Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Super Troopers

As we near the end 2009 I have been doing a lot of time of reflecting over the past 10 years and what exactly has been done with my life. Really there is nothing better that sums it up better than the opening of this movie. "Super Troopers" is a movie that my friends from home and I found during one late night at blockbuster. We had at the time, no idea what we had just found, yet one hour later and after watching the opening sequence about 30 times, we had found our movie of the decade.

This movie is probably one of my favorites comedies of all time. It ranks up high with Old School, Zoolander, Royal Tennenbaums, and even the Hangover. All movies that I could watch none stop for days or like some people like to say, my five dvds I would bring with me to a deserted island.

Super Troopers is based on corrupt cops up in Vermont who have more of a knack for practical jokes then they have for actually taking their jobs seriously. A majority of their time is spent brainstorming new and fun ways to mess with stoned college students and most of all the rookies on their squad. The entire movie is an instant classic. I think that I may have even burned out my dvd in college I watched it so much.

The opening of this movie is hands down my favorite from the last 10 years. Anyone who hung out with me in high school or even in college for that matter will understand why, I can not stop laughing. "you are freaking out....mannnn". :)

Your gem of the day brought to you by me is the first 8 minutes of this movie:


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Shoes

Well this post is for one person and one person in particular. He happens to be one of my favorite people on this side of the planet, and for good reason. Hes my brother Rick or like I used to say it...the Rickenbocker... da da daaaa**symbols** ha. Okay enough of the inside jokes.

This kid is a class act. Unlike most kids his age who are out getting hammered being a kid in their early 20s this guy has his head on straight and is busting his ass to be the best doctor that the east coast has ever seen. He spends most of his days around the Rutgers campus and his nights split between working ridiculous shifts (7pm-7am) at both the Emergency Room at Morristown Memorial or at the EMT Squad where he has been a volunteer since he was 16. I look forward to him regaining his normal life again one day soon but for now he knows whats at stake and he is ready for war. I am so proud of this kid in ways that he will never understand. He is my rock. He is my best friend. He is the one person in my life that I can call no matter what time no matter what circumstances and somehow he has something smart to say.

So today Rick, this post is for you. This post is for you to celebrate the end of your Organic Chem final. The close to end of the rest of your exams and well close to a nice well deserved break. Did I mention he is going to squeeze picking me up at the airport in his busy schedule? Again, fantastic brother. So Rick this song is for you, I know it is one of your all time favorites. Every time I hear it I think of you and laugh uncontrollably.

Can't wait to see you!

PS: Yes I know this song is incredibly sad, I guess its just one of those "had to be there moments". If you actually like this song please refer to: "Butterfly Kisses" haha. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What I Did on My Winter Vacation....

Some people like to travel, some people like to shop and some people like to drive around the country following a band in search of a perfect show. I am proud to say that I am one of those people who throw caution to the wind in search of good music. Many people in my life have always questioned my ability to go out on my own, to do my own thing, to really do those things that others look upon as completly ludicris or a waste of time. To me that is the beauty to what they will never understand. They will never understand the feeling it is to give into somethin gthat is so much bigger than yourself, to hang out or to bond with complete strangers in a surrounding that is so comfortable to both parties that it seems as if you have known them your entire life. This feeling is one of the many reasons why I love going on Phish tour and why nothing in this world can hold a candle to being on it.

Last week Dec 3rd-5th I left Richmond in search of some good times with one of my best friends Beth. Our plan was simple. Leave Wed night, be in NYC for the shows at Madison Square Garden on Thursday and Friday nights then jump in our car Saturday morning and join the rest of our Virginia Crew at the show in Charlottesville on Sat. night. Easy.

Everything was working out just as planned, we got up to NJ (with no help from the pouring rain) stayed at my fabulous fathers house who sat for an hour with me trying to explain to him that phish tour is different this time because I am actually responsible with a real job. He wasn't understanding, it was a Wednesday night, I should be in Virgina asleep getting ready for work on Thursday instead of a concert run. The conversation went nowhere, fast. The next morning drove into NYC to quite literally "get this show on the road". After a day of doing everything a typical tourist does in NYC during the holidays (30 Rock Tree, Macy's Windows, Ice Skating etc), it was time for the show and most importantly time for a drink. This is when the trip took a fantastic turn.
We were sitting at a bar very close to the venue at MSG having a few drinks discussing our excitement for that nights show when the bartender did a very smart thing. He put on a Phish show. I believe the set started out with Wilson...beth and I high fived, we saw another couple in the corner of our eye start dancing and another two just stand up and get really excited.
We had found our people. Bianca and Jason are from Albany and April and Lorcan were from the great state of Vermont. We all knew right away that this was going to be our crew for the next two days and we were all set for a good time. We sat at the bar getting to know each other, having some drinks getting excited for the show when before you know it, it was time for the show. We all quickly got all of our things together and started making our way to the door, yet not before we yelled out one more thing at our new crew. 5 o'clock tomorrow, same bat time, same bat channel.

We took to the streets of NYC with one thing in mind. Phish at MSG. The last time Beth and I had seen this band here was back at New Years 2002 better known as: The Return. Its been almost 7 years, we were in the greatest city in the world seeing (in my mind) one of the greatest bands in the world, at the greatest venue in the world. There was just about nothing holding us from having a good time. There was this buzz outside MSG that felt just like 2002.
These heads out here were ready for a good show and well lucky for us so was the band. That Thursday nights show was unbelievable. With a awesome "Punch you in the Eye" opener the band blazed through what was an amazing first set which also included one of my personal favorite Stevie Wonder tunes "Boogie on Reggae Woman". We knew this show was going to be good but neither one of us were prepared for what was going to be thrown at us during what was probably the most epic second sets I have had to pleasure to witnessing.

To anyone who doesn't know. MSG is a small venue, it holds just shy of 18,000 people and well its known as a small dome. There is hardly a bad seat in the house, to the contrary the place is so fun to see a show in because it feels as if everyone is huddled around each other creating on intimate setting. I have read articles that bands particularly love playing MSG because the "floor moves" and often if a crowd is really jumping down and getting into it the rafters move under the musicians feet, something that bands always say is a real treat.

Anyways, this place went "bat shit crazy" during the second set. The set list was full of heavy hitters: Down w/Disease>Piper>Fluffhead>Cities>Free>Halley's Comet>2001>Bowie. "Are you kidding me!! They really just played that!?!" was pretty much the only thing I was processing during this set. The place felt as if the roof was going to tear off the top and the place was just going to explode. Thats what I love about Phish shows especially indoor shows. You get this sense of community, this sense of looking around the room knowing that you are not the only one dancing your feet off but you are surrounded by 18 thousand people feeling and doing the exact same thing. Its a hard feeling to describe, yet once your in it, you will never forget it. Night 1 was complete and it left me completely speechless. I felt like I had danced my legs off, I had barely a voice and it looked like I had just gone to battle. As Beth and I sat on the subway back to Brooklyn for a quick rest, we looked at each other and said.."Wow, do we really have two more nights of this??"....

To be continued tomorrow....(obviously can write for days about this...)

Thursday, December 10, 2009


This morning I threw a party for all of the great volunteers that I have the pleasure of working with everyday. I am the Director of Volunteers for a Hospitality House here in Richmond (www.hhhrichmond.org) and this morning I had about 50 volunteers come in for a brunch thanking them for their time and to wish them a happy holidays. As I walked around the crowd mingling with the people who make my job look so easy I no joke had this song playing over and over again in my head.

All I could think of was my friend Tara's birthday party, when I was in middle school. Her mother took about 12 of us girls to go see a Boys 2 Men (with a Montel Jordan opener may I add) at PNC Bank Arts Center in NJ. I remember standing on a garbage can at the back of the lawn section watching them perform this...haha. good times. Maybe now it can get out of my head....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Avett Brothers

Well I'm in love...again. This bands song is soon to be banned from my apartment building due to the amount of times I have been playing it. Artist: The Avett Brothers Song: I and Love and You. This is a band I really can get behind. Based out of North Carolina this band of literally brothers has flown under the radar for the last several years relasing albums and playing small clubs and bars yet I have a feeling it won't be for too long. I stumbled across it while driving back from NYC this weekend and well, its amazing. I'm sure its not the last time I will talk about them...Enjoy!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

2009 in 90 Seconds

Here is a review of my 2009 in 90 seconds. A lot happened this year....lost a job, gained a job, went to five weddings, skydiving, first wednesdays, moms 5k, lots of music, lots of good times... Enjoy!

"I Got A Blank Space Where My Mind Should Be...."

Good morning everyone,

Well as I try and piece my life back together after what was a ridiculous two weeks of phish shows including what has to be hands down the best three nights of music I have ever seen in my life (thursday, friday, saturday) I am trying to get my head back on straight. As I try and compose myself at work watch one of my highlights from Friday nights show at Madison Square Garden in NYC. Phish had done a full cover of the Rolling Stones "Exile on Main Street" during their Halloween show in Cali, so I was really hoping for a cover off of the album during this run....and well I got it! Watch below as they just absolutely kill "Shine a Light". Pay attention to the lights during this song, they were so on point! And yes I promise I will update this soon with full reviews and pictures from each night...

Now back to reality...

Monday, November 30, 2009

Watch This Now!

Happy Monday and welcome back from the Thanksgiving Break....

This week is a short one for me as I'm heading back out on the road Wednesday night for some more Phishin... before I post some of the pictures from the Philly run please watch this video below.

Last night I watched what probably was the greatest rock and roll concerts of all time. It was the 25th anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The lineup included such legends as U2, Mick Jagger, Aretha Franklin, Jeff Beck, Simon and Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and many more including this crazy duet between Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello. What Tom does to his poor guitar by the end of this song is nothing short of amazing.

No words to describe this one:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What Is Going On America?

A few questions America? Who is this lady? Why did I wake up to her on every single morning show imaginable this week? And how is it exactly her CD is being released at #1 beating out such heavy hitters as Rihanna, Lady Gaga and the (real) American Idol winner Adam Lambert?

America I get it; you are a sucker for the come from behind story of the person who "dreamed a dream" and made it a reality. But to avoid sounding really bitter on this cold evening, I will just say I will be glad to see this one pass into the youtube abyss soon. That and DOES SHE SING ANY OTHER SONG??? (Okay I'm done)

Okay that is all. I'm off on Phish tour for the next two weeks hitting up Philadelphia, NYC and Charlottesville on the run. Going to squeeze a little turkey in on Thursday. I suggest you do the same! I promise full tour update when I return.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Album of the Week

Okay sorry for the long break from the blog world, work got a little too busy and I haven't had the time to write, yet no worries, the music collection is still growing...it really never stops...ever.

This week I went out and spent my usual 9.99 to support the musicians that I love. I believe to even out my karma for downloading so much music over the years is that I buy the albums that I love to show my support of these artists. Thats fair right? Moving forward...

My pick for album of the week is John Mayer's "Battle Studies". While I'm not the biggest John Mayer fan out there, (I really got into him when he played with the jazz trio). You can not deny that this boy is a talent. This being his third release he spent most of his off time collaborating with some of the greats in the game. Clapton, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Madonna, the list is long and impressive...

I bought this CD after watching his live concert on tv earlier this week. John definitely has his key demographic and it is not surprising...the ladies. His looks and charm alone send ladies at his concerts into absolute frenzy. Sure I understand it but stepping back and listening to this album without watching the full concert I felt something different. This is a man who loves all types of music. He loves his jazzy pop songs, his deep adult contemporary tempos, crazy jam band guitar rifts, there is such a mix of different styles that he brings to his music, just dismissing him into the "Pop" category would be a disservice to Johns talents.

The songs on this album flow like fine wine. They are all different but still have that thread that keeps them all the same. Heartfelt songs about love life and loss. Songs like "Half of My Heart" he sings such lyrics as "Half of my heart is a shotgun wedding to a bride with a paper ring/But half of my heart is the part of a man who's never truly loved anything". Musically, he's exploring the moody territory of acts such as Coldplay and Snow Patrol, yet at the same time he is displaying he debt to guitar heroes including David Gilmour, Eric Clapton and George Harrison.

This album is just good. I really can't explain it better than that. Go pick this one up today!

The video below is from his concert this week. This is one of his old songs "Gravity". I was so impressed by this display I was brought to my feet in my apartment. Yes that good.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This Is It!

Last night I went to the movie theaters and saw the movie about Michael Jacksons last tour called "This is It". And after months and months about hearing about all the details and circumstances that went into that brilliant mans last few weeks leading up to his untimely death. I can finally say after seeing this. "This really is it".

Like many of you out there, I was a huge MJ fan. I think that the man was a musical genius, a talent of which we will never see the likes of again. I was skeptical about seeing this movie. I didn't want to see one of my
favorite artists, sick or not dancing well. I wasn't sure what this movies angle was going to be. Was this just the producers way of making an extra buck? A way to pay back AIG for the huge losses they are taking for the concerts that never happened in London? I'm happy to say that whatever the reason the producers decided to release this footage, THANK YOU!

What Michael was preparing to do for those last 50 concerts in London would have been something that would have made the world stop and take notice. This movie which basically is raw footage of his concert rehearsals, shows that he was nowhere near the end. His voice, his moves, the costumes, the backup dancers, the stage, the lights, his songs were all there. He was back. Of course he looked a little different (wink wink) but really the man sounded better then I have heard him in years and he was up on stage dancing showing these professional back up dancers moves that they would never even dream of.

This movie was shot documentary style and included many behind the scenes interviews with musical directors, show producers and dancers, all conducted before Michaels death. These interviews were especially poinent because of the way they spoke of the influence MJ had on all of their lives. These were the best of the best. Dancers and musicians gathered from around the world to take part of what would be the high point of all of their careers. Performing with the King of Pop. During his solo performances they would sit in the audience in awe of what they were watching. They would dance, encourage him to improve, they would laugh, cry and most of all just enjoyed being in the presence of their idol. One of the dancers even said "My whole life I have been thinking of my career and how to get to the next level. For the first time, after Michael. There is nowhere left to go".

This movie left me in awe of the man the myth the legend that is Michael Jackson. The talent that he had in his fingertips is more than most people have in their whole body. He knew his entire song catalog from front to back. He knew exactly in his mind what this show was going to look like, and he was hell bent on making it happen. He would stop production during a number to change the tune of the trumpet. He would stop a dancer mid move to show him how to hold out that extra count. This movie showed all of that genius and much much more.

The final thing I will say about this movie is what I took away from it the most. We should all be so lucky that the last six months of our time here on earth to be as fortunate as Michael. He was surrounded by about 80 performers, dancers, production and friends who were head over heals in love with him. He was performing the songs he loved, dancing on stage, laughing behind the scenes, not at home sick or under media scrutiny. Throughout the movie he often states into his mic how much he loves the people who were on stage with him and how much fun he was having. How great is that? How great it is to know that you left this world doing what you loved. We should all be so lucky...

Rest in Peace Michael Jackson.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Song of the Day

Introducing you to my song of the day from the band: Black Carl called "Dirty Wine", click HERE to listen now.

They are an indie funk rock band from Arizona based around lead singer Emma Pew. Members site Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, James Brown and The Meters as their musical influences. Yet from the looks of them (above) if you go and see them live they look like anything but their musical influences.

The yet to be signed band has been playing shows and making their way around the west coast and are currently on tour throughout California. According to the band, "Black Carl will make you feel like you're riding a psychotic horse toward a burning stable". Their mix of soul and funk paired with Pews out of control voice range makes this toe tapping music a success. Keep your eye out for them in the next few years...

Number 27

Well, what a difference does a good night sleep and a world championship make on a persons mood. I'm seeing the world through a better perspective today and I have to tell you its a whole lot better than where I was yesterday. The Yankees are World Champions of baseball and all is right in the world...

Last night I had such a fantastic time watching my (yes they are all mine) New York Yankees bring home their 27th championship. It brought me back to all those years during middle school and high school when the Yanks were the dominating force in baseball. The last 9 years they have struggled to stay on top, struggled with figuring out their lineup and especially struggling in pitching. Yet last night they put all those critics to rest hammering the Philadelphia Phillies to take home game 6 and bring another championship to the greatest city in the world.

It is times like these where I kick myself for moving to Virginia. I grew up 40 miles away from the best city in the world with some of the greatest sports teams and fans you will ever find. I moved to Virginia whose only sports team are the pathetic Washington Nationals and the even more suffering Washington Redskins. What was I thinking? Now I get to sit back and watch my brothers and dad go celebrate at the parade in the city tomorrow, celebrating with the rest of the world yet another championship.

I will be there in spirit, with my pinstripes on under my work clothes... Lets go Yankees!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Throw It On The Ground...

Well after a disappointing election in both my home state of NJ and my current state of VA, paired with me missing one of my favorite nights of the month: First Wednesdays Dinner Party, finished off with a hard night at work last night (yes people try and take advantage of a Hospitality House!). I'm not in the greatest of moods today. Which is why I'm featuring this video "Throw It On The Ground".... Which is how I feel about just about everything today...everything except for the chance of the Yankees bringing home a World Series title tonight. That could be my saving grace...hope everyone else is having a better day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In Case You Forgot...


Norah Jones is Back...

Norah Jones has been a favorite of mine for a few years. And yes I am not too proud to say that this is someone that my mother has turned me on to. Now you should know that over the years I have taken many musical advice for my mother. I mean she was the Beatles fan that once made a "I love John" sign the size of her high school gymnasium to try and win a radio contest. So when she tells me that there is a new artist that I should listen to more often that not I'll listen.

Norah Jones is another nice break from todays pop culture music scene. Her soulful jazzy sound mixed with simple lyrics and genius collaborations makes her great for any age group.

A sample of her new album which is due out November 14th can be found below. Sit back enjoy it while you are at work... I know I am.

Favorite Tracks: "Back to Manhattan" and "Man of the Hour"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Taylor Goes Down...

There are not many celebrities that I love more than Ellen Degeneres. Her show is a nice and refreshing departure from many morning talk shows. The one thing that I like the most about her show is the way that she forces celebrities to get down off their high horses and act like normal people. She plays games with them, she jokes around with them, puts them in awkward situations. Its hilarious and definitely worth the spot on my dvr.

Well she did it again. This time with a spook to tween sensation Taylor Swift. I have watched this video 10 times this morning alone... Hilarious.

Regrets: Dave Matthews Band

This video does not need a lot of explaining....

To anyone who is familiar with the Dave Matthews Band concerts and their fans will find this parody video absolutely hilarious. DMB became famous in the early 90s with the release of the album "Crash". They maid their name by touring a good 250+ days of the year for the last 10+ years. They are a road band, a band that likes to get out there and play as many shows as they can for their fans. Many people have knocked DMB for "selling out" or for basically playing "glorified frat parties". I know that in my high school it was absolutely the "cool" thing to do. Especially during their epic 3 night runs at Giants Stadium...

I know when I watched this video all I thought was...."Yeah, I'm guilty"

Yet laughs or not, DMB is one of those bands that I make an effort to see when they come through town. Their unique sound of pairing an acoustic guitar with a sax, violin, piano and drums is something that just works. The lyrics that Dave writes I feel are lyrics that will last forever......"The future is no place to place your better days".

My Top 10 Favorite DMB Songs (and my favorite live version):
10. Grey Street - Live Trax 3
9. Satalite - Live at Red Rocks
8. Ants Marching - Live at Red Rocks
7. Warehouse - Best of Whats Around Greatest Hits CD
6. Crash - Live Trax 7 (Features Bella Fleck)
5. Funny the Way it Is - Va Beach - Summer 09
4. Say Goodbye - Live Trax 3
3. Crush - Live Trax 2008 Tour Sampler
2. #41 - Listeners Supported Album
1. Two Step - Central Park Concert

Friday, October 30, 2009

Can I Live While I'm Young???

How far would you travel to see the band that you love? Scratch that how far would you walk?

This is the question that was posed to be sitting on the side of a highway in Vermont back in late August of 2004. There was about 12 miles of straight traffic in between my vw jetta and my favorite band Phish's final farewell festival. This festival was capping off what was and still is the four greatest months of my entire life. Let the story begin.

The summer of 2004 I had just graduated from James Madison and decided to put real life plans on hold and move down to the beach with about 15 of my closest college friends. I will save the story about this house for another time, because well its too good. But the basics you need to know is, the group of friends I hung out with in college was the most random group of kids imaginable. Looking at us, you wouldn't have thought we would all mesh but somehow we fit like a jigsaw puzzle. Each person bringing his or her own unique inspirations and personalities to the group. The thread that kept us all together was the undying love of our favorite band: Phish.

Many of us had started listening to their music back in the beginning of high school and had seen countless numbers of shows. We spent years in college on the road heading to shows, throwing listening parties in our apartments after we got home with tapes from said shows, anything involving this band we were a part of. To me the best part was that at any show we would go to, you could look to your left and look to your right and you were surrounded by the people you love listening to the music you all loved. To me there is no better feeling than that right there.

So it was not suprising to anybody that during the start of that summer of 2004, when Phish announced that they were going to be breaking up after 20+ years of music making, we were all saddened. To us this was not just a band breaking up it was singling the end of our college life as well. This band who was such an integral part of our last four years, it was almost fitting that at the end of the summer we would have a summer tour that would end this experience for all of us. It was an easy decision for all of us to attend the last run of shows. Little did we know what exactly we were signing up for.

The story of that whole tour is long and again will save that for another day but I would just like to focus on Coventry. Phish's (at that time) last 2 day festival up in Vermont. This festival was to be the send off of a great career. The place where everyone would travel far and wide and join with 80,000+ of their fellow Phish friends and give this band the thank you it deserved.

Well, I definitely was not prepared for what came next. After spending the previous week and a half traveling up and down the east coast. My car was on its way to Coventry, Vermont. A small country town on the northern neck of the state. My friend Jeff from college and I were the two passengers in my car,
we had plans to meet up with my college friends at the Festival. We drove threw the night after the Camden show and made it up to Vermont right around the crack of dawn. That is when the traffic started.
We got on line and we waited. And waited. And waited. Now anyone who has been to any huge music festival knows to expect some traffic but there was something different about this time. We were not moving. At all. The car had been turned off for hours. At some point we had even gotten out of the car walked down the road and started making friends. Later on that day when we realized we still were not moving an inch, and we could not even see the venue in the distance some people started to worry. We had heard about the conditions on the campsite, and they said that the rain the week leading up to the festival had virtually washed away some of the parking lots. I stayed positive. That was until Mike Gordon (Phish Bass Player) came across my radio.

I will never forget this. Jeff and I were sitting in my car listening to Phish's radio station when the voice came across and said "to anyone who has yet to make it on to the festival grounds, we are sorry but there is no more room and we are going to not allow any more cars in". We froze. No more cars. Really! But I had tickets. I had spent the last two weeks sleeping on the side of the roads and in crowded hotel rooms to make this trip happen. Was this how my Phish experience was going to end. That is when Jeff looked right into my eyes and asked "We are not going to miss this show....right?". I looked at him sternly and said with conviction...absolutely not! We started brainstorming...no more cars in...no more cars in...no more cars in...GOT IT! We will walk!

By this time it was the next morning, we had waited the whole entire day in traffic and we had approx. 12 hours until the first set started. I looked at Jeff, he looked at my car (a graduation present from my dad) and we said one of Phish's famous lyrics. "Can I Live While I'm Young?" We pulled my Jetta into the grassy median of the highway and parked. We had seen a few people do this before us and figured that if they were going to tow us, they would have to tow everyone. We quickly each packed a book bag filled with our essentials and just started to follow the crowd. We asked someone ahead of us how long they thought we had, the answer we heard made us laugh. 12 miles. Better get to it.

That day walking through the countryside of Vermont with thousands of fans on the same mission will be one of those days that I will never forget. The great people of Vermont were allowing us to use their backyards to cut through, they
were feeding us, letting us graciously use their bathrooms. It was a wonderful feeling. Now as you can imagine, we were in the middle of nowhere so cell phones were not working and Jeff and I had realized that yup we were probably on our own for the next three days. Finding out friends among the masses was going to be hard, but we were okay with that. We just wanted to make it inside. We walked for what seemed like forever that day. In truth it was a solid 5-6 hours of walking to make it to the gates of the venue. I had never been so happy to see a muddy parking lot in my entire life. We made it!

We sat online outside the gates to get us into the venue and we were lined up right next to the lucky people who had gotten their cars into the lots. As Jeff and I sat in this line exhausted, something in me made me look into this line of cars. Something caught my eye. I see our friend from college Aaron sticking his head out of his car trying to sell an extra ticket. I look at Jeff and say..."No friggin way!!!". We cut the lines ran over to Aaron, happy to see someone else we recognized looked around and just started jumping up and down. Behind Aaron was a line of about 5 of our friends cars. They had taken a different route, using back roads and somehow made it into the concert grounds with ease (right!?). I didn't care how it happened but some how it did. Jeff and I jumped on the bumper of the car and literally road it into the campgrounds like a chariot.

We made it. We took the risk. Left the car. Stayed positive. And our karma paid us back by bringing us back together with our friends. All was right in the world. Now as for the rest of that weekend, things could have went smoother. The band had some technical difficulties, the venue was literally a mud pit which stole from me my favorite sandals, I literally had nothing on me but the things I fit into a backpack (sweatshirt, bottle of vodka, and some others things that I won't mention). But what mattered is when I looked to the left and looked to the right I was surrounded by the people I love, with the band that had brought us all together saying goodbye in front of us. In that moment I remember thinking that it was a fitting end to a long great journey, and it was time to move onto the next stage. And I did in fact. Live while I was young....
***I write this post in dedication to all of my friends who are on their way out to Phish 8, in California today. Phish reunited earlier this year after almost five years away and are throwing their first festival since Coventry this weekend. I will not be going, instead opting to listen to it on my radio all weekend, with my new car sitting safely outside my building. It didn't work out this time around, yet you know sometime in the near future when given the option again, I would gladly throw that Civic into a grassy median and walk for a few good shows with some good friends***

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A "Swell Season" for Love Songs..

I found myself in an all too familiar place tonight. Target. I was wandering around like I usually do with a cart full of useless items, when I stumbled into the music section. I went to the new releases, looked on the shelf and almost fell over. There staring me in my face was one of my favorite duos new albums, the Swell Season (aka the two from the movie Once). How could I have missed this, how did I not have it on pre-order. So many questions, so little time. I left my cart in the aisle. Marched straight to the counter. Paid cash. Was too excited to even open the CD in the car. Came home. Listened cover to cover. Happy.

Okay now that I have my composure, let me back up for a second and explain. The two people (pictured) are Marketa Irglova and Glen Hansard, also known as the Swell Season. If you are not familiar with their work on the movie Once, you need to stop reading this and go to Blockbuster right now and rent that movie. Essentially its a love story told through music. In the simple yet magical independent movie, guitar playing boy meets a piano playing girl, boy falls in love with girl, boy and girl make beautiful music together. The soundtrack to the movie is easily one of my top 3 soundtracks of all time (Almost Famous, Garden State the others). Filled with tracks about love and loss, layered with beautiful harmonies, each song outdoes the last. The title track "Falling Slowly" even won the duo an Oscar. Nobody was more surprised then the Irish singer-songwriter Hansard and Czech singer-pianist Irglova, who were virtually unknown to US audiences. The two who had fallen in love during the filming of the movie, decided to make the band Swell Season and start to tour with the soundtrack to great success.

Now onto "Strict Joy" their latest album. Since we heard from them last the couple decided to break up, but not thankfully didn't end their musical relationship. I wondered how this would play out on their new album, how songs would sounds like, and I was right. These songs are laid out perfectly. They weave together the things that we all go through, the risks we put ourselves in when we enter a relationship. The ups the downs, the hurt, the sorrow, the joy and the happiness. There are high moments, some Van Morrison like upbeat songs like "Feeling the Pull", and then there are the more fragile songs like "Loved You Wrongly". Cover to cover this cd is worth the $9.99 price tag.

I guess the best way to sum up this music is it made me want to come inside sit on the couch and just be thankful that there are still people out there making good music like this. It is the year of indie music. Mark my word.


Here is a post combining my love of two things. Television and Music. To anyone who has been living under a rock and or to those friends of mine who don't own a television (yes I know...it is possible). Glee (Wed. 9pm on FOX) is hands down my new favorite show.

The show is focused around a high school Glee club, made up of an ecclectic group of students. Everyone from athletes, to mathaletes, play geeks and those who just don't fit into one of those high school groups. All of these students who wouldn't have looked twice at each other in the hallways are put to the task of coming together and making this club work. Their goal - make it to sectionals to prove to the school and themselves that the Glee club is worth a second look.

Okay enough of the background. There are many reasons to love this show but the main is the musical numbers. They are absolutely incredible. Many of the young actors are new to the small screen but not to showbiz. A few have been making the rounds on many Broadway shows since they were little, and boy does it show. They cover some of the most amazing songs and using the word cover does not even do it justice, they re-invent these songs. Make them fresher newer, and most importantly introduce them into a younger audience. Its not a surprise why if you look at the Itunes top 10 singles, six are songs from Glee. That is unheard of, for any tv show.

I will give you two videos of this amazing show, first off is what I believe is their best musical number to date. Its a cover of Queens - Somebody to Love. Good luck trying to get it out of your head this afternoon...I sure can't.

See how amazing was that! Again the show plays on Wednesdays at 9pm on Fox.

Finally I will end this post on pure comedy. This next video is from the episode called: Mash Up. Their coach gives them a task to split into boys vs girls and make mash-ups (basically taking two completely different songs and bringing them together). Here are the boys singing their Mash Up of Bon Jovi's Its My Life and Ushers Confessions. Again Genius. (side note, the boys do look a little hyped up, this is because they all got addicted to nodoze and are literally freaking out). This may help explain some of the faces...:)

Okay thats all for now, enjoy the clip and please watch this show. Its genius.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lets Hear it for New York!!!

"Without music life would be a mistake.~ Nietzsche".

Well well, here it goes. My first post.


I would like to say first off that I will not use this space to tell you what to listen to or why your music sucks. This is just a space for me to let everyone know what I am listening to at the moment or what live music I'm excited to see. I spend literally about 70% of my day thinking or listening to music.

Okay enough about that...now to the good stuff. The music.

Today is Game 1 of the World Series and anyone who has ever met me knows that I am a crazy Yankee fan and have been since I was a wee little child. (Need proof.. BAM)

Yes, that is me back when I lived in Long Island rocking a sweet Yankees coat...HA.... anyways back on subject.

Tonight is Game 1 and to counter both my nerves and excitement I will be posting Jay-Z's tribute to NYC, "Empire State of Mind" complete with Yankee highlights. I will say on a personal note that I absolutely love this song. Something about the line "these streets will make you feel brand new, these lights will inspire you". Genius.

Okay now I'm fired up...

Lets go Yankees, bring home Game 1!!!

(and there it is, post one done...not so scary...eek)