Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Driving back from a workout this morning, the song Circle comes on...by the one and only Edie Brickell. I may or may not have been caught jamming OUT to this is my car on Mopac. It made me go home and pull up the entire album. It's circa 1988 but it made me SMILE!!! These words are not so relevant to my life at this point but I do remember hearing this back in High School and feeling the connect with her music. You know, cause High School was tough friends! You couldn't PAY me to go back!
Me, I'm a part of your circle of friends
and we notice you don't come around
Me, I think it all depends
on you touching ground with us.
But, I quit. I give up.
Nothing's good enough for anybody else
And I quit. I give up.
Nothing's good enough for anybody else
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Ryan Adams, Come Pick Me Up...it's just a great song and a great way to walk out the door. I think I will continue this shuffle all the way to band practice..
When they call your name
Will you walk right up
With a smile on your face
Or will you cower in fear
In your favorite sweater
With an old love letter
I wish you would
I wish you would
Come pick me up
Take me out
*uck me up
Steal my records
Screw all my friends
They're all full of shit
With a smile on your face
And then do it again
I wish you would
You might not know who she is but in 2001 Shelby Lynne won the Grammy for best new artist for her album "I Am ... Shelby Lynne." I had bought this album on a recommendation from my friend John Black and fell in love with her sultry style and smokey yet belter voice.
Her new album, Just a Little Lovin', draws on the comparison of her with British singer Dusty Springfield. Dusty died of breast cancer in 1999. This album is her starkly arranged and seductively heartfelt homage to the songbook of Dusty Springfield. Instead of paying tribute as concept, Lynne owns these songs, taking inspiration to create her own sober renditions of indelible melodies from the '60s and '70s.
I read that Lynne, 39, wasn't familiar with Springfield's music until after she began making records in Nashville during the late '80s. She knew many of the songs from other versions — Dionne Warwick's Anyone Who Had a Heart, Elvis Presley's You Don't Have to Say You Love Me and Waylon Jennings' Willie & Laura Mae Jones, a song Springfield recorded around the time of her landmark 1969 album Dusty in Memphis.
Her idea for this album started in 2005 and 3 years later was released. When the project finally developed, Lynne found herself drawn as much to Dusty herself as to her music.
"Her vulnerability, her female-ness, her need," Lynne says. "You just want to take care of her. When I hear her sing, that's what I feel."
If you have never picked any of her stuff up and want an album that just makes you feel good, pick this one up. There's no "Son of a Preacher Man," (Dusty's big hit that Lynne felt was too sacred to cover) no horn sections and not much groove, just bare-bones interpretations that are more light jazz than country, including a gorgeous "Anyone Who Had a Heart." Lynne's musical focus & talent are quite amazing and this album truly widens the spectrum of what she can do. If you like this, pick up her first album, "I am...Shelby Lynne."
And let's keep our fingers crossed that she comes to Austin, cause I gotta see this girl live.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Before we get started with this blog post, I need to make clear that I am not writing these things JUST because I am a woman. However, I am absolutely sure that we are the stronger sex and had that stupid apple/Adam & Eve and eventually God not dealt us the burden of bearing and raising children, I’m sure woman would run the major systems and infrastructures of most countries. I do believe that woman are underestimated for what we can endure. This is also not a post in support of Hillary, she will not get my vote but I do think some things need to be addressed. With that caveat, let’s get started.
Well, I hope you’ve been enjoying this year’s political circus as much as I have. Regardless of your political leanings, you have to admit the theater’s been wonderful. With the Obama/Clinton debate in Austin, TX this past week, and an Obama rally on Friday night, I finally felt I needed to state how I feel about some of the acts in this years circus.
We have Giuliani, the thrice-married ex-mayor of 9/11 famously stating “I'm pro-choice. I'm pro-gay rights.” and hoping to win the nomination of the Republican party. Ok, read that again. I don't think I need to explain.
Then there’s Mike Huckabee who is completely unabashed about his plans to turn the United States into a pure fundamentalist theocracy. Has no one been paying attention to Afghanistan?
Or how about Ron Paul, an Austin-ite, who is so proud of his ability to take money that he puts a scrolling dollar tally as the largest feature of his website. Somehow, handing control of government over to someone who doesn’t believe in the concept of government seems strange.
So what about the Democrats? Well that race, although close and exciting, is disturbing and depressing to watch – not fun at all. The scenario: we have two obvious firsts in the two major candidates; Hillary Clinton is the first woman to make a sustained run for U.S. President. (Here I should note that the first woman to announce as a candidate for President was Elizabeth Dole in 1999 but she pulled out of the race before any primaries due to insufficient fundraising.) Clinton’s chief opponent is Barack Obama, the senator from Illinois and the first black man to run for President.
I salute both of these developments and I hoped this would usher in a new era of tolerance and acceptance, improving the country’s status and image both at home and abroad. I thought it might change things. After all, there have been 49 female elected heads of state exactly none of which have been in the United States. I was unable to find figures on black heads of state but I suspect the number is considerably larger than 49, and again none have been in the U.S.
Things have changed, but not for the better.
Unfortunately, instead of increased tolerance, I see unmistakable evidence of misogyny as the new racism. I think that media and each of us individually should aggressively challenge the policies, programs and proposals of all candidates for major office, but what I see happening now has nothing to do with policies, programs or proposals. It is pure hate speech. Some examples, certainly not all-inclusive:
* A woman at a McCain campaign rally, referring to Hillary Clinton, asks “How do we beat the bitch?” McCain laughs, terms it an “excellent” question and later refuses to apologize. Does anyone doubt that the response would have been different if the question had been “How do we beat the nigger? See what I mean? It’s disgusting and revolting to even see the word in print, but it’s “excellent” to use the equivalent for women when talking about a U.S. Senator.
* A sexist idiot at a New Hampshire caucus meeting repeatedly screamed "Iron my shirt!" at Clinton and held up a sign that said the same. The press considered it amusing. Replace Clinton with Obama and change the phrase to “Shine my shoes!” It’s no longer funny. Is it?
*This is not purely a Clinton/Obama issue, Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently battled tears as he spoke of Douglas Zembiec, a Marine and father of a one-year-old daughter who was killed in Iraq. Gates’ visible emotion was seen as a positive sign, especially as it comes from a senior staff member of an administration whose head showed shocking insensitivity when he recently addressed the issue of health care reform with the statement "I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room." But what if, instead of Gates the emotion had been shown by Condoleezza Rice? Would she have been belittled as too irrational, too girly to deal with the realities of war? Some more, and more egregious examples of sexist prejudice against women include:
* Referring to Hillary Clinton, Bill Kristol of Fox news says “White women are a problem, you know. We all live with that.” (FOX news is on my shit list.)
* Carl Bernstein is disgusted with Clinton’s “thick ankles” but has nothing to say about the physical attributes of any other candidates. What would the country’s reaction be if he’d railed about Obama’s lips?
* Want to buy a shirt that says "If Only Hillary Had Married OJ!"? Ha-ha. Very funny to make a joke about murdering your wife. Too much for you? How about the Hillary Clinton Nutcracker that features splayed thighs of steel with metal spikes to do its work? The Barack Obama tap-dancing doll in blackface is sadly not available. (All I am saying is what IF things were reversed)
* Roger Stone has established a Hillary Clinton-hating 527 group “Citizens United Not Timid”. The acronym is rather obvious.
* Last, at least for this blog post, is the South Park episode on Comedy Central. Terrorist secrete a nuclear missile in Hillary Clinton’s vagina.
As I did the research for this post, I became more and more disillusioned. I agree that the policies and beliefs of people running for public office are fair game. But look at the list above (and it could have been much longer). What do you see that has any relevance to policies or proposals or statements or opinions or anything that should be a consideration in deciding your vote. This is not funny. It’s not politics. It is, sociopathic woman-hating. And it needs to stop now.
oh and the circus just got extended.....I woke up this morning to Ralph Nader running for President. I read an article this morning in the paper..."2000 was a tragedy, 2004 was unfortunate, and now 2008 is a farce and a bit narcissistic." Welcome to the show Nader!!!
Monday, February 18, 2008
I am sorry that I have not posted anything in a while. I am trying to figure out the balance of all my goals and dreams. Training, new job, song-writing, theatre, missing my family, walking my dog.....the list goes on and on and on!! You can keep up with my Ironman blog since that is taking up a good portion of life right now!! I will try to update this as much as possible in the next 4 months, please be patient.
An update on music. It is all going well.....After about a year of really wanting to finish an 8 song CD, I am done with recording all tracks. Just need to mix, do the packaging and then have a party! Will this happen before Ironman? Don't know. I hope.
My 80s band is still alive and kicking. We have a lot of dates coming up in the spring be it Cedar St., Carlos & Charlies out on Lake Travis and a wedding here and there. That will be my release in the face of 80+ mile bike rides and long runs! Nothing says let is all out like a good Cyndi Lauper or Bangles tune!!
I also think I have found a church to go to here in Austin. As many of you know, I have been trying to figure that all out. You would think at 33 I would stop questioning the spiritual life but I have not, and that is ok. I have been going to Gateway Church for the last few months, here and there, and I really like it. Truly authentic people that love life, and the church is super artistic and about expressing yourself through art and music. They have asked me to start singing there every once in awhile and I accepted.
You know me, gotta keep it busy, gotta put like 150 things on my plate and plan every second out!!
Some of you had been asking what is going on with it all....and so I wanted to let you know, I am still singing! I think it was Cervantes who said, "He who sings scares away his woes." So don't worry, I won't ever stop the music.
Have a great week!!
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thankfully, we live in a free country (that my ass kicking Marine father & grandfather fought for) This is the first time in my personal voting history that I am excited about who I am voting for...
If you voted in Virginia or Florida recently....well done! If you did not, you can still register to vote this coming November. It's not too late!! Texas vote is coming up, make it happen!
Here is the video on Barack's campaign....
Thursday, February 14, 2008
It's Valentine's Day and well....I got up and went for a 2200m swim this morning, came home, got ready for work, and left about an hour later. As I walked out the door, these flowers (above) WITH a card saying From Your Secret Flower Man (and a very sweet note attached)
Who is he?
It was a great surprise but I want to know who the secret flower man is!!!
By the way Mr. SFM.....I love the bright flowers and that you didn't go for the roses but please reveal yourself!!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Radiohead Tour Dates:
5 West Palm Beach, FL - Cruzan Amphitheatre
6 Tampa, FL - Ford Amphitheatre
8 Atlanta, GA - Lakewood Amphitheatre
9 Charlotte, NC - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
11 Bristow, VA - Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge
14 St. Louis, MO - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
17 Houston, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
18 Dallas, TX - Superpages.com Center
I am gonna have to try to make one of the TX dates happen....
Tickets go on sale this Saturday.
I am already excited!!!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
What happened to this girl? I know the answer is drugs, drugs & more drugs but seriously the difference in these pictures is SAD and did you know she is the most nominated female at the Grammy's tonight?!?! True you can't judge personal life against talent, but her personal life is keeping her from moving forward in her talent. Steve, I guess it's true what you said when we were in Japan..."Only *cked up people become famous." Amy, Amy, Amy. Please clean it up AND make good music.
Monday, February 4, 2008
WA: Are you married, and do you have kids?
BH: Why is this important? It’s never the first question a man gets asked when he’s just won the Indy 500 or hit a record number of home runs. Women perpetuate this double standard that they dislike so much. Men shouldn’t have a different standard of behavior, but we’re the ones who allow them that.
WA: But don’t you think it’s even more impressive when you hear that a woman has accomplished some great athletic feat and you find out she’s also got a career and three kids at home?
BH: No. If you use the same yardstick, how does a guy do it with three kids at home? If you position yourself as a domestic slave, your just telling me you weren’t strong enough to demand support from your spouse. Just start holding men to the same standard and come to it from a position of strength.
WA: So, you don’t have kids?
BH: No. I think adventurous people should really figure out what they want to do and know themselves before they make lifetime commitments like marriage and kids. Take the example of a guy stranded up on Everest. The media asks him, “What were you thinking about up there while you were waiting to get rescued?” He answers, “My kids.” Bullshit. If he was thinking about his kids, he wouldn’t have gone in the first place. Did he forget he had kids before he left? You have to find the balance and be honest with yourself. The things WA readers do can impact their health or cause death. You have to evaluate the whole risk and scale it up or down depending on your environment. If I had kids or an older person to care for, I’d think long and hard before doing some of the things I do.
I am not sure when exactly I became “unhip”. Did this happen in just the first month of 2008? I used to think of myself as fairly “with it” in regard to music. In fact, the people that know me consider me a walking music encyclopedia. Along with that title comes the knowledge of the up and coming bands before anyone else does. So when did that ship sail, because apparently it has. This was apparent by not having a clue that Band of Horses was the band of the moment. I knew who they were. I had enjoyed their album, Everything All the Time, but I usually enjoy those types of bands. Give me a band that sounds like My Morning Jacket, Grandaddy, the Shins, etc and I am all over it. So why did I miss their tremendous ascension? I bough Cease to Begin in December but didn't really give it the listen it deserved...you know the un-interrupted listen.
With facial hair and enthusiasm at a premium, the crowd came to life with every song. The organic and sappy voice of Ben Bridwell sang dearly to the audience from start to finish while members Creighton Barrett (drums), Rob Hampton (guitar), Ryan Monroe (keyboard/backup vocals), Tyler Ramsey (guitar) and Bill Reynolds (bass) all backed him with a sensatious orchestrated melody. (Which was good because the opening band made me yawn)
"Wheeling through an endless fog, we are the ever-living ghost of what once was," chimes Ben Bridwell on "No One's Gonna Love You," epitomizing the tension between memory and reality that pulls continually within Band of Horses follow-up to 2006's sublime Everything All the Time. BoH returned to South Carolina to record Cease to Begin which struggles with a tenuous reconciliation of past and present. The melancholic reverb of opener "Is There a Ghost" breaks against a surge of guitars and casts lines like "The world's such a wonderful place."
Apart from already having reached #35 on the Billboard Top 200 with Cease to Begin, Band of Horses once again emitted an array of harmonious sounds their hit album didn't cover. This is a band to watch, Bridwell has one of the best voices in the business, a vocal range that will hypnotize you and a band to match all of that.
It was a good night. The Giants won the Super Bowl (I am NOT a Giants fan, but a supporter of whoever is playing the Patriots) & I saw an incredible show at La Zona for $20. I will be playing lot's of BoH tunes this week, just because I forgot how good they are.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Nothing comes even close to the media attention it generates -- not the Iraq War, not the Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama feud, not actor Tom Cruise's latest tirade.
Two weeks of intense TV, radio and print hype climax in Arizona tonight, when the undefeated New England Patriots face the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII, otherwise known as "the football game played between really expensive commercials."
If you somehow missed it amid coverage of quarterback Tom Brady eluding marriage proposals or coach Bill Belichick discussing his favorite salty snacks (I'm not kidding), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will perform at halftime.
On the surface, a likable guy with scads of swell rock hits seems a safe and wholesomely American choice for "the most watched television event in history."
Then again, this is America, where celebrity stalking, TV sports banter and 24-hour talk-radio babble generate more advertising revenue than the gross national product of several eastern European nations.
What if Tom Petty got scrutinized incessantly, the way ESPN, sportswriters, former players and ex-coaches have probed every move, sniffle and burp of the Patriots and Giants? I imagine the final week of media hype might have gone something like this:
After rehearsal, Petty is spotted limping to his dressing room with a "walking boot" on his right leg. Video clips of a hobbled Petty pop up on YouTube, leading to rampant speculation about whether the rocker is healthy enough to lead his team, er, group through the rigors of a big-game performance. Petty's father scoffs on radio that his son just "tweaked his ankle a little bit" during a lively guitar solo. Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, providing commentary for "Entertainment Tonight," wonders if Petty is faking it or whether he'll need a walker to avoid "Free Fallin.'" Congress orders a full investigation into Anklegate.
Media Day frenzy. After playing 18 concerts in a row without a missed note, an inebriated band member or a misplaced set list, hordes of eager reporters focus on one question: "Can Petty and the Heartbreakers go 19-0 at the Super Bowl?" Petty seems cocky, dissing previous acts such as Janet Jackson, who, uh, unraveled at halftime. "Hey, I'm 'Runnin' Down a Dream,'" Petty chirps in greatest-hits fashion into a sea of reporters' microphones.
Petty vehemently denies a report from a former trainer/roadie that he's ever used performance-enhancing substances, except for some skintight Spandex slacks in the late '80s. He is subpoenaed to testify before Congress, which goes on record as opposing Spandex.
A celebrity gossip Web site posts covert footage of a closed band rehearsal that catches Petty lip-synching to Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music, White Boy" with secret guest Justin Timberlake, who specializes in overblown, genre-crossing Super Bowl halftime spectacles while pretending he has "street cred." Timberlake vows not to expose his or anyone else's breasts on national TV. Petty again gets subpoenaed to testify before members of Congress, mostly because no one is paying any attention to them during "Super" week.
Irate that Paula Abdul has bypassed him for fellow "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson to sing a pregame duet, Simon Cowell threatens to sign "Idol" castoff William Hung to a recording contract. He also declares during a press conference that Abdul is "a bit pitchy" and that Jackson is "truly pathetic." Ryan Seacrest gets subpoenaed to testify before Congress, "just because."
Head groundhog Punxsatawney Phil sees his shadow, signaling six more weeks of Super Bowl-related blathering. On the eve of the big game, paparazzi spot Petty, sans walking boot, sneaking into a Phoenix nightclub with the Green Bay Packers' "Bikini Girls," who boldly bared their navels in subzero weather during a recent playoff game. The Bikini Girls are called to testify before Congress because, after all, navel-gazing is its specialty.
Of course, as far as I -- and the National Enquirer -- know, none of this actually happened. But you might want to scan YouTube just in case ... .
Maggie & Amber produced the First Annual CC Nay Nay After Dark 5k. Yes, I say First Annual cause this will continue each year. We met for core class and then had our pre race festivities, getting our Race Bag (I am not kidding), putting our Race Numbers on (we all were #1) and then drills and stretching (thanks Chad for warming up before the big race).
We took off on the run and then by the turn around point Chad, John, Kevin and I were out front (oddly, Jeff W kept appearing in random places and Maggie & Amber did the short course). As I rounded the corner for the Finish, we all grabbed hands for the swing around of the Picket Fence and I took 1st overall. (and yes, there was a finish line). You really had to be there to see it but it was really really AWESOME!!!!
Then we had our Awards Ceremony & it was time for Margaritas!! WOOOOO HOOOOO!!
Off to Guero's to meet up with more friends and we partied it up with some Tex Mex and festive drinks!
It really was one of the best birthdays I have ever had, with new friends from the past year and people that really make me smile and love life. I felt extremely spoiled....and turning 33 was really ok with me. According to outside sources (which may or may not be my parents) being 33, single, no kids, no house (I do have 4 bikes...does that count for anything?) is a very sad thing. But as you can see by the pictures (post directly after this), my friends (married, dating & single) embrace me right where I am in life.
So, it's the end of Birthday Week and what rocks is I am going out with a BANG!! Band of Horses is playing at La Zona Rosa tonight and I am ready to fully rock out to them. Cease to Begin is a great album....I am going with Shelley & Maggie (oh and Chad).
Look for a full review tomorrow.....and buy the CD on iTunes, and then thank me. Cause you will.
Thanks to all my RAD Austin friends (and to all those that showered me with emails, calls, texts, ecards). Life is good because it is through relationship that we grow, so I couldn't do life without YOU!!
my gifts from the evening, THANKS to EACH ONE OF YOU....I loved celebrating with each of you!!