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Kitty Dunn

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Local Musician Needs Our Help--Sunday Benefit for Robert J's family

What are you doing this Sunday (April 19th)? Head over to the High Noon Saloon to hear some great live music, and at the same time help a local musician.

Robert J. Conaway, who usually just goes by Robert J., has been a friend to 105.5 Triple M for a long time. The first time I met him he filled in for another artist who canceled on us last minute at the Taste of Madison. Since then, he's been a guest on Jonathan & KItty in the Morning numerous times, as a solo act and with the Moon Gypsies.

Robert's family is going through a rough patch. Earlier this year, his 12-year-old son Jacy became very ill and was diagnosed with a bacterial brain infection. He recovered, but has a long road ahead of him.

Robert J's buddy and bandmate Chris Wagoner has put together a stellar lineup for a benefit to help defray medical costs for the family. The show gets going at 6pm this Sunday at the High Noon Saloon. The suggested donation is $10 to see the Stellanovas, the Lucas Cates Band, the Beth Kille Band, Boys Town featuring the O'Bros, and the Moon Gypsies with special guests.

You can get tickets for the show here, or at the show this Sunday.

Check it out! I found a video of the Robert J. and the Moon Gypsies playing for us in the Triple M studio a few years ago!


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Kitty's Record Store Day Picks.

Record Store Day is this Saturday and it's kind of a big deal, especially if you love vinyl.

Independent record stores all across the country will be offering some pretty cool stuff created especially for that day--or available for the first time on Record Store Day.

Here in Madison, record stores taking part include Ear Wax, B-Side Records, Strictly Discs, Mad City Music and Sugar Shack.

The Record Store Day website lists all the releases--but here's my list of picks for Record Store Day 2015. You might want to call your favorite record store ahead of time to make sure they'll have a copy of what you're looking for.

1. The Animals "We're Gonna Howl Tonight" LP This is a mono recording of live performances of the Animals that were broadcast in 1964. This was their first successful year and I bet they sound amazing doing old blues classics.

2. The Decemberists "Picaresque." This is a LP on red vinyl marking the album's tenth anniversary.

3. Brian Eno "My Squelchy Life" LP. This is a legendary "lost album" from 1991. I just like it because of the word "squelchy."

4. Foo Fighters "Songs from the Laundry Room" 10 inch. Reportedly recorded in Dave Grohl's laundry room this includes four songs--two demos, a cover, and a previously unreleased song.

5. Garbage "The Chemicals" 10 inch record with 2 original tracks. On flourescent orange vinyl!

6. Gram Parsons/The Lemonheads "Brass Buttons" 7 ". There are several Record Store releases that feature two very different bands or artists playing the same song. Gram really brings the melancholy to this song. I'm curious what the Lemonheads will do with it.

7. Paul McCartney "The Family Way Soundtrack." When Paul was still in the Beatles, in 1967, he and George Martin did the musical score for this movie staring Hayley Mills and her dad John Mills. It's all instrumentals and probably only for the Beatles completionist.

8. Mumford & Sons "Believe/The Wolf" 7'. This is the first chance to get a physical copy of these two songs from the album "Wilder Mind" which comes out next month.

9. St. Paul and The Broken Bones "Live from Alabama, Tennessee." Two songs on a transparent crimson record shaped like the state of Albama! How cool is that?

10. Violent Femmes "Happy New Year" 12" EP. Four new songs from the revamped Femmes. The Milwaukee band is on tour this summer with Colin Hay (of Men at Work), and Barenaked Ladies.

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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know about Eric Clapton

There's a lot about Eric Clapton this is pretty much an open book. He stole George Harrison's wife. He's battled many demons, including drugs and alcohol. He got the name Slow Hand because he was terribly slow at changing broken guitar strings.

But as the guitar icon turns 70, I thought I'd share some other tidbits that you may not have heard before.

1. Eric Clapton went to school to study stained glass art before he took up music full-time.

2. He's not too cool to wear shorts on stage. I witnessed this in person at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2010. It was a very hot day and he was not about to be a slave to rock star fashion.

3. Clapton collects Ferraris.  He says he loves the "music" made by a 12 cylinder engine.

4. He has a minor planet named for him.  You'll need a telescope to spot 4305 Clapton  between Mars and Jupiter.

5. In one of his more bizarre charity gigs, Clapton dressed as a clown and got a pie in the face. He also hit Shirley MacLaine in the face with a pie as well.  And the proof is on youtube!

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Summerfest and Lolla announce headliners

There may be snow on the ground again in Madison--but it's time to start thinking about the summer festival season!

Both Summerfest and Lollapalooza have announced headliners.

Headliners at Summerfest will include Kings of Leon, Ed Sheeran, Kongs, Phillip Phillips, Sheryl Crow, Bastille, the Flaming Lips, and Walk the Moon. Classic rock fans will get their retro fix with the Doobie Brothers, Sammy Hagar, Pat Benatar, and Kansas. Jam band fans can enjoy music from Trampled by Turtles, Keller Williams, and Dark Star Orchestra.  We're not sure why, but for some reason Paris Hilton will be a headliner as well!  Summerfest starts June 24th in Milwaukee. More info here.

Lollapalooza happens July 31-August 2 in Chicago, with headliners Paul McCartney, Metallica, and Florence and the  Machine. Other acts include TV on the Radio, Tame Impala, Sam Smith, Alabama Shakes, and Gary Clark, Jr. More info here.

 

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The cool thing about Coastal Carolina's coach

This won't be enough to make you root for them, but Coastal Carolina's Coach has some pretty cool musical stuff on his resume.

Back in the 1960s, when Cliff Ellis was in college, he was in a garage band called the Villagers, and they cut a record on the Fame label.

He's supposedly singing lead on this song, a cover of a tune by The Tams that few of us remember.



And according to Cliff Ellis's autobiography, and this news story, he had another link to rock and roll history. He was reportedly in the studio when Etta James recorded "Tell Mama," and even played tambourine. Supposedly you can hear his tambourine stylings at :35 in.

 

Oh..one more thing.

Go Bucky!
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Kitty's St. Patrick's Day Pet Peeves

St. Patrick's Day is upon us! Time to wear green, drink beer with green food coloring and talk in bad Irish accents.

Or not.

I have a few St. Patrick's Day pet peeves, and because I am 3/8ths Irish, I feel compelled to share them with you.

1. It is St. Patrick's Day, not St. Patty's Day.  Patty is a girl's name, and St. Patrick was not a girl. Others share my annoyance at this common practice--and there's at least one website that's dedicated to straightening out the confused.

2. A four-leaf clover is not a shamrock. Shamrocks have three leaves and they're connected with St. Patrick because he used them to teach about the Holy Trinity. Even some versions of that Lucky Charms Leprechaun show him wearing a four-leaf clover in his hat!

3. Folks who add a O' or a Mc to the beginning of their name to act Irish for a day. Stash McShibilski, I'm not buyin' it. And sorry O' Essen Haus, you'll always be a German restaurant to me!

4. Establishments that say they have green beer but rather than having a half-barrel of the stuff, they just put a little green food coloring in your pint. What kind of a committment is that?

5. And I'm also irritated that the Guiness we drink here in the United States is brewed in Canada, not Ireland. I guess that's not really a pet peeve, it just gets my Irish up.

Now that I got that all of that off my chest, here's a little Van Morrison to get you into the St. Paddy's Day (notice I didn't say Patty's) spirit.

 
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Dylan Noir

A new Bob Dylan video takes a violent turn.

The video for the song "The Night We Called it a Day" from his Sinatra cover album "Shadows in the Night" gets a little bloody. But luckily it's in black and white so it seems somehow more innocuous.

The video was directed by Nash Edgerton, an Australian director and stunt man. He's the same guy who directed creepy Dylan videos for "Must Be Christmas" and "Duquesne Whistle," which fascinated me in the past.



 
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In Search of...Spock

The passing of Leonard Nimoy at the age of 83 makes me feel like I've lost a member of my extended family.

Growing up with three brothers, two older and one younger, it would have been impossible to not be over-exposed to Nimoy's Spock and the rest of the crew on the Starship Enterprise.

I didn't really watch the show in prime time, but in syndication I'm pretty sure Star Trek was on the Dunn TV a few times a week for many years in the 70s.

I remember fondly lying on the floor, next to my brother who was eating Cocoa Puffs, and watching the original Star Trek series. Some of my favorite episodes--of course Trouble With Tribbles, the one where they went to a planet inhabited by children, and the ones with Harcourt Mudd. (For some reason I think his middle name was Quentin). Spock was my favorite character. I loved the fact that he thought he was so logical and emotionless, but his human side always showed through.

And if the afternoon re-runs weren't enough, there was also a Saturday morning Star Trek cartoon, featuring the voices of the original actors! I think most of the stories were just edited down versions of the TV show.


I also remember Nimoy fondly as the host of "In Search Of.." which explored topics of paranormal nature.

 
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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know about George Harrison

Who else still misses George? 

George Harrison was born on today's date in 1943, and was only 58 when he died in 2001. I was interviewed by Channel 3 after he died, and I said it was truly sad for me, because I grew up with the Beatles and almost felt like they were my big brothers.

Here are some things you may or may not know about the Quiet Beatle.

1. He played lead guitar on the Cheech and Chong song "Basketball Jones."

2. He visited the United States before any of the other Beatles, visiting his sister Louise in Benton, Illinois, in September of 1963. Since the Beatles weren't known in America yet, George was able to  jam with local musicians, visit record stores and even camp in the Shawnee National Forest without being hassled by fans.

3. After he lost the "My Sweet Lord"/"He's So Fine" lawsuit, he refused to allow the radio to be played in his house, so he wouldn't accidentally copy any one else's music.

4. George loved gardening and planting trees. He dedicated his memoir I Me Mine to "all gardeners everywhere." 

5. Since it wasn't featured in the televised ceremony, you may have missed the fact that George was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award this year, accepted on his behalf by his son Dhani. (See part of Dhani's speech here).

 
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Grammy flashback: most awkward moment ever?

The Grammys always have their share of awkward moments and unusual pairings. But this one from the early 1970s is so awkward, it's amazing. 

It's obvious John can't really believe he's being forced to read such cheesy lines!

Watch to the end to see who accepted the award for the non-present Olivia Newton John.

 
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World's Worst iPod: Baltimora "Tarzan Boy"
If ever there was a song that screamed "'80s" this is it. There was a whole lotta love expressed for "Tarzan Boy" by Baltimora, even though a lot of people just remembered it as the Oh-oh-oh song! Baltimora was a band from Italy, and this song was...
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Discover & Download: Kodaline "Ready"
From Kodaline.com: That Kodaline are ready to release their second album has still to sink in with the men who made it. The Dublin quartet didn't plan to follow up last year's 350,000 selling 'In A Perfect World' so promptly. In...
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Local Musician Needs Our Help--Sunday Benefit for Robert J's family
What are you doing this Sunday (April 19th)? Head over to the High Noon Saloon to hear some great live music, and at the same time help a local musician. Robert J. Conaway, who usually just goes by Robert J., has been a friend to 105.5 Triple M for a...
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This instrumental was actually written in 1974, released to radio in in 1978, and then a year later it went all the way to #3 on the Billboard chart. Frank Mills is a Canadian piano player who started taking lessons at age 3. He apparently practiced...
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Record Store Day is this Saturday and it's kind of a big deal, especially if you love vinyl. Independent record stores all across the country will be offering some pretty cool stuff created especially for that day--or available for the first time...
Read More
World's Worst iPod:After the Fire "Der Kommissar"
The English group After the Fire took "Der Kommissar" to #5 in 1983. Interestingly, there were not the original ones to record this song. It was co-written and recorded a couple years earlier by Falco (yeah, the "Rock Me Amadeus" guy). That version was...
Read More
Discover & Download: Delta Rae "Scared"
Delta Rae is an American folk rock band formed in Durhman, North Carolina. The band consists of threesiblings Ian Holljes, Eric Holljes and Brittany Holljes, as well as Elizabeth Hopkins, Mike McKee and Grant Emerson. (Wikipedia) Available until...
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There's a lot about Eric Clapton this is pretty much an open book. He stole George Harrison's wife. He's battled many demons, including drugs and alcohol. He got the name Slow Hand because he was terribly slow at changing broken guitar...
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