We Still Have Then but All We Need is Now…

In 1982, I gave birth to my son, Eric…I had him on my 20th birthday in fact–and even though there are times when the old grouch gets pissed off, he’s still the best birthday present I ever had.   I didn’t give a damn about the politics of the day. I didn’t give a damn what people thought of me too much then–and still don’t…Gee…I wonder where 2 of my kids get that from? I’m smiling sheepishly as I remember those days…I liked bowling, dancing, walking about and above all–writing and listening to music.

While 1982 was a banner year, it was also a year of loss. Hell, we lost Marvin Gaye. Now with all the crap going on, “What’s Going On?” really comes to mind here…Forget the “Sexual Healing” bit…He got a lot of accolades for that one but I still say “What’s Going On?” is one of his best.

I can say a lot about 1982 right now…first it was a “Thriller”…. 1982, I was so “Caught Up in You”.  I loved it loud then, and “I Love It Loud” now.  I wonder if “Jack and Diane” ever got into saying “If You Want My Love” to each other?  If they did, maybe it was in the “Heat of the Moment”.

I do know if they had tried to pass the Patriot Act in 1982 there would have been a loud “I Can’t Go For That” being screamed in D.C.  Has anyone ever figured out what the “Young Turks” needed to be free from yet? Just wondering.  However as far as men and women go, I haven’t heard anyone trying to use “I’ve Been Waiting for a Girl Like You” as a  pick up line in a bar yet…

We have learned that it is best to take the advice Rick Springfield gave us…”Don’t Talk to Strangers” because serial killers do not make it “Hurt So Good” now do they?  Funny how when we were young we didn’t seem to worry about too much of that stuff, or did we?  Well I know I didn’t.  I do know that my exes were never “Always on My Mind” when I got enough balls to say “Goodbye to You”.

Well whatever went on in “Allentown”–it wasn’t “Sexual Healing”…Hedonism was the furthest thing from the imagination in that part of the country as well, I think.  However, there was some “Tainted Love” going on until someone decided to “Shake It Up” a bit when they found out their sweetheart was the “Centerfold”–that is, until someone younger came along and the agent said “Abracadabra” and that model got replaced by a younger one a few years later…

Some also said “I Ran Away” because it was “Hard for Me to Say I’m Sorry”.  I can fully prove that was a lie. I just opted for the “Thriller” of a time when someone asked “Don’t You Want Me”? I said no and then turned back to my ultimate love at the time…I mean, most who know me will be the first to tell you that “I Love Rock N Roll”–which left “Rosanna” slightly perplexed as in counseling, she thought I wanted to be a writer and not a rock star.

In music, there was always harmony between “Ebony and Ivory”–until the hair bands told everyone else to “Beat It”. So what did the rest of us young fools do? We went to “Rock the Casbah” while possessing the “Eye of the Tiger”!  We got so “Physical” in that fight that we left “Billie Jean” perplexed and lying in the dust!

And after that fight, we were “Hungry Like the Wolf”….

Well that was a long time ago. And now that I’ve compiled this morbidly insane  list from ONE video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAGYIvg1FHk  in order to complete this writing exercise, with the exception of “Hungry Like the Wolf”– which is included because, quite simply, I know it came out in 1982, I hope you enjoyed this ridiculous trip down memory lane since I was under immense “Pressure” to hurry up and get it done prior to going to bed…By the way, “Pressure” by Billy Joel is not in the video either which surprises me because it was a damned good song!   I should know…I didn’t forget my birthday that year or the fact I gave birth to Eric then!

However, in the present “All You Need is Now”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X3O4PCP5MM     In fact, that is all I need too.  Have a great night!

Another Year and I Still Think of You…

Dear Jay:

I wish you were here to share this with but you are not. A lot has happened since you went away. I thought of you when I heard a high school band playing a while back and how we marched on to make a 1 at UIL back then…Those were the days, man…I remember the pride we had in our work, and the times we were on top of the world when we did do well! I also remember the spirit of unity our band had back then. Those days made getting up and going to school worth it.

I remember going to your mom’s house for those awesome lunches too when she had the food stand! She and several others kept me going, even when it got tough and I’ll be forever grateful to them all for that. Knowing that you went to the ends of the Earth to get your son is an inspiration to me. I am grateful that you had such a wonderful and fulfilled life. You have a wonderful family and they will continue to carry your torch for your son until he can carry it on his own.

I am sure you are having a grand time celebrating today! Happy birthday, my friend…And just so you know, I may be going to another end of the Earth soon enough…I may be going to China for a while. This is the second time I’ve been approached on the idea. This time I may do it.

Tina

 

Kadja Cries When She Sees This…

Even though I am grown, the little girl in me still has her triggers.  This song is one of those triggers.  However it is an important song and every word of it rings true. I can relate to Alyssa, but I was more fortunate. I lived to tell you my story. Please do not wait until it is too late to act on behalf of a child. You might be the only voice that can reach into the right places to save a life.  Please watch the video and don’t go off on religion because what your belief system is isn’t the issue here.  The genre of music you prefer is also not the issue here.  The message of this song is an important one. It was then, and it is now.

I was abused at home and bullied at school.  I know the reality of such an existence and NO child should ever go through the things I have endured.  To this day I do not associate much with former classmates.  Why? They are triggers. They may very well be different people now, but the place and seeing them still triggers memories of a time and a place that made me stronger–but it also made me a very non-trusting individual in my later years.  Some of my classmates are friends, but there are those I avoid for a reason.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLh5vbBLpxI

Peace, Art, Anime and Harmony–Some Thoughts from Nana

I want to share with you something I find to be amazing, but first I want to state WHY I think it is amazing. First, disregard the politics because in the art world, at least in my opinion, our political issues should be set aside. We must all live together and work together–and no people should be held responsible for things done by their governing bodies with which one may or may not agree because that is not fair to the artists, the dreamers, the musicians or the actors and actresses in those countries…They also have a profound respect for artists in other countries as well, so that kindness should be reciprocated. Maybe in the world of art and entertainment, we can one day build a bridge that will make the leaders realize that the arts are vital because of what they can bring–a thing called “Harmony”.

Watch this scene from the 2004 version of “The Alamo“…Two sides in conflict are preparing for a last battle. Granted this was dramatic license taken by the writers, but it makes a valid point. There can be harmony with the rest of the world, even if we cannot always find it within our own borders. The lesson to be learned is the very last line that Billy Bob Thornton delivers in this scene–despite the fact that it was foreshadowing certain doom…Once you see this scene, please pause and think for a minute afterward.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c24zIkPnLYI

I have thought long and hard about this issue. I want my grandson to know a peaceful world, where people can exchange ideas and work side by side to make this planet we live on a better place in the future.  I am hoping that by the time he is in school, the political climate we are now experiencing  in this country will have improved.  I feel that one way to achieve this is to open our hearts to our fellow artists around the world.  Have a great night all! And please enjoy the link to the page below–especially if you like anime…China has some very talented artists, that’s for sure.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/VASOON-ANIMATION-COLTD/118462548168784

Nana Says, Pink Hit the Nail on the Head with this Song…WARNING: ***Vernacular in the 1st video***

This is the UNEDITED version of “F– Perfect” by Pink…For anyone who is totally misunderstood, this says it all. Thank God I didn’t have to go to the lengths this character did to find her way. I learned a long time ago that compromising one’s self is never the answer. Never did that and never will. It only leads to misery and that is why I cut a lot of people from my life this year and I certainly don’t regret that because new doors opened once I did! 2012 was a great year for me! A lot got put into perspective for me, that’s for sure. And for anyone feeling down on themselves this time of year, don’t.  Things ARE going to get better and you don’t have to let that which is temporary defeat you. However sometimes you have to pull yourself up by the bra straps or bootstraps…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocDlOD1Hw9k

HERE is the clean version for those who don’t like vernacular:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sRM39rHoB8

One of the most inspiring things about Pink is that she stands her ground and her voice rocks!

Where has all the Music Gone?

 

No…Video did not kill the radio star…The DJ’s stopped playing the music that really matters.  In fact, reality TV killed all of it–as did all the electronic “fixes” for everything…Where are the real bands that have the skills to play real instruments?  All of the electronic inventions and such since the 1980’s have hurt music–not helped it.  Fewer people are learning how to play instruments and of those that do, where are they going to work if they decide they want to be a musician?  A friend of mine who has 30+ years experience asked me that question.

I’d rather hear a real band over the electronic synthesized fill in versions any day of the week.  I like jazz and blues festivals because I get to hear a lot of live music–without all the gadgets…I also listen to SOME country music–not all.  And I still love rock and metal. I just won’t drive to a lot of it…Too many tickets! LOL!  I heard this one day and said, “My god…He’s got a real band backing him!”  My faith in the music world is restored but only to a point.  We need more real bands regardless of the genre.  No amount of electronic alteration can duplicate the sound of a live band…It’s that simple…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv11VWnEv4I&feature=relmfu

And yes…This guy, Ben Cross,  does do the genre justice… 😉

Ironically, even with the advent of the 80’s scene, I like a lot of that music too–and some of it was a bit loaded with the synthesized sound…When I cover those, I don’t want that sound. It’s better to have it the way it was meant to be.  The 90’s brought SOME improvement but not much…It seems to now have reverted a bit again. At least it does to me.   That being said, this is an 80’s song that totally kicks ass and can be covered by a female if done correctly…This girl is on it now–and is going to be getting a vocal coach after all these years. Got lots of lost time to make up for–or die trying!  Have a great weekend!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yf_Lwe6p-Cg

My high school sweetheart put this on the net the other day so I’m sharing it. It was taken in 1980…My first thought was, “Holy crap! We actually wore that back then?!” Either way, it’s a year I am glad I would NEVER relive…’81 was better…In fact, I would NOT want to relive my youth. My life is better now than it has ever been and I don’t look back much–until someone sends a reminder…Then I look quickly and close that book again.

And just for the record, I don’t think the music has gone so much as I think it’s being covered up by reality TV, which is why MTV sucks and VH1 blows monkey chunks.  It’s time to quit glorifying people’s private lives and get back to airing the real music already!

 

A Little Flash to the Past

Some conveniences are ones I really don’t need during certain times of the year. I prefer line-drying my clothes in the spring and summer…My grandmother did it and my clothes seem to feel cleaner and smell fresh that way.  Many days I spent at her house when she was hanging clothes out to dry and it was time I got to spend with her.  Now in the winter it’s a different story, but when I hang things out here, I think of her and those times.

I remember the Sunday dinners where “the horde” came to eat–and I’m referring to 30 + people. We’d watch football or music shows depending on what was on TV.   On Saturday Night it was usually “Hee Haw“, “The Grande Old Opry”, “The Happy Goodmans” or some other music show the grand parents watched.  My grandfather didn’t care if it was religious or if it was a Mariachi band on TV, he’d watch it anyway.  To my knowledge, he wasn’t particularly religious either.

We used to ride to Mann’s Grocery with him in the old truck.  He’d buy me a Pepsi or Dr. Pepper…One of the favorite drinks was Nu-Grape on a hot day too.  He had his own little silver flask behind the seat of the truck.  On one particular day he pulled that out and said, “This is Grandpa‘s soda water but don’t tell  your Granny I have it!”  I just kind of blew that off.  Well my brother went and told Granny about it and she came UNGLUED!  She was really mad that he drove us in the truck and drank at all.

She knew the dangers of drinking and driving, but back in those days it wasn’t uncommon for people to drink their alcohol behind the wheel.  This was around 1970 this happened. I remember it because I wasn’t in Omaha, NE yet…We went there in ”71-72.

Anyway Grandpa thought I TOLD her and yelled at me. I started to cry and Granny came out and yelled, “And she ain’t the one that told me either, Ira! It was Jamie!”  That would be my older brother.   Grandpa said he was sorry but chewed my brother out later!  Needless to say, he never drank out of the flask when we were with him after that.

I can remember the times my uncles acted up at the table too.  She raised 5 boys and a girl (my mom) and I don’t know how on Earth she handled my uncles! They were a trip!  One day I’ll share some of those stories too–but my youngest son Kevin reminds me of a combination of a couple of them…However he got my Granny’s knack for cooking!!! Thank God someone did! I certainly didn’t–and I’m not good at gardening either.  My mom and my Granny could do anything like that!

Something New, Something Different…

There is a new site out there for those in the entertainment industry.  It is called    http://www.mysymphony.biz/   This site is different in that it allows acts looking for work to list themselves in such a way that it is made easier for clubs looking for acts to find them. Why?  They can look them up by county and state. The bands, singers, etc can post an audition video for the managers and club owners to see as well.  Artists keep their rights to material they post and BEST OF ALL, it is a FREE  service.  They can buy/sell material on there and I’m not sure how that part works because I’m not a musician, but it looks good enough to check out.

It also allows actors and such to post acting reels. At the same time, there is a social section, a section to download free programs for those who write and compose music (or to learn how to do so)…Managers can put info up if they want prospective clients to contact them too…To me, it’s a sort of one stop place to try to take care of an entertainer’s needs without having to resort to the trade papers and such as in the old days.  Anyway, do check it out and let the site owner know of any suggestions you have that might improve it for you.  I know he reads all the email and such…Take care and have a good week!

RIP: Whitney Houston 1963-2012

I am deeply saddened over the death of Whitney Houston. I never met her, but she was a part of my 1980’s youth–and I sang her songs to my children and listened to Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin both growing up. My sons are grown now, but they have no idea how she affected so many with that angelic voice. My heart goes out to her friends and family at this time. I just got home from work and I’m still numbed by the news. I couldn’t sing songs tonight I normally do when I went to my usual gig either because I KNOW I would have cried midway. I will say this though….Tomorrow will be a new day–but it won’t be any less sad than it is right now. RIP Whitney.

 

This is how I would like to remember her...She's in the arms of the angels now...

 

 

There Are Still New Acts Out There…But the Roots ALWAYS Rule!

In an age where most bands are beginning to whine way too much for my liking, I’ve turned to my old country roots and to the music my parents listened to as a kid–lots of standards and old movie songs.  My grandparents always had music playing on the television, whether it was the Grand Ol’ Opry or some religious music shows that aired prior.  Then there was always Hee Haw!  I also heard a lot of Frank Sinatra music, Dean Martin and a few others growing up.

Country, blues and jazz have a rich heritage in this country, but in the youth, they don’t have that same fire running through the veins that leads to what inspired some of the greats to write music as they did in years past.  Hard work and ingenuity are now replaced with the internet and mass production of music on such a scale that it seems to me that the market is becoming too saturated with these services to download a lot of music–and many under-deserving artists keep getting over exposure to the point that people cannot stand to listen to them any longer.  Want a good example of how this can happen?  I’ll give you one using a song released in the 1990’s.  Remember My Heart Will Go On from the Titanic soundtrack?  I do! Boy that song kicked ass, but it got waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy too much airplay and that’s what killed it.

I actually miss going to the market and buying the music I want to buy–actually putting my hands on the albums or the cd’s.  If you can remember all the posters of who you thought were great musicians on your walls, that you clipped from Tiger Beat or 16 magazine, then you know the type of feeling I am referring to.  Now in my pre-teens, I confess that I was into the teen idol stuff.  There wasn’t a single girl in my class who didn’t have a huge crush on one of the Osmond Brothers or David Cassidy.  I was the oddball that loved the Jackson 5 too.  You see, parents tended to buy our music and my dad would not let me get the Jackson 5 stuff until I made my own money.  However, he went into deeper shock when I bought George Harrison‘s “All Things Must Pass” album.

At 13 I began to crave real music.  I began writing real lyrics–and to me George Harrison, Paul McCartney and John Lennon were, in the words of young people today, “The shit!” I also love Stevie WonderSongs in the  Key of Life is one of the greatest albums of all time. I hated the world around me and wrote about that for the most part.  I have returned to music after almost 29 years. For a while I stopped because I listened to everyone tell my why I can’t do anything rather than the one voice inside of myself that tells me I can.

What I listen to inspires me, but I cannot sing the music that inspires me to write. I don’t know why.  I’ll listen for hours and never allow a single  note of it to escape my lips…Europe is a whole new world.  The music is different as well. People over there actually enjoy what I enjoy.  I want to share the things with you that made me realize that there is hope for the American music scene yet. One of them is this lady.  Her name is Lara Fabian:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Tg_PTY3nI8

Then there is this guy who seemed to pop out of a box from Bulgaria in 2009…It was still another year before I heard him sing, dammit!

http://www.youtube.com/user/ActorBenCross?blend=21&ob=5

I never knew Ben Cross could sing prior to that…Then again, I lived in a f***ing bunker of my own making.  Sometimes I still hide in it too.  In case you are wondering, he is probably best known over here for his work in Chariots of Fire and for playing Sarek in the last Star Trek film.

Now before you start, don’t start slamming older musicians.  The well ran pretty dry as of late and these musicians still have it going on, man…This guy has a resonating light about him and as long as he has that, I support him–PERIOD.  Some of you younger artists should take a few pointers from him because he has a better tone and range than a lot of us do.  IF you don’t believe me, listen to him.  As for me, I’m too much like Pink…I do what the hell I want and write what the hell I want.  When I need a wake up call, I go to the roots–the old music and Ben does it well.

The THIRD thing came from Lauren Cross.  It was a link to THIS station:

http://www.kcrw.com/music/eclectic24

You can also listen to this  KCRW    These stations have a little more to offer than my usual, eardrum bursting fare!  When riding with me, I tend to listen to what your mother warned you about!  If you dare to let me drive and I’ve got Enter Sandman by Metallica playing, be ready to get stopped because I get tickets every damned time!   The same holds true for when I am playing I Want it All by Queen.

Now I do like hearing the old “Nirvana” music and some Goo Goo Dolls.  John Rzeznik knows how to put a lyric together that messes with my head every time and I like that in a songwriter…It just seems to me that the old fire died out when the 90’s went.  Once in a while, you get a band like Arcade Fire or something but they don’t hang around for too long. Sorry but it is true…Of all the Best New Artist winners at the Grammy Awards in the past 10 years, I see that there are 2-3 acts that got it that NOBODY in the mainstream seems to have heard of–Esperanza Spaulding being the latest…They gave it to Nora Jones too (who did NOT deserve it–sorry) when Averil Levigne should have gotten it.  If you look at the list of who has won, you will see that while they do sell records–the mainstream (working class American) listeners don’t care one iota for their music.  People need to realize that the academy votes on this.  I am glad and surprised that Maroon 5 won when they did.  They are GOOD!

I want to share two more songs with you that I love to listen to.  Here is the first one by Shinedown (Second Chance):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H25ORRgLxdA&feature=fvsr

And here is the 2nd one by Hinder (Lips of an Angel):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiSfTyrvJlg&ob=av2e

These two bands aren’t “special” or “great”…Their sound is honest, raw and pure and that is what I look for in any artist regardless of the genre.   That in mind, I want to mention a  new band from Cross Plains, Texas.  I got the pleasure of meeting them in Mingus, TX the other night.  The band is “Bars Lane”.   IF you are a manager, they need one.  Friend them on FB and get in touch with them, but I do believe they are going to make it.  When you hear this, you’ll know why I am mentioning them on this blog.  Their lyrics are honest and they have a lot more besides this one.  Their drummer wrote the song “Blessed” which I featured below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hLAMLQPDOE

If you guys like Cross Canadian Ragweed, you’ll love Bars Lane, too.  It’s that simple.

Here’s a pic and a link to their FB page too:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bars-Lane/129223883807762

They are also on reverbnation.com  as well.   Have a great week–especially all of you in Texas!  Let’s support these guys!