Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Its Time For Peeps!

Yes, I said it. You know its time. Easter is Sunday. Which means the Washington Post is ready to announce their annual "Peep Diorama" winner! For full details on the event click HERE.

Yes, I do find these things to be some of the most hilarious projects around. Not just because they look ridiculous, but can you imagine the people who take the time to do this? The details that go into it? The thought process...man to be a fly on that wall.

So whether you find this stuff to be ridiculous, funny or just obnoxious. I dare you not to laugh at the following ones.

The Simpsons Peeps

Big Peepin'

"I ain't afraid of no peeps"

Rescue on the Hudson

This years contest winner, from the movie Up!

And my personal favorite. Sesame Peep.

Just Amazing

Check out this All-Star tribute to George Harrison and his classic "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", included are band mates Ringo Star, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton just to name a few. Now if your going to do a all-star tribute to a person and a song this is the way you should do it.

To all who were involved in the "We are the World" diasaster should take notes.

Oh and Claptons solo is unreal.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More Pictures From Jim Marshall

Since this man was an absolute icon for his photography, I thought I would share more photos. This time with some insights from the man Jim Marshall himself.

The iconic image of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival—Jimi Hendrix squirts lighter fluid on his burning Stratocaster.

"Carlos Santana at a free concert in San Francisco's Mission District during a Cinco de Mayo celebration, 1988. I shot this from behind the stage with a 21-millimeter lens. The glow on the guitar neck was just a natural effect from the sunlight." — J.M.

“I was shooting Led Zeppelin for Atlantic records at the Hyatt House in 1970. The group shot was taken on the top floor of the hotel, to get all four of them together at one time was a job, I just had available light and got some portraits of each of them by the window.”
—J.M.

"Jim Morrison at the Northern California Folk Rock Festival in San Jose, 1968. I don't think I ever spoke three words to Morrison. We were on the side of the stage and I was shooting with just one frame left on the roll, and Jim said, 'Hey Marshall, you want a photo?' and looked right into my camera. He was one of those guys in his own space. I never got close to him. My impression of Morrison was that he was like C.S. Lewis, spiritual without being religious." — Jim Marshall

"This is Pete Townshend, dawn at Woodstock. They had been playing half the night." — J.M.

A fisheye view of Santana's set from behind the stage at the Woodstock Festival, August 16, 1969.

"Originally photographed for a Saturday Evening Post feature in 1963, Monk sits at his piano dressed in a silk robe. The piano was kept in the kitchen of his small, three-bedroom apartment in New York City." — J.M.

The Beatles coming off the plane on August 29, 1966, before their last concert.

**inspiring images thanks J.M**

Shadow Art

This is incredible. Doesn't need much of an introduction other than these people are awesome. Yes they are people who make these shapes!

RIP Jim Marshall

The world lost one of the greatest photographers on Wednesday night in NYC, Jim Marshall passed away in his sleep, he was 74. Known in music circles for his iconic images of Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones, Miles Davis, Johnny Cash as well as an array of folk, country, jazz and blues artists. His images were always focused on the documentation of people. He often refered to himself as a son of San Fransico, his favorite subjects were obviously musicians. The Rock and Roll world was lucky to have him and his art for over 40 years. The unlimited access the musicians gave him, paired with the trust between subject and photographer allowed Marshall to grab some of the most rare photos, in intimate moments. He was the chief photgapher at Woodstock, and was the only photographer allowed backstage at teh Beatles final concert. Since he demanded such access he often spent 24/7 with his subjects, often staying at their homes. His pictures reflect his affection for the artists. He had said that its no accident if his pictures seem musical because, "I see music".

If you are not familiar with Jim Marshall's work I highly suggest you take a look today. Some of those iconic photos you have been looking at for years....were probably Jim's.

RIP Jim and thank you so much for your contribution to the music I love!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Best Oasis Acoustic Performance

Yes I'm going all out today. The following is my favorite acoustic versions of one of their songs "Stand by Me". I find that Oasis is particularly good at acoustic versions of their songs for the simple fact that they have the voices for it. They know the harmonies, they are great songs lyrically and musically and the tone of their voices especially Noels voice is perfect for acoustics. Its insanely pure. I love it.

Enjoy.

Favorite Oasis Memory

When thinking about a day dedicated to Oasis, I can't not think of my 8th grade trip to DC. You see my 8th grade was different than others. We had 32 kids. 16 boys, 16 girls. No joke. It was quite crazy. We all mostly got along, ate Tony's pizza together on the weekend, all rode our bikes to Justins house in the afternoon to play. It was comparable to Plesantville.

Which is why we were all so excited for the annual 8th grade trip to Washington DC. You knew about this trip from the kids in the grades above you who would talk about it year after year. It was amazing. They loaded you into a bus, drove you to dc, and let you play around the city for a few days with all your friends and none of your parents. Of course we were counting the days.

Now this trip was exactly everything that I expected. We ate too much junk food, we tried to sneak out of our rooms at night just to get caught by the "tape on the outside of the door trip". There are many memories from this trip that will stay with me for a while but the one that sticks out was the actual bus trip down to DC. You see Oasis had just released their first CD with all the classic hits. Someone in the back of the bus had the speakers that you could set up to your portable CD player and we blasted this cd the ENTIRE way down.

Most memorable...was this classic 7 minute song. I remember vividly singing this song at the top of our lungs cruising down I-95 on our way to DC....

If only life could be that easy again.


@

Don't Look Back In Anger

"Slip inside the eye of your mind, don't you know you might find. A better place to play"


Oasis Day? Why Not!

Well after an utterly exhausting weekend, I'm not really looking forward to a long work week yet there are a few things that will help me get through it. My Dad is coming to visit this weekend, I get to know if I hit the Phish lottery sometime this week solidifying my summer plans, and finally I'm officially one week closer to vacation. We are on a 20 day countdown people! So today I'm doing something different. I'm going to dedicate today to one of my favorite bands. Yes Oasis. I can't help but sing along to all of their tunes, and their early music I have to admit is quite stellar.

So today on this rainy Monday I bring to you a day full of my favorite Oasis tunes.

First is the ever so popular "Wonderwall". You can't not love this song!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Yesterday Was One Of Those Days....

WARNING RIDICULOUSLY LONG EMOTIONAL BLOG POST BELOW.

March 27th, 2010 this date will be burned into my mind for numerous reasons. All of them important all of them deserved their own day, but two moments of this day turned out to be nothing short of life changing. These two moments I know will stay with me...forever.

Early yesterday morning I woke up about 4 hours earlier than I usually do on Saturday mornings. I put on my black stretch leggings, I put my lucky tank top on, a few layers to battle the cold and I made my way out my door to compete in my first ever running race. I know to some this may not be a big deal, but to me you have to understand who I am and where I come from. I do not run. I am not a runner. I can run. I'm capable. But its like swimming, I look like a fool doing it and I usually fail. Which is why this 10k has been taunting me for the last 5 years. Every year it runs all over my neighborhood and I stay inside like a coward and think 6.2 miles? Yeah right. Never ever going to happen. Well this changed last year.

I was laid off by my employer, bored, and took up...yes running. Slowly but surely I started running, and running more and running more. And slowly things in my life started to change. I was healthy again. cut back drastically on the amount of cigs I smoke, and most of all my head was in a better place. With running, I get this release of there is nobody in the world who is in my thought at that moment. Its just me, my sneakers and the road. Yet still the thought of being next to actual "runners" scared all that confidence right out of my body. This is why yesterday was so important.
Yesterday I completed the 6.2 miles of the Ukrops Monument Ave 10k, completely alone (well there were about 39,000 other runners but you know what I mean). I did it by myself. I woke up by myself. I ran by myself. I cheered myself on. I treated myself to a drink after. And I and me alone was the only thing affecting the outcome of yesterdays race. Why did I do it this way? For a few reasons. I had no expectations. Nobody waiting for me at a certain corner. I was going to disappoint or make happy nobody other than myself. Which is the point of running right? Personal victories?

Well the outcome? I finished 6.2 miles in under 50 minutes. WTF!?! My time was easily better than anything I could have imagined or dreamed of. I couldn't believe it when I crossed the finish line. I felt amazing. Satisfied. My legs were jelly, but my mind was on fire. I had felt as if something had come into my body and finished that last 1.2 miles for me when my body said no. I had no idea what it was but the energy and feelings that I had finishing yesterday was satisfaction times 5. I proved to myself that if I did put my mind to something it could happen. But all day yesterday I was still reeling from my time. I just couldn't believe I ran that fast, I knew it was cold but really? Still was amazed.

It was about 6pm last night when I picked up my phone and read this email from my dear dear friend Amy. "Eva died. I am SO PROUD of you for running today and appreciating every breath.".

My world stopped for a moment. I was getting ready to walk out the door and meet two of my good friends for celebratory beers when all of a sudden this bomb was dropped and then the beginning of the day, the under 50 min run, the mind on fire, the feeling of awesomeness started to all make sense. Eva....Eva. Eva. Eva.


Meet Eva. She is by far the most inspirational, lovely, beautiful person that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing but never ever speaking to or meeting in person. Through her journal entries in her blog I feel like I have been living with her fighting the fight with her her to stay just alive and continue her journey for the last few months.

I was introduced to Eva and her blog "65 Red Roses" by my good friend Amy who works here in Richmond with one of the greatest organizations the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and every day she works hard to make CF stand for "Cure Found". Every day she comes across stories of people who usually are much much younger than I am who are battling this horrible horrible disease. If you are not familiar with CF I highly suggest you research it, then do what you can to support people living with this disease.

Eva was an inspiration to anyone who is living with CF. Ava would have turned 26 next week. 26. She had been living with CF for her entire life. She had somehow managed to keep a brave face while faced with double lung transplants, horrible diagnoisis's and year after year of failed treatments. Yet she created her blog a few years ago to share her personal "little victories". Here is her statement:

"I am positively ecstatic about my future. I feel like happiness radiates out of my pores. Even when my anti-rejection medications have me shaking like a leaf, I know that it will get better. I am well and able to run, skip and cross-country ski. I have so many big plans for the future but for now I have so many little plans, so many tiny victories. This journal is now a place to celebrate those tiny victories. May there be many more to come!"

Amy introduced me to her blog a few months ago (she has been following Eva for over 2 years). I remember that I was reading it for a few weeks every morning. She would talk about her boyfriend, her crazy fire red hair, her sister and her parents that absolutely adored her, the movie she was working on. She would talk about her future, her life, but most of all would talk about LOVE. You see LOVE. Is what was keeping Eva going. The love of everyone around her, of her internet friends who she had searched out to find "other people with CF who understood her" she just loved to LOVE to everyone in her life.

That is why the morning of February 11, 2010 was so hard. That morning Eva posted this video below (warning on the sad sad subject matter of the vide0). Eva shared with us that morning that she was losing her battle with CF. That really there was nothing left for doctors to do but make her feel comfortable. Yet she wasn't here that morning to make us feel sad for her, she did it like she always did, with the message of inspiration of hope of most of all LOVE. For you see the most important message she gives in this video is that "the greatest thing you will ever learn is just to LOVE and be LOVED in return" (Eden Ahbez).


This video was recorded on February 11th. For over the last month Eva has been updating us on her journey. The good (her getting a diploma), the bad (more failed tests) and the ugly (the drugs and treatments shes being going through). Every morning I wake up and check her blog to see how she is doing, to see if she made it through the night, and most importantly if she is still Eva.

As I said above, Eva lost her battle with CF yesterday morning. Probably around the same time that my legs were turning to jelly during my running race. Its ironic that the slogan for the CF foundation is "Breathe" and its all that I could think of doing yesterday morning. Breathing in and out. One step at a time. Just like Eva. Breathing in and out. For one last time.

I would like to thank Eva and her family and friends for sharing her inspirational journey with the world. If you have time today I would go to her journal by clicking HERE, read her thoughts, her story and her journey of life. She is an inspiration that I know I will never forget.

So yesterday March 27th will go down as just one of those days I will never, ever forget.

May you finally rest easy Eva.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Time to Pretend

By now you know I'm obsessed with a band named MGMT. They are gearing up to release their second studio album, and for these young kids its sure to be another hit. This is why I was very pleasantly surprised to find this cover of their song "Time to Pretend". Its by a guy named Jonsi, and he completely takes the song, slows it down, changing almost everything about it making it almost a brand new tune. Check out the two versions below. First of the original, second of the cover.

Again, if your going to cover someones music you better make it original or put your own spin on to it or its just not worth it.

Enjoy!

Cover by Jonsi:

FRIDAY

Its Friday people, it may be rainy, it may be dark, it may be cold and you all may be working. But that does not change the fact that it is Frrrriiidddaaaay!

Lets start this day off right with something that will get you moving out of your chair. From your favorite and mine Pretty Lights here is "I Can See It In Your Face"!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Television the Drug of the Nation

Its Thursday night. Its my favorite night of television. All of my favorites are on. 30 Rock, Private Practice, Greys Anatomy, The Office. Trust me the entire list will scare you. My dvr will be on complete overload recording shows for my lazy rainy weekend ahead.

So thats why I find it completely ironic that while driving to pick up my dinner just about an hour ago this song came across my radio. It is one of my favorites. An oldie but a goodie. Its by, get this band name: The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. The song "Television the Drug of the Nation". And I hate to admit it, but the entire song is totally true.

Now I go back to being my pathetic self on the couch until further notice.

I did run today, so I guess I earned it.

Phish Brooklyn

So all this talk about Phish heading to the movies has obviously gotten me very excited. I can't help but think about the last time I went to the movies to see something with Phish. The year 2004. The place, who knows where down in Norfolk Virginia. Who. Jeff and I. We drove up from OBX with one mission. We could not make it all the way to Brooklyn for the show but we could make it to a theater which was showing it live. Thats right. Back in the summer of 2004. In their infamous "last tour ever" they played a show in Brooklyn and simultaneously showed it in abut 25 theaters across the country. The closest was hours away. We chose to throw caution to the wind and drive to the theater. What we found was HILARIOUS. People had tanks in the parking lot, there was a set break filled with people running to their cars, I was standing up in a theater dancing, singing, laughing with a full room full of fans. It was so much fun! Weird. But something I will never forget.

Enjoy this video of behind the scenes of their Brooklyn show. Yes, thats right the one where Jay-Z came out with Phish. Yes that did happen. Again weird, but mad fun!

Lets Go Out To Dinner And See A Movie

In honor of the announcement today of the actual dates of the movies release I present you one of the songs I was most excited to hear on Phish tour in December. It was up in NYC at MSG, it was perfect. Enjoy.

Lets go out to dinner and see a mooooovie.

Phish 3D


ITS HERE ITS HERE ITS HERE ITS HERE ITS HERE

Introducing Ms. Sharon Jones

Ms. Sharon Jones who some Phish fans may have heard of for her funky back up vocals during the "Halloween Set" performance of the Rolling Stone's Exile on Main Street, this year at Festival 8. But to those who aren't as familiar she is the singer of the soul funk band Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. And if they had it their way they would be in the front of the revivalist movement that is trying to bring back the feeling of funk and soul music from its hay days back in the 1960s.

To me Sharon is everything I loved about old soul music. Her voice is pure, loud and soulful. Her control is amazing. Check out the video below of the song "100 Days 100 Nights" it will blow you away!




Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Janis Covers Broadway?

Below is one of the greatest covers that Janis ever lent her voice to. The song "Little Girl Blue" on the This is Tom Jones Show in 1969, the song had orginiall debuted in the Broadway musical Jumbo. Watch Janis make the stage her own. Her presence, her voice, her dress it just was something that ha d never been seen before, and can never be replicated. She was the original.

And did I mention that voice! I to this day just can not imagine having that voice inside you, wanting to get out badly. Her control is unreal. Again. She was the original.

Piece of My Heart

Earlier today I posted two videos of two covers of "Me and Bobby McGee" well I figured I'd continue a theme of covering classic songs that Janis made popular and another one came to mind. A few years ago at the Grammy Awards there was a performance by Melissa Etheridge and Joss Stone. While I'm not the biggest Joss Stone fans, I do think she can belt some tunes but what Melissa did when she hit that stage, basically set the place on fire. If you want just fast forward to the 2:10 mark. Talk about a rock star!

To understand the details of the event and how epic it really was. 1. It was the Grammy Awards. 2. Melissa was in the middle of a very public battle with cancer 3. She had lost all of her hair due to the chemo that she was still going though and chose to not wear a wig. 4. She put a very public face on her disease and showed women and men out there in the world that you really can do anything. Its the PERFECT cover.

Watch this inspiring video below!

GaGa Madness

Hilarious cartoon in the The New Yorker Magazine this morning.

Me and My Bobby McGee

This is a very special post to me. Why may you ask? Easy. Its hands down one of my top 5 favorite songs. Written by Kris Kristofferson and made famous by Janis Joplin. Wait I said that wrong it was not just made famous by Janis but it was taken to another level by her. Nobody will ever. Ever. Sing it like Janis did back in 1971. But it doesn't mean it hasn't been attempted. Most fail. Most sing the song and try to be Janis, they try and sound just like her do her rifts, dress like her. And of course, it usually fails. Yet sometimes some of those rare performances comes out when you have to step back and applaud. You have to look at the effort the artist put into it and realize that they are there making it their own, just like Janis did.

Thats why I think its more okay to cover this song then the Beatles classics. This was made famous by a cover. It was not Janis's song. It is now the worlds song. The following are hands down my two favorite "Me and My Bobby McGee" covers, besides Janis these two powerful women take the cake in my book.

First is my girl Crystal Bowersox. Last night she showed all of the contestants on the damn American Idol why they should all just pack their bags now. Shes clearly got this in the bag. Her cover of this song just blew everyone away. Even Simon said it "You should not change one thing". And I agree. Amazeballs.

Now make sure you have the volume loud at the 1:25 part. She really kicks the song into high gear and shows her true spirit. love.

The second version of the song is from I singer who I think is HIGHLY underrated for her singing abilities. Pink has been hitting it big on the pop charts for years now and year after year she remains true to herself and her music. I can tell you that Pink has one of THE best voices in my generation. She can hit notes that Britney Spears dreams about and she does it all while being herself. Its refreshing and nice.

Check out her version of the classic song below!

TLC

Well I can't believe it. I made it through the entire day of "Throwback Tuesday" yesterday without mentioning the group that meant the most to me during that time. TLC. I owned all of this groups albums, I remember sitting up in my friend Laura's room at night trying to memorize the rap lyrics in the chorus. It was 1991. I was 9. The fact that I was listening to a song called "Aint 2 Proud to Beg" was probably not good.

I also dressed like them. All the time. Bonus.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Baby Say No to Miley

To go with the video below on why Bon Jovi beats out everything in the world. The following is the cutest video ever. Watch this baby straight up deny Miley but love her some Jovi. Super cute. Definitely a Jersey girl....

Always

This throwback will take you all the way back to the year 1995. Its my 7th grade dance at Borough School. This is the song that ended the dance, we grabbed our boyfriends of the time and hit the dance floor. Bon Jovi was every Jersey girls dream. Not only was he hot as hell in his bandanna but he sang songs like these with lyrics that just pulled at your heart strings. "I'll be there till the sun don't shine, till the heavens burst and the words don't rhyme. I know when I'll die you'll be on my mind, and I'll love you always!"

I mean really to a middle schooler thats like crack. Its the only thing that we wanted to hear at the time. Every time I hear these lyrics, "If you told me to cry for you I could , if you told me to die for you, I would!" I am transported back to the 7th grade back to lying in my bed at night truly thinking that if it wasn't my boyfriend then someday someone will sing these lyrics to me.

It truly was my Jersey dream. And don't even get me started on the fantastic video made for the song. Keri Russel playing the chick on the side. Its so awesome.

First CD Purchase

Well with the theme of Throwback Tuesday I bring to you more embarrassment from the early 90s. My first cd I bought was amazing. I played it so much I think I had to buy another one. It easily was the hit of my middle school and brings back so many memories every time I hear it.

Also if anyone can really identify what the "sign" is they are talking about you will answer a question that has been in my head for about 20 years.

May I remind you the greatness that was Ace of Base and their hit single "I Saw the Sign".

Throwback Tuesdays may become a weekly thing...this is too much fun!

If Your A Dreamer Come In~

I'm actually continuing todays "Throwback Tuesday" with a different kind of throwback. I'm bringing it way back to childhood people. To one of the first authors I truly fell in love with. His name Shel Silverstein the books "The Giving Tree" and "Where the Sidewalk Ends". "The Giving Tree" was the story about a simple tree and how she loved this little boy who would come visit her day after day, year after year. And "Where the Sidewalk Ends" was a collection of poems and stories. I will never forget how this book started out.

"If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!"

If that doesn't invite childhood imagination I don't know what does. I credit this man for a lot of my childhood dreams and crazy thoughts. In his stories I read about a boy who turned into a TV set, a girl named Sarah who refused to take out the garbage, a place where you wash your shadows, your shoes fly and a place where sisters are auctioned off. If he was still alive today I would write him a thank you note every day for helping me become the dreamer that I am.

This is why I was so excited this morning when HarperCollins Publishing announced that a collection of up to 130 new works of his is set to be released next year. This is especially great because its only the second release of work from Silverstein since his passing in 1999.

I know that I will be one of the first on line to purchase this authors amazing work.