So, here we go.
Last Saturday night, Neutral Milk Hotel played a show at The National in RVA -- a show that, unbeknownst to me, was the group's second stop of their current comeback tour, as well as their first time in Richmond! I remember thinking, "Well, shit. I'm SO glad I'm here!"
Guys. According to the venue's Facebook page, NMH tickets essentially sold out THE MINUTE they went on sale back in May. I remember ranting that it took me a little over 20 minutes to purchase my ticket via Ticketmaster -- man, I would have shut up had I known I was going to be one of the lucky 1500 people in attendance! I will say this for 2013: My concert karma, juju, whatever you want to call it ... it has been so incredibly good to me this year. When I was 17, I never dreamed I'd get to see this band.
Anyway, the indie nail polish world presented me with two very worthy options named after NMH songs: Pahlish's Pianos Filled With Flames, and HARE polish's King of Carat Flowers.
This clip includes Parts 1, 2 and 3 of "The King of Carrot Flowers."
Parts 2 & 3 are one track on "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," and begin at the 2:00 mark.
I ordered both, but I really think my bottle of the Pahlish is a dud version because it looks *nothing* like any of the swatches I've seen. (I'll probably blog it in a few weeks ... months ... eh.) That twist of events left me with the HARE, which clearly was the superior choice.
Four coats of HARE polish King of Carat Flowers on its own, topped with one coat of Gelous and SV.
Ugh, this polish is so great. Different sizes of square and hex glitters in gold and lilac plus some iridescent blue flakes are suspended in a grey jelly base, which makes King of Carat Flowers perfect for layering over another grey polish (see Cilucia's post!). Unfortunately, I didn't bring a grey creme with me last week, so I decided to wear it on its own. I applied my standard three coats, but the lighting in B's house is the worst (oh man, that light bulb has to GO!) and although the coverage was great, I was curious to find out if a fourth coat would provide better depth of color. In the end, I don't think it did, but that lighting was so bad that I felt better about that fourth coat.
This is the second HARE polish I've tried, and I couldn't be more pleased with it. The formula on it was fantastic, the glitters were easy to work with, the coverage was perfect and the dry time was fast. The glitters dry *slightly* lumpy, so either double up on top coat or slap on some Gelous before top coat. But if you're just going to wear this for a day, it's not so lumpy that it'd bother you too much.
King of Carat Flowers was from last fall's Finder's Keepers collection. It's currently sold out both on the HARE polish Etsy, where it retails for $10, as well as on Llarowe, where it retails for $12. I bought my bottle from Llarowe back in May, when it miraculously was in stock. And that's the other reason I love HAREs so much -- in addition to the consistent quality of her unique and delicate creations, Nikole, the lady behind HARE, is really great about restocking. According to the HARE Facebook page, Nikole will be restocking the Etsy shop TODAY AT 12 NOON, PST. (If you're on the East coast like me, that's gonna be at 3 p.m.) So if you're in the market for some of these polishes, today would be a great day to pick some up!
Now, for those of you who aren't familiar with Neutral Milk Hotel:
Know ya boo.
Even if you don't watch "Parks and Rec," you've got to admit April's love of Jeff Mangum/Neutral Milk Hotel is just too perfect. (Yes, the album is a little weird at first, but it's also really beautiful.) While we're at it, read her February 2013 letter to Vulture, celebrating Neutral Milk Hotel and the fifteenth year of the release of their most popular album, "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea." It's pretty accurate. And just so ... April. [An April Ludgate Masterpiece]
The whole reason the band reunited for this tour is because of the album's fifteenth anniversary. Jeff Mangum is also famously semi-reclusive, emerging every now and then for a solo tour (one of my former coworkers got to see him solo, UGH, so jealous!). I imagine it's a combination of those things *and* maybe all the new fans the band picked up in the fifteen years since "In the Aeroplane" that would make this tour sell out in record time.
Y'all see this photo? That's THE ONLY good photo I got of the show, and I took a whopping total of TWO. The place was packed, and tickets were will call only. When everyone was lining up to pick them up, security members kept yelling that no pictures would be allowed. I thought, "Whatever" since that's kind of how people say hello at that venue, but the crowd was surprisingly compliant. Only a few people took cell phone photos and video ... maybe that's just how in awe everyone was of Jeff Mangum?
I feel like I say this about every other show I go to, but ... the band was amazing. They were surprisingly full of energy, and did a stellar job of playing the songs close to the recorded studio versions, yet also in a fun way that really showed off and enhanced their live sound. The show turned into a huge singalong at a few points. It was almost nostalgic. Everyone, from the band to the audience, was just so happy to be there. (Note: Maybe the band's energy was so high because RVA was the second stop?) If you're curious to find out what they played in RVA, here's the set list! And [HERE] is a link to someone's YouTube video of "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea," so you can get a sense of how magical it was.
There were only three things that pissed me off. One, I was by myself. A guy I used to work with was there with his wife and presumably some friends, and while I wanted to meet up with them, I didn't partly because I always feel awkward crashing a group thing. Two, I was standing way too close behind this insanely tall guy. He had to have been at least 6'3", and all of us behind him were getting more and more irritated because we did not pay $$ to get a view of his shoulders all night. I love tall guys, but not at standing room only concerts. Nope, nope, nope. The last thing was that my pictures were too few and too shitty, but I don't know if you could really call that a gripe.
If you're wondering about the NMH song that sealed the deal for me back in the day and the song I was most excited for, it's this:
Now that I think about it, this concert was a milestone for me, too -- I was 17 when I started listening to them, and I'm 27 now. Ha.
All right, any thoughts on this HARE polish, or HARE in general? Will you be buying any in the restock this afternoon? I shouldn't, but I'm thinking about it. Lastly, are there any other Neutral Milk Hotel fans in the house besides Madeline and myself, or are you guys just "Parks and Rec" fans? If the latter holds true for you, ain't nothin' wrong with that! :)
Thanks for reading my posts this week, you guys. I know they were all on the lengthy side, but there's a reason this blog is a nail diary, and not a proper nail polish blog. At least I blogged a good mix of polishes this week, right? I hope you have a good weekend, and I'll be back on Monday!
P.S. There are two more concerts left for me in 2013 ... ! (NMH was the eighth one for the year. --This is what happens when your parents don't let you go see the Foo Fighters/Red Hot Chili Peppers in ninth grade. True story.)