Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Andrew Belle "Static Waves"

I first wrote about Andrew back in 2010 when his song "The Ladder" was making its rounds around the indie radio stations. Last night while my ipod was on shuffle it brought me back to that album and played me this song "Static Waves" and for a moment I was transported back to when I first got his album. Its just simple music. I love it so much. I'm actually glad that the radio and the mainstream media has not picked up on artists like Andrew. It keeps their music fresh even years after the release of an album. 

Here is "Static Waves" feat Katie Herzig.

"the static waves across the screen
define this notion
back and forth in between
like my emotion
and I know you're never gonna understand
and won't you slow this down oh if you can"

Book Added!


It is not so often that I get on here and talk about books but I should. I love to read. Always have, hopefully always will. Its the perfect way to pass an afternoon. Outside, indoors, sunny, rainy, snowy, you can always pick up a good book. Since the addition of a Kindle to my life (thanks Patrick) I'm finding my book lists longer and longer. Its crazy when you start looking online for books how many recommendations you can read. I have decided there is just not enough time in the world to read all the ones I want.

Like this next one called "These Days are Ours". I've read about its release on a few different websites... and well... I think its time I buy it and start reading today! Next stop. Kindle store! 

Breaking News: Davey Jones Died

Man this is just getting sad.... Davey Jones the lead singer of The Monkees just passed away at the mere age of 66 from a heart attack. 

More details to follow for now I will just post one of my favorite songs from the group. Daydream Believer. 

Phish Dates Announced!

Phish Summer Tour 2012 Announcement from Phish on Vimeo.


Whoot Whoot Whoot! News we have all been waiting for... Phish summer tour has been announced. Now back to checking my calendar and bank account to see what is possible. 

Things I know already. 

Definitely in for the two Portsmouth shows... even though they are mid week! Damn you Phish!

Throwback to 1994

That is right I'm going back to when I was 12. I loved Mary J Blige, I sill do. Girl knows how to sing the crap out of songs. Nobody quite puts the emotion that she does into it. 

So today I'm throwing back to one of her old classics "I'm Going Down". If you don't know it, well now you do!

Cartoon of the Day

My brother sent this to me last night.... I've been laughing ever since.

Repost: What Happened?

This is a repost of a blog article I wrote on June 3rd, 2010, its about a man named Matt Nathanson. I was talking about him again last night and it reminded me of this fantastic song. So I'm just going to repost the entire article. 

"What Happened?
Meet Matt Nathanson, you may have heard his name for some of his song have hit the radio pretty big. But like most artists, its his underground work, the stuff made years and years ago that really is his best. Like this song "Bulletproof Weeks".

Many interpret this is a song about the end of a long relationship when he misses those carefree happy days, about looking back. I see it a little different.

I see it about looking back but not at a relationship but at a world. At NYC in general (so many nyc references). I think its about the world before 9/11. About a simpler time, a time when you could hear the trains outside your window, where lovers are playing in the streets without a care or a worry. Its a time that most of us would like to go back to, and its not wrong to sometimes sit back and ask, what happened to that?

To each its own.

Weekapaug Wednesday

In celebration of todays Phish announcement (yes I know I thought it was yesterday, we fans tend to jump the gun sometimes...happens). Anyways, in celebration of what sure is going to be some tour dates today I've renamed today 'Weekapaug Wednesday' after one of my favorite songs. This is a song that I love to just play in the background while I'm doing other things. It always keeps my feet tapping and brings me to a happy place. Isn't that what its all about anyways?

Here is a version that I saw live on December 4th, 2009 at Madison Square Garden. 

Leap Day

Happy Leap Day! Do something fun today, you know it doesn't count... Real life is for March!

Scrap Metal Improv

I was just doing my daily spin through the NPR website and I found this really cool video titled "Scrap Metal Improv". Its Eric Harland and Avishai Cohen making drums out of the scrap metal pieces around them. Its pretty neat! Check it out. Oh and happy rainy Wednesday. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oscar Moments in Photos

Like I mentioned earlier, the oscars were this past weekend and instead of giving you a big boring recap. With the help of some photographers over at Rolling Stone I will bring you the pictures that basically sum everything up.

Uggie from The Artist (big winners of the night)

Christopher Plummer set a record for the oldest person ever to win the statue.

Billy Crystal was eh. Felt like I had heard most of the jokes before.

Highlight: Sasha Barron Cohen dressed as 'The Dictator' spilled a bunch of ash all over Ryan Seacrest during the red carpet. 

Will Farrel tried to lighten the mood in the room. 

Of course Meryl won. Kind of surprised me but it shouldn't have...

And Octavia Spencer from The Help was the other big winner of the night. Her speech was pretty great too.

Yup thats all you needed to know about Sunday night. Carry on.

Phish Dates!

I knew today was going to be a good day. Looks like there is something going on over at phish.com which means.... you guessed it! TOUR DATES! 

I really hope that they play either Portsmouth or Merriweather and of course... Atlantic City. Make it easy on my schedule and budget... what do you say???

Salty Jargon

My best friend Nicole started a food blog. You should visit. 

Bret McKenzie Wins Oscar!

This years Oscars was a major snooze fest. Nothing too spectacular to report except for one thing. Bret McKenzie won one of those cool golden statues for Best Original Song for his work on The Muppets. For anyone who doesn't know Bret, he is part of the popular duo Flight of the Conchords which has been making me laugh for years on HBO. 

Here is the best of his work on the show. 

Tuesday!

Good morning world. Its Tuesday morning and I'm pretty excited about life at the moment. Finally my work schedule is down to a bearable pace and I am able to get back on here and hang out for a little bit. This should also open up the time spent outside of the four walls I call my office... another reason to celebrate! Its getting nicer here in Richmond and soon I will start back up with my tour de happy hours, outdoor music concerts and afternoons spent by the river. 

For now listen to this Wilco cover from Norah Jones. I love it.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oscar 2012

Its Oscar night! That is right the handing off of those mighty important gold statues is only about an hour and a half away and I'm slowly getting more and more excited. While I do not have high hopes for this years awards ceremony... why you ask? Was more excited for Eddie Murphy than Billy Crystal, the nominees are all pretty boring, the awards are all pretty much locked up, and the movies this year well lacked big time. Even despite these pitfalls, I will still try and watch for as long as possible.

Here are my predictions: (and these are my personal not who exactly I think will win)
-Best Actor: Clooney
-Best Actress: Viola Davis
-Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer
-Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer
Best Movie: The Descendants 

Good luck everyone! Back to the red carpet.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Take A Moment

Take a moment to read this next story.

"A man sat at a metro station in DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. 

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

the one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk at their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces every written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100. 

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as a part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?"

Friday!

Its Friday!!! I'm very very very happy about this. The reason being? It ends what has been a ridiculous three week stretch of work. Starting next week I'm back to a normal schedule. No more staying until its dark out. No more waking up extremely early to go speak at meetings. Hopefully just some normal days and I get get back to enjoying what it is I do here. 

Enough about me and back to the subject at hand... FRIDAY! Currently its about 65 almost 70 degrees outside, so hopefully I won't be spending too much time on the computer today. The plan is to knock out some work and go get outside. I'll do this now because I do believe it will rain tomorrow. Boo. Oh wells at least I will not be working!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. For now enjoy this pretty neat cover of Britney Spears - Criminal by Garrett Borns. Not what you would expect at all... (I will say this I would have given him more points if he took the toothpick out of his mouth... just sayin)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

More Things I Love

Today is turning into quite the busy day. Yet not busy enough that I miss some of these cool images. Check it out. I promise I'm back with music tomorrow!







Hilarious Hypothetical Letters

Sorry still no music quite yet... I can't seem to pull myself off this artsy website. But while I'm here I might as well share some of these hilarious hypothetical letters. How can you not smile?

"Dear Noah, We could have sworn you said the ark wasn't leaving until 5"
-The Unicorns

"Dear Twilight Fans, Thank you for making us look sane and well-adjusted"
-The Trekkies

"Dear Iceburgs, Sorry to hear about the global warming. Karma's a bitch"
-The Titanic

"Dear Diet Coke, I feel like you're overreacting"
-Mentos

So Sorry

I would like to apologize to my four readers for leaving you high and dry this week. I'm sorry! The work week has been taking me away from my desk and making me go outside and play in this 70 degree weather. I know its a terrible spot to be in. But really, I promise that I will be back here both this afternoon and tomorrow to bring you some more fun things. 

For now its some photography. I have been on this "My Modern Metropolis" website a lot this week where I have found some awesome shots. Check it out.







Tuesday, February 21, 2012

20 Greatest Songs of 1960s

I was over wasting time at Pitchfork.com and found some pretty cool lists. Their staff comes together every once in a while and votes on their favorite songs and albums from certain decades. Its no surprise that my eyes instantly went to the 1960s lists. I loved the music from this decade, I am lucky that I had parents that listened to a lot of it and made it part of my childhood. Can you imagine being a fan of music and watching it go through everything its been through over the last 50 years? Yeah me either...

Here are their favorite songs from the 1960s. Its not too bad either, just a few rearranging from me and I would be 100% cool with it.

20. The Shangri-Las Out in the Street
19. The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows
18. The Chrystals - Then He Kissed Me
17. CCR - Fortunate Son
16. The Stooges - I Wanna be Your Dog
15. Aretha Franklin - Think
14. Beach Boys - Don't Worry Baby
13. The Band - The Weight
12. Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter
11. Led Zeppelin - Dazed and Confused
10. Desmond Dekker - Israelites 
9. The Who - I Can't Explain
8. Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues
7. The Beach Boys - Wouldn't It Be Nice
6. The Ronettes - Be My Baby
5. The Beatles - Day in the Life
4. Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone
3. Sam Cooke - Change Is Gonna Come
2. Jackson 5 - I Want You Back
1. Beach Boys - God Only Knows

Visit their website to see the list of the top 200.

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Happy Mardi Gras!! If only we lived in New Orleans we would all have today off! In honor of this festivity I will include a picture of me from a very long time ago in New Orleans during my friend Whitneys Bachelorette party... good times.

(And yes this beer was bigger than my head.)

UPDATE: Since it is Fat Tuesday... I will have full disclosure about the debauchery of that weekend. At one point I actually thought it was a good idea to climb this tree. How I made it out of that city alive is still being debated.

Oh Katy Perry

Just saw this photo and well.. um... really Katy?

I'm trying hard to like you I promise... but you are making it extremely difficult. 

Grace is Gone

"Neon shines through smoky eyes tonight
It's 2 am - I'm drunk again its heavy on my mind

I could never love again so much as I love you
Where you end where I begin is like a river going through
Take my eyes, take my heart cuz I need them no more
If never again they fall upon the one I so adore

Excuse me please one more drink 
Could you make it strong cause I don't need to think
She broke my heart my Grace is gone
One more drink and I'll move on

One drink to remember, then another to forget
How could I ever dream to find sweet love like you again
One drink to remember and another to forget..."

Rare Kurt Cobain Photos

This week Kurt Cobain would have turned 45. In honor of this I'm posting some rare photos that were just discovered of Kurt by Rolling Stone. He looks so young and innocent in some of these its just crazy. Another talent lost way too soon, yet unlike Whitney we never really saw what influence Kurt could have had on the music world.... I can't imagine if he was still here what could or might have happened with that band. Good or bad it would have been interesting... Happy Birthday Kurt.






I Will Always Love You

Okay Okay, I know its been a few days since I've last visited this blog. I apologize. Life got a little busy there for  a moment but thankfully things have started to get back to normal and by normal I only mean 12 hour days at work and weekends filled with me trying to catch back up on sleep. Yes that is my normal. 

Anyways I know that last week passed without me really getting into talking about the passing of Whitney Houston. I didn't want to get caught up in all the press, all the tv shows about her, everywhere we turned we saw her face and well it was just too much. I wish there was a way for us to show some of these artists their great impact before they leave this earth not only after... Anyways now I'm going to write my little diddy and that will be all of it. So here it goes:

If I have to go back and think of my most favorite Whitney Houston moments I am instantly brought back to my childhood bedroom. That one on 40 Northview Drive where I would sit upstairs while my brothers were wrestling downstairs. I would put on a crown, dress in the most sparkly outfit I owned and would stand on my hamper and sing her songs at the top of my lungs not caring who saw me or who heard me. I would sing these songs over and over again, marching around my room as if I was this lady that many call "the voice of my generation". There were the classics like "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" or "I Have Nothing" how about "The Greatest Love of All"? I could sit in my room all day with that silver boombox and play Whitney until my ears bleed. There was "The Bodyguard" which still ranks high on my list of favorite "go to Sunday afternoon flicks". How about the time she sung "The Star Spangled Banner" and sung it so well I may add that it sold a million copies and topped the singles chart. Yes the star spangled banner. She did the same thing when she opened up the Olympics with "One Moment in Time". She owns my childhood. She was my soundtrack I could always count on. I can't even start on "I Will Always Love You" originated by Dolly Parton but brought into another stratosphere by Ms. Houston. Just pure magic. Also the fact that Whitney made her name right there in my home state of New Jersey made us feel like she was ours as well. There were so many things that drew me to this lady and her music but the great things that I will take away is the way that she sung her songs. It was effortless. It gave you goosebumps, it left you wanting more. 

I could go on and on about Whitney here for my entire day but you all have already read too much about her and her impact on the music world. So I'll leave you with just the lessons that I have learned from the lyrics that have been in her songs. Not bad lessons to shape your life around.

Sometime you'll laugh
Sometimes you'll cry
Life never tells us, the when's or why's
When you've got friends, to wish you well
You'll find your point when
You will exhale

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadow
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can't take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all 
Inside of me
The greatest love of all 
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
Is the greatest love of all

They don't always happen when you ask
And it's easy to give in to your fears
But when your blinded by your pain
Can't see your way straight through the rain
A small but still, resilient voice
Says love is very near
There can be miracles 
When you believe

I want one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel eternity

If I should die thie very day
Don't cry 'cause on Earth we weren't meant to stay
And no matter what the people say
I'll be waiting for you after the judgement day
Because my love is your love

and my all time favorite
I hope life treats you kind
And I hope you have all you've dreamed of
And I wish you, joy and happiness
But above all this, I wish you love
And I will always love you.

RIP Ms. Houston

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Oh Please No.

I just read the worst sentence I could ever imagine. "Nicki Minaj has said that her controversial performance at the Grammy Awards was actually a scene from a movie she's written". 

Oh please let this not be true. I can not think of a worse idea... please god no. 

The Mighty Lin

The New York papers are having a field day with Jeremy Lin. My favorite is obviously the last one.... "Amasian". How can you not love this or root for this kid?

Move of the Day

Highlight of my day so far... just threw down a word worth 37 points in 'Words with Friends'. Thank you 'Froze' (triple letter on the Z).

Its all about the little things in life people. 


Read This Article

I have to hand to to the ladies running the Hello Giggles site. They seem to be taking this small little website big time with some big articles about important subjects. Yesterday I read an article titled "I'm Not Okay With Chris Brown Performing at the Grammy's... and I'm Not Sure Why You Are". It was easily the best article I've read on the subject. It was well stated, simple and to the point. It verbalized a lot of the emotions I had watching him on Sunday night and how I feel about the entire situation in general. After reading this article the entire situation was clear to me as being completely insane. It was so good that I'm going to repost the entire article right here so as many people as possible can read it. 

Again, it was by a lady named Sasha Pasulka and the entire article can be found by clicking right HERE. Bravo Sasha!! If you have a few minutes today I highly recommend reading this:

I'm Not Okay With Chris Brown Performing at the Grammys and I'm Not Sure Why You Are

I’m sick and tired of people acting like it’s no big deal that Chris Brown will be performing at the Grammys.
I’m frustrated that the mainstream media is covering this story like it’s any comeback story, like an exiled prince’s return to a former glory, like this is another political timeline — as though some rich and powerful old white men in the music business have not just issued an enormous ‘f**k you’ to every woman who has been, is or will be on the receiving end of domestic violence.
We should be furious.
Why aren’t we?
A Long, Long Time Ago, or Three Years Ago, But Who’s Counting?
For those of you who are currently listening to ‘Look at Me Now’ and wondering what the big deal is, a quick recap: The night before the Grammys in 2009, Chris Brown got angry at his girlfriend, Rihanna, and he took it out on her face. She went to the hospital and then to the LAPD, where this photo was taken and promptly leaked to TMZ. (The LAPD issued a stern statement on the leak, threatening penalties “up to and including termination”. TMZ reportedly paid $62,500 for the photo.)
Both Rihanna and Brown had been scheduled to perform at the Grammys the following evening. Neither did.
Instead, Chris Brown turned himself into the LAPD at 7 pm, was booked on suspicion of criminal threats and was released on $50,000 bail.
Then the Internet exploded.
I was a full-time entertainment writer at the time, so I had a front-row seat to the action. This is what I expected: I expected a string of celebrities to comment on how horrific this situation was, how sad and angry they were for Rihanna, how domestic violence is unacceptable in any context, how as a nation we need to condemn this and condemn it loudly.
Instead, Hollywood went silent and, when they did speak, they teetered on the brink of defending Chris Brown.
Carrie Underwood: “I don’t think anybody actually knows what happened. I have no advice.”
Lindsay Lohan: “I have no comment on that. That’s not my relationship. I think they’re both great people.”
Nia Long: “I know both of them well. They’re young, and all we can do is pray for them at this point.”
Mary J. Blige: “They’re both young and beautiful people, and that’s it.”
Jay-Z, one of Rihanna’s mentors, spoke up: “You have to have compassion for others. Just imagine it being your sister or mom and then think about how we should talk about that. I just think we should all support her.”
In a sane world, Jay-Z’s statement would sound insane. Why would he have to remind his fans to support Rihanna after what happened is that she got hit in the face?
Jay-Z issued that statement because the Internet was, in early February 2009, engaged in a very serious conversation about whether or not all of this was Rihanna’s fault. In fact, large segments of the Internet had devoted themselves to making Rihanna the scapegoat for any woman who ever had the gall to do something worth getting hit, and then the cloying self-esteem to go to the cops about it. Bloggers and their commentators flocked to Chris Brown’s defense in droves. It was a full-blown tearing-down of female self-worth, an assault on any progress women have made in this country in the past 200 years, and the mainstream media ignored it.
It horrified me. It still does.
Later in February, a photo of Brown riding a jet ski in Miami hit the Internet, and singer Usher was caught on video commenting on it: “I’m a little disappointed in this photo,” Usher says in the video. “After the other photo [of Rihanna's bruised face]? C’mon, Chris. Have a little bit of remorse, man. The man’s on jet skis? Like, just relaxing in Miami?”
The backlash was so severe that Usher was later forced to publicly apologize.
“I apologize on behalf of myself and my friends if anyone was offended,” he said. “The intentions were not to pass judgment and we meant no harm. I respect and wish the best for all parties involved.”
The message we sent to young women was unmistakable: You are powerless. You are worthless. You will be a victim, and that will be okay with us.
The Fall-out, and the Lack Thereof
In August 2009, Brown was sentenced to five years probation and 180 hours of community service after pleading guilty to felony assault.
In December 2009, he released his third studio album. It sold over 100,000 copies in its first week and debuted at #7 on the Billboard charts.
On June 8, 2010, Brown was forced to cancel his tour dates in the UK when the British Home Office refused to grant him a work visa on the grounds of “being guilty of a serious criminal offence”. Less than three weeks later, he performed ‘Man in the Mirror’ at the BET Awards’ tribute to Michael Jackson.
His fourth studio album, released in March of last year, debuted at #1.
In December 2011, Billboard crowned him their artist of the year.
And, this week, Grammy producers confirmed that Chris Brown will be performing on Sunday’s show.
“We’re glad to have him back,” said executive producer Ken Ehrlich. “I think people deserve a second chance, you know. If you’ll note, he has not been on the Grammys for the past few years and it may have taken us a while to kind of get over the fact that we were the victim of what happened.”
Read that quote again. Think hard about what is being said. Here is what this quote says to any woman who’s ever been abused:
  • By blacklisting Chris Brown from the Grammys for a “few” years (actually, a grand total of TWO Grammy Awards), the Grammys have gone above and beyond expectations for the social exile of an adult man who hit his girlfriend so hard she went to the hospital, and honestly it was really, really hard for them to show even that much support for victims of domestic violence worldwide.
  • It was rather thoughtless of Rihanna to go and get herself hit in the face by her boyfriend, because it’s put such a burden on the Grammys. Maybe if she hadn’t made such a big fuss out of it, things could have been easier for everyone.
  • The Grammys think that they were the victim of Chris Brown hitting Rihanna in the face.
  • The Grammys. Think. That they. Were the victim. Of Chris Brown. Hitting. Rihanna. In the face.
Hitting People Is Wrong, Y’All
I agree that people deserve a second chance. It’s great that we live in a country with a justice system that allows offenders to reclaim themselves and their lives after their sentence. I’m happy about that, and I hope Brown is a changed man at the end of his sentence. (The US justice system has Chris Brown on probation through 2014. It was nice of the Grammys to let him off a couple years early for high record sales good behavior.)
And my suspicion is that Rihanna has no interest in being a poster child for victims of domestic violence. She probably wishes this would all disappear, and I don’t blame her for a minute. She didn’t ask for this – for any of it – and she’s under no obligation to speak out about it.
But someone has to. Because what is happening here is unmistakable. It is, in my eyes, so unmistakable that I wonder if I’m wrong, if I’m missing something huge, because I cannot believe more voices aren’t railing against this.
We – the grown-up influencers in this country, the people with platforms and with educations and with power — are allowing a clear message to be sent to women: We will easily forgive a person who victimizes you. We are able to look beyond the fact that you were treated as less than human, that a bigger, stronger person decided to resolve a conflict with you through violence. We know it happened, but it’s just not that big of a deal to us.
We were so mad when the Komen Foundation pulled its funding for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood. “This is not fair,” we shouted. “This is not fair to women, and this is not fair to the women who don’t have a voice, and we will not allow it.” We shouted it so loudly that Komen reversed its decision in three days. We forced the resignation of one of their top executives.
Planned Parenthood, no doubt, has a well-funded and fine-tuned PR machine, adept at galvanizing a population against a perceived injustice. They outmaneuvered Komen easily.
Does domestic violence have a less sophisticated PR machine than Chris Brown does?
Because to me, this situation isn’t all that different. Accepting that Chris Brown gets to perform at the Grammys because some people bought his album is no different from accepting that women without health insurance don’t get to be screened for breast cancer because some VP at Komen is anti-abortion. It may happen, but that doesn’t mean we should tacitly accept it. What if Chris Brown had hit your sister that night? Or your daughter? (What if Chris Brown had hit Taylor Swift that night?)
We’re accepting the message that women just aren’t that important, that their health and their safety and their self-respect is only important until it stops being convenient for everyone. We should be angry about this, and we should be angry publicly about this.
So I want to say this to anyone who is listening: This is not okay with me. A man hitting a woman in anger is unacceptable and is not easily forgotten or forgiven. A man who hits a woman in anger deserves to be reported to the authorities and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, regardless of who might be inconvenienced in the process. A man who hits a woman in anger may eventually be permitted to go on with his own life, but he is not permitted back in my life, even if it’s been three whole years."
And thats the article. I'm glad that you took the time to read it and I hope like me it makes you realize how completely ridiculous this entire situation is and how it is moving us as a country backwards instead of forwards. That is my rant for the day. Goodbye. 

Dear Phish

Dear Boys. Please announce your summer tour plans so I can adequately plan some vacation time. Thank you. 

Carry on.

Love Interrupted by Jack White

Three things about the new Jack black video for his single "Love Interrupted" off his new album Blunderbuss: 

1. It's self directed 
2. It features Ruby Amanfu
3. And also a puppy

-Enjoy-

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Here It Goes... Thunder Road

I saved Thunder Road for last today because well, its my favorite song of all time. Gasp. I know many people throw that phrase around loosely, but to me, it gets no better than this next tune. The other night when I decided to tackle this whole Springsteen project I went back and listened to the song again. I actually cried. I love the song so much, its so beautiful that I cried when I heard it. It solidified the fact to me that lyrically and musically it is in fact the best ever.

The song to me is the perfect love song, and here is why. It's a song about two naive kids trying to outrun their doomed adulthood. There's the narrator, who by admission isn't a hero, and Mary, "who ain't a beauty but hey she's alright". The two are young lovers who are caught between their dreams and what is expected of them. Life is hard and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere for either of them. The narrator is trying to break away from his hopeless situation and he wants to take Mary with him, but she isn't quite sure. The narrator pleads for her over and over to come with him, telling her that she can't wait anymore "for a savior to rise from these streets". The two travel to Thunder Road, which they hope will help take them to the promise land, they don't know quite yet if they will make it... but they are making a run for it. 

The song is filled with powerful lyrics and one of my all time favorite verses. To me, I can actually see this entire song unfold in my mind with this verse:

"There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dusty beach road in the skeleton frames of burned-out Chevrolet's
They scream your name at night in the street
Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet
And in the lonely cool before dawn
You hear their engines rollin gon
But when you get to the porch, they're gone on the wind
So Mary climb in
It's a time for the losers but I'm pulling out of here to win"

This song has everything to me. Great characters, emotion, powerful music, everything that you could ever want in a song. (Plus you can't forget about the Clarence Clemons solo at the end it's amazing!) It's a song that any person can relate to, and it's an example of when great lyrics makes a great song. 

The video below is one of my favorite live versions of it, there is also some amazing acoustic versions that you should hear. Again I could listen to this song all day. Sit back and enjoy rock and roll at its finest. 

... and that concludes my Bruce Springsteen day here on the blog. Its been a lot of fun, and I have a whole list of songs to put on Patrick's mix tonight. Yay. 

But First.... Rosalita

"Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" was the highlight of countless Springsteen live shows during the E Street Band's original incarnation between 1973 to 1988. In the 1990s the band had enough and only played in in extremely special occasions in New Jersey. In 1999 (the year I saw  my first Bruce show) the reunited E Street Band played a unprecidented 15 night stand at NJ Continental Airlines Arena. Most nights the fans held up signs for "Rosalita", but Springsteen didn't budge until the very last night. "Its been a great gift being able to stand up here and make this music come alive and to look out into your faces" he told the crowd before the final song. "How could I say thanks? I knew there's a way. I'm sure there's a way. I haven't seen any of those stupid signs. So maybe just once..." He broke out Rosalita. 


Thunder Road Time?

Is it time for my all time favorite song Thunder Road? Mabye... stay tuned. It will take a while to write up.

Atlantic City

In March, 1981 a mob boss by the name of Philip "The Chicken Man" Testa was killed when a nail bomb exploded under his front porch. He lived about an hour away from Atlantic City, and owned a bar on the boardwalk where Donald Trump later built a massive casino. The incident has been known to kick off an incredibly bloody mob war, and inspired Bruce to write a great tune about what was happening in his own state. The result is a great song called "Atlantic City". 

"Everything dies baby, that's a fact, but maybe everything that dies someday comes back."


The Rising

Like many of us from New Jersey, the attacks on 9-11 hit us on a way too personal level. The sights and sounds we were all used to seeing were gone; the skyline to our great city was ruined, the mood was changed, the world was different. Bruce took a lot of this pain and suffering and put it into his music with the release of his 12th studio album The Rising. The title track was released as a single in 2002. It gained critical praise and actually earned Grammy's for Best Rock Song and Best Male Vocal Performance it was also nominated for Song of the Year. 

The song is quite simple. It tells the story of a New York City Fire Department firefighter climbing one of the World Trade Towers after the hijacked planes had hit them during the attacks. The lyrics depict the surreal, desperate environment in which he finds himself. Its hard not to be emotional while listening to these words:

"Can't see nothin' in front of me
Can't see nothin' coming up behind...
I make my way through this darkness,
I can't feel nothing but this chain that binds me.
Lost track of how far I've gone
How far I've gone, how high I've climbed...
On my back's a 60-pound stone
On my shoulder a half mile of line"

Have you ever seen him perform this live? No? Please watch the video below... it explains everything.

People Cover Bruce... All The Time!

People love some Bruce Springsteen, and who can blame them. If I could play the piano or the guitar I know his songbook would be one of the first ones I would pick up. I heard a story once about Lady Gaga that said when she was learning the piano her parents were such big Bruce fans that they told her they would buy her a baby grand and start taking her seriously only after she could complete the full "Thunder Road" from start to finish. She played until her fingers bleed, and got her baby grand.

Here are some covers of Bruce songs that may be of interest to you.

First up Josh Ritter with an amazing stripped down version of "The River"


Next is Sara Bareilles with "I'm On Fire" 


And finally after talking about it earlier here is Rage Against the Machine with "The Ghost of Tom Joad" taped at Woodstock 1999

Backstreets

Have I said yet how much fun I'm having today putting together this list. Everyone should have a Bruce Day! Trust me its fun!! 

In my opinion this is one of the top three Bruce songs... easy. Its one of those ones that I drop everything for when it comes on, I just turn the volume up and close my eyes. Even just the piano at the beginning gives off this incredible vibe, its amazing. Its an intense story about a broken relationship; a tale of losing a lover where the narrator seems more concerned about losing her as a friend. 

The last verse of this song is so heartbreaking... you can feel it in his voice when he sings these words. Its also an example of some of the fine songwriting work this man has done. 

"Laying here in the dark you're like an angel on my chest
Just another tramp of hearts crying tears of faithlessness
Remember all the movies, Terry, we'd go see
Trying to learn how to walk like heroes we thought we had to be
And after all this time to find we're just like the rest
Stranded in the park and forced to confess
To hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets
We swore forever friends on the backstreets until the end
Hiding on the backstreets, hiding on the backstreets"

Born To Run

Okay it would not be Bruce Springsteen Day without "Born to Run". I don't have to tell the story behind this song, I don't even need to say much about it. Everyone knows it. Everyone should love it. So instead I will include some fun facts that I've heard along the way about this particular tune.

-Springsteen played this for the first time in May of 1974 when he opened up for Bonnie Raitt at Harvard Square.
-There was a movement to make this the official state song of NJ. (It didn't work)
-Springsteen choose this song as the album title after rejecting other names that included War And Roses, The Hungry and The Hunted, American Summer and Sometimes at Night. 
-"Highway 9" refers to Route 9 in NJ which went through Springsteen's hometown of Freehold.
-This song came at the crossroads of Springsteen's career. His first 2 albums sold poorly, and Columbia Records might have dropped him if he did not produce a hit.
-Bruce must of been born to run because once he ran and jumped over the walls of Graceland to meet Elvis in 1976 when he was on tour in Memphis. (He never actually got to meet him, security stopped him at the door).
-This was performed at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2009.

Back to Bruce

Next Up: Darkness on the Edge of Town was released back in 1978 and to date it is probably one of my favorite albums he has ever made. The songs are gritty and dirty and the way they were made was actually made into a documentary (if you haven't seen it, make a point of it today, it as released by HBO last year)

This next song was the title track from that album and its a good one. "Darkness on the Edge of Town" speaks about loss, about giving everything good in life away in one decision for an urge that he can't even explain. It all comes to head in the final verse. Following the admission that even the loss of his money and his wife had little effect on him, as if they were just shadows, and every line is full of meaning. Many believe that he took the lyrics from his friend Bob Dylan "When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose" as inspiration.

"Tonight I'll be on that hill cause I can't stop
I'll be on that hill with everything that I got (which at the point of this song is nothing)
Lives on the line and dreams are found and lost
I'll be there on time and I'll pay the cost
For wanting things that can only be found
In the darkness of the edge of town"

Bruce Pause!

I'm doing a quick pause on Bruce day to bring you some breaking news. 

December 8th, 2010. Does that date mean anything to you? 

Well to me it was the day that I first heard "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele. 

I even wrote a blog about it. Click Here.

BAM! Proof that I know what I'm talking about on this music blog over a year before she took down all the Grammy's. Hehe.

Okay back to Bruce. 

Bruce Springsteen Day!

My boyfriend that is from West Virginia has not listened to a ton of Mr. Bruce Springsteen (I have not held this against him quite yet) but I am taking the liberties to introduce him to the man that we from NJ call "The Boss". So today is going to be Bruce Springsteen Day! Whoo Hooo! It will help me do my research and figure out what songs can I put on a mix tonight to adequately show this man how great Bruce is. Here we go. 

Springsteen is widely known to many for his style of what they call "heartland rock", he has very powerful poetic lyrics and talks mainly about what is happening in America or most importantly in his native NJ. His recordings have included both commercial rock albums and my favorite the more somber folk-oriented works. Most know him from his work with Born in the USA or Born to Run, these albums both showcase a talent for finding good things in the struggles of daily American life. He has sold more than 65 million albums in the US and more than 120 worldwide. He has earned 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes and an Oscar. He is widely regarded by many as one of the most influential songwriters of the 20th century, and in 2004 Rolling Stone ranked him as the 23rd Greatest Artists of all time. 

I'm going to start of with a song that many don't even know Bruce wrote. Rage Against the Machine does a pretty amazing cover of it, but nothing beats the original.

Here is "The Ghost of Tom Joad" 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Only God Knows - Beach Boys

I'm posting this song even after the disaster that was their performance on the Grammy Awards Sunday night. I used to listen to a whole lot of Beach Boys when I was younger. Their greatest hits was one of my first cassette tapes and I remember this next song was on it, and I used to listen to it, rewind, replay, rewind, replay and rewind. It never got old to me. How could it?

"I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it 
I'll make you so sure about it

God only knows what I'd be without you
If you should ever leave me 
Though life would still go on believe me
The world could show nothing to me
So what good would living do me

God only knows what I'd be without you
God only knows what I'd be without you"

Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney

You can't go wrong on a day like today with Paul McCartney... man has written some amazing tunes in his day. My favorite love song of his was off of his solo records "Maybe I'm Amazed", it will always remind me of college. My old roommate Virginia used to sing it all over the House sometimes first thing in the morning. 

Anytime I hear this song I always smile. 

These Arms of Mine - Otis Redding

Here is another great one. I love me some Otis Redding and I think that one of his best songs is the love song "These Arms of Mine". What a great one!

"These arms of mine, they are yearning,
Yearning from wanting you.

And if you would let them hold you,
Oh how grateful I will be."

Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes

Well since it is the day of love I guess I can share with you all some of my all time favorite love songs. Man that sounds so sappy. haha. Yet there are some amazing ones out there. Like "Lovesong"by the Cure, "Lets Stay Together" by Al Green or "With or Without You" by U2. Those are songs that will never ever get old. 

One of my all time favorites is the next song, its pretty perfect if I do say so myself. Yes I'm talking about Peter Gabriel and "In Your Eyes". Love it!

Love.

Happy Valentines Day Everybody!! 

I'm pretty busy here at work today so no idea if I'll get a lot of chance to come on here today but I'll try. 

Hope everyone has a great day with the ones they love.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sad

And in a sad state of affairs "Who Is Paul McCartney?" is a trending topic on twitter. Its official 13 year olds have taken over the planet. 

Best Anthem Ever

It seems all people are talking about today is Whitney Houston and her untimely end. It will most likely continue like this for about another week or so, we will have tv specials, tributes, radio shows the whole nine. Yet there is one thing that everyone including myself agree on. She will always go down as singing the best National Anthem in the history of the song. 

Unforgettable.

Touching Tribute

Now that I have woken up from the fog that was last nights Grammy awards I can look back and say easily these two were the performances of the night. While nobody will sing "I will always love you" better then Whitney herself, Ms. Hudson did a wonderful job under the circumstances. 



and finally the lady of the evening. Great to see Adele back in top form, and look how much she is enjoying herself during this performance. What a night. And that is all from Grammy world for me. I'm officially tapped out.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Grammy's... Here Goes Nothing!

So here I go, found myself extra motivated tonight and decided that I'm going to recap the Grammy Awards right here as I watch them (or at least until I give up.... because lets be honest here this is my least favorite award show on the planet and I'm an award show junkie). Warning the show is like three hours long so this post can get pretty lengthy. Here we go. 

I also will save what I saw on the red carpet for another day but all I'll say is some girl actually had a machine gun glued to her dress. Truth. And below is a picture of Nicki Minaj. No words...


Time to start the show. 

- First off is Jersey's own Bruce Springsteen. Got to love Bruce, yet it does hurt not to see Clarence Clemons on the stage, I miss that man. He sounds good, great start to hopefully what will be a painless night. 

- Okay, so here comes host LL Cool J. He starts off very somber, wait whats this... he is leading the entire crowd in a prayer for Whitney and her family. Little odd. But carry on. Now he shows a video of Whitney singing "I will always love you". Great song, great performance... I have a feeling we will hear a lot about Ms. Houston tonight. 

-LL Cool J shouts out Adele. This should be an amazing night for her. She looks great and its great to see her healthy in the audience. 

-He also just called said "Sir OG Paul McCartney".. wow. Why is there a host for this show again?

-Boyfriend Calling: Timeout- 

-Okay I'm back.. Bruno Mars is performing. Never heard of the song he is singing, but his dancing is pretty impressive. Standing O from the crowd. Eh, it was just okay in my book.

-Next up Alicia Keys and Bonnie Raitt are performing a tribute to another great the world lost this year... Etta James. The song... "Sunday Kind of Love" and they are killing it. What a great pairing... Bonnie is so badass and still has got it. Great job girls, this is easily the best of the bunch so far. 

-Now they get up to give out the first award which PS I do not put a lot of weight on due to their lack of recognizing the real artists in the music industry and usually giving awards away to undeserving acts.. thats all I'll say.  Anyways, I hope Adele and Bon Iver win every single one! Redeem yourself Grammy's... I dare you!

First winner: Pop Song of the Year.... and..... ADELE! Yup knew she would run away with this show tonight. She keeps her thank you short and simple. Should be a good night for her. 

-Chris Brown performance up next. Don't know how I really feel about them letting him back to perform only 3 years after he beat the living shit out of Rihanna after a Grammy pre-party. I'm not saying, he doesn't deserve to make music but I don't think you reward him with performances just yet.... anyways, his performance is a whole lot of dancing and lip syncing. Man can move, but I lose respect when you don't sing. Next!

-Back from commercials with Fergie and Mark Anthony. Fergie's dress is see through... really, you need the attention? Also don't they have people to tell them they look awful? They give the award for best rap performance to "Otis" to Jay-Z and Kanye West, neither are here to pick it up. Oh well. 

-Reeeeba Mcentire hits the stage and introduces Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldene (?) to sing "Don't You Want to Stay?". Country Kelly Clarkson is sounding pretty great, no surprise there; always nice to see her at these types of functions. I have no idea who this country dude is with her but I'm choosing to ignore is he actually there. Get em Kelly.

-Flash to Lady Gaga in the crowd with a full net mask over her face... sure there will be more on that later. ha.

-Yesssss. Jack Black is on my tv!! He is outside the Staples Center getting ready to introduce Foo Fighters who are playing to the public. I like the Foo Fighters very early stuff, not too much of the later albums but still respectful that they have been in the game this long.

-Dear Grammys? Why do you do this? Why can't you just let people perform by themselves, instead you  make artists to do things like what I'm actually seeing on my screen right now. Rihanna and Coldplay mash-up? No thanks. Side note: Rihanna is looking GREAT (totally channeling Tina Turner), I really hope that Chris Brown is somewhere backstage watching this and punching himself...in the face... about 30 times. Also Coldplay was pretty terrible.

-Another shot of the crowd and I spot NY Giants Victor Cruz sitting behind Adele. I know the man just won the Super Bowl and can do a mean salsa dance but really? You really never know what to expect with this show.

-And now I know why, him and fellow Giant Mario Manningham are here to present an award? This just got really weird.  Mario take off your sunglasses, you are not that cool. They give out the award for 'Best Rock Performance' to the Foo Fighters. In another example of why these awards stink, this one totally should have been either the Decemberists or Mumford and Sons. That should have been easy, come on people!

-Ryan Seacrest introduces the tribute and reuniting of the band that was actually the first concert I ever saw. Yay Beach Boys!! Maroon 5 starts out the tribute with "Surfer Girl", its actually really good. And I'm not going to lie, Adam Levine is not hard to look at. Not hard at all. Next on the tribute is Foster the People singing one of my favorite Beach Boys tunes "Wouldn't It Be Nice". The guy kind of sounds like a mouse that has been stepped on... oooh that chorus was rough guys. I give you a D for effort. Okay next up is the actual boys themselves... please tell me Stamos is playing with them!?! They come out playing "Good Vibrations"... no Stamos :( and well wow... these guys got OLD. Oh man, Brian Wilson... you are looking rough. I'm going to stay nice and just pretend this didn't happen. eek.

-Oh hey Stevie Wonder! He gives a great shout out to Whitney on his harmonica. He finally gets to why he is here, he introduces the legendary Sir Paul McCartney! So lucky that I got to see this man perform live this year, he is still so impressive! He sings "My Valentine" sounding great he looks even better! Great job Paul. A+

-Common and Taraj P. Henson present the award for "Best R&B Album" to: Chris Brown. He gets on stage and actually thanks the Grammy's for allowing him back on the stage, nice touch... but button your shirt kid. You are at an award show.

-Yay The Civil Awards are on the stage!!! So happy to see them here! They are introducing Taylor Swift with a musical introduction! Great exposure for a well deserved group! Bravo.

-Taylor Swift is now performing her song "Mean". The fact she is playing a banjo is impressive, but the song as a whole is pretty much a snooze. I'm also over her "I"m shocked you all are actually clapping for me" look, girl you have sold millions of albums, people like you. That look is getting annoying... just sayin'

-Its Neil Patrick Harris! Love me some Doogie Houser! He is here to present "Song of the Year" and the winner is: Adele for "Rolling in the Deep". She is pretty stoked and its all well deserved!

- Here comes Katy Perry's performance. Lets see what she has in store. Oooh, she starts off with a song I actually like. "E.T." its a pretty weird set and she is dressed like a really freaky alien but at least there is no whipped cream shooting out of her boobs. Its no secret that I'm not the biggest KP fan but I will say its pretty impressive how many hits she has off of one album. I think she is tied with MJ's Thriller. So there, I'm being nice.

-Next is the country portion of the evening... please hold while I fall asleep on the floor during these awards.

- Why is Gwyneth Paltrow there??? Oh man, I can't believe she gets to introduce Adele. Okay girl, show this crowd how its done. She starts off acapella and is sounding GREAT! I'm going to sit back and enjoy this one... Wow that easily was the performance of the night! She is all smiles and you can tell she is having a great time tonight. She easily gets the biggest ovation of the night so far, they give her a solid two minute cheer, and her reaction is genuine. Take notes Taylor.

-Ugh. More bad country music. Food break! Hold up. They are singing "Like a Rhinestone Cowboy". I'm starting to lose faith in humanity...

- Saving grace: just heard that Bon Iver took down "Best Alternative Album" at the early ceremony. Wish I could have seen that! His show in Richmond this past year was one of my favorites. Another well deserved award.

-Speaking of Bon Iver, here comes the award for Best New Artist! Mr. Tony Bennet is on stage to give the award with Carrie Underwood. Drumroll please.... YES YES! Bon Iver wins it! This is great! He looks genuinely shocked and his speech is pretty great. "I'd like to thank all the nominees all the non-nonimnees that have never been here and never will be here". I'm so happy for him! This is going exactly according to plan.

-Next is the sad in memoriam section here are some notables: Amy Winehouse, Nick Ashford, Heavy D, Nate Dogg and Clarence Clemons.

-And here comes the Whitney tribute. Jennifer Hudson is throwing down on "I Will Always Love You". This girl can sing! This also must have been so tough due both to the circumstances and only with what 24 hour preparation. Impressive Jennifer, not a dry eye in the building.

-Uh oh, next up is the electronica section. And by electronica I mean bad DJ's, auto tuned singers and lots of . I also have no idea who these people are. Next!

-Nicki Minaj's performance is here and I'm kind of scared. It starts off in a confession booth and I'm immediately lost. Is this an exorcism? This is sooooo bad. How is she famous??? Ugh I can think of about 500 other bands that deserve this spot.

-I'm starting to lose it, how much longer is this show.

-Here it goes "Record of the Year" these actually are all good nominees, not only is Adele in it but Bon Iver, Bruno Mars, Mumford and Sons, Katy Perry. And there it is, Adele takes it. So fabulous, she is cleaning house!

-Oh snap they just pulled out the big guns Diana Ross is in the building to present the last one Album of the Year. This should again be no surprise, Adele's album is so far above everyone else in the category its not really a competition. And the Grammy goes to... you guessed it Adele!! I don't know if I've seen anyone clean house like this since Norah Jones. She is pretty overwhelmed as she should be. What a night she had. I can't even begin to imagine.

-Now you didn't think they would let McCartney get out without singing a Beatles song or two did you? Didn't think so. Here comes the finale. Paul is out on his piano to sing one of my favorites Golden Slumbers. He ha brought Springsteen on stage with him and its becoming a mini jam session. "And in the end... the love you take it equal to love you make". What a great song and fantastic way to end the show! Good job Grammys.

-Final Thought: This is the first Grammy's in history I have watched the entire way through. Besides the random country sections and few terrible performances (I'm looking at you Minaj and Coldplay) it wasn't too bad. Glad to see everything worked out for my two favorites going into the night. Hopefully this will give Bon Iver some great exposure and Adele go break up with someone and get us a new album stat. For now enjoy what I'm sure is going to be a huge party somewhere in your honor.

I'm going to bed. PS sorry if this has been a rough read. I did it on the fly with very few edits and I'm just too tired now to go back.