January 7, 2016

My wallen was stolen yesterday, right out of my purse. I guess you’d call it pickpocketing, except this wasn’t my pocket. Maybe “pickpocketbooking?”

Anyway, it sucks. I’m fine, and very grateful for that, but I now face a grand adventure in replacing all those little plastic rectangles that make life worthwhile. My bank has given me two completely conflicting answers about my debit card, and I do not look forward to my visit with the DMV.

In times like this, there’s really only one thing you can turn to. Two, really. Double bass drums.

And remember kids – teacher says:

  • If you prefer not to carry a purse, be sure to keep your wallet in your front pocket.
  • If you do carry a purse, make surely it’s securely closed. Don’t hang it on the back of your chair; place it on the ground between your feet.
  • Report the theft to the police – you might need a police report to replace some of your IDs.
  • Thieves are fiendishly tricky. Don’t beat yourself up if you get robbed.

Remember this: In 1999, famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma was performing in Manhattan. After the concert, he took a cab back to his hotel. He got out, and then realized he had forgotten his cello. His $2.5 million, 300 year-old Stradivarius cello. In the cab. In New York City.

The good news is, he got it back. But just imagine that moment when he realized where his cello was.

The Scream

So don’t feel so bad. As long as you’re okay, you have everything.


January 4, 2016 – Monday Funday Dance Party!

Wishing you a 2016 filled with love and glamour!

 There are 2 Brians in this band – Bryan Ferry and Brian Eno. Very different, but both great.

Personally, I’m more of a Brian Eno fan – he left the band after a couple of albums, and went on to a massive career as a solo artist and producer.

I just watched a documentary about Eno’s career in the seventies, “The Man Who Fell To Earth,” which is a great watch. It really focuses on his music and how it evolved over that time.


Bryan Ferry kept on with Roxy Music – it was really his beast. His stuff is great. I haven’t heard all of Avalon, but the songs I’ve heard are really romantic and lush.

I find it interesting to see how two people from the same group went on to make such different music.

December 30, 2015

Oh, how I love this album.

I bought it because I liked the cover, something that has served me very well in the past. Album art is really important, even now that physical album covers are becoming rare.

It’s a fantastic record. It goes from total noise to neo-country music, and the song arrangements are really inventive. And I wish Santa would bring me a voice like Carla Bozulich for Christmas.

Geraldine Fibbers Fun Fact: Nels Cline plays guitar on this record; he’s been on a ton of projects (including Wilco). Great, creative musician.

There’s a cover of Can’s “You Doo Right” on the album. I’m very picky about my Can covers, and in my opinion you need some serious vocal chops to do this song. When it song breaks down in the middle and then comes back, the singer is really pulling the whole group along.

I like what the Geraldine Fibbers bring to this. It has its similarities to the original, but they really make it their own.

And here’s the original:

I love them both.

Monday Funday Dance Party (Day 2)

Oh, things are just crazy right now. It’s all good, but it’s like being covered in a pile of kittens – delightful, but you don’t get much done. So let’s just consider this day Two of the Monday Funday Dance Party – Holiday Edition.

Here’s a song I know from way back. There’s a recording somewhere of me singing this with my mom at the age of five; the only lyrics I knew for sure were “Five Golden Rings,” so I made sure to sing that at the top of my lungs.

Please feel free to do your own interpretive dance in silhouette while a cowboy sits by, or something that you like even better.

December 9, 2015

It’s been a super crazy couple of weeks. I just got a new job, which I adore, and have been transitioning from my old job, which I also adored. It’s a really happy time, but also a busy one.

So here’s a couple of tracks in honor of working folk.

“Working in a Coal Mine” was a hit for Lee Dorsey in 1966:

Until just now, when I looked up the song, I only really knew the Devo version. I’m surprised by how similar it is to the original.

Not that I’m complaining; they’re both great. And so is this:

Nobody sings like Roy Orbison. Nobody. Bruce Springsteen agrees with me, so it must be true.


Monday Funday Dance Party

I adore Sly and the Family Stone. They were so positive, and this was one of the very very few bands at the time that was both multi-racial and multi-gender. And they played great.

In honor of trumpeter Cynthia Robinson, who passed away this week, and also to celebrate a recent court decision that awarded Sly $5 million in back royalties, here’s 6 or 7 minutes of awesomeness. I dare you not to dance.

Image courtesy of Danny PiG via Creative Commons. All rights reserved.

Nov. 9, 2015: Monday Funday Dance Party!

For many of us, the Alley Cat was an inescapable part of gym class in public school.

In case you’re not familiar with it, here’s a demonstration by a fantastic 94 year-old. She’s got me beat when it comes to dance skills.

Or you could do this:

November 4, 2015

The first concert I ever went to was the Alarm, at the Beacon Theater in New York. Three of us drove into the city in a tiny little convertible that may or may not have been made out of fiberglass.

I actually don’t remember anything about the show, except that I enjoyed it. Actually, my dominant memory of that evening is my two friends doing impersonations of DJ Scott Muni.

This was a time when U2 was The Big Deal, and any band that even kind of sounded like them had a good shot at having a hit. The Alarm were angry in a good way, and had awesome hair and cool fringe-y suede jackets, just like Bono.

And they were actually a good band. They played well, they had some good songs, and they had the right music at the right time.

My second concert was at the Pier, again in NYC. I was a lot more into the bands that played that night; it was the Cure, with 10,000 Maniacs opening.

That was a really fun night – I was with a bunch of friends, and we drove into the city in nice, safe sedans and station wagons.

Photo of the Alarm by Helge Øverås.

“Alarm kalvoya 01071984 10 500” by Helge Øverås – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons

October 30, 2015

I don’t usually listen to Franz Liszt (liszten?), but the other day I went ahead and decided what the heck.

There’s just something about piano music of this era, around the mid-nineteenth century. People like Liszt and Chopin were taking piano to entirely new realms. Tonalities began to blur, Debussy would soon be exploring Asian musical scales, and a young Schoenberg was a few decades away from introducing the radical new concept of serialism (or as some call it, Ruining It for Everyone).

Here’s another one. It’s like listening to diamonds.

Apparently, he was a big hit with the ladies, during his day job as a concert pianist. Here’s an entirely correct historical re-enactment of one of his many triumphant concerts.

Chopin was less the rock star, but in my opinion the more interesting composer.He can do those big sweeping runs Liszt does, but adds rhythmic and melodic interest. They both do fantastic things with harmonic structure.

I used to play this one in high school.

Playing it always put me in a beautiful, elegant, peaceful space. Maybe time to get the music out again?

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