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Kitty Dunn

What does Kitty have to say?


 
Posts from February 2013


Pontifex, and other great band names
So Pope Benedict the XVI has the eyes (if not the souls) of the world in his palm today as he becomes the first pope to quit in 600 years.

The story is getting a lot of media attention, even pre-empting The Price is Right. That means it must be a pretty big story.

Lots of people have been posting about the occasion on twitter, with the hashtag #pontifex.

When I saw that, I thought immediately, "What a great band name!"

That inspired me to search news stories for other great band names.  I found Castel Gandolfo, which will be Benedict's temporary home until they build him a new place at the Vatican. "Castel Gandolfo" would be a great name for a prog band, which would no doubt be heavily influenced by Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull.

Other great band names all contained in one USA Today article about the pope's last day: College of Cardinals, Pontiff Emeritus, and Faith & Morals.

There is a band that was inspired by the papacy years ago--that's the Chicago band "Smoking Popes." Not to be confused with Sinead O'Connor, who tore up a picture of the pope.


 
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FIve Great Johnny Cash quotes
If Johnny Cash were alive, he'd be celebrating his 81st birthday today, probably with a big plate full of good old Southern food.

My love for Johnny Cash has grown over the years, and I developed an even greater admiration for the man when I recently read his autobiography Cash.

His book had the down-home approach you might expect, telling about everything from his early days growing up, to the grim details of his battles with drug addiction, to his very close relationship with God. I highly recommend it.

I'm not sure if all these quotes came from his book, but I think they're pretty good ones.

“My arms are too short to box with God.”

“I wore black because I liked it. I still do, and wearing it still means something to me. It's still my symbol of rebellion -- against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of God, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas.”

“I'm not bitter. Why should I be bitter? I'm thrilled to death with life.”

“Success is having to worry about every damn thing in the world, except money.”

 
"I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.”

 
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Remembering the Quiet Beatle on his 70th birthday
George Harrison was the most beloved Beatle by many fans, most surely among the many guitar players he inspired. The youngest of the Fab Four, he would have turned 70 this month.

There's been some confusion over the years about just when George Harrison was born..was it the 24th or the 25th? Since his facebook page says it's the 25th, we'll go with that.

George was known as the Quiet Beatle, but he was also very funny, and was never afraid to poke fun at himself. He appeared on the Simpsons (when Homer famously asked him, "where'd you get that brownie?"), but much earlier than that he appeared in the Rutles TV movie, which was a hilarious parody of the Beatles that came out back in the 1970s.

He was a big fan of Monty Python, and was a friend of Eric Idle. He also loved the Mike Myers Austin Powers movie, and his last written letter was to Myers, asking for a Mini-me doll. Myers says it's one of his most cherished possessions (no doubt).

When Harrison died in 2001, I wasn't shocked and angry like I was when John Lennon was killed. I was sad, and like I told Channel 3 in an interview at the time, I felt like I lost a member of the family--one of my big brothers.

I wonder what George would be doing now if he were still alive. Would he be playing Bonnaroo or going on Dancing With the Stars? I kind of doubt it. He'd probably be making music with his son Dhani, who is a musician in his own right and will be playing in Madison with thenewno2 in May.
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Another blues man goes to that juke joint in the sky...
Rest in peace, Magic Slim, who died Thursday at the age of 75.

His record company, Blind Pig, called him the greatest "proponent of the intense, electrified, Mississippi-to-Chicago blues style that spawned much of the music played by modern blues artists and rockers."

Born Morris Holt in Mississippi in 1937, he took an early interest in music, and made a guitar with the baling wire from a broom. His first love however was the piano, which he had to quit playing when he lost a finger in a cotton gin accident.

Slim had gigs on the books for 2013 when he was hospitalized with breathing problems in January. He never recovered.

Magic Slim was no stranger to the Midwest blues circuit, and played the Madison Blues Festival in 2000..
 
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Is it time for comfort food?
When your glasses keep fogging up, your nostril hairs freeze and your fingers double up in your gloves for extra warmth, you know it's time for some real comfort food.

So what exactly is comfort food? Wikipedia tries to define it:

Comfort food is traditionally eaten food (which often provides a nostalgic or sentimental feeling to the person eating it),or simply provides the consumer an easy-to-digest meal, soft in consistency, and rich in calories, nutrients, or both.
 

Well that certainly makes it sound boring!

I think the definition varies from person to person--and for me, it can be something that dear old Mom used to make, but it can also come from say, Noodles and Company.

I definitely think comfort food is inherently bad for you, but despite that it makes you feel warm and snuggly inside GUILT FREE.

My favorites are (in no particular order): homemade macaroni and cheese with bread crumb topping, lasagna, Swedish meatballs (like Mom used to make), tuna casserole, and chili.

One website I checked listed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and grilled cheese as comfort food, and I guess that sorth of  fits the category, but one of the entries was pretty far-fetched, and that's gelatin.  What? 

The only way gelatin is comfort food for me is if it's in the form of a Jello shot.

 

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Hundreds of bottle(caps) of beer on the wall
Wallpaper is so yesterday.

Faux finishes are too fake.

What the discriminating designer is looking for in 2013 is a look that will make you really, really thirsty.

A company that sells all things beer related decided they wanted to cover a wall in beer bottle caps, and here's how it turned out!
 
I recommend that you wash the caps before you begin your redecorating project.

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Best birthday song ever?

What's the best birthday song of all time?

The traditional "Happy Birthday To You" has universal appeal. But it's a bit underdeveloped, with only one verse.


The Beatles "Birthday" is a fun song to dance to, and "Happy Birthday To Me" by Cracker is a good '90s addition to the birthday song category.

But the song I'm picking doesn't even mention birthdays, but expresses a joyous sentiment, "I Feel Young Today."  This Peter Himmelman song from the '80s (I think) has some great lyrics that lift my spirits even as I add another digit to the milestone number of last year.

Plus, it's fun to check out the youthful appearance of Peter and his band as well as the shots of Minneapolis.

Hope you enjoy the video and feel younger today than yesterday!
 

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Why school Valentine parties were the best
I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's Day, partially because my birthday usually gets lumped in with it. But there's another reason I'm not fond of the holiday. Valentine's Day for grown-ups can in no way measure up to the fun of grade school Valentine's Day parties.

I loved everything about it. I loved making my little Valentine "mailbox" that sat on my desk, cutting out hearts and flowers and gluing them onto a shoebox to be filled with greetings from my classmates.

I loved taking the storebought pack of Valentines, popping them out on the perforations, and then matching each Valentine to a kid in my class.

I loved the puns on the cards--from one showing a cute little bear and a saying like "It bears repeating, Happy Valentine's Day, Happy Valentine's Day" to "You're a Cu-T-Pie" with a picture of an apple pie.

I also enjoyed all the sugar that came with the party.
 
Some kids included sweets in their cards, but every one was encourage to bring a treat to share with the class. As I recall, each child was asked to bring enough for around 6 kids, that way every one would get a few snacks. Most kids brought enough for every one though, so in the end most of us would have 25 to 30 sugar laden items to enjoy in rapid succession. If we brought them home we'd probably have to share!

 
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Best New Artist Grammy Not Always a Curse
Congratulations to the band fun. for winning the Best New Artist Grammy on Sunday night .But will the band suffer the dreaded Best New Artist curse?

Sure, some of the artists that got that award saw their careers fizzle and die (Christopher Cross, Debby Boone, Hootie and the Blowfish, and so on) but sometimes the artists career manage to  keep right on going.

The Beatles had a few more good years after they won in 1965, and Crosby Stlls and Nash, Sheryl Crow and Adele are still going strong.

Even comedian Bob Newhart, who won for a comedy album in 1962, continued on for years with two very successful sitcoms.

But I found an interesting clip of the Best New Artist winner from 1977, who didn't do too well after their one big hit. Enjoy this little trip back in time, won't you?

 
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Polar Plungers: brave or crazy?
Tomorrow is the annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics in Madison, when hundreds of seemingly sane people jump into icy freezing cold water to raise money for Special Olympics.

Special Olympics is a wonderful cause..but I'm puzzled as to how  this nonsensical thing started.  Usually falling through the ice is a very bad thing. That's how George Bailey's brother Harry lost his hearing in a sledding accident for crying out loud!

Here's the thing. For me, even immersing myself into a heated pool is a pretty drawn out process. First I test the water a bit with by trailing my hand through the water. Then if it doesn't seem too bad, I slowly walk down the pool's steps, until the water is about waist high, audibly shiver for a bit, and then eventually plop down into the water.

I don't think that system would work very well tomorrow at Willow Island.

Apparently you can still help out Special Olympics by registering as "Too Chicken To Plunge," joining a team and collecting pledges. If the t-shirt was changed to say  "Too Practical To Plunge," maybe I would do it.

Click here for more info about the event.
 
In the meantime, I'll dedicate this Melissa Etheridge song to all you plungers.

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Amazing Donald Driver song
The tributes pour in for retiring Green Bay Packer Donald Driver, but nothing quite as awesome as this song from Madison's very own Peter Leidy.

My favorite line, I think, is "lots would like to kiss you, but not me, we do fine platonically."

So here's to you, Double D. Thanks for 14 great years.
 

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The mystery of the missing Beatle
I was very excited to have local Beatle expert Jim Berkenstadt on our show today. When it comes to knowledge of all things Fab Four, I like to think I have a pretty firm handle on things.

For example, I can tell Paul's voice from John's, I know that only Paul and John are on the song "Ballad of John and Yoko" and that Ringo wrote "Octopus's Garden" at a time when all the Beatles were fighting and he wanted to be anywhere but with them..like perhaps at the bottom of the sea.

But Berkenstadt has me beat. He knows so much about the Beatles that Martin Scorsese enlisted his help when he made the documentary about George Harrison that came out last year.

He's just published a book called "The Beatle Who Vanished," about Beatle Jimmie Nicol.

Who?

He's the guy who filled in for Ringo for 13 days of the Beatles' first tour, when he became ill with tonsilitis.
I don't believe I'm the only one who had never heard of this guy, so I had no idea that he had ever existed, much less disappeared. What happened after he played live with the Beatles in Denmark, zHolland, Hong Kong and Australia? I guess I'll have to read the book to find out.

You can find out more about the book here, and you can go see Jim and talk Beatles with him at Genna's Cocktail Lounge, 105 W. Main Street in Madison from 6:30-8:30 on March 1st.

On this video, you can see Nicol playing with another band, Colin Hicks and the Cabin Boys. While they weren't quite the Beatles, the audience appears to dig them.
 
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Recent Blog Posts
Kitty's Picks for Record Store Day
Vinyl junkies are chomping at the bit for this year's Record Store Day, coming up on Saturday. Created to draw attention to the cool independent stores that still sell vinyl, Record Store Day has turned into a phenomenon. Bands that are cooler...
Read More
Challenge 2 Thanks
I just want to say great job everyone and especially Carell. Thanks again to Triple M and all my awesome friends, family and fans.
Good news for Midwest coach accused of child pornography. ~Stevi
Minnesota State, Mankato coach Todd Hoffner has been living a nightmare since last May, when he was accused of having child pornography on his work phone. If you remember, last May was also around the time Penn State head coach was fired and brought up...
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World's Worst iPod:Jay Ferguson "Thunder Island"
The late 1970s weren't necessarily a great time for music, but there were a few gems. This song may or may not have been one of them. We got a lot of love for Jay Ferguson's "Thunder Island" which was a hit in early 1978. It made it up to...
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I think my heart may have stopped beating
Dear Superstars, During last night's elimination I think my heart may have stopped beating and that would've been it's own "drive-by heartache." This competition is tough but I'm very proud for making it through the first challenge. My level of...
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So I learned today that if you're getting a refund, there's no penalty for not getting your taxes in by today's deadline. But why would you want the government to keep your money any longer than they already do? With that question in mind...
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