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Kitty Dunn

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Posts from January 2014


A different Beatle-versary

Everybody's talking about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Beatles' landmark performance on the Ed Sullivan Show comin gup in a little over a week.

Today is a different Beatle anniversary. It was on today's date in 1969 that the Beatles gave their final live performance, on the rooftop of Apple Records, at 3 Savile Row in London.

There is so much to love about the 42 minute set of music!  Including--

George's lime green pants
Ringo's shiny raincoat
John's guitar that needs a haircut 
Billy Preston jamming on the keys
Paul's voice at its rockingest


But did you know the rooftop concert almost didn't happen? Well, anyway it wasn't the band's first choice. They wanted to do it on some kind of ship out on the ocean but realized that would cause logistical problems, and chose to go up on the roof instead.

"I'd like to thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we've passed the audition."  - John Lennon
 

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Locations: London
People: Billy PrestonJohn Lennon


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Worth re-watching: Pete Seeger on Colbert
A man who sang for all of us has died. Pete Seeger, the legendary folk singer and activist, died yesterday at age 94 of natural causes. He led a fascinating life, which I recall learning about on an episode of the PBS program "American Masters" a couple years ago. 

I remember the special showed him chopping wood for his wood stove, something you don't normally see a 90-plus year old man do, and I was in awe! 

According to his grandson, he was still chopping wood as of six days ago. 

That topic makes it into this interview with Stephen Colbert from 2012. He does a great job dealing with Colbert's "truthiness." Enjoy.
 

The Colbert Report
Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,Video Archive

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Wish I could have seen this at the Grammy's
56th GRAMMY Awards - Show
Wouldn't it be fantastic if the Grammy awards were more about music and less about spectacle?

Oh, there were some musical high points that did not involve robots or high wire acts. Lorde's performance of "Royals" was stellar. I loved Ringo's photograph and enjoyed seeing him and McCartney on stage together.

I just wish some of the artists who aren't necessarily Top 40 pop stars would get some love as well, instead of just being announced before the ceremony got underway. 

For example, I find it fascinating that Herb Alpert won a Grammy for best pop instrumental performance. I also found it fascinating that Herb Alpert is still alive!

Other winners that didn't get any love on TV include Edie Brickell and Steve Martin for best Americana album, Ziggy Marley for best reggae album, and my personal favorite, best blues album.

That went to kind of an odd couple--Ben Harper along with Charlie Musselwhite, who is about to turn 70 and is a hell of a harp player. If you like the blues, you should check out their album "Get Up!"  

Or you could always go buy that Daft Punk record. 

 
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Say it ain't so! Captain and Tennille call it quits
Much of the media world has moved on to the arrest of Justin Bieber, but I am still reeling from the news that the Captain and Tennille are breaking up!

Toni Tennille filed for divorce in Arizona last week, after 39 years of marriage to "The Captain," Daryl Dragon.

I wonder what happened? Did Toni sing "Do that to me one more time" one time too many and Dragon snapped? (Get it, Dragonsnapped?)  

If they continue to perform together, will Toni be able to sing the line "nibblin' on bacon, chewin' on cheese, Sam says to Suzie, honey would you please be my Mrs.?" without breaking into tears?  

I was never a big fan of their music, but it was so everpresent during my teen years that it's ground into my memory. Whether it's "Love Will Keep Us Together,"  for which my friend Gale and I developed an amazing dance routine, or that God-awful "Muskrat Love," their music takes me back to a simpler time, when we only had three TV networks and Top 40 music was where it was at.

I do remember watching their variety show, but I somehow missed the fact that Toni Tennille had a talk show as well. In this clip, she interviews her husband. And you can tell, back then, they were still very much in love.

And you might be interested to hear what Dragon thought about the future of music, and where all rock and roll came from. 
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Restaurant Week: Liliana's
Are you ready to let the good times roll? You don't have to travel to New Orleans to get a taste of the bayou. Just go to Fitchburg!

Winter Restaurant Week is here, offering foodies a chance to try new restaurants or visit old favorites and enjoy yummy three course meals at a fixed price.

My friend Karen and I went to Liliana's, just off Highway PD in Fitchburg, and enjoyed a leisurely lunch. Our server, Courtney, started us off with cornbread that was positively addictive, followed by a tasty salad of fresh greens topped with homemade vinaigrette. We both chose jambalaya for the main course. It was filled with lots of goodies, including a couple of giant shrimp, and wasn't overly spicy.

You may be tempted to overindulge in the cornbread, but please make sure you save room for dessert. I had never had Bananas Foster before, so I chose that over chocolate mousse or beignets. I made the right choice because it was rich and flavorful, with just the right touch of rum!
 
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Locations: New Orleans


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Ladies and Gentlemen, the Mosquitoes!
The passing of Russell Johnson, who played the Professor on "Gilligan's Island," sent our show off on quite the tangent this morning.

I was an avid viewer of this show, mainly because my brother somehow managed to dominate the television choices after school in the 70s, and it was sometimes possible to watch our favorite castaways on three different channels, one after the other. Some of my favorites involved music, and as a Beatle fan, it's obvious I would like the episode that featured some long-haired musicians showing up on the island.

There are some people who can't believe I remember the name of the band, the Mosquitoes, much less their names--Bingo, Bango, Bongo and Irving. When they ultimatedly left the island and didn't take the Castaways with them, they left behind an album. What was it? The Mosquitoes at Carnegie Hall, of course. (And Gilligan was bummed they didn't sign it.)

Be prepared to be blown away by their musical prowess!  Or at least those great sounds they're getting out of guitars that obviously aren't plugged in.

 
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Happy National Hat Day!
Today is National Hat Day, a perfect day for me to share some of my very strong feelings about hats.

1) I always liked wearing other people's hats when I was a kid. Pictured above: me wearing a hat of one of my uncles.

2) I am annoyed that the folks who make hats for women (aka milliners, there's a new word for you) only make them for women with small heads. I am large-headed. (Please, no jokes about my ego. It's easily bruised).

3) I can't believe that some people are so vain about messing up their hair that they refuse to wear hats, even when the wind chill is 40 below. If they ever see a picture of a frostbitten earlobe, I think they'd mend their ways.

4) The ribbon or band that runs around the bottom of the torso of the hat is known as a puggaree in Britain. I believe that word needs to be expanded internationally. Or else it should be a band name. They could open for Mumford and Sons.
 
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Ready for the Beatle re-invasion?
It's been almost 50 years since Americans were riveted to their TV screens for the Beatles first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The anniversary is February 9th, and that hasn't gone unnoticed by either CBS, which originally ran the Sullivan show, or the Beatles' record company. Capitol Records.

Both have suggestions for celebrating this milestone.

January 21st, Capitol Records is releasing another Beatles box set, called "The U.S. Albums."  As you may or may not know, the Beatles albums released in America were different from the British versions, usually just chopped up in a seemingly willy-nilly fashion. But if you grew up listening to the original albums and haven't purchased them in any previous incarnation on CD, this may be for you. And surprisingly, you will be able to buy them individually if you don't want to fork out $159.99 for the whole set.

The Grammys, which air on CBS, will likely make mention of the anniversary. I just saw a promo last night that said BOTH Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will be appearing on the show January 26th, but they did not mention if they would be performing, or if they would be even appearing together.

There's a rumor going around that Ringo and Paul may appear together on Late Night with David Letterman, which is taped in the old Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York City. No confirmation yet, but let's keep our fingers crossed.

There will also be a special on February 9th, the actual anniversary of the Beatles knocking everyone's socks off in 1964 on the Sullivan Show. A Grammy Salute to the Beatles is being taped the night after the Grammys, and will feature stars of today performing Beatles songs. They include the reunited Eurythmics, John Mayer, John Legend, Maroon 5, Keith Urban and Alicia Keys.

 I guess I'm a Beatles purist. I just can't get too excited about other folks putting their spin on the four lads from Liverpool. I thought the originals were pretty fab, and don't need updating. 

If you really want to know what Beatlemania was like, talk to a fan who's old enough to remember watching them the first time around. And then put on a Beatle album, or the DVD of the original Sullivan appearances. And if you find yourself screaming like one of the little girls in the audience, don't be too surprised.

(Pictured above: my vintage Beatles "Flip Your Wig" game. Don't ask me how much I paid for it.)

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Madison's Classic Alternative History
This is a Classic Alternative Weekend on 105.5 Triple M...as we feature the cutting edge bands of the 80's and 90's.

A lot of those bands played in Madison back when they were hungry. R.E.M. and U2 played Merlin's. R.E.M was at the Stock Pavilion on the UW Madison campus. I'm pretty sure Pearl Jam played around here someplace, but my memory escapes me.

Nirvana opened for the Tragically Hip at O'Kays Corral for 40 people.

The Replacements played the Club De Wash. The Police rocked out at the Oscar Mayer Theatre. The Red Hot Chili Peppers played the Barrymore Theatre, and of course we all know that Garbage started right here in Madison.

Did you see any cool alternative bands in Madison back in the day? Let me know in the comments!

Meanwhile, if you're not sure where some of those old venues were in Madison, watch this video Jonathan and I made around five years ago.


 
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Who's leaving the Allman Brothers Band now
Allman Brothers Band guitarists Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes say they're leaving the band by the end of 2014.

In a joint statement, they wrote:

“We will be forever grateful for the opportunity and the experience, and for the love, enthusiasm and support of the incredible fans. We are both preparing to dig even deeper into our various creative and musical endeavors and, as a result, 2014 will be our final year as part of the band.”

Haynes has been a member of the Allman Brothers Band since 1989, and Trucks has been in the fold since 1999.

It will be interesting to see if the band continues without them and who they might bring in to fill their spots. You know, I'm still not too pleased with them for canning Dickey Betts, right before they were set to the play the Madison Blues Festival at Olin Park more than a decade ago.

I never got to see the 'Bros with Dickey, but have had the opportunity to see Dickey Betts and Great Southern three times, and they were incredible. Dickey says he's retired, but it would be nice to see if he and Gregg Allman could mend old wounds and give it a go once again. 

I'll never be able to see the band with co-founder Duane Allman, but this could happen. I know I would buy a ticket to see it.

 

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5 great Elvis quotes
Happy birthday Elvis!  If my math is right, he would have turned 79 today had he not met such an untimely death back in 1977. I wonder what kind of an old man he would have been? (Click here to see what he might have looked like today).

While he was around, he said a lot of things that went beyond the famous "thanks you very much" with the curled up lip.

Here are 5 of my favorites.
1. Rhythm is something you either have or don't have, but when you have it, you have it all over.

2. Truth is like the sun. You can shut it down, but it ain't goin' away.

3. I don't know anything about music. In my line, you don't have to.

4. Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people just sway back and forth. I just started doin' my altogether, I guess.

5. Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.
Pictured above: My boyfriend Mike and I loitering in front of Elvis's house, back in the 90s.



 
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Remembering Phil Everly
I never got to see the Everly Brothers, and now that's never going to happen. I was sad to learn of the death of the younger Everly, Phil, on Friday at age 74.

Why didn't I go see them when they opened for Simon and Garfunkel on tour in 2003?  Good question.

While you may just lump the Everly's into a category with Ricky Nelson and other 50's pop stars, Don and Phil were more than that. Their harmonies were so spot on, and their choices of songs were truly inspiring. They were obviously a big influence on the aforementioned Simon and Garfunkel, but even the Beatles were fans. (I just learned yesterday on CBS This Morning that Dick Clark first dismissed the Beatles as Every Brothers copycats).

They were also a big influence on country rock acts, like the Eagles and Gram Parsons. Last year, Norah Jones and Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong released an album of Everly covers, called "Foreverly."


 
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