November isn't a month with a lot going on around these parts, but I've managed to keep occupied. Last Friday, I won tickets to see the band Dawes play live at Studio M at the Triple M radio station. I'd heard good buzz about Dawes live, though I was a little suspicious after reading about their connection with Jonathan Wilson and the whole Laurel Canyon crowd. I wasn't able to attend their Friday night show at the Majestic, so the chance to see them free in a very small room that afternoon was much appreciated.
Triple M gave out free beer and Blue Sky soda before the show, an unexpected bonus. Not being a soda or beer fan, I still appreciated the thought. After drinks were distributed, approximately twenty of us were led down to the studio where Dawes was already set up on a small stage. They played four songs, and were interviewed for about half an hour. It was interesting to be part of a future radio broadcast - a little bit like being in a TV audience. I enjoyed the performance, although judging from some of the questions in the interview, I'm guessing I don't have a much better feel for the full Dawes live show than I did before. According to lead singer Taylor Goldsmith, they don't typically use acoustic guitars at all. The studio performance consisted of one acoustic guitar, and three voices - the bass player didn't attend, because he doesn't sing. Maybe I'll catch a proper Dawes show sometime. From all I've heard, good things seem to be ahead for the band.
On Thursday, I saw Anthony Bourdain at the Overture Center. I'm a fan of Tony's various TV shows and books, but I wasn't sure what to expect from his live appearance. As it turned out, more of the delightful same: trash talk about various Food Network personalities, anecdotes about Top Chef, rants and advice about traveling and eating abroad, and a lengthy Q&A session at the end. Someone asked a leading question about high speed trains in Wisconsin, earning a huge laugh and big applause when Tony - clearly getting that he had suddenly become part of some inside joke - nevertheless spoke in favor of high speed rail. Listening to the crowd's reaction, I again wished Dane County could somehow secede from Wisconsin.
Between those two activities, I had a birthday. There was no big trip or serenades this year, but I had a very pleasant day and heard from many friends and family members. Plus, a coworker friend brought a birthday treat to work on my behalf. Someone else baking your birthday treat: highly recommended. And this afternoon: Harry Potter!