A Clean Slate

Hello, Everybody!!!  Happy New Year!!!  Welcome 2019.

Don’t you just love the start of a new year?  It’s like seeing the world as a pristine canvas, similar to the way we see our neighborhood after the first snowfall of the year:  clean, fresh, pretty, still, pure.  And all you want to do is go outside and take in a ginormous cleansing breathe.  Or is that just me???

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Beautiful scene of Vermont in winter from Pinterest (original source unknown).

Of course, there will always be the unresolved problems and issues that carry over, and the baggage we all lug around with us is forever present.  But for a moment the new year feels inspiring, hopeful and exciting.  Our calendars are more empty than cluttered.  There are trips and vacations to plan, new three day weekends to enjoy, birthday celebrations to attend, days to relax all by ourselves, concerts or plays to see, road trips to take, estate sales to go to and vintage decor to swoon over.  These are the things I try to focus on more than setting myself up for failure with a bunch of ineffectual resolutions.  They just discourage me because all I do is picture myself failing again.  On the other hand, music is what has always inspired me.  And 2019 will not be any different.  So to begin this new year, I am giving myself some motivation.  And yes, I am talking about The Boss.  And two songs by him are always better than one…..unless that one song is “Jungleland”, of course.

For my first choice, a picked a song he wrote because of the change in his romantic life.  However, it also extended to the rest of his world and and how he needed to stop waiting for the future to change things but rather put the focus and work in to the now.  Great advice for all of us who forget the present is today and needs our time, our attention and our love.  Read:  me.

“Well my soul checked out missing as I sat listening
To the hours and minutes tickin’ away
Yeah just sittin’ around waitin’ for my life to begin
While it was all just slippin’ away
I’m tired of waitin’ for tomorrow to come
Or that train to come roarin’ round the bend”

But it’s a sad man my friend who’s livin’ in his own skin
And can’t stand the company
Every fool’s got a reason for feelin’ sorry for himself
And turning his heart to stone”

“These are better days baby
These are better days it true
These are better days
There’s better days shining through”

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Bruce Springsteen:  “Better Days” (1992).

The next song is probably one of his most famous after “Born To Run” and by far his most well known video.  It was his first performance one and featured a woman who went on to become a “friend”.  It is a huge part of his live show-he stills pulls an audience member (or two or three, including some from his own family) on stage to dance with him-while the crowd sings “oh-oh-oh’s” in between the lines of the last verse of the song, and we go home with the chorus stuck in our heads.  I heard it on the radio on New Year’s Eve and it brought me back to the first few times I heard the song and felt incredibly inspired by his lyrics.  And, of course, The Boss is right-everything takes a spark to ignite.  Even ourselves, sometimes.  A point especially good to remember with the clean slate of a new year right in front of us.

I ain’t nothing but tired
Man I’m just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help
You can’t start a fire
You can’t start a fire without a spark
This gun’s for hire
Even if we’re just dancing in the dark“.
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Bruce Springsteen and his mother, Adele, after dancing together on stage in 2012 (Photo by Kris Noyes/NJ.com).

Bruce Springsteen:  “Dancing In The Dark” (1984).

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

All the best in 2019, Everyone!!!

Until next time, happy listening!!!

 

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25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 10

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

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Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).  

Today’s song is tied to a few artists we already featured in this year’s countdown.  I included it as a bonus song on Day 1 of the countdown because Bruce Springsteen covered it in 1987, but the first recording of this song dates back 40 years earlier when Charles Brown (singer of the song on Day 7) sang it as a singer and pianist with Johnny Moore’s Trailblazers.  Moore wrote it with songwriter Lou Baxter and it went to #3 on Billboard’s R&B Jukebox in 1947.  Several other artists have covered it over the years as well, but the one recorded in by the greatest soul singer of all time ranks at the top of my list.  And since this man was taken from us way too soon (51 years ago today at the age of 26), I must include his other Christmas cover because one can never have enough of this phenomenal singer’s voice.  Or this song, which this man makes all his own in this simply sublime version.

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Otis Redding circa 1967 (original source unknown).  

Otis Redding:  “Merry Christmas Baby“.

Otis Redding:  “White Christmas“.

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, happy listening!!!

25 Days Of Christmas Music 2018: Day 9

Hi, Everybody!!!  Welcome back to the countdown.

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Vintage Christmas card image found on Pinterest (original source unknown). 

We lost today’s artist, Roy Orbison, 30 years ago this month.  He started his career in the late 1950’s at Sun Records but eventually moved to Monument Records in the 1960’s where he met Willie Nelson, who wrote today’s song.  The 1980’s saw Orbison in a  career resurgence thanks to his part in the super group, Traveling Wilburys.  Bruce Springsteen is a huge fan of his, even immortalized Orbison in “Thunder Road”  (“…as the radio plays…Roy Orbison singing for the lonely…”) and inducted him into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987.  Springsteen and several other musicians took part in HBO’s “Roy Orbison & Friends:  A Black & White Night” which was filmed a year before Orbison’s death.

He began his career singing emotional ballads in an almost operatic style underscored by his wide vocal range.  Many of his songs were about lost love (“Crying”) or losing love (“Running Scared”) or just admiring someone probably out of his league (“Oh Pretty Woman”).  Even his one contribution to holiday music is sad, but the chance to hear his fabulous unique voice anytime of year is worth it.

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Roy Orbison circa 1960 (original source unknown). 

Roy Orbison:  “Pretty Paper“(1963).

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, happy listening!!!

25 Days of Christmas Music 2018: Day 1

Hello, everybody!!!

Thanksgiving is behind us (great parade as always, especially the Peanuts and Santa floats) and so is the fall finale of “This Is Us” (if you have not watched it yet, I have three words for you-ERIS BAKER.  WOW.).  So that brings us to that magical time of year again:  my 25 Days of Christmas music countdown.  Yay!!!

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Found on Pinterest (original source unknown).

I am just starting to decorate my place, and I will not get my tree until next week, so I will start sharing pictures of my decor then.  But I am definitely getting into the holiday spirit by listening to all-Christmas-music-all-the-time radio stations as well as researching holiday songs on YouTube.  How about you?  What is getting you in the holiday spirit?

To start us off, I went with the man I have loved and adored since I was 12 years old.  He has been all over the news this last week for a few reasons.  First, because the new issue of Esquire came out.  Say it with me:  SAAAAAA-WOOOOOOON.

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Second, his Netflix special is set to air on Sunday, December 16 (see the trailer here), the day after his historic Tony award-winning Broadway show comes to an end after 15 months.  If you were not lucky enough to see this show live (like I was, thank you God) or you need to see it again to savor every word, every note, every emotion  (again, like me), then this is your chance.  To me, the show was like his song “Jungleland”:  so beautiful it hurt.  And if you do not like my words, here are some from the NY Times (“There may never be anything as real and beautiful on Broadway” ) and Rolling Stone (“An intimate triumph”, “Compelling and profound”).  Or choose your own words when you watch it for yourself.

Three, his Esquire interview dives deeper into his battle with depression and how his father’s late in life diagnosis as a paranoid schizophrenic made this legend have a conversation with his own three children about what is in their DNA.  I have said this many times before, but it bears repeating:  I love Bruce Springsteen for a multitude of reasons:  His music, his poetry, his heart, his empathy.  But his openness about his and his father’s struggles with mental illness have given this awful, debilitating and unbelievably scary disease a name and a face to be reckoned with.  It has given it more attention, more conversation and more validity when in the past it was viewed as a weakness instead of an illness.  Springsteen’s courage and forthrightness should (hopefully) bring to an end the fallacy and misunderstanding that this illness can be beat if only we were “stronger”.  Wrong.  Strong has no more effect on mental illness than placebos have on cancer.  A disease must be treated, not simply willed away.  So thank you, Bossman, for once again giving us exactly what we need with your carefully chosen and profound words.  It is a debt no honest man can pay, to quote you.

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So let’s celebrate this man and this season with his two contributions to holiday playlists everywhere.

Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

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, happy listening!!!

 

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.

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.

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!!!

 

 

 

 

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!!!