Monday, April 30, 2012

My Day Off

Today I am not working. 

Last week was terrible. Just one of those weeks that you would like to throw away and just start over. So that is what I am doing today. I am hellbent on starting this week off right and that is why I am finding myself free of work and all the stress that comes along with the 9-5. 

I have taken this Monday off to focus on myself. To do all those things that I have been putting off. The list is getting longer the more I sit here and think about it, we will see how far I get today.

The Hit List:
-Currently sitting at West Broad Honda getting an oil change and about to test drive a new car (lease is up in 2 months... yay). 
-From here I will go to Maymont, meet a friend for coffee and look at the birds. 
-After that I think I will try and make a trip to Trader Joes & Michaels
-Back to the Apt to drop off the delicious food I got and hopefully the cool frames for my picture wall
-I will take the disc of photos from my brothers wedding, San Diego, and NYE to get developed
-Maybe take a walk to the river
-Return home to cook a delicious meal
-Spend the rest of the day working on the photo frames
-Relax. Relax. Relax. 

Today is a day that I need. Badly.

Hope you are having a good Monday.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Picture of the Day

Oh hey guys... nothing to see here... just a bear in mid air. :)

Rolling Stone Poll: Top 10 Artists That Should Return as Holograms

I can not even believe we are having this discussion but we are. Rolling Stone has released a poll in which they asked their readers the top artists they would like to see return as holograms. While I am not keen on this whole situation you all know I love a good list. Here we go.

10. Notorious BIG
9. Bob Marley
8. Michael Jackson
7. Janis Joplin
6. Jerry Garcia
5. Jim Morrison
4. Freddie Mercury 
3. John Lennon
2. Kurt Cobain
1. Jimi Hendrix

I'm actually surprised there is no Elvis on this list, but again its the readers and not me. 

PS Happy Friday!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New Florence and the Machine

Florence and the Machine seem to be everywhere these days.... and I absolutely love it.

Today she released a song from the new movie "Snow White & the Huntsman" which is due out this summer. The song is called "Breath of Life" and its pretty fantastic. I can totally see it being used in this movie. Way to go Florence keep it up!

"I was looking for a breath of life
A little touch of heavenly light
But all the choirs in my head say no, oh, oh"

I Want To Go On Tour

I just found all these pictures that were posted by bands while they were out on tour.... If this doesn't make you want to go lean guitar and hit the road I don't know what will.

Young The Giant

Bombay Bicycle Club

Bon Iver

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals 

Alabama Shakes


Jets Draft Blunders... The Video

Don't believe me about the reaction some of these Jets draft picks get... watch the video below. Hilarity.

"Its obvious to me that the Jets don't know what the draft is all about..."

TLC - 10 Years After Left Eye

Yesterday marked the 10 year anniversary of the death of TLC's "Left Eye", a moment in time that felt like it was yesterday. The entire story is still very unbelievable and tragic.

Left Eye was 30 at the time of her passing (a tragic car accident in Honduras). She had made Honduras her second home and was there to establish a non-profit educational and medical facility on a property that she owned there. Well before she became this type of philanthropist, Left Eye broke into the 90 music scene as part of the trio TLC. 

She had quickly established herself as the wackiest member of the group, which was known back then for its affinity for bright colors and over-sized clothes. By the time TLC's "Crazy, Sexy Cool" (one of my all time favorites by the way) hit shelves in 1994, she was pegged as the "crazy" element of the trio. Her attention-grabbing personality was not limited to the stage. In 1994 she famously set fire to the home of her then boyfriend, NFL player Andre Rison.

While she was the "crazy" member of the group, and while we were all well aware of the tension that was going on between the three of them behind the stage they all were certainly family. This rings even more true in the statements the the two surviving members put out yesterday. 

Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins said "The word anniversary means a celebration. For us her death will never be a celebration, it is still something that hurts". Rozonda "Chilli" Thomas added "Lisa is our sister. You never get over losing a family member. We love her and we miss her and that isn't ever going to change."

The latest news yesterday was for their tour this summer they will resurrect Left Eye in hologram form. Don't know how I feel about that one... but I won't believe it until I see it. For now here is my jam from that first album.

Jets Draft Day

Welcome to the NFL draft day. If you are a Jets fan you tend to want to sleep through the entire day. Why do I say this? Well while we have had some good moments in the draft we have made some complete boneheaded moves which is why you usually hear this "And with the 16th Pick in the NFL draft the NY Jets select ____ (insert name here)..... BOOOOO.

The draft is held in NY. Its filled with NY fans and well more often then not they let their feelings be known inside the draft room. Can't say I blame them with some of these moves over the years.

-Drafting Kyle Brady instead of Warren Sapp
-Passing on Dan Marino and Jerry Rice
-Drafting Johnny Mitchell
-Drafting Vernon Gholston
-Drafting Blair Thomas
-The entire 1986 and 1987 Drafts
-Using their first pick on kicker Mike Nugent instead of Frank Gore & Vincent Jackson
-Drafting Johnny Lam Jones instead of Art Monk
-Drafting Chris Ward
Drafting Roger Vick and Mike Haight

Thank you to Bleacher Report for the list. 

So what will happen tonight. We have 10 picks and a whole lot of holes to fill. My take on it. These are our top four. 1. Pass Rusher. 2. Free Safety 3. Offensive Tackle and 4. Wide Receiver. And with Sanchez and Holmes being booed at the Knicks game last night, I would say its sure to be a hostile environment inside that room.

And I Return

Sorry for my brief absence this week. I had some personal family issues to deal with and when that type of stuff happens everything in life gets thrown out. Lucky for you everyone is doing better and I'm back to doing what I love. Reading and writing about music and other ridiculous things on this blog. I will say one thing before I start here today. Big shout out to my little brother who has been nothing short of a rock star this week. I feel oddly comfortable with him dealing with medical crisis's that arise in my family and we are damn lucky to have him. His ability to keep everyone calm and "dumb down" medical terms for me to understand has been a blessing. Way to go Rick, you are going to make a fantastic doctor one day soon.

Also one more thing. Most of you know that I live in Richmond, VA while my family resides up in northern NJ. 99.8% of the time this distance is good for everyone. I miss my family, they miss me, I'm allowed to create a life for myself here and be proud that I moved to a city where I knew two people and seven years later I love what I have created. Yet every once in a while you start to feel like you are missing out by not being around the ones you love. Obviously when big things like this happen but its also for the little things. Its never really bothered me until this week when I found myself longing to be in my parents house (something that usually never happens). It is true that distance makes the heart grow fonder and while my family is not perfect I love them so much and thank them for allowing me to be away and understand that I can not be there for everything but that I am always there in spirit. 

So today my heart is with them and this next song is for them too. xoxo

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On Levon... Words by Phish's Mike Gordon

"Of course The Band was a huge influence on Phish and many other bands. But Levon's own musical career is just so inspiring.... from wanting to leave the Bob Dylan scene in the 60s despite all the success around it in order to follow his own musical tastes to the incredible Midnight Rambles of recent years. I was lucky enough to go to four of the Rambles and play at one, and these were life changing experiences. Jon Fishman called home from the parking lot after the first one I went to, saying it was a top musical experience of his life.

I've always thought music can exist so perfectly when churning in the confines of a barn, and this took it to an extreme where American culture was simply bubbling over with authenticity, passion, and a connection to the backwoods and the hills. It's a testament that ten or fifteen incredible (and notable) musicians came through each time to make up and enhance this house band (not to mention the incredible opening bands). In the middle of the barn, with his deep seventy year old smile, Levon's uniquely spare yet fierce drumming propelled a repertoire through these enchanted nights. Folk, bluegrass, and country blended effortlessly with blues, soul, and funk, creating a melting pot of sounds unique to our country. And despite battles with throat cancer, Levon would grab the mic and sing so powerfully that it shook the beams of his old barn-home to the core.

To do a few cool things when someone's young is one thing, but then to grow older and cultivate such a heartfelt and moving musical situation is very inspiring. It's no wonder so many artists are influenced by his sound, his sensibility, and his projects with their own pursuits. This is a huge loss, and I'm sorry for anyone who couldn't experience that magic first hand, and I'm thankful that our country and our musical community was lucky enough to be graced by such a soul" - Mike Gordon

Well said Mike. Well said. 

Pretty Lights - We Must Go On

I love me some Pretty Lights!!!

Also known as Derek Vincent Smith, Pretty Lights is a electronic musical artist (and probably my favorite out of the entire genre), this is because he effortlessly blends elements of hip-hop with heavy soul. His music is a perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle that is the world, which is why the video for this next song "We Must Go On" is so well done. It throws out you crazy, busy elements of global cities but we are simultaneously appeased by relaxed beats and tones that unify the track. Its a perfect pairing. 

The video is a collaboration between smith and his creative partner and girl friend, Krystle Blackburn. The beautiful footage were taken from actual Pretty Light tours, festivals and concerts all over the world. Its concert footage at its best. 

Stella Angelico and The Switch - Mister

I will be spending a good portion of my day today trying to figure out how exactly I have missed this talent from Melbourne. Her debut video featured below is stellar and her voice is out of this world. 

The video plays out like this. Angelico walks into a boxing ring, laughs at her body guards and then just starts to belt. It starts off soft, unplugged and just easy vocals then it descends into a huge chorus, showing that her voice has some serious oomph to it. 

The song is perfect for Angelico's voice, and the lyrics like "really wanna see your ego take a dive, mister I'm gonna eat you alive" seems to really fit the gaze that she is giving in the video. From what I read she is right on the brink of hitting it big here in the states. With pure, raw talent like hers it shouldn't be too long before Angelico is a household name.

Kanye West - Way Too Cold

Who doesn't love a mini rapper? 

I know that I'm having my issues with Mr. West at the moment. Thats what kind of happens when you start dating a Kardashian, it makes it very hard for me to respect you. Sorry, but you knew this would happen. Yet I will not let my bias hold me back from bringing you songs off of his new album. This next one is okay, its not the best thing I've heard but its certainly better than most of the people who call themselves rappers these days. 

And how could I hate on a video that features a mini Kanye dancing around like he owns the place? I can't. 

Enjoy the video.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Simpsons - Still Killing It

Fox celebrated their 25th anniversary last night. And to mark the occasion The Simpsons sent this message to the studio after the re-airing of their first episode.

Way to go Simpsons... way to go!

Last NJ Nets Game Ever Tonight

Well its a sad day for the state of New Jersey today. Tonight marks the last game as the old NJ Nets. Next season they will start their residency in Brooklyn. 

Now the Nets have never been the best basketball team. Hopefully Jay-Z will fare better with them in a new location. NJ just didn't work for them. They were sandwiched between NYC which has the Knicks and Philadelphia with its 76ers. Yet that doesn't mean they haven't had their fair share of good players or moments. Lets take a look at a few. (Thanks to the WSJ for the reminders)

Best Player: Jason Kidd
Best Executive: Rod Thorn. Traded Maubury for Kidd and brought Vince Carter in the mix
Best Win: Game 2 of the 2003 NBA Finals. The Nets 87-85 upset of the heavily favorite Spurs
Worst Loss: Game 3 of 2002 Conference Finals. Was up 25 to Boston and blew it.
Best Shooter: Drazen Petrovic
Best Rebounder: Jason Williams (before he went shooting people at his house)
Best Defender: Kidd (duh)
Worst Moment: Easily the worst moment in franchise history was Petrovic's untimely death. "Petro" as he was often called was only 28 years old when he died in a car accident in Germany on June 7th, 1993. For many Americans he was the face of the war in the former Yugoslavia. Petrovic reminded us that there were more important things than basketball while simultaneously making us forget everything other than his perfect shooting stroke. ESPN did a 30/30 documentary on this that is worth the watch.

So goodbye NJ Nets. Its been fun. We won't miss you too much... if we do you are just across the river.

Jack White Interview

Three cheers for NPR! They just posted a fantastic video of an interview they did with the amazing Jack Black about his new album 'Blunderbuss'. 

If you get the chance today take a look at it below, its definitely worth your time. 

Fun - "We Are Young"

If you have listened to the radio in the last few weeks you have surely heard "We Are Young" by a band named fun. Unlike most Top 40 hits that I hear, this one is actually pretty great. The beats share very little with most of the contemporary hits that are hitting the airwaves lately. (Lets be honest with ourselves here, the whole electronic dance craze music is a little played out) The band, is an actual band that plays theatrical glam-rock influenced by hip-hop and alternative music. 

The song "We Are Young" beautifully shows off their talent and even has a guest appearance by my girl Janelle Monae. 

And if you don't believe me...fine. But are you going to argue with the over 37 million people who have already viewed the video below.

Great Picture from Coachella

This is a great shot taken from the Girl Talk set during the second weekend of Coachella. 

Robin Gibb's Getting Better!

This is just fantastic news. It looks like things are starting to look up for Robin Gibbs, Bee Gees founder. He is making an astonishing recovery from the grave health problems that he has been battling. While he is not out of the clear yet, this latest news is certainly welcoming. 

On Sunday Robin woke up from the coma that he has been in. The 62 year old singer fell into the coma last week after contracting pneumonia. Dr. Thillainayagam said that three days ago he had warned Gibb's family that he may never wake up. Instead now, Gibb is fully conscious and able to speak.

He is still being treated for advanced colorectal cancer. And like I said while he is not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot. This is great news for him and his family. 

New Favorite!

Hello and Happy Monday. How is it that this day seems to come up so quickly every week. After the rainstorm that we had here in Richmond yesterday I could have used at least one more day to actually be productive, but its not in the cards. Oh well. Here is to another week.

I'm going to start off with something really good I promise. Last week I brought you a new band that I had just discovered called Harper Blynn. I told you to go to their website and download their album which was free by the way. After a week long of listening to almost nothing but this album I can really declare without a doubt that I do in fact LOVE this album. 

There is one song that sticks out as the best by far though... that one is called "Come Home To Me" and well its so new that I can't even find it on youtube. Nope. The only place I can find it to bring it to you is reblogged off of another site. You will have to follow the link below to get there. Click on "Caffeinated Radio" But trust me on it, its a great song!! 

Hope everyone has a good week planned!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Scoreboard: Rihanna - 1 MTV - 0

Rihanna just gained about 1,000 points in my book. Yesterday there was a photo going around the internet that showed Rihanna at Cochella basically rolling a joint on top of one of her security guards heads. (The singer from Jamaica has never been shy about the subject of pot.) Today MTV responded to the picture on twitter only to get a response from the singer herself. And well, it was a very well said response in my opinion. Take a look at the exchange below.


12 Disappointing Facts About Music

Warning! Warning! This post may actually ruin you today. Just a fair warning. I was over on Buzzfeed earlier this morning wasting time before a big meeting when I found this article that made me at first laugh... but then that laughter turned to tears when I realized how true some of these facts really were. 

The title of the post said it all. "The 12 Extremely Disappointing Facts About Popular Music". Hold on to your hats people some of these will leave you thinking...."WTF". Can't say I didn't warn you.

1. Creed has sold more records in the US than Jimi Hendrix
2. Led Zeppelin, REM and Depeche Mode have never had a number one single, Rihanna has had 10.
3. Ke$ha's "Tick Tock" has sold more than any Beatles single.
4. Flow Rida's "Low" has sold 8 million copies. That is the same amount as the Beatles "Hey Jude".
5. The Black Eyed Peas song "I Got A Feeling" is more popular than any Elvis or Simon and Garfunkel song.
6. Celine Dion's "Falling Into You" sold more copies than any Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana or Queen record.
7. Same with Shania Twain's "Come on Over"
8. Katy Perry holds the same record as Michael Jackson for most number one singles off of one album.
9. Barbara Streisand has sold more records (140 million) than Pearl Jam, Johnny Cash and Tom Petty combined.
10. People actually bought Billy Ray Cyrus' album "Some Gave All".... 20 million people! More than any Bob Marley album. 
11. The cast of "Glee" has had more songs on the charts than the Beatles. 
12. And my favorite.... this guy actually exists. 

30 Things Every Woman Should Know Before Turning 30

The following is a pretty interesting list. Its an exclusive excerpt from Glamour's new book, "30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30". And well, what do you know I turn the big 3-0- in a short five months. So I thought now is as good a time as ever to see how I am doing compared to their list and I have to say besides the fact they think I should actually own tools (which for the record I do own one hammer) I think that I'm doing quite well. The full book is available on April 24th.

Also since this is a music song I will play a song by Nick Drake that I think perfectly fits in with this list, its called "One of These Things First" and its one of my favorites.

Here we go with the list!

By 30, you should have:
1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.
6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age—and some money set aside to help fund it.
8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account—all of which nobody has access to but you.
9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.
10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.
12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
13. The belief that you deserve it.
14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.
By 30, you should know:
1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
2. How you feel about having kids.
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend with-out ruining the friendship.
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
6. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town.
7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
8. Where to go—be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat—when your soul needs soothing.
9. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.
10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.
13. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
15. Why they say life begins at 30!

RIP Levon Helm

What a sad day for music. Levon Helm, singer and drummer for the Band, died yesterday in NY of throat cancer. He was 71. 

"He passed away peacefully at 1:30 this afternoon surrounded by his friends and bandmates." Helms friend and bandmate Larry Campbell told Rolling Stone. "All his friends were there, and it seemed like Levon was waiting for them. Ten minutes after they left we sat there and he just faded away. He did it with dignity. It was even two days ago they thought it would happen within hours, but he held on. It seemed like he was Levon up to the end, doing it the way he wanted to do it. He loved us, we loved him". 

Now I have wrote numerous times on this blog the influence the Band has had on my life. I love their music, I love their songs, I love the way the band was. Songs like "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", "Up on Cripple Creek", "Rag Mama Rag", and "The Weight" remain on my all time favorites list. The stamp that Levon has left on this music industry is unmatched. I heard someone once say "no other drummer in music will make you cry like Levon". And that is true. His voice, his demeanor, the way he played and sang those tunes from behind a drum kit is just something that the world will miss. 

I will watch The Last Waltz at least once this weekend. 

Here is one of my favorites from one of his solo albums, that is pretty on point today. 
RIP Levon

"When I Go Away"

Early in the morning, when the church bells toll
The choir's gonna sing, and the hearse will roll
On down to the graveyard, where its cold and gray
And then the sun's gonna shine 
Through the shadows, when I go away

Don't want no sorrow, for this old orphan boy
I don't want no crying, only tears of joy
I'm gonna see my mother, gonna see my father
And I'll be bound for glory
In the morning, when I go away

I'll be lifted up to the clouds, on the wings of angels
There's only flesh and bones, in the ground
Where my troubles stay

See that storm over yonder
Its gonna rain all day
But then the sun's gonna shine
Through the shadows, when I go away

All my kin who love me, all my friends who care
Look beyond the dark clouds, we're gonna meet up there
When they lay me in the cold ground
Bow your heads and pray

And I'll be bound for glory, in the morning
When I go away"

Record Store Day Tomorrow

I almost forgot about this. Silly me.

Tomorrow is Record Store Day and Phish will be releasing Junta, the band's first full length studio album, as a Limited Edition Deluxe 3-LP vinyl set. It will be available exclusively at participating independently owned record stores across the country. This will be the first time that Junta has ever been released on vinyl. 

What makes this so cool is that it is limited to 5,000 individually numbered copies. The record was originally recorded in Revere, Massachusetts in 1987 and 1988. The record meant a lot to the band for they had produced the album themselves and also self-released it on cassette tape first with packaging created entirely by the band.

The album was remastered and re-released as a double CD in 1992. It was certified Platinum. 

Now I'm not huge into vinyl but if this is your thing, record store day is not to be missed!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Neon Trees - Everybody Talks

This post is brought to you by my little brother Rick. Rick doesn't often give me musical suggestions outside the realm of Brittany Spears songs and songs that have recently appeared on Ryan Seacrests Top 40 list. But every once in a while he has a stroke of musical genius and sends me down a path that I wouldn't have normally went. This is the case with a band called Neon Trees. 

About two years ago he told me about this band and their song "Animal". He was obsessed with it. In turn I became obsessed with it and started tracking this band. While I was sad that they were becoming a one hit wonder recently I heard the rumblings of their new song and well I finally caught a performance of it yesterday. The song is called "Everybody Talks" and I can't stop listening to it. The song is sure to be a huge radio hit so if you have the chance get on board now before it completely blows up.

On a side note I also love the lead singer. He is different and quirky and his voice is nothing short of spectacular.

So thanks for this recommendation little brother. 

The Rifle's Spiral by The Shins

Here is Emmy-winning director Jamie Caliri's creation for the Portland based indie rockers The Shins. Its really a stop-motion masterpiece for a fantastic song. So happy to see this band back releasing new fresh music.

I Love Amy!

This is just one of the 1,307 reasons I love my dear friend Amy McCracken. Amy is part of a blog group called 3x3x365 and you can find the entire thing right HERE. Every day a group of three amazing ladies takes a picture, writes a little post about it and then they submit them together and its the blog for the day. Its an amazing idea and the three of them are all amazing writers. 

Amy's post today made me extremely happy!!! And after the last few days its exactly what I needed.

"Sometimes you have to break things down
into smaller segments
And if you start to get weary, 
and wonder if a finish line exists at all,
know that it does.
In fact, you can have a whole roll of it from 
Party City for thirty-nine cents.
With that, and some tape, you can create
your own victory anytime you want.
Several times a day if that is what it takes."

RIP Dick Clark

RIP Dick Clark

Dick Clark, the music industry maverick, the long time TV host and powerhouse producer who changed the way people listened to pop music with "American Bandstand" and whose trademark "Rockin' Eve" became a fixture of everyones New Year's celebrations, died yesterday at the age of 82. He has said to have suffered a massive heart attack.

Born in Mt. Vernon NY, he began his career in show business while he was still in high school when he landed a gig at a radio station ran by his father and uncle. He worked his way up the ranks until he became an on air talent. He took that talent to Philadelphia where he landed a gig as a DJ in 1952, spinning records for a show called "Dick Clark's Caravan of Music". It was here he broke into the big time, hosting Bandstand, an afternoon dance show for teenagers. Within five years the entire country was watching the show, ABC took it national and "American Bandstand" was born.

The entire shows premise was quite simple. Clean cut boys and girls danced to the hottest hits and the newest singles. In between, Clark chatted up with the teens who helped 'rate-a-record' turning songs into instant sensations. Everyone showed up on "American Bandstand", from Elvis to Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry to Chubby Checker. 

When Clark moved to Hollywood in 1963, bandstand moved with him. He started his famous Dick Clark Production company and began cranking out one hit show after another. Everything from $25,000 Pyramid, to TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes to the American Music Awards. And finally in 1972, Clark put his name behind one of the biggest nights of the year. 

Clark hosted "New Year's Rocking Eve" for almost three decades. He would introduce musical acts, talk to the people in the crowd and most importantly do the countdown when the ball would drop in times square at midnight. The tradition was temporary stopped in 2004 when Clark suffered a stroke and was unable to make it that year. Fortunately he was able to make it back the following year, speech impaired and all. 

All this earned Clark a long list of awards: He has Emmys, Grammy's, an induction into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was also one of the richest men in Hollywood; he had stakes in a wide range of businesses, including restaurants, theatres and real estate. 

Clark, whose eternally youthful look earned him the nickname "Americas Oldest Teenager" is survived by his three children and his third wife, who he has been married to since 1977. 

Now the legendary 'teenager' is gone. He leaves behind an indelible mark on generations of fans and can rest easy knowing that he changed the face of rock n roll and TV forever. You will never be forgotten. R.I.P.

Here are some of my favorite American Bandstand Interviews: 

In 1984, Madonna looked him in the face and said her goal was "to rule the world":

Here is one with Stevie Wonder in 1969:

And finally probably my most famous "American Bandstand" performance/interview in the history of the show.... the Jackson 5. 

Alabama Shakes

I absolutely adore this band and can't wait for them to come to Friday Cheers here in Richmond this summer. In case you are new to the Alabama Shakes I'll give you a short background on the band.

The actual band was originally formed when lead singer/guitarist Brittany Howard approached bassist Zac Cockrell during high school psychology class and after than began meeting after school to write songs. Bang. See kids its just that easy!

The two experiemented in many different styles of music including roots rock, progressive rock, soul music, country music and classic rock. Later the duo approached drummer Steve Johnson (who was working at a music store) to join the band and he agreed. The trio went on the Decatur, Alabama and ended up recording some of the songs they were working on. Finally guitarist Heath Fogg joined the band after asking the group to open for his band, to which they smartly agreed on the grounds that Fogg play with them. They started reworking cover songs by Led Zeppelin, James Brown, Otis Redding and AC/DC to fill the "one show only" 45 minute set. Now called "The Shakes" they were so well received, they decided to continue playing together and Fogg became their full time guitarist. They finally settled on the name "The Alabama Shakes". 

They released their first four song EP in September 2011 which gained widespread media attention. They started touring again and ended up on many "Artist to Watch Lists". Recently Jack White tapped them to launch a series of singles for Third Man Records. They are also signed to ATO Records here in the US. 

The bands first full length album, Boys and Girls, was made available on April 1st, 2012.

Take a look at their SXSW performance below. (Thanks NPR!)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mamika. My New Hero.

On September 8th of this next year I turn 30 years old. Ahhhhh. While I'm not freaking out about this too much it is one of those ages that makes you stop and think about where you are in the world and where you want to go. And while I do not claim to know much about where I'm headed like the David Bowie quote that I love "I don't know where I'm going next but I know it won't be boring". That is about all that I do know. I do know that I want to keep my life fresh and interesting. I want to keep doing those things I love, hanging out with people who make me happy and most of all to continue to laugh. I think if I can acomplish those three things this next decade will not be too bad. And if there are those days that I'm feeling down about myself or my age all I have to do is think..... What would Mamika do?

Oh you don't know who Mamika is?? Let me explain.

More than just her nickname, Mamika is an incredible project that grew from the relationship between French photographer Sacha Goldberg and his adorable Hungarian grandmother. After her fourth husband died, Mamika was feeling lonely and depressed. To cheer her up, Sacha asked her to pose for some portraits. At first she was reserved but that didn't last long. Soon she was dressing up in wacky outfits and striking some outlandish poses. She is my new hero. Take a look at some of these photos.

Sad News About Levon Helm

I just read a very sad note that just came across the website for Levon Helm, the drummer-singer of one of my favorite groups....the Band.

"Levon is in the final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey. Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration... he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage."

Helm was diagnosed with throat cancer in the late 1990s. He recovered, but it took him many years to recover his singing voice. 

This is such sad news. I can't even explain to you how much I love the Band and how much I love Levon and his voice. Just so sad....Here is my favorite performance from 'The Last Waltz'. 

May you go easy Levon...

Mumford and Mulligan Getting Hitched

Looks like love is in the air for these two. Carey Mulligan (Drive) and Mumford & Sons lead singer Marcus Mumford are getting hitched this weekend in a small country ceremony. They got engaged last year after only five months together. Good luck you crazy lovebirds. 

I haven't played some Mumford & Sons on here in a while... here is one of my favorites "Lover of the Light". 

Love Is A Four Letter Word

Welcome back to another day on the blog. Its morning and I'm finally able to process what exactly I did to my blog last night. So far I like the new layout. It is for sure very different but I think it will be easier to navigate the page and find what you are looking for. We will see how it works out. 

Now back to important things like music. 

Yesterday Jason Mraz's new album came out and I have not been shy about the love I have for this mans music. I have always liked it, its right up my alley. Especially his love songs, songs like "You and I" and now this next one "Woman I Love" off his new album 'Love is a Four Letter Word', they are just amazing well written songs. He stopped by the Ellen show yesterday to play the new one. 

"We don't have to hurry
You can take as long as you want
I'm holdin' steady
My heart's at home
With my hand behind you
I will catch you if you fall
Yeah I'm gonna love you, like the woman I love"


Attention Friends: As you may have noticed I did some work on the blog tonight and hooked myself up with a new layout (I must admit it took a good 20 minutes to finally hit the submit button). There are a few different options for you to now view it - my favorites are the magazine and the timeslide. I liked the old site but sometimes you need a good change to freshen things up. Lets see how it goes. 

Time for sleep!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Paul McCartney's "My Valentine" Music Video

I do believe that only Paul McCartney would  be able to pull this type of video off. Its simple. Its moving. Its perfect. How does he do it? Its actually quite easy.

Take two of the biggest/hottest stars on the planet. Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp. Take a love song. Teach those two sign language. And shoot. 

What we get is a beautiful music video. Way to go Paul.

Very Cool

Insanely busy today. Yet not busy enough to miss this photo of a space shuttle hitching a ride on a 747 on its way to the Smithsonian in DC. 

Not something you see everyday...

New Music Alert!

Meet Harper Blynn. I just did and they are fantastic!!

Here is a quick bio on the group (and an actual true laughable story). The band is comprised of four members, Pete Harper, J. Blynn, Sarab Singh and lastly a man named Whynot (they say this is his actual name). 

J. Blynn and Sarab started making music in middle school. Pete then joined up when he met J. Blynn on his first day of college. The three of them moved to NYC in 2006. At first they lived in a loft in Brooklyn hated it then Pete and J. Blynn moved to a tiny apartment in the East Village and started touring the US regularly in a Toyota Corolla and Sarab moved back home with his family to Philadelphia. 

While the duo was on tour taking trains and mostly hitchhiking across the countryside after the Toyota gave out on them, friends called them to tell them that their small apartment had become infested with rats. They returned to NYC moved all their stuff back to Brooklyn and they started playing at local clubs around Manhattan. Quickly they generated a loyal fanbase on the strength of their live show. Sarab finally made his return to NYC and the three then met Whynot, and then Harper Blynn was born. They took their NYC buzz and they hit the road again, independently, and began touring all over the US. 

All of Harper Blynn's four band members sing, bring a unified and powerful emotional energy to the music. Lead vocals are shared by the two that write the songs, Pete Harper and J. Blynn. 

They put out their debut album Loneliest Generation after recording it over 10 days in NYC. The album was produced by David Kahne (The Strokes, Regina Spektor, Paul McCartney) and Malcolm Burn (Emmylou Harris, Chris Whitley, Kaki King).

Here is my favorite song....

Monday, April 16, 2012

50 Years Ago Today

50 years ago today, Bob Dylan walked on stage at the Gerde's Folk City in Greenwich Village and debuted a new song called "Blowin' in the Wind". The song was based off the old Negro spiritual "No More Auction Block" and it initially had only two verses. He soon added the third verse and the next month the song was published in Broadside magazine. Interesting note that Dylan's recorded version wouldn't appear on shelves until August of 1963.

Dylan has sung the song well over 1,000 times in the last 50 years but he grew tired of the tune in early 1964 and kept it out of his live show for nearly a decade. He made one exception in August of 1971 when he agreed to play at the Concert for Bangladesh and was asked by George Harrison if he was going to play the song. He famously mocked back "Are you going to play 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand', before getting on stage to play the tune. (the video is below of that performance)

"How many roads must a man walk down
Before you can call him a man
Yes 'n how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand
Yes and how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they're forever banned
The answer my friend is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind"