Music Monday: January 3, 2022

Hi, everyone. Happy New Year! Welcome to the first edition of Music Monday for 2022.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

My clean slate began with a grievous wound: the death of a dear cherished friend, Betty White. I am so happy she is home but utterly heartbroken that she left. And only three weeks before her 100th birthday.

What is there left to say about a queen, an artist, an animal advocate, a badass broad who took bites out of life where the rest of us barely nibbled? Nothing I can think of but this: I know she had a big, beautiful, incredible, rich, long life but my God, what are we going to do without her? Rest in love & peace you sweet wonderful funny friend to all.

Betty edited

Copyright 2011 by Michele Antonio.

In season four of “The Golden Girls”, “the happiest most fulfilling day” for White’s character, Rose Nylund, was when she received permission to start an unauthorized chapter of The Elvis Presley Hunk-A-Hunk-A-Burning-Love Fan Club. How fitting since today’s song is by The King himself.

His life & legacy is another one where there is not much I or anyone else can add to. January 8 will mark the 87th birth anniversary of The King, Elvis Aaron Presley. He was and remains one of the true inventors of rock & roll in this & every other lifetime. He is music royalty & of course, one of the greatest artists of all time. Today’s song is in my Top Five of his recordings and it always will be. Hail to The King.

Oh, let our love survive
I’ll dry the tears from your eyes
Let’s don’t let a good thing die
When honey you know I’ve never lied to you
“.

Elvis

The King circa 1958. (Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

Elvis Presley: “Suspicious Minds” (1969, written by Mark James).

Stay well.

Music Monday: November 8, 2021

Hi, everyone. Welcome to this week’s edition of Music Monday.

Music Monday

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

In 2010 a fabulous show premiered on TNT that instantly became my new favorite. “Memphis Beat” was a cop show with an interesting twist: the cop loved music so much that each episode ended with him singing a song at the local bar. How could I not like it? The lead actor/cop/singer was played by Jason Lee who may not have done his own singing but was great in the role nonetheless. Other actors in the cast included Alfre Woodard, DJ Qualls, Celia Weston and Sam Hennings. Unfortunately, not as many people enjoyed the show as much like I did so it was cancelled after only one season. Sigh.

The original music for the show was done by American blues musician Keb’ Mo’ and one of the songs he used for the show was a cover of today’s song. And it was unbelievably great. I have searched high & low for it over the last 11 years but I cannot find it or the episode it was featured in anywhere online. I do not believe he ever made it available for commercial release which is an absolute shame because it was that good.

The song was written by American indie toots singer Will Oldham who released the song as the title track to his 1999 album under his stage name, Bonnie “Prince” Billy. It is a wonderful rendition but I must admit I love Johnny Cash’s version so much more. Oldham sang the chorus with Cash on his track which gave it so much depth but it was his stark delivery that brought the song to a level only Cash could deliver. Of course, anything Cash did was gold, but this song is one of my Top Ten picks from his illustrious career. That gives you some idea how great his cover truly is.

Did you know how much I love you
Is a hope that somehow you
Would save me from this darkness
“.

jason lee

Keb Mo

Cash    Will Oldham

Top (L-R): Jason Lee as Dwight Hendricks in a still from the 2010 show, “Memphis Beat”; Keb’ Mo’. Bottom (L-R): Johnny Cash early in his career; Will Oldham. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.).

Johnny Cash: “I See A Darkness” (2000, written by Will Oldham).

Stay well.

Let’s Take A Moment Day 545

Hi everyone.  Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing.  But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?

blog Sept 2021

(Image found online.  Original source unknown.)

I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.

Happy 69th birthday to America’s Gerry Beckley, born September 12, 1952 in TX. He met his bandmates in England in the late 1960’s when all three were living there because their fathers were in the Armed Services. The group’s soft rock sound helped to define the genre in the 1970’s. Today’s song, written & sung by Beckley, was a #1 hit for one week in June 1975. Here’s to 100 more birthdays for Gerry Beckley.

Well I tried to make it Sunday but I got so damn depressed
That I set my sights on Monday and I got myself undressed
I ain’t ready for the altar but I do agree there’s times
When a woman sure can be a friend of mine”.

America_band_3104

Buckley and burnell

Top: America in the mid 1970’s (L-R): Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek and Gerry Beckley. Bottom: Beckley and Bunnell circa 2010. (Images found online.  Original sources unknown.)

America: “Sister Golden Hair” (1975, written by Gerry Beckley).

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.

Stay well.

Welcome To The Season Of “Ber” Months

 

October photo image

Image found on Pinterest.  Original source unknown.  

“The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky.”   William Butler Yates

It is finally October.   Hallelujah.  I feel this way every year after surviving another summer of triple H weather (hazy, hot & humid).  It’s not just the cool weather I embrace.  It’s all the fairs this time of year, the activities like apple and pumpkin picking and Halloween.  I may not trick-or-treat anymore, but I still watch “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and hope he gets more than a rock.  It’s also a great time for decorating, cooking and baking.

What are some of your favorite ways to welcome October and the coziness of fall?

The weather here in New England has cooled off considerably during the overnights, but a lot of the days still have temperatures between 75-80 degrees.  Even though the leaves have started to change and pumpkin patch signs are everywhere I turn, I still need a push to welcome fall.  And what better push than music.   Enjoy.

Eric Clapton:  “Autumn Leaves” (2010, written by Joseph Kosma, Johnny Mercer & Jacques Prevert).

Happy Birthday, Happy Autumn

Bruce sp

Bruce Springsteen (original source:  Ed Murray | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com).

It has been one heck of a year for this man who has already racked up decades of good ones.  Since his last birthday, he has been starring in his Tony Award winning Broadway show.  It was originally supposed to run for only about two months, but due to the incredible demand for more performances, he extended it to the end of this year.  While several singers have chosen to headline residencies in Las Vegas, Springsteen has chosen a more intimate setting that has reinvented his epochal music in a new and even more illuminating way.  That is an unbelievable feat that could only be accomplished by a talent like his.  Happy birthday, Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen.  You are a beautiful man with a beautiful soul.

We are also officially in the fall season.  Yay.  That deserves a song, too.  So today I am sharing two with you.

For The Bossman’s birthday, I chose the title track of his 2009 record.  In typical Springsteen fashion, he describes holding on to a vision of a better life despite all the road blocks that appear in its way.  And how love will help the dream along.

I’m working on a dream
Though trouble can feel like it’s here to stay
I’m working on a dream
Well our love will chase trouble away.

Bruce Springsteen:  “Working On A Dream

The second song honors the new season.  This iconic singer/songwriter performed here in Connecticut yesterday with a little help from some of his fellow musician friends at this year’s Farm Aid concert.  It sets the tone of this new autumn season perfectly.  And how love makes everything better.

When we were strangers
I watched you from afar
When we were lovers
I loved you with all my heart.”

Neil Young:  “Harvest Moon“.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some of the people & music I love with you.

Until next time, happy digging.

“…That Our Flag Was Still There…”

Happy Independence Day!!!

Please enjoy my all-time favorite renditions of the National  Anthem.  The first one was recorded 35 years ago at the 1983 NBA All-Star Game by one of the greatest singers to ever walk this earth.  He sang it with the reverence the song deserved, but in his own unique passionate and soulful way.  It was a beautiful and masterful performance.

Twenty-one years later at the 2004 NBA All Star Game, his daughter would use his version to sing it as a duet with her father and it was absolutely stunning.

Enjoy & have a happy & safe 4th of July, friends!!!

Marvin Gaye:  The Star Spangled Banner.

Marvin Gaye & Nona Gaye:  The Star Spangled Banner.

4th of July 3

Beware The Ides Of May……..

Yesterday I survived my first-and hopefully last-tornado. 

Being from the east coast, I have had my share of hurricanes, but not tornadoes.  Hurricanes give you several hours, if not days, to prepare.  Tornadoes do not.  They give you mere minutes. 

Picture it:  May 15, 2018.  Connecticut.  I got off work around 2PM because the office A/C was not working and the temperature outside was a very humid & stifling 85 degrees.  I went home, put on the A/C, had a snack and fell asleep.  I was awoken at around 4:45PM because both my cell phones were blasting the EAS (Emergency Alert System) tone.  I keep an old cell around with my TV app on it since I am too lazy to download it to my new phone.  (I know….please don’t judge).  

Tornado OXFORD

 

At first I thought it was the usual-an  amber alert-so I did not panic.  Then the automated voice came on:  

“Tornado warning in this area until 5:15PM.  Take shelter now.”

“What?????????????”, I thought.  

Then the voice repeated itself. 

“Tornado warning in this area until 5:15PM.  Take shelter now.”

I grabbed the phone to check the time.  I had less than 30 minutes to prepare.  Then I put the TV app on to watch the local news.  I heard every other word because my mind was still reeling from the shock……until the phrase “this is the kind of storm that has the potential to take the roof off a house” was spoken.  Then, panic set in.  My heart began to race.  And I started to cry.  I was never much of a crier, but in the last few years it has become my go-to thing.  And I began to pray.

Tornado WALLINGFORD

I unplugged my computer and TV because I was taught to always do that in a hurricane in case of a power surge.  I live in a small cottage and every room has windows except the bathroom, so I threw whatever necessities I could grab-like Snapple bottles, my meds-into my pocketbook, grabbed a folding chair from the closet and went into the bathroom.  

I was terrified but tried to focus on how to stay as safe as possible during the next few minutes.  I texted “We are under a tornado watch WTH” to my dear sweet cousin, Gina, who lived in Alabama for over a decade and knew the tornado drill like the back of her hand.  She is also a former nurse and one of the best moms I have ever seen so I knew she would help me just by answering my text so I would not feel so alone.  But when she texted back “OMG”, I think I threw up a little (I can’t really remember…..it is still a blur).

Then the Gina I know, love and admire started texting me instructions:  “Bathroom safest place if there is no basement.”  Check.  “Watch means conditions are favorable.  Warning means tornado has been spotted”.  Check.  “Plug in all your communicative devices-phone, computer.  Keep things plugged in in case you lose power.”   Leave bathroom to plug in computer and grab phone chargers.  Check. 

Then I heard the rain & hail hitting the windows and heard the glass bottles in my outside recyclable bins rattling.  I heard something heavy hit my roof and the lights began to flicker.  “It’s here” I texted Gina.  In the past she told me that when a tornado is close it sounds like a train.  The lights started flickering so the news app went off.  Then the power went out and, as Johnny Cash sang in “Folsom Prison Blues“, I heard the train a-coming.  Except for when my dad died and I felt like an orphan (despite being way over the age of 21), I have never been so scared.   I texted Gina that the power went out but miraculously it came back on less than 10 seconds later.  Then I told her I was scared.  And I started praying even harder. 

Tornado A-DAMAGE

Then, oddly enough, I remembered Cloud Nine’s manager & resident Baptist, Glenn, praying to Allah in the Superstore episode where they were hit by a tornado.  That must have given me enough momentary peace to slow my heartrate down for a second and suddenly the news app came back on.  The lights flickered a few more times but the power remained on.  Thank you, Jesus.

More texts from Gina:  “R U listening to weather?   Do you have sirens?”  (Where she lived they have tornado sirens, but we only have the EAS.)  

“Just listen to weather and stay in bathroom.  It has more support.  Trying to see on radar when the rain storm will pass.”

Then the weatherman said the winds were down to 85 from 100 so I texted Gina this development.

“It is passing.  10 more minutes it should calm down”.

“Can you hear the wind?”

“What is your zip code?”  (I knew she was checking the online reports of the storm for me.)

“It says it will continue to rain but tornado warning will cease.”

I thanked her for staying with me while I was so scared.

“It is very scary.  CT NBC has a site.  Put in your zip code and you get alerts and watch where the storm is moving.”

Tornado CHESHIRE

Then her wonderful news about the storm diminishing was confirmed by the news team I was watching.  The worst was over.  I was OK, so was my house, and so was my car.  Thank you, God.

The pictures in this post are ones I found online of some of the storm damage.  These towns are not far from me.  As the saying goes, it could have been SOOOOOOO much worse for me.  I could have been in the car driving, or at a place that was not as safe as my house.  Scary.        

Thank you, sweet Gina, for ALWAYS being my hero & my biggest cheerleader.  And hats off to all you southerners who deal with tornadoes as part of your lives.  I have no idea how you do it.   

Until next time, happy digging!!!  And stay safe!!!

In Like A Lion

March has arrived.  With a vengeance.

Here in New England, it came in with a wild wind storm driven nor’easter.   I have to admit, it was pretty mesmerizing,  And reminded me of something my grandmother used to say about this month….”In like a lion, out like a lamb”.  Now that the roar of the wind is over, we are expecting the white noise later in the week.  Not sure yet how much.  I know so many of you have spring fever already, but I am relishing these last few official weeks of winter.  Call me crazy  🙂

2018-Oscars-Logo

Did you catch the Oscars last night???  They did a nice tribute to the military with a montage of many of the war movies Hollywood created in the last nine decades.  I found it hilarious and fitting they brought back Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway to present Best Picture after last year’s mix-up.  And I was sooooo happy Frances McDormand won.  I loved how her unity speech rallied the women in the audience, too!!!  I am really enjoying this movement of women supporting women.  It’s time we take it back from the mean girls and the others who strive to divide, break or silence us.

And it was so great to see some old school Hollywood at the show, especially since it was the 90th Academy Awards.  How beautiful did Eva Marie Saint look?

90th Annual Academy Awards - Show

And how handsome was Christopher Plummer?

Plummer

How about Rita Moreno wearing the same dress last night…..

Rita Moreno 2018

…..that she wore to the Oscars in 1962?

Moreno

I always love watching the red carpet for all the fashion, too.  What about you?  Here are some of my favorites:

Mary J. Blige:

mary j

Mira Sorvino:

Mira

Best Supporting Actor winner Sam Rockwell:

Sam Rockwell

Margot Robbie:

Margot Robbie

Jennifer Garner (my favorite of the night!!!):

jenn garner

Matthew McConaughey (sa-wooooon!!!):

Matthew

Taraji P. Henson:

Taraj

Woody Harrelson & his wife:

woody

Laurie Metcalf:

metcalf

I really wanted Laurie Metcalf to win for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Lady Bird” (great movie, btw).  I have been a big fan of hers since she played Jackie Harris on “Roseanne“.  And that reminds me-are you as psyched as I am for the re-boot of that series starting later this month?  I was such a fan so I cannot wait.  If it is half as good as the “Will & Grace” revival, I am IN!!!

For this week’s song, I chose Mary J. Blige’s Oscar nominated “Mighty River” from “Mudbound“.  Her voice is beautiful and incredibly powerful, just like the lyrics she co-wrote:

“Life is a teacher, time is a healer,
And I’m a believer like a river wild.
Ego’s a killer, greed is a monster
But love is stronger, stronger than them all.”

So how are you enjoying March so far???

All the pictures from the Oscars except the one from 1962 are courtesy of Getty Images.

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you  🙂

Until next time, happy digging!!!

 

A Word & A Song

Hello & happy 2018!!!

Happy-New-Year-Images-2018-HD-6

Original source unknown

I do love the start of a new year-empty page, blank canvas and the rest of those similar metaphors.  I feel energized to tackle the items I did not take care of last month due to my end-of- the-year inevitable slowdown so I could divert my energy to all things holiday.  But yesterday I started  making my to-do lists again and I am eagerly looking forward to crossing off my completed tasks.

What I do not do, however, is make resolutions.  I learned a long time ago that word just sets me up for failure and I had enough of that when I tried to learn geometry in high school.  I do better by breaking the year up into four quarters and make a couple of goals to finish by the end of each one.  They range from choosing a vacation spot and putting a budget in place for it to listing some unwanted items on ebay to trying a DIY project or new recipe.

I am aware of the recent trend to pick a word to live by in the new year.  Way too much of a commitment for me, but if I use the same principal as above and choose a word for each quarter, then I will have four words for the year which is a lot more doable for me.

Grace

Original source unknown

My word for the first quarter of 2018 is grace.  I consider myself a kind and empathetic person so I usually have no problem showing it to others.  Of course, giving it to someone who intentionally hurts me is much harder to do, so I need to work on that.  But where I fail over and over again is honoring myself with the same favor.  I am so critical, so neglectful, so inpatient and so hard on my psyche that I need to just find a way to finally silence those disparaging, mean and useless voices.  I tell other people this but I need to remind myself as well that I am more than enough and that everything will be OK.

To help with this, I am using positive reinforcement.  I am going to give myself a song each week with a great message to remind me to show myself that grace.  Since I love music so very much, I feel like this is a total win-win.  This idea came to me two weeks ago when I was sitting in the Walter Kerr Theater for the Boss’s Broadway show.  As usual, his words hit that part of my soul that brings it peace.  That whispers to my heart that as long as I hear his voice, I am home.  And I belong.  In the same world that includes him.  And my heart is full again and ready to inhale and keep moving forward.  So when he got to this verse, I quietly sang right along with him:

Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted.”

Bruce Springsteen:  “The Promised Land“.

What do you do to motivate you?

I do not own the rights to anything.  I am just sharing some things that I love with you   🙂

Until next time, happy digging!!!

IMG_20171219_222549[1]