Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's an outrage! Dark Side of the Moon did not make Time Magazine's 100 Top Albums!

OK, I'm a bit over the top on that outrage thing, but it is a huge oversight! (I'm still screaming inside though - I don't want to scare the neighbors.) But Time really made a glaring mistake here.

So why am I so outraged? Aside from the fact it's one of my favorites, I'm not going to get personal, I'm just gonna give you so hard facts. So here goes:

The album cover to the left is an icon in itself. Who doesn't know that is the cover to Dark Side of the Moon? It's on t-shirts, posters, patches and probably a lot of things I can't think of at the moment!

As a concept album it is absolutely brilliant. It deals with so much within the realm of our existance, both good and bad. The songs have become classics, especially Money, Us and Them and Time! My personal favorite is The Great Gig in the Sky. It also solidifies electronic music as a permanent fixture of much rock music.

Plus, there is that really cool sychronicity between Dark Side of the Moon and the Wizard of Oz. I have tried that, and believe it or not it does work, especially at the beginning of the movie. Hint: play it three times, back to back for the full effect and pay attention to the Wicked Witch of the West and Glenda, the Good Witch are confronting each'll enjoy it! You'll have some leftover Pink Floyd at the end, but that's definitely not a bad thing.

I'm no musical scholar, but I do know what I like, and I know DSOTM should have been included in Time's Top 100 Album list

If you'd like to vote on which albums should have been included, here is the link. The other excluded albums that you can vote for are:

  • The Band, Music From Big Pink

  • Jay-Z, Reasonable Doubt

  • The Doors, The Doors

  • Superfly, Curtis Mayfield

  • This Year's Model, Elvis Costello

  • Dusty in Memphis, Dust Springfield

  • Appetite for Destruction, Guns N'Roses

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Our troops: good and bad

The Bad:

I hope their commanding officers see this and discipline these miscreants having them run behind a truck for their water ration.

I looked for something that would our men and women in Iraq doing things that were noble, but all over the web I could find nothing. If you have a video of Americans helping the Iraqi people, please post it to YouTube and let know about. I am keeping a spot open for you!

The Good!

What parent with a sick child won't understand this?

I'm sure there are videos of our troops helping Iraqis, but where are they? It seems all that gets posted is the negative stuff.

I am definitely against the war, but I know somewhere in Iraq, we must be part of something good. Please, if you are a troop serving in Iraq and have a positive video, please post it online to YouTube or another site so I can embed it here. And be sure to let me know!

Peter Gabriel Given "Man of Peace" Award

Peter Gabriel was given the Man Of Peace Award on November 17th in a ceremony in Rome. Peter has been active in promoting world peace and human rights for years. The ceremony was part of the Seventh World Summit Of Nobel Peace Laureates, which is a pretty awesome group, you have to admit. Past recipients include Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens), Boomtown Rats leader, Band Aid and Live Aid organizer Bob Geldof and Italian actor Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful - one of the best movies EVER!).

The Gorbachev Foundation,lead by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. and the city of Rome sponsor the annual event.

So that's what Gorby's been up to! I have to admit, I'm surprised.

Magic and Hope

Sometimes I come across something on YouTube that is absolutely magical. This is an ad for the Peruvian Cancer Foundation. It is a wonderous ad.

When you buy your gifts this season, please remember to send some love and money to those organizations who help find cures for illnesses that our loved ones, or even complete strangers, are affected by.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

We're back to rock and roll, babies!

For a long time my mojo was impaired, but it's on the way back. I personally credit The Who for that. Endless Wire helped lure out from under the safety of the little blue blankie I've been hiding under. Bipolar disorders sucks. Medication helps, but sometimes I go full-out Linus and crawl under the little blue blankie (which is soft and heated, and all so tempting).

Anyway, let's get on to the subject of Endless Wire. It is The Who's strongest album in a couple decades. When Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey get together, the earth moves, mostly because of effect of all the dials being turned up to 11. Their collaboration is always exquisitely good.

Not all the songs rate high on my scale, except for Pick up the Peace. It's like someone started to write a good sond, then got distracted by the pizza delivery. That's a shame because I think that if this song had been fleshed out it would be very, very good.

In Fragments, musical shades of Baba O'Reilly and Won't Get Fooled Again sets the stage in the beginning that brings a nostalgic touch before leading into a new classic.

There are some really brilliant songs here, though: Man in a Purple Dress is simple in its orchestration, but Daltrey's singing is sublime and the lyrics are have a restrained but rightous anger to them. His voice just gets better as he gets older.

Mike Post Theme has a grittyness to that is intriguing.

In the Ether is a "cold, rainy day walk in the park after your partner broke up with you and you don't want to let go" song.

Black Widow's Eyes Great vocals, and lyrics that get kind of scary. It was inspired by the Beslan school massacre, and does a good job of bring back the bad memories, if your remember Beslan.

Two Thousand Years has a theological theme, believe it or not. And it's very good.

God Speaks of Marty Robbins is a classic. "Wake up and hear the music. Wake up and hear the music play. Wake up and hear what the people say." Of course I'm very biased, being a huge Marty Robbins fan.

It's Not Enough Love is so problematic at times, especially when whatever you do is never enough. I think we've all been there, so I won't say any more.

You Stand By Me Sometimes love stays strong and keeps you whole. Beautiful song. Short and sweet, but not syrupy.

Sound Round Well if this isn't classic Who I don't know what is. And I like the little surprise at the end! (Well, if I told you it wouldn't be a surprise now, would it? And listen hard, it really is a quick surprize.)

Unholy Trinity, a song about three neighborhood kids, leaves the listener unsatisfied. It sounds as if more needed to be said, then the damn pizza got delivered.

Trilby's Piano is one of the standout songs. It's song of unfullfilled love. Sad, but beautiful song.

On my scale to 1 to 10 (1 being "You have got to be kidding, I'm not buying that crap" to 10 being "Buy it, buy it, you gotta have it NOW!" I'd rate Endless Wire a solid 8. For a Who fan, this is a great addition to your collection, but The Kids are Alright and Quadrophenia will probably get more play.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It's Social Studies Time!

OK, my babies, it's time to do some serious politicking. These are all races in which the candidates below have done a bad, bad thing: Check them out, and if one of them is in your district, and find out what their opponent stands for. And for crying out loud:


--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl

--AZ-01: Rick Renzi

--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth

--CA-04: John Doolittle

--CA-11: Richard Pombo

--CA-50: Brian Bilbray

--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave

--CO-05: Doug Lamborn

--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell

--CT-04: Christopher Shays

--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan

--FL-16: Joe Negron

--FL-22: Clay Shaw

--ID-01: Bill Sali

--IL-06: Peter Roskam

--IL-10: Mark Kirk

--IL-14: Dennis Hastert

--IN-02: Chris Chocola

--IN-08: John Hostettler

--IA-01: Mike Whalen

--KS-02: Jim Ryun

--KY-03: Anne Northup

--KY-04: Geoff Davis

--MD-Sen: Michael Steele

--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht

--MN-06: Michele Bachmann

--MO-Sen: Jim Talent

--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns

--NV-03: Jon Porter

--NH-02: Charlie Bass

--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson

--NM-01: Heather Wilson

--NY-03: Peter King

--NY-20: John Sweeney

--NY-26: Tom Reynolds

--NY-29: Randy Kuhl

--NC-08: Robin Hayes

--NC-11: Charles Taylor

--OH-01: Steve Chabot

--OH-02: Jean Schmidt

--OH-15: Deborah Pryce

--OH-18: Joy Padgett

--PA-04: Melissa Hart

--PA-07: Curt Weldon

--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick

--PA-10: Don Sherwood

--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee

--TN-Sen: Bob Corker

--VA-Sen: George Allen

--VA-10: Frank Wolf

--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick

--WA-08: Dave Reichert

And yes, I am a Democrat, and proud of it. I am particularly offended by the treatment Harold Ford, Jr is being treated by the Corker campaign. If you live in Tennessee, get the facts before you cast your vote!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Time to Use the E-word: Evil

This is from the site Street Prophets, another site that I subscribe (and occasionally contribute to under the name BohemianDiamond). Regardless of your faith, or lack thereof, evil exist. It exists because humans tend to be a cruel bunch. And now, here comes our duly "elected" government wanting to quantify what evil they may use upon another human being. Torture doesn't work. Period. There's plenty of scientific evidence and broken bodies and minds to prove that. Keeping that in mind please read this.

What is happening on Capitol Hill today is plainly evil. As defined by Walt Lowe in the Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counseling, evil is

that which causes harm, depriving a being of some good which is proper to that being. Moral evil (in religious terms, sin) is the result of a deliberate choice.

Sen. McCain tells us "there are no losers in this deal," which is patently false. The losers are those who suffer from coercive techniques - whose definition is still left up to a cold and reckless White House - those who are charged with carrying out the policy, despite their objections, and anyone who gives a damn about life, liberty, and the rule of law. The administration has chosen its path, and the Republican Congress has wickedly chosen to follow its lead.

The new interrogation policy, if ratified, will cause harm. Obviously, it will harm prisoners lost in some black hole in the second or third world, subject to tactics that haven't quite been made public for what should again be obvious reasons. It will deprive them of goods which are proper to them, namely liberty, dignity, due process, and the fundamental right not to have to have the shit kicked out of them on the authority of an unaccountable regime.

Peace, love and torture? Sorry folks, let's get off our duffs and write to our elected officials. Torture is not an American value, man! It's not even a human one! It's time to tell the critters we elected that we want responsible behavior from them; we don't expect them to act like punks. Stand up and let your voice be heard!

Veterans Against Torture

Trib Talk Forum: Republican Veterans Agains Torture

Common Dreams article: GI's Agaist Torture

More on this later, along with some reviews of a couple new CDs of mine.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Modern Times, Bob Dylan

Oh, yeah, it's good. It's real good. Blues, roots, and rockabilly get masterfully used to create one heck of a CD. It's five-stars, all the way! Thunder on the Mountain, and The Levee's Gonna Break are my favorites.

Definitely a must have!

Do not torture in our names, Mr. Bush

It is hard to believe that in the 21st century, America is debating torture. Currently the administration is trying to weasel their way out of being held responsible for violating Article 3 of the Geneva Convention so our "professionals" can use "techniques" on prisoners to extract confessions.

I am disgusted with the Bush administration because of their action. I am disgusted as well with every single person that even thinks torture is OK. Kudos to Colin Powell for speaking up. I'd say the U.S.'s "moral superiorty" is dead at this point.

I'm not going to write much about this, just say that you need to check out the news yourself, especially the posturing by certain republicans "versus" the president. Posturing is what it is, because "torture lite" is still torture, and removing the writ of habeus corporus returns us our a medieval time when we can be arrested and accused, but don't have the right to know the charges and evidence against us. Specter's bill at least protects that much.

Got you curious? I will write more tomorrow, but in the meantime do some Googling and learn some stuff.

Arrrgh, mateys, I have returned

It be Talk Like a Pirate Day, so don't just sit there like a sea urchin, don ye pirate garb, talk like the pirate ye be, and drink hoist yer rum in celebration!

Whilst doin' that, give an ear to some great music. These be some of my favorites:

No Quarter Given
Stumpy & Scurvy's Pirate Shop
Dead Men Tell No Tales
Captain Bogg & Salty
The Blaggards (sweet Celtic tunes as well)
123 Pirates

And don't ye forgit our anthem, found here.

Still a novice, are ye? Git your learnin' to talk like a pirate here!

Regular programming resails tomorrow -

See you on the high seas!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ow...why I haven't been posting

To sum it up: severe degenerative disk disease and osteoarthritis. But I have some neato braces, a Tens unit and decent pain meds. I just could'nt get my heart into my music.

But all that's changing.

Have I said how much I love the new Stone's album A Bigger Bang? MY SWEET NEOCON rocks. And so do the rest of the songs.

I have no new music today, but tonight I may pull out an oldie but goodie and do some commentary on that. Hmm, or maybe I do Ruben Gonzalez....

An Inconvenient Truth

If you have not seen, you must. Period.

It is one of the most important films of out times, and if you are the least bit skeptical about global warning, you won't be after seeing this.

Gore says he will not run for president, that there is more he can do as a private citizen. If this is an example, than we can expect even greater things.

(Of course, he'd still make a good president.)

Friday, March 10, 2006

Hi Guys!

I'll be posting again next week and the timing is going to be some sporadic. My husband is getting laid off at the end of the month. That's the bad news. We will probably move because the tech job situation here is horrid. He's already been talking to companies in Reno, Las Vegas and Phillie, so hopefully he can pick up another job right away. And I finally have doc's permission to go back to work, as long as it's a desk job. Woo-hoo! Now all I need is a job.

The good news is I've listed to some great new CD's (giftcards are so nice!) and I'll be putting up the three reviews. Two of the CDs are really great, one in so-so. Should be up by Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

"Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!"

King Cake photo from Gumbo Pages. Now that's my idea of a King Cake!

It's here! It's Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday! I can remember one song, an oldie, called Go to the Mardi Gras. Professor Longhair did it. If you've been to Mardi Gras, you've heard this song. Trust me, have it's the one with all the whistling. I though we'd take a look and see if any of our classic rock friends have done Mardi Gras songs and this is what I found.

The first that came to mind was actually a CD by Creedence Clearwater Revival, appropriately named "Mardi Gras", released in 2004. I love CCR. Some of my best teen memories have CCR doing the soundtrack. Rolling Stone called this album "Fogarties Revenge." If you remember there was a time when John Fogarty was accused of trying to hog the whole shebang himself and that the others were mere back ups. Listen to this album, and you'll hear some great stuff and some really horrid stuff. Turns out Fogarty really is the main talent. Uh, it's not really a great album, but it doesn't totally suck either. (Although I dare you not to laugh during "Hello Mary Lou". )

Actually, aside from the title, it has nothing to do with Mardi Gras. And in searching around, Jon Landau (Rolling Stone music critic) says "It's the worst album I have ever heard from a major rock band. " I hate to admit, but he's right.

Ok, let's see if I can find some real music for know there's not a lot of classic rock bands that have ever done Mardi Gras songs. Their loss! So here's some Mardi Gras treats from different genres for you to find and check out. (And if you know of any classic rock bands who have done Mardi Gras, songs, please! Let me know!) Mardi Gras music is in a class of it's own, and it's one you can have a lot of fun getting to know.

Of course, practically any Neville Brothers CD or album is a good starting place!

Fats Domino, who's a longtime favorite of mine, is another artist to check out. Remember Walking to New Orleans?

Now here's one of my favorite female blues singers, Marva Wright, there is Marva Right, Blues Queen. Don't think you are going to sit down and listen to this. No way Jose! I guarantee you are going to get up and dance. Her voice reaches down to your gut and just pulls you out of your seat. It may be physically impossible to just sit still during this CD. I've tried, and failed. You can get her CD at the Mardi Gras Outlet. They also have so much more there, from costumes to throws, and they have some St. Patrick's Day stuff as well. And if you like throw beads, they have some really cool ones here. (And no, they didn't pay me for the ad -- I'm a frequent visitor to there site for my music needs.)

Keep an eye out for The Wild Magnolias. Their 1970 song New Suit is a Mardi Gras classic. It's also opened a whole new genre to folk music: Mardi Gras/New Orleans. If you want to hear "New Suit" go here.

The String Cheese Incident (a jam movement bands) did two day concert at Boise Idaho's Rose Tree Ballroom in 2004 with some great Mardi Gras type songs in the second half (Right Place, Wrong Time and Shakin' the Trees). Here's one link where you can download it - the Live Music Archives. (Which is site worth checking out. There are some gems there, and not just music ones.)

Also, Joan Baez recorded Manha de Carnaval on her CD Joan Baez in Concert. It is a must listen! OK, I'm terribly biased here, Baez could sing Itsy Bitsy Spider and I'd love it. But seriously, Manha de Carnaval is worth adding to your Marde Gras playlist.

Another of my musical passions is the group Beausoleil. La Chanson de Mardi , which can be found on Live from the Left Coast, is tres jolie, ma bebe! My favorite summer Sunday mornings are spent going to church at 8:00, coming home to my husband's garbage scramble (eggs, hash browns, peppers, onions, and whatever leftover vegies or meat we have all dumped in the wok and scrambled and served with copious amounts of the hot sauce du jour, and served with a tall glass of sweet Long Island ice tea) and listing to Beasoleil and Frank Sinatra. Not for everybody, but it's my idea of heaven.

Joe Turner also has song on his Tell Me Pretty Baby CD called Mardi Gras. It'll make you a Joe Turner convert!

So much for the music. It's time to talk about Mardi Gras food. There's so much, but I'm going to concentrate the one food that you can't have a Mardi Gras without: the King Cake, which is really more of a frosted brioche. You can find many recipes out on the web, but I thought I'd share my grandmother's recipe. She didn't make it very often, but when she was the chef at a south Florida hotel she made it every year. Oh, it's so yummy! It's also not quite traditional.

I've added additional instructions in because all have is the ingredient list. It worked the one time I made it, and I hope if you try it it'll work for you!

Esther's King Cake:

1/2 cup lukewarm water, 110 to 115 degrees
2 packages dry yeast
Proof the yeast in a bowl. (pour the yeast over the warm water with a pinch of sugar. Yeast who are ready to party. Actually you should check the manufactures directions since some don't use sugar.)

4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (I like fresh grated, but she used commercial)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teason grated lime rind
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
3 eggs
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened, no margarine, creamed
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
1 bean or small plastic baby doll.

Put the yeast in the warm water and let it develop.

Sift flour, sugar, nutmeg and salt in mixing bowl. Stir in lemon and lime peel.

Punch a hole down in the center and then pour in the yeast mixture and milk.

All all your eggs and slowly, stirring with a large wooden spoon until the ingredients are mixed together well. Then add the butter put everything in a heavy duty KitchenAid mixer, or similar. By this point the mix is too difficult to mix by hand and you really need help. Trust me.

Once the mixture forms a ball, put it on a floured board and knead it like you are making bread. You might have to add a bit more flour, but only do it a little bit at a time.

When the ball becomes smooth and elastic, put it in a large buttered bowl. Roll the ball around so it gets entirely covered with butter. Cover bowl and set aside until it is doubled in bulk. (It takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours more or less depending on the humidity and temperature.

When it has risen, put some flour down on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter and punch it down again. Knead and roll out into a log about 14 inches long. Place it on a greased backing sheet and form a ring. Take the bean or the doll and press it into the dough from underneath so they are well hidden. I prefer the doll because there is less chance someone will swallow it.

Bake in middle of preheated oven at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer cake to wire rack to completely cool.

The icing (my favorite part)

Make sure you have the colored sugars - green, purple and yellow. If you have a cup of each you can't go wrong. It stores well if you don't use it all.

For the icing, mix the confectioners sugar, lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of water in a deep bowl and stir until all the ingredients are smooth. It may get stiff, but you can add in 1 teaspoon of water (sometimes my grandmother used mint or peach schnapps or for this) at a time, until desired you have a consistency that will spread well and just drip down the sides.

With a French spatula, spread the icing over the top of the cake. Let it run down the sides; if it doesn't your icing is still too thick. Then, sprinkle the sugars on in rows, alternating purple-yellow-green. If make each row about two inches wide you should end up with a continuous circle of colors.

Now this is where my grandmother's recipe differs. Most call for two candied cherries at either end, pressed into the dough. She hated candied cherries, so she would put chocolate covered cherries or cordials on the green sugared areas.

When you serve the cake, whoever gets the doll gets to make the King Cake next year. I think this was rigged around our house. Nany always got doll. Which considering the cooking skills of some of her friends was a good thing!

Pam's Sweet Long Island Iced Tea

1/2 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Tequila
1/2 oz Spiced rum
1/2 oz Gin
1 dash simple syrup
1 dash your favorite Cola
Twist of lime

Mixing instructions:
Mix all contents in a highball glass and stir gently. Add dash of cola to
color it and garnish with lemon or lime twist. Some like lemon, I like lime.

How to make simple syrup. This is easy to do, and it keeps for a very long time.
Mix two parts water to one part sugar and boil until the sugar dissolves. You don't need to do any stirring. This is great for bevvies. And you can add extracts to flavor or use juices to make a flavored simple syrup. Have fun experimenting.

"Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!"

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

You can't keep a good city down: Mardi Gras Festivities

There's still time to go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras on February 28th. The economy there can sure use the infusion of tourist money considering the devastion. If you go, have fun and consider taking one of the devastation tours, taking tons of pix and be a pest reminding people that the area is still decimated and thousands and thousands are homeless and jobless. Katrina charities still need your help.

Here's some links you might find useful if you are considering going: Mardi Gras parade schedule (lot of other info too)
Mardi Gras Links, with stuff for kids
Mardi Gras Krewe links
New Orleans Travel and Convention Bureau
Cafe Dumond, the historic place for beignets and coffee with chicory. The Decatur Street shop is open.
Cafe Beignet, from what I'm told is the best place for beignets and coffee and chicory, daquiris and fried catfish po'boys. They also have vegetarian offerings and music.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Maude Maggart - Cabaret Singer

Yes, you read right...cabaret singer. I love classic rock and blues and folk, but I also love Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, and God, how I love, Cole Porter! Anyway, on NPR's Morning Edition this very minute, they are doing a spot on Maude Maggart, who I have not heard of until today. She has found her voice, and it lives in the past. She looks for lyrics the original songsters had maybe not included, songs that they had never published. Click here to learn more about her, as well as listen to a duet with her sister, Fiona Apple. Maude is currently appearing at the Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room.

Listening to Maude is like stepping into the past. Her voice is just heavenly!

It's things like this that are the reason I support (and, yes, join!) my local public radio stations.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Pink Floyd

I had to let you know I am listening to Pink Floyd's Echoes. Right now The Fletcher Memorial Home is playing.

Everyone needs a comfort album and this is mine. I'm not sure the earphone on full blast are a good idea but sometimes you need to be jolted to the soul by PF. Also, Robert Johnson is another good one.

Happy Valentine's Day! (a day late and a chocolate short)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Grammys v.2.0

Let's see, we left off at 31 so on with the show!

Category 32 - Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group: Don't Phunk With My Heart, The Black Eyed Peas (Yes, I'm almost 50 and I like the Black Eyed Peas. So there)

Category 33 - Best Rap/Sung Collaboration; Numb/Encore, Jay-Z Featuring Linkin Park (I was torn between this and They Say, so I'm glad someone made my mind up for me.)

Category 34 - Best Rap Song; Diamonds From Sierra Leone, D. Harris & Kanye West (There's Kanye again!)

Category 35 - Best Rap Album: Late Registration, Kanye West (And again!) Now we get into country - not my favorite area, but there are some singers I love.

Category 36 - Best Female Country Vocal Performance; The Connection, Emmylou Harris (and Emmylou Harris is at the top of that list!)

Category 37 - Best Male Country Vocal Performance: You'll Think Of Me, Keith Urban (He is such a cutie, but I was rooting for George Jones)

Category 38 - Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: Restless, Alison Krauss And Union Station (Allison Krauss also ranks high on my list.)

Category 39 - Best Country Collaboration With Vocals: Like We Never Loved At All, Faith Hill & Tim McGraw (oh should have been Dreams Come True, Willie Nelson & Norah Jones - I hope the work together again.)

Category 40 - Best Country Instrumental Performance: Unionhouse Branch, Alison Krauss And Union Station (Hooray!)

Category 41 - Best Country Song: Bless The Broken Road, Bobby Boyd, Jeff Hanna & Marcus Hummon, songwriters (Rascal Flatts) (Love it!)

Category 42 - Best Country Album: Lonely Runs Both Ways. Alison Krauss And Union Station(Good choice!)

Bluegrass, now. And it's another passion of mine.

Category 43 - Best Bluegrass Album: The Company We Keep, The Del McCoury Band (Yes, yes, yes!)

Yes, I listen to New Age. Because having a martini at 11 am is a little too Dorothy Parkerish.

Category 44 - Best New Age Album: Silver Solstice, Paul Winter Consort
My husband is the Jazz person in the family, I just breath in secondhand cool.

And now for something completely different - Jazz.

Category 45 - Best Contemporary Jazz Album: The Way Up. Pat Metheny Group (I was hoping Soulgrass would get it.)

Category 46 - Best Jazz Vocal Album: Good Night, And Good Luck. Dianne Reeves (And if you haven't seen the movie - go see it.)

Category 47 - Best Jazz Instrumental Solo: Why Was I Born?, Sonny Rollins, soloist (This was from the 9/11 concert - I'm really happy with this one.)

Category 48 - Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group: Beyond The Sound BarrierWayne Shorter Quartet (I didn't hear any of these.)

Category 49 - Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: Overtimem Dave Holland Big Band (Didn't hear these either)

Category 50 - Best Latin Jazz Albumz; Listen Here! Eddie Palmieri (Latin jazz is another favorite as is Palmieri)

Gospel Brunch Time!

Category 51 - Best Gospel Performance: Pray, CeCe Winans (Amen, Sister!)

Category 52 - Best Gospel Song: Be Blessed, Yolanda Adams, James Harris III, Terry Lewis & James Q. Wright, songwriters (I didn't hear any of these.)

Category 53 - Best Rock Gospel Album: Until My Heart Caves I, Audio Adrenaline (This is the only song in this category I've actually heard)

Category 54 - Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album: Lifesong. Casting Crowns(Heard none of these)

Category 55 - Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Gospel Album: Rock Of Ages...Hymns & Faith, Amy Grant (I really wanted Southern Meets Soul to win)

Category 56 - Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album: Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual SongsDonnie McClurkin (Didn't hear any of these either)

Category 57 - Best Contemporary Soul Gospel Album: Purified, CeCe Winans

Category 58 - Best Gospel Choir Or Chorus Album: One Voice, Gladys Knight, choir director; Saints Unified Voices (It's Gladys Knight - of course she won! Nobody else even came close!)

And now we're in one of my favorite areas Latin Pop!

Category 59 - Best Latin Pop Album: Escucha, Laura Pausini (My choice!)

Category 60 - Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album: Fijación Oral Vol. 1, Shakira My choice again!)

Category 61 - Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album: Bebo De Cuba, Bebo Valdés (Man, I should have placed some bets in the Latin category!)

Category 62 - Best Salsa/Merengue Album: Son Del Alma, Willy Chirino (Well, I would have lost on this one, my choice was Arroz Con Mango,Tiempo Libre

Category 63 - Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album" México En La Piel, Luis Miguel (It was between this and Las 3 Divas)

Category 64 - Best Tejano Albums: Chicanisimo. Little Joe Y La Familia (I only heard a couple tracks, but yo lo mucho)

And now Blues, the second great musical love of my life next to classic rock!

Category 65 - Best Traditional Blues Album: 80. B.B. King & Friends(My choice, although About Them Shoes was a close second)

Category 66 - Best Contemporary Blues Album: Cost Of Living, Delbert McClinton (My choice)

And now Folk

Category 67 - Best Traditional Folk Album: Fiddler's Green, Tim O'Brien (I know a lot of Chieftain fans are disappointed, but this deserves it!)

Category 68 - Best Contemporary Folk Album: Fair & Square, John Prine (My choice)

Category 69 - Best Native American Music Album: Sacred Ground - A Tribute To Mother Earth, Various Artists (You should listen to this album. It's good)

I like Hawaiian Music. Really! Especially on a Saturday morning while my Kona is brewing.

Category 70 - Best Hawaiian Music Album, Masters Of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Vol. 1, Various Artists (If you aren't familiar with Hawaiianiin music, I'd recommend this as an introduction. The Go on to Sonny Lin, Raiatea Helm, Ho'okena, Eddie Kamae & Sons of Hawai'i and especially the Ka'ala Boys. Mountain Apple Company has the best selection Hawaiian music around.

And now to Reggae. Believe it or not it was my grandmother who turned me on to reggae back in the sixties. She loved the rhythm.

Category 71 - Best Reggae Album, Welcome To Jamrock. Damian Marley (No surprise there!)

There's only two more categories I'm going to cover - if you want to know about polka, children's, classical, opera and spoken word, you'll have to go to the site. I'm just getting bored. Enuf is enuf!

Category 72 - Best Traditional World Music Album: In The Heart Of The Moon: Ali Farka Touré & Toumani Diabaté (very good!)

Category 73 - Best Contemporary World Music Album: Eletracústico, Gilberto Gil (This one I really disagree with. I think the Grammy should have gone to No Boundaries, Ladysmith Black Mambazo & The Strings Of The English Chamber Orchestra. It's avery creative melding of cultures.)

Oh, what the hell - Let's Polka! Category 74 - Best Polka Album: Shake, Rattle And Polka!, Jimmy Sturr And His Orchestra

I wasn't going to do this either, but it is my pleasure ladies, gents, and gumbys everywhere to announce the Best Musical Show Album: Monty Python's Spamalot. (Huzzah!)

The Grammys!

Two things I realized when I was watching the Grammy's: one: 92 Catagories? that's a lot of music; and two, why is it award shows go on forever when all I really wanted to see was Paul McCartney. Oh well.

Here's the winners, so far and any snarky comments I may have.

Catagory 1 - Record of the Year: Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Green Day (I thought it would be a toss up between Green Day and Kanye West, with coin slightly rolling in favor of Green Day. Kanye's Day will come.

Catagory 2 - Album of the Year: How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. (Well, come on, you really didn't think the others had a chance did you?)

Catagory 3 - Song of the Year: Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own (from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb) I love U2....

Catagory 4 - Best New Artist: John Legend (Pretend to be surprised at least! We all new he'd win. but thanking DEVO?)

Catagory 5 - Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: Since U Been Gone, Kelly Clarkson. (NOOOOOOO! Bonnie Raitt was robbed!)

Catagory 6 - Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: From the Bottom of My Heart, Stevie Wonder (The man still rules!)

Catagory 7 - Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: This Love, Maroon Five. (Hmmm. I'd have gone with Don't Lie, The Black Eyed Peas)

Category 8 - Best Pop Collaborations with Vocals: Feel Good Inc., Gorillaz Featuring De Le Soul. (Ah, come on...A Time to Love, Stevie Wonder Featuring India.Arie should have won.

Category 9 - Best Pop Instrumental Performance: Caravan, Les Paul (Alright! Les Paul is still a treasure)

Category 10 - Best Pop Instrumental Album: At this Time, Burt Bacharach. (The influence this man has on music is astounding, and he deserves this!)

Catagory 11 - - Best Pop Vocal Album: Breakaway, Kelly Clarkson (Gimme Sheryl Crow or Fiona Appple any day.)

Category 12 - Best Dance Recording: Galvanize, The Chemical Brothers Featuring Q-TipThe Chemical Brothers, producers; The Chemical Brothers & Steve Dub, mixers (I'm not a club person, so I'll take their word for it.)

Category 13 - Best Electronic/Dance Album Push The ButtonThe Chemical Brothers (Ditto)

Category 14 - Best Tradition Pop Vocal Album: The Art of Romance, Tony Bennett. (I love all the albums nominated but I have a fondness for Tony Bennett - and it really is a great album)

Category 14 - Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance: Devils & Dust, Bruce Springsteen (I will grudingly grant him this one - I was hoping for Neil Young myself)

Category 16 - Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal: Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, U2 (Drinks all around, our lads are rockin!)

Category 17 - Best Hard Rock Performance: B.Y.O.B., System Of A Down (You've got to kidding! It should have gone to The Hand That Feeds, Nine Inch Nails)

Category 18 - Best Metal Performance: Before I Forget, Slipknot (I didn't follow this category closelly, so you tell me - good choice?)

Category 19 - Best Rock Instrumental Performance: 69 Freedom Special, Les Paul & Friends (Whoo hoo!)

Category 20 - Best Rock Song: City Of Blinding Lights. U2, songwriters (U2) (It's Happy Dance Time!)

Category 21 - Best Rock Album: How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, U2 (I'm still dancing, but I really thought the Stones would pull it off.)

Category 22 - Best Alternative Music Album" Get Behind Me Satan The White Stripes (I love
the White Stripes - they are so not like everybody else!)

Category 23 - Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. We Belong Together, Mariah Carey(As much I like Alicia Keyes, I think Mariah deserves this!)

Category 24 - Best Male R&B Vocal Performance: Ordinary People, John Legend (As far as I
was concerned there was no competition.)

Category 25 - Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals: So Amazing, Beyoncé &
Stevie Wonder (Can't argue with this one!)

Category 26 - Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance: A House Is Not A Home, Aretha
Franklin (All is right with the world)

Category 27 - Best Urban/Alternative Performance: Welcome To Jamrock. Damian Marley

Category 28 - Best R&B Song; We Belong Together. J. Austin, M. Carey, J. Dupri & M. Seal, songwriters; (D. Bristol, K. Edmonds, S. Johnson, P. Moten, S. Sully & B. Womack, songwriters) (Mariah Carey)Track from: The Emancipation Of Mimi (Go, Mimi, Go!)

Category 29 - Best R&B Album: Get Lifted. John Legend (Yes, he is going to be a force.)

Category 30 - Best Contemporary R&B Album: The Emancipation Of Mimi. Mariah Carey (I
think this was really the only serious contender.

Now we get into the Rap area, and sometimes Rap appeals to me, sometimes it doesn't.

Category 31 - Best Rap Solo Performance: Gold Digger. Kanye West (and this really appeals to
me. Kanye West is going to be another big force in the business)

Category 32 - Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group: Don't Phunk With My Heart, The
Black Eyed Peas (Yes, I'm almost 50 and I like the Black Eyed Peas.

Well folks, it's late and I have a ton of stuff to mail tomorrow (eBay was good this week) so I'll post the rest tomorrow, as well as clean up this entry; I haven't even spell checked it.

Sweet Dreams!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Celtic Rock

Tohickon Creek, Bucks County PA © 2006 Pamela Heath
Feel free to use the image as long as you properly credit it!

Lately I've been listening to a lot of Celtic rock. A favorite is Brother; I think they may have been influenced a little by Pink Floyd but I don't know much about them. If you listen to How Do You Feel, on their Urban Cave album you'll see what I mean.
If you say "Celtic Rock" to people they'll say U2, Sinead O'Connor, Enya and maybe Black 47. Enya? Oh, well. She's Irish, she sings...but Celtic rock has got a tremendous amount of variety and influencs and it's much more than U2. Check out Celtic Grove and some of the other Celtic rock sites, and learn some more about this genre.

Some of my favorite artists are U2 (of course), Elvis Costello, Big Black Cadillac and Brother. The Mahones and the Saw Doctors are also good.

So go on, check out some rock from the Emerald Isle and expand your horizons.

In keeping with today's Celtic theme, your drink of the day is the Tipperary:

1 oz. Irish whiskey (I prefer Tullamore Dew aka Tully)
1 oz. green Chartreuse (a French liqueur)
1 oz. sweet vermouth (don't buy the cheapie stuff - get the good stuff)
Fill mixing glass with crushed ice.
Add whiskey, Chartreuse and sweet vermouth. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


P.S. On Thursday, we visit Scandinavia.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Record Store Wanderings

Aside from classic rock, I love blues, so when I noticed Dion's Bronx in Blue CD I couldn't help but take a peek at the track list. Number one was Walkin' Blues, originally done by Robert Johnson, who is my favorite all-time blues artist. He also is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I've always thought someone should do a movie about Robert Johnson; he may have been on earth just a short time, but he made an impression that will last forever.

Bronx in Blue has several Robert Johnson songs, plus Jimmie Rogers, Hattie Hart, Bo Diddley, Lightnin' Hopkins, Howlin' Wolf, Hank Williams, Jimmie Reed and Blind Willie McTell. If you don't know who those people are, you owe it to yourself to check them out. Oh, and Dion. Dion DiMucci. Yes, that's the same Dion from Dion and the Belmonts who sang Runaround Sue and The Wanderer. If you aren't familiar with him, and some of you younger folk might not be, his influence of the music you and I listen to today is enormous. Click here to go to his website.

Crosby, Stills & Nash have two expanded CD's out. Crosby Stills & Nash and Daylight Again have been remastered and reissued. I don't have CSN yet, but Daylight Again is fantastic! Daylight Again has Southern Cross on it, so that tipped the scales of my wallet. It was kind of hard to choose between the two, but in the end, Southern Cross won out over Marrakesh Express. It's the song I listen to when I need to really chill out.

Los Lobos has a new DVD out that's on my list of gotta haves. It's Los Lobos - Live at the Fillmore. Plus there's a new CD, Wolf Tracks: The Best of Los Lobos that is coming out on Valentine's Day, so that's going to be my present to myself!

Also coming out on that day are three (count'em 3) Talking Head classics: Speaking in Tongues, Little Creatures and True Stories. All dual disk! I can hardly wait to hear them; I think my cassettes are about shot by now!

I have to admit I'm was a little late to hop on the technology train. Mostly because other things kept coming up, like work, and I really didn't have the time to sit back and relax and enjoy the music. One day I decided "what's up with that?" and went out and got a CD player. Now I can't live without it. If I remember right, the first CDs I bought were Meat Loaf's Bat out of Hell and Midnight at the Lost and Found, Queen's Live at Wembley Stadium and Greatest Hits (1 & 2), and one by Frank Sinatra CD; I don't remember which one.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Journey's "Generations"

This is much better than their last effort, Arrival, which, although I do like ballads, seemed to OD on them. The new CD is much more to my liking. More rock, less ballads.

Everybody gets a chance at lead vocals on this which is really nice - especially Steve Augeri. Probably my favorite track is "Out of Harm's Way", with Neal Schon's vocals. The song should resonate with certain Americans who (like me) who aren't too fond of the Iraqi situation. Schon is downright impressive.

If you like your rock blue tinged like me, you'll like "Gone Crazy". A bit of a caveat here: Ross Valory's voice is a bit quirky. I've always been a fan of quirky voices, so I like it, and the guitar playing by Schon is fantastic.

Definitely worth picking up!

I working on a rating system, just because people seem to like that sort of thing. I'm sure it'll be kind of quirky.

Yesh: that is my word of the day: quirky.

JOURNEY Generations is released by Frontiers/Sanctuary Records Group

Why I wish I could go to England in March

Two words; no make that three: Jethro Tull's AQUALUNG LIVE TOUR! Wait, that's five. OK, I need more coffee. And maybe some bangers and mash. Yum.