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Posts Tagged ‘nicole atkins’

Did you know that there’s actually a certain number of days after a tragic event when it becomes socially acceptable to make a joke about it? I know, I didn’t either, but statisticians study these things, what else have they got to do? It seems that Lincoln actually joked about the Civil War while it was still going on, which if you ask me is gauche. We’ve all heard of gallows humor, but that takes it to a new level. The number is 19; 19 days after the event. We all wondered how Jay Leno and Dave Letterman would be able to do their stand-up routine after 9/11. Good comedians find a way.

One of my favorite authors, a gal I sat across from at some country club luncheon soon after moving to VA while she was touring her book around, has started interviewing writers. Kelly Corrigan has begun a new series for Medium called “Foreword” with a guy who is also a stand-up comedian and wrote for the Office, the irrepressible BJ Novak! In fact, that’s how I found out about the discreet number of days it takes for us to laugh, and begin healing just when we thought the laughter died.

It’s not as if the interview doesn’t broach serious questions. Among them: How can an artist be funny about painful subjects? The mood, however, is refreshingly light and lively, and the drinking and profanity help keep it from getting too stuffy. Novak also shows his exquisite comic timing throughout. (He is, after all, a stand-up comedian who was a member of the Harvard Lampoon.) Rather than toss Novak a series of boilerplate questions, Corrigan asks, for instance, “If your mother wrote a book about you, what would it be called?” Novak’s reply: “His Ambition Makes Me Anxious, But I’m So Proud.”
http://www.sfgate.com/books/article/Foreword-a-fresh-new-digital-series-for-6003601.php?cmpid=fb-desktop

Novak talks about the “…shock of recognition and catharsis” when he tries to explain why the dark side of humor can be so funny. We think of Seinfeld and Louis CK telling it like it is, saying the things we are all thinking but too afraid to say out loud. I can’t wait for Kelly’s next interview with two other exceptional writers – NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof and California author Anne Lamott.

Meanwhile today a cow charged my car on my way to Starbucks. It didn’t seem funny at the time, in fact I was on the phone with a 911 operator for 10 minutes because it was altogether likely somebody would plow into the cow; so I turned around and led the cow up our twisty-turny mountain road. “What does it look like?” “Brown with a white face.” “Does it have a tag in its ear?” “Ummmm, no?” The funny thing is, this is the second time I’ve found a lone cow on the loose!
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Switching from comedy to music, just in case you missed the Rocker’s turn on The Late Show with David Letterman, here it is! He hung out with Jeff Goldblum in the green room, and Letterman said “That was fantastic!” Nicole Atkins “War Torn” was anthemic; she did an outstanding job singing her heart out and the drummer, Chris, later thanked me for letting them practice in my garage all those years ago during high school. You’re welcome boys!! My epitaph will read, “Here lies a woman who let a metal band practice in her garage.”

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What goes around…

Underneath my 1966 high school yearbook picture is the caption, “Dover today, Broadway tomorrow.” It was good to have a friend on the yearbook staff, thank you Bess, but in my defense I did try out for every single play in high school. From Freshman year when I was a CanCan girl dancer in Oklahoma, to Senior year playing Adelaide to Bob’s Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, (Achoo) you just can’t make this stuff up. And whatever part of the right side of our brain that’s responsible for creativity, well that part was squared when the Rocker was born.

He would practice the violin while our Corgi howled right next to him. He spent hours filming stop-action cartoons in our garage. Later on, in middle school in the mid 90s, he would design websites for his friends. He started his first band with his buddy Alex around the same time. I was deep into filming dance aerobics workouts for our local cable channel, while Bob played old 60s music extremely loud in the background of the Rocker’s early life. In fact, Bob said the only way he could calm him down as an infant was to blast Led Zeppelin in the car.

So I am happy to announce that the Rocker is going back out on tour this week. He’ll be playing guitar with Nicole Atkin’s band http://nicoleatkins.com/home/ and his old friend Christopher will be on drums. They will share the stage with the Avett Brothers again, and open for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. My son will visit his sister in Nashville on the 16th when they play TN Music City Roots – they will also be filming for PBS to benefit the Nature Conservancy. http://musiccityroots.com/events/

He’ll be onstage for his birthday this summer, so chances are he’ll have a big crowd singing “Happy Birthday.” All the while working on The Parlor Mob’s reunion shows this Fall and scoring music for film on the road. http://www.davidjamesrosen.com Unfortunately, he’s going to miss his Grandma Ada’s second 90th birthday bash in NJ (the first was in Mexico), and I can’t tell you how many people want to sing and dance at her party!

Which makes me think about the Flapper, sneaking out of her bedroom window in Scranton, PA to dance all night to the Tommy Dorsey band. Later in the 20s, Tommy joined his brother Jimmy in a band they called the Scranton Sirens. Later still, as a dowager on Lake Minnetonka, my brother Mike had Cab Calloway play piano for our Mother. The rest of that jazz is history

…it comes around.

The Rocker was named after Sue’s father, and got off a plane from Mexico with Ms Cait to attend her funeral. I like to think he was her favorite cousin.    photo

 

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It’s a revival! A reunion? No, it’s revolutionary news, The Parlor Mob is getting back together! Granted we got the inside scoop from a flying buddy of Bob’s back in NJ. His kids are seriously into my son’s old band, the pilot wanted to know if the band was reuniting and so Bob said, “I’ll have to get back to you on that.”

So we called the Rocker up pronto. And sure enough, it seems Live Nation really really wanted them to headline a few shows in the Fall. So while one guitarist is married and expecting a baby any day now (Big Congrats Paul!), he was on board; and our tall, lanky guitarist and Sam the Drummer didn’t have to do much to convince Mark the singer to say “Yes.”  http://www.app.com/story/entertainment/music/2014/06/09/parlor-mob-returns-live-dates-new-music/9863341/

The big news is that the Rocker and Paul had a few songs percolating in their fingers. So they are releasing a new EP “Cry Wolf” before their shows around the NJ/NY area, oh and one up in Boston. Lately the Rocker has been backing up his friend, Nicole Atkins, and after playing in the UK and just this past weekend with the Avett Brothers on the East Coast, he’s looking forward to playing again with his band of brothers.

You can hear their new single “The Day You Were Born” http://www.parlormob.com streaming live on their website. Needless to say I’m ecstatic since I love these guys. Tickets go on sale Friday

“I think you take things away from all of the other projects you take on when you’re away and you bring them back, in this case, to the Parlor Mob,” added Rosen. “We’ve just been doing so many different types of musical things that it adds a whole bunch of new musical influences for us. So, coming back to the Parlor Mob is old hat for us, now. We’ve all stayed friends and we’ve been hanging out, but to finally get together and make noise again has been fun. We fell right back into it pretty easily.”

My son’s been making noise since the day he was born, and it’s always been music to my ears! Rock on baby boy, we are so proud of you. Here he is on Sunday with Nicole and the Avetts in Portsmouth, VA.   IMG_0684

 

 

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I’m not talking about college hoops. Although I must say I felt rather conflicted when VA beat Duke for the ACC title 72 – 63 on Sunday. And it was the first time since 1976 that UVA brought that trophy home. When your husband and daughter went to Duke undergrad, and you find yourself living in Charlottesville because that’s where she went to medical school, along with the Groom who is a “lifer” (both VA undergrad and med), you can understand why my alliances were in conflict.

The madness I’m referring to is the third death that’s been reported of a critically injured person from the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, TX. When we heard that two people died on the scene, my ears tingled. Remember the Rocker is there playing in Nicole Atkins’ band. I didn’t panic, I didn’t call him immediately. In fact, my first reaction was rage. How could the police have chased this drunk driver right into a crowded street, right into a line of people waiting to get into a club? Yes, the drunken/killer made the decision to drink and get into a car, he was responsible for dozens of injured people and now three deaths.

But that cop who was in pursuit presumably wasn’t impaired.He must have had some training about how to apprehend a guy fleeing a sobriety checkpoint that wouldn’t involve chasing his car into a crowd and killing innocent people.  http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-17/news/chi-sxsw-austin-car-hits-crowd-20140317_1_southern-mississippi-sxsw-austin

So I casually texted the Rocker, “How’s SXSW going?” This wasn’t his first time at the Austin festival. The Parlor Mob blew through town a few times in the past…”It’s fun for us!” You can see they were head bangin, long hair, hard rock playing back then!

Here’s a clip from a month ago with Nicole. That’s the Rocker over there on the left. His hair is considerably shorter…My son texted back, “Just played the last show, we leave for Dallas tomorrow morning.”

Being on tour, on the road day and night isn’t easy. Don’t cry me a river, but I’m serious. They drive all day, do a sound check, maybe get something to eat and by now the bar food isn’t bad, then they play till the wee hours, get some sleep and get up early to hit the road again. I know he’ll be staying with his sister in Nashville this weekend. At least they didn’t get this last snowstorm. I just hope he has a little time to play with our Love Bug. She’s just starting to sing, and her dance moves are adorable! http://mercylounge.com/calendar/venue/highwatt/2014/03/22/nicole-atkins/

So stay warm and safe out there on the road son. Tell me if you met Lena Dunham, or you listened to Edward Snowden’s Skype chat. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/10/288601356/live-edward-snowden-speaks-to-sxsw And GO DUKE!

The morning aviary view

The morning aviary view

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Time stands still for no man, or woman, except for this week – I wish it would just linger a little. Last week, we traveled from Eastern, through Central to Mountain Time in Cabo, losing two hours. And now we must fidget with our clocks again, Spring Ahead this weekend, and gain an hour of evening light. What’s a girl to do?

In general, “losing” an hour in the spring is more difficult to adjust to than “gaining” an hour in the fall. It is similar to airplane travel; traveling east we lose time. An “earlier” bedtime may cause difficulty falling asleep and increased wakefulness during the early part of the night. Going west, we fall asleep easily but may have a difficult time waking. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/coping-with-time-changes

So that’s why I was staying up till midnight after our vacation, my circadian rhythm had shifted with the sun. But returning home with a full-blown flu-like illness, which left me napping at odd hours and waking all through the night in order to try breathing, has left me wondering. How does all this this sleep-shifting affect our health?

If you’re alive, you know what sleep deprivation feels like. The Rocker suffered from one ear infection after another when he was born. For six whole months I didn’t sleep more than two hours at a time because I was nursing and being very stoic about help. When his ear drum turned the corner, and I slept for six hours straight, I told Bob he wouldn’t have to commit me after all. That’s the closest I ever came to crazy. That’s what most people who torture people for a living know; keep the lights on and the music blaring. That’ll do it.

I hope the Rocker has adjusted to turning around one day after returning to NJ, to fly to LA and pick up on Nicole’s tour out West. It’s really only an hour’s change from Mexico, and he’s young. *see below for dates!

In order to Save Some Daylight, we’ll all be waking up an hour earlier this Monday. We’ll be groggy and just slightly flustered, trying to compare the new time to the old, making sure all our clocks have been adjusted, our smoke alarm batteries changed. We might need an extra cup of coffee to get going. But think about the positive, those long summer nights to come…I like to think about that since we still have snow on the ground and a chill in the air in VA. I’m happy to put this polar vortex in the rear view mirror.

The experts say it should only take a day to adjust our bodies to a one hour time change. But they don’t say much about traveling through two time zones, getting sick and adding a dose of daylight savings time too. Let’s take this opportunity to refine our sleep hygiene. Get all those tech gizmos out of the bedroom, eliminate alcohol and caffeine at night, and develop some calming bedtime habits.

And for all parents out there with a baby, like our Love Bug, who likes to wake up with the birds, rejoice! Their circadian rhythm will finally align with yours, and “…peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.” Let the sun shine in.

Mar 6, 2014 8:00 AM
Singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins recently released Slow Phaser, her latest record. In commemoration, The A.V. Club has the premiere of the video for one of the album’s best tracks, “Girl You Look Amazing.” A riff on modern Instagram society, “Girl You Look Amazing” plays on the idea of a person having a seemingly fabulous digital life while, in actuality, actually being kind of sad.Atkins has some dates on the horizon—including some with Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds—and those are listed below. Slow Phaser is available on iTunes now.

Nicole Atkins Tour 2014

March 5—Bootleg Theatre—Los Angeles, California *
March 6—Soda Bar—San Diego, California *
March 8—Musical Instrument Museum—Phoenix, Arizona *
March 9—Outpost Performance Space—Albuquerque, New Mexico *
March 12—The Conservatory—Oklahoma City, Oklahoma *
March 13-16—SXSW—Austin, Texas *
March 17—Dan’s Silverleaf—Denton, Texas *
March 20—The Nick—Birmingham, Alabama *
March 21—Hi-Tone—Memphis, Tennessee *
March 22—High Watt—Nashville, Tennessee *
March 23—Terminal West—Atlanta, Georgia *
March 25—Evening Muse—Charlotte, North Carolina *
March 26—Ram’s Head—Annapolis, Maryland *
March 27—Johnny Brenda’s—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania *
July 19—Moody Theater—Austin, Texas ^
July 21—Mahalia Jackson Theater—New Orleans, Louisiana ^
July 23—DAR Constitution Hall—Washington, D.C. ^
July 25—The Mann Center—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ^
July 26—Celebrate Brooklyn—Brooklyn, New York ^
July 29—Masonic Temple Theater—Detroit, Michigan ^
July 31—Sony Centre—Toronto, Ontario ^
* with Arc Iris
^ with Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds

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We lost a legend today, banjo pickin folk singer Pete Seeger died at the age of 94. We grew up on his songs: “Where Have All the Flowers Gone;” and “To Everything Turn Turn Turn, there is a season;” and “If I had a Hammer.” I remember hearing the Byrds play “Turn Turn Turn” live at MIT in Boston in 1967. Before the Beatles invaded, Seeger had been singing about the plight of Everyman and because he was a Communist, he suffered the economic consequences of poverty first hand. His band, the Weavers, was banned from the airwaves of the 1950s.

“Pete Seeger towered over the folk scene like a mighty redwood for 75 years. He travelled with Woody Guthrie in the 1940s, stood up to Joe McCarthy in the 50s, marched with Dr Martin Luther King in the 60s. His songs will be sung wherever people struggle for their rights. We shall overcome.” Billy Brag via Twitter.

Seeger’s legacy is a lesson to modern musicians. You don’t have to just reflect history, you can change it if you stay the course. UnknownDid you watch the Grammys? I turned it off, and not just because Downton Abbey was about to start, though that was a perfectly good reason. You know I love Mrs Carter (aka Beyonce), but her Flashdance chair opening left me wanting to channel surf. First of all they bleeped half the lyrics, and then the production took over. I love that she’s a feminist, that she dropped her own album on the world, without benefit of a major label, but only a star with Beyonce’s following can afford to produce a record, only a star who is worth 850 Million with her rapper husband JayZ.

It seems that now behind every hit song, including “Roar” and “Wrecking Ball” is a magical mogul named Doctor Luke. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/10/14/131014fa_fact_seabrook  Sometimes I cringe knowing that a catchy pop tune is just a template that some con artist dreamed up. At least Beyonce and JayZ collaborated with a group to come up with “Drunk in Love.” And awarding the Best New Song of the Year to a young singer, Lorde for “Royals” — Joel Little & Ella Yelich O’Connor, songwriters – was a step in the right direction.

Since the Rocker’s been in the business, I got  a close and personal look at how the music industry has changed. I understand why Prince is suing 22 people for 22 Million for pirating his music http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25927363 The only way for young musicians today to make a living is to hit the road, to sell merchandise and build a fan base, Because they get just pennies on the dollar of every download, and most people are listening to Spotify and Pandora for free. Album CD sales are lagging, technology is pushing the change, but a ray of hope can still appear.

New Jersey artist Nicole Atkins has decided to fight back. I wrote about her before, when she was dating a member of the Rocker’s band and driving cross country in a van. Called a female Roy Orbison, when she appeared on David Letterman last year, he actually walked up to her and shook her hand, “That was great, that was beautiful, wasn’t it boys,” something he rarely does with an artist. Her voice is as smooth as sea glass and her moods as gritty as Jersey sand. She went ahead with the help of a crowdfunding site, Pledge Music, to produce her new album, “Slow Phaser.”  It’s scheduled to be released next month and you can pre-order on iTunes here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/slow-phaser/id778534906

President Clinton called Pete Seeger an “inconvenient artist.” IMHO, we need more of them!

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As parents of young children, we try to make every game, see every recital, soak up every bit of our child’s life while we can. We know deep down it doesn’t last long. In no time their friends will take our place; there will be sleepovers and soon some boy who looks like he’s 12 will show up at the door to drive them somewhere. If we are lucky, we may still hear about a bit of success along the way. Some children tell us of their failures, most will keep their own counsel, not wanting to worry us.

I thought it was funny this weekend when I “heard” via twitter that my son the Rocker played on the same stage as the Boss. Maybe it’s boys. Boys don’t chatter on about relationships, they don’t usually dissect their friends’ love lives. I remember reading once if you wanted to talk with your son, first engage them in something physical. You know, wash the car together, or clean up the garage. I remember long car rides to his hockey games where we did manage to talk. Back then, it seemed like his duffel bag filled to the brim with his ice hockey gear was bigger than he was.

Since my son’s band, the Parlor Mob, broke up, I only hear about bits and pieces of his working life. The Bride can always call Bob to discuss some course of medical treatment, the latest emergent intervention for stroke patients or whatever. We Facetime quite a bit with the Love Bug. But with the Rocker, I hear about his music as an aside; “I’ve got a deadline on this commercial,” or “I’m doing a PBS film about a photographer you might have heard of?” I learn what can be included in his IMDB status, and what can’t, and I know that he’s always playing guitar in one or another of his friends’ bands.

So living just a mile away from Bruce Springsteen in NJ we’d often cross paths. At the gym, at the drug store, or at the movies. But I was never formally introduced to him, he wouldn’t know me even though I wrote a weekly column about our town in the local paper. There was no picture on my byline. There was no online access. I knew people who “knew” him personally, but it just never happened. Which is kind of weird, cause like people who read my column religiously, I felt like I knew him. His music was ingrained in my soul.

This past weekend the Rocker and his friend Sam, who was the drummer from Parlor Mob, played for his friend Nicole Atkins at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park, NJ. I’ve talked about Nicole before, she has an incredible voice, and a new album “Slow Phaser” about to drop. http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/nicoleatkins/updates/31296?utm_campaign=project6348&utm_medium=activity&utm_source=twitter

It was the “Light of Day” concert to benefit Parkinson’s Disease.  http://www.nj.com/entertainment/music/index.ssf/2014/01/nicole_atkins_to_enliven_light_of_day_in_asbury_park.html

And the Boss was in the wings watching their set. As they were leaving, he was introduced to Bruce who shook his hand and said, “You’re a great guitarist.” Since I follow Nicole on twitter, I knew the Boss was there, so I called my son.

And now, I can die happy.

The Rocker with Uli

The Rocker with Uli

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My son the Rocker and his sweetheart Ms Cait were here over the weekend. We defied Gravity in IMAX 3D, then descended over 100 feet to another eerie landscape in the caverns of Luray, VA. I pretty much knew from the moment he was born, this baby boy liked action and adventure. What i didn’t know when his band, Parlor Mob, broke up last year was that he’d not only pursue music for film, but he’d continue to support and play music with his friends in the burgeoning arts scene of Asbury Park and beyond…

All the way to Brooklyn this Friday! While cooking another one of his favorite dishes, he casually asked me if I liked Norah Jones. “Yes,” I gushed like a teenage mutant fan, “I love her!” Well it seems Norah’s got a side project, it’s her band Puss N Boots. And he’ll be onstage with her Friday night at the Bowery Electric, since he’ll be playing guitar for an old friend, Nicole Atkins. You remember Nicole, I called her a “… stunning performer with an incredible voice.” https://mountainmornings.net/2011/05/22/hello-apocalypse-no/ And Nicole is headlining!

http://www.theboweryelectric.com/Promotions/cbgb-festivalnicole-atkins-puss-n-bootsbad-girlfriend-the-prettiots/

It’s times like these when I really miss my Jersey Shore life: hoping a train to the city for a concert or a play; walking my Corgis past egrets nesting in trees; waiting for the drawbridge in Sea Bright to deliver us to the beach. Small pleasures that amounted to a life filled with possibility. But I can’t complain, at least I’ll stop complaining right now. Just because I caught a doozy of a cold from my lovely husband Bob, and I’ll have to miss my son’s side project with Nicole, doesn’t mean I can’t fly away in my mind, and play a little Norah on my old fashioned CD player;

Come away with me in the night
Come away with me
And I will write you a song

Come away with me on a bus
Come away where they can’t tempt us
With their lies

Lyrics from <a href=”http://www.elyrics.net”>eLyrics.net</a&gt;

I wonder who was tempting her with their lies? Because I can’t even watch the news anymore, and all the lying going on about who’s holding our government hostage. Wake up. It’s about 40 perverse Republicans who think they can ignore the constitution and walk us off the edge of solvency. I think these guys need to be furloughed without pay. And since they seem to operate with impunity, we need to fix the gerrymandering that created these districts of bloody red zealots.

Let’s teach them how to live without benefits, with part-time work and side projects to make ends meet. That would be a real life lesson for Ted Cruz and his cronies. We need leaders like those WWII vets who stormed the monuments in DC.  http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/ted-cruz-blasted-by-angry-gop-colleagues-government-shutdown-97753.html

 

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