Tag Archives: music

Summer Feesten

balloon

Welp, last weekend was the big weekend. MontgomeryFest in Illinois kicked off and we saw searches and hashtags flying all about the web. Those party animals were livin’ it up – fun jumps, carnival prizes, fireworks. Heck yeah.

Over here in Belgium, we had a little festin’ going on as well. Complete with hot air balloons at Lokerse Feesten and front porch sittin’ at the palace…well, front street at least. I think we might be turning spoiled. Goin to festivals in front of the Royal Palace and not thinking two thinks about it. Except when someone asks about moving back to the states and my first thought is no more parties at the palace or every day walks near 8th Wonders of the World type places…how do people live like that. Obviously, I kid…but no, I’m not ready.

Last Thursday evening, we drove up to Lokeren, Belgium to see Donovan Frankenreiter, Seasick Steve and Damien Rice play. I wanted Donovan to feel welcome on our continent, and in the slimmest chance that his buddy tagged along, so I sported a Mr. Ben C. Harper tee and a skirt that I got at Bonnaroo three years ago, that when J commented that he liked it, I told him where/when I got it and that I never wear it and his response was – ‘and THAT’s what made it into The Necessary Pile coming to Belgium?!’ chyeah. Welcome to my fashion blog.

shoes via Walmart….supply shopping for that same Roo
ring via my mom‘s mom..or maybe her mom’s mom – we can’t remember
purse via Florence

More kidding.

feestenphoto 1feestenand Damien was killin’ it in his yellow suit and ‘fro’d out hair. But, Damien always brings the rad.photo (1)

Then, on Sunday, we took a walk down to the palace and attended it’s yearly open house. Welcomed by kid paintings that rival my own, we quickly discovered our chandelier collection is slightly below par.

afterlight (16)feestenfeestenfeestenafterlight (17)

That magnificent green up there is made from the shells of over a million beetles. Thai jewel beetles’ emerald green shells reflect light in this crazy cool, iridescent way. They call the ceiling Heaven of Delight and it’s certainly a sight.

We are such city kids. Every time we find ourselves strolling around in downtown, we’re reminded how we can never do it enough. The energy and the art that’s ever moving is addicting..

afterlight (15)feesten

In true Annie fashion, I rambled a bit. So, let’s try to recap the day so far:

palace tour – check.
video on the new Belgian king being sworn in and subsequent half-meltdown that we missed the best day to be in Belgium all for a non-baptism out of town – check.
subsequent gleeful moment when J told me his grandmother sent the Belgian king (3 kings ago) flowers and got Thank You letters back and I started plotting all of the events that Philippe and Mathilde need flowers from us for! – check.
strut through downtown – check.
a lay in the royal park – check.

That only leaves music left on the list. That’s your cue, Dandy Warhols……

feestenfeestenand then I put on J’s glasses and things got outta hand, especially mine..afterlight (21)feesten

And, do you remember this song? Apparently, that 1980s hit band is still touring. And rockin’ it.

Hope you had a rockin’ weekend. If so, we want details….

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Filed under LIFE, SPREAD THE MUSIC

JulyFest

Rock Werchter, BelgiumAdriatic Sea glass
Verona, ItalyDuomo | Milan, Italy
Kamenjak, Premanthura | Pula, CroatiaCandelabra Collection
Nuremberg, GermanyRock Werchter, Belgium
Fourth of July | Montgomery FestRock Werchter, Belgium

rockin’ the Werchter // Adriatic Sea glass // intoxicating hues // duomo is a cathedral. hashtag Italian lessons // turquoise // candelabra collection  // say ‘cheese’, Nuremberg // dancin’ hipster feet //4 July, 2013 // peace out!

instafotos.

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Rocked Werchter

85,000 people. 79 bands. 69 countries represented. 39 years of the fest.
And four days of complete Montgomery music bliss.

Close your eyes and imagine it :: your (maybe red polished) toes dancing around in the soft, green grass. the perfect breeze. the summer sun shining against your shades as it heads down in the distance to frame the stage. the stage that’s lit with reds and blues and spotlights highlighting the band. it’s one of your top bands, maybe singing their most fantastically obscure song that you thought you were the only one who knew the words to, but you aren’t. there are people as far as you can see (which is actually not very far when you’re the height of A, but still) who all know the words. because these are music fans, devoted to the art. you’re all swaying (or jamming out…whatever your style is) to the beat with your hands waving. and you belong here. amongst the most hardcore festival goer of them. it’s a love. and it’s why you brave the heat and the crowds and the port-a-potties. and why the walls in your home hope to overfill with posters that tell too many stories* and hang as badges of honor from every festival you’ve been to together. 

Rock Werchter, BelgiumRock Werchter, Belgiumafterglow-37-e1373465491469 afterglow-44-e1373465502411Rock Werchter, BelgiumRock Werchter, BelgiumVampire Weekend at Rock Werchter, BelgiumRock Werchter, BelgiumRock Werchter, Belgium
Rock Werchter, BelgiumRock Werchter, Belgium

The Lumineers’ frontman, Wesley Schultz, likes to remind the audience to put down their phones at their shows and just be here. Such a wonderfully small, but powerful reminder. Music is big. So here’s a few of our favorites from the weekend – be freeeeeee. Pick up some drinks, invite some people over, and pretend like you’re having a dance-off with Régine..

*stories like that 2011 Bonnaroo trip where the two of us set up our blanket waaaaay in the back of the field and had a complete and total jam session listening to Arcade Fire. At the end of the set, we weren’t finished jamming and some young guy hopped on our blanket and asked what we were on. Completely sober (take note kids). I was pretty proud of our dance skillz that night. Those are the best kind of jam sessions.

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Visitors Itinerary | Jordan

Welcome Jordan. You might remember her sweet dance moves from here. She hails from Dallas, where the we all met post grad at work and bonded over crazy long hours and dreaming of retiring in Europe immediately (at least that’s how I remember it). She knew the work Annie and Justin who were total opposites and then the dating Annie and Justin who somehow, strangely worked despite polar responses to life and then the night I picked her up for Girl’s Night and she flipped out when we sat down at the table and saw my shiny ring finger, but I couldn’t exactly tell her in the car, so I was waiting for the right timing and that was a fun night. Anyway, it’s now my mission in life to make this a reality, because really, Europe looks good on these people down here…. 

Fete de la Musique | Brussels, Belgium

Because it wouldn’t be a true Jordan visit if we didn’t hear a little live music, we headed to Parc Royal to check out the Fête de la MusiqueAaaand it was just what we needed to go from this (left) to that (right). Asap:

Excited friends a la airport | Brussels, BelgiumContent friends a la Place Jourdan | Brussels, Belgium

Necessary.

Also necessary, we consumed a whole lotta Belgian beer, chocolate, and much-needed girl chat. It was better than Disney World.

There was a trip to Bruges, where we climbed the tiniest stairwell in all of the land. Smaller and taller and smaller and smaller. Finally. The top, where those bells ring all of a sudden no matter how close your ears are. They don’t care.

Belfry | Bruges, BelgiumBruges, BelgiumBruges, Belgium
Visitors Itinerary | Bruges, BelgiumMontgomeryFest | Bruges, BelgiumBruges, BelgiumIMG_1321

And then, we went all touristy in Brussels and plopped down in the middle of Grand Place with the messiest kind of waffles. The kind that you find in your hair at dinner later that evening.

There was a lot of walking and chatting and chatting and walking and maybe some slight getting lost (although I might have been the only one who knew it?) and a mildly inappropriate tourist attraction and a very, very inappropriate tourist attraction.

Grand Place | Brussels, Belgium Grand Place | Brussels, BelgiumGrand Place | Brussels, BelgiumBrussels, Belgium

So, here’s the deal. I’m totally in love with all of the fantastic ladies (and gents) we’ve come to know and call friends in this sassy area of the world, but, ya know, sometimes you just need some home cooking. I’m sorry, Jordan. I just compared you to cooking. But, it’s just soooo GOOD FOR THE SOUL. Laughing about shenanigans we got into back in Dallas (if she’d let me, I’d start uploading embarrassing photos because they make me happy, but I’m sorry. and also, you’re welcome.) and understanding the same cultural references and just sitting and enjoying good ol’ friend time. BUT, I’m getting carried away, I didn’t have to choose!  We threw together a fancy schmancy Girls’ Night! And, in general Girl’s Nights make me a happy one, but this one. This one was a special sort. Plus, my hubby crashed the party at the end, so it was the best kind of night. 

Place Luxembourg | Brussels, BelgiumBrussels, Belgium

And THEN, we finally made it to Chalet Robinson and found the best grilled chicken caesar salad in this country, probably. I mean, we had to travel via ferry to the island and were surrounded by freshly pressed business people and dogs, so the stakes were pretty high. But, worth it to meet this stud..

Chalet Robinson | Brussels, BelgiumChalet Robinson | Brussels, Belgium

And in case there’s any suspicion that I went mean girl up there, the guy gave us candy after our lunch. And if you must know anything about me, it’s that candy is the way to my heart (ahem, American candy). Which must mean that Jordan knows me pretty darn well, because that little chica flew to Spain and then to Belgium with at least two pounds of it in tow. These are the kind of people you want in your life.

Chatelain Market | Brussels, Belgium

Aren’t you happy we prettied this blog up with Jordan photos? Now, THAT was necessary.

Til the next overseas adventure, friend!

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Filed under // Day Trips, Belgium, VISITORS ITINERARY

Story Time

So, this one time. Last Friday. We were patioing pretty hard at the trendy Place Lux (it’s at the foot of the Parliament, so it makes for great over-dressed-HH-watching). At the time, it seemed like a really superb idea to crash a family get together at our friends who live nearby – blame it on the Leffe’s. (yeah, yeah.) And when we were at the doorstep telling our peeps goodnight and sorry for the 14th time, J tunes in to the concert playing next door. My non-pop music listening better half yells out ‘it’s We Are Barcelona!’ and before I could hear the next beat (and remember that I had heard of them before), ‘and they’re playing We Are Barcelona!!’…grabs my hand and we run off just in time to catch the end of the set. I’m pretty sure we said goodbye. Random nights are the best.

Photo May 31, 11 17 11 PMPhoto May 31, 11 17 42 PM

And then, on Saturday, we set out to visit Durbuy, the smallest town on earth. Just south of Brussels, there’s this forest that’s known for its bluebells in May, so we pit-stopped there. The fun part was the Dutch signs – when you see red and white signs with 24 character words, it’s easy to assume that they’re trying to warn you about something. With barely any cell reception under the trees, we tried to translate and decided that it probably says we can’t go in. Maybe 10 minutes worth of translating and debating later, we (J, the driver) pulled the car to the side to park it. At exactly the time of ‘park’, some car whips by us and drives into the forest. It’s not that funny right now, but we cracked up at that for another .10 minutes. Dutch is hard, yo. We drove around a bit. The trees were pretty. Lots of runners. And one bluebell. Apparently, May means May, because it was June 1st and we missed the season. (If you’re really curious because I spent a whole paragraph hyping it up, have no fear – A Bee and Toe actually made it on time.)

Also, that anti-climatic pit-stop made the trip to Durbuy extra long, so we stopped again along the way in Namur. And, can I tell you, we were pleasantly surprised at how bustling that cute, little-big city was! We’ve had a knack for finding the squares with violin/accordion stars lately and I’m lovin’ it. We’ll be back Namur, save us a dinner cruise.

Photo Jun 01, 3 48 49 PM

Okay. You know how it’s strawberry season? Well, there’s the precious little town just south of Namur called Wépion and it’s the Belgian capital of the strawberry. Uhhm, so it’s obviously the next stop in this thrilling novel. The road between the two cities boarders the Meuse River and right when we crossed into the town, little strawberry stands and park benches started popping up! Those suckers made the car smell delicious, so we had to hurry home for dinner and dessert – the.sweetest.strawberries.of.our.lives.

Photo Jun 01, 4 54 14 PM

We never actually made it to the smallest town on earth.

Sunday was made for lounging. There isn’t much of a story here, but the day unfolded like this: ‘let’s go to the park.’ picnic blanket – check. ‘I miss Symphony in the Park.’ ‘I miss that park.’ (we lived by my favorite park in Dallas) ‘I miss wine in the park.’ Wine glasses – check. Night shop on the way (Brussels is closed on Sundays…this is their exception) – check. ‘This is a good day.’ And then our friends from Friday night passed by and we didn’t redeem ourselves any. But, really. this is the life.

Photo Jun 02, 3 21 36 PM

We hope you had a fantastic weekend, too – Care to share? Was there a fair? Did you do your hair? Dr. Seuss wants to know..

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Filed under // Day Trips, Belgium, LIFE

Love Birds

Love BirdsI made this.

Hey lovelies! I hope you have an extra sweet day today. I’ve seen more bah-humbug posts about this holiday than I’d like to have lived through. Whether you have a special someone or not, please indulge a little more than usual. Go, ahead, eat the chocolate…and have a make out sesh. I dare ya.

Oh, and I made a little playlist with some favorites for you. Have a listen and send some love if you have favorites of your own..

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

xoxo

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Pitchfork à Paris

Pitchfork Music Festival
I like hipsters. I like people watching. But I love hipster watching. We took advantage of the Pitchfork Music Festival being in town to load up on synthetic tunes (like this, this and a lot of this). Surrounded by many a hipster in uniform: skinny jeans/chucks/wide-rimmed glasses….it brought us back to Dallas for a bit (also, I think I just accidentally described J). I miss Deep Ellum. Not to mention, the most American accents we’ve heard in one place over the last two months. It was refreshing. Click here for more Pitchfork pics..

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Filed under France, SPREAD THE MUSIC

Finally Some Music

Live music was the thing that brought J and I together. Dates 1, 2 and 4 were shows (3 was at the Terminal B Chili’s at DFW, as I was flying in and he was flying out). After that, hips: attached. We switch back and forth introducing each other to new bands since we have totally different styles. Actually, in the beginning, we maaaaybe had two current bands that we both knew, other than that, our two quite long lists didn’t overlap. 

Enter: Lisa Hannigan. An Irish singer, songwriter and musician. I was hooked on her music (and Ireland) with THIS video. So, when we heard she would be at the Cirque Royal in Brussels, duh.

LH opened for Glen Hansard, one half of the duo The Swell Season. Sensational music. Sensational night. Check out their tunes while you take a gander at the venue..

  

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