join us at the Paramount Theatre beginning at 6 p.m. for Love Wins -- A Wedding Reception For All, a free reception with a celebratory champagne toast, entertainment and desserts.
What will the ceremony be like? Is there a lot of paperwork?
After some time to prepare in our waiting area, the couple will join the judge for a private moment where you can discuss your vows and who you'll want your official witnesses to be (two witnesses over age 18 must sign your marriage certificate). Then we'll bring the rest of your party to join you, and the judge will conduct the ceremony based on your conversation. Afterward the judge, couple and witnesses will sign the marriage certificate. We'll make copies of the official document and the judge will file the paperwork for you (for details, visit the King County website: http://www.kingcounty.gov/courts/marriage/Weddingofficiantduties.aspx). Then you and your guests can take some time to celebrate and take photos.
How long will all this take?
Expect to be at City Hall for at least an hour after your check-in time. You will likely wait outside for 15 minutes, then inside for 15 minutes, and the ceremony itself should take at least 15 minutes. These are just estimates, so plan accordingly.
How do we exit City Hall?
You will exit down our grand staircase, likely to great fanfare from the waiting crowd. You can exit straight to your next event, or join the community celebration on City Hall Plaza on 4th Avenue.
Do I need to bring my own witnesses, photographers, cake, etc.?
You do not need to bring witnesses, though friends and family are more than welcome. We will have volunteers on hand to serve as witnesses and help out with last-minute wardrobe emergencies. There will be professional photographers volunteering to capture images of this historic day, but if you want to be sure to get the images you want, it might be a good idea to bring someone you trust to photograph your ceremony.
There will be cake, snacks and (non-alcoholic) drinks available, but you are welcome to bring your own celebratory cake and (non-alcoholic) drinks, as well. (Within reason, please – a lot of people are celebrating today, so please don't bring your own caterer to City Hall.)
What documents do I need to bring?
Please bring the original copy of your marriage license and legal identification such as a driver's license or passport for each partner.
How much does it cost to get married at Seattle City Hall on Dec. 9th?
Nothing! City Hall will be open to anyone wishing to marry there on this day.
Can opposite-sex couples also get married at City Hall on Dec. 9th?
Of course! Any loving couples with a valid marriage license can sign up. Please remember that this is a day that many have been awaiting for a long time.
Since same-sex couples will be tying the knot in Washington beginning this Sunday, I thought you might appreciate some insight into the institution of marriage from Bill Burr. And here's hoping you same-sex couples have a better track record than we straight people at staying hitched!
Here in the Northwest, we've had a spike in the number of cases of parvovirus, a nasty and very contagious virus that dogs can get, especially when they're in close contact with other dogs, like at the off-leash park or the kennel. Up in Everett, they actually closed their off-leash parks to try and stem the outbreak of parvo. There's no cure, it can be fatal in dogs that haven't been vaccinated -- especially puppies -- and along the way there can be very unpleasand symptoms.
Here's the good news: Today, (Thursday) the Homeward Pet Adoptions Center at 13132 N.E. 177th Place in Woodinville will administer FREE parvo combination vaccines from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.and they'll have a veterinarian on staff in case anybody's dog has a bad reaction to the shot.
It's usually like a $25 vaccination, plus office charges, so this is a good deal.
If you like to go behind the music, this looks awesome. Sound City was a legendary recording studio in the L.A. suburb of Van Nuys where countless classic albums were made by artists like Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Guns 'n' Roses, Cheap Trick, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Nirvana. And now Dave Grohl of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters has directed a documentary about the place. Sound City premieres next month at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah and then hopefully gets picked up for distrubution and we can see it. Check out this trailer:
Questions about our state's two new laws legalizing gay marriage and pot?
Starting at midnight tonight, same-sex marriage will be legal in Washington. You probably know that there's a three-day waiting period here -- you can't actually get hitched until three days after you get a license. But marriage license offices in King and Thurston Counties will open at 12:01 a.m. so you can get the ball rolling ASAP.
Meanwhile, as you know, marijuana will be legal for personal use in quantities of an ounce or less beginning at mindight, too. It's still illegal to purshase pot, which makes for an interesting contradiction; you can ponder that while you're firing up that first legal spliff.
Anyway, click here for answers to the most common questions about how things are going to go when the chronic is legal here in the Evergreen State.
They haven't toured since 2009, they're celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Rumours album, they've just put the finishing touches on a couple of new songs . . . it seems like a great time for Fleetwood Mac to get out there and tour. So here we go:
Monday, May 20 at the Tacoma Dome, the current Mac lineup of Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood takes the stage.
Stevie said, "After spending four days at Lindsey's house working on music and one really fun day doing a crazy photo session, I am quite excited about enxt year. Everything seems to be falling into place. 2013 looks like the 'year of Fleetwood Mac.'"
The tickets are going on sale Monday December 17 at LiveNation.com and Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000 . . .. and here's a little heads-up: You'll be able to win the tickets before you can buy them by listening to The Mountain. Stay tuned!
Last weekend in DC, the three surviving members of Led Zeppelin all put on tuxes so President Obama could bestow upon them the prestigious Kennedy Center honors. You don't think of Obama as that much of a rocker, but here's his tribute to Zeppelin:
Besides Led Zeppelin, other honorees included Daved Letterman, Dustin Hoffman,Buddy Guy, and some legendary ballerina. The whole fancy shindig will be on PBS the day after Christmas.
Abba is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Alice Cooper's in. So is the Dave Clark Five. All very deserving, no doubt. But if those bands are in, and the Northwest's beloved Heart aren't in, something's very very wrong, right? Well today is your last chance to do something about that.
All of us fans, all together, get one vote out of the 600 that detrmine who goes into the Rock Hall early next year, and today's your last chacne to vote. You get to pick five out of a list that includes Heart, Rush, Deep Purple, Randy Newman, Joan Jett, Kraftwerk, the Mowon girl group the Marvelettes, and the disco group Chic. At the moment, Rush still leads the voting, followed by Deep Purple and then Heart, so it's looking pretty good for the WIlson sisters.
But just in case, why don't you go here now and vote. (If you've already voted, you can click "view resulsts" at the bottom of that page to see how it's going.)
You know, we fans -- all of us, lumped together -- get one vote. We get to vote for up to 5 nominees, and right now Heart is in third place behind Deep Purple and Rush. That’s great. If the public vote has any influence on the rest of the 600 ballots from the members of the Rock Hall, it looks like Heart is in good shape. But just in case, you might want to cast your vote – teh dealine is today (12/3.) Just go here and pick up to five artists. (You can see the results if you click "View Results" at the very bottom of the page.) Sorry, disco band Chic and Motown R&B girl group The Marvelettes -- it doesn't look like your year.