Is It Any Wonder?

Here’s another video that makes me smile now matter how bad my day is. It’s a mashup of Keane’s “Is it Any Wonder” with the Armi Danny video (Voted the worst video of all time). Anyone want to learn the choreography with me? Looks like a perfect talent show skit to me!

Meeting Keane, and other brushes with stardom in 2009

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know that I love going to concerts, symphonies, operas, plays, and musicals.

My favorite concert of 2009 was Keane at the Hollywood Palladium (with Mat Kearney as the opener). My “bosom friend” Esther treated me to my ticket for my birthday, and we met up with my friends Kathryn and Elizabeth in Hollywood for a night we’ll never forget last May. I was recently going through my pictures of 2009, and realized that I never blogged about my experience meeting Keane after the concert, nor had I mentioned other “celebrities” I met in the past year.
The Palladium is a fantastic venue, and I was excited to actually be there for a performance (after being a lifetime closet fan of The Lawrence Welk Show.) It underwent a very extensive renovation that was completed 6 months earlier in 2008, but it still had the retro charm. Mat Kearney, who has become one of my other recent music obsessions, performed a stellar opening set (and Esther and I saw Mat again in SLC in October). Keane’s set was phenomenal…the best performance I’d seen of their three concerts I’ve attended (Coincidentally, all in LA). After the show, us girls were DETERMINED to meet our favorite band. We waited out on the street by the door, shivering in the cold next to the tour bus, for over an hour until the boys from Battle came out to greet their adoring fans.

Esther with Tim

Kat with Tim

An awkward shot of me with Tim (there wasn’t any time for retaking pics)

Tom greeting his adoring fans

Esther fondling Richard’s ear (I mean, caressing his cheek)

Another embarassingly bad shot of me by Tom post-autograph (I was the dedicated photographer of the post-concert experience, so there aren’t any decent pics of me)

I was lucky to go to more concerts in 2009 than any other prior year. Despite my anorexic bank account, family and friends with connections hooked me up with great tickets throughout the year (They no longer think it odd when I tell them which concert tickets I want for my birthday and Christmas) I also got some insanely cheap concert tickets off Twitter and fan sites. Here’s my 2009 list:

January: Missy Higgins, Justin Nozuka, and Lenka at Atlanta Center Stage
February: Flight of the Conchords at Atlanta Fox Theater
2 Fox Elipsus Shows (Austell and Snellville, GA)
March: New Kids on the Block at The Bi-Lo Center, Greenville, SC
April: Jersey Boys in Chicago (technically a Broadway musical, but it FELT like a concert)
May: Keane and Mat Kearney at the Hollywood Palladium
June: No Doubt at Atlanta’s Lakewood Amphitheater
August: Greg Laswell and Elizabeth and the Catapult at the Murray Theater
Iron and Wine at Gallivan Center, SLC (sort of…long story)
October: Mat Kearney and Vedera at In the Venue, SLC
November: Imogen Heap at In The Venue, SLC
Justin Nozuka and Elizabeth and the Catapult, Glass House, Pomona, CA
December: Natalie Cole with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Salt Lake City
Peter Breinholt (et al.) at Rose Wagner Theater, Salt Lake City

Throughout the year, I did meet a handful of celebs. Here are the pictures I was able to snag…

Me with Elizabeth (of Elizabeth and the Catapult)

Missy Higgins (I was 5 feet away from her at the merch table, but Taylor didn’t want to wait in line to meet her) I DID have a wonderful 5 minute conversation with her in 2005 in SLC.


Rosie with Peter Breinholt (I could write a whole blog post about these two…)

Rosie and I with Ryan Shupe (of Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band)

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir – obviously, I didn’t meet the whole choir, but I have several friends and relatives who are in MoTab, or the Orchestra on Temple Square


Waiting in line to meet David Archuleta at his Christmas CD signing in November

This goofy Archie kid went to Murray High, where I graduated, and used to hang out with my sister Mary. When she came with us to the CD signing, he said “Hey Mary, I like your hoodie!”

Rosie with HER favorite (American) Idol

Better Than This

This morning I got an email from Facebook’s Compare People application, where you have a superlative description (most beautiful, most insane, etc) and photos of two people to vote on. Since I added the app, my “rankings” compared to my other Facebook friends have stayed pretty firm. But after reading today’s email, it appears I’ve lost a lot of popularity this week:

Changes in your ranks:
#2 most likely to succeed (lost 1 place)
#4 most punctual (lost 3 places)
#5 most organized (lost 4 places)
#6 most powerful (lost 3 places)
#8 person who can drink the most (lost 6 places)

At first I was a little disappointed. I liked the ranking of most likely to succeed. It felt like a trite and cyber-reality way to feel recognized for the effort I’ve put into my life to achieve success . And I know it’s not important, but I’m insecure. I had to give myself a pep talk: “Nicole, you’re SO much better than this.”

And speaking of better than this: Keane is releasing their “Better Than This” single on March 16. It’s the least Keane-sounding Keane song…and I love it.

Is this what you meant? Is this what you dreamed of? When you were making your plans, shaking the dirt off? Do you feel like you and I belong? (Oh woah oh!)Just keep your eyes on the road and nothing can go wrong

You can do so much better than this…You can do so much better than this

I’ve been checking my sums, oh where did the time go? Holding my photograph up to the window. Through the paper and refracted sun (Oh woah oh!) I can see all the things I wish that I’d done

You can hang your hopes on the medicine. You can put your faith in the phone in.You can tell yourself you’re doing your best. You can do so much better than this

Get a grip on yourself, Get a grip on yourself

Could’ve been something, but you’re too late. And you weren’t invited anyway. Cos the photograph showed the wrong man. Cos there is no soap star holding your hand. You don’t see yourself in the freeze frame. Must be someone else using your name. And everyone will be the same.And everyone will gloat, and everywhere you’ll see your name in every shop window

And speaking of Keane…65 more days till the Keane show at the LA Palladium. Woot!


8 – Oakland, CA – The Fox Theater
9 – Los Angeles, CA – The Hollywood Palladium
12 – Salt Lake City, UT – Kingsbury Hall
13 – Denver, CO – The Ogden Theater
15 – Minneapolis, MN – Myth
16 – Chicago, IL – Aragon Ballroom
19 – Washington, DC – Constitution Hall
20 – Philadelphia, PA – Tower Theater
21 – Boston, MA – Bank of America Pavilion
23 – Toronto, ON – The Sound Academy
24 – Cleveland, OH – Tower City Amphitheater
27 – New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
Tickets will go on sale on Monday via a special presale (in conjunction with one of the big US ticket sites). The presale kicks off at 9am ET / 7am PT on Monday 23rd Feburary.
A big thanks to my dear friend Esther, who is going to sponsor my Keane addiction for the LA show. Now, who wants to sponsor me for the SLC show? The money I’d set aside for a ticket, I’ve decided to use towards “necessary” expenses…like utilities.


The word is in on both job offers is in, and one offer was 15% higher than the other. I have accepted the position in Thoracic Surgery, where I will be the go-to girl for Dr. Pickens. The office has a great view of lovely Ann Arbor, the office staff is wonderful, and I know Dr. P and I will make a splendid team! To celebrate, I’m going to see the Atlantic ocean this weekend. I’m flying into Providence tonight, and will return on Sunday morning (as long as we can get on the plane). Here are the words to Keane’s “Atlantic,” just for fun…

I hope all my days Will be lit by your face
I hope all the years Will hold tight our promises
I don’t wanna be old and sleep alone
An empty house is not a home

I don’t wanna be old and feel afraid
I don’t wanna be old and sleep alone
An empty house is not a home
I don’t wanna be old and feel afraid
And if I need anything at all

I need a place That’s hidden in the deep
Where lonely angels sing you to your sleep

Though all the world is broken
I need a place
Where I can make my bed

A lover’s lap where I can lay my head

Cos now the room is spinning
The day’s beginning