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Kitty Dunn

What does Kitty have to say?


 
Posts from January 2013


How Sgt. Pepper changed my life
Every weekend this February, Triple M is featuring 8 Great Albums That Changed the Course of Rock n Roll.

Included on that list is the Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. While this is not my favorite Beatle album, I won't dispute that it changed rock music. This was a record that by its very design could not be played live, that involved lots of studio trickery that would be very hard to reproduce. It also was a very loose concept album, with the band taking on the persona of this other band, looking back on a 20 year history. Other bands would take the concept album much farther than the Beatles, and more complex recordings were more common as well.

But how did this album change my life? In 1976, the Beatles released a greatest hits type 2 LP set, Rock N Roll Music, which included the song "Gotta Get You Into My Life," which became a top 40 hit, years after the Beatles broke up.

I liked that song, so I asked for the album for Christmas. My brother Tim got it for me, despite his dislike of compilation albums, but he also got me Sgt. Pepper, saying "this is the way the songs were meant to be heard."

And that got me hooked. I played my new Beatles albums constantly, much to the annoyance of my non-Beatle loving friends. While my collection of Beatles albums grew, I checked books about the Beatles out of the library and learned as much as I could about them. I was a big fan of the Fab Four, a few years after Beatlemania.

And I was still a big fan in the mid-90's when a Triple M fan named Mike  told me about some rare Beatle bootlegs he had, and asked me if I'd like to hear them. I said yes, and we've been together ever since.  So I wasn't really exaggerating when I said the Beatles Sgt. Pepper album changed my life.
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Major New Crime Wave--are you a culprit?
Lock your doors.

Check on your neighbors.

There's a major crime wave we all need to know about. 

I'm not talking about identity theft, or removing tags from mattresses.

I'm talking about COUPON FRAUD.

How did I find out about this very concerning problem? Well I was clipping coupons out of the Sunday paper when I found a pretty good one.  Save a dollar on the purches of 2 Nabisco products.  Sweet! 
But the trepidation set in when I read: "Reproduction, alteration, transfer or sale of this coupon is prohibited and is a criminal offense."  A CRIMINAL OFFENSE!

This raises some pretty serious questions.

What statute prohibits it, and more importantly, who is policing this situation? Are law enforcement officers being taken off the streets to track down felonious couponers?

Will I get in trouble if I give this coupon to a friend, or leave it on the grocery store shelf to delight the next shopper who comes along

And what exactly is the penalty for criminal couponing?

All I know is that if they take away my double coupon privileges I'm going to be really, really mad.


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Please hold..your estimated wait time 43 days
"We're sorry, all of our operators are busy helping other customers. Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold."

We've all heard that annoying string of words more than we'd like. But how much more?

Data collection provider Research Now did some kind of scientific (?) survey and determined that the average person will spend 43 DAYS of their life waiting on hold. That is longer than Moses and the Israelites spent wandering in the desert!

Remember the old days when you just got some kind of middle of the road music to listen to while you waited on hold? Now you get to hear advertising for more products from a company you're probably already irritated with, insincere platitudes, and warnings that your call may be recorded for training purposes. Aargh!  Whatever!

I was just chatting with our engineer Tony about this topic....and he had a brilliant idea. Come up with games you could play on your touch tone phone while waiting. You could play "Simon" and try to duplicate keypad tones. Or you could be prompted "touch 1 to enter the castle, touch 2 to slay the dragon, touch 3 to fill your moat with boiling acid."
He also pointed out that it would be fascinating to get tapes of people yelling at the pre-recorded messages. I expect you'd hear a lot of stuff like this..."My call is important to you....blah blah blah....my MONEY may be important to you but I'm not."   "No I don't want to buy another crappy product from you when I've been holding for 15 minutes to complain about your other crappy product.." 

Have any other ideas on this topic? Don't call us..we'll probably just put you on hold.
 
**the above picture is me, on hold with Santa Claus, circa 1964
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Restaurant Week: Merchant
It's Madison Restaurant Week once again--where Madison's best restaurants serve up yummy 3-course meals for dinner starting at just $25.

This time my friend Karen and I went to Merchant, which is located right in the heart of downtown Madison. Both of us chose the buttermilk salad for our first course..and it was huge! The mix of greens was creative...and quite delicious, with big chunks of blue cheese mixed in. Quite frankly that alone could have sufficed as a meal.

















But then came the main course! I chose the Wild Alaskan salmon with beluga lentils, lacinato kale, and buerre blanc. To be honest with you, I wasn't sure what the lentils and kale were, but I thought they were quite tasty. I wanted to lick the plate. (Don't worry--I didn't).

Karen chose the Red Wine Hanger Steak that was served with delicious whole grain mustard potatoes, spinach and shallots. She said it was perhaps the best meal she ever had in her life and gave it five stars!

Luckily we saved room for dessert--I chose the dark chocolate custard, and she picked the dark and milk chocolate with fruit...both nice ways to top off the evening.

While Merchant may be known most for its designer cocktails, we'll be going back for the food!

Click here to check out all the menus for Madison Restaurant Week.
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Dear Abby gone but the song lives on
Just like many of the newspapers her column was published in, Dear Abby has died at the age of 94.

Writer Pauline Friedman Phillips wrote her advice column under the pen name Abigail Van Buren for decades. I think her daughter writes the column these days.

I never wrote Abby for advice, but did once write a letter to Milwaukee Journal advice columnist Mrs. Griggs telling her she was full of it and didn't understand teenagers. But that's a tale for another day.
 
Of course when I heard that Abby had died, I immediately thought of the John Prine song. Now if he wrote an advice column I would make a point of reading it each and every day!


 
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New Muscle Shoals movie looks amazing!
Imagine some of the world's biggest music acts coming to Stoughton, Wisconsin to crank out hits. 

Sounds pretty unlikely doesn't it? Well for some reason, recording studios in a town right around the same size as Stoughton drew every one from Aretha Franklin to the Paul Simon, Wilson Pickett, Percy Sledge, and the Staples Singers. And did I mention the Rolling Stones?

I'm talking about Muscle Shoals Alabama, where a mixture of country, gospel and R & B became known as the Muscle Shoals Sound. An incredible number of hit records were pumped out of that little town in the late 1960's and 70's.

A new documentary tells the story of this little town and the music that was born there, and from the trailer it looks like it's going to be pretty cool. It's set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, but hopefully it will air on PBS sometime after that!
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The No Pants Subway Ride is a thing
Somehow this phenomenon has gone unnoticed by me, until now. 

A group called Improv Everywhere has been doing this No Pants Subway Ride for a dozen years--picking a day, and riding the subway with normal winter attire on top, and no pants below (except for underwear, thankfully!) The most recent just happened on Sunday.
The idea is to just to go about your business like there is nothing unusual going on. Most likely this does not create much of a ruckus in New York.

I like this much more than a Flash Mob, because for some reason those freak me out. If it happened near me, I'd be afraid I had actually just gotten sucked into a movie musical and suddenly I will have to become a pickpocket like the Artful Dodger and face the wrath of Fagen and the evil Bill Sikes.

But I digress.
Back to this No Pants thing. I hope this activity never happens in Wisconsin. I don't want to see anybody's wintertime legs, all alabaster white and unshaven, covered in goose bumps from the cold.

Since we're subwayless and Scott Walker killed the train ,and it doesn't look like Madison will be getting trolleys any time soon, we appear to be safe.

But just in case some of Madison's zany residents get any ideas, I'm staying away from Madison Metro.  And those sandwich shops.

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Will this song be heard around the world?
Madison area musician Pat J. Peterson has been in the fight of his life since 2009, when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Since then, he's gone through two surgeries, but kept on making music.

In December, he got some bad news. The tumor had spread and there was no more that could be done. So Pat went home to spend his last days with his family.
 
His last wish is to have his music heard around the world. It was recorded in 2011 on my friend John Urban's show, The Urban Theater, just three months after surgery to have his second brain tumor removed.

Pat has performed as a solo artist and with his bands The Pipe Circus and Avengers Assemble. His lifelong dream was to have his music heard around the world.

We are honored to do our part to help, as Pat takes that "long road to heaven."

 
 
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Richard Nixon vs. The Road Runner
Today is the 100th birth anniversary of the birth of Richard Nixon, the 37th president of the United States.  Since Nixon was president during much of my childhood, I've formed some pretty clear cut, if not accurate, opinions on the man my family loved to hate.

Ours was a staunchly Democratic household, and we had no love for Nixon. Personally, I did not like the man for two reasons: first, the sweat on his upper lip, and second, the fact that hearings into the Watergate scandal regularly interrupted important television programming.

This fact raised my ire particularly on Saturday mornings, when boring men in boring suits talking non-stop was on TV in place of fantastic shows like The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour, Inch High Private Eye, and Hong Kong Phooey.

With a brother in Vietnam during part of Nixon's six years in the White House, I had more serious reasons to dislike the man. But my critique of him scarcely went to school with me. Most of my friends parents voted for him, so of course they thought he was a wonderful president....at the time.

After Nixon resigned, all the kids liked to mock Nixon, especially when we were at the city pool. A favorite thing to do was wave two peace signs in the air, say "President Nixon going down," and fall under the water as we shouted "I am not a crook!"  Hilarious!

I'm not sure if I paid attention to it at the time, but I do have to give kudos to Mr. Nixon for appearing on Laugh-In to try and win votes in 1968.  Sock it to me, Tricky Dicky.
 
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Who said it? Elvis or Bowie?
Today is the birthday of two rock stars. David Bowie turns 66, and Elvis Presley would have turned 78. The two stars don't really have a lot in common, or do they?

Check out the following quotes, and guess whether it was said by Bowie or Elvis. Some seem pretty easy, while others are a little tricky!

Answers are below. I thank you very much for not cheating.

1. I'm an instant star. Just add water and stir.

2. Rhythm is something you either have or don't have, but when you have it, you have it all over.

3. I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring.

4. Fame can take interesting men and thrust mediocrity upon them.

5. When I was a boy, I always saw myself as a hero in comic books and in movies. I grew up believing this dream.

6. Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.

7. I'm not a prophet or a stone aged man, just a mortal with potential of a superman. I'm living on.


 
answers
2, 5, and 6 are Elvis
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World's Worst iPod: LeBlanc & Carr "Falling"
LeBlanc and Carr were Lenny LeBlanc and Pete Carr, two Muscle Shoals studio musicians who hit the top 40 in 1978 with their hit "Falling." It made it up to #13 on the charts and was perfect for clumsy teenage slow dancing! Musically, these guys were...
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Kitty's night in a haunted house
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World's Worst iPod: El DeBarge "Who's Johnny"
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Finally, recognition of Stevie Ray Vaughan by the Rock Hall
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I had the opportunity to go see "Once" at Overture Hall last night, and I guess the two word summary of my review could be "weirdly awesome." The story isn't too complicated, which is good because I sometimes had a hard time understanding the...
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World's Worst iPod: Stonebolt "I Will Still Love You"
It seems Kitty was all alone in the Canadian wilderness with her love for the 1978 hit "I Will Still Love You" by Stonebolt. It only made it up to #29, so it seems a lot of folks didn't have the fond memories of the song that she did. With amazing...
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World's Worst iPod: Neil Diamond "Yesterday's Songs"
Even Neil Diamond fans didn't seem to want to throw their support behind this one. "Yesterday's Songs" with its cheesy backup singers may be the most cliche song the guy does! It made it up to #11 on the charts in 1981/82 and was #1 on the...
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Recent Blog Posts
World's Worst iPod: LeBlanc & Carr "Falling"
LeBlanc and Carr were Lenny LeBlanc and Pete Carr, two Muscle Shoals studio musicians who hit the top 40 in 1978 with their hit "Falling." It made it up to #13 on the charts and was perfect for clumsy teenage slow dancing! Musically, these guys were...
Read More
Kitty's night in a haunted house
Before Friday, my only experience with a haunted house, commercial or otherwise, was at the Recreation Department in Stevens Point when I was a teenager, and as I remember I was FREAKED out. So I was a little nervous when Jonathan and I were asked to...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: El DeBarge "Who's Johnny"
A lot of people seemed to have fond memories of this questionable song from 1986. "Who's Johnny" was the first solo hit for the guy named El DeBarge, and it went to number 3 on the charts. Some of you might remember it from the movie "Short...
Read More
Finally, recognition of Stevie Ray Vaughan by the Rock Hall
The new list of nomines for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is out, and finally they give a nod to Stevie Ray Vaughan. The Rock Hall has passed Stevie by for the more than ten years that he's been eligible, causing me and other blues fans much...
Read More
You might want to see "Once" twice
I had the opportunity to go see "Once" at Overture Hall last night, and I guess the two word summary of my review could be "weirdly awesome." The story isn't too complicated, which is good because I sometimes had a hard time understanding the...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Stonebolt "I Will Still Love You"
It seems Kitty was all alone in the Canadian wilderness with her love for the 1978 hit "I Will Still Love You" by Stonebolt. It only made it up to #29, so it seems a lot of folks didn't have the fond memories of the song that she did. With amazing...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Neil Diamond "Yesterday's Songs"
Even Neil Diamond fans didn't seem to want to throw their support behind this one. "Yesterday's Songs" with its cheesy backup singers may be the most cliche song the guy does! It made it up to #11 on the charts in 1981/82 and was #1 on the...
Read More
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Benjamin Booker is a 25 year old New Orleans musician who's been getting some attention with his debut self-titled album. He's been on David Letterman's show, toured with Jack White, and was reviewed in Rolling Stone. Of the song...
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