What's your favorite Kinks song? All Day and All of the Night? Lola? Come Dancing? Sunny Afternoon? I'm Not Like Everybody Else? Chances are, Ray Davies will sing it for you Sunday November 6th when he plays theBarrymore Theatre.
I've never been lucky enough to see the Kinks, but I have had the opportunity to see Ray Davies live three times, and he does not disappoint. The guy can still sing and entertain..demonstrating that he's still got what it takes to be a fantastic frontman. The first time I saw him was probably more than a decade ago when he was on his Storyteller tour. That show was also at the Barrymore. The small but devoted audience got to hear all the great Kinks songs..and the stories that went with them. How did his brother Dave Davies get that signature tone on "You Really Got Me?" He stuck a knife in his amplifier. And all the stories were told with wit and passion.
I got to see Ray again when he played the Barrymore to start off a 2006 U.S. tour, and then later in the tour at Summerfest. Mike and I sat right next to the soundboard at the Barrymore show, so we could see the setlist..and it was a great one! He included lots of hits, some chestnuts for hardcore fans, as well as songs from his new album...and those were great too! He's funny, he's a talented songwriter and performer..and he has more charisma than the average Well Respected Man. If you're a Kinks fan and have never seen him before..make sure you see this show. If you have seen him before, chances are you've already bought your tickets. --Previewed by Kitty Dunn
For a lot of people..the Willy Street Fair is bittersweet. It's one of the city's best, most unusual neighborhood festivals, but it also marks the end of summer.Â If you've never been there..it's hard to explain. Mix in some tie-dye and political activism with great live music, food and beer, and throw in some bubbles for good measure, and that might give you a bit of an idea.
Saturday, the Willy Street Fair features 3 stages with a variety of live music options on the 800 block of Williamson Street.Â This year, the Fair is continuing its relationship with the Madison World Music Festival to bring some really outstanding entertainment our way. Click here to see the entire World Music Festival schedule. (It actually gets underway Thursday at the Wisconsin Union Theatre).
As I looked at the list, one act really jumped out at me as one to see. Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars are a group of musicians who escaped the horrific violence of Sierra Leone's civil war, landed in a West African refugee camp and formed a band to keep their spirits up and their hopes alive. You can catch their performance Saturday at 7:15pm.
Sunday the fun continues on the 800 to 1000 blocks ofÂ Willy Street, starting off with the world's coolest parade at 11am. This is not your typical "bring out all the fire trucks and Shriners' kind of parade. In fact, any one can join this rag-tag assemblage! Look for Triple M's Gabby Parsons and some lucky Triple M listeners waving to the crowd from a super-snazzy convertible.
There are five stages filled with a wide variety of acts on Sunday. Here are my picks:
The Jimmys 4pm on the Main Stage. Led by Triple M's favorite rock and roll farmer, the newly married Jimmy Voegeli on keys, the Jimmys are guaranteed to get our mojo working!
Wayne Baker Brooks 5pm on the Main Stage: Wayne continues the rich heritage of his dad Lonnie Brooks, with a "liquid fire" guitar style and passionate vocals.
Purgatory Hill w/Pat MacDonald + Melanie Jane. 5:50pm on the Underground Stage. Yes, that Pat MacDonald, whose future was so bright he had to wear shades back in his Timbuk3 days. But don't expect to hear that song. This band's music is described as "a shocking reinvention of blues and rock music."
That's just a tiny sliver of what you can experience on Saturday and Sunday. There's also a kids stage, a folk stage and a culture stage.Â See the complete schedule here.
The Willy Street Fair is a benefit for Commonwealth Development and the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center, so you can have a good time and know you're doing good at the same time. See you there!
--Kitty Dunn..Willy Street Fair attendee, 20 years and counting! (Thanks to Gabby for the pics)
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!
Happy 70th Birthday to Steve Cropper..an amazing guitar player, songwriter..and a guy who has an interesting connection to Madison.
When Otis Redding's plane went down in Lake Monona in 1967, one of Cropper's beloved guitars (I believe a Telecaster) went down with it. And he has said he never wrote another hit song after that.
Now I doubt there's much left of it after all these years...but it sure would be cool if a diver could find it.
Cropper co-wrote "Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay," "In the Midnight Hour," among others, and as a founding member of Booker T and The MG's was involved in the recording of pretty much every record Stax Records ever put out.
And don't forget he's the "Steve" of "Play it Steve" on the song "Soul Man"...the Sam & Dave and Blues Brothers Versions.
He's still making records too..most recently puttingÂ out a great album called "Dedicated" features duets with B.B. King, Lucinda Williams, John Popper and Steve Winwood.
Find out more about Cropper's amazing career on his website at www.playitsteve.com.
There's a report out today that Mick Jagger is getting together with Martin Scorsese to produce a new TV show that will air on HBO.
It reportedly will track the exploits of a "cocaine-fueled record executive in New York City circa 1977," at a time "when punk, disco and a new form of music called hip-hop collided."
Okay, I guess he might have some experience in that area, although his buddy Keith Richards may be a bit more qualified.
Now before they settled on that premise for the show, my sources tell me there were others that were rejected. Here are a few of them.
1. "Three's Company: The Next Generation" Mick Jagger would star as the new Mr. Roper.
2. "Ego Wars" This would pit Mick's ego against others who also think a whole lot of themselves. Donald Trump, Charlie Sheen, Sarah Palin and Brett Favre were all being considered as possible guest stars.
3. "Let's Rob Mick Jagger." Some down and out New Yorkers conspire to rob Mick Jagger's apartment.
4. "Extreme Makeover: Lips Edition" Mick would host a behind the scenes reality program involving the best and the worst from the world of collagen.
5. "Moves Like Jagger" Inspired by the Maroon-5 song, celebrities would try their best to dance like Mick Jagger without falling over laughing.
Do you like to cook?
Do you like to eat?
Then the Madison Food & Wine Show is something you need to check out this weekend. Happening Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center, this is one of my favorite parts of the fall.
Here's how it works. When you go into the Exhibition Hall, you'll be given a wine glass (that you can take home), and a bag to hold goodies in, as well as info about all the exhibitors. It's going to seem overwhelming at first..but give yourself a chance to get your bearings, and then start wandering.
You'll find delicious foods from a wide variety of restaurants, caterers, and other food producers (think cheese!) Everything from entrees to desserts. You can pick up lots of great ideas along the way, meet awesome people who know all about the food or other product that they have for you to try.
Ooh..I almost forgot the wine!Â So many wines to sample! It's a great way to discover new wines without having to risk spending a lot of money on something you don't like.
Not big into wines? No big deal. I'm not a real wine person, but I still find plenty of items to try..and yes, there's beer there too.
Throughout the three days, there will be plenty of demonstrations..and the Dueling Chefs competition is always entertaining.
Look for Triple M at the show. We'll be handing out suggestions for great Triple M Triple combos featuring entree, beverage, and album.
Here are the ones I came up with:
British Invasion Picnic
LP:Â The Who Sell Out
Entree: Good Old American Hamburger with beans on the side
Drink: Newcastle Beer
Breakfast in America
LP: Supertramp's Breakfast in America
Entree: Omelette with spinach, mushrooms and Wisconsin colby cheese
Drink: Mimosa with California sparkling wine and Florida orange juice
A Texican treat
LP:Â Los Lonely Boys debut
Entree: Texas Tamale Pie and
Drink: Chameleon El Rey Beer
Find out more about the Food & Wine Show here.
"If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'."--John Lennon
Chuck Berry turns 85 years old today..and he's still gigging. I'm not sure he's doing his signature duck walk anymore..but just standing upright and holding a guitar for any length of time would be an accomplishment for most people his age. I checked his tour schedule, and he's playing BB King's Club in New York City on New Year's Eve!
I was lucky enough to see Chuck Berry several years ago as part of a double bill with Little Richard. While he was a little cranky (he thought video cameras being used to project the show on big screens were actually recording him and he got testy), and his guitar chops weren't seamless, it was still incredible to be able to see such an icon up close and personal.
Funny concert memory: Mike and I were sitting next to Madison sandwich tycoon Big Mike (of Big Mike's and Milio's fame), who was really getting into the show. At one point, Chuck asked all the pretty ladies to come up on stage and dance with him. While I was too shy, Big Mike (who lives up to his name) ran up on stage and gave it his all! I ran into Big Mike this summer and mentioned that to him, and he asked me, "Can you blame me?"
There are lots of great videos featuring Chuck Berry on youtube..and in many of them, he's playing with rock and roll luminaries that he influenced.
This one is from the documentary "Hail Hail Rock and Roll," and features a famous son of one of the biggest rock stars ever.
I was reading the Sunday paper yesterday and being the frugal queen that I am, I was perusing the coupons. One that caught my eye was a coupon to save a dollar on Halloween Play-Doh. Play-Doh for trick or treat? All I can say to that is...BOOO!
While I have nothing against Play-Doh in general, I don't think this is an appropriate surprise to drop in some one's trick or treat bag. First of all, you'll probably only get one (or maybe two), and the amount is so small you probably can't make anything out of it. Ooh..here's an awesome one-color Play-Doh snake!Â Now where the heck are those Snickers bars?
I suppose there are are other things that are even worse as Halloween gifts. These include fruit, pennies, pencils..or from the completely ironic file..toothbrushes!
Unless of course the toothbrush played the tune to Monster Mash. That would be cool.
Confession time.Â Â No, I didn't recently give birth when I was in the hospital, but I did watch a lot of bizarre television that I don't usually watch. Among the shows: "Toddlers and Tiaras," "Long Island Medium," and my new favorite..."I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant."
There is a show called "I Didn't Know I was Pregnant" ???Â First of all..that happens enough that there's a show about it? Se cond..this show has been on for several years. Wow.
In the episode I watched, a young woman gave birth in a campground restroom. She was in pain and didn't know why..and the baby just fell out and hit the bathroom floor. The show didn't have any actual footage of course, but did have actors re-enacting the scene. Surprisingly, they did not have a doll-double to use to represent the baby.
What I'm wondering is this..how do these kids feel when they find out about their interesting entrances to the world? Will they sit down with the families and re-watch the show every year after they blow out the candles on the birthday cake?"
"You dropped me on the floor!Â In a grimy campground bathroom?" I imagine the kid asking. "Those better be some pretty awesome presents for me to even THINK about forgiving you."
And when his friends ask "were dropped on your head as a baby, or what?" He'll have to say.."as a matter of fact I was. Thanks, Mom."
Want to know more about this bizarre show? (And why wouldn't you?)Â Click here.
It seems just about everybody has read the book "The Help," or at least has seen the movie. I'm sure I'm not the first person to have a problem with the book...but it's probably not the same one others have written about.
Kathryn Stockett's book "The Help" is the story of black maids and the white families they work for, set in Jackson, Mississippi against the backdrop of the civil rights movement. Some crtics have said it's not historically accurate, while others have complained that the author overstepped her bounds in trying to write from the perspective of a black woman of that era.
But that's not what annoyed me. Here's what ignited this reader's flame. Kathryn Stockett doesn't know beans about rock and roll!
In one chapter, which is supposed to be the summer of 1963, one of the white characters hums the Beatles's song "Love Me Do."Â Really, Ms. Stockett? This young white female in the deep south is humming a song that won't be released in the United States until April of the following year?Â The Beatles haven't even been on the Ed Sullivan show yet, and Beatlemania hasn't even really kicked in England yet, but somehow this woman knows the tune, and she's in Mississippi?
I just simmered down enough from that one when that same character is listening to the radio in her car and she hears a song by the new band The Rolling Stones. This was in January, a month before the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, and four months before the Stones'Â first single was released in the U.S. Simply amazing.
I guess I'm being a bit of a nitpicker (or music snob), but come on. Don't they have editors that double check this kind of stuff? What other stuff did she get wrong? Those blunders really made me wonder.
In another chapter a character changes the channel with a remote control..a Space Command.Â I had to look that up. Was the Zenith space command in use in 1963?
Yes, it was introduced in the 1950's. Okay, she gets a pass on that one.
(And despite all of this...I still really liked the book and recommend it!)
Have you heard the song "Rumble and Sway" yet on Triple M?
The singer sounds like a raspy blues dude who's definitely been around the block a few times....but surprisingly, Jamie N. Commons is only 23 years old!
He was born in England, but...
Last week, I decided I would try one new, healthy food a week, and asked my facebook friends to make some suggestions.
The first thing I tried was mango. I'm sure I've had other mango flavored things, and mango as part of something else, but...
There's only one thing that might be worse than the Neil Diamond/Barbra Streisand duet "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." And that's Jonathan Suttin doing his best crooning...doing both parts. Most unpleasant.
A lot of people liked this song...
Hail From: Boston
Song: 'The Wheel'
Album: Diamonds From The Penny Arcade
Sounds Like: Hole, Pearl Jam
In Their Words: "Alchemilla had been trying to write a ballad for a little while but it wasn't happening. There...
Last weeks challenge we thought went excellent! Of course we are a little biased.
The drinking song couldn't have been any better, or any less fun. We had a blast through out the whole process, and our performance rocked.
This week is an easy...
So the story goes Michael Jackson completed this song while watching cartoons with Paul McCartney. We'll just let that sink in for a moment.
Not sure what cartoons they were watching, but it must have worked because this song made it to number 2...
The Dalai Lama is back in town, sharing his message of peace and kindness with likeminded individuals, and the Wisconsin legislature. He also held a private meeting with Gov. Walker, who said he mostly listened to what His Holiness had to say (wise...
This duet by Ol' Blue Eyes and his daughter went all the way to number 1 back in 1967. It seems a little creepy that Frank and Nancy Sinatra are singing a love song. However, a lot of Triple M listeners were in the mood for it.