Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasies & A Song

It still isn’t feeling much like spring yet, despite the fact that last week’s storm gave us only about two inches of snow.  And estate sales have been few and far between thanks to the weather and the upcoming Easter holiday.  I needed a break from the ballast of everyday living, so I did the only thing I could do-I went for a ride to listen to some music.  It’s like a mini-vacation for my soul.

My mind goes to so many different places as I drive, and one of the things I kept thinking about was how many artists I have been lucky enough to see in my life, but especially in the last several years because I could capture a moment of the show with my cell phone.

The quality is not the best on some of these shots, but here are several of the people I have been fortunate to see live.

Chris Isaak:

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Marc Cohn:

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Stevie Nicks (in her different looks):

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Todd Rundgren:

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The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin (who celebrated her 76th birthday yesterday):

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Yusuf Islam (f/k/a Cat Stevens):

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Sir Ringo Starr:

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And The Boss, of course:

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I do not have any shows to go to yet for 2018, but with the arrival of spring and the upcoming summer, I am sure it is just a matter of time before a few I want to attend are announced.  Then I will be able to add to this picture collection.

What concerts are you hoping to attend this year?

For this week’s song, I reached back to a band that released their ground-breaking self-titled debut record, “Boston”, in 1976.  Two years later, the group released “Don’t Look Back” and it is the title song that I played over and over during last week’s car ride.   Between Tom Scholz empowering lyrics and Brad Delp’s soaring vocals, it’s hard to feel anything but unshackled and free of the past with words like these:

A new day is breakin’
It’s been too long since I felt this way
I don’t mind where I get taken
The road is callin’
Today is the day”

“It’s a bright horizon and I’m awakin’ now
Oh I see myself in a brand new way
The sun is shinin’
The clouds are breakin’
‘Cause I can’t lose now, there’s no game to play

I do not own the rights to the song.  I am just sharing something that I love with you  🙂

Until next time, happy digging!!!

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“Cupid, Please Hear My Cry…..” & A Song

Dear Cupid,

Hope you are well.

For Valentine’s Day this year, please bring me my own version of Jack Pearson (you know, the perfect man from “This Is Us“).

He is a great husband, father and friend.

milo as jack

 Jack Pearson (as portrayed by Milo Ventimiglia – courtesy of Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

But more importantly, Jack is a music connoisseur.  Yes, I am referring to the Bruce Springsteen tickets he bought for him & his family to see the Boss himself (not to mention playing a song of his for teenage Kate who was breaking her father’s heart by listening to noise).

How impossibly sad that Jack died before the Springsteen show.  I only hope that he saw him previously, with Rebecca, during the “Born To Run” or “Darkness” tours.  I hope so.  Missing out on his kid’s futures is bad enough, but missing Springsteen live…..that is too sad for words!!!   😦

But Cupid, I digress.

pink cherub

Cupid (original source unknown)

I promise to shower my Jack with all the love, hugs, kisses & support in the world & get us great seats to every Springsteen show within a 300 mile radius so we can take a road trip to the show while we listen to E Street Radio.  I will even pack us a great picnic lunch for the drive and bake delicious chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Thank you, Cupid.  Xoxoxo.

Love, Michele

PS:  Whenever Valentine’s Day rolls around, you know I think a lot about you.  I always picture you as the sweet little cherub icon.  Adorable!!!

That is, however, until I saw Liam Neeson portraying you on “The Late Show” last week.  He was his beautiful, hilarious self so I hope you do not mind if I see you that way from now on.    🙂

Liam-Neeson-as-Cupid-the-Assassin

Cupid (as portrayed by Liam Neeson – coutesy of The Late Show/CBS) 

And Cupid, in celebration of the Feast of Saint Valentine, I will make this week’s song a love song.  But not a traditional one as I am not a traditional girl.  This one tells the story of two people in the throws of some difficulties, but despite where they are in the moment, there is no doubt where their hearts lie:

“I got you, in my veins & my blood,
I got you, straight to my heart like a flood,
Like there ain’t no other love,
Hearts aren’t always red, they’re black & blue.
I got you”. 

The song is called “I Got You” by The White Buffalo featuring Audra Mae, who is the great-great-niece of Judy Garland.  And his voice makes me saaaa-woooooooooon!!!

Thanks again, Cupid.  And please remember 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!!!

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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

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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!!!

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25 Days Of Christmas Music: Day 20

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

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(Original source unknown)

This may be repetitive for those who follow me. but it is the truth:  I love Bruce Springsteen.  He is one of my heroes, my favorite singer/songwriter and one of the most decent people to ever come out of the music industry.  He taught me so many of life’s lessons, never tried to sugarcoat what was bad, has integrity beyond measure, is loyal and remembers his roots.

Sure he is not perfect, but from what I have seen from people in this life, he is pretty damn close.  I am thankful every day that I not only found him, but I understood him as well.  When I watched him on “Storytellers”, he said his album “Born To Run” was his invitation to his fans to come along for the ride.  Well, I accepted that offer and it has been one of the best parts of my life.

While other rock musicians are lending their music to big box stores for commercials, he continues to honor his legacy by playing his three hour plus concerts and finding new ways to bring his music to his audience.  Publishing his biography and giving us a glimpse into his mind when he was writing his songs is one example, and performing his Broadway show is another.

I saw that show tonight and, of course, the man did not disappoint.  He was his funny, charming, reflective and rocking self.  He talked about his life, his childhood, his family and his career.  In between his monologues, he played some of his music, including a song from an album he released about six years ago.  And it summed up our vicarious relationship perfectly, figuratively speaking:

“Darlin’ if you’re weary lay your head upon my chest
We’ll take what we can carry and we’ll leave the rest
Big wheels roll through the fields where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams.”

Thanks, Bossman, for the land of hope and dreams.  And for the ride.  And the music.  I will never be able to thank you enough for all of it.

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Courtesy of Eric Meola

Bruce Springsteen:  “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

Bruce Springsteen:  “Merry Christmas, Baby

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

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Songs: Day 3

Hello, Vixens!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

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(original source unknown)

Several musical genres define the 1960’s:  Rock & Roll, Motown, The Beatles, The British Invasion, the San Francisco sound and the Wall of Sound-a technique which layered music tracks for a song to give the music a deeper sound.  Introduced to the world courtesy of songwriter and producer Phil Spector, the sound would become synonymous with his premier girl groups like the Teddy Bears, the Crystals and the Ronettes whose song “Be My Baby” stands as a definitive example of the unique sound Spector created.

He worked with men too, most notably the Righteous Brothers on “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling“, the Walker Brothers on “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” and the Beatles (he was responsible for finishing the “Let It Be” album after the group broke up).  He also co-produced four of John Lennon’s solo albums & three of George Harrison’s, as well as several of their singles.  Bruce Springsteen channeled the Wall of Sound sound on his epic “Born To Run” album while his bandmate/best friend Steven Van Zandt regularly features Spector produced records on his “Underground Garage” radio show.

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In 1963 Spector released an album of holiday songs which were given the Wall of Sound treatment.  Entitled “A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector” , it featured primarily all women, two of whom are my favorite female singers of all time:  Darlene Love & Ronnie Spector.  So to avoid making a difficult choice, I am including a song from each to share with you today.  Enjoy!!!

Darlene Love:  “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)“.

Darlene Love

Darlene Love circa 1963 (original source unknown)

The Ronettes “Sleigh Ride“.

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The Ronettes circa 1963 (original source unknown)

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

What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?

Until next time, fellow Vixens, happy listening!!!

Creating A Mood

Hello and happy fall, Vixens!!!

I have been stuck for a while on how to decorate my place.  It seems the more choices I have, the worse it is.  And since I have so much saved on Pinterest, I decided to go through my pins and create a mood board to help me narrow down my choices.

I started with the living room.  I asked myself what is important for me to have in there. Comfortable seating for me and guests when I entertain, good lighting for when I curl up with a good book, a comfy pillow and throw for when I want to get extra cozy, color, texture and a few things that I love.

Here is what I came up with:

 

Mood board

 

What do you think?

Let’s break it down.

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The focal point of any living room is the sofa, so that was my first pick.  I never had one with a chaise, but the thought of having one has always been in the back of my mind. This sectional from Arhaus really spoke to me, from the overstuffed cushions to the rolled arms to the gorgeous color (Theater Cream).  So pretty.  They have a wide variety of sectional couches to choose from.

 

lamp

 

Next I moved to lighting.  I adore the feminine charms a chandelier gives to a room, but in a living room, I prefer lamps.  This industrial style floor lamp embraced my love of old & worn while bringing in a masculine touch.

chair 2

 

books

 

A floor lamp eliminates the need for an end table on one side of the sofa, but on the other side I envisioned a place to stack a pile of old family books that I like to have around.  I thought the white metal chair from Target would serve that purpose beautifully while providing some balance to the metal lamp on the other side.

 

kirklands pillowcable knit throw from Ethan AllenVelvet+Throw+Pillow

 

More texture and comfort are provided courtesy of the cable knit throw and  pillow, and the velvet pillow provides a subtle pop of color while keeping the neutral pallet of the room alive.

 

coffee table

 

And those items store away easily when not needed in an antique tool chest which serves as a coffee table.  Look at that beautiful hardware!!!!!  Sa-wooooon!!!!!

 

industrial photo

 

My sofa will be up against a wall because the room is not big enough for me to float it. That means the big blank wall behind the couch needs some visual interest.  Instead of doing a straight line of prints which will only follow the line of the sofa, I prefer one large picture.  I adore black and white photography, and the grittier the better.  This one satisfies all of the above.

 

pink roses

 

I finished up the room the way I finish every room-with fresh flowers.  Pink roses are gorgeous, but especially in my heart’s desire, white Ironstone.  Just imagine those beautiful blooms in that pitcher on top of that tool trunk………..too beautiful for words.

 

BTR

 

And the final touch?  Music, what else?  My favorite song of all time-“Jungleland“-from Bruce Springsteen’s life altering “Born To Run” album is always in my CD player – yes, I still LOVE my CD’s!!!!   🙂  And happy birthday, Bossman!!!

The best part of this mood board?  It can be created on any budget.  I may have taken some of the pictures from expensive websites or stores, but that does not mean when I am ready to bring my dream living room to life I will not be able to find any of the items at flea markets, tag sales or on Craigslist.  I find the key is to be patient and go after one piece at a time.  Start with the focal point and go from there.  Before you know it, everything comes together & you did not have to empty your bank account to do it.

What does your mood board look like???  Let me know in the comments below.

None of the images in this post belong to me.  All resources are provided in the links.

This post was not sponsored.  All opinions, ideas and swoons are mine 🙂

Until next time, fellow Vixens, keep digging!!!

 

 

“Oh My, But That Little Country Boy Could Play…”

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry circa 1955 (original source unknown).

 

This is, indeed, a tremendous loss. As one of the architects of rock and roll, Chuck Berry’s contribution to music, for those who play it, listen to it and love it, will always be immense. The guitar riff that opens “Johnny B. Goode” is perfection defined.  Nearly 20 years after its release, it was included on Voyager 1’s Golden Record.  And in 1985, it took us all “Back To The Future“.

 

Chuck and Bruce

Bruce Springsteen and Chuck Berry performing together at the Concert for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Sept. 1995 (Courtesy Mike Duncan/AP).

 

When the Beatles came to America on February 7, 1964 and performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show” two days later, it changed the world.  When the Beatles performed their first concert in the United States later that same year – in Washington, DC – their opening song was “Roll Over Beethoven” because Chuck Berry changed their world.

Thank you for everything, Chuck. We miss you already.