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Wherein a middle-aged couple spends the weekend in Atlanta at the Shaky Knees Music Festival

Rockford and I gave each other three-day passes to the Shaky Knees Music Fest in Atlanta for our anniversary this year, and it was exhausting, exhilarating fun. We stayed at the Glenn Hotel right next to Centennial Park, where the festival was held. It was a quick walk to the gates, and we could hear the soundcheck for one of the stages from our bathroom.


Savages lead singer Jehnny Beth singing while crowd surfing at Shaky Knees 2016, in probably the best picture I'll ever take at a concert.
Savages lead singer Jehnny Beth at Shaky Knees 2016, in probably the best picture I’ll ever take at a concert.

I only knew one of their songs, but it’s a song that Rockford really likes so we went. Their performance was wild and intense, and the lead singer sang/yelled directly into Rockford’s face from about a foot away at one point.

Jane’s Addiction

Jane's Addiction at Shaky Knees 2016
All of my pictures at the Jane’s Addiction show were blurry.

I heard a lot of people afterward complaining that Perry Farrell didn’t sound as good as he used to, but I thought they were great. Also, he gave me an encouraging nod and a smile during “Mountain Song,” and I have the image tucked away in my heart for use in future instances of panic and/or anxiety. Thanks, Perry Farrell.

Strand of Oaks

Strand of Oaks at Shaky Knees 2016
Rockford is considering going as Strand of Oaks lead singer Timothy Showalter for Halloween.

It makes a show so much more enjoyable when the musicians are having fun, and these guys were clearly very happy to be there. The fact that their music is great didn’t hurt either. I’m hoping they’ll tour soon so we can see them again.

Deer Tick

Deer Tick at Shaky Knees 2016
The bassist for Deer Tick looks like Anthony Michael Hall.

I didn’t know anything at all about Deer Tick beforehand. Rockford wanted to stake his claim for the My Morning Jacket show, though, and that’s the stage Deer Tick was playing on. So we watched them. I’d classify them as Yacht Rock, which is a genre I am not opposed to. They were pretty good, and their wardrobe was amusingly quirky.

Huey Lewis and the News

Huey Lewis and the News at Shaky Knees 2016
I still can’t get over how great Huey Lewis and the News sounded.
I was most excited about seeing Huey Lewis and the News play the entire “Sports” album, but I was also a little nervous. Sometimes these nostalgia acts aren’t quite so sharp anymore, you know? But they far exceeded my expectations. They were on fire, and they seemed genuinely surprised and elated that a great field full of 20-somethings (and the occasional 30-something, ahem) was joyously singing every word along with them. It was my favorite performance of the weekend.

My Morning Jacket

My Morning Jacket at Shaky Knees 2016
I found confetti from the My Morning Jacket show in my purse when we got home yesterday.

This was the Main Event for Rockford, and they did not disappoint. It was very loud, the crowd was thrilled, and there were fireworks and confetti cannons.

It was a great weekend (despite the inevitable appearance of several Music Festival Ne’er-Do-Wells. I see you, Guy Who Holds Front-Row Spots For SIX Friends Who Don’t Show Up Until 30 Minutes Before The Show We’ve Been Waiting Five Hours To See, and you, Guy Who’s Been To Every Other Festival On The Planet And Found Them All Superior). The organizers did a great job keeping things punctual, the food-truck options were varied and reasonably priced — I mainly subsisted on King of Pops popsicles — and every act we saw in person or heard from afar was enjoyable.

We were both so tired after Friday and Saturday that we skipped everything on Sunday and came home. We’ve already decided that we need to book the hotel for Sunday night, too, so we can make it all the way through Shaky Knees 2017.

How was your weekend? What’s the best concert you’ve ever seen?

The time I spent the day at the Mother Earth News Fair

At the Mother Earth News FairSaturday was a frigid, blustery day, and I spent most of it outside at the Mother Earth News Fair. My mom had wanted to go, so I bought passes for us a few months ago. But Saturday morning rolled around and she wasn’t feeling well, so I recruited my friend Carrie to go with me instead. She’s a good sport.

I went in to the day thinking that the Mother Earth News Fair was pretty much a hippie festival. It turns out it’s more about homesteading and farming, both of which I believe hippies are into. So I guess I was partially correct.

prepperBut the fair was about other things, too. Like mead, wood-fired ovens, and “prepping.”

Lots and lots of prepping.

I have mixed feelings about the prepping movement. On one hand, I would like to be prepared for a natural disaster or something that would knock power out for awhile, etc. On the other hand, I’ve read a lot of dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction, and I’m not keen on living in a society where I’d have to get into a knife fight over a piece of beef jerky or a shoelace. So it might be best for me if I stay unprepared for that sort of scenario, so I meet my demise swiftly after the doomsday event.


I only went to a few of the presentations, and I wasn’t overly impressed with them. There were a lot to choose from, though, so maybe I just picked a few duds. The expo area was pretty fun to explore, though, and I tried a number of new things there. Such as:
– I patted a tiny goat.
– I tasted five varieties of hickory syrup, which until Saturday I didn’t know existed.
– I tried several flavors of hemp soda and didn’t care for any of them.

I did not pat the bunny.
The goat was very soft. I did not pat the bunny.

I bought a jar of sweet and spicy pickles from GR Picklers. They are delicious and so spicy that I can only eat one little pickle chip at a time. Speaking of spicy, I also bought a jar of Fire Cider. It’s apple cider vinegar with a touch of habanero and horseradish, among other things. It tastes terrible. I bought it for Rockford’s dad, who takes apple cider vinegar every day and loves horrifically spicy things. I haven’t gotten a report back from him on his opinion of it yet.

Other cool things I saw at the fair:

This wreath was made from succulents, and it was lovely and oddly soothing to gaze upon. It was also $70, which is why I did not bring it home with me.

Hand-forged garden tools from Homestead Iron.

The hand-forged garden tools from Homestead Iron in Missouri were so beautiful that I don’t know if I’d be able to put them in the dirt. They looked very sturdy, and they come with a lifetime guarantee. I was very, very tempted to buy one, but I didn’t because I was low on funds and I don’t do much gardening. Carrie bought a trowel, though. I look forward to finding out how much she loves it and then buying one of my own from their website.

The King Arthur Flour truck

I don’t normally make a practice of accepting free cookies from people in trucks, but I made an exception for the King Arthur Flour people. The King Arthur Flour truck is ridiculously cute, with a big red spatula on the top and a rolling pin bumper on the front. They were matching donations made to the local food bank, so I left some money and took two cookies and a recipe for their chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

Other than the Arctic winds, it was a nice way to spend a Saturday. I’m not sure I’d buy a pass for the full weekend again — we didn’t go back on Sunday — but I’d like to go again next year just for the expo.