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!!!

Antique cabinet

 

 

 

 

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.

Murphy Brown

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!!!

 

 

 

 

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Christmas Song Countdown #20

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

robin

Courtesy:  Country Living Magazine

Today’s pick was one of my mother’s favorite Christmas carols.  If I close my eyes tight enough I can practically see myself as a young girl standing next to her in church singing this song with her.

The version I chose is by a singer who has one of the most beautiful-and most powerful-voices I have ever heard.  She is tied with Reba McEntire for the most nominations (17) in any vocalist category from the Country Music Association .  While she has a lengthy repertoire of original music (including my favorite “A Broken Wing“), she has also covered such classics as Van Morrison’s “Wild Night“, Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” and Kris Kristofferson’s “Help Me Make It Through The Night“.

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Kris Kristofferson (Original source unknown)

 

WE INTERRUPT THIS BLOG POST FOR A MOMENT TO SWOON OVER KRIS KRISTOFFERSON

Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon!!! .

(Thank you.  I needed that).

I like that despite the strength of her voice, she does not over-sing every single note of every song she sings.  She adds the punch when needed but sings softly as well.  Her performance of this song is a perfect example of her impeccable balance.

Martina McBride:  O Come All Ye Faithful.

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!!!

country-living

Courtesy:  Country Living Magazine

Valentine’s Day Music Countdown: Songs @ #7 & My Grammy Boycott

There are two songs tied for the #7 spot on the countdown, so we will look at them individually.  The first one comes from a man who is considered by some as not only the inventor of soul music, but the genre’s most distinctive voice as well:  Sam Cooke with “You Send Me“.

This song, penned by Cooke but credited to his brother LC Cook to keep record executives from taking the profits, hit #1 in December 1957,  ending Elvis Presley’s 7 week run in the top spot with “Jailhouse Rock”.

Crooning is what Cooke does throughout this song, using his smooth sophisticated voice’s range to lure the listener into his story of how his feelings came to be (and he even uses the M word):

“At first I thought it was infatuation
But oh, it’s lasted so long
Now I find myself wanting
To marry you and take you home

Cooke’s roots began in gospel music, but with the success of this song he became fully emerged in secular music. Then he used what he learned to help some other singers crossover from the gospel genre as well, including Lou Rawls who returned the favor by singing on Cooke’s song “Bring It On Home To Me“.

Singing, songwriting and producing records were not the only parts of the business Cooke was interested in. He was one of the first performers to take both artistic & financial control of his career and eventually started his own publishing company and record label.  He also has the distinction of writing a song that went on to become an anthem for the Civil Rights movement, “A Change Is Gonna Come“.  It has been covered by both black and white artists from Otis Redding, Al Green, Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan, who inspired Cooke with his song  “Blowin’ In The Wind“.

1964 started on a somber note with the country still mourning the assassination of President Kennedy.  Unfortunately, the year also ended the same way as the country mourned Cooke’s tragic death on Dec 11 at the age of 33 after being shot at a Los Angeles motel.  His murder was eventually ruled a justifiable homicide.  The events of that night have been revisited several times over the last five decades to bring his friends and family a better understanding as to what actually transpired the night Cooke was shot.  Whatever it was does not change the outcome because there was nothing justifiable about the loss of this soul music renegade.  It was a heartbreaking ending to a stellar career.

Sam Cooke was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at its first ceremony in 1986 and Rolling Stone Magazine ranked him 4th on its list of the “100 Greatest Singers”.  His music has been featured in several movies over the years, but is most recognizable from “Animal House” (who can forget John Belushi’s character Bluto eating his way down the cafeteria line to “(What A) Wonderful World“) and “Innerspace” (Martin Short & Dennis Quaid dancing to “Twistin’ The Night Away“).

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The other song sharing the #7 spot on the countdown is by a man referred to as one of the greatest singers of all time, and I cannot express it any better than that.  The singer is Van “The Man” Morrison with his song “Have I Told You Lately“.

If you cannot tell, I love words, and this song has some of the most beautiful ones ever set to music:

“Fill my heart with gladness
take away my sadness
ease my troubles
that’s what you do”

“You fill my heart with laughter
Somehow, you make it better
Ease my troubles, that’s what you do”

“There’s a love that’s divine
and it’s yours and it’s mine
and it shines like the sun”

Just stunning.  And the music and delivery are perfect, too completing the holy trinity hallmarks of a great song.

Even Rod Stewart became choked up with emotion and when he sang his cover of the song on “MTV’s Unplugged” in 1993.

There really is not a genre of music Morrison has not explored with his voice, and that coupled with his immense talent has influenced performers like the Counting Crows, Bob Seger, U2, Bruce Springsteen and The Band.  In fact, that was a bit of a mutual admiration thing as evidenced by Morrison’s part in their swan song movie, “The Last Waltz“.   My favorite performance of his in that movie?  Caravan.

It was one of the members of The Band, guitarist and songwriter Robbie Robertson, who inducted Morrison into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.  In his induction speech, Robertson said of Morrison:  “…in the tradition of the great Irish poets and the great soul singers, he is the Caruso of rock and roll”.  Compliments do not get much better than that.  And Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Morrison 24th  on its list of the “100 Greatest Singers”.

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SIDE BAR:  Today is the 2015 Grammy Awards and for the first time in more than three decades I will neither be watching the show nor saving it to my DVR.  The only performances I would want to see from the broadcast are Hozier’s with Annie Lennox or Tony Bennett’s, but I can just look them up on YouTube tomorrow.

But I am happy to see super-talented singer/songwriter/musician Ryan Adams up for best rock song (“Gimme Something Good”) and Best Rock Album (for his self-titled release).  Tom Petty and U2 are also nominated in the latter category but I do not think either of them will be there to accept if they win, if that award is even broadcast.

Same holds true for the Best American Roots Performance, which is usually announced before the telecast.  Gregg Allman & Taj Mahal are nominated for their collaboration on “Statesboro Blues”, from “All My Friends: Celebrating The Songs & Voice Of Gregg Allman”.  Keb’ Mo’ Featuring The California Feetwarmers is nominated in the same category for “The Old Me Better” from the album “BluesAmericana”, which is also up for Best Americana Album.

“Twenty Feet From Stardom” is nominated for Best Music Film, and if you like music, this is a must see.  If you never saw “Standing In The Shadows of Motown” either, add that to your Netflix queue NOW.  The history and performances are way too good to miss.

I do like Sam Smith-this decade’s Rick Ashley-who is up for a slew of awards including Record, Song & Album of the Year, but not enough to sit through the boring list of  performers (and speaking of boring, weren’t we all just forced to sit through a not-very-surprised-because-she-is-mostly-over-hyped-anyway lackluster Katy Perry half-time show?)  Shouldn’t she just limit her involvement tonight to presenter only?

Let’s make it a rule-rather, a law-that a bubble gum pop princess who is too busy with her make up commercials to learn how to sing well should only be allowed to play one event per month.  Same rule should apply to anything-but-reality people and hosts (yes, Adam Levine, this includes you and your face stubble.  Don Johnson called and said it’s over, move on already!!!).

I am actually refusing to watch this year (read:  BOYCOTT) because the industry is continuing to change for the worse. Between Miley Cyrus even being nominated (and for her entire album no less-UGH) to that irritating trite Meghan Trainor “Bass” song (that will be part of a new Big Mouth Billy Bass singing fish in the not so distant future, I guarantee it.  How they got the rights to All Shook Up, Don’t Be Cruel, Take Me To The River in the past is beyond me).

I am a music purist so for me the rules are simple:  If you make bad music PLEASE STOP NOW before someone gets hurt (do you hear me Miley, Meghan, Gwen, Katy, Maroon 5 and the Black Eyed Peas, whether as a group or individually, for starters).  If you make good music please don’t sell out to hear it in a TV commercial.  It demeans us all.  I do not want nor do I expect to hear decent music used in commercials with the exception of car ads.  Those seem to leave the songs virtually intact with some redeeming qualities to them.

A good example from this year:  Bobby Day & the Satellites’ “Beep Beep Beep” used in a Kia Sorento spot.  Some bad examples:  The Who’s “I’m Free” in a local cable commercial ad & the Kinks selling yogurt with “All Day & All Of The Night”. The worst use of a phenomenal song to sell ANYTHING:  The Allman Brothers’ exquisite “Midnight Rider” as part of the Geico campaign (one more reason why I want to punch that dippy little gecko in his slithery neck!!!).

But to be honest, the biggest reason why I will not watch the Grammy Awards is because I prefer to remember Sir Paul McCartney, a freaking Beatle for God’s sake, the way he was…….when he had judgement.  That obviously is gone given his choice to collaborate with that no talent ego-maniacal hack, Kanye West (or did West kidnap McCartney and torture him until he said Uncle?  That would make this easier to swallow, not to mention understandable).

Whatever possessed Sir Paul to even appear at the same award show as West is belittling enough to us Beatles fans, but actually working with that irredeemably talent-less brat is so over the line it has now been eradicated.  I did not think anything could top the colossal lack of judgement U2 showed several years back when they decided to let no talent No Doubt open for them for a leg of the tour.  I am still wearing black and taking mood stabilizers from that debacle.  But this Sir Paul misstep may require me to go on a 72 hour suicide watch with round the clock doses of ECT treatments.

But it does make me profoundly sad that the longest tradition of my life is coming to an end after 30+ years.  Music is so important to me & continues to be that it is a part of me, like a dear old friend.  I have looked forward to the Grammy Awards ever since I was a kid.  I loved getting the chance to finally see my favorite singers on TV (as this was the pre-music video & pre-internet age-yes, I know I am old!!!) and the outfits they wore, what collaborations they would participate in and what songs they would perform.

My favorite Grammy moment ever?  Aretha Franklin’s performance of “Nessun Dorma” in 1998.  Unbelievably gorgeous. Some of my favorite collaborations (“London Calling”  with Bruce Springsteen & friends; “The A-Team” by Ed Sheeran & Elton John; “Across The Universe” introduced by the sinfully gorgeous Anthony Lapaglia) and salutes to some of those who died (Solomon Burke, Warren Zevon &  Levon Helm’s tributes).

Here’s to hoping the 2016 Grammy Awards are something worth tuning in for.

Enjoy!!!