“Eleanor Put Your Boots On”

I wrote this short story in my freshman year of college just for fun. I was obviously pretty into Franz Ferdinand at the time. I was inspired by this song so much so that I created a story out of it because that’s what you do when you’re all angst-y and tipsy and living in the dorms.


He was a construction man. He had scarred knuckles, blackened fingernails and a permanent frown embedded in the wrinkle just above his eyebrows. He wore heavy boots stained with dirt and kissed by over zealous dust clouds. His breath was long and choked, his smile broken by a pained back and a hardened voice. He was a construction man.

Eleanor had soft palms, manicured nails and a permanent smile embedded in the dimples that circle the edge of her small mouth. She wore light red flats that clashed with her daily outfit. Her breath was young, her voice full of life.

In his stained boots, Eleanor saw stability. The boots gave her Daddy the power to hold big things, climb to the highest points and stay strong in the depths of the ground. So, for her tenth birthday, she asked for stained boots so she could be stable just like her Daddy.

Underneath the pink flowered wrapping she found her stained boots. They were yellow and a bit big. She put them on right there and then and became a construction man’s daughter.

Every day Eleanor wore her stained boots. She wore them to the lunch table where she ate her shaped peanut butter and banana sandwich. She wore them on the wooden bench in church and got scolded because the other girls wore flats. She wore them to Timmy Anderson’s birthday party and his mom made her take them off before she came into the kitchen. She wore them to Coney Island and ate a hot dog with Uncle Jackie.

In her stained boots, Eleanor ran and climbed the taller trees that only the boys dared to go up. She stomped through tall grass and tip-toe through streams. Eleanor never fell in her boots and soon her nails grew a light brown and her soft palms roughened.

When Eleanor was twelve she came downstairs in a blue dress with white flowers on it. She was going to go play with Timmy Anderson and Lola James. She sat on the bottom step, the twelfth step, and reached for her stained boots. They were now mud stained, more brown then yellow. The boot would not fit her foot. Eleanor pulled on the boot desperately trying to get it on as two ugly sisters once did to a glass slipper. When she could pull no more and exasperated breath was drawn out of her, Eleanor ran upstairs and found the white converse Uncle Jackie bought her.

Eleanor put the blinding new shoes on. She no longer ran, she stepped. No more climbing, just giggling. Stomping and tip-toeing turned into prancing and playful gestures. The light brown color that consumed the underside of her nails was now covered in a baby pink nail color.

The construction man’s hands shook with lines of dirt. His hair was sprinkled with white and his teeth now completely yellowed from cigarettes. His voice was now cracked with a chronic cough and the pains of the day dragged his grin to the ground. He still wore his stained boots.

In a closet he kept Eleanor’s stained boots. Darkened with dirt and mud, sprayed with grass stain and smudged with a bit of her blood from a scratched ankle. The construction man’s daughter had grown from boots to converse to heels. And while they all fit he hoped that one day Eleanor would put her boots back on.

Cherub Charms Earl Warren: “Doses & Mimosas” Duo Now a Four-Piece Band

When asked what a Cherub show is like, co-Cherubs Jordan Kelley and Jason Huber can’t help but laugh. After a little thought, Kelley answers, “Like running through a corn maze backwards, naked.” Huber quickly adds that they have “splash areas.” If the two members of the electro indie group are to be believed, the Cherub experience is something truly unique and out of the ordinary.

The Tennessee natives made their debut with the album MoM &DaD, released in 2012. Since then, with the release of their hot single “Doses and Mimosas” and their breakout album Year of the Caprese in 2014, the duo have skyrocketed to fame and popularity. With past and current influences circling an odd mixture of boy bands and heavy metal, the two friends have grown to produce more than out-of-the box synths and mixes. They seem to have simply crushed the box completely.

Now the duo has embarked on its transcontinental So… You DTF? Tour, featuring Hippie Sabotage and Shooka. They aim to come to town this Friday, November 20, when they headline the Earl Warren Showgrounds.

This Santa Barbara show marks a couple of firsts for the pair of producers. The upcoming show at the showgrounds is the first show they’ve done in Santa Barbara as a headlining standalone act since leading the New Noise 2014 Block Party. Kelley and Huber couldn’t be more excited to be back in Southern California. They are “pumped to get into the [Californian] vibes” and are coming out with “dicks swinging.”

This tour is also Kelley’s and Huber’s first time touring with a live band. The pair, who has spent the past five years touring as a strong duo, is now part of a four-piece band. The two new members are good friends Jordan Bartlett on keys and guitar and Nick Curtis on drums. Together they are integrating more songs and introducing newer tracks that they’ve never played on tour before.

This addition of two new band members, as well as the rest of the touring crew that comprises 13 hardworking individuals, has sparked its own new set of touring adventures, excitement, and comical stories. While the duo commented that most of the stories shouldn’t be told, they admitted that a few complications arose with the new bandmates. “I wake up and Nick, the drummer, is just in my bed,” Kelley recalls. It seems that Huber has a more serious issue with the add-ons. “JB [Jordan Bartlett] eats all my Pop-Tarts, and it’s not cool,” he said. Not cool, indeed.

Cherub’s music inspires all manner of wild behavior, and a couple of stories Kelley and Huber shared involved passionate fans launching objects up onstage. Laughing, the duo reminisced that once “someone threw a cast on the stage, and we were just like, Are you sure you want to do that?”

The Cherub sound is as individualistic and charming as the people that create it and the kind of live show it produces. Kelley describes it as very particular cuts of steak — yes, the red meat that many a man’s man greatly enjoys — with the music of Cherub having only the most desirable bits of the cow. “We’ve got the fillet and the sirloin … tender and soft,” he said.

The tender and soft Cherub will be “showing our friendship” to the fans at Earl Warren and will guide us all to a freakier you and me.

Originally published here!

Milk Carton Kids at the Lobero: Duo Riffs On Having Kids and Growing Old in Inspiring Show

This was one of the first concert reviews I wrote for
“The Santa Barbara Independent” that they published. I was in my senior year at UCSB and was diving head first into the world of music journalism and it was almost too much fun! I didn’t know anything about this band before and kind of fell in love with them during the show.


The Milk Carton Kids performed at the Lobero Theatre for their fourth time on Wednesday, September 30. Fixed with only one microphone and a great sense of self-deprecating humor, the duo enraptured their audience with their incredible vocal and acoustic guitar talents and a good dose of banter.

After a comedic introduction by Joey Ryan, Joe Pug impressed as the solo opening act with his harmonica, an acoustic guitar and his “very tattoo-able” lyrics. Then the headlining harmonic folk duo took the stage with “Hope of a Lifetime.” Kenneth Pattengale effortlessly picked the acoustic strings through the softer song, continually swaying with eyes closed. In the following track, “Shooting Shadows,” Pattengale showcased his immense talent through complicated guitar solos.

After an upbeat “The City of Our Lady,” the pair took a break to make fun of each other and the audience, which, as observed by Pattengale, was filled with mostly the elder generation. Ryan also took this time to express his pride in “creating his own people” by having his first child.

The next song was dedicated to Pattengale’s not-yet-existing daughter, Charlie. The sweet ballad was a melodic letter to “Charlie” with Pattengale expressing love and concern for his future child. Although he may not have seen every eye in the audience, there was not likely a single dry one in the house.


Following that, Ryan and Pattengale played the title track from their 2013 album, The Ash and Clay. Then bringing up the energy so even the stoic Ryan began to move to his own music, they played the catchy “Honey, Honey” from the same album.

The theme of the entire show seemed to revolve around having children, specifically the birth of Ryan’s two-year-old. After Pattengale seemed to insult his audience by consistent jokes stereotyping the elderly, Ryan took over the microphone to tell of the father’s sacrifice during childbirth. In a monotone voice, he sarcastically dramatized his role and the terror that he experienced during his wife’s 18-hour labor.

After receiving roaring laughs from the audience and making himself giggle a few times, Ryan lead his partner and him into “Snake Eyes.” They concluded their set list with a powerful “I Still Want a Little More,” from their debut album, Prologue.

But the folk pair weren’t finished just yet. Describing The Lobero as one of their favorite places to play, Ryan and Pattengale emerged back on stage to play another of the lyrically rich tracks, “New York.” The second encore was a creative rendition of Pink Floyd’s classic, “Wish You Were Here,” which gave the audience a glance into the pair’s musical influences.

It is clear that The Milk Carton Kids love what they do and love that they can do it together. The lyrics and melodies of each song are equally unique and emotionally charged and the energy produced is truly something inspired.

Originally published here!