Posts Tagged ‘The Parlor Mob’

Yes, I’m a child of the 60s. That was my coming of age decade. But instead of going to Woodstock and taking the fast lane, I was living the life of a newlywed in Cambridge. MA. Shopping for groceries in the same corner store with Julia Child, walking the cobblestone streets and learning to love New England.

Up until that point I had seen only one band live and in concert. The Byrds, an LA wannabe Beatles-type folk outfit, played at an MIT mixer in 1967; this Freshman at Emerson College was invited by an engineering student. And that was it. No love-ins, no more rock concerts. You might say that I missed out on most of the rock music revolution of my generation.

“Bob went to Woodstock and I went to Westchester.”

But after my divorce and marrying Bob, moving back to NJ in 1985, I had a second chance at the fast lane with NY just a short train ride away and the Garden State Arts Center in our own backyard. My cousin Jamie took me to see the Stones for my 50th birthday. The Boss was a ubiquitous presence in town. And in the 90s, my friend Betsy, who is married to a musician/promoter turned agent, danced in the aisles with me at my first Eagles concert.

In the wake of the Eagles’ guitarist and cofounder Glenn Frey’s death yesterday, I’ve been reliving my life in lyrics. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/glenn-frey-eagles-guitarist-dead-at-67-20160118

Most people don’t know that the Eagles became a band as a direct result of touring with Linda Ronstadt. She was one of my favorites. In fact, Bob and I would sometimes entertain friends at parties singing “Prisoner in Disguise” together, with Bob on guitar and harmony.

You think the love you never had might save you
But true love takes a little time
You can touch it with your fingers
And try to believe your eyes
Is it love or a lie?

Read more: Linda Ronstadt – Prisoner In Disguise Lyrics | MetroLyrics

And the Big Chill would never cease to sing “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” every Thanksgiving – to our kids’ utter disdain – a song made famous by a guy the Eagles threw out of their band!

Recently we cleared out our music system, giving away 30 years worth of speakers and amps. The only thing Bob wanted to keep was the turntable. When I asked my hair stylist what he would buy now for a sound system, he said, “Are you analog or digital?”

Well I’m not sure. I suspect I’m a little of both. We are not “gamers,” and we don’t need a wall of sound set up around the TV. I remember when the Rocker started playing with the Parlor Mob. He had all sorts of pedals to recreate the kind of distortion our early bands had on their albums. After fronting with his first heavy metal band in our garage during high school, I found this new band’s sound somehow achingly familiar. My friend DeeDee even downloaded some of PM’s greatest hits!

I spent the weekend in Nashville, it was a quick grandbaby visit. A chance to catch up on butterfly kisses and teach the Love Bug how to rock the Twist. Yep, I had Chubby Checker on YouTube, and clapped while the Groom played guitar, Buddha Baby pounded a keyboard, and my Bug was on the harmonica.

When you marry an Emergency Physician, you marry a nomad. Bob always thrived on risk and adventure, he loved breezing into a new town and fixing a hospital ED. I was always the opposite, hating to rip out my roots, starting over with “no place to arrive.”  Trying to bloom again every single time

I guess I’m still in the slow lane. RIP Mr Frey.      IMG_3743


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Kinda makes up for that Supreme Court decision that gave Bush a second term, doesn’t it? Just when we think politics is all smoke and mirrors, something like this comes along, and renews my faith in our old republic. Confederate flags are coming down, the Affordable Care Act is here to stay, and love in all shapes, sizes and genders wins! To honor the SCOTUS decision on #MarriageEquality, Facebook friends turned their profiles into one long stream of colorful rainbows.

And an old friend posted this lovely sidebar:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/06/26/justice-scalia-suggests-asking-a-hippie-about-gay-marriage-heres-how-to-find-one-near-you/ It’s funny because the only person who still talks about Hippies in my life is Ada, and now it’s more of a funny, wistful look back at her life raising three sons in the 60s.

Leave it to Chief Justice Tony Scalia to make this analogy, and I’m trying to decipher his meaning here, about Justice Kennedy’s albeit sentimental ruling. We should just ask a “Hippie” what he thinks about the ‘freedom of intimacy” or in other words, in Scaliaworld of Hippie-past, we should all just have us some free love.

He first quoted the majority opinion, which said that “‘the nature of marriage is that, through its enduring bond, two persons together can find other freedoms, such as expression, intimacy, and spirituality.” Then, he added, “Really? Who ever thought that intimacy and spirituality [whatever that means] were freedoms? And if intimacy is, one would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage.” “Ask,” he added, “the nearest hippie.”

Well first of all Tony, I think that spirituality kinda means religion, for those of us not tied to a church. The Post article was so hysterical, I had to share it with my very own Hippie-in-Residence, Bob. His first response was that old Tony is “…an asshole.” His second response was, “Did you see where Hippies live?”

Oh yeah, The data Estately used to round-up their Hippies was based on these variables: “The number of communes and intentional communities per capita in each state, the number of food co-opers per capita in each state, the number of local Etsy stores per capita selling hemp, patchouli and tie-dye products; and the percentage of Facebook users who express interest in the Grateful Dead, Phish, cannabis, tie-dye, peace, LSD, Bob Dylan or hippies.” 

And of course, my Old Woodstock alum mentioned that Vermont was the number one state to find a Hippie! And it just so happens the Rocker will be playing the Friendly Gathering festival in Timber Ridge, Vermont tonight on the Wood Stage with The Parlor Mob http://www.frendlygathering.com/#about

So for all you reformed ex-Hippies, new-age Hipsters, and just plain folks looking to rock out hard, why not take a road trip to the Green Mountains and get your Mob on? http://www.parlormob.comparlor-mob

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Do you ever feel out of step? I hate to admit that our 50th high school reunion will be coming right up next year, because admitting that means the end of an era. The Class of ’66 was the first to stage a protest walk-out, to almost win the Principal of the Year award at a NY radio station. And we were not the first, and probably not the last, to send our young men off to fight a war we had no business fighting.

And for most of us, our Millennial children have paved the road to our Golden Years with lessons in technology. Every time I visit the Rocker, my iPhone gets a complete overhaul. Whenever I return from Nashville, my laptop is clean and moving faster along its wifi/cloud connectivity circuit. And even though I am pretty savvy with social media, sharing my thoughts on life through blogs, Twitter and Facebook, I’ve only recently entered into the non-virtual, non-fiction sharing society.

Now I understand that for some of us this is scary. After all, we’re used to booking hotel rooms when we travel. If you stay at one Hilton in Bermuda, the Hilton in Dallas will be a similar experience. Maybe they’ll have different pictures hanging on the walls. We know what to expect, we become frequent flyers, we humans are creatures of habit. The more adventurous might try staying at a quaint Bed and Breakfast on Martha’s Vineyard. But that’s about it. Until Airbnb.https://www.airbnb.com

I’m about to stay at my second Airbnb. The first time I let my son schedule the whole thing. After all, I was delivering a cat to LA, alone, and had no idea where his neighborhood was, plus he said the hotels were exorbitant. And I was delightfully surprised. The host gave my son the key before I arrived, and there was a bottle of wine waiting for me and coffee in the fridge for the morning. It didn’t matter that the TV was internet/Netlix/Hulu only. I wasn’t there to watch TV, in fact I listened to the Serial podcast on my downtime.

Eventually I met the host and his 3 Pit Bulls! We all had great fun on the patio. I wanted to book with him again, but the time Bob and I will be in California was already booked. Sooo, I started my own Airbnb account and started looking. The Rocker told me it’s all about the reviews – read them! And soon enough, Bob too will be experiencing this sharing society of which I speak.

I lorded it over the Bride that her old Mama had tried Airbnb before her, but now she has too, and she and the Groom have used Uber for getting around Nashville late at night. Since I’m usually not out partying anymore late at night, it may be awhile until I get to try this particular car sharing service. But it’s good to change it up every now and then; good for our brain, good for our soul. If you believe in Annie Dillard’s famous saying,“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” then let’s climb out of our automatic pilot frame of mind and take the wheel in this new society. Fifty years later, we can still learn a few new tricks.

And right on time, I read a Tweet by Peter Greenberg telling us what we “need to know” when booking through Airbnb. Maybe the travel industry is catching up with our kids after all? http://petergreenberg.com/2015/02/23/airbnb-tips-and-tricks-for-first-timers/

ps The Parlor Mob will be playing at the Skate and Surf Festival in Asbury park, NJ this Sunday – they should hit the World Stage around 2 pm!

Mother and Son

            Mother and Son

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It was 8 degrees this morning on my perch of the Blue Ridge. This is nose-hair freezing, eye watering, finger numbing cold, even if we still lived in the Berkshire Mountains. Which we don’t; we moved in part for warmer weather. But mostly to be closer to our daughter. Then she moved, to pursue her ER residency, to the ice capital of the South currently known as Nashville. And we’re all wondering why we didn’t follow the Rocker to LA right about now!

He texted us a weather report for the week – party sunny and 70s all week out there. Which is great since the band is on the Left Coast touring. They started out in LA at the Echo Tuesday night and a little birdie told me it was “…packed to the back.” Guess you can’t say, “…standing room only,” since everybody stands and rocks out all night. To check out their tour dates, and download “Cry Wolf” just skip ahead to their website: http://www.parlormob.com

“It’s the first thing we’ve produced ourselves with no outside involvement from anyone else for about 10 years, since we made our first record,” said guitarist Dave Rosen. “We didn’t really have any concern for anything else other than exactly what we wanted to do. So, we went a little crazy, basically.”

Imagine that, artists writing, recording, producing their own music. Bob was asking me if I ever heard of the Brill Building, sometimes called the Glass Building, and I said, “Nope.” So naturally I got a little history of music lesson. It’s located at 1619 Broadway and 49th Street in Manhattan, at the heart of the Theatre District. While we all know about the Motown sound coming out of the Hitsville Studio in Detroit, and Country coming from the Ryman, New York was doing music this way in the 50s and 60s.

“After its completion in 1931, the owners were forced by a deepening Depression to rent space to music publishers, since there were few other takers. The first three, Southern Music, Mills Music and Famous-Music were soon joined by others. By 1962 the Brill Building contained 165 music businesses.”

In essence this was called vertical integration. If a songwriter was looking for an artist and a publisher for their song, this was the place to be. In fact, “There you could write a song or make the rounds of publishers until someone bought it. Then you could go to another floor and get a quick arrangement, lead sheet for $10, get some copies made at the duplication office; book an hour at a demo studio; hire some of the musicians and singers that hung around; and finally cut a demo of the song. Then you could take it around the building to the record companies, publishers, artist’s managers or even the artists themselves. If you made a deal there were radio promoters available to sell the record.” http://www.history-of-rock.com/brill_building.htm

So before the internet, artist/songwriters needed all these middlemen, to get their music off a napkin and out to the public. Carole King had a cubby in the Brill Building, so did Neil Diamond, Paul Simon and Burt Bacharach. The power was in the hands of the publishers, not the artists. Today we have Pharrell Williams, the perfect example of a singer/songwriter/band/member who now runs his own multimedia company, hat and all. I mean I’d be happy too, wouldn’t you?

Happy touring boys, wish I could be at the Vegas show!

at the Echo

at the Echo

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It’s Grammy weekend. Y’all know I’m a diehard Stones girl right? Don’t ask me where Sam Smith came from, but I know a good deal about Beyonce and Taylor. The Queen and Princess of Pop Rock will undoubtedly steal the show. One of my favorite activities with the Love Bug is watching Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” video together, especially when she’s in her ballerina outfit!

However, If you want to hear some good old fashioned Rock and Roll, done right in a modern, creative way, the Rocker and his “ragged company” Parlor Mob, will be touring the West Coast this month. Starting out in LA on February 17th at The Echo and then heading north to San Francisco, they will play a total of six shows before going on to San Diego Feb 21st at the Soda Bar. They finish up in Las Vegas, and let’s hope that Pineapple Express has finished dropping a deluge of rain before their new LP “Cry Wolf” drops.

You can listen to the single, “Dead Man” on their website http://www.parlormob.com. Its dark lyrics, reminds me a little of one of my favorite Stones’ songs, “Dead Flowers.” But the atonal, hard driving guitar with Mark’s tenor rising above it all is pure Parlor Mob. The boys are back and brilliant on their own, sans the big label backing of their youth. You can tell they’ve seasoned, learned the business of music along the way. Their last record “Dogs” was voted Best Rock Album of the Year in 2011 by iTunes’ editors; they’ve got a great fan base, who never wanted to let them go. The Rocker is on keyboards and playing the white dueling guitar in this video from 2009:

I’ve been told that “Cry Wolf” will be on the new release and the PM website makes it easy to preorder. Even I could do it – made me feel like Madonna telling her fans how to download her video on Snapchat! HA, all you’ve got to do, “…when you’re sitting there in your silk upholstered chair,” is remember your PayPal password. Easy.

The Bride had been playing the harpsichord at Jockey Hollow in this blast from the past with her brother and Uncle Jeff and Grandma Ada. The lady on the right was the uncle’s girlfriend, I took the picture which is why I’m not in a lot of old pictures. Even then, you could see the twinkle in the little Rocker’s eye. Mothers Day Jockey Hollow 20150206

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I was always a Stones girl. The Beatles did catch my attention in high school, and the boys all cut their hair into Beatles’ bobs. But they were too upbeat in the beginning, too melodic. My first memory of being moved, really moved by a song was hearing “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” over the loudspeakers, echoing across the lake at Camp St Joseph for Girls. Yeah, preteen girls and boys separated all summer by a lake. It became an anthem for our generation. One of the highlights of my adult life was seeing the Stones perform at the Meadowlands for my 50th birthday.

So of course I’m going to rush right out and buy (or maybe I’ll just click and send on my laptop?) the Love Bug Keith Richards’ new children’s book, Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar. Richards’ daughter Theodora, named after her Great Grandfather Augustus Theodore, did the illustrations.

The characters and story required no embellishment. Theodore Augustus “Gus” Dupree, Richards’ maternal grandpa…was a big-band jazz musician who had seven daughters and owned and played a number of instruments. And he often took grandson Keith, also the name of the boy in the book, on outings like Gus & Me’s journey through London’s streets and a music store. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2014/09/08/keith-richards-keeps-it-all-in-the-family-for-kids-book/15121597/

It’s that eight year old brain that can determine a life’s work. Richards loved the singing cowboy, Roy Rogers, he was the super hero in his life, and it took a real hero like Gus to show him that he didn’t need the horse or a gun to have fun.

I remember putting the Rocker’s first guitar in his hands at that age, after enduring two years of violin lessons. Listening to him practice with his Corgi howling beside him.

The Music Corner of our Family Room

The Music Corner of our Family Room

This Thursday, September 11, the Parlor Mob will play in NYC at the Gramercy. The Rocker will be stage right again, playing the guitar and the keyboards. I know he remembers his first guitar and I hope he likes these old pictures from middle school. 9/11 is always a sacred day for me, a day to sit quietly and reflect. But my son’s soul was forged during that heartbreaking time; he ditched high school to watch the Towers burn across the shipping lanes from Sandy Hook with his friends. Playing in the City is a love song from our boys. We will never forget.

His First Guitar

His First Guitar



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Sad to say “So long” to summer, but happy news awaits! This morning the daughter of a Big Chill friend has gone into labor with their very first grandchild. They are the last of our little group to become grandparents, congratulations to Al and MJ. Your hearts will melt the first time you see her; we can’t wait to meet your new grandbaby girl!

Tomorrow Bob’s hospital will open its brand new ER wing, more than doubling its current space. Big kudos to my husband for managing to secure the approval and helping to design this brand new department at a time when many hospitals are closing. The ribbon cutting will have to wait until the old ER is rehabbed and they break through the outside walls to join together with the new.

So much to be grateful for in our little neck of the woods. Ninety degree weather in September, just kidding. It’s times like these I really miss New England weather. Bringing their own heat wave along with them, the Rocker’s Parlor Mob shows have been selling out. You can still catch up with their shows if you’re fast in Philly Sept 4 at the Theatre of the Living Arts, New York Sept 11 at the Gramercy and Cambridge, MA Sept 18 at TT the Bear’s! http://www.ticketmaster.com/The-Parlor-Mob-tickets/artist/1098748

In more musical news, it seems Taylor Swift has dropped out of fashion in the music city. This was strange to hear, but it’s A) because she’s not on Spotify; and 2) because she’s a POP singer and not country anymore. I don’t know, I love her anyway! Music is a very large umbrella, and a gal who wants to A) make some money in the industry and 2) grow and change, is alright with me. Haters gonna hate baby! ps to view the Youtube video of Taylor’s new song “Shake it Off”  you need to click through to my blog on the WordPress site.

Since the solar vortex is on, I thought I’d put on some new “perspectacles” and share another bit of “cool” news. I’ve talked about how the music industry is changing and people are totally bypassing record labels to produce their own albums etc – funding everything with some major help from their fans right? I thought it was fascinating that the biggest Kickstarter campaign so far in the history of crowd funding was to build a new and improved cooler. This inventor raised 12 Million dollars…12M. “Created by Ryan Grepper of Portland, Ore., the Coolest includes features like a blender, waterproof bluetooth speaker, USB charger, cutting board and bottle opener.” http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/27/smallbusiness/coolest-kickstarter-record/index.html

I’m just a little worried about what that says about our civilization. And now for some heat, the multi-talented Rocker at the keyboards in Asbury Park.   10410653_10152844488464316_8897750829827491983_n

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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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“Not everything that glitters is gold.” That’s my Rocker on the acoustic to the right, doing some harmony. And yes, a certain hockey team licensed it – go TPM!!

And unless you were unconscious this week, you must have heard about President Obama’s Dream Act. Bypassing our do-nothing Congress, Obama finally proposed that we stop deporting children whose only crime was that they happened to arrive on our shores via their undocumented parents. If you are under 30 years old… – well here are the criteria:

Came to the United States under the age of 16.
Have continuously resided in the United States for at least five years preceding the date of the memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of the memorandum.
Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States.
Have not been convicted of a felony offence, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise poses a threat to national security or public safety.
Are not above the age of 30.

“Now they will be able to request temporary relief from deportation proceedings; and will also be allowed to apply for authorization to work in this country.” http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/06/the-dream-order-is-another-reason-for-congress-to-act-on-immigration/258653/ I’ve always thought it was strange you could serve our country in the Armed Forces while being illegal, right? It’s like signing up the Irish off the boat to fight in the Civil War.

The day it happened I stopped at Whole Foods and told the cashier and a manager who were admiring my grocery tote with a picture of Michelle Obama on a swing. Quite often I feel as if I’ve entered an Anne Tyler novel whenever I enter Whole Foods. I said, “Did you hear what her husband did today?” And honest to God, they stopped what they were doing, got tears in their eyes, and goose bumps on their arms. We almost had a hootenanny moment together.

But hey, what if you happened to arrive in the good ole USA at 18? Or maybe you just turned 31…I’m not so sure this dream act is enough, but it’s a start. And here’s to our nation of immigrants. Where the son of a Kenyan, a mixed race man from Hawaii can become President, and the great-great-grandson of Miles and Elizabeth Romney, Mormon converts from England, can challenge him.

Mitt would rather trace his roots to Mexico, where his English ancestors were sheltered when polygamy became outlawed. Funny how we don’t hear about the dreams of his fathers. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18422949 Listen up Trump – here’s a birth certificate!

Keep dreamin

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Short post on why I’d rather watch Barbara Streisand in “Funny Girl” on TCM than last night’s Grammys. Because my boys were not represented! The Parlor Mob is about to start their North American tour:

Here is an acoustic version with the Rocker doing some harmony. Their day is gonna come, believe it.

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