Halloween used to be one of my favorite holidays. But now it just seems to irritate me!
My biggest gripe: 2nd hand stores like Goodwill and St. Vinnies are so crammed with Halloween stuff that anything that might interest me is probably sitting in a back roomo somewhere. Not to mention all the thrift store newbies that are getting in my way!
I wasn't always this way. When I was in my late teens early 20's, I was all about Halloween, and actually put a lot of thought into my costumes. They didn't always work out the greatest, but I had fun. When I dressed up as the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, no one quite got it. "Seasick elf?" some one inquired. The ghost of John Lennon didn't turn out that great either, with somebody rudely saying "you are the ugliest woman I've ever seen!"
My favorite costume had to be the Cat from Outer Space.
It was based on a character from the musical "Cats," and it got the outer space theme when my mom and I found some insulated drapery material which we turned inside out, and my mom made me some kind of frock type thing.Â The shirt was an old 70's polyester shirt that my older brother seriously wore..with the collars cut off and stuffed, then used for ears.
One thing I know for sure--you're not going to find a costume like that at Goodwill!
September 11, 2001 seemed like a pretty ordinary day at 105.5 Triple M in Madison. I was trying to get over a cold, Jonathan wasÂ back from a week long vacation and the 4th annual Madison Blues Festival had just happened a week earlier.
But quickly it was apparent that this day was like no other for me, Jonathan, or anybody else.
We had just finished the news and sports around 7:50 when we got a call on the M line. It was Triple M listener and Madison singer Lynette who called to tell us she just saw on TV that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.
"What?" I dashed into the newsroom down the hall to check out the Associated Press wire, and at that point there was only a one-line story that had come across. It wasn't even an "urgent" story much less a bulletin. It read, "Plane crashes into World Trade Center, according to television reports." I went on the air with it, and didn't think much of it. (Read the Associated Press timeline here).
Then came news of the second explosion, and I remember saying on the air that I hesitated to consider this a terrorist act.
But as the news kept coming in it became more and more obvious that it indeed was the work of terrorists. Regular programming was suspended on Triple M, and there was little any one could do but watch in horror. We only had one tiny little TV in the radio station. It was in the newsroom and staff members kept coming in to get the latest news.
I called my friend whose husband worked for American Airlines and found out he wasn't working that day, felt relief.
I couldn't leave the radio station...there was really nothing I could do to report on this huge story, but I didn't want to be alone.
When I did leave work,Â the gravity of the situation really hit home when I turned on my TV and found coverage on every station..even MTV! What in the hell? I know this seems ridiculous, but when I saw it on MTV, the situation became surreal. I remember just sitting alone in my apartment in silence.
Later that night when I knew my family members would be home, I called them to touch base. None of them lived in New York, but I just needed to reach out. Hear a familiar voice. Something that I knew was real, and could hold onto..even it if was just over the telephone.
So on this tenth anniversary, I'm reminded how important family and friends are. Hold them close. You never know when you won't be able to.
This is something I promise to make a bigger priority from now on.
It seems state fairs across the country are always trying to one-up each other. Deep fried beer! Deep fried butter! Hamburgers served on donut-buns!
The Wisconsin State Fair kicks off today, and while I'm pretty sure they have all that stuff, they're also trying to break a couple world records. One for world's biggest cream puff (Wisconsin's newly crowned official dessert), and the other for world's largest cheese sculpture.
Now they're teasing us a bit at the fair. While they do say that Sarah the Cheese Lady will be there August 12th thru the 14th to do the carving, they're not revealing what the the subject of the sculpture will be.
Hmmm. That gets my curiosity going.
Cheese in the shape of Wisconsin, or maybe a badger? How about Gov. Scott Walker? He doesn't live too far away from State Fair Park.
No, that might be aÂ bit ofÂ a security risk. A giant cheesy Brett Favre would have fallen into that same category a year or two ago, but now that would just be...well....sad.
My best guess is it will have something to do with Super Bowl Champions, the Green Bay Packers.
Or maybe it will be a cheese sculpture of a giant cream puff.
Find out more state fair weirdness here.
When I heard National Mustard Day was almost here..I had a momentary mustard flashback!
The flashback originates back in 1995, when John Urban and I co-hosted the Triple M Morning Show. We had Barry Levenson of the Mustard Museum on our show as a guest, and he invited us to come out to the museum to take part in Mustard Day festivities. That year one of the "festivities" was the Mustard Gauntlet.
I was younger then, and game for just about anything. And as some circus guy once said, there's a sucker born every minute.
Here's what we had to do...run in between two lines of people while they squirted mustard at us. We're still smiling for this picture, but weren't smiling when we found out there were no shower facilities. We each took turns in a back office trying to get off what we could with paper towels.
I wanted to throw away my newly yellow Triple M T-shirt, but John insisted his mom could get out the stain.
He was right. It was good as new. How did she get that shirt so clean? Some Ancient Chinese Secret?
Click here if you'd like to find out more about National Mustard Day this Saturday at the new Mustard Museum in Middleton.
Have you seen the A&E show Storage Wars? It's a lot like Pawn Stars and American Pickers, except in this case, treasure hunting entrepreneurs bid on the contents of abandoned storage lockers, without knowing what's in them. Sometimes they find something cool, but mostly it's a lot of crap...old shoes, sporting equipment, hangers. But sometimes it's pay dirt...antiques, vintage guitars, or baseball cards.
Now all those shows like that have several things in common: ridicule, drama, and surprise.
I have an idea for a new show that I think will be a huge hit. It has all of those elements...and more.
DRY CLEANER WARS!
First off, this show will offer the viewer a chance to ridicule and feel better than the person on the show.
VEWER: "They're paying money to get THAT cleaned? That is the most hideous dress I've ever seen....He spilled yellow mustard on that shirt!Â Any discriminating person knows the only appropriate condiment is grey poupon."
The element of drama could be demonstrated in several ways.
For example, this scenario:
CUSTOMER: "Look at this nasty wine stain on my grandma's wedding dress. Can you get it out?"
DRY CLEANER: "Ooh, that looks like it's really set in there. I don't know if there's anything we can do with that..."
CUSTOMER: "Oh, you've got to help me...I'm desperate."
ANNOUNCER: "Will that wine stain come out? Will Rebecca be able to face her family ever again? Find out, right after this."
You can feel the tension, I know you can.
But what about surprise? How can we be surprised at the dry cleaner?
That's easy..all we have to do is dump out the pockets.Â "Eww, what the heck is that? I've never seen anything like it!Â What is it? We'll tell you, right after this."
And once this show takes off, which I'm sure it will, I've already got a spin-off idea.
CELEBRITY DRY CLEANER WARS.Dry Cleaner Wars, Celebrity Dry Cleaner Wars, copyright 2011, Kitty Dunn Enterprises.
I was very excited that the Dodgeville Chamber of Commerce brought back their annual Blues Fest this year. It was canceled, due to the economy, last year but was back in full force for 2011.
In the past the fest was free, but this year they charged admission (still cheap...$7 or 2 for $10), and I was worried attendance would be down..but by the end of the night there was quite a crowd...so I'm hopeful it will be back in 2012.
One of the great things about this festival..they bring in bands that I've never heard of..but are always great!
This year the headliner was Dave Herrero, a blues guitar player and singer from Chicago. According to the bio on his website, he used to play guitar with Archie Bell and The Drells, and has toured Europe 13 times. He plays a lot at Buddy Guy's Legends as well.
Mike and I thought he reminded us a little of Jimmie Vaughan...a great player with a great voice. And that's a mighty pretty Les Paul he's playing in that photo I snapped (right).
This is one of the songs we rocked out to in Dodgeville on Saturday.
You can find out more about Dave Herrero here.
Game show host Alex Trebek turns 71 today! I plan on ingesting some potent potables later today in his honor.
I've been a fan of Jeopardy since it came back to TV in the '80s, and despite his smugness, I must admit I like Alex Trebek. Even when he gets so cocky with those French pronunciations.
And this is why I'm a little jealous that my dad got to meet him at a senior citizen conference in Stevens Point around 20 years ago. And he got his autograph..reportedly because he knew that would turn me 12 shades of green.
I did get to try out for Jeopardy several years ago, and even met a member of the Clue Crew, but sorry Jimmy McGuire, you're no Alex Trebek.
What would I do if I did meet Alex Trebek? I'd tell him to grow back that mustache.
Pop culture genius Sherwood Schwartz died yesterday at the age of 94. And by now you've probably heard snippets of the themes to "Gilligan's Island" and "Brady Bunch" featured in news stories about his passing. That's because he was the producer of both shows and the writer of their theme songs. But you may not have been treated to this gem from the short-lived show "It's About Time."
I don't really remember this particular show, which aired for one season in 1966 and '67, but I have heard this catchy theme song before.
Enjoy this fine theme song, written by the late Sherwood Schwartz.
Through some quick web research I discovered that the first half the season featured the modern day astronauts back in caveman days, but when ratings started to tank, it was re-tooled so the astronauts came back to the '60's and brought their new cave friends with them.
Obviously that didn't do the trick either since the show was not renewed.
One amusing note: Imogene Coca's character was originally called Shag, but when the big wigs discovered the word was the '60s equivalent of "making whoopee," her character's named was changed to Shad.
Yes, I made it to Summerfest again..for what probably was around the 18th or 19th year a in a row. I went last Tuesday to see Greg Koch, an amazing Milwaukee guitar player known for his "gristle," and Paul Rodgers..the former lead singer of Free and Bad Company. (He also fronted Queen for a while, for what that's worth).
He's an amazing front man, and I decided that his show was probably the best Summerfest show in recent memory. The guy still has amazing pipes..and I think sang even better that night than he did on his records! He did most of the Bad Company songs you'd expect and threw in some Free songs as well..including "All Right Now."Â An amazing show..and I was lucky enough to be in the front row so my view wasn't blocked by clowns standing on benches in front of me.
Anyway..that got me thinking about some of the other Summerfest shows I've seen on side stages over the years..and the ones that really blew me away. I won't include any where the show was too crowded and I couldn't see anything (Jet, Cheap Trick, Brian Setzer come to mind in that category.)
Bo Diddley at the Potawatomi Stage, circa 2000
Dickey Betts and Great Southern, also at that stage..about the same time
Junior Brown..back when the Potawatomi Stage was still in a tent, 1996 or 1997
Delbert McClinton...at the Miller Lite Oasis, mid-to-late '90s
Candye Kane at the Leinenkugel's Stage, 1996
Dave Alvin at the Leinie's Stage..probably the late 1990's
John Hiatt, with backup band North Mississippi All Stars, early 2000's
Susan Tedeschi at the Potawatomi Tent..1998?
BR-549 .. I'm not sure which stage this was at, mid-90's
Paul Rodgers at the Miller Lite Oasis, 2011
Now this just might get me to go back to the movies!
Warner Bros. is bringing Mel Blanc back to life..because they needed somebody to voice three new cartoon shorts they're making to run before movies, just like in the old days.
Now Mel Blanc has often been impersonated, but it never sounds exactly right, so that's why Warner Bros. decided to call on their friend Dr. Frankenstein to bring the talented cartoon voice artist back from the other side!
Holy reanimation, Batman!
Okay, that's not entirely true.
What they're actually going to do is take Mel Blanc's voice parts as the vocal track for the new cartoons. The first will star Daffy Duck and will be shown before Happy Feet 2 when it comes out in November.
You probably already knew that Mel Blanc was the voice for Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, but he also was the man behind Porky Pig, Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Bird, Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam, Wile E. Coyote, Woody Woodpecker, Barney Rubble, Mr. Spacely, Speed Buggy, Captain Caveman, Heathcliff, Speedy Gonzales, Elmer Fudd, Secret Squirrel, Hardy Har Har and the Frito Bandito.
I have nothing else to say about this topic, except, "That's All Folks!"
So yesterday when I was writing a blog about the birthday of Andy Griffith, I noticed a line in the original vocal version of his 60's TV show..
"Pull up a weed to chaw, and maybe set and jaw."
That reminded me of a fun country ditty inspired by that wild gang of Mayberry characters. Maybe that weed they were chawin' on was on the wacky side. At least that's the way the group BR-549 sees it.
The first time I heard this song was at Summerfest years ago, and I was quite amused.
Memorial Day weekend is here..and for many of us, that means the ceremonial charring of meat, otherwise known as grilling. Now any grillmaster with half a brain knows that the only way to really do this thing is to have the perfect barbecuing apron. Not only can it protect you from getting marinade on your beer belly, it can also make a real statement!
I found a few that I think you will like. Notice not one of them says "Kiss the Cook."
The first one is functional, with a place to hold your can of beer!
So I heard that Seth McFarlane, the so-called genius behind Family Guy, is going to re-make his version of an animated Flintstones. And all I can says is Yabba-dabba-don't.
There's something so innocent about Fred and Barney and his prehistoric friends. Now I know Fred would occasionally take a nip or two of the Cactus Cola, but for the most part he's a pretty upstanding guy. I shudder to think what Seth McFarlane would do to him. I don't want him turned into a sloppy pig like Peter Griffin. And I certainly don't want Pebbles to be a talking baby that's secretly in love with Fred. And if Dino can get a job even though he doesn't wear clothes and eats his own dinosaur dung, I'm afraid I wouldn't be interested in watching.
One thing I enjoyed about the Flintstones was the celebrity cameos, like Ann Margrock, or the Beau Brummelstones singing "Laugh, Laugh," or the thinly veiled references to celebrities. I love that Eppy Brianstone was the manager of a pop band! I'm really not into seeing Simon Cowellstone or Justin Bieberrock getting any more publicity.
Here's a little preview of what Seth McFarlane's Flintstone adventure might look like.
Yawn. I don't think I'll be tuning in when this show starts airing in 2013.
A lot of people are talking about the future of the sitcom 2 1/2 Men, now that Ashton Kutcher has been tapped to step in for the exiting Charlie Sheen.
I think most folks agree that it would be bad to have Ashton Kutcher simply play the Charlie Harper role (for one thing he's too young and too pretty). In sitcom history, the only time that was ever seemingly pulled off was on Bewitched in the 1960's, when Dick York was replaced by Dick Sargent. And whether or not that that actually was a success has been highly debated for years. I, for one, never got used to the latter Dick.
As I was mulling this concept over this morning (yes, I really was), I realized I have the perfect way for 2 1/2 Men to solve this little storyline dilemma.
Ashton Kutcher should play ad agency executive Darren Stevens who sublets Charlie Harper's beach house. He moves in, only to find out that Charlie's brother Alan and his teenage son won't move out!
Then it could be revealed that Berta (Charlie's housekeeper) is actually a witch who can cast magical spells by wiggling her nose.
And Rose would move out of the house next door, and Gladys Kravitz (played by Sarah Silverman) would move in and she would be really really nosy...and would always witness strange things going on next door.
I think it could work! Chuck Lorre are you listening??
Happy Birthday Dave Mason!
He turns 65 today...and has had a helluva career.
I'll admit that I first heard of Dave Mason when I was a teenager and heard "We Just Disagree." So that means I missed all of Traffic, some pretty cool solo albums and some other alliances completely!
Luckily it is possible to go back in time and catch up on what you missed.
Here's a brief Dave Mason timeline:
Mason joined Traffic, quit Traffic, joined again and the band broke up. Somewhere around the same time, he was hanging with Jimi Hendrix, and introduced him to this cool new Dylan song, "All Along the Watchtower." Hendrix dug it, so they recorded it that night with Mason playing acoustic guitar.
Right around 1970, Mason gets a call from his friend Eric Clapton, and tours with him and Delaney and Bonnie and Friends. He's supposed to be the guitar player for Derek and the Dominoes, but he passes and lets Duane Allman create some pretty serious musical magic.
Mason makes some solo albums..and in the late 1970's releases a single which becomes a hit ("We Just Disagree") and we're back where I started.
Fast forward more than 30 years, and I get to meet Dave Mason at a Best Buy store in Madison, where he's doing a little gig to promote a new record. I give him a hard time because he was supposed to come visit us at Triple M and play for us in Studio M, but there was a scheduling conflict. He signs my copy of "It's Like You Never Left" and Mike's copy of "Alone Together."
Anyway, here's a song that Dave Mason wrote when he was just a teenager. It only has two chords. You might recognize a few of the other folks up there with him.
As you may have heard, I'm getting a new car very soon. So that meant I had to clean out my old one. Jonathan was very shocked at how much crap...I mean valuable treasures...I had in my vehicle.
So I thought I would show you! I threw it all on the kitchen floor and took a picture.
Some of the things I found included
17 pens and pencils (only 4 of them didn't work)
17 cassette tapes (including The Big Chill Soundtrack, Cracker Kerosene Hat, The Refreshments Fizzy Fuzzy Big and Buzzy,Â and some that I accidentally erased with a magnet)
X-Files Promotional mirror
Assorted Triple M Stickers
4 Triple M Sampler CD"s
One Triple M nametag
One St. Patrick's Day hat
Two strings of mardi gras beads
One ice scraper and one snow brush
Two car wash tokens for a place that's out of business
Three bottle openers (never can be too prepared)
One pizza cutter (brand new)
One first aid kit
and last but not least....one marble.
When I heard the news that ABC is canceling "All My Children" and "One Life To Live," I wasn't all that surprised. Networks had already dumped "Guiding Light," "As the World Turns," and several other soaps.
I was surprised to learn what they'll be replacing "All My Children" with. It's a show called "The Chew."
I am not making that up. "The Chew"? That might be the most unappealing name for a show that I've ever heard! I guess it's supposed to be a mix of talk show and cooking show. I suppose they already have shows including "The View," and "The Talk," so why not? I guess that's the hottest thing in daytime. The word "the" with one more word.
With that in mind, I've come up with a few more ideas.
The Smirk: This show would take a cynical look at the bizarre world of politics. Oh wait..we already have The Daily Show.
The Belch: This show would be all about delicious beverages, hosted by Rosie O'Donnell.
The Babble: obviously this show would have to be hosted by Charlie Sheen. Could also be called "The Incoherent."The Drool: I would like this show to be hosted by Matthew McConaughey.
The Chortle: I would have to host this show because I just like the word chortle. I also would be willing to host a show called The Guffaw.
Elvis Costello writes the introduction on the liner notes to Paul Simon's new CD "So Beautiful or So What," and he promised me "rock and roll surprises." And Simon delivers. I won't detail them here or they won't be surprises to you. What I will say is that this definitely goes beyond the confines of the typical rock and roll record, without getting outlandish or silly.
Paul Simon has never been afraid to search the world over for musicians, or unique musical instrumentation and vocals. Like he did with "Graceland" and "Rhythm of the Saints," Simon takes us on a journey that takes us somewhere new..in this case..down south for a little gospel, across the ocean to India, and back home again. And he does it while still maintaining his rock and roll sensibility.
Skimming the credits, I saw quite a list of musical instruments..from glockenspiel to tuned bass djembe, conga, harmonica, harp, and celeste and angklung. (A celeste is similar to a glockenspiel, and is the instrument used in Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy; an angklung is an instrument made of bamboo tubes.)Â The use of these instruments (and others) creates a very interesting record that never jumps the bridge into novelty..but just seems to work.
Simon is definitely reflective and even philosophical throughout most of the album, but he's never depressed..even in the quieter, slower ballads. As he says in the song's title tune, "Life is what we make of it, so beautiful, or so what."
Paul Simon's world is definitely beautiful, and it's a nice place to visit.
When most people are asked to name an Irish rock band, they probably say "U2," because undoubtedly they've had the most commercial success. But there are some other outstanding bands out there that you may not have heard of.
I'll admit, the first Irish music I encountered was The Irish Rovers, because my mom had a two or three record set of their traditional Irish songs, most famous being The Unicorn Song. While I still have fond memories of them from my childhood, I can't say they rock. And neither does Gilbert O'Sullivan, especially on the song "Alone Again Naturally." Yuck.
My guitar playing boyfriend Mike has turned me on to some great musicians, some of them Irish. Before I met him, I never heard of Rory Gallagher. He's an amazing guitar player, who in fashion sense at least was completely different from the traditional rock star, choosing to wear plaid button-down shirts..or worse yet, shirts with snaps! But he can really play, and has a great voice. I love this song.
I've also come to appreciate Thin Lizzy, thanks to Mike. Did you know they had songs other than "Boys Are Back in Town"? And of course I'm a huge fan of Elvis Costello, who has lived in Ireland but is really from England.
I also like Irish beer, but that's another story entirely.
Looking for a great place for a relaxing night out, in a casual comfy atmosphere? I know that sounds like the opening line to a commercial. But it's really the best way to sum up the night Mike and I had at Quivey's Stable Grill during Madison Restaurant Week.
The Stable Grill is located inside a stable built back in 1855, and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mike and I felt comfortable right away! We also enjoyed the juxtaposition of the setting with the 80's music that was playing in the background. I hadn't heard "She Drives Me Crazy" by the Fine Young Cannibals in a long time!
But I digress. Mike and I started by ordering a couple of great local Ale Asylum Beers, and then made our choices off the special 3-course menu. We both ordered the same thing so it made things easy for our extremely cordial server.
We started off with the spinach salad, which was topped with warm bacon dressing, red onion, mushrooms and hard boiled egg. It was a delicious blend of flavors and went great with the Madtown Nut Brown beer.
Next was the entree..which was a fish fry that went way over the top! It was comprised of beer-battered whitefish, pretzel-crusted lake perch and crispy rainbow trout fingers. You can tell that Quivey's really pays attention to the batter, because each was quite unique and flavorful. Not like some places where it seems like all the fish is dumped into the same mixture of flour and milk. The french fries were huge with great potato flavor and a fine accompaniment to the fish.
For dessert we picked the turtle pie, which looked fantastic. I'm sure it will be decadent and delicious..it's sitting in the fridge at home waiting for us.
Quivey's Grove Stable Grill is open for lunch and dinner and there's even a happy hour Monday thru Thursday from 4-6pm. It's a great place to go during Restaurant Week, or any time!
Find out more about Quivey's Grove Stable Grill and the Stone House next door here.
This just in: Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne are teaming up for an ad that will run during the Super Bowl. The aging god of heavy metal and the latest teen sensation will be teaming up for a Best Buy ad.
Now a lot of you might think that's an unlikely combo, but I disagree. The two actually have a lot in common.
1. Justin Bieber was named Best New Artist at the BET..Black Entertainment Television Awards. Ozzy Osbourne was in Black Sabbath.
2. Justin Bieber recorded with Usher. Ozzy needs an usher to take him to the bathroom.
3. Justin Bieber's autobiography is called First Step 2 Forever, 100% Official. Ozzy's autobiography is called "I Am Ozzy, 100 % Lubricated."
Stumped about what to get that Rose Bowl fan on your list? Here's an idea that could let you cross another name off, and help a great organization.
Official Wisconsin Badgers Rose Bowl footballs are on sale to help out the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. The organization selling them says there will only be only 5,000 made and each comes with an acrylic display case. They cost $99 and a portion goes to Make-A-Wish.
More info here.
What exactly is a mancake?
It's an invention of that homemaker we all long to be, Ms. Betty Crocker. It's a new recipe for pancakes that includes Bisquick, candied bacon, eggs, and beer.
Wait a minute...hold the phone...there's something called CANDIED BACON and I've never tried it?
You can read the recipe for Beer and Bacon mancakes here, and find out how to make said candied bacon (it involves brown sugar) and the finished product. It actually sounds delicious. I do have a problem with Ms. Crocker on this one. Why is it only men that would find pancakes made with beer and bacon appealing? I think a lot of us ladies would love some one to heat up the griddle and cook us some of those.Â So why call them mancakes?
And now that you've got me going, what's the deal with flapjacks? Anybody hungry for flapjills?
No, I don't really go deer hunting. I have fired a 22 calibre rifle, but not at anything that was alive.
My dad, however, was a hunting freak. I think he mostly loved walking around or sitting around in the woods though, because he was a pretty unsuccessful hunter.
Here are some my memories regarding my dad and hunting.
1)The smell of gun grease, from cleaning the guns to get them ready
2)Head cheese sandwiches. If you don't know what head cheese is, you need to look it up. Caution: not for the faint of heart.
3)Hershey Bars. My dad stocked up on them and took them out in the woods for energy. I always hoped he'd have some left over for me, but this rarely happened.
4)My dad's boots. He'd be so bundled up in blaze orange he wouldn't be able to reach his feet to pull off his big heavy boots. So he'd have me yank at them to pull them off, to reveal his hot sweaty feet that had been wrapped in wool socks all day. Wonder what it was like? See number 2 above regarding head cheese.
Wishing happy and safeÂ hunting to all the hunters starting on Saturday!
The artist more commonly known as Tom Petty turns 60 today.Â He says he wanted to be in a rock and roll band ever since he saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. Who knew he'd actually get to be in a band with George Harrison? Of course I'm speaking of the Traveling Wilburys. A great band--even if they didn't have a single Top 40 hit. (Nope...not even Handle with Care).
Earlier this year, Tom Petty came out with a fantastic heavy-on-the-guitars album called Mojo. Even though the musical styles were all over the place--I loved it. (There was even a reggae-tinged song!)
Here's a great song from the album. Feel free to dance. (Unless you're my friend Melvin, who hates Tom Petty..but I'll save that story for another day.)
Aah...another Willy Street Fair is now just a sweet (and foggy) memory. It's my favorite Madison festival...despite the fact that it marks the end of summer. I always run into so many old friends, and meet new ones too! It was great seeing so many listeners yesterday who seemed almost as glad as I was that I'm recovering well from my recent surgery.
In addition to the friends, beer, and food, of course the Willy Street Fair means live music. This year the grand finale on the main stage was Wayne Baker Brooks, son of the legendary Chicago bluesman Lonnie Brooks.
One of the things Lonnie loves to do is to take his guitar out into the crowd..and Wayne used that technique yesterday as well..so I grabbed my camera to get a quick shot of Wayne wowing us with his stratocaster.
Eventually Wayne made it over to to the table where I had been sittingÂ with some friends. He hopped up on my chair!
And that made my good friend Melvin jump for joy! He's the guy in the green checked shirt. Woo hoo!
By decree of the United Nations, every September 21st is the International Day of Peace. It's a day set aside for regular people (like you and me) to do something to advance this idea..so maybe one day there really will be peace on this planet. And hopefully entire countries will catch on as well!
It's not necessarily a new idea. It reminds of a song we used to sing in church, which included the line, "Let there peace on Earth, and let it begin with me."
For me the day is half over, and I haven't thought of what I'll do to add to this effort..but this video made me want to think of something. It features Jeremy Gilley, who founded an organization called Peace One Day.
I have become a cynical person, and I blame it all on Oprah Winfrey. (I use her last name with a bit of contempt, in case you don't know of which Oprah I speak).
I'm pretty sure Oprah has made you a bit cynical too. Not sure? Take this little quiz:
How did you feel when Oprah announced she was giving everyone in her audience a trip to Australia?
A)Jealous of those lucky ducks
B)Inspired. You paid it forward and renewed your subscription to O Magazine.
C)You felt sorry for the Australians
If you answered C, you too have become cynical about Oprah, and perhaps other elements of your life as well.
For cynical people like us, it's hard to see the bright side..but there is one to this story.
She only has around 200 shows left.
Well today was my last day on the air for awhile..as my surgery is at UW Hospital tomorrow (August 18th).
Thanks so much for all the good wishes and advice.
I'll be in touch as soon as I can..and might even write a blog or two once I can sit upright and type. It might be really interesting if I'm still on pain meds!
See you on the flip side, everybody.
The 2000 and 2100 blocks of Atwood Avenue were rockin' Saturday for Atwood Summerfest.
Mike and I got there a little late..but we did run into plenty of people we knew..and got to enjoy some free live music..first from Altered Five, a Milwaukee band that takes pop and rock songs and "bluesifies" them. (I particularly enjoyed their version ofÂ "A Little Help From My Friends.")
Then we checked out the disco band VO5..followed by Jim Schwall and Andy Ewen rocking out on the Blues Stage.
Artists from all over the country will be displaying their works on and off the Capitol Square this weekend....but there's one kind of art that I don't think we'll be seeing too much of.
Etch-a-sketch art! The best I could ever do was a primitive face (with glasses, as all lines must be connected), or a sloppy cursive version of my name.
Maybe to have the skill to really creative Etch-a-Sketch drawings, you have to smoke a little something.
At least that's my theory behind this one:
I've been on vacation for a week...a week I needed to recover from my 13 hours at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago!
We got there early so Mike could check out all the stuff in Guitar Center Village...including original guitars owned by Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
The day started with Bill Murray and Eric welcoming us..and the music kicked off with Sonny Landreth..and didn't end until an all-star jam at around 11pm.
Despite the fact that it was really HOT (officially 86 degrees but as much as 120 degrees on the field), I did not end up in the First Aid tent.
Water was five bucks a bottle, but that was cheap compared to beer. You could get a 24 ounce can of Miller for 11 bucks. That's right, I said 11 bucks.
Here are a few pics from that amazing day.
Nifty at fifty?
Happy Birthday to the birth control pill, which was approved for sale in the United States on today's date in 1960.
Women have come a long way since then, but a lot of people (historians for example) say the Pill created the women's movement. Makes sense, because now that women can take care of that whole reproduction thing and put it on their own schedule...they might have time to do a few other things, like have a career.
In 1975, Loretta Lynn released a little ditty about the birth control pill. Country stations at first refused to play it, but eventually came around and it became a top ten country hit. Apparently, doctors in rural areas thanked Loretta Lynn for the song, saying it introduced the idea to many women who hadn't really heard about it (even though it had been around for 15 years!)
The High Noon Saloon was rocking Sunday afternoon..with some amazing talent that was very new to the music scene.
It was the showcase for Girls Rock Camp...with seven bands made up of girls aged 8 to 18 playing original songs. Some of these girls had never picked up an instrument before camp started last Monday..but with the help of instructors and volunteers from Girls Rock Camp, they got to be rock stars!
I'm jealous that there was nothing like this around when I was a kid...but knowing me I probably would have just freaked out and cried when I got on stage.Â But there was none of that yesterday. The girls were confident, enthusiastic, and definitely showed musical promise.
The bands had great names too--including Hammer, Pink and Orange, Sugar Rush, Bitter Rose, and Express Yourself. The girls even had stylists to help bring out their inner rock star!
The coordinators say they'll be putting on a Ladies Rock Camp in October. Sounds like an interesting idea. I may just sign up to play guitarÂ if it's agreed I don't have to play an F chord. That hurts my fingers.
For the weekend of June 18
1)Clyde Stubblefieldat the Memorial Union Terrace, Friday at 9:30pm. The original funky drummer for free!
2)Madison Blues Society Picnic: Saturday 11:30am-9:00pm at Warner Park. Free blues picnic with a great lineup all day. One difference this year--they're asking you NOT to bring any carry-ins. Plenty of delicious beer and food available in the park. Lots of post-blues picnic performances at area bars as well.Â Always entertaining--the Cash Box Kings (pictured above), who play at 2:45.
3)Lou & Peter Berrymanat the Harmony Bar, Sunday night 7-9pm. True Madison originals..that have to be seen and heard to be appreciated. Ask them to perform the official Madison song for you! (Madison has five officials songs; they created one of them.) $12.
Freaky Band Name of the Week: Charlie & The Tree, 5:30pm Friday at the Come Back In. From Madison, they play blues, K-pop, and jazz. What's K-pop?
It was 40 years ago this weekend that the Beatles "Let It Be" album was released, two months after Paul announced the Beatles break-up.
I didn't buy the album until much later...I found it for $2.99 in a cut-out bin at Woolworth's in Stevens Point. I ran home, threw it on the turntable, and was very disappointed. I'm not sure if it was the lavish Phil Spector arrangements that bothered me, or just the fact that the songs weren't very good!
In later years, the album grew on me, and I did like a few of the songs, like "Across The Universe," and "Get Back." But it never lived up to other Beatles albums in my collection.
Despite my ambivalence about the album, I thought I'd share with you this video tribute...by some one who has a lot more free time (and more patience) than I do.
Can you believe John Fogerty is 65 years old today? I can tell ya one thing..he sure doesn't look it!
I've been lucky enough to see John Fogerty twice back in the 1990's...once at the Riverside in Milwaukee and once at the Marcus Amphitheatre. I thoroughly enjoyed both shows..and was glad he was once again performing the songs he wrote and performed with Creedence Clearwater Revival. (For a while he didn't perform them due to a royalty dispute with his old record company.)
In addition to celebrating his big milestone birthday this week, he also found out his song Centerfield is making it into the Baseball Hall of Fame! (When the y called to tell him, I'm sure he said "put me in coach.")
Here's John performing that old favorite "There's a Bathroom on the Right." Enjoy!
Remember the British band the Faces? The name probably seems familiar..and if you're like me you confuse them with the Small Faces, so here's a refresher. Faces formed from the ashes of the Small Faces (with Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan) and the Jeff Beck Group (where we got Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood). The Small Faces' biggest hit was " Itchykoo Park." The Faces' big one was "Stay With Me."
If any of that seems even slightly familiar to you, you might be interested to know the Faces are reuniting, without Rod Stewart.According to Rollingstone.com, three of the original members of the legendary British band — guitarist Ronnie Wood, drummer Kenney Jones and keyboardist Ian McLagan — will team up with Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall and Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock and will play at least one big festival in England.
While I'm not a huge fan of Mick Hucknall or Simply Red, I am holding back the tears over Rod Stewart passing on this offer. That's because he's turned into a big puffy parody of an aging rock star, and the Faces would be better off without him. Since 2002 he's just been putting out albums of cover songs (he calls them The Great American Songbook Volume 1, 2. etc), and while they do manage to sell a lot of copies, I think it's just SAD!
I saw Rod Stewart in concert at the Kohl Center a decade or so ago and felt like I was trapped inside some giant Vegas lounge show...and I couldn't even get a mixed drink! And when he kicked the soccer balls into the audience I didn't get one! And there were no slot machines!
Okay..enough bitching. Here's a video of the Faces with Rod Stewart. Back when he wasn't such a freakshow. (But his hairstyle leaves a lot to be desired and his facial hair is kinda creepy).
A thunderstorm rolled through southern Wisconsin today...and that got me thinking about some of my favorite songs about rain.
And no--one of them is NOT "And The Thunder Rolled" by Garth Brooks.
Kitty's Top Five Rain Songs1) The Doors: Riders on the Storm Gets extra bonus points for the rain and thunder sound effects!
2) R.E.O Speedwagon: Ridin' the Storm Out This might actually be about a snowstorm, but for today's purposes it's about rain.
3) Beatles: Rain The flipside of Paperback Writer and one of my favorite Beatles songs
4) R.E.M: So. Central Rain Okay, this isn 't about rain at all. It's the one that keeps repeating I'm sorry I'm sorry over and over again. But it's a cool song. Early, classic R.E.M.
5)Buddy Guy: Feels Like Rain: John Hiatt wrote it, Buddy Guy made it a classic. The weather metaphor's been used for love before, but it works here.
Happy Birthday to Bob Dylan..who turns 69 today. Instead of launching into a discussion of his political significance or his singing ability (or lack thereof), I'd like to delve into Bob's sillier side.
Even people who don't like the sound of Dylan's voice generally applaud his songwriting skills (didn't he win a Pulitzer prize after all?). I enjoyÂ many of Bob's lyrics because...they're funny.
Consider this (from Subterranean Homesick Blues):
Walk on your tiptoes
Don't Try No-Doz
Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose.
Or from Visions of Johanna:
See the primitive wallflower freeze
When the jelly-faced women all sneeze
Hear the one with the mustache say "Jeeze
I can't find my knees."
But this might be my favorite:
How did it get so late so soon? It's night before its afternoon.
December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?
Oh wait..that's a poem written by Dr. Seuss.
Well, he was pretty cool too. But I have no idea if was much of a singer.
He's been called "one of the truly great stars of rock music," and he's turning 62 years old today. Of course I am talking about none other than Leo Sayer! Okay, he was called that by a frog (a Muppet frog), and not the editor of Rolling Stone or even some flunkie writer at Entertainment Tonight. But Kermit has credibility doesn't he?
It seems like Leo Sayer was on the radio constantly in the 1970's (and that's not a good thing). Who can forget "Long Tall Glasses" (you know I can dance, you know I can dance!), "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing," "More Than I Can Say," and "When I Need You"? Unfortunately, I can't forget them and am concerned at least one of those songs will be stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
In case you're needing a little dose of this entertainment genius, watch this tripped out segment of The Muppet Show. And be afraid, very afraid.
For the weekend of May 21....
1)Bark & Wine: a fundraiser at and for the Dane County Humane Society, Saturday night from 7pm-10pm. Food, wine, live music and a silent auction to benefit the waiting to be adopted animals. Dogs will be dressed to the (K)-nines and will be your hosts for the evening. They will not however be tending bar. $75 per person.
2)Gary Louris at the High Noon Saloon, 9:30pm Friday. Singer, songwriter, and guitar player from one of my favorite alt-country bands, the Jayhawks.
3)Bernard Allison at the Club Tavern, 9:30 Saturday night. Yes, Luther Allison was his dad, but this guy is a hot blues player in his own right! NO COVER CHARGE.
Freaky Band Name of the Week: Tin Foil Helmet, plays the High Noon Saloon Saturday at 6pm. Indie rock from Middleton Wisconsin. And if I'm not mistaken, it features a former member of the Triple M weekend air staff. (Ed Monahan, is it really you?)
It was 40 years ago today that National Guard troops shot and killed four young people at Kent State University in Ohio, sparking protests at campuses nationwide, including here in Madison. This incident, along with the U.S. bombing of Cambodia (which the government said they'd never do), turned the tide of American opinion against the Vietnam War.
When I was in college I wrote a paper about the Kent State shootings and the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song "Ohio." I probably should have dug that old thing out of the basement and scanned it in for you to read...but now I'll probably wait until the 50th anniversary, since I missed this window of opportunity.
While some rock and roll datebooks say Neil Young wrote the song the day it happened..that's not the case. He actually wrote it after reading about it in Life magazine...and it was recorded and released within weeks.
Neil wrote this about the song in liner notes to his Decade album:
"It's still hard to believe I had to write this song. It's ironic that I capitalized on the death of these American students. Probably the most important lesson ever learned at an American place of learning. David Crosby cried after this take."
Saturday April 17th is going to be a great day for Vinyl Junkies!
Â Several Madison independentÂ record stores are planning special events for the 3rd Annual Record Store Day..and record labels and distributors are shipping out $1.3 million in product especially for the day, 90 percent of it on vinyl.
What will collectors be chomping at the bit to get? Among the items set for release: a John Lennon box set of 45's, a 45 of the Beatles "Rain/Paperback Writer" (limited to 1000 copies), a reissue of R.E.M's Chronic Town on blue vinyl, plus stuff from Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, and Bruce Springsteen.
Here's a bizarre one: the Flaming Lips remake of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Muse, Owl City, Phoenix, and the Def-tones will also have vinyl only singles that they'll be releasing.
Selection will vary depending on the store--so you might want to call ahead to see what's available at your favorite record store. Madison stores taking part include B-Side, Exclusive Company, MadCity Music Exchange, Strictly Discs and Sugar Shack.
Find out more about Record Store Day here.Â Bonus--they're also offering two free downloads from Widespread Panic.
For the weekend of April 16, 2010...
1)Triple M Earth Day Concert with the Bodeans. Friday night at the Barrymore Theatre. It's a CD release party too! Their new album is called "Mr. Sad Clown."
2)Dane County Farmers Market, on the Capitol Square Saturday. It's the first outdoor market of the season, so that makes it so much more special.
3)Cross Canadian Ragweedwith openers Madison's very own Mighty Short Bus, 9 pm Saturday at the Majestic Theatre.
Freaky Band Name of the Week: Let's Wrestle..at the Annex Satuarday night with Quasi, and the Hemlines. Described as grunge-salsa-Dutch pop. What? They're from London.
I know time moves more slowly in the Catholic Church, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the Vatican has finally come out in support of the music of Â those Fab Four mop tops from Liverpool in 2010.
The official Vatican newspaper( L'Osservatore Romano) ran a couple stories over the weekend about the Beatles, noting that it was the 40th anniversary of the band announcing their break-up. The paper said it's true that the Beatles took drugs, were swept up by success, and lived uninhibited lives. It goes on to say that when you listen to their music "all of this is distant and meaningless."
I think it's pretty funny that this is the second time in the last few months that the Vatican has basically run the same story. A few months ago they published a list of the Vatican's favorite records..and I know there were a couple Beatles records on there, along with "Thriller" by Michael Jackson.
I've got some theories behind the Church's motivation with this new Beatle obsession.Â Â They could be trying to get in good with the young kids...the ones who wereÂ teens Â in 1964.
Or maybe they really enjoyed Lennon/McCartney night on American Idol, but figured admitting that would be akin to letting the moneychangers into the temple.
Or perhaps they thought "Lady Madonna" was about some one near and dear to their hearts. (Hey she's in "Let it Be" too! Mother Mary rocks).
Now I know this one is a long shot, but maybe they're afraid the Beatles really are bigger than Jesus.
The Monkees were called the Pre-Fab Four...and I know they actually met the Beatles at one time back in the 1960's, but wouldn't it be cool if they recorded together as one huge super-group?
Okay, maybe that wouldn't be cool at all. Let's try this scenario instead. What if you happened to be in a recording studio, and the Beatles were recording a song in the studio to your left, and the Monkees were recording a song in the room on the right?
This might have been what it would have sounded like. Check out this cool mash-up of Paperback Writer and Daydream Believer!
You may have only heard the name "Alex Chilton" because of the song by the Replacements...but he was a very talented singer and songwriter who influenced a lot of other bands that you are familiar with.
Alex Chilton died yesterday at the age of 59, after suffering an apparent heart attack at a hospital in New Orleans. (Read more here).
When he was just a teenager he formedÂ a band with some high school friends, and they had some really big hits, including "The Letter," which starts out with the family refrain..Gimmee a ticket for an airplane.." Other hits included "Cry Like a Baby" and "Soul Deep." His voice was quite powerful..especially for a teenager (just 16 or 17 when he sang "The Letter"!)
In the 1970's, he formed another cool band called Big Star, which only put out three albums, but all three of them made it onto Rolling Stone's list of the best 500 albums of all time. R.E.M, the Replacements, and even Cheap Trick were influenced by Big Star. And the theme song to That 70's Show was based on a Big Star song called "In the Streets." In 2000, Alex Chilton told Rolling Stone that he was paid $70 every time that show came on.
I had the good fortune to see the Box Tops featuring Alex Chilton several years ago at Rhythm and Booms. I remember that they did all the hits you'd want to hear..and it was a very HOT day. It was definitely exciting to be seeing such a legend at Warner Park in Madison.
The Letter, performed on a show called Upbeat. The band is just lip-synching (very half-heartedly). But you can't deny it's a great song.
A video some one made for the Big Star song "September Gurls"
Cheap Trick (and the cast of "That 70's Show") with their version of the Big Star song "In the Streets"
I bet you never thought you'dÂ hear me say an old dead newspaper guy needs to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But that's exactly what I'm advocating.
Okay--he started out as a newspaper guy and then started hosting a long-running variety show on CBS. You know the guy who introduced the Beatles to America? Yeah, that guy. Ed Sullivan.
I was really surprised when I browsed through the list of Hall of Fame members and did not see Ed's name. There is a category for non-performers, so it's not like we have to make up a new category for him. Some of the non-performers on the list include Alan Freed (the disc jockey who made up the term rock and roll), Sam Phillips (Sun Studios founder), and Leo Fender (the electric guitar/amp guy). Dick Clark makes the list and so does crazy-as-a-loon producer Phil Spector..not that the distinction does him any good in prison!
The Ed Sullivan Show ran on CBS from 1948 to 1971, and during that time he introduced America to a lot of great musical acts. Of course, there was that big performance in 1964 of the Beatles..but he also brought many other British Invasion acts to the attention of the American public, including the Rolling Stones, the Animals, Gerry & The Pacemakers and Petula Clark.
Even before the British invasion, Ed Sullivan brought rock and roll into America's living rooms...with appearances by Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly. And for the most part, their performances were live, and not lip-synched as was the case on most shows during that era.
Ed SullivanÂ may not have known much about rock music, but he knew what the kids wanted to see. And if he hadn't brought it to them, we might still be listening to Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.
This is a commercial for a compilation of videos from the Ed Sullivan show..and it gives you a glimpse of what we got to watch every Sunday night.
It was just announced that Simon & Garfunkel are coming to Madison to play the Kohl Center, Sunday May 9th.
That's very exciting news to the 13 year old girl that still lives within me. When I was a kid growing up in Stevens Point, "Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits" was one of the first albums I owned. And I played it over and over and over.Â It was perfect music to feel sorry for yourself to. "I am a rock, I am an island," sang Paul and Art. "Me too! I'm an island! No one understands me!"
The only thing I didn't like about it is that side 2 ended with a real rockin' song, "Cecilia" which followed up two really dreamy, mellow songs ("El Condor Pasa" and "Bookends"). I usually would drift off into a nap during one of those songs..and then get awakened with a start to "Cecilia."Â And the fact that Â the lyrics mentioned "making love with Cecilia" up in Paul Simon's bedroom made me blush a little.
Tickets for the Simon & Garfunkel show go on sale next week..click on our Concert section for more info.
And while we wait for them to get here, enjoy this related clip from the HBO Show Flight of the Conchords.
Today is Wear Black for Cash Day, as we remember Johnny on what would have been his 78th birthday. I got on the Johnny Cash train a little late..I always respected him, but really started delving into his music around 15 years ago. Not only does he have a voice that can chill you to the bone, he wrote some great songs, and his life featured one of the great love stories of all time (he and June were true soulmates).
In the 1970's, he hosted a variety show that I'm sad to say I wasn't cool enough to know about at the time. He had great guests, like Neil Young and Bob Dylan, who weren't what you'd call Nashville regulars. And his guests would always perform LIVE, not lip-synched as was the case on so many variety shows that were on back then. A couple of years ago a DVD set from that show was released, but you can also find many of the performances on youtube.Â
Check this one out that features Johnny singing with Joni Mitchell. The song is downright haunting too...be sure to listen to the lyrics.
And just in case you ever thought Johnny Cash took himself too seriously, check him out on Sesame Street. (Watch it 'til the end for an extra chuckle!)
Looks like the city of Madison doesn't want to play second fiddle to Duluth. After Jeff Tweedy of Wilco called out Madison's mayor for not giving Wilco the key to the city at Overture Hall Saturday night, Mayor Dave wrote a blog about it. And I was amused to read in Kristin Czubowski's blog for the Capital Times that Mayor Dave has introduced a resolution to make the band's members honorary Madisonians.
Who said public officials don't have senses of humor? Check out the resolution. It's pretty funny.
"Title: Declaring the band Wilco and its members Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche, Mikael Jorgensen, Nels Cline, and Pat Sansone, honorary citizens of the great City of Madison, Wisconsin.
Body: WHEREAS, Wilco has visited Madison and played concerts here at least thirteen times since 1995 (including a show at Club DeWash in February of 1995); and,
WHEREAS, Jeff Tweedy says of Madison: 'We really like it here'; and,
WHEREAS, Wisconsinites generally have a love/hate relationship with all things from Illinois but the sold-out show at the Overture Center on February 21, 2010Â had only love for this band from Chicago; and,
WHEREAS, at least one member of the Common Council attended the show and can attest to its excellence; and,
WHEREAS, The Isthmus called Wilco 'America's shiniest rock object'; and,
WHEREAS, Duluth, MN may be cool, but we would not want it said that either that fine city or its mayor are cooler than Madison and our mayor (even if Mayor Dave is not sure who Jeff Tweedy is); and,
WHEREAS, the City of Madison looks forward to many future visits by Wilco; and,
WHEREAS, It is generally true that late is better than never,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Common Council and Mayor declare the band Wilco and its members, Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche, Mikael Jorgensen, Nels Cline, and Pat Sansone, honorary citizens of the great City of Madison, Wisconsin."
The City Council could act on the resolution at its March 2nd meeting. Prepare for animated debate.
It's been a couple of weeks since The Who's big halftime performance at the Super Bowl, and it seems like Roger Daltrey may have heard some of the complaints about their performance, because he's reportedly considering teaming up with another old classic rocker--Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin!
According to a report on DigitalSpy.com, Roger says he used to be a blues singer before Pete Townshend started writing all the tunes for the Who, and he'd like to give that a try with Page.
I think that just might work! While some folks thought Roger's singing was terrible during the Super Bowl, I think his voice might work well on some great old blues numbers. Page seemed a bit doddery compared to The Edge and Jack White inÂ last year's Â documentary, "It Might Get Loud," but he proved he still has the guitar chops!
I'd love to see them try out their act at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago in June. (By the way that sold out in 20 minutes, and I scored tickets. Woo hoo!)
I've got another idea though. Maybe we should just get all the remaining British Invasion stars together for an An All-Star Super Jam Choir World Tour. I can see it now--Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Roger Daltrey, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, Ray Davies, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck all get on the tour bus and go from town to town singing medleys of all their big hits!
This does present one problem though. With them in the later stages of their lives, that bus is probably going to need more than one bathroom.
I would have thought these folks would have been in the Blues Hall of Fame long ago..but it's just been announced Bonnie Raitt, Lonnie Brooks and harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite will be inductedÂ May 5th in Memphis, the day before the Blues Music Awards, formerly known as the W.C. Handy awards.
I've had the pleasure of seeing all three of these performers live, and was thoroughly entertained by each of them! I've seen Lonnie Brooks a few times, dating back more than 20 years. By far the best was a couple of years ago at the Big Bull Falls Blues Festival in Wausau, where he stole the show even though his set was in the middle of the afternoon.
I got to see Charlie Musselwhite at the Madison Blues Festival, and also as part of a blues revue at the Madison Civic Center.Â He plays guitar in addition to the harp, and his guitar amp was really acting up at that Civic Center show. So while they switched out the guitar amplifier he kept us entertained with a wild harmonica solo. Then when Elvin Bishop followed him on stage, he commented on the guitar amp problem by saying "can't wait to see what's happened to my stuff!"
I've also seen Bonnie Raitt twice..at the Civic Center and at the Marcus Amphitheatre during Summerfest. She's quite the singer and a really good guitar player as well. I don't know of a lot of females who play the slide guitar, but she really knows her way around the fretboard.
The Blues Hall of FameÂ does point outÂ thatÂ Raitt is more famous for herÂ non-blues work, but Â says it's recognizing her for devotion to the genre and its musicians.
Here's Bonnie gettin' bluesy...
Apparently Beatlemania is alive and well, if last night's shindig with Ringo Starr is any indication. He got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and while the crowd is not shown, I'm pretty sure it's a crowd of 16 year old girls in cat-eye glasses..I can tell from the screaming.
By the way--today is a HUGE day in Beatle history. On Feb.9, 1964, the Fab Four made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. I was a little too young to be aware of this historic moment, but my brother Tim tells me I was watching...because we always watched Ed Sullivan on Sunday nights. And I'm pretty sure I didn't take naps any more (I was almost two!)
So Neil Young won his first Grammy last night. Was it for his latest album? Wel, sort of, but not exactly. Was it for his lifetime of work and all the songs he's written? Nope. It was for the packaging for his box set, "Neil Young, Archives Volume 1."
Okay it does look like the packaging is kinda cool. I think it costs around $300 so it should be pretty awesome, and it does come with a lot of extra doo-dads and glossy inserts. But it almost seems they're throwing him a "oh crap he's really getting old isn't he" award with this one.
I would have thought he'd have gotten some other Grammy by now...maybe with one of his other bands, like Buffalo Springfield or Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. But apparently not!
On Saturday night,Â Neil YoungÂ did get another award from the Grammy's...the MusiCares award for his charity work. A whole bunch of artists played Neil's songs to pay tribute to him..including..Josh Groban. (Really, Josh Groban?)
I found a news story about it online..it's worth checking out even if it's just to see how crazy and disheveled David Crosby is looking these days.
The Grammy Awards will be handed out Sunday night. And up to now I haven't beeen too geared up for the show..because I'm not really into the nominees and the lineup of performers doesn't grab me. However I did learn today that Jeff Beck will be leading a tribute to Les Paul, the "Wizard of Waukesha" who invented the solid body electric guitar and died last year.
I still don't think the show will be as interesting to me as in past years, because most of the performers don't interest me...at least as much as they did in past years.
Back in 2005, Joss Stone and Melissa Etheridge blew the roof off the joint with their tribute to Janis Joplin. Etheridge had just successfully battled breast cancer, so this performance was a big victory celebration for her.
So the Vikings choke again. Not a real surprise, but definitely a bummer for folks who still haven't jumped off the Brett Favre train. There are those who say bad calls killed the Vikings. Or it could have been that Favre threw an interception late in the game (you think?)
But here's the real reason the Vikings lost.Â It was their bad choice of "inspirational guest speaker" before the game. Because Brett became such a pop culture sensation when he sang "Pants on the Ground" after the Vikings beat Dallas, they brought in the bizarre dude who "sang" it on American Idol during the auditions a couple weeks ago. His name is General Larry Platt, and it's obvious the players were into it...and that they have the sense of humor of five year olds.
They couldn't think of any one else to bring in? Like maybe Dr. Phil..or Conan? He gave a very nice speech on his finale show Friday night and could have shared some wisdom.
Or maybeÂ they should have invited another American Idol wannabe who's gotten more than his 15 minutes of fame. William Hung could have sung "She Bang" and whipped them into a frenzy.
Here's the video of Mr. Platt entertaining the boys. I think it's on a cell phone camera so the quality's not that good.
I wasn't aware of this..but did you know Barbie has had 120 jobs since she was created 50 years ago or so? Now the folks who make the iconic fashion doll want to change it up again, and are giving youÂ a chance to pick her new career.
Barbie can be an environmentalist, surgeon, architect, news anchor, or computer engineer. Now when you make big important decisions like this--yo have to think about all the angles. Like what kinds of outfits and extras does each come with?Â A news anchor would just wear nicely coordinated suits, and would probablyÂ get to have a TV camera, newsdesk, and microphone asÂ accessories. Sounds a little dull to me. Plus it might inspire little girls to go into the news business and we know from my experience that that is a terrible idea.
I think my choice would be environmentalist. Not only would Barbie get to wear funky clothes--made out of organic hemp, she could also get some other cool stuff as well..like a Hybrid Barbie car, and maybe her own Greenpeace boat. I'd also recommend she have her own Barbie Rainforest..but the problem with that is it would keep getting smaller every year.
Want to vote on this important issue? Click here.
I was sad to learn over the weekend that a little piece of Madison music history is about to fade away..with the closing March 1st of Smart Studios, on East Washington Avenue.
The studio started by Garbage's Butch Vig and Steve Marker some 20 years ago can claim some pretty famous clients..most notably Nirvana, and Nine Inch Nails. The studio also did some remixes for some pretty big names too--like U2, Beck and Alanis Morrissette. (Oh yeah--Garbage recorded their 4 albums there too!)
Checking out Smart Studios' website, I ended up taking a trip down Madison Music Memory Lane. A lot of local bands recorded there too..some that are still around--like Honor Among Thieves, Phat Phunktion and Natty Nation. But remember these bands? Mel Ford and the Fairlanes, Paul Black and the Flip Kings, Marques Bovre and the Evil Twins, Common Faces, Free Hot Lunch, Cornelius Klein and Mad Trucker Gone Mad all recorded there too.
Some contenders for Freaky Band Name of the Week are on the client list too--including Green Hornet Lunchbox, Liquid Bonedance, Whompity Wickershams and Barstool Prophets.
The story in the newspaper said a decrease in big label bands made it tough to do business in recent years..so they're calling it quits. I'm sure the fact that computers have made home recording more affordable didn't help them either.
I'm bummed for all the local artists who will no longer be able to record at a place that's so revered inÂ Madison's music history.Â
Sidebar: I did get to tour Smart Studios a few years back..and enjoyed looking at the album and CD covers on the walls, and all the gear.Â And I remember there was a glass window with a piece of paper on it, perhaps a Post-it note. And I was told that it was there because of Marie Osmond.
Apparently she was there laying down some tracks, and she walked right into the glass..not seeing it...and she smacked her nose. TheÂ paper was there to prevent others from doing the same thing.
Â So I got to touch the glass that touched the nose of an Osmond. Jealous?
The King was born 75 years ago today in Tupelo, Mississippi. This milestone anniversary inspires a lot of us to contemplate what Elvis wouldÂ be doing today if he were still alive. (Or if he hadn't escaped the limelight in 1977 to run a 7-11 in Saginaw).
I suppose there's a chance he could still have a lucrative night club show in Vegas, butÂ I figure there are better odds that he'd be a fixture on late night infomercials.
And I've got some ideas about what he might be promoting.
The Elvis Presley Online School of Karate, Judo, and Hip Shakin' Goodness:Â Learn to defend yourself and look cool at the same time! All in the privacy of your own home. Study program includes 12 How-To DVD's, plus the bonus DVD, "A Change of Habit," starring Elvis and Mary Tyler Moore.
The Elvis Presley Home Drug Detection Kit: Think your kids are doing drugs? Find out for sure with this kit, endorsed by Elvis, who was an official narcotics task force member, appointed by President Nixon!
The Elvis Presley Peanut Butter and Banana Panini Press: Who cares if it has 50 grams of fat and more than 2,000 calories? It's Elvis baby! Plus "panini" sounds so much more impressive than "sandwich."
Looking for something to do this weekend to get the Christmas out of your system? Live music could be just the ticket. Here are some suggestions:
1)Cadillac Joe Anderson Memorial Cancer Benefit, with the Jimmys, Aaron Williams and Beth Kille. It's at the High Noon Saloon at 8pm Saturday. Cadillac Joe was Aaron's dad, a master of the Hammond B3. He passed away this summer, and this event pays tribute to his memory, and raises money for the UW Madison Carbone Cancer Center. Aaron Williams and Beth Kille stopped by our show on Wednesday and sang for us. Listen here.
2) The Love Monkeys at the Dry Bean, 9:30 Saturday night. It's one of Wisconsin's favorite cover bands. Maybe a little dancing would be good to help you work off all that pumpkin pie!
3)Bodeans at the Barrymore, Sunday night at 7:30. It's Sammy and Kurt's annual Christmas show!
Freaky Band Name of the Week: The Charlie Manson Band, Saturday night at the Come Back In. Helter Skelter, indeed.
You've probably already heard that Bob Dylan put out a Christmas record this year...and just that fact alone is probably disturbing enough.
But I was bumping around the internet and found the official video for one of the songs...and all I can tell you is that I now know what it would be like to have Dylan over for a good old-fashioned Stevens Point Polish Christmas party.
Put on your polka shoes and get ready to dance!
Looking for more great gift ideas for kids? I'm not sure you've come to the right place, but thank you anyway.Â I've found a few more that seem a bit questionable.
Giant Spoonsis made by Patch Products in Beloit, Wisconsin. I hate to slam a Wisconsin company, but you really don't need to buy this game to play it. It's basically the same old Spoons game where you play a card game, and when you get 4 of a kind..you grab a spoon. And the slowest one loses out. I guess if you use the spoons from the silverware drawer, they aren't GIANT spoons. Next they're going to tell me you have to buy KICK THE CAN(tm).
Here's a game I don't think I want in my house. It's Interactive Toy Concepts Duck Hunter.Â A toy duck flies around the room and your child tries to shoot it down. I'm not making this up. (Hey Earl...can you secure the knick knacks?) In case you hadn't guessed, this one is available at Farm & Fleet, if it hasn't already sold out.
If a gift is going to be messy, or loud, you generally don't want to buy it as a gift for your own kids. And this is a gift that I think would be really fun, but could prove to be slightly annoying.
It's Scientific Explorer's Ultimate Gum Kit. (No I didn't say Gun Kit, that would be really bad.)
But kids can whip up a batch of Graveyard or Blueberry Blast gum, and then proceed to get it stuck in their hair, under the coffee table, or in your Blu-ray player.Â It's designed for the little scientist, but I think it could cause a big headache!
If that weren't bad enough, Scientific Explorer also offers a Disgusting Science Kit, which encourages kids to grow fuzzy molds, and create coagulating fake blood.
Find out more about these awesome gift ideas (for other people's kids) here.
Want to save money? Skip the $20 Disgusting Science Kit, and just show the kids the back of my fridge.
I can't decide if this is a stupid idea...or the coolest thing I've ever seen. It's aÂ T-shirt that's also an electric guitar!
Okay, it's more Guitar Hero than a real Gibson Les Paul, but it's a guitar T-shirt with a built in guitar-like instrument, for those days when you'd like to take air guitar to the next level. It's got a little amplifier that attaches to your belt, and yes...it goes to 11.
While you don't have to know any chords to play it, you do have to know the chord progressions to create an actual song. And some rhythm would help too. It only costs $29.95, which seems pretty cheap. I just wonder how you wash the thing.Â You can order it here.
Blues guitarist Sue Foley tried it out. Watch this to find out what she thinks of it.
Okay..it's getting close to crunch time..and we're all looking for thoughtful gifts for every one on our lists. So I'm taking it upon myself to provide you with some suggestions!
Do you have a lover of literatureÂ you need to buy for? Does that person suffer from seasonal allergies or prone to getting colds? Then this is the ideal gift..
The Shakespearean Tissue Box Cover $19.95
AsÂ I ponder this poignant gift selection, I'm inspired to quote the Bard himself.
"What's in a name? That which we call a nose by any other name would still be as stuffy. Ah Choo!"
That's from Romeo & Juliet, by the way.
Listen to my audio review here
I've been to a lot of concerts in my life, and none of them were life-changing experiences. Neither was this one, but it was damn close!
I knew it was going to be a great show when Bruce came down into the audience during the 2nd or 3rd song, and was then body-passed back up to the stage by the crowd. At one point it appeared they were going to send him the wrong direction..but then the current sent him the right way...and he was back on stage, limbs intact.
He didn't play all the songs I requested, but I was completely fine with the songs he did choose, and was extremely stoked when he played "Kittys' Back," just for me!
After the band finished with the complete "Born to Run" album, they started taking suggestions from the audience. A lot of people who were standing in the "pit" made huge signs indicating their requests. Bruce gathered a bunch of them up, and then decided which ones to play. Some fans also threw Santa hats on stage, and despite theÂ fact that Bruce said it was "too early," they got me feeling all holly jolly with "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." And Clarence Clemons even did the ho-ho-ho's!
A little later in the 3+ hour show, he grabbed another sign from the audience. It had a picture of a baby on it in a Bruce T-shirt, and said something like "2 Weeks Ago I got LIVING PROOF." Apparently the band had not done "Living Proof " since 2003, so Bruce had to teach it to them as they went along.Â I was wondering if they really didn't know it, or if they were just acting that way to add to the drama.
Those were just a couple highlights from the show that I'm sure I will be raving about for quite some time. If you know me, I apologize in advance for telling you over and over how cool it was. Because it's not going to stop any time soon.
Somebody in the audience taped the band making their way through "Living Proof," and put it on Youtube already!
I'm trying not to get too overly excited about the fact that I'm going to my first Springsteen concert on Sunday at the Bradley Center. I've heard so much about his energetic shows, his charisma, and the musical talent and tightness of the E-Street Band, I'm afraid it won't live up to my expectations!
I did see Bruce once, but it was for just two songs when he played that John Kerry for president rally on West Washington Avenue in 2004. I am extremely stoked to see him with a full band.Â
Many times when I go see a Rock and Roll Legend for the first time, I enjoy myself, but have a bone to pick with the set list. I don't want that to happen on Sunday, so I'm sending my requests to Bruce now. (I'm assuming he reads my blog...especially since his guitar player Little Steven is on Triple M on Saturday nights!)
I'm very excited to come see you play at the Bradley Center this weekend, and I already know you'll be playing some of my favorite songs by virtue of the fact that you're playing Born to Run in its entirety. That means I'm assured a rousing performance ofÂ Thunder Road, Tenth Avenue Freeze-out, Born to Run and Jungleland.
But I do have a few more requests. Please doÂ your best to add these to your setlist: Rosalita, Atlantic City, Blinded By The Light, Trapped, For You..and please, please please can you play Kitty's Back?Thanks ever so much!KittyÂ
for the weekend of Nov. 13:
1) Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at Overture Hall. I was in the audience Tuesday night and really enjoyed this comedic play! I describe it as "Alfred Hitchcock meets Monty Python and The Marx Brothers, with a touch of Boris and Natasha from Bullwinkle."
2) Winter Art Festival,Saturday and Sunday at Monona Terrace. Great art from the Wisconsin Alliance of Artists and Craftspeople..plus live music!Â Admission is 3 bucks..but click here for a $1 off coupon and more info.
3) Whitney Mannw/Nick Matthews & The Knuckel Sandwich. Saturday night at the Harmony Bar. Two Project M contestants for the price of one! Recommending this despite the fact that Nick can't spell knuckle.
Freaky Band Name of the Week:Â It's a three way tie!Â Real Estate, Alex Bleeker & the Freaks, Bird Names. At the Memorial Union Rathskellar Friday night 9:30. Free. Psychedelic, garage shred music! What more could you possible want?
As Thanksgiving approaches...the folks here at Triple M are wondering what albums you're thankful for...so I thought I'd check in with a list of some albums that have really meant a lot to me.
5 Random Albums That I'm Thankful ForBeatles "Rock and Roll Music": This is the first Beatles album I owned. It was a compilation album that came out in the late 1970's, and radio stations were playing "Got to Get You Into My Life." I asked for that for Christmas, and my older brother Tim bought it for me, along with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," saying that I should be listening to the Beatles as they intended it. I've been a Beatle fan ever since..and probably would have never hooked up with my boyfriend Mike if we didn't have that in common.
"Oliver! The Movie Soundtrack": It was the 3rd movie I ever went to go see in the theatre. We got the soundtrack album and my mom and I listened to it over and over. Just a sweet childhood memory. "Got to pick a pocket or two....boys...got to pick a pocket or two."
Suzanne Vega "Solitude Standing": it was the mid-eighties before I ever bought an album by a female singer...this was the first. Love her voice and her songwriting.
R.E.M. "Life's Rich Pageant." My younger brother John bought this for me when I requested Robert Palmer's "Riptide" for Christmas. Much better choice.Â And R.E.M. became one of my favorite bands.
Kasey Chambers "The Captain." An Australian singing country music? You bet. I love this album.
What albums are you thankful for? Vote in our online poll.
I think it's kind of cool that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded today--John Lennon's 69th birthday.
To him, peace and love wasn't just a slogan..it was an achievable goal! But even if you don't agree with John's politics (peace and love are rather contoversial you know), you've got to respect his musical talent.
That boy could rock! Here's a video of John with pals Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell from the Jimi Hendrix Experience. (It's from a TV special called The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, which never aired back then because the Stones thought they were outperformed by the Who.)
With the Badgers taking on the Gophers on Saturday and the Packers playing the Vikings on Monday, there's been a lot of Minnesota bashing going on around here. I just want to remind everybody that there are some reasons to like Minnesota--some pretty great bands and musicians have hailed from the land of 10,000 lakes.
Bob Dylan: the spokesman for a generation, Pulitzer prize winner, and all-around unpredictable guy. (I love that he went to Neil Young's boyhood home and stood outside until he got invited in.)
Prince: I was never a big fan of his '80s hits, but he is a hell of a guitar player. And I did enjoy that guitar he played at the Super Bowl a few years ago.
The Jayhawks: One of my favorite alt-country bands! Favorite albums: Tomorrow the Green Grass, Rainy Day Music
Peter Himmelman: We played his song "Impermanent Things" from the album "Strength to Strength" today. A very healing song. What's interesting about Peter is his stage shows are very different from his music, which is often introspective. He ranges from a zany jokester to an angry old man at his shows!
Semisonic: Remember "Closing Time"? Of course you do! If you every want to read a great music biography/band memoir check out the book by Semisonic's drummer, Jacob Slichter.
Soul Asylum: Guilty pleasure..gotta admit I still like "Runaway Train."
The Replacements: You be me for a while...and I'll be you.
Husker Du: Bob Mould's band. Bonus: it means "Do you remember?" in Swedish.
That's the list I came up with...I wanted to make sure I didn't leave anybody out, so I called my boyfriend Mike..whose musical knowledge far exceeds anyone I know. (I call him Mikepedia). He came up with a bunch of bands from the 1960's...including the Castaways, the Litter, CA Quintet, the Accents, the Gestures....and one I can't believe I forgot. The Trashmen!
We have Minnesota to thank for that classic song..the bird, the bird, the bird is the word..
How could any one hate a state that brought us such a musical treasure?
I never thought I had anything in common with Lisa Douglas from Green Acres, until I was put to the Ultimate Farming Test by Jimmy Voegeli, our rock and roll farmer. Not only is Jimmy a great keyboard player, he's also a 5th generation dairy farmer. So we met him out at the Dairy Expo, where he presented us with some challenges. Check out the video!
Hear the audio from Jonathan & Kitty in the Morning, 9.23.09 Is it finally the Hollies turn?
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has just released its list of nominees for induction next year. Five of these artists will make the cut: first time nominees Kiss, L Cool J, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Genesis, Jimmy Cliff, the Hollies, songwriter Laura Nyro, as well as Donna Summer, Darlene Love, ABBA, the Chantels, and the Stooges, who've been nominated before but didn't make the cut.
I really irritated a listener this morning when I said Kiss didn't deserve to be in the Rock Hall..so I'll let that go for now and talk about a band that deserves to be in, more than any one else on that list. And that's the Hollies.
Yeah..the band that Graham Nash was in before CSN. They had tons of hits, like On a Carousel, Bus Stop, Look Through Any Window..and later period hits like Long Cool Woman in A Black Dress, He Aint Heavy (He's My Brother), and Air that I Breathe.
You can't just ignore a band that was such a big part of the British Invasion! I can't believe they weren't inducted years ago.
I found this video that shows the lengths bands will go to, in order to get some publicity. The cheese factor on this is very high. Bonus cheese for the fact that Frankie Avalon introduces the band. I think the Hollies should get into the Rock Hall just for enduring this!
Yeah--I guess I'm interested in whether or not Michael Jackson was murdered. But I find this much more intriguing.
Was Brian Jones murdered? When the former lead guitarist and founder of the Rolling Stones was found dead,Â floating in his swimming pool in 1969, there was speculation that it was no accident.
And it the 40 years since it happened, the theories have continued to grow. That's not all that unusual. But what happened today is kind of different. Police in the United Kingdom have received more than 600 documents related to his death from an investigative journalist, and his death is now officially under review.
So if Brian Jones was murdered, what was the motive, and who did it? Books written about the case have variously alleged that he was killed in a vicious argument with a builder who was remodeling his estate, that the Rolling Stones had him killed (by people who worked for the builder), and there's evenÂ a book that suggests Mick Jagger was at Jones' estate that night and he murdered Brian.
I guess I don't know enough about the case to have an opinion on that, but I do know he was an extremely talented musician and rock innovator. Not only did he play lead and slide guitar, Brian also played sitar on songs including "Paint it Black" and "Street Fighting Man" (way before George Harrison got hooked on the instrument), marimba on "Under My Thumb," and played a lot of other instruments on Stones songs..including Appalachian dulcimer, mellotron, accordion, harpsichord, autoharp, saxophone and oboe. (Wow!)
Gee, I wonder how much time Entertainment Tonight will spend covering this story.
Click here to see a story about the re-opened investigation.
Here's a link to some of the Brian Jones murderÂ conspiracy theories.
Happy Birthday to country crooner Kenny Rogers, who turns 71 today. Most of us probably remember Kenny from his crossover hitmaking days in the 1970's, hanging out in a bar in Toledo, across from the depot, with Lucille. Or knowing when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em with "Kenny Rogers as the Gambler."
But before he got that country twang, he was a rocker. Remember Kenny Rogers and the First Edition? This is from the Smothers Brothers Show..and I must warn you..it may ignite an acid flashback.
Have you ever seen some one that you thought looked just like Kenny Rogers? Apparently it's a common phenomenon. Check out this website.
Guitar innovator Les Paul dies of pneumonia at the age of 94.
I was sad to learn today of the passing of Les Paul, but happy to know that I actually got to talk with the man, and shake his hand.
The inventor of the solid body electric guitar, Les Paul was the most curious individual I've ever had the chance to meet, and I don't mean curious as in strange..he definitely had an enquiring mind that was always thinking of things in new ways..and wanting to know how things worked.
I was lucky enough to meet Les Paul in 2004 when he was in Madison to get a lifetime achievement award from the Wisconsin School Music Association. It was quite a big shindig. Mike and I sat at a table right near the front, with other dignitaries including the Superintendent of Public Instruction right next to us. Both Ben Sidran and Steve Miller spoke at the dinner.
Millerâs speech was great..heâs known Les Paul his whole life because he spent his early years in Milwaukee, and Les Paul and Mary Ford stood up for his parents when they got married! Wouldnât it be cool to be able to say that Les Paul taught you your first chords on the guitar? Well Steve Miller says that and means it!Â Others who were in the crowd included Ben Sidran and members of Garbage.
My boyfriend Mike (whoâs a guitar player)Â had Les autograph an old Les Paul Mary Ford album, as well as a copy of Guitar Player Magazine from the 1970âs with Lesâs picture on the front. He wrote âKeep on pickinâ!â
One of the highlights of that evening had to be when Les Paul got up on stage and played a song with Steve Miller, and members of Madisonâs very own Gomers.Â Les Paulâs son was his handlerÂ for the night..he was probably in his 70s and walked with a cane. Les Paul walked unassisted and got right up on stage, probably the same way heâd been doing it since he was called âRhubarb Red" back in Waukesha.
Click here to read more about the passing of the Wizard of Waukesha.
This morning I chatted on the air with Nick Purdy, publisher of a very cool magazine called Paste. I remember the first time I saw this magazine..I was at a bookstore and picked it up--and it had all this great music info, about all the artists I love, and a lot of the stuff we play here at Triple M. And it also included a CD with new music on it!
The recession has caused some money troubles for the magazine..so a lot of generous artists gave the magazine previously unreleased recordings that you can get a copy of when you donate to Paste. Artists include the Indigo Girls, Cowboy Junkies, Decemberists, Brandi Carlile and more.
Find out more about the magazine and how you can get in on those downloads here.
Bob Dylan is certainly full of surprises. I was surprised when he became a pitchman for Victoria's Secret. I was caught off guard when he brought in Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter to co-write his last album.
And frankly I was astonished to learn that Dylan is apparently recording a Christmas album. That's right.Â A Christmas album.
When I think of artists recording Christmas albums, I think of guys like Perry Como and Johnny Mathis, or maybe Barry Manilow.Â It just doesn't seem...well..cool. And he is Jewish too, come to think of it.
He's reportedly already recorded a few songs for it. Uncut Magazine is speculating about some of the tracks..including Sleigh Lady Sleigh, and Girl From the North Pole Country.
Loving puns as I do, I had to get in the act as well. Here are my suggestions:
Snowin' in the Wind
Tangled Up in Red and GreenLeopard Skin Santa Hat
and my personal favorite Ballad of a Fat Man (for Santa)
I just can't wait to see Dylan's Christmas special! And I hope he comes out with Christmas cards and decorations too. He'd look cute on top of my tree, don't you think?
Here's the story about this new Dylan development.
Say it aint so! Paula Abdul is leaving American Idol? She made that show what it has become--just ask her!Â I'm not quite ready to let her leave TV, so I've got some ideas for new roles for Ms. Abdul. Television executives, are you listening?
1. Join the cast of The View. When it comes to crazy, I think she could give Elisabeth Hasselbeck a run for her money.
2. Host a new show on Animal Planet: Cold Hearted Snake.
3. Bring back Dance Fever!Â If we can find him, Denny Terrio could be her co-host. You know, he's the guy that taught John Travolta how to dance.
4. Host an info-mercial for a new workout gizmo--the Abdul Dual Ab Dueler.
Or if she decides TV just isn't her thing anymore, she could marry a former professional basketball player. Then she'd be Paula Abdul Abdul-Jabbar.
Today's blog is not about the following topics: Brett Favre, health care reform, Michael Jackson, Harvard professors, America's Got Talent, the future of Paula Abdul, the Jonas Brothers, killer rabbits, today's tough economic times, Swine flu, or road construction.
Crap. I don't believe there are any other topics.
Gee, what are the ladies of The View talking about? Oh my God have I reached the bottom of the well? I can't even blame it on the summer heat.
Okay..maybe this will do for now. It's kinda cheesy.
What's the smallest space you ever lived in? I came across a news story today about a new apartment complex in Seattle where all the rooms are extremely small.Â Apparently it's the newest thing in affordable housing...and they're marketing these $500 apartments to people who make crappy wages, like folks in food service or other introductory jobs.
Nice idea, right? Well, some of these apartments are only 90 (ninety) square feet..about the size of a parking space. But on the up side, they're cable ready!
The smallest place I ever lived in was on East Mifflin Street. It was the second floor of a two flat..and all the rooms were the same size, since it was an older house and had previously been a single family home..so originally they were all bedrooms.Â When I moved in, they had the refrigerator wedged into a pantry. And I could practically reach the TV from the couch.
And I knew a girl in grade school who wanted her own room so bad they shoved a twin bed into a walk-in closet.
You can read more about the tiny tiny apartments here.
So Brett Favre is said to be "anguished" as he tries to decide whether or not to come out of retirement again, this time for the Vikings.
Anguished? Really? I wanted to be sure I really understood what he meant so I Â looked up anguished in the thesaurus at dictionary.com and I found these synonyms:
afflicted, agonized, ailing, anguished, brokenhearted, crestfallen, dejected, desolate, despairing, despondent, destroyed, disconsolate, discontented, distressed, doleful, dolorous, down, down in the mouth, downcast, forlorn, gloomy, heartbroken, hopeless, hurt, hurting, ill, in pain, injured, melancholy, mournful, on a downer, pained, pathetic, pitiable, racked, rueful, ruthful, sad, sick, sickly, sorrowful, strained, suffering, tormented, tortured, tragic, troubled, woebegone, wounded, wretched
You know, coincidentally, all those words describe how I feel every time I hear his name in the news.Â Hmmm...
A new national study shows that 25 percent of car accidents were caused because the driver was distracted (and cell phones were high up on the list). Apparently this was very controversial because the government didn't want to release the report because it might make Congress mad.
What?! This statistic doesn't seem very surprising to me, and I don't know who it could possibly anger. I bet the percentage is actually higher, but a lot of people don't want to admit things like "I was picking lint out of my belly button," or "I was finishing up my algebra homework when this tree popped up out of nowhere."
Now I just found another interesting list. Insurance.com tells us the top foods to avoid eating while driving.
1. Coffee - Even with a travel lid, hot coffee can find its way out of the opening when hitting a bump
2. Hot soup - Many people drink it like coffee and run similar risks.
3. Tacos â They can disassemble and leave a carâs interior looking like a salad bar.
4. Chili dogs â They provide huge potential for drips and slops down clothing.
5. Hamburgers â The grease and the toppings could end up on hands and clothing.
6. Ribs and wings â They are beyond greasy and lead to the temptation to lick fingers, taking hands off the wheel.
7. Fried chicken - Can result in greasy hands.
8. Jelly donuts â High risk of the jelly oozing out.
9. Soda - Fizz in the nose, and lids can leak.
10. Chocolate - If melted on the hands it can make the steering wheel slippery.
I think that list is very alarmist. I have had very little trouble drinking soda while driving, and I admit I've tried most of those on the above list with no problem. Two others they don't mention--pizza, and oatmeal. I must be very talented because I've eaten both while driving and neither of those caused a crash.Â But I'm not going to mention the assortment of stains I've gotten on my clothes and car seats in the process.
I think Mike and I will probably be making a pilgrimage To Macon, Georgia..probably early next year. Why? I just found out that a house the Allmann Brothers Band used to live in there is being turned into a museum.
When Mike and I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a few years ago, I think he spent 30 minutes just staring at one of Duane Allmann's guitars. The way it was displayed, you could see it from many angles, so Mike just kept walking around and around it, thinking about all the great music that had been made with that Les Paul Gold Top. So we may have to schedule several days to see this place.
The three-story Tudor, which the band called the Big House, will open as a museum in December. It will include more than 300,000 (!)Â pieces of memorabilia, including Gregg Allman's Hammond Organ and Duane Allman's jacket, which was draped over a guitar case next to his coffin during his funeral. Duane Allman's bedroom will be decorated the way he had it, and visitors can see the seven-head community shower on the second floor. (Um...too much information?)
The band moved into the house in 1970 and supposedly wrote songs like "Ramblin' Man" and "Midnight Rider" there. They were evicted in 1973 and since then the house has been a beauty parlor and a lawyer's house.
The new Harry Potter movie premiered at midnight, and every one's just wild about Harry. But I've been doing some in depth analysis of the young wizard, and determined that he has a lot in common with another Potter.
Colonel Sherman T. Potter from M*A*S*H.
Here's my list so far. Feel free to add to it.
1. Both Col. Potter and Harry Potter wear glasses. (OK, so he's not wearing them in this picture.)
2.Â Col. Potter's sidekick Radar O'Reilly is an animal lover, who found the colonel a horse. Harry's pal Hagrid has a hippogriff, giant spider, and 3-headed dog.
3. Harry Potter attends Hogwart's. Col. Potter often said "Hogwash."
4. Col. Potter's wife is named Mildred. Harry's gal pal is Hermione. Both names contain an M, I, R, and E.
5. Col. Potter has a horse named Sophie.Â Harry has an owl named Hedwig, but in draft versions of the original novels, the owl was named Sophie.*
*may not actually be true
COMING TOMORROW--HARRY POTTER VS. MR. POTTER FROM "IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE"
Summer is a much busier prospect for kids these days than they were back in my day. (I feel like I should use the word whippersnapper here for some reason).
Most of my time was spent riding my bike around, going to the city pool (the Munici-pool) and playing cliche games like Kick-the-Can.
But I did sign up for summer guitar lessons with my best friend Gale the summer after 6th grade. It was a group guitar lesson taught by a hippy-type guy named John.
I had taken guitar lessons before, but they always wanted me to play stuff like "Reuben, Reuben I've been thinking," plinking away on the strings. But I wanted to rock!
So this was about as close as a girl could get back in 1974. The teacher handed out mimeographed sheets with lyrics and chords, and we did songs like "Billy Don't BeÂ A Hero" and that Olivia Newton John toe-tapper "If You Love Me (Let Me Know)."Â We also did "Never Been to Spain," and my personal favorite, "Cover of the Rolling Stone."
This was back before you could just look up song lyrics on the internet, so usually you had to listen to your album very closely, and keep moving the needle back to the beginning of the song until you got the whole thing.Â That could result in some funny errors.Â For example, he wrote "got a genuine Indian burro, teaching me a better way." (Much different from Indian GURU, which the line actually says.)
But I seriously wish I could travel back in time to see that cute group of guitar pickers playing along and singing this line, "Got an old lady name of Cocaine Katie who embroiders on my jeans."Â
Now that's entertainment.
(By the way, the guitar pictured is similar to my first guitar, a half-sized Stella Harmony).
The cute Beatle is on tour again, and it's not only 60 year olds who are getting into a frenzy over Sir Paul.
It's been more than 40 years since teenagers were fainting and freaking out over the Beatles. So that's why I thought what happened at a Paul McCartney concert in Canada Saturday night was charming, and quite amusing.
A teenager was holding up a sign that said "sign my arm so I can get a tattoo." She probably never thought he'd invite her up on stage. Well, he did, and she lost her mind.
I find the whole thing kinda creepy. Teenagers should be dropping like flies over the Jonas Brothers, not 66 year old Paul McCartney, who looks kind of "picklish" to me.
I managed to avoid the Michael Jackson memorial yesterday in its entirety. Like a lot of people, I'm getting a little overstuffed with the story. And I don't mean that disrespectfully in any way.
Having said all that, now I'm kind of bummed that I didn't watch it, or catch the nine minutes of coverage the network news gave the story. Jonathan told me all about today, and we played clips from it, and yes...some of the tributes made me tear up a bit (especially his daughter..and dare I say it, Brooke Shields.)
So now I've started checking out some of the clips of the service on youtube, and was quite impressed with John Mayer's instrumental version of Human Nature. Mayer told Larry King that he was approached by the Jackson family to perform at the event at the Staples Center, and of course he couldn't refuse.
It's really quite good, but try not to pay attention to his "guitar faces." They can be a little disconcerting.
I'm just back from vacation, and I'm already pulling my hair out. And no, it's not even because of the endless Michael Jackson coverage.
It's about something a little closer to home. It's the ongoing war with rabbits happening in my yard. Right before I left on vacation, rabbits chewed through the plastic fence surrounding my vegetable garden. This is the same fence that I had used in other years, and this never happened before. It appears the critters are getting more violent. So I redid the fence, patched the hole, and created what I thought was an impenetrable fortress.
Not so much. Last night Mike and I went out to give the veggies some water, when I noticed that there were a bunch of rabbits surrounding the fence, holding what appeared to be some kind of vigil. (Maybe they thought that's where MJ's memorial was being held.)
Then I looked closer and saw another bunny INSIDE THE FENCE! You got it, another hole had been gnawed through the fence, and he was happily munching on my snap pea plants. I scared the rabbit out..eventually..after it ran around for a while before it remembered where the escape hatch was. Then I pulled out the rest of the peas and said screw it.
I don't know how well my pepper plants or tomatoes will fare. But I have a feeling that I'm going to be making quite a few trips to the farmers market later this summer.
Back in the 70's, youÂ put girls of my age into two groups. The ones who liked Donny Osmond ("he's dreamy, and he wears purple socks!") and the others who preferred Michael Jackson ("he's super-cute and an excellent dancer").
I was in the Michael Jackson camp. I always enjoyed watching him and the rest of the Jacksons on guest appearances on variety shows, and really got into the whole Jackson thing when they got their own cartoon show. (But I will admit I also liked Tito because he had those cool hats. I made my mom make me a "Tito" hat. It was groovy.) I didn't have any Michael Jackson posters on my wall, but when forced to make a choice it was always Michael over Donnie.
For a few years Michael dropped off my radar, until the album "Off the Wall" came out. A couple of years after that, but before Thriller took off, I remember a DJ friend of mine predicting that Michael Jackson would be the biggest star of the 1980's. I thought he was crazy.
And of course, I've been following all the bizarre Michael Jackson news over the last 15 years or so...it's an occupational hazard. And apparently celebrity news is so ingrained in my subconscience...I actually had a very strange Michael Jackson dream several years ago that still haunts me to this day.
It started off with me being kidnapped by Michael Jackson and being taken to Trump Tower to live with him and Lisa Marie Presley. It ended with me taking him to meet my dad in Stevens Point and playing the song "Ben" for him on my family's piano (the big note easy piano version, of course.)
I was never a huge fan of Michael Jackson's music, but I always admired his talent, and was impressed with his astronomical impact on the world. I hope he can now find peace, and get to hang out in a real Neverland ranch that will never face foreclosure.
If you're my age or thereabouts, I think this will take you back. It's the intro to the Jackson 5 cartoon. Enjoy!
It's hard to believe that he's 65!Â Holy Fretboard, Batman!
I'll admit I didn't become a fan of Jeff Beck until I met my boyfriend Mike. He's a guitar player who's a complete freak about Jeff Beck and rightly so. He and I went to see Jeff a couple of times at the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee, and I was blown away.Â I also enjoyed the fact that so many guitar players (or wannabe guitar players) were there, because just about every one was wearing Fender Stratocaster T-shirts.Â And because most of them were guys, the line for the ladies' rest room was really short.
I also sawÂ Jeff BeckÂ at the Madison Blues Fest the last year it was held. This is a cool backstage tidbit I heard..no one was allowed to talk to Jeff unless he talked to you first...more proof of how cool it is to be a rock star. (I also heard he was spotted backstage sitting on a park bench, looking at the beautiful lake!)
I love Jeff's stuff with the Yardbirds..and the Jeff Beck group..but was really blown away by his cover of the Beatles' A Day in the Life. He did it one of the times we saw him in Milwaukee, and also at the Crossroads Guitar Festival a couple of years ago in Chicago.Â
Check this video out..and pay attention to the bass player too. She's unbelievable!
In honor of the first day of summer on Sunday, I present:
Top Ten Summer Foods (in no particular order)
1. Popsicles: Banana or root beer are the preferred flavors.
3. Pasta salad (someday I'll give you my recipe for the world's easiest pasta salad)
4. Pizza (because you order it when it's too hot to turn the oven on)
5. Soft-serve ice cream (have you ever been to Belts in Stevens Point? It's a veritable institution!)
6. Toasted marshmallows, or if you get really fancy, s'mores.
7. Kool-Aid.Â Okay I know it's a beverage, but so what. Black cherry's the best flavor, hands down!
8. Sugar sandwiches. Just sprinkle some sugar on white bread and fold it over. If I couldn't find anything sweet in the house, this worked in a pinch when I was a kid.
9. Strawberries. The store bought kind you get the rest of the year suck!
10. Beer!Â (Just because).
If you ever find yourself thumbing through old magazines, you'll probably find one or two ads that are inappropriate. Like an ad touting the slimming benefits of cigarette smoking. But this may be the craziest one of I've ever seen.
WARNING: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!
How well do you know your Rock and Roll Dads?
1. His son Zach plays in his dad's All-Star Band.
2. His sons' Gunnar and Matthew were teen heart-throbs in the early 1990's.
3. Only this guy would name his kid Moon Unit.
4. Son Bernard followed in the blues guitar footsteps of this dad who said "love the people, play the music."
5. His children include Cedella, Sharon, Stephen, Damian and Ziggy.
6. His daughter Chastity will soon be known as Chaz
7. He thought it would be a good idea to name his kid after Wolfgang Von Beethoven.
8. His daughter was married to the King of Pop.
9. He thought he was Liv Tyler's father, but her lips gave it away.
10. His son's legal name is Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones.
ANSWERS BELOW.Â NO PEEKING!
1. Ringo Starr 2. Rick Nelson 3. Frank Zappa 4. Luther Allison 5. Bob Marley 6. Sonny BonoÂ 7. Eddie Van HalenÂ 8. Elvis PresleyÂ 9. Todd Rundgren 10. David Bowie
1-2 right: go back to your polka records3-6 right: do you subscribe to Rolling Stone?7-10 right: Who needs wikipedia, with you around?
I had a great time at Middleton's Big Event over the weekend..managing to see 5 bands at 4 different venues!
The day started off at the Club Tavern, where honky tonk singer Dale Watson and the Lone Star Band entertained a good sized crowd. If you've never heard of Dale, he's got a GREAT old-time country voice, and sings real country music. Not Shania Twain-Brooks and Dunn pop that masquerades as country. When he got up on stage he remarked "this is the first time I've seen all of you so SOBER!" It was a little strange seeing a honky tonk guy like Dale at 1:30 in the afternoon. Early in his set, he said he needed a "little hair of the dog," but said "no shots." Some one brought up 4 or 5 different kinds of beer. He picked up the Schlitz, and remarked, "last time I had Schlitz I was broke!" (But he drank it!)
After Dale' set, Mike and I scooted over to the Capital Brewery where John Eddie and his band played a short set "Live from Studio M" with Pat Gallagher hosting. We found out John should have a new album coming out later this year, and that Kid Rock's been very good to him. Kid Rock recorded John's song "Low Life " on his most recent album and it made John enough money to buy a house in Nashville!
After John Eddie, Joel Pingatore and the Playground of Sound ripped it up..and then after a quick stop at home we headed over to the Bristol Boar where we heard a three-piece called "Rhythm and Blues Review." They played a lot of fun stuff including Prince and Michael Jackson, but my favorite was their cover of Wilco's "California Stars" done reggae style.
Then we finished off the night at the Hody..which is a much more pleasant place now that it's smoke free. The cover band that was playing was called "Fuzzy Side Up," and they played all the usual songs that get folks out onto the dance floor, and did a fine job.
Here's a video of Dale Watson, so you can get an idea what he's all about. The stage setup even looks a little like the one at the Club Tavern!
HolyÂ Hi-Tech Improvements, Batman!Â Is it time for the digital transition already?Â I'm not sure I can handle this major shift to society!
So today's the day all the TV stations turn off their analog signals, and broadcast only digitally.Â The deadline was originally back in February, but President Obama and others wanted to ease us into it a bit more slowly. The only TV station in Madison that held on until today is Fox 47, andÂ it's flipping the switch today.
But I know you all know that. Everybody knows that! For crying out loud,Â the message hasÂ been scrolling across my TV screen for months...even on my DIGITAL TV ON THE DIGITAL CHANNELS!
So here's my question, or realistically speaking, my gripe.
Why does the Federal Communications Commission have 4,000 operators standing by to answer questions from confused viewers? Don't you think the more "confused" among us would have trouble finding the FCC in the phone book? How many have even heard of the FCC??
How much goverment money are we wasting on all these operators? Or.. is this just part of the economic stimulus plan?
Okay, I'm better now. I'm done venting. I think I'll go home and listen to some records on my old wind-up Victrola. Before they make me switch to the new Digital Victrola.
If you think you can do the "windmill" on the guitar a la Pete Townshend..you could win a Fender Stratocaster signed by the legendary guitar player!
The Who is celebrating the release of a new deluxe edition of The Who Sell Out, as well as the release of the DVD of The Who Maximum R& B, by holding a Windmill Guitar Contest. All you have to do is submit a video of your best arm flailing windmill..and you could win the guitar!Â You can use a guitar..broomstick..or whatever inspires you!
The contest does contain a warning. "Windmilling can be dangerous."Â They say if you haven't done it before you should take a few slow practice strokes before yout get up to speed and submit your video.
Contest details here.More Who news: "The Who Sings My Generation" has just been added to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry, along with "Rumble" by Link Wray, "At Last" by Etta James, and "Boogie Chillen" by John Lee Hooker.
A ride in the musical time machine can be a pretty costly proposition.
Some of the new old rock and roll coming out these days is NOT CHEAP!
Neil Young has a new 10-disc DVD set out on Blu-ray that'll set you back $349.99 retail. That's not a typo....nearly 350-dollars! Neil Young Archives 1963-1972 goes all the way back to Neil's first band in Winnipeg, the Squires, and covers his time with Buffalo Springfield as well as the beginning of his solo career, as well as the start of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. It includes nearly 60 previously unreleased songs, rare interviews, radio commercials, and a hardcover book with more archival material. It will come out on regular CD later, but Neil chose Blu-ray for its superior sonic quality.Â
My question is, are people really buying this? And if so, can I borrow it?
Want to jump in the Rock and Roll Time Machine and go to upstate New York, August 1969?Â This year marks the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, and just in time for Father's Day, they're re-releasing the movie, AGAIN.Â Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music Directors Cut 40thÂ Anniversary EditionÂ will only set you back 59.98, retail.Â (Bonus: it is in a groovy looking fringed box!)
Â And on June 30th, you can buy another Woodstock CD box set. The Woodstock Experience features complete performances from 5 of theÂ performers at the festival: Santana, Janis Joplin, Sly and The Family Stone, Johnny Winter and Jefferson Airplane.Â The 10-cd setÂ includes 25 previously unreleased tracks, 6 posters and other stuff that's kind of cool that you'll probably look at once. Set aside $99.99 for that one.
When I was first buying records, I saved up my babysitting money to pick up classics from Supertramp, REO Speedwagon, and Styx. Just think how long I'd have to babysit to buy this stuff!
So I decided I wasn't going to buy any more board games. The collection was a little too big, and I have no good way to display them. So, why, why, why, do I keep buying them?
Just found another classic game at Savers the other day..it was missing a few marbles (like me), but the box was in perfect shape. I never had this game as a kid, but do remember seeing the commercials. However, I don't remember this one, which starred Vincent Price. I now present to you Stay Alive, which came out way before that annoying disco song from the Bee Gees.
Because I can't resist, here's another board game commercial you may remember. It features a snazzy garage rock tune I think you'll love!
I know the snooze button is evil.
I know that if I push it and sleep for nine more minutes, it will not be nine minutes of quality sleep.
I know it will make me rush around to get showered and dressed and to work on time.
I know the snooze button is not my friend.
Then why do I love it so much?
People often ask me how I seem to be so perky in the morning. Here's the answer: I have no idea. I am not a morning person. I know that's kind of strange for some one who's been doing morning radio on the same station for...a really long time.
When that alarm goes off, I hit snooze. Just about every time. At that second when I'm rudely awakened, the only thing I want in the world is another 9 minutes of sleep. Or 18, if I push it.
I need an alarm clock that is not equipped with a snooze button..maybe one of those old fashioned wind-up analog ones like I had when I was a kid. Or maybe this one..that basically flies away from you and forces you to catch it to turn it off.Â Actually it's just the propeller that flies off..and with my luck it would fly away and get lost somewhere in the bedroom and I'd be late for work because I wasted so much time looking for the damn thing!
Maybe I should just get a rooster!
The Scripps Howard Spelling Bee was on TV last night..and as I watched and cringed at Tom Bergeron's attempts at humor, I also winced as I recalled a spelling bee of my own..a long time ago in a county far, far, away.
When I was growing up I was the best speller in my school, and pretty proud of it. So I was thrilled when I heard about a spelling contest sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Now, they're no Scripps Howard..so a trip to the nation's capitol was not on the line. But there was prestige and honor involved.
The first part of the contest involved going to the local Catholic high school and taking a written test and also a 10-word oral competition. I tied with another girl, and we both moved on to the diocese level (the Knights of Columbus is a Catholic organization.)
When I walked into the room where they were holding the competition, I saw the trophy and WANTED IT. I was probably a little bit too cocky and annoying when I marched right up to it and said in a loud voice, "Oh, that's the trophy I'm going to win."
Well my comeuppance didn't come that day.Â That's because I won, and advanced to the state competition, which was held in my hometown of Stevens Point.
That's when my little world crumbled. The written test was difficult, but nothing compared to the oral part of the test. I think I got only five of the ten words right. Of course I don't remember the words I nailed, but here are some words that I never spelled wrong after that day. Rapport, asphyxiation, and repertoire.
The last one I spelled this way: repetwa.
I remember I went home and cried and cried and cried. I had never faced the agony of defeat before, and I didn't like it. I felt a lot like that skier on the Wide World of Sports.
But at least they didn't rebroadcast my defeat over and over again every weekend on ABC-TV.
Three day weekends are much anticipated, but often go by way too quickly. Use this guide to determine if you're making adequate use of the extra time off. You may want to print this and bring it with you to your Northwoods getaway!
1. Leave work at 3pm to get a headstart on the holiday traffic. Give yourself 100 points.
2. Realize at 3:30pm that every one else had the same idea as you. Resist the temptation to swear at those pesky Illinois drivers, and deduct 50 points.
3. On the drive up, you stop at your favorite fish fry joint, and you don't have to wait for a table.Â Add 50 points.
4. On the car radio, you find a cool radio station that plays Coldplay, and Merle Haggard. Add 100 points.
5. Arrive at the campground, and remember you forgot to make a reservation. Check into a nearby motel. Add 50 points.
6. The guests in the next room yell at you to turn down the music, because they're going fishing in the morning. Subtract 50 points.
7. Your Saturday morning fishing trip is delayed when you realize you forgot the nightcrawlers at home in the fridge. Minus 50 points.
8. Catch a walleye using cherry flavored Gummi worms.Â Give yourselfÂ 50 points.
9. Find yourself checking Facebook to see if your work friends are having more fun than you. Subtract 50 points.
10. Aunt Helen brought her delicious Double Fudge Chocolate Ecstacy cake!Â Add 75 points.
11. Your Uncle Phil ate the last piece. Subtract 75 points.
12. Realize water skiing is best enjoyed as a spectator sport. Add 50 points.
13. Some one you like slathers you with sunscreen. Add 100 points.
14. Oops..missed a spot. Where the heck is the Solarcaine?Â Subtract 50 points.
15. Pause and reflect after you recall what Memorial Day is all about. One Million Points.
Have a happy and safe Memorial Day Weekend Everybody!
We had a great time on our show this morning, talking about odd customer complaints. It all got started when we heard about a man in Wales (we believe) who thought he got a frozen pizza with no toppings...and it turned out it was just in the box upside down.
We got a lot of fascinating calls from listeners..as well as an email with a link to a site that I could barely stop clicking on to type this blog. It's notalwaysright.com.Â Jen, thanks forÂ hooking me up with this site! If I ever find myself forgetting how many incredibly stupid people there are in this world, I have a place to go to remind me! (The only thing I worry about is that some day I'll come across some one complaining about me!)
The site lists just about every customer service category possible. I found the music store category extremely enjoyable.
If you love this site, don't thank me, thank Jen!
It's just not fair. I was too young to get in on the frenzy of Beatlemania. And now that a new musical pandemonium is taking the nation...or at least Wisconsin...by storm... alas I am too old.
I checked my temperature the other day for two things: the Â H1N1 virus, and Danny Gokey fever.
I have neither.
In case you haven't been paying attention, Danny Gokey is the Milwaukee singing sensation who has made the Top 3 on American Idol this time around. Tonight, we get to see him perform two more songs, and (hopefully) get to see some footage from his Homecoming Visit to Milwaukee last week.
If I had been about 20 years younger (okay, 30 years younger), I would have been one of the frenetic fans following him around. He got to stop in at radio and TV stations, sing the National Anthem and throw out the first pitch at a Brewers' game, and peform a mini-concert at Summerfest. With Packers QB Aaron Rodgers!Â OMG!
At the risk that Gokeymania may be contagious, I zipped around Youtube looking for some good footage from his Milwaukee trip. Not only did I find lots of amateur video of his National Anthem peformance, I found some others that demonstrate the silliness that's surrounding this whole thing. Check out this video. I didn't watch the whole thing..the beginning was enough to frighten me immensely!
It was 39 years ago yesterday that National Guardsmen shot and killed 4 people at Kent State University in Ohio. Many people say it changed the anti-war protests--no longer were they just about peace and love and putting flowers in the barrels of soldiers' guns.
I wrote a paper for a Social Criticism class about the incident, and the Crosby Stills Nash and Young song "Ohio." Neil wrote it after reading an article about the incident (I think it was in Newsweek), and the song was released ten days later as a single. (I still have that paper in a closet somewhere!)
The other memory the anniversary probably conjures up for most people is that iconic picture of a young girl with a horrified look on her face, reacting to to the tragedy. Turns out she was a 14 year old runaway, and not even a student at Kent State!
Yesterday, that woman, who is now a respiratory therapist, was reunited on the Kent State campus with the photographer who took the picture. You can read about that reunionÂ here.
And here's a video of CSNY performing "Ohio" back in 1974. Neil is in full mutton chop glory!
So the World Health Organization doesn' t want us calling it the Swine Flu any more. I'm hoping that WHO reads my blog, because I've got some alternate names that just might work!
The Panic Flu: it's short sweet, and tells it like it is.
The Hiney Flu: I think that's how you'd pronounce H1N1.Â Hiney is much easier to say thanÂ H1N1 Influenza A.
The Boogie Woogie Flu. Johnny Rivers could probably use a boost to his career around now. Maybe he could make a few extra bucks recording jingles for public service announcements!
Actually this video could be used for the PSA..just flash WASH YOUR HANDS on the screen every 10 or 15 seconds!
There's been a hoot owl howling by my window, now...for what it is it? Six nights in a row. Can't be good.
Either some one from the other side is trying to contact me, or that Michael Martin Murphey guy is around here someplace.
The song "Wildfire" is permanently etched into my subconscious mind. Not only was it a huge hit back in 1975....in my hometown, it never fell off the charts. That's because every Sunday morning the local radio station ran a show called "The Mirman Family Hour," which was sponsored by a local furniture store. (Sing it with me: it's the family furniture store, where value buys you more...in Stevens Point it's Mirman's Family Furniture Store!) The deal was, they got to approve the play list for the show. SoÂ "Wildfire" Â aired, seemingly without fail, every Sunday morning, well into the 1980's!
So every time I hear that song, I think of the Mirman's Family Hour, and I smell the faint aroma of our Sunday roast beef dinner wafting in from the other room.
I also think of my cousin Maggie, who told my brother John and me back in the day that SHE wrote the song "Wildfire." We knew in fact that she did not, because we wereÂ pretty sure that she didn't have that grasp of song structure at the age of 12.
So what got me to reminiscing about Michael Murphey and that pony that busted down his stall and got lost in a blizzard?
Turns out the guy lives in Wisconsin now!Â He lives in Vernon County, south of La Crosse. I looked it up on a map. There are some cool town names in Vernon County..like Avalanche, Liberty Pole, Victory and Retreat...but I'm not sure where exactly he lives.
My friend Mike Bie, who has a cool website classicwisconsin.com, tracked him down though. Click here to read about what this former Texas cowboy is doing in the boonies of the Badger state.
Sadly, I don't have any tapes of the old Mirman Family Hour, but I did find this video of Murphey singing his signature song on David Letterman's show a couple years ago. Enjoy!Â And I apologize in advance if the song gets stuck in your head. Really. I'm sorry.
We've been hearing a lot about the swine flu over the past few days, but we haven't really been getting a lot of information that's useful to average folks like us. So as a public service, I've developed a handy guide to help you determine if what you're suffering from is the Swine Flu..or a Hangover.
1. You have a fever greater than 100 degrees. Swine flu.
2. The pounding in your head reminds you of the solo from Cat Scratch Fever. Hangover.
3. You're feeling poorly and recently visited Mexico.Â Swine flu.
4. Last night you boosted Mexico's economy by drinking a liter of tequila. Hangover.
5. The Center for Disease Control has put a quarantine on your house. Swine flu.
6. The local authorities would like to ask you a few questions. Hangover.
7. You feel a new kinship with Arnold Ziffel from Green Acres. Swine flu.
8. You feel a new kinship with the Mystery Guest who's sleeping in your bed. Hangover.
9. You have a sudden desire to re-read Charlotte's Web. Swine flu.
10.Â You're having a hard time reading the tiny print on the packet of Alka-Seltzer. Hangover.
Was that information helpful?Â Hope so!Â Take care, and be well. And wash your hands a lot.
It's probably a big surprise to no one that I'm not very coordinated....so the AGE of the VIDEO GAME has been a pretty dark one for me. I'm embarassed to admit that Ms. Pac Man was even a little too difficult and frustrating...and the game SNAKE on my old Nokia Track Phone even caused me to utter a swear word or two.
But when I heard about this video game...I was understandably excited. It's not every day you come across a version of Breakout featuring Leinenkugel bottle caps. It's pretty cool. I just wish I could download it and really play it! I'm sure I'd be great at it, after a Sunset Wheat or two.
A big event is happening in Los Angeles this weekend..the 1st 7th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational.
Tim Walker, the eventâs founder and organizer, says it's the greatest combination of bravery and unnecessarily competitive cheese the world has seen since Neil Diamondâs 2008 world tour.âÂ
Not only will there be a cheese sandwich grilling competition, organizers plan cheese-themed poetry, comedy, cheeseyÂ music and exhibition cheese grilling to create "one of the most unique, entertaining and delicious events ever witnessed."
Not to mention free grilled cheese sandwiches, made with Kraft singles.
That all sounds pretty darn cool..but why isn't it happening in Wisconsin--the DAIRY STATE?Â Â I don't buy all that nonsense about California cheese coming from happier cows. Maybe before Arnold Schwarzennegger was governor, but not now.Â Cows are very deficit conscious.
Mainly I'm jealous..because I'd love to attend this event. I've already started working on some cheese poetry.
Give me more more cheese
If you please
Some Swiss, cheddar and colby
Wait...what rhymes with colby?
Bonus content for those of you you have read to the end of this blog:
Kitty's Delicious and Yummy Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipe
Spread some bread (preferably whole grain) with whatever butter type product you like. Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb blend.Â With butter side out, place cheese between the two slices of bread. I recommend medium cheddar or Colby Jack, thickly sliced. Grill in your George Foreman grill, or in a skillet if you're so inclined. Pay attention so that it doesn't burn. Enjoy!
It's that time of year again..when news organizations all over the country bombard us with stories about last minute income tax filers.Â And as a public service, those stories usually include some tips for all of the procastinaters out there.
And as usual, I am right on that bandwagon with all the other lazy journalists out there, who just haul out the same stories year after year.
But I think my tips are much more useful.
1. No matter how intuitive it may seem, negative thoughts are not tax deductible.
2. On the up side, you also don't have to pay tax on positive thoughts!
3. Don't forget to include the correct postage. Writing "Uncle Sam's got this one" in the corner of the envelope will not suffice.
4. Don't forget to sign your return. Unsigned returns, according to the I.R.S, do not exist.
5. Resist the temptation to sign your return Penny Lessenbroke. The folks at the Internal Revenue Service will not read the name out loud and will not get the joke.
The Beatles record company in England, EMI, has announced that it's digitally remastering all the Beatles albums and releasing the new versions September 9th. They will also re-issue Past Masters Volume One and Volume Two on one CD.Â Sounds great, right? Not so fast.
According to EMI, the new collection is comprised ofÂ 12 Beatles albums in stereo, with track listings and artwork as originally released in Britain, and "Magical Mystery Tour," which became part of the Beatles' core catalog when the CDs were released in 1987, and the new Past Masters CD.
First of all, the early albums weren't originally recorded in stereo..so will this be the re-channeled voices in one speaker instruments in the other mix that we've been dealing with for more than 40 years? Most likely.Â Â It was cool when they released the early albums in both stereo and mono, so fans could listen to the differences.
Second of all, what would be really exciting is to have the later albums released on CD in MONO as well. EMI does say that for the ultimate fan, they'll release all the albums in a collectors' set in stereo, and a separate set all in mono. I imagine that will cost a pretty penny. Or sixpence, or whatever.
Why not release Sgt. Pepper, the White Album and Abbey Road in mono individually as well, like they're doing with the stereo versions?Â When I first started dating Mike he played me the mono Sgt. Pepper and the mixes are completely different..especially when it comes to the sound effects, the upfrontness of the vocals (is upfrontness a word?), and even the speed of the song "She's Leaving Home." (It's slowed down on the stereo version.)
Why the big difference? In England, the economy was in worse shape than here in America..and when albums were sold the mono versions typically sold for a dollar less than the stereo..so most people in England would buy the mono versions. So when Sgt Pepper was mixed, it was done with great care with all four Beatles in the room. When the stereo was done it was done much more quickly and with no Beatles present.
So why is EMI doing it this way? I have no idea but it sure is annoying.
Click here to read more about the new remastered Beatles versions and to find out what if anything this means for the availability of Beatles songs online.
Who knew Jeff Beck and Jimmie Page were such good friends? Beck was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday night, and was joined on stage by his old band-mate. Yes, Beck and Page were in the Yardbirds at the same time...for around a week. Page was actually hired as a bass player!
Rumor had it that the two guitar icons didn't get along..but you sure couldn't tell it from this performance in Cleveland.
Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I fancied myself to be a real radio journalist. Flirted for a time with the idea of working really hard and trying to get a job at a radio network.
Like I said...that was a long time ago. There's still a molecule or two of that youthfully enthusiastic young gal left..and she feels kinda bad about what we pulled on the radio today.Â No, Dick and Lynne Cheney are not donating $25 million to bail out Madison's Overture Center.
What of Peter Wellington, the spokesperson for the Dick and Lynne Cheney Arts Foundation? That was my brother, John. Well-played, I must say.Â (you can hear the interview by clicking on our homepage, in the Audio Clips section).
We had a good time putting together the press release which you can read here.Â I hope you realize it was all in good fun, with absolutely no malice directed toward the Cheneys.
If you were duped, I hope you don't stay mad at us too long. At least it wasn't as wild as what the Capital Times printed back in 1933, saying the dome of the Capitol had blown off, due to mysterious explosions they attributed to "large quantities of gas, generated by weeks of verbose debate in theÂ Senate and Assembly chambers."
That one was listed as one of the Top 100 Pranks of All Time by the Museum of Hoaxes.
Now Jonathan and I have a goal to work toward!Â Can't wait 'til next year.
It's not just banks and auto companies that are getting a bailout from the auto companies.Â We are too!Â Okay, it's not billions of dollars. It's not even close. But I'm certainly not going to give it back to Uncle Sam, are you?
It's called the Making Work Pay Tax Credit, and it was part of the economic stimulus bill that President Obama signed into law in February, and it's supposed to be on its way to us soon!Â The average single person who gets paid weekly will get about 10-15 bucks more in their paycheck. For those who are married and file jointly, you'll get 15 to 20 dollars more in your take-home pay.
There's a bunch of blah blah blah stuff about who's eligible, etc., and you can read that here.
But I bet you're more interested in what I'll spend my extraÂ $12 bucks a week on. Here are some likely contenders.
12-pack of beer (Leinies any one?)
12 boxes of Little Debbie Snack Cakes from the Dollar Store
The new Neil Young album (Fork in the Road comes out April 7)
Half a tank of gas
2.5 books of Forever Stamps
Here is what I will not be spending my stimulus money on:
So I read in the news today that there's one actor whose movies Bill O'Reilly of Fox News will never go see. Despite my general distaste for Bill O"Reilly, I was sucked in by a teaser headline on yahoo news.Â
It's Sean Penn....because he's allegedly given money to Saddam Hussein and others Â like him.
I don't know if it's just because I want to be contrary to O"Reilly, but I'm now reconsidering my own personal actor ban, and may actually see a movie starring Rodney Dangerfield.
I'm not alleging that Mr. Dangerfield hangs out or supports terrorists. I just can't stand him. There was just something about him that made my skin crawl. (No offense intended.)Â
So that means I have never even seen the movie Back to School, despite the fact that some of it was filmed in Madison. I know I've seen snippets of Caddyshack, but never the entire film. (I also have a little something against movies featuring Kenny Loggins' songs).
But I think it's time for me to buck up and embrace what I loathe the most, and rent a Rodney Dangerfield movie.
I may start with the animated 1991 feature Rover Dangerfield. It may be easier to handle him in cartoon form! Â And here's another reason: according to imdb.com, that movieÂ featured the long awaited comeback of Ronnie Schell, who playedÂ Cpl. DukeÂ Slater on Gomer Pyle USMC.Â I was wondering what he's been up to since he was hanging out with Pvt. Pyle in that Quonset hut.
Okay...the line was really "I'm not talkin' 'bout movin' in.." from the song "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight," by England Dan and John Ford Coley. I don't know if you've heard the news, but England Dan Seals died yesterday at the age of 61 of cancer.
This is sad, not only because of his awesome songs from the '70s, but because I met him in the mid-80's when he was launching his country music career. At that time I worked at a radio station in Stevens Point..and the AM station had a country music format. (WXYQ--you're in 10Q Country).Â We ran a contest where the listeners had to guess the number of yellow balloons in a station wagon parked in front of the student union, because Dan Seals had a song out about yellow balloons, I imagine. When theÂ Â DJ called the guy who won, he said live on the air, "NO S%#t!"Â Classic moment of my radio career, by the way.
Any way, he won dinner with Dan Seals. It wasn't in some fancy restaurant, it was actually in the Picadilly Place,Â a restaurant in the student union. (Not sure that was really the name of the restaurant.)
Long story short...I accompanied said listener and got to hang out with Dan Seals too. The main thing I remember is that it was a convergence of 70's pop stars, because another guy who had a hit in the 1970's just happened to be driving through the area, heard Dan Seals on the radio and stopped in. His name was Gene Cotton, and he had a minor hit with "Before My Heart Finds Out." (Although I always thought it was called "Don't Let My Heart Know That You're Leaving")
Any way, it was great fun hanging out with Dan and Gene as they caught up on old times.Â And then I got to see Dan play country songs including one that caught on, called "Bop."
Here's a video of E.D. andÂ Â and J.F.C. on Midnight Special doing that "I'm not talking 'bout the linen" song..
I thought by now they would have gone away. Those plastic shoe-like things that people wear on their feet---Crocs!Â But I'm afraid they're now more popular than ever.
I remember the first time I noticed the Croc phenomonen. I was hanging out in the Denver airport a fewÂ years ago and it seemed every one was wearing them. Kids, moms, dads, grandparents...they were EVERYWHERE!
Then I started noticing them here in Wisconsin too. And now that spring is in the air...I've started seeing them again. Are they no longer a fad, now entering into the realm of timeless tradition? Â I hope not. I think they look ridiculous on any one over 6.
Remember Dr. Scholls sandals?Â Earth shoes? Clogs?Â I say it's time we put Crocs in the same dark reaches of the closet with them.Â
In case you need more evidence that it's time for them to go...may I present...Steven Tyler.
It's the first day of spring!
Even though the calendar says spring only sprang today, I have managed to check off a few items on my spring checklist already.
Drank a beer sitting on the frontÂ porch. Check.
Walked to get the mail without a coat.Â Check.
Saw the first robin of the season. Check.
That's a good start! But I still haven't broken out the shorts, gone for a bike ride, grilled out, put away my sweaters, or planted flowers.
And I haven't run naked down the street yelling, "Spring is here! Spring is here!"
It's only a matter of time.
How excited are you that Fat Tire beer is finally coming to Madison?Â It sure seems like everybody is over-the-top thrilled that Fat Tire Amber, from New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, CO will finally be available in liquor stores hereÂ in May. They're so excited, you'd almost think they're bringing the old Schlitz back or something!
My interest level is a bit lower. I know I tried Fat Tire a couple of years ago at the old Wonders Pub on the east side, but don't recall being thrown into any kind of taste frenzy.
I'm more of a nut for nut browns anyway, and have stocked up on a few cases of Leinenkugel's Fireside Nut Brown..which hasn't been in stores around here for a couple of months. (Sorry, I'm not sharing).
There are so many local brews to enjoy as well. My buddies over at Ale Asylum make great beer..Madtown Nut Brown any one? And if you're really craving an Amber..the Ambergeddon has got to be right up there with Fat Tire.
Mike and I have almost filled a notebook with our reviews of beers from all over the country. (More than 300 so far!) So I'm sure we'll grab a six pack of Fat Tire and offer up our opinion. And I'll be sure to let you know whatÂ we think.
In the meantime, I think I'll head over to JT Whitneys and have a Triple Treat.
Um...guess I better re-think that.
Read about Fat Tire coming to Madison in 77square.
Just how Irish are you?
Take this little quiz and see!
1. What are the little marshmallows in Lucky Charms known as officially?
2. Which of the following is not a green beverage?
A. lime vodka
B. creme de menthe
C. peppermint schnapps
3. What is the definition of the Irish term shillelagh?
A. Irish lace
B. small stick or club
C. prank pulled by a Leprechaun
4. Which of these bands is NOT from Ireland?
A. Rolling Stones
5. What is the appropriate time to start drinking on St. Patrick's Day?
C.Â What time is it right now?
(answers: B, C, B, A, C)
I really think you should check out my new favorite bird. I do enjoy Wisconsin's official state bird, the robin, mainly because it isÂ a harbinger of spring. (And I've seen my first one of the season, so spring is coming!)
The coolest bird in the world, I'm sure you will agree, is the BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY.Â There are two of them pictured on the World Wildlife Fund calendar that sits above my computer screen in my cubicle. I look at them and they make me smile. The blue-footed booby just might be the cutest bird ever. Plus it's fun to say....go ahead..say it with me. BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY!Â I think I may try it out as a new euphemistic swear replacement as well.
You may have heard that I was called for jury duty in Dane County this week.Â Admittedly, I was not too enthused with the idea because I've heard that it is extremely boring. But faced with the possibility of criminal penalties, I showed up.
First of all, I almost went toÂ the wrong building. Despite the fact that the letter I received told me to go the Courthouse, I was headed toward the City County Building. Not a good tactical move since I was already running late. Did you know there's a lot of traffic downtown at around 8am?
So I managed to sneak in just in time to hear the jury clerk talk to us about the importance of jury service, and explain to us that the little ticket we received can be used at the cafeteria to get a soda or coffee.Â (I was hoping it was a raffle ticket!)
Then we watched a 20 minute movie about the importance of jury service.
Then we had a short break, and were told to be back by 9:15.
Luckily, I brought 2 books, a crossword puzzle book, and my phone to play with....because nothing happened until around 10:25. That's when the jury clerk released about half of us. Seems a few scheduled trials weren't going to be happening after all.
So I read some more and did a few puzzles...only cheating a few times (ooh did my cheating tip the scales of justice a little bit?)
Then at around 10:50 about half the remaining group was released.
I did some more reading. Then I went to cafeteria, where I was told I could not buy a 20 0z. bottle of Lipton Tea with my ticket. It had to be a 2o oz. bottle of SODA or coffee. I chose Diet Mt. Dew.
Then at 11:45, we were released. The jury clerk said for the first time in her 23 years working there, all trials were either settled, postponed, or otherwise disappeared. We were free to go, and off the hook for 4 years.
Gosh. Â I didn't even get to brag about all the legal experience I've gained watching up to three hours of judge shows(People's Court, Judge Joe Brown and Judge Judy!) every afternoon. I'm sure that would have gotten me on a really juicy trial.
You've probably seen a lot of photo ops featuring Bono and world leaders. He's not merely content to be the leader of the biggest band in the world--he wants to change the world too!Â (Read about his organization designed to end world poverty here.)
In honor of U2'sday, I provide a brief recap.
Bono has met with George Bush.
He's met with President Obama.
Even Bill Clinton.
And of course Nelson Mandela.
ButÂ when he met with Pope John Paul II he got him to wear his sunglasses. Now that's cool. Â Righteously cool.
The only U2 concert I've attended was in the summer of 1992. It was the Zooropa tour, and the show was sold out. While being thoroughly entertained, I did gain some insight from the experience. Here are a few of the things I learned.
1. It used to be really fun to go to a ticket outlet to buy tickets. I lined up at Rose Records, which used to located in the Market Square shopping center on Odana Road. To avoid having people line up super-early, they handed out numbers..and even though I got a pretty good number for that location, my tickets weren't the best.
2. Bono and the boys look really small from the top row at Camp Randall. I mean really really small. But it is nice to have a back rest.
3. When you call the White House, you get a real person to talk to. This was the year Bill Clinton was running against the first George Bush, so every night Bono would call the White House and ask to talk to the president, and they'd play the call over the loudspeakers. When the tour came to Washington, D.C., they gave the White House phone operators free tickets.
4.Â It's worth it to pay the hefty price for a concert T-shirt. I bought one from a bootlegger outside the stadium and it kind of fell apart and got all stretched out after one trip through the washer and dryer. It became my new U2 nightgown.
I may have to go back to college, now that a university in Liverpool has started offering a Master of Fine Arts in the Beatles. Senior lecturer Mike Brocken at Liverpool University says there have been 8,000 books written about the Beatles, but there has never before been serious academic study, so that's what they aim to provide. The master's degree in the Beatles will include coursework and a dissertation.
While I haven't gotten around to downloading an application for admission, I have come up with some possible titles for my dissertation.
Beatles Lyrics: More than Just Yeah, Yeah, YeahRingo Starr: Luckiest Man on the PlanetYoko Ono: Muse or Menace?Beatlemania and The Psychological Impact of Mass Hysteria Octopus' Garden In Depth
Okay...so yesterday I shared with you some of the weird recipes included in a 1953 leaflet that probably came free with 7-Up. While the concept of mixing cold milk and 7-Up to make a refreshing drink may seem odd, what about this? Giving 7-Up to a baby!
You'd think they would have at least put the sugary drink in a baby bottle or sippy cup to make it easier for the little one to enjoy.
One of the things I love to pick up are old cookbooks..especially the ones that promote recipes made with brand name products. Over the weekend, I found a small pamphlet that suggested we "Fresh Up" with that famous lively Seven-Up flavor!Â (Because it's "so pure, so good and so wholesome!")
Seven-Up Salad is "piquant..and delicious."Â I'm not sure what piquant means..but here's how you make it. Add one packet lime gelatin (Jell-o) to one cup hot apple sauce. Stir until dissolved, and then add the 7-Up. Â Chill until thickened.Â Pour into small gelatin molds. Allow to set. It then recommends you serve with Seven-Up Dressing, which involves mixing flour, sugar, salt, dry mustard, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup vinegar and two bottles of 7-Up. You're supposed to cook it in the top of a double boiler. Gee, I'm fresh out of double boilers so I think I have to pass.
So if that didn't sound nasty enough, how does this grab you? Mix chilled 7-Up and cold milk in equal parts, by pouring the 7-Up gently into the milk. Do not stir. They say it's a delicious blended food drink.
Another word comes into mind for me. Can you say "curdle"?
I just read an unbeilevable news story about a county solicitor (fancy word for lawyer) who couldn't make ends meet when he didn't get his expected cost of living raise. So he got a second job--at Wendy's!
It happened in Georgia...where they're having as many budget problems as we are here in Wisconsin.
This guy makes $93 grand a year, yet needed to get some fill-in hours at the Wendy's near his house to make ends meet.
I'm wondering if there isn't a way to make these two jobs complement each other.
He could offer free legal advice while he's waiting for those fries to heat up. Or maybe he could work out plea bargains for his clients that involve cleaning the grease trap at the restaurant.
Or if a criminal did something really bad,Â he'd ask the judge toÂ biggie-size his sentence!
Here's a link to the newsÂ story.
Today's Ash Wednesday..the beginning of Lent. For serious Catholics, that means you can't eat meat today or on any Friday until Easter. It's the last bastion of the old rule that required Catholics refrain from eating meat on Friday.
It also means all the fast food restaurants have deals on their fish sandwiches!Â Which of course is good news to me. It's a little bit of that Friday fish fry love, any day of the week!Â (A word of warning if you eat one of those Burger King fish sandwiches...I once got a serious minor burn from hot oil squirting out on my cheek!)
One thing I wonder about (thanks to my mom for putting this one in my head)-- what happened to all those poor Catholics who went to hell for eating meat on Fridays?
Remember that Pepsi commercial during the Super Bowl a couple of years ago..in which a young Jimi chose to buy a Pepsi..and the vending machine just happened to be in front of a pawn shop selling an electric guitar? (Narrowly avoiding the disaster of buying Coke and being introduced to the accordion?) Well, in honor of Fat Tuesday...may I present "Hey Joe" on accordion..courtesy of Buckwheat Zydeco...
And here's that awesome Pepsi commercial:
When I was a kid I loved Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Spaghettio's equally. When I'd dash home from school for lunch, I was just as happy to have Mom serving up one as the other.
I can't remember when I had Spaghettio's last..it's probably been 20 years or so. When I was in college, I used to eat Raviolo's....but you know, my cravings for oh-oh Spaghettio's have diminished completely.
I've been known to buy Kraft Easy Mac...so when I'm desiring a late night binge of Mac n Cheese..I only eat a snack sized portion instead of the entire box. But I must say old fashioned mac and cheese with the bread crumb topping that my mom used to make is the best. (But of course, when I was a kid I wanted nothing to do with that homemade stuff!) Trader Joe's makes some really good frozen homemade type Macaroni and Cheese..but if you eat the whole thing it's 30 grams of fat. Oh-oh..spaghettios!
The Academy Awards are Sunday night, and as I said yesterday I haven't seen any of the nominated movies. But I think there is one Oscar I could win. The Oscar Madison for General Messiness.
Here's my acceptance speech:
"I'd like to thank God, for that 'bless this mess' prayer, my family, for assuring me that it's okay to routinely leave things on the stairs, and...um...I was going to thank some one else but for some reason can't seem to find my notes. I must have left them under a pile of crap in my living room."
You may have noticed that I have a fascination with outlandish band names. So much so that I feature one every weekend as the "Freaky Band Name of the Week."Â But I think it is possible to go too far. There's a band in Pensacola, FL called "This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb."Â It grabs attention, doesn't it?
But apparently it grabbed a little TOO much attention when some one put a sticker advertising the band on the box his bicycle was in..that was checked in luggage on an airplane. They had to close down a terminal in Memphis. Oops. And apparently it wasn't the first time that the band's stickers have caused problems.
You can read the news story about it here.
Other band names that I don't recommend...
"Tone-deaf""Kill All Promoters""Milli Vanilli II""Too F*%# Loud"
and the least advisable band name of all....
"Don't Pay This Band"
Happy Presidents Day!
Since it is Presidents Day..I was reflecting on all the presidents and presidential candidates I've had a chance to meet or chat with. Not counting rallies or speeches...I've either talked to or met three presidents or almost-presidents. I chatted on the phone with the elder President Bush while he was running against Bob Dole..Jonathan and I talked with Barack Obama around a year ago right now...and back in 1979, I got a chance to shake hands with President Carter. He was in the gym at Wausau Newman High School for an event honoring Congressman Dave Obey, who at that time had been in Congress 10 years. It was kind of boring...except when I tried to get the Secret Service crew to smile at me. (No success).
So what does that have to do with Chuck Berry? Nothing. (Except I did see Chuck live at Ho Chunk a couple of years ago.)
But I did find find this very AWKWARD video of a St. Louis morning news show where they thought it would be a good idea to reunite President Carter with St. Louis' own rock and roll treasure, Chuck Berry. Check it out!
There was a lot of emotion on our show this morning, over one of the important issues of the ages...that's right.....Brett Favre and his legacy.
Now that he says he's retiring again, it brings up all the unpleasant feelings that we went through last year--first sobbing along with him as he bid us adieu, then feeling hurt and confused when he un-retired (does he know how many Kleenexes we went through?), and ultimately feeling betrayed when he went to the New York Jets.
I compared it to a marriage or long term relationship. We had a great 16 year run..then he walked out on us..tried to come back in exalted glory...then when we slammed the door on him he got into a rebound relationship (which failed!)
Sorry I'm still hurt and am not ready to kiss and make up, and erect a statue to Favre just yet.
I did enjoy an analogy a listener suggested this morning--that it's like the old TV show Friends..that Brett and the Packers are Ross and Rachel. They fell in love, then broke up and when they were on a break went out with other people..but ultimately reunited. While I'm not hoping for a teary eyed reunion, I am grateful we at least don't have to watch this Brett Favre sitcom play out over and over in syndication.
While I could blog on and on about this..I've decided to end this post with a simple haiku, summarizing my feelings.
Kitty's Weekend Picks!North Mississippi Allstars at the Majestic Friday night at 9pm.Â The AllstarsÂ have a new 2 CD/1 DVD retrospective out now, called "Do It Like We Used To Do, '98-'06." Go to their show and find how they do itÂ these days!Â Hill Country Review opens, featuring a couple of guys that just might look familiar--Allstars Cody Dickensen and Chris Chew. Tickets are $15.
Los Campesinos, w/Titus Andronicus at the Memorial Union Rathskellar Friday night at 9. FREEBIE ALERT! Los Campesinos describe themselves as an indie pop punk band.Â With song titles like "You Do the Math" and "We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives," I don't know how you could possibly go wrong.
Rhett Miller at the Majestic, Saturday night at 9. The Old 97's frontman is a real charmer (okay I'm saying that because he kissed my cheek once), and plays fun pop songs...and I bet he'll do some Old 97's too. Does he still have the gold front tooth? $16.
Freaky Band Name of the Week: Guzzlemug with Cheer Accident, the Noise Temple, the Rikters, at the Frequency SundayÂ at 9:30pm. Guzzlemug is described as a progressive, experimental psych band from Minneapolis.
A British dairy is rolling in the dough after hiring John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols) to be its spokesperson. Sales of Dairy Crest's buttery spreads jumped 85 percent in the 4th quarterÂ thanks to the commercials done by the guy whose band used to sing "I am an anti-Christ, I am an anarchist!"
So do you think the Dairy State's cows are getting a little nervous about this development?
I've got an idea.
Maybe theÂ Wisconsin Dairy Council should consider hiring a punk band to pitch dairy products from our neck of the woods. ItÂ just mightÂ work..as long as they don't hire the Dead Milkmen.
We're hearing a lot this week about the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake Iowa...because it's now been 50 years since "the day the music died."Â It was on February 2nd, 1959 that Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens played the Surf Ballroom...and then fed up with a cold tour bus that was always breaking down, they got on a small single engine plane to get to their next gig. And as everybody knows..they never made it, crashing in a nearby farm field.
Tonight there's a huge tribute concert happening at the Surf, with a stellar lineup including Graham Nash, Los Lonely Boys, Delbert McClinton and Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens. Holly's widow is also expected to be there..along with Tommy Allsup, the guy who lost the coin flip to Ritchie Valens for the last seat on the plane.
I wish I could be there for that show..but I did get a chance to attend "50's in February" a couple of years ago. Mike and I had a great time, accompanied by our friends Roger and Julie. (Johnny Rivers and Nelson were the big headliners.)
The ballroom at the Surf has been restored to what it looked like when Buddy played there..and it's pretty surreal. Add that to that the fact that couples were dressed in 50's gear..which looked a little odd since many of them were in the late 60's or 70's!
There's a museum of sorts at the Surf...with some memorabilia you can check out. But my favorite part was the old pay phone on the wall..the last phone Buddy Holly ever used to call his wife Maria Elena. Roger checked the coin return and found a dime!
We got instructions for driving out to the crash site (something like..turn left at the 3rd silo)..and it really is out in the middle of nowhere. Mike, Julie and Roger hiked out to the site through slushy snow..but as it was getting dark I decided to wait back in the van (which was a little scary..being ALL ALONE in the desolate rural landscape).Â Â But when the gang got back they told me all about the small memorial there..where people had left mementoes (including one person who left an Illinois driver's license.) RogerÂ added the dime he found in the pay phone.
If you're a fan of Buddy Holly..or rock and roll history in general..I highly recommend you make the trip out to the Surf Ballroom sometime. Hey--it's just been named a rock and roll landmark by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
Our buddy Michael Bie has written a great article about the Winter Dance Party tour, on his website classicwisconsin.com.Â
Do you have what it takes to be one of the enthusiastic adoring fans surrounding Bruce Springsteen during his halftime appearance at the Super Bowl?
I certainly don't.
A couple of weeks ago I was bumping around on Springsteen's web site, when I found out what you had to do to get to be in the audience on the field at halftime.
Here are some of them:
-Be at least 16 years of age and have an understanding of staging and blocking. (I thought blocking was something the linebackers did..what does that have to do with Springsteen?)
-Be of sound physical health and capable of vigorous physical activity without assistance, including the ability to run onto and off the field as directed, without stopping. (Okay, I'm definitely out now.)
You also might be interested to know that the fans that are out there at halftime for the Springsteen set don't even get tickets to the game!Â Bruce's website suggested, "have your friends or parents record the Halftime Show so you can watch later."
The participants were all required to attend rehearsals, and it was suggested they bring their own snacks as "there will never be time to leave the rehearsal location." It also said they would not be close to any restaurants or stores. (Perhaps the rehearsals were held somewhere in the uncharted Everglades?)
There was also a reminder to not bring too much stuff with you to the game or rehearsals..because the NFL, halftime show producer, and the stadium would not be responsible for lost or stolen items.
I notice Bruce was not relieved of any liability. I'm thinkin' if some one walks off withÂ that "Born to Run" cassette from your car, he'll replace it. He just seems like that kind of guy.
Admittedly, my anticipation level for Sunday's Super Bowl has been pretty low...it's hard to buy into the hype when the Packers aren't involved. But a story today caught my eye---the mayor of Phoenix, an Arizona Cardinals fan, is getting a little flack for blowing his nose into a Pittsburgh Steelers' Terrible Towel. While I agree that's a snotty thing to do...that's not exactly what caught my interest.
It's the name Terrible Towel.
When I was in high school in Stevens Point, I was a big supporter of all the Panther sports teams. I went to all the home football and basketball games..and was one of those nerdy kids who took the fan bus to away games regularly too.
I can't remember if it was during my junior or senior year when Terrible Towels were all the rage. They were red pieces of fabric emblazoned with the Panther logo. I'm not sure if the creator was selling them or handing them out free..but I do remember a lot of kids waving them in the air at basketball games.
That is until it was discovered where they were coming from. Seems one of my classmates worked at a fancy schmancy restaurant in Stevens Point..called The Restaurant, inside the Sentry Insurance headquarters. He was stealing red cloth napkins and then adding the SPASH logo. Apparently The Restuarant didn't have an unending supply...because eventually it was noticed that quite a few of them were missing. And it didn't take Starsky and Hutch to put two and two together.
Suddenly..the Terrible Towels were gone. And our season went down the drain.
Actually I don't recall how the team did...but I needed an end to the story. And I won't mention the name of the individual involved..to protect his identity as he was a juvenile. Or maybe I just don't remember. That's back when Jimmy Carter was president for crying out loud!
So I've been obsessing for awhile about finding a picture of Stevie Ray Vaughan without a hat. I guess all I had to do was ask..because alert Triple M listener Chuck B. e-mailed me a link to a video of a very young Stevie playing at Antone's in Austin, Texas (when his big brother Jimmie was the star!) The ironic thing about this is that it's from a very cool DVD called "Antone's--Home of the Blues." Not only is this a documentary that I've watched---Mike owns it! I guess I wasn't doing a very good job paying attention. Well, here's the video. Let me know what you think of No-hat Stevie.
Stevie Ray Vaughan at Antone's - For more funny movies, click here
What does Stevie Ray Vaughan look like without his signature hat? I don't know why I've become obsessed with this, but I have. You can tell I have nothing better to do..because I searched through hundreds of images on google and found no pictures of Stevie sans hat.
I did getÂ a call from a Triple M listener who says he has seen a pic of Stevie Ray smiling on a beach in Hawaii without a hat...but I searched for Steve Ray Vaughan on a Hawaii beach with no success.
But in case you're wondering about Stevie Ray's hat...he says he bought it because it reminded him of one that was worn by Jimi Hendrix.Â It became his signature item of clothing! (Also becasue he says he was gettingÂ a little thin on top!
I don't know if this quest will prove as difficult as finding a picture of Clarabelle the Clown without makeup..but I'm determined to prevail!Â (At least if some one e-mails me a picture...hint hint).
Pope Benedict isn't about to be bested by Barack Obama. He's launched his own Youtube channel. Which I think presents a lot of interesting possibilities.
Apparently it's all part of the Pope's efforts to control his "digital image." In his first Youtube message, he welcomed all of us to join the "dialog of truth."
Now no matter how you feel about the Catholic church or the Pope, you have to see the comic side to this.
Will the church be trying to get new parishioners on its own version of Facebook? (It would be called Faithbook, of course.)
Perhaps a whole line of video games is in order. My first idea was a Papal Pac-man, where instead of dots and fruit, the object is to gobble up the Holy Eucharist. But perhaps that's in poor taste.
And how long will it be before the confession booth is replaced with text messaging?
Mine would be something like this.Â I cvtd my nbr's snblwer.Â
And the priest would text back: 2 HM 1OF. (Two Hail Mary's and one Our Father).
I just don't know if guilt resonates as well in cyberspace.
I'm starting to think I might be psychic. The first time I went to a show at the Overture Center, I saw something that perhaps was a hint of future problems at the brand new cultural arts facility.
The show was former Beach Boy Brian Wilson, and he and a very large band performed the long awaited "Smile" album live. It was an extremely awesome performance (including one song that used vegetables as musical instruments.) And of course the acoustics were incredible.
I was concerned that it's a bit difficult to sneak out to use the bathroom at Overture Hall..because there are no aisles...just never ending rows that go on and on.
But that isn't what foreshadowed future economic problems.
It was a little problem outside the women's bathroom located on the main floor. Even though the facility was no more than a month old, one letter had already fallen off the sign outside the door. It was the W.
That's right: the sign said OMEN.
It's too bad I was unable to interpret that and warn the city and the cultural arts board. I promise to try to be more attuned to my psychic abilities.
So by early next week we're going to be in another deep freeze..but hey, at least we're not in Alaska.
And no--this blog has nothing to do with Sarah Palin.
Overnight lows--60 below zero. Not including the windchill. Imagine what that would do to your nostril hairs! Daytime highs around ten below. It's so cold that planes can't fly!
I think we had some days last year when it didn't get above zero..so actually I don't know what they're whining about.
So..what's the coldest you've ever been? For me, I think it's a tie. Judging an ice sculpture contest last year at the Winter Flakeout Festival in Wisconsin Dells (and drinking beer in a tent--it was wicked cold when you stepped away from the heater). Or the time a boyfriend and I decided to hitchhike to Milwaukee and stood on an on-ramp to Highway 10 in Stevens Point for HOURS before giving up. We got on the other side of the highway and hitched back into town. All my skin had turned bright pink. (More on my hitchhiking adventures..and how risky and stupid they were another time.)
Meanwhile...I'm going to go have a cup of hot cocoa.
Do you find yourself making the same New Year's resolutions every year? Do you remember what was on your list when you were a teenager? I do--thanks to a box of journals I held on to all these years.
Here's my list from when I was 16!
1. Be more outgoing.
2. Be more helpful around the house.
3. Not bitch so much.
4. Ignore Dad when he acts dumb.
5. Work harder on my appearance.
6. Study harder for school.
7. Exercise more.
8. Keep my room clean.
9. Don't judge other people.
10. Be friendlier, especially to guys.
Yeah..I still need to work on some of those. But there was one other thing in that journal entry that makes me realize how far I've come. I babysat that night and watched Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year. Here's a quote: "Erik Estrada was the host, and ee gads I'm in love. What a hunk!"
I've really progressed a lo since then. I now think the other guy on CHIPS was much cuter.
What was his name again?
Before there was Secret Santa, there was the grade school gift exchange. The spending limit? 50 cents.
Schools probably don't do the gift exchange any more..but back in the 60's and 70's, Christmas at school was full of lots of candy, cookies, a fair dose of religion (yes at a public school), and the Gift Exchange.
Most popular gifts: the Lifesavers Holiday Book (rolls of Lifesavers candy in a book shaped box), candy cane shaped cylinder full of candy, like gumballs or M & M's, pee wee footballs, yo-yo's, paddle balls, jump ropes, Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars.
In first grade, I remember I got the name of Timmy, a cute boy who I purchased a pee wee football for. Another little boy, named Jimmy, who had a crush on me traded to get my name. He gave me a necklace and a Ring Toss game.Â (He apparently had no regard for the 50-cent limit..unless of course he stole the stuff, which is a distinct possibility.)
When I was in 4th grade I was in a mixed class of 4th and 5th graders. One of the 5th grade girls had my name, and she got me a Christmas ornamentÂ which was a little red bird with a clip instead of feet so you could clip it to the Christmas tree branch. I thought it was the dumbest gift ever because it had no play value and you couldn't even eat it! But you know, I still have it!Â And in the years when I get around to putting up a Christmas tree, it's usually one of the first ones to go up.
So thank you Karen, or Jean, or Joan...or other un-named 5th grader from Miss Hooks' class for a gift that is close to my heart..in a box..in the basement.
Does your family have special foods that they only eat at Christmas?
When I was young, we had a lot of food traditions that went along with the holiday. Some good, some not so good, if you ask me. (And since you clicked on this, you kinda did).
On Christmas Eve, we always had oyster stew. I still get a little bit of a gagging reflex in the back of my mouth when I think of oysters..although I've been assured by many people over the years that they're delicious. When oysters got too expensive, we'd use fewer oysters and throw in some other kind of fish (Poor-man's lobster, whatever that is). I didn't mind that, and my mom didn't mind that I put all the oysters in her bowl. (This required a strategic seating arrangement.)
My mom made a delicious baked item that I loved..even though it may sound nasty to you. They were called "prunies" and they were sort of like punchkas (not sure how to spell it). They were little sweet yeast dough roll-ups with prunes inside! And I actually liked them! I haven't had them for years..I think it would bring a tear to my eye if I could have some now because they remind me so much of my mom.
There were a lot of purchased sweets that we'd only have at that time of the year--including angel food candy. It was chocolate coated spongey stuff that some people call fairy food. I loved that stuff. Although it'll make your stomach hurt if you eat too much. Trust me, I know.
We also had a big plate of peanut brittle (nothing wrong with that), and a bowl of nuts still in the shell. Now that's too much work if you ask me..but it is a chance to bring out the fancy schmancy nutcrackers.
I know peace on Earth is much more politically correct..but remember all the great violent gifts that used to end up under the tree?
I don't think I ever got a toy gun for Christmas, but there were always lots of toy guns lying around leftover from two older brothers. And I do recall thinking those toy machine guns that made rapid-fire sounds were pretty cool. But there really were a lot of violent toys back during my childhood years.
I think kids who got this toy set probably wound up really liking the TV show the Sopranos in later years. Watch and see if you recognize the bad guy.
I'm pretty sure it's Otis Campbell (the drunk) from the Andy Griffith Show!
When the holidays roll around, there's usually not a lot of actual news happening. That's when local assignment editors bring out some old classics that are guaranteed to bring a tear to your eye.
Yeah, this year we have a bad economy and a new president coming to save the day, but you can just bet we're going to get a lot of old stand-by stories anyway. I used to be a news director of an old fashioned newsy AM radio station, so I'm guilty of some of them myself. Like Christmas tree safety. Salvation Army Bell ringers. Do sales of champagne really increase on New Year's Eve?
Once when I was working in Stevens Point I complained to my news director that I hated the city's new downtown Christmas decorations..so he sent me out to do a "man-on-the-street" piece about how shoppers felt about them. I remember one guy said "they're bright and shiny and I like them." He may or may not have been drinking too much egg nog.
I happened to find this on the internet..a Lame Holiday News Story Bingo Card. Print it out and enjoy! And if you're a journalist/assignment editor, feel free to use these ideas. Click here to check it out.
Four years ago, Bob Dylan, who is Jewish, recorded a Christmas album.
It may be surprising to some that it was actually pretty good! And it inspired him to be involved in the creation of this video, which is amazing.
If you've never seen it...
Artist: Clara Moto
Song: Hedonic Treadmill
Album: Blue Distance
"'Hedonic Treadmill' describes the tendancy of people to adapt to good events - or bad - and then return to the same level of happiness," Clara Moto tells Rolling Stone. "In...
Bono and U2 have always had a strong political bent and their latest musical project can be found on the soundtrack to the film " Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." We remember Nelson Mandela with U2's song, "Ordinary Love."
The soundtrack to...
A masterful look at photography. Some of these sets took MONTHS to build, for a single shot. A good lesson on patience, and an end result being worth the wait.
Former President George W. Bush has accepted President Obama's invitation to ride aboard Air Force One to Nelson Mandela's memorial service on Tuesday.
That got me to thinking. Will the two do any talking during the flight? According to...
Artist: Total Slacker
Song: Keep the Ships at Bay
Album: Slip Away
"This song is about next leveling," Tucker Rountree tells Rolling Stone. "Taking things in and then pushing it out farther than before to reach the summit of...
Song: Drag Bones
Album: Falling Bough Wisdom Teeth
"'Drag Bones' speaks to the age-old truth that change is always coming, for better or for worse," Robert Brinkerhoff tells Rolling Stone. "As with a lot of our tunes,...
Four years ago, Bob Dylan, who is Jewish, recorded a Christmas album.
It may be surprising to some that it was actually pretty good! And it inspired him to be involved in the creation of this video, which is amazing.
If you've never seen it...
Artist: Clara Moto
Song: Hedonic Treadmill
Album: Blue Distance
"'Hedonic Treadmill' describes the tendancy of people to adapt to good events - or bad - and then return to the same level of happiness," Clara Moto tells Rolling Stone. "In...
Bono and U2 have always had a strong political bent and their latest musical project can be found on the soundtrack to the film " Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." We remember Nelson Mandela with U2's song, "Ordinary Love."
The soundtrack to...
A masterful look at photography. Some of these sets took MONTHS to build, for a single shot. A good lesson on patience, and an end result being worth the wait.
Former President George W. Bush has accepted President Obama's invitation to ride aboard Air Force One to Nelson Mandela's memorial service on Tuesday.
That got me to thinking. Will the two do any talking during the flight? According to...
Artist: Total Slacker
Song: Keep the Ships at Bay
Album: Slip Away
"This song is about next leveling," Tucker Rountree tells Rolling Stone. "Taking things in and then pushing it out farther than before to reach the summit of...
Song: Drag Bones
Album: Falling Bough Wisdom Teeth
"'Drag Bones' speaks to the age-old truth that change is always coming, for better or for worse," Robert Brinkerhoff tells Rolling Stone. "As with a lot of our tunes,...