Happy Birthday, Happy Autumn

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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.

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Back In The Game

Well, it is finally here.  No, not spring, which finally did make it to New England.  I am referring to thrifting season-it has finally begun!!!  However the sale is labeled-estate sale, garage sale or tag sale-now is the time we will see them nearly every weekend, rather than sporadically.  And I cannot wait to start digging!!!

I have gone to a couple over the last few weeks, and if you follow me on Instagram, you know I hit it out of the park at my first one by snagging this little beauty:

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I also found this gorgeous piece which I was swooning over but could not afford it (and it was way over priced), but man, was I in LOVE!!!

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I also saw my dream pick up truck, the one I picture myself driving around town on Saturday mornings to local garage sales with a bulldog riding shotgun when I finally have my dream house (and dream bulldog) in the country.

Pick up truck

 

 

 

 

 

Even if I do not stop at every sale, I just love driving down the street and seeing views like this:

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There is something so exciting yet very comforting about these sales.  The suspense of what I might find underscored with the comfort of knowing I have the chance to find a treasure, a diamond in the rough, a DIY project or a combination of all three.

Switching gears to one of my other vices, did you guys hear there is another great old show getting a comeback?  It’s “Murphy Brown” and I cannot wait!!!  I will really miss Robert Pastorelli and his character “Eldin”, but the chance to see Candace Bergen and Grant Shaud (“Miles”) interact again has me on the edge of my seat.

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The original “Murphy Brown” cast from its first run (original source unknown).

And are you guys enjoying the new “Roseanne” episodes as much as I am???  It is really hitting its pace again and delving into the character’s pasts to make us understand why they are where they are in the present.  Great acting, great writing, great story-lines…..I am completely loving the show.

My other current fave show, “Superstore”, continues to entertain me as well.  The mix of these characters is one I have not seen before and each new guest character (Pastor Craig and Isaac are two standouts featured in the hilarious “Amnesty” episode) instantly becomes my favorite!!!  I just really hope we have not seen the last of Linda Porter, since her character, Myrtle, was fired despite how adorable she is.  Fingers crossed we see her again!!!  And please, God, let me find a friend like Dina!!!!  Everyone needs a Dina in their life!!!

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   The cast of “Superstore” (Courtesy of NBC). 

Now, time for a song.  One of the new tags on Facebook is asking people to name the 10 albums that most influenced them.  This got me thinking about the ones I would name and why.  Of course, “Born To Run” & “Otis Blue” would top my list, but that still leaves eight other choices.  That brought me to remember my introduction to this man’s voice.

I was watching “The Last Waltz” for the first time, and I was mesmerized.  His voice, his lyrics, his interpretation of the song and the music-all perfection.  He is one of my favorites to this day, and whether it’s a ballad or a rocker, I love every second of his songs.  And for someone who grew up on radio and continues to listen to all of it today-local, national and satellite-these words bring back that feeling of hearing my favorite song being played.  It is a primal emotional response like no other.  Music & songs allow us to time travel,  taking us back to moments in our lives that we cherish or can’t forget for other reasons.  Either way, they make us feel…..”and then we can get down to what is really wrong”.

“Turn up your radio and let me hear the song
Switch on your electric light, then we can get down to what is really wrong.

Turn it up, turn it up, little bit higher, radio
Turn it up, that’s enough, so you know its got soul.”

Van Morrison:  “Caravan” (studio version & “The Last Waltz” version).

I only own the rights to my own pictures, nothing else I featured in this post.  The rest are things I love and want to share with you you  🙂

Until next time, happy digging!!!

 

 

 

 

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!!!

“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.

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 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.

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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.    🙂

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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

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!!!

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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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(original source unknown)

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)“.

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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!!!