Dave Wakeling and the English Beat to appear at the Grand
There are few things I enjoy more than a nice helping of 80s pop culture. Top it off with a bit of British invasion and I'm a happy girl. On Monday, July 9, the Grand Theater in Ellsworth will be serving the perfect blend of both by hosting an evening with the English Beat.
The English Beat formed in the late 70s predominately as a ska band, but they have created a sound that transcends genre classification and have produced hits that are staples in the soundtracks of thousands of peoples' lives.
Somebody much wiser than me once said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
If this is the case, then musically speaking, Steve Peer is invention's baby daddy.
A long time musician, Peer began promoting music locally along the “Bar Harbor-Bangor corridor” after returning from a long stint drumming in Halifax. Finding himself paying out more than seemed feasible for hall rentals and generously feeding and housing traveling bands, he looked for a more cost effective venue. It was then that Peer decided to strip his home and convert the first floor into “America's favorite house concert.”
What started predominately as a vehicle to showcase Gaelic performers, 430 Bayside in Ellsworth has offered a stage to acts almost as diverse as Peer's own musical tastes and genres in which he is a proficient drummer.
As many of you know, two months ago I committed to attending at least three classes per week for two months at CrossFit Acadia. I did. Sort of. That is to say I did about seven weeks of classes until I broke by butt (literally, torn glute) from my inability to modify even when instructed. It was the most intense, most grueling bit of fitness I have ever embarked on and I have to tell you that I absolutely loved/hated every minute of it.
I started this process hoping to lose a few pounds, but what I actually lost was far more profound. I lost that horrible feeling of being mad at my body and gained the knowledge that my body was far stronger and much more capable than I had ever given it credit for. With every workout I pushed myself farther than I thought possible, especially when I'd rather take a beating than go for a run. While it was perfectly clear that many of the people at CrossFit Acadia were more fit than I, I never felt anything but encouragement and camaraderie from the other members at “the box.” Every milestone was congratulated and it turns out I have some damn near perfect dead lift form. Who'd have thunk it?!
Is it me or do other women experience the two weight related phenomena I like to call "divorce skinny" and "in love pudge"? Although I am delighted to be in love with an amazing man, I am less than thrilled about the 15 pounds I've put on since we met. With that said, I've decided to take matters out of my puffy Big Mac-grabbing-hands and put said matters into the hands of Nick Birdsall and CrossFit Acadia.
I have been hearing some pretty wonderful things about CrossFit from some friends and remembered Nick from the lifetime ago when I worked at the Ellsworth YMCA. He is quite possibly one of the nicest human beings that I've ever met and I'm pretty sure he has a body fat count of about negative four. Because I am officially sick of crying when I get dressed and dodging the cameras that I used to mug for, I have committed to at least three days of CrossFit for two months.
For those of us who live in the Down East or the Mid-Coast region of Maine, there are two seasons: winter and Jordan's season. Trust me. Even more than the appearance of tulips and daffodils, nothing says spring is coming like the countdown to the annual re-opening of Jordan's Snack Bar in Ellsworth (200 Downeast Highway).
I have had the pleasure of chowing down many an ice cream or fried scallop there, but until recently I've never experienced the Wednesday night Cruise-In. Last week the planets aligned and I was able witness a now decades-old tradition of live country music and a parking lot full of antique and unique cars.
Now let me tell you, I am a car girl. I am also a food girl, so imagine my delight. I arrived to find at least 25 couples dancing on a covered, open air dance floor to a cover of the old standard "Tennessee Waltz." As I stood mesmerized, the music switched to a more rambunctious two step. (I'm guessing, as I am not exactly a country dancing aficionado.) Everywhere I looked people were eating or dancing. Or in my case eating AND dancing - I'm just that good. For those more inclined to watch, there was plenty of chair and picnic table seating.
“By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn't want your daughter to associate with.”
For much of my life, I believed that there are two significant genres of music; anything by the Allman Brothers Band and anything that had the word “booty” in it. Well friends, I stand corrected. Little did I know my musical horizons would be broadened on a Tuesday night in Bangor, ME.
Thanks to Wells Gordon, his jazz quartet the G Majors, and their perfect venue Nocturnem Draft Haus, I've become a believer. A big ol’ finger-snapping believer.
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