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Posts Tagged ‘Parlor Mob’

Do you stop to think twice? Or do you leap into new situations, never looking back? This is characteristic of the nature/nurture phenomenon, a temperament that is born-in IMHO. You are either a risk-taker, or a risk-avoider. Look at the baby Rocker. The first time he saw the ocean, he ran right into the waves. Remember he was called “The Boy who ran before he could walk,” so he probably wasn’t even walking yet!

Not every young adult would pack up all his earthly possessions in two cars, convince his girl this is a good idea, and move across the United States to find work in the film industry. Which he did – exhibit A: The new Tarzan trailer, Music and Sound Design by my boy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91rm_G1xkU8

And then there’s the rest of us, we proceed cautiously – my psychologist brother Dr Jim was just telling me about the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM); “The transtheoretical model posits that health behavior change involves progress through six stages of change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance, and termination.” 

My first thought was, ‘this is so meta.’ Let’s think about how we think about changing our lives. But for behavioral psychologists, TTM is helpful when someone has been stuck in a habit, let’s say smoking, for most of his/her life and cannot seem to quit. Or they quit for awhile, and then start back down the road. It’s a way to break down the process of change into manageable, small steps. http://brainblogger.com/2009/01/25/smoking-behavior-and-the-transtheoretical-model-of-the-stages-of-change/

I’ve been thinking about this since returning to the states, and the full-frontal onslaught of political campaigns. We’d been invited to a fundraiser for Secretary Hillary Clinton and unfortunately couldn’t attend, but I’ve been listening closely to her words about the Supreme Court nominee. Lately she’s been tweeting us a very valuable history lesson:

  • At our best, America has united behind the ideal that everyone deserves a fair shot. At its best, the Supreme Court has defended that ideal.
  • In 1973, #SCOTUS ruled that women have the right to make intimate health decisions for ourselves. 
  • In 1954, #SCOTUS held that separate is not equal in our schools.
  • Last June, #SCOTUS ruled that marriage equality was the law of the land.

However her critics want to talk about emails, about trustworthiness, about her abundance of caution. She corrals the press, keeping a tight leash on reporters. She doesn’t want to debate in NY, but will in PA. She just has TOO MUCH confidence! This is what Huffington Post writer, Anna Kegler, said about Hillary’s problem:

While boys are raised to exaggerate their skills, take risks, fall down and pick themselves back up, girls are taught to think things through and second-guess, avoid risk and failure, and not raise their hand unless they’re sure they have the right answer. Lastly, girls absorb from the media that their real value [lies] in their appearance, at the same time that boys absorb the message that girls are not to be trusted.

Could this be the real issue? It’s not that Hillary can’t be trusted, it’s just that she doesn’t suffer from impostor syndrome. “By exhibiting confidence and publicly extolling their own virtues, female politicians running for office break the rules of the game and subvert existing power structures. As a politician, Clinton makes repeated asks for money and votes. Implied at the end of every ask is “because I deserve it,” and often, “more than that white man I’m running against.” http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/03/28/impostor_syndrome_is_expected_of_women_but_hillary_clinton_won_t_conform.html

Hooray for all those non-compliant women out there! Great Gma Ada used to give the Bride money for a report card that had that negative “Does not raise hand before talking” box checked! Good for you, she would say, make your voice heard! We not only wanna have fun, we want to bake and eat those cookies too! And the Rocker, well he wants to jump at the same time! Which is why he can work in Hollywood and still return to Jersey for gigs with his band, The Parlor Mob. 12418059_10154401166989316_7721114401111152149_n

Here’s to all the risk-takers, boys and those girls, the ‘tomboys’ out there who want to have it all. Don’t listen to the critics, climb trees, ride your bikes faster and faster. Reach for the stars, because you too can be President one day.

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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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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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I was going to do a six-worded, pictorial memoir of Spring so far, but there’s just too much going on right now. No, it’s not a shoe sale at Scarpa, or a fox sighting. Although Bob did spot a juvenile fox strolling around the yard yesterday. I’m talking about the big news coming down from the high court this week, about genes.

The US Supreme Court, while thinking that corporations are just like you and me, has decided that our human genes should stay in the public domain. It’s like saying to a patent attorney, “Get lost!” this red hair is mine and I’m keeping it. Pretty much every scientist I know took a collective sigh of relief after this ruling. However in the Association for Molecular Pathology vs Myriad Genetics case, SCOTUS followed up with a coda –  “(synthetic) cDNA is not a “product of nature,” so it is patent eligible under §101. cDNA does not present the same obstacles to patentability as naturally occurring, isolated DNA segments.”  http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-398_1b7d.pdf

Bob explained it to me this way – Let’s say a musician writes a symphony. He/she, and or their company, can patent that song, the sequence of notes that makes the music happen. But the notes themselves cannot be patented; the violins, the drums, the cello and every instrument used to compose that opus cannot be patented, and must stay in the public domain.

The linchpin of this decision, one that may allow for too many loopholes is the phrase that states only when a researcher creates something that is “…not naturally occurring,” then, and only then will they receive a patent. The Court was considering the genetic sequence, in this case, of the BRCA breast cancer gene.

So on one hand the Court is saying that: gene-coded information is what really matters when it occurs “naturally,” and isolating one gene in a sequence is not inventing something new and therefore NOT patentable; but on the other hand, synthetic “cDNA is different from naturally occurring RNA, even though both hold exactly the same genetic information. ”  This is less of a distinction, and more of a contradiction.

But what can we do? Will it help to stem the tide of all those newly minted MD/PhDs out there from going abroad to continue their research? Will it make genetic testing more affordable, like the testing Angelina Jolie decided to have? I once had a genetic test done when I was pregnant with the Rocker. I was 35 and considered an old lady by medical standards, so we traveled to a research facility in CT where a very young doctor inserted a very big needle into my extremely big abdomen.  Something happened in the lab. They never told us what, and only some of the testing was completed; I didn’t know the sex, and only learned that my baby did not have spina bifida. So, they were all ready to make a repeat appointment for me in the OR – they wanted to do a second amniocentesis.

“…amniocentesis is a procedure used to obtain a small sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus to diagnose chromosomal disorders and open neural tube defects (ONTDs) such as spina bifida. There is a small risk of miscarriage associated with amniocentesis which must be balanced with the risk of an abnormality and the patient’s desires.”

I had watched my baby Rocker, on an early ultrasound monitor in 1984, back away from that needle once, and I was not about to do it again. After 3 miscarriages the year before, Bob took one look at me and told the genetic counselor, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Here is my handsome boy at his sister’s wedding, with all 10 toes and 10 musical fingers.J&M  0602

A little history of US Patent Law from 1793 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_United_States_patent_law

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Why is it I’m always drawn to any story about reinvention, or finding your purpose? The woman who worked in a cubicle for years, is now selling goat cheese she makes on her farm. The ex-Governor of NJ, Jim McGreevey, is now advocating for lost women in the prison system and trying to be ordained a priest. For some of us, it’s that small intuitive voice we’ve been ignoring for so long that just has to surface. We’ve been devalued, ignored, unfulfilled. For others, the change doesn’t start within, but comes as a shock, maybe through loss or circumstance. In every life we hit a crossroad, what will you do now?

I thought I would share my son’s story this morning. If you’ve been following along on my journey from the Jersey Shore to the Blue Ridge, you know that we left my then 20 year old behind in college. I think in retrospect, he went to college to please his parents. It was an excellent program at The College of NJ (TCNJ), a new synthesis of computer engineering and design that was planning to include the music department in its curriculum. The Rocker had been in a band almost since he could stand. We insisted he study the violin for 2 years before he acquired his first Fender guitar, at the age of 9. It was the first thing he picked up in the morning, and the last thing he touched at night. He has perfect pitch, so if he heard a song he could play it. And we had wonderful neighbors in Rumson, band rehearsal was always in our garage.

One day when the Bride (who is 5 years older than her brother) came home from college, she sat out in the garage on an old couch and watched that first band. When she came back into the family room she was teary, she said she gets it now. The joy, the passion, the camaraderie. She had always excelled at everything she tried, but she still didn’t know what her major would be in college, what she wanted to be her life’s work. For her brother, there was no question. Music flowed through his fingers and possessed every fiber of his being. I shouldn’t have been surprised when he left TCNJ to play guitar with What About Frank. When the band changed their name to Parlor Mob, it was like a rocket ship took off from NJ and landed in LA at Capitol Records.

But the music business today is fickle. Labels have no time to nurture artists. When Capitol dropped their contract, Warner Brothers signed them to Roadrunner Records. More of a boutique operation, they thrived for years touring Europe twice. You can hear their music in TV shows and at professional sports arenas. We were so proud of the Rocker. We’d tell new friends our daughter was in med school, but the conversation shifted when they learned about our son the Rock Star. I went to some of their shows, and the vibe was amazing. Kids singing along to their songs, rapturous. Their last album “Dogs” was voted “Best Rock Album” in 2011 by iTunes. I was picking out my Grammy dress.

And then slowly, over the past year, the rocket ship paused. One of the guys got married, another wanted his own solo career, and Parlor Mob ended. Like any good mom, I worried, what’s next? Since the Rocker had always done session recordings with friends and performed live in other bands, I knew he had many contacts in the business.

Today my son the Rocker is composing music for film. It’s a new start, but in the same old business, where he can call the shots. His purpose was and always will be to make music, and his talent is celestial. Maybe I better start looking for an Oscar dress.
http://www.davidjamesrosen.com/#!about/mainPage

David is pictured above, looking ahead with Aunt Caitly

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Tomorrow night at the Brooklyn Bowl, my son’s band, Parlor Mob, will be rockin the house. Music plays in his head and makes its way through his fingertips; always has, always will. Did I mention their latest record was voted iTunes “Rock Album of the Year?” Check it out here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dogs-special-edition/id460482531 And if you happen to be in the greater NY area, head on over the bridge!

I wish I could be there. But I’m in the Music City, helping with a baby nursery and cooking for a freezer. I love Nashville and the Newlyweds new home. Plenty of room for their 2 dogs, a baby girl (due August 31st) and her Grandma. Best thing ever, I have my very own 2nd floor suite!

Let’s all tell that baby she has to turn around pronto. She is sitting head up (breech) in the exact same spot her mama settled into when I was about 6 months along and all about natural childbirth. She needs to know that there’s a right way and a wrong way to enter this world. Although come to think of it, whatever she wants to do will be just fine. We can’t wait to meet you sweetheart. Tomorrow it’s off to find a crib mattress! Oh, and we think she will need a piano too.

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Let the Good Times Roll

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