Tagged: music

May 12

A Murder of Two?

 

Here’s a couple of tracks I did vocals for last week. First, Joan Jett’s Any Weather – my friend Bill plays all the instruments, and my husband Mike is singing backup vocals. I wasn’t sure about this song, but in the end I think it turned out great! It’s written by Dave Grohl, so I mean, come on.

The second is A Murder of One originally by Counting Crows. I’ve lived Counting Crows for a long time, and I was really excited to sing this! When we recorded it I thought it sounded great. The more I listen to it, the less I like it. The lows are right at the edge of my range and I feel like they just sort of melt away. In any case, I’ve loved this song for years & i had a blast singing it. 🎤❤

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Sep 03

Gigantic

A good friend of mine plays guitar and drums & invited me to record vocals for one of his songs. So here’s our cover of Gigantic by the Pixies. I’ve always loved Kim Deal, and I’m not too sure I did her justice, but it sure was a blast! Enjoy!

aviary-image-1472934916332

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Aug 07

Sucking Beer Through a Straw

It’s Friday! I’m pretty stoked that the weekend is finally here, dudes. Here’s the Friday Five:

  • What’s your favorite song about a specific city?
    • It’s a tie: “Buffalo Stance” by Neneh Cherry and “Boston” by Augustana
  • What’s your favorite song about a real, historical figure?
    • “Paul Revere” – Beastie Boys
  • What are your favorite song and favorite group (or solo artist) from the classic Motown era?
    • Song: “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough” – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
    • Group: Jackson 5
  • What’s your favorite song by a musician (or band) you really dislike?
    • “Gold Digger” – Kanye West
  • What’s your favorite song with the word “song” in its title?
    • “Your Song” – Elton John

Here’s a little present for you to celebrate the weekend. Happy Friday!

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Oct 08

We are the Dreamers of Dreams

The last few weeks have been crazy around here! Let me share some highlights:

  • A couple of weeks ago, Mike & I took a quick little weekend trip to Myrtle Beach with 2 other couples to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We went on a private plane and rode in limos like rock stars, and it was a really great time. Mike & I took some time to walk the boardwalk and see the sights, and even though it rained, it had a ball! We spent some time in the arcade, did a bit of shopping, and really enjoyed ourselves.
  • Last weekend, I went to the Octoberfest celebration downtown with my BFF and 2 of my favorite munchkins. It was freeeezing and raining off and on, but we’re so awesome that we didn’t even care. Amazing live music, great brews, and a playground! We also had cupcakes, so pretty much a stellar day.
  • Mike & I got to see our niece, Alexis, play a live show right here in Kalamazoo! She was really great, and we were stoked to get a chance to see her perform, and to spend some time with her.
  • We went to a BBQ at a friend’s house, and on top of the killer company, we were treated to live music that was really incredible. Charlie King from the Asylum Street Spankers played guitar and sang for us, accompanied by Nathan, a truly gifted fiddle player. It was such a great time, and I’m so glad we had the opportunity to see these 2 play together!
  • Mike & I went to the Alamo Drafthouse’s Ultimate Willy Wonka Party, where we had the pleasure of meeting Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt) and Paris Themmen (Mike Teevee)! Willy Wonka is in my Top 5 all time movies, so this was a super experience and the chance of a lifetime. Both of them were so sweet and even posed for a selfie with us!!
  • My Fantasy Football team is killing it, except that my BFF and Arch Rival (always one and the same, right?) is clinging to first place for dear life while I wait in the wings for my moment to snatch it right out from under him. We’re only in Week 5, but this is already getting cut throat. The suspense is terrific.
  • Oh, I also left my job last week. For a million reasons. And to be honest, I haven’t felt this relieved or this happy in a long time. Onward and upward.

Scroll through this for photos of all this great stuff.

 

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Jan 26

Grandpa Joe – THE WORST

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is one of my all time favorite movies.It’s easily Top 10, maybe even Top 5. I’m talking about the old school Gene Wilder Willy Wonka, not the creepy, nightmarish, Johnny Depp horror show.  That’s another rant on it’s own. Anyway, Willy Wonka is magical, whimsical, and so much fun. I thought so when I was a kid, and I still do today. There’s really only one dark spot in this fantastical cinematic journey: Grandpa Joe.

I just don’t get this guy. Let’s start with the obvious – he’s bed-ridden for 20 years. TWENTY YEARS. That’s a long time, dude. If you watch closely, you can even see the bed pan sitting under the bed. Charlie’s dad is nowhere to be seen and never mentioned, so let’s assume that he’s long dead. That leaves Charlie’s mom to take care of a family of 6 with her low-paying and thankless laundry job. Charlie got a paper route, which is cute and all, but a drop in the bucket (see what I did there???) for this family’s needs. Yet somehow, Grandpa Joe has been smoking a pipe for what I assume to be YEARS even though they have to eat cabbage water because it’s all they can afford. Oh, and also, he poos in a pan that someone else has to clean up after they’ve worked all day, made hot cabbage water, washed the dishes and run to the store for pipe tobacco that they can’t even afford.

This stuff alone doesn’t make Grandpa Joe a bad guy. Well, the tobacco does, but he can’t help it that he’s an old dude who can’t get out of bed. Maybe he worked so hard in his youth to care for his family that his body is just busted now. I get it. Good on ya, Joe. But then Charlie finds a Golden Ticket, and suddenly Joe is dancing like a teenager. REALLY? All it took to get him up was some chocolate and the chance to see some Oompa Loompas? How about you find some motivation for your starving family and get a job, yo? Matter of fact, if you could just start wiping your own ass it would ease some of the burden around there I’m sure. But the Ticket makes him sing and DANCE. So he was obviously faking this whole time right??? DIRTY LYING FAKER. And then he has the NERVE to sing “I’ve got a Golden Ticket!” Ugggh, you ain’t got jack squat, Joe. CHARLIE has a Golden Ticket, and you are a filthy coat-tails-ridin’ mofo. This guy is unbelievable.

Once they get to the factory Joe gets under my skin again. He’s the one who talks Charlie into hanging back on the tour to try the Fizzy Lifting Drinks, which ultimately ends up getting them in trouble, and not to mention nearly killed. Charlie is such a freaking do-gooder; he would never have done it on his own. So thanks for that one, too, Joe.

So in the end, Joe gets everything he always dreamed of. He can lounge around again, smoke a pipe, and watch Charlie do all the work to run the chocolate factory. The message here to kids is that if you lay around long enough mooching off your parents, your ship will eventually come in, so just play it cool. Grandpa Joe is a selfish prick.

This movie is really great, though. Amazing music, amazing acting, amazing everything. Except for Grandpa Joe, I mean. 🙂

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Dec 16

The State, Not the Lube

I spent the weekend in Kentucky visiting my homegirl, Dawn. It was such a great trip, I can’t even begin to describe it adequately, but I’ll give it a go.

Friday: Around 11, my 2 chaperones, Andrew & Zach, and I hit the road. Zach created a great playlist of mostly holiday music that I thoroughly enjoyed. We made a pitstop in Indianapolis. Andrew really impressed Zach & I with both his knowledge of the beer industry and his persuasion skills in dealing with his business associate at an Indy brewery. This guy is so gregarious! We had a quick snack and some beers there, plus got a super low key quickie brewery tour, too (thanks to Andrew!).  I scored some brewery stickers, too, so this was a fun little stop. We didn’t dilly dally, though, because we had places to be. We arrived at Dawn’s around 7:30, had a quick beer, and then went to a pizza joint called BoomBozz. Killer pizza, really good local beers, and amazing conversation. We met some friends of Dawn’s – Drew & Garrett. I fell a little bit in love with both of them.

After pizza, we went to a joint called the Highlands Taproom for karaoke. Zach rocked the house, as he does. We met more of Dawn’s friends, and even a friend of Andrew’s, who we will refer to as Mike. Mike was a GREAT guy, I enjoyed meeting him very much. More beers, singing, cab rides, dancing, ditching friends, flirting with old ladies, laughing until crying, hysterical misunderstandings. THE END.

Saturday: Low key morning as people retrieved vehicles and reunited with friends. The 4 of us (Dawn, Zach, Andrew & I) had a really fun lunch at Against the Grain brewing. I had my favorite beer of the trip there – a peppermint milk stout called Santa Came Early. I also had my favorite meal of the trip – Nachos made with homemade kettle chips, topped with BBQ pulled pork, pickled jalapenos, and cheese. Incredible. Great lunch with AMAZING friends. Pictures from Against the Grain:

Against the Grain Brewing

Wall Mural at Against the Grain

After lunch we hit a flea market, which I really enjoyed. I found a dude with a big box of really old photos and I got several cool ones, and some negatives even, for a buck. They will work great with my Yearbook Journal I think, so I’m excited to play with them. Dawn, Andrew & I also got mini Tarot card readings. Mine was spot on with her telling me that I made the right decision to change jobs and my new job will work out great, so that was fun and really awesome. Next, we found a pub called the River City Drafthouse and copped a squat to watch the UK basketball game. JEN ARRIVED, which made me very happy! The Cats lost, which made me very sad, but I think I masked my utter disappointment and nobody really noticed. I didn’t want to bring everyone down. John also joined our little gaggle at this point. Here’s the gang at River City:

The Gang

Time for dinner – we all hit a place called The Irish Rover and Mike appeared again! After dinner, we decided to check out Sergio’s World Beers. It’s one of the top 5 beer bars in the world! The selection was insane. I’ve never seen so many different beers in one place. I got to meet THE Sergio, which was such a pleasure. We all shared a bottle of beer called Black fist, which wasn’t my bag (liquorbeer), but I still love to try new things. Sergio’s was GREAT, we had a blast there. Here’s all of us drinking the Black Fist:

 Sharing a bottle of Black Fist!

We moved on to a dive called The Back Door, which had both matchbooks and people dressed as elves, so I was pretty pleased right off the bat. However, I was exhausted, so we only stayed an hour or so and then hit the road for home.

Sunday: We all met up for brunch at a place with really good coffee and great food, but I can’t remember how to spell the name of it, so use your imagination. Sad goodbyes. 🙁 Then the 3 of us hit the road again. Travel was great until about an hour or so from home, then it started to suck. I was in the backseat and I tried as hard as possible not to have a complete breakdown. My terror was totally unfounded because Zach is a rockstar driver and we made it home totally safe and sound. I had a BLAST, but I sure did miss Mikey & my kitty cats, so I was happy to be home. 🙂

Today, I am still recovering and I think I’m even losing my voice! But it’s all so worth it. Great trip, great friends, great times. 🙂

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Dec 03

Under the Influence

Here are the videos from Straight No Chaser that I promised. First, a medley of Blurred Lines, Get Lucky, and Kiss. It’s blurry for the first few seconds, but then it clears up.

This one is VERY cool. They ended the show by performing Oh Holy Night without mics – acapella unplugged! It’s pretty incredible. The audio is weak in some spots because of the lack of mics, but it’s still awesome. Enjoy!

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Dec 02

Cuddly as a Cactus

This past Friday, Mike & I went to Grand Rapids to see Straight No Chaser at Devos Hall. It was SO much fun! They put on a great show, and we even got some holiday tunes. My 2 favorites were The Grinch and Jolene. Anyway, these guys are adorable and the singing seriously blew me away. Incredible. I’d see them again in a hot second. I should have a video in the next few days – as soon as it’s ready I’ll post it here.

 Straight No Chaser

Saturday we hit the fairgrounds for the antique toy expo. It was bigger than I expected! I found a Star Trek coloring book from 1975 that is amazing. For some reason Kirk dresses as a clown and Spock as a pirate. It’s weird but totally awesome. I also found a couple of full color Star Trek calendars, one from ’75 and one from ’76, in a DOLLAR BIN. So that was pretty exciting too.

Yesterday (Sunday) we put up our Christmas tree. We have 2 trees, one that’s really nice and thick and a pain in the butt to put together and decorate. Then we have another one that we call our chintzy tree. We put up the chintzy tree when we aren’t hosting any holiday events at our house because we can have the whole thing up & decorated in under an hour. This year, we did Thanksgiving here, so we are free and clear to go for the chintz! We have a really good time searching for really awful ornaments for it, and we use a set of bright orange lights leftover from Halloween. It’s become a really fun tradition for us.

Our Chintzy Tree

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Nov 11

Santa Claus, The Devil & Elvis

I had a busy weekend, but it was jam-packed with awesomeness! Friday afternoon I had a root canal, so it was a pretty low-key evening. Mike made soup for dinner and we watched Knight Rider.

Saturday morning we got up and headed downtown for the holiday parade. Mike & I are not typically parade goers, but our friend Jason LOVES Christmas and was totally stoked to see Santa, so we agreed to meet him at the Green Top for hot toddies. We had to park a zillion miles away, and we were worried that when we finally got to the Green Top, it would be jammed and we’d end up standing around all morning and not even being able to see the parade because of all the people. Boy, were we wrong! The Green Top only had about 6 people there, so we were able to get a great table right in front of the windows, and we had an amazing view of the parade. Plus it was toasty warm, and the coffee with Bailey’s was delightful. It was so worth the long walk and the hassles of the traffic. We had a blast watching the parade and catching up with up with our old pal, Jason.

On Sunday, we were up and at ’em again – this time we went to WIDR studios on WMU’s campus to meet a friend, The Devil Tom Black. The Devil gave us a tour of the studio, and we got to watch him in action just a bit!

 WIDR's The Devil Tom Black

After our radio experience, we were famished, so we hit Nina’s Café on West Main for the first time ever. I got the Elvis Waffle – a Belgian waffle covered in peanut butter, bananas, chocolate syrup, and maple syrup. It was pretty freaking incredible. I’ve never eaten at Nina’s before this, and I feel like I want to move in. 🙂

 Elvis Waffle

On Sunday evening I went to Bell’s Brewery for Trivia with my homies. For the first time ever, we actually placed in the top 3 and won a prize! It was really awesome and the perfect capper to an amazing weekend. I hope your weekend was as much fun as mine was!! XOXO

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Oct 25

Familiarity

This week’s Friday Five is all about who and what you know. For me, the answers are Nobody & Not Much. 🙂

  • How familiar are you with the plants and trees in your area?

Not at all. I couldn’t tell you what kinds of trees are in my yard even. I’m better with flowers.

  • How familiar are you with the wildlife in your area?

Pretty decent. We have tons of wildlife right in our backyard. We regularly have squirrels, chipmunks, bunnies, possum, and deer. Behind our backyard is a vet’s office and kennel, so in the evenings and on weekends, they are always walking the dogs back there, which is fun.

  • Can you name the makes and models of five of your friends’ cars without looking?

Probably not. I’m worse at cars than I am at trees!

  • How many of your co-workers’ spouses and kids can you name?

This is a tough one for me since I work at home and my co-workers are hundreds of miles away. So again, I would suck wind at this.

  • If you had the radio on whatever station is playing current hits, how would you do at naming the songs and artists you heard?

Wow. I’m super old so all this new fangled youngster music is foreign to me. I wouldn’t do very well at this either. If it was the classic rock station, It’d be on like Donkey Kong, though.

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