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Kitty Dunn

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Kitty's night in a haunted house

Before Friday, my only experience with a haunted house, commercial or otherwise, was at the Recreation Department in Stevens Point when I was a teenager, and as I remember I was FREAKED out.

So I was a little nervous when Jonathan and I were asked to be part of the scare team at Wisconsin Scaryland, a Hollywood quality haunted house located on Highway M and 113. Somehow, I mustered up enough courage to go through with it, and joined the other actors that were doing the scaring.

I can't tell you exactly what my job was because I don't want to give away any of Scaryland's secrets. But I will tell you I startled the living daylights out of a lot of people! I feel kinda bad because a teenage girl had an asthma attack in the room I was stationed in! The pros at Wisconsin Scaryland got her out of the building quickly, and she was okay.

I never thought I would say this, but I would like to go back and try it again sometime!
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Finally, recognition of Stevie Ray Vaughan by the Rock Hall

The new list of nomines for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is out, and finally they give a nod to Stevie Ray Vaughan.

The Rock Hall has passed Stevie by for the more than ten years that he's been eligible, causing me and other blues fans much irritation. One of the criteria the Rock Hall uses for induction is the contribution they made to rock and roll. I believe he's responsible for the resurgence of blues rock in the early 80s and 90s, and his influence on guitar players continues to this day. (How many Stevie Ray Vaughn-a-be's have you seen?)

Others on the list of nominees this time around:Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, N.W.A., the Smiths, Loud Reed, Sting, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Kraftwerk, Chic, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, the Marvellettes, the Spinners, War, and Bill Withers.

Sting is already in as a member of the Police, and Lou Reed as a member of the Velvet Underground, but their inclusion as solo artists is ineveitable. Green Day should make it in as well without any problem.

While I see no real problem with this list, I am still waiting for recognition for some deserving folks including Warren Zevon, Al Kooper, and Gram Parsons.

One of the inductees will be chosen by fan vote. You can make your feelings known here.

The list of inductees will be announced in December, and the ceremony will happen in the spring at the Rock Hall in Cleveland.
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You might want to see "Once" twice

I had the opportunity to go see "Once" at Overture Hall last night, and I guess the two word summary of my review could be "weirdly awesome."

The story isn't too complicated, which is good because I sometimes had a hard time understanding the dialogue because of the Irish and Czech accents that were used, but I got enough to be able to follow along.

According to the Overture Center's website, "Once" "tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who's about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs."

I loved the mirror filled set, the staging and the seemless way they went from one scene to another. And of course the music! It was fantastic--with the actors performing their instruments live on stage.

I had never seen the movie, but now I feel I should go rent it so I can make some comparisons.

"Once" runs through Sunday at Overture Center. Ticket info here.

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In honor of National Punctuation Day

Today is National Punctuation Day! It's a day to geek out about exclamation points, semi-colons, ampersands and commas.

It's also a day to go back into the Radio Way-Back Machine, and listen to this song by Dan Baird.

It was a minor hit in 1992 for the lead singer of the Georgia Satellites.

Wait. What? 22 years ago?

(Sigh.)

 

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5 Things You Probably DIdn't Know about Bruce Springsteen on his 65th birthday

Bruce!!! 

If you've seen pictures of Bruce Springsteen with his shirt off lately, you might find it hard to believe that he's a senior citizen. He turns 65 today!

Here are a few things you may or may not have known about that guy who doesn't really like being called "The Boss."

1. Bruce has never had a number one single. That is unless you count Manfred Mann's cover of "Blinded by the Light."  That made it up to #1.

2. He has a comet named after him.

3. He was once visited backstage by Dr. Ruth Westheimer. She reportedly suggested he work some lyrics about contraception into his songs.

4. After a 1976 show in Memphis, he jumped the gates at Graceland, hoping to meet Elvis. Even if he got past the guards, that wasn't happening as Elvis was in Lake Tahoe at the time.

5. Bruce's kids used to burst into tears whenever they saw his bandanna-wearing guitarist, Little Steve Van Zandt, because they thought he looked like a pirate.

and one more, even though you already probably know about this one

6. At a John Kerry for President rally in Madison, he accepted some college kids' invitation to come up to their balcony and have a beer.  He was joined by Tom Brokaw and his wife Patti.  I'm pretty sure the beer was from Capital Brewery!

(Picture above taken by me at a rally for President Obama in 2012.)
 
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Like WifeSwap, only different

BandSwap is back in Madison!

The Madison Arts Commission is supporting this event, in which bands from different cities change places. This time, a band from Fort Collins, Colorado is heading to Madison, while Sexy Ester from Madison will be hitting the stage in Colorado.

The Madison Arts Commission is making a day of it this Saturday, with other opportunities for you to catch local music, and a way for musicians to network as well.

You can find all the info you need about Saturday's activities right here.

More info can be found on the BandSwap website.

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Are the new Beatles mono remasters on vinyl worth it?

Last week, the Beatles re-released their catalog on vinyl, in mono, the way the Beatles wanted you to hear their music.

Is it worth spending 400 dollars or so on the box set, or would it be better to just pick up some of your favorites--for around 22 dollars and up?

That depends how big of a Beatle fan you are! So far, I've only had a chance to listen to Sgt Pepper and Revolver--and I was blown away. Admittedly, that may be partially because it's been a while since I've sat down and listened to both those albums in their entirety, and I was just REMINDED of their awesomeness. But it's also because these songs are completely different mixes of the albums, as supervised by members of the Beatles. When the stereo versions of their albums were mixed, the Beatles weren't as interested as it took a while for stereo to catch on in England. So much more attention was paid to every detail of the mono mixes, back in the day.

I used to think that a mono version was just like pushing the "mono" button on your stereo--so the same sounds would come out of each speaker. But that is not the case...often different guitar solos are used, the vocals are more upfront, or there are completely different sound effects, etc.

Casual Beatle fans might not notice differences in the mono versions, unless they have someone like my boyfriend Mike pointing out the differences. But they'll still love how the albums sound.  Hardcore Beatle fans might just spend a week sitting in front of their stereo, gaining a new appreciation for the incredible music that was created all those years ago.

"We're not trying to recreate the originals but we're trying to (reproduce) the original intention." Sean Magee, Abbey Road Mastering Engineer.

 
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Worst souvenirs ever?

When most people go on vacation, they usually spend some of the time perusing gift shops, checking out cool souvenirs like snow globes depicting ocean views, miniature spoons, t-shirts, or potpourri and candles.

When my boyfriend Mike and I go on vacation, we avoid those kind of stores like some horrible illness, but we do hit a lot of pawn shops and secondhand stores, and on this vacation we managed to hit quite a few.

I found a couple of items that were so off the charts horrible. So horrible I had to take pictures.  I can't decide which is worse--the lamp, complete with glued on foreign coins of some sort, and a lampshade that appeared to be made from a sweater--or the flower bedazzled telephone.

I am feeling a little non-buyer's remorse, as I left both items for some other lucky individual to find. But that's good news for you, as they both still might be available. I think they were at a Goodwill store somewhere north of highway 10. Good luck and happy hunting!

   
 
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We still miss you Stevie Ray Vaughan

It's hard to believe it's been 24 years since we lost Stevie Ray Vaughan in that helicopter crash after a show at Alpine Valley.

I've talked to lots of people who were at that concert, which also featured Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and Robert Cray...and what a show it was! I've never seen any video of that night, but there is a bootleg CD that's not to hard to track down. (It's called "Peace in the Valley," and I believe it's a soundboard recording.)

If you want to pay tribute to the amazing guitar player, you could visit his statue in Austin, or fork out 8.4 million dollars to buy Alpine Valley Music Theatre--wouldn't it be cool if it were a SRV museum?

But the best way to pay tribute is to sit back and enjoy the music. It still sounds fantastic!

This is reportedly the very last song that Stevie ever played.

 
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Butch Vig--the actor?

Butch Vig and his pal from Garbage Duke Erikson, Freedy Johnson, and Jay Moran get together every once in a while as "The Know-it-all Boyfriends."  Well they're getting the band back together, and this time they're doing it for a good cause--to fight epilepsy.

The show is September 7th at the Majestic Theatre, and also features a reunion of the Madison band Chaser. Tickets are going fast, so don't delay!  Find out more about it here.

You should also watch this video, produced by former Triple M Morning Show Host and all-around good guy* John Urban. It's really well done. And you get to see Butch Vig and Duke Erikson try to act!

*he did not pay me to write that

 
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World's Worst iPod: Oliver "Jean"
The same guy who sang "Good Morning Starshine" had a number 2 hit with the song "Jean" in 1969. The song came from a movie called The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie about a headstrong teacher in a private school. The song really has nothing to do with any...
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Read More
Kitty's night in a haunted house
Before Friday, my only experience with a haunted house, commercial or otherwise, was at the Recreation Department in Stevens Point when I was a teenager, and as I remember I was FREAKED out. So I was a little nervous when Jonathan and I were asked to...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: El DeBarge "Who's Johnny"
A lot of people seemed to have fond memories of this questionable song from 1986. "Who's Johnny" was the first solo hit for the guy named El DeBarge, and it went to number 3 on the charts. Some of you might remember it from the movie "Short...
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Finally, recognition of Stevie Ray Vaughan by the Rock Hall
The new list of nomines for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is out, and finally they give a nod to Stevie Ray Vaughan. The Rock Hall has passed Stevie by for the more than ten years that he's been eligible, causing me and other blues fans much...
Read More
You might want to see "Once" twice
I had the opportunity to go see "Once" at Overture Hall last night, and I guess the two word summary of my review could be "weirdly awesome." The story isn't too complicated, which is good because I sometimes had a hard time understanding the...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Stonebolt "I Will Still Love You"
It seems Kitty was all alone in the Canadian wilderness with her love for the 1978 hit "I Will Still Love You" by Stonebolt. It only made it up to #29, so it seems a lot of folks didn't have the fond memories of the song that she did. With amazing...
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Recent Blog Posts
World's Worst iPod: Oliver "Jean"
The same guy who sang "Good Morning Starshine" had a number 2 hit with the song "Jean" in 1969. The song came from a movie called The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie about a headstrong teacher in a private school. The song really has nothing to do with any...
Read More
Download: Mike Doughty
This week's free download for Discover & Download is: "Light Will Keep Your Heart Beating in the Future by Mike Doughty
World's Worst iPod: LeBlanc & Carr "Falling"
LeBlanc and Carr were Lenny LeBlanc and Pete Carr, two Muscle Shoals studio musicians who hit the top 40 in 1978 with their hit "Falling." It made it up to #13 on the charts and was perfect for clumsy teenage slow dancing! Musically, these guys were...
Read More
Kitty's night in a haunted house
Before Friday, my only experience with a haunted house, commercial or otherwise, was at the Recreation Department in Stevens Point when I was a teenager, and as I remember I was FREAKED out. So I was a little nervous when Jonathan and I were asked to...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: El DeBarge "Who's Johnny"
A lot of people seemed to have fond memories of this questionable song from 1986. "Who's Johnny" was the first solo hit for the guy named El DeBarge, and it went to number 3 on the charts. Some of you might remember it from the movie "Short...
Read More
Finally, recognition of Stevie Ray Vaughan by the Rock Hall
The new list of nomines for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is out, and finally they give a nod to Stevie Ray Vaughan. The Rock Hall has passed Stevie by for the more than ten years that he's been eligible, causing me and other blues fans much...
Read More
You might want to see "Once" twice
I had the opportunity to go see "Once" at Overture Hall last night, and I guess the two word summary of my review could be "weirdly awesome." The story isn't too complicated, which is good because I sometimes had a hard time understanding the...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Stonebolt "I Will Still Love You"
It seems Kitty was all alone in the Canadian wilderness with her love for the 1978 hit "I Will Still Love You" by Stonebolt. It only made it up to #29, so it seems a lot of folks didn't have the fond memories of the song that she did. With amazing...
Read More
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