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How does Kitty put up with Jonathan?
Posts from January 2014

Free Download: "Waking Up To You" by John The Conqueror

Artist: John The Conqueror
Song: "Waking Up To You"
Album: The Good Life

"As folks get older, they begin to see the mistakes they've made," Pierre Moore tells Rolling Stone. "This song isn't about one woman. It's about every relationship I've ruined because I thought sleeping around would make me happy. A few years go, I woke up realizing that I was never satisfied and I caused all my own problems. This song is about that moment."

More from John The Conqueror

Source: Rolling Stone
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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
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Free Download: "Warm Winds" by Outlands

Artist: Outlands
Song: "Warm Winds"
Album: Love is as Cold as Death

"We recorded 'Warm Winds' in the middle of a cold Virginia winter," Mark Arciaga tells Rolling Stone. "It's about letting love be the catalyst to move forward. The song was written about these lush Cocteau Twins piano chords, which we ended up reworking and recording on a grand piano to give the song more warmth, and we brought it our friend Kevin Knight to sing some sexy lower background vocals. Those Jessie Ware-inspired harmonies are what really gives that song an extra layer of sensuousness."

More from Outlands

Source: Rolling Stone
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Free Download: "Young Reckless Hearts" by Warm Soda

Artist: Warm Soda
Song: "Young Reckless Hearts"
Album: Young Reckless Hearts

"'Young Reckless Hearts' is about trusting your intuition at the moment you break free from whatever is holding you back," Matthew Melton tells Rolling Sone. "No matter the consequences."

More from Warm Soda:

Source: Rolling Stone
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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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Free Download: "Graffiti" by Maggie Champan

Artist: Maggie Chapman
Song: "Graffiti"
Album: Maggie Chapman

"I've always been fascinated by graffiti art. Growing up, my older brother and I would watch vandalized trains pass by, and he would point out which paintings had been done by the same person," Maggie Chapman tells Rolling Stone. "I had just gone through a breakup with a guy who was a painter when the title 'Graffiti' popped into my head. He was so talented and I was mesmerized with how he could bring things to life through his art. Even though the song is not about him, I was visually inspired and wanted to paint a picture with words in this song. That vivid, colorful, passionate love that has the power to make or break us, to taint our hearts or turn them into works of art."

More from Maggie Chapman

Source: Rolling Stone
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Fresh New Music : Aloe Blacc

The name Aloe Blacc might not ring a bell, but you have heard his voice before. He’s the voice you hear singing on Avicii’s “ Wake Me Up”
 A singer songwriter, rapper and musician burst onto the scene in the mid 90’s, and launched a solo career in 2003.
By 2012 he was nominated for a BRIT award for Best international Male Soul Artist and Best International Break Through Artist.
If you watch TV sports, you definitely heard THIS song, “The Man”
                                                             Aloe Blacc’s album “ Lift You Spirit” is available now.                 © Photo: stusev: Flickr
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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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Fresh New Music : Ellen Foley

Remember the Meatloaf song “ Paradise by the Dashboard Light? Well, the female vocalist was Ellen Foley. Although she did not appear in the video, that’s her voice you hear.
Ellen was also the subject of The Clash’s song “ Should I Stay or Should I Go”, written by her, then boyfriend, Mick Jones.
In addition to being the inspiration for a song, she also has an extensive theater background, appearing in Hair, Tootsie and Fatal Attraction, just to name a few as well as the TV Show Night Court.

And now, 30 years after her last album comes a new one!

Here’s a sample of the first single, “ If You Can’t Be Good”.

Ellen Foley’s album “ About Time” is out now.              © Photo: drquoz: Flickr
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World's Worst iPod: The Stroke by Billy Squier

The song "The Stroke" sounds like an intimate party for one, but despite the sexual innuendo, or because of it, almost everyone who called in this morning wanted to hear Billy Squier's first hit.

For some reason, Kitty gets creeped out by the song...but she was won over (somewhat) after learning that Billy Squier played for a time with Ringo's All Star Band. If he's good enough for a Beatle, he should be good enough to play on the air, at least once.

Added piece of trivia: the bass player for Billy Squier, Kenny Aaronson, is now with John Eddie's band. He's the one with the cool shades in the video.

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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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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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Free Download: "Magic Hour" by The Tontons

Artist: The Tontons
Song: "Magic Hour"
Album: The Make Out King and Other Stories of Love

"'Magic Hour' is named after a bar in New York's lower east side," Asli Omar tells Rolling Stone. "The actual name of the bar is "The Magician," which is something I only realized after writing the song. The song basically describes the final week of my relationship which kind of reached a head at this particular bar.

More from The Tontons:

Source: Rolling Stone 
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Free Download: Sleeper Agent 'Waves"

Gabby played them for New Music Thursday today.  Get your free download of "Waves."
© Photo: Andy Collegian, Flickr
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Free Download: "Man on Fire" by Charlie Greene

Artist: Charlie Greene
Song: "Man on Fire"
Album: Charlie Greene

"'Man on Fire' [is] kind of a lyrical cuspidor," Charlie Greene tells Rolling Stone. "Some simple music that became a home for some orphaned ideas that couldn't take shelter in another song. A manger for stranger phrases that were told there was no room at the inn for their kind. It's the wail of a weirdo trying to explain himself and failing spectacularly. It's also just some good hillbilly shit that's fun to play."

Source: The Rolling Stone
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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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Free Download: "Carrier" by The Tower of Light

Artist: The Tower of Light
Song: "Carrier"
Album: The Tower of Light

More from The Tower of Light


Source: The Rolling Stone
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Fresh New Music : Sleeper Agent

Sleeper Agent is a band from Kentucky that found their sound when they added female vocalist Alex Kandel to their line-up. It apparently was a good decision, since Esquire Magazine called their  music  “most original introduction to a new band we’re likely to hear all year” and Rolling Stone rated Sleeper Agent number 2 in the Best New Band category in 2012.
Here’s a sample of their second album, the very catchy song “ Waves”

                                                                Look for Sleeper Agent’s album “ About Last Night” in the spring          © Photo: Andy Collegian: Flickr
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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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