September 28, 2019

Are you a cool one?

Then you must know The Tantrum. Slip on your go-go boots, tug on those tight pants and shake it! Hurry up time machine invention.

Lets all give a round of applause for the fabulous Mrs. Miller.

Downtown, Mrs. Miller, 1966

September 24, 2019

Ken Burns' Country Music

I love learning through documentaries. The combination of the narration, visuals, film footage, music, and interviews make it so easy for concepts to sink in. The recent documentary on PBS has been one of my favorites to date. Even if you don't dig country music, it's a fascinating lesson in 20th century American history. My dad would often break out into tunes I had never heard before, at times with a strange, yodelly twang. Those songs make so much sense to me now after seeing the segments from the 1930s and 40s. The sections of the documentary from the 1950s and 60s made me the most tingly. This music always makes my ears prick up. The backstories are so interesting to me – how one's life progressed from being dirt poor, troubled or doubted by others to becoming world-famous and influencing so many. Yippee-ki-yay!

I love the talent that came out of 1950s and 60s country music:

Johnny Cash    Patsy Cline     The Everly Brothers
Elvis Presley    Kris Kristofferson    Dolly Parton
Faron Young    George Jones    Tammy Wynette
Jeannie C. Riley   Bobbie Gentry   Loretta Lynn 
Glen Campbell    Don Gibson    Marty Robbins
Brenda Lee   Hank Snow   Hank Williams

If you have any interest in music, it'll behoove you to catch this series.
I challenge you not to tap your feet and want to sing along.

Above are photos of my parents in the 1930s during the Great Depression when they were hearing folks like Gene Autry and Jimmie Rodgers while gathered around the radio like the Walton family.

September 20, 2019

Fly Like an Eagle

I was saddened by the recent passing of musician/artist Ric Ocasek of the band The Cars. Shortly after turning 13 during the summer of 1978, I bought The Cars' debut albummy second 33 rpm record. The album sat in the back seat of the car while shopping with my mom and warped from the hot sun. When I played it, the needle would bop over the bumps but it never skipped. The first 33 rpm record I bought was Book of Dreams by The Steve Miller Band. It didn't contain the tune Fly Like an Eagle, but that song was one of my favorites at that time. Sometimes in life, we think bad things are happening to us, but in reality, the Universe/God/Source is nudging us in another direction towards our true purpose and path, which will bring us more joy, fulfillment, and happiness. When we have the courage to look inward, dive deep, heal past wounds, follow our dreams and move on with gratitude, we are rewarded. We are then truly able to fly like an eagle and soar.

Fly Like an Eagle, The Steve Miller Band, 1976

Here are some Cars videos that will forever make my heart smile:

Just What I Needed
My Best Friend's Girl
Danerous Type 
Let's Go
All Mixed Up
Bye Bye Love 
Since You're Gone
Touch and Go

Above are the first two albums I ever bought while a 7th grader.

September 14, 2019

beautiful Janis

Broadway came to the Cabot last night with A Night with Janis Joplin and it was better than great. Janis' spirit and voice took over the body of Mary Bridget Davies. Incredible. The show centers around Joplin telling stories of the singers who inspired her – from Bessie Smith, Odetta, The Chantels, Etta James and Aretha Franklin to Nina Simone. The four women who played these roles received many standing Os but what blew everyone away was the voice of Davies. My favorite scene was the character of Janis talking about cleaning the house with her siblings every Saturday while her mom blasted Broadway albums. These tunes influenced Janis deeply – Summertime from Porgy and Bess being one of them. She would then channel Joplin, belting out her renditions. If you're a Janis Joplin fan, you will loooooooove this show. Everything about it is fantastic: the performances, the band and the set with a balcony from where the "inspirations" sang. Prepare to be awed.

September 13, 2019

Naturally 7

I saw the most unique, inspiring and entertaining show at the intimate TCAN last night. Naturally 7 is a 7-person vocal band where no instruments are used. All sounds come from their mouths and it is mind-boggling. Beatboxing x10. I never wooooohooooooed so much in my life. Originally from NYC and together for 20 years, they've been traveling the world performing their thang to much delight. Besides original work, they sang familiar tunes from Englishman in New York to While My Guitar Gently Weeps with an incredible vocalized guitar solo. How he did that, I'd like to know. Two members are brothers and they talked about having no non-religious music in their home growing up except for 3 albums: a Glen Campbell album, a John Denver album and a Simon and Garfunkel album – then breaking into a melodious S&G medley. If these guys come to your area and you want your mind blown, see them. I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats. What a way to start a new chapter in life! Once again, wooooooohoooooooooooo!

September 9, 2019

don't panic

I think there's more panic nowadays other than in Detroit. Here's
David Bowie discussing the throes of having long hair in 1964.

Panic in Detroit, 1973