Back Up And Spinning: Part Two (Folk Cats At A Wedding)


Part one of my reintroduction mentioned that I was busy with the fundraiser, but I’ve also had a lot of other stuff to keep up on. Babies, weddings, work and whatnot. You know how it can be. It’s a double edge sword, you want enough to do in your life to stay interested but when you’re writing about it, you also need time to write about it all!

This last week was jammed packed. Maybe everything should be broken up into different posts, but hey, I’m just getting back after a hiatus and need to ease into everything. This weekend wasn’t really supposed to be that full of activities, we were just going to a wedding and the folk fest was going on.

Acro-Cats 2015 Sign

That all changed Thursday. I was sitting at the desk job, and good old VanyaLand (love that blog, check it out) had an article about the Acro-Cats and I recognized the act from an Animal Planet show. Turns out, they were in town! Obviously, we had to go!!

Acro-Cats 2015

I don’t remember a time when I have laughed more. Seriously. The show started with simple tricks by a few of the cats but the three ladies running the show added great commentary between everything.

The audience were also participants, laughing and shouting for all the cats as they went through hoops, climbed poles and darted across the stage. A few times, the cats joined us in the seats! My favorite tricks included the applause sign which was lit when one cat would hit a button and when they would climb up above six feet and hop down onto the back of the trainers.

Acro-Cats Collage

Tuna was the star of the show, but the other cats were equally adorable. Above is Tuna on the cowbell and the rest of the cats up close. There was a meet and great after the show. Most of the cats don’t like to be pet, but one cat was gracious enough to let us snuggle.

There were a lot of kids in the audience so the show wrapped up pretty early, which was nice since Mr. Richard and I had to get to a wedding the next day in Western Massachusetts.

We get Wedding Guest Fancy

The wedding was beautiful. A work friend, we went for the groom and his now wife planned a wonderful day. Every detail was covered for the entire day; it was like a twelve hour day! We ended up leaving early, with me feeling that it would best to get a little of everything and do more than burn out on one thing.

Lowell Canals

Sunday, we woke up early to get back in time for the Lowell Folk Fest. I was a little upset, we were only about forty-five minutes late and still missed the pierogis! We parked by the Swamp Locks in the canals so our walk over to the festival was really pretty.

Trolley Selfies at the Lowell Folk Fest

We also managed to catch the trolley and have a scenic ride over to the food. The food! Oh my goodness, the selection of food is overwhelming. We immediately got in line for the Polish tent and I had Mr. Richard wait while I got drinks and samosas. We ate those while we waited but unfortunately, as I mentioned, the pierogis were gone.

It was sad, but I instead filled up on some Greek dessert, a fried dough with honey and nuts while Mr. Richard had some spinach pie. We topped everything with ice cream. It was a delicious mixture! My little cousin works the ice trucks and had a gyro which looked amazing as well.

Lowell Folk Fest 2015 Art Walk

After feeling stuffed, we walked down the artist way, and this year had some fantastic artists, particularly the fabric arts. I really fell in love with the different textiles. It was a beautiful contrast to have traditional African or Caribbean fabrics contrasted with the North American styles Lowell is known for.

Lowell Folk Fest Art Walk

Of course, they do demonstrations and you can purchase items if you’re so inclined!

Boarding Park Stage Folk Fest 2015

At the end of the walk, we were at Boarding Park Stage and it was an Armenian act. They really got the crowd going, a lot of folks got up to dance and celebrate the culture. I don’t know how many times I can say it, I love Lowell for it’s diversity and this folk fest is really the perfect example of it all.

Indian Dance Collage Folk Fest 2015

Before we headed back around, we managed to catch a talented act out of a Brookline, MA Indian dance school. These girls were incredible! I took a ton of pictures and videos because all of it was stunning. The hair, make up, saris and of course, the dance moves were all gorgeous.

See, they were amazing! I do try to keep it all different and interesting, so make sure you check out the social media pages like Facebook and Instagram for even more footage.

Lowell Canals by Swamp Locks

As we headed back to the canals for the tour, we found some really great spots for taking pictures, I hope to go down there next weekend at some point for a little side project. We also learned a lot about Lowell, including the original settlers, the immigrants that maintained what the settlers started and how we got where we are today.

Lowell Canal Boat Tour

The tour also focused a bit on the environment. Due to the industrial nature, the river was so polluted but now it’s up to a class B which means you can now swim in it. I remember how it worked it’s way up! The river used to be absolutely horrible.

The whole day was really informative but I was exhausted by the end of the entire weekend. I spent Sunday catching up on some TV with my feet up, somehow trying to write some posts. Tonight when I get home though, I plan on doing some cataloging so everything catches back up to steam by mid-week.

Part of the blogging hiatus was spent planning how the blog would look coming back. I’ve broken down the “Things Randomly Related to the Collection” section into even more. It was a lot of work on the backend of things so it’s not super noticeable but do check out the category section on the right or bottom of any post to explore!

There’s sections now! Life Updates, Concerts, Record Stores and more. It’ll be easier to find anything you’re looking for, well, that’s the goal anyway! What else? I hoping to include a weekly events schedule on Sundays too so you can catch local Boston music too.

Weekly Record Store Wrap Up (3/30 – 4/5)


Anime2015

This last Friday I was wandering around, checking out the anime convention in Boston as you can see above, and I noticed Underground Hip Hop was packed up! There was a building custodian locking up the front so I asked if they had moved. He said yes, so I had Mr. Richard look into it, and they haven’t actually found a new location. The online shop is up an running if you need a fix in the meantime, but if you were hoping to do a little physical crate digging, you’ll have to wait.

Garnicks442015

Saturday finally marked our return to Garnick’s. It felt like it had been forever! The stacks were still piled high, but I feel like that’s just a given here. Bobby had found some random albums that didn’t have covers and weren’t in 100% great condition, so he tossed those in for free this week. It definitely pays to be regulars in a local shop!

Since it’s baseball season and that is by far my favorite sport, we picked up a disc of the greatest sports moments. I forget which decade exactly, but it has some really historic moments on it and I’m really excited to enter it. The roomie and I have tickets to a Sox game at the end of the month so I might try to time it up with that. I consider Fenway holy ground and get a little teary eyed walking down the hall of old logos after all!

I still need to pay for some more work on my car, but we managed to come out with a decent haul. On top of the two free discs and sporting one, we grabbed:

Before Dark (I’ll likely be posting this soon for Rainbow Week – a week focused on colored vinyl)

Marcia Griffiths single

Changing Faces feat. Jay Z

Sam Mangwana

And lastly, a various artists reggae LP

You may have noticed that some of my posts now have a footer with a little mention of my Over the Edge rappel in Boston for the Special Olympics. I’m my company’s tem leader and due to my extreme competitiveness, I want to raise more money than last year and be the top team for the event. I rappelled the 22 stories last year and it was one of the most exhilarating and rewarding experiences that I’ve ever had.

The Special Olympics were my first volunteering experience when I was a crappy, spoiled teenager and all of these years later, it’s nice to fully commit. I need YOUR help to do this though so I’m calling on my followers! Donate just $10.00 HERE to help out!! Imagine if just five of my followers donated ten dollars, that would be a quick $50!! What if ten people donated $10?! Mind blowing what just a few people can do!!

Every $500 we raise helps an athlete for a year. That covers transportation, securing locations, equipment, everything they need. When you think of it, it’s really not that much to cover an athlete so lets do it people!!

On that note, even though I’ll be celebrating next week with the Greek side of my family, Happy Easter everyone! Dawson wasn’t a fan of playing bunny and delivering baskets to the girls downstairs…

DawsonEaster2015

A Peek Inside The Music Room Part Two


The clean up and finishing of the record room took a bit longer than I hoped but I should have known better since I do procrastinate a bit. There was a lot to do, and I documented each step so check it out!

CrateCleanAndPaint

Mr. Richard painted all the new crates we picked up. This meant all of the albums needed to be taken down and stored until the paint dried. Daria helped us out which is unusual, seeing as she normally avoids the camera like it’s going to attack her. Unless she’s eating cheese or trying for the bacon, then she’s so distracted she doesn’t care.

While everything was being put away again, it was the opportunity I needed to make sure everything was alphabetized. I had never organized the various artist albums so those all needed to be done and sometimes, albums get moved a little to the left, a little to the right so it was good to double check everything again. There were also stacks upon stacks in the living room that needed to be put away! Did you check out the videos on Instagram and Facebook that I posted while organizing? If not, hop on over to my social media pages. The videos are time lapsed so they’re really quite interesting.

Below is a collage of the room right before we started putting in the finishing touches. We had to run out and get a few more crates so everything would fit so it seemed like the right time to snap a few pictures to show how far I had come. Just about every 12″ was put away and our new curtains were also on the way. Of course they came on a day when  Mr. Richard and I were both out. That almost never happens!

RecordRoomHalfWayDone

After the new crates were in place, the 12″ disc section was done (aside from stuff that’s in the living room in the to-be-catalogued pile) but there was still some work to do. The 7″ discs are still being cataloged so there’s some piles that didn’t fit where they should have. I tried to shelf as many of these piles but it’s hard to do since I can only catalog about 50 every two weeks. Anybody want to help me out? I have such a specific process, the roomie can’t even really figure it out!

RecordRoom001

As the weeks went on, I did get more put away and finalized some of the décor choices. The top right is a collage down the left wall of the room, the top pictures being the first shelving unit you see when you walk in. As you walk down that side of the room, you reach the second shelf for singles. As you can see, a ton of the piles are put away on the shelves and the curtains made it up!

RecordRoomDaybed

Across from that wall is our daybed. Without my day job and the employee discount, I wouldn’t have been able to outfit the bed with all the pillows. It makes it super cozy and the large one is great for pulling onto the floor to sit on while you thumb through the crates. As much as I have a distain for having to help customers, the employee discount makes it worth it!

RecordRoomDecor001

With all the different pillows, texture on the curtains and records themselves, the room has turned into this really comfortable, homey slightly bohemian place. You’ve see the yellow submarine decal before, but I managed to set out some books and hang the record frames too. Obviously, there’s still some work to do and I’m excited to set out some of our art on the shelves, but I’m really happy with the progress.

Cats Without Claws


I bought this because Mr. Richard and I do love Donna Summer and because of the cat reference in the title. I figured it’d be a good album to also include a little PSA about my favorite house pet, the cat.

I don’t believe in declawing a cat. I think it’s painful, unnecessary and a bit lazy. You can train a cat with patience not to claw or attack, just spend the money you would at the vet on appropriate toys. If your pet ever gets loose, they have no way to defend themselves. Read more about it HERE and check out an alternate product if you absolutely need to do something about clawing HERE.

DonnaSummerCatsWithoutClaws

Cats Without Claws

Donna Summer

Side One

Supernatural Love
It’s Not the Way
There Goes My Baby
Suzanna
Cats Without Claws

Side Two

Oh Billy Please
Eyes
Maybe It’s Over
I’m Free
Forgive Me

DonnaSummerCatsWithoutClawsInsert

Weekly Record Store Wrap Up (3/2 – 3/8)


I really didn’t do much this week, just spent the time wishing it felt like spring. I sent the roomie to RRRecords when he was downtown on Wednesday and we were supposed to meet up at Underground Hip Hop in Boston on Friday but that was about it.

Mid week, the roomie scooped up two various artists disc and an album of cat sounds, which drives our cats absolutely nuts. Dawson stands in front of the TV and tries to catch invisible birds coming out of the speakers. He’s not the brightest bulb…

The various artists discs included The Roots, Young Jeezy, Big K.R.I.T., The Dream, KRS-1, Shaggy, Jermaine Dupri and more. One is a Record Store Day release and is on clear vinyl!

UGHHMarch

I say we should have met at UGHH because he took a wrong turn off the subway. I was flipping through some stacks and it felt like he should have been there so I called. “Um, I’m by Tremont, where are you” he said so I ran out to find him knowing he was a few blocks away now. We had to get to one of my work things so we didn’t head back in. I guess its good for my wallet that way since there was at least four albums I wanted.

That night, I had a work POD outing, which is when the company pays for a team to go out and get silly together. I dragged Mr. Richard along and am now worried that my co-workers like him more than me. I suppose the margaritas and beers were a bit too much for us to get an early start on the weekend so we skipped the normal Saturday crate digging experience. Always worth it to switch it up and hang with good people.

 

A Mid-Week, Random, Snow-pocolypse Update


SnowHell2015

Have you seen the news reports about Boston lately? The whole state, really. According to NECN, my little ol’ town of Lowell is holding it down record wise for snow right now. Oh, and there’s more on the way. To get a glimpse of how insane it is, check out this Buzzfeed link HERE. The above picture is of some of the relief my street finally got today. They started early and are still going strong. It’s been bitterly cold and windy on top of the mountains of unprecedented snowfall. So, what’s me in a cat onesie trying to stay warm and the snow have to do with this blog?

CatSuitMe

 Well, as you may have noticed, I’ve found this groove. Posts go off every five hours and Mr. Richard does a review everyday, with a day off every four or five days. This system goes pretty well with my 40 hour work week (+ like, 15 hours commuting) usually. I’ve been stuck working from home a lot and when I do get into the office, my commute takes about three times as long. When I’m home, he can’t get on the computer to write reviews and when I’m gone, I lose valuable daylight to take pictures and post.

Dawsoncuddles

You would think we’d be able to find a balance and catch up since we’ve both been pretty snowbound, but we’ve both fallen into the winter slump. Does that happen to you? Maybe the roomie and I are both part plant as we tend to thrive more in the summer months. It doesn’t help that the cats just want to snuggle all day and are so damn cute! When we can, we’re trying to use any spare time and decent conditions to get out of the house so look for a fun wrap up at the end of this month.

BeastModeShovel

I hope if you’re living in the north east of North America right now, you’re safe, warm and your backs haven’t gone out. I have shoveling arm from heaving the snow back and over our trash cans in the driveway but hopefully spring is on it’s way soon! I’m not a fan of needing to ice my elbow after being out in feet of snow…

I do plan on getting back on track before this weekend, I even have tomorrow completely off! Thanks for staying tuned everyone, much love.

Somebody To Love


I figured “Somebody to Love” would be a somewhat bittersweet way to end the Queen week on Valentine’s Day. Not a love song, but I posted enough early, but a song for those single folks out there that are perhaps curled up with their cats. Named Dawson and Daria. Me, okay, it’s me! It’s me, curled up eating chocolates I made Mr. Richard buy me on the couch with Dawson and Daria. It may not be the most upbeat singles anthem, but hey, it deserves a spot on the playlist.

I hope you have all enjoyed this week of Queen! I’m not sure who the next artist will be to deserve a full week of attention, but I’m sure somebody will be popping up soon. In the meantime, get the cats glammed up and spend the night rocking out to some Queen in your living room. Or cuddled with your loved one. Whatever fits your situation!

Somebody find me, somebody find me
Somebody to love, anybody find me
Can you find me? Can, can you find me?
Some, some, somebody, somebody to love, ya

(Find me somebody to love)
(Find me somebody to love)
Some, some, somebody to love me
Can you love me? Can you love me?
Oh, give love, give love, give love
Give love, somebody to love

Can anybody fine me?
Can anybody find me?
Find me, find me, find me, find, ooh ya
Some, yeah, somebody
Oh, oh somebody to love

Queen11

Side One

Somebody to Love

Side Two

White Man

A Peek Inside The Music Room


I should warn you before we begin, this is a peek into the music room while it’s still in progress. I’m a bit disappointed to say that it’s been in progress for much too long, there are crates to paint, albums to put away and pictures to be hung up. Oh, and the bed needs to be made. The cats just tend to like it messy as they sleep in the blanket piles and tuck themselves in. I just said I would give y’all a little insight to how we keep the records so I wanted to do that, but you better bet that I’ll be posting a follow up to this post when everything is cleaned up!

BedAndLPs

The room is a bit hard to photograph as it’s a strange shape, more of a lowercase “b” shape than a square. When you walk in, to your right in what would be the bottom of the “b” is my LP storage and our daybed. All of our guests get a kick out of spending the night in the record room for sure!

LPs

Most of the crates are purple as the bed frame is and the remaining crates are gray and yellow. You can see in the above photo that I’m adding another tier to the LP storage and those crates still need to be painted.

LPs2

These LP crates wrap and hug the corner in the room. My idea is to stagger them in an almost pyramid shape and hang our duplicate albums on display above. My mom found these fantastic album frames that will keep them protected from dust and I won’t need to worry about damaging them with a nail hole or anything like that. I don’t really want to put too many trinkets up on the tops of the crates since it’s great exercise for the cats to walk up and down them.

SinglesA-L

To your left, down the long side of the room are all my singles. Closest to the doorway are the As and we make our way down to the Zs as we get closer to the window. The above picture shows A – L, all of which have not been cataloged yet. In front are the LPs that need to be put away once those crates are painted!

Mural

Between the shelving for all of the 45s, is our Yellow Submarine stick on mural I got through work (an online retailer of home décor). It can be taken down and moved around at any time, but for now it’s plunging between the two shelving units. The above photo was taken looking back out of the room from the back window and you can see, this end is pretty cozy. I don’t want to make the already narrow space any tighter so I staggered the different sections a bit. It also keeps the albums away from being directly on the baseboard heat.

SinglesL-Z

Lastly, this shelf is what I’ve been working on getting cataloged. Working backwards in the alphabet, the bottom right corner would be the Zs and the bottom two and a half shelves have all been cataloged so far. The large gap is for the Ps, which I’m currently working on so they’re in our living room. I definitely don’t intend to have anything laying down like you see, but as I sort everything, it just needed to happen.

The very bottom shelf is full of books. It would be great to use this area for actual singles, but they would be way to close to the heat and likely warp. This bookcase came without a back so it’s very exposed but it fit the 45s so perfectly, I couldn’t help but use it when my mom slapped a fresh coat of paint on it and brought it over.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the peek into my somewhat messy record room! Next month, everything should be all cleaned up and photo shoot ready so I’ll certainly post a follow up as soon as I can. I need to figure out where the outlets are and get some better lighting in there too for next time. Maybe Dawson and Daria will even join us for the shoot!

End Of The Month Wrap Up: November 2014


November was more of a laid back month for me, at least when it comes to music. With the holidays coming up, I’ve been a bit more focused on friends and family (and shopping!). I did pick up tickets to the Boston Music Awards and the Ladies of Boston Rock (with Shea Rose and Dutch ReBelle – my hip hop goddesses from the city) for December and January!

I’m really excited to see the BMA’s. It’ll be my first time there and there’s a fantastic mix of musicians, some new and some I’ve seen like STL GLD. They’re nominated for an award as well as Dutch and Shea. Oh, and Keytar Bear is performing!!

Although, not completely music related, the roommate and I stumbled upon the TedX Talk in Brookline. I had heard about the Ted talks but had never attended one before. If you’re not familiar either, please, check it out! Shea Rose was speaking so it was obvious we were going once we found out about it. I don’t even know where to begin writing about the experience though! It was so inspiring and heartwarming.

SheaRoseTedX

Shea Rose took the stage to discuss losing her voice, both literally and figuratively. She had a polyp on her vocal cords and had to remain speechless until after surgery. The roommate could relate as he lost his “voice” by being unable to make art during the time he was bedridden. I can’t imagine never hearing her sing and am so thankful she pushed through after surgery and is here today.

SheaTedX2

She also spoke of the pressures within the music industry to be “urban” or to be “blacker” or she’d never get a record deal. Upon actually being offered that record deal with a major label, she decided no, she didn’t want to lose her voice again and turned them down. It takes true strength to stand up for yourself like that and I was moved to tears at this point. Who would want to change Shea Rose to be anything but herself? That’s what I love most about her!

DavidSengeh

We didn’t really intend on staying too long, as I was sick leading up to the talk and needed to work the next day but we caught the next speaker, David Sengeh. You can check out some more information on him HERE. A mutli-talented man from Sierra Leone, he works to better fit people in prosthetic limbs. He could very well just focus on his work at MIT, but instead continues to work with the youth to inspire and push them towards their dreams. Oh, and he also raps!

November also brought us the Aaliyah movie on Lifetime. The hour long documentary prior to the movie had me choking back tears at the funeral footage. We lost that star far, far too young. As for the movie itself, well, the costume department did pretty well. Casting, acting, overall storytelling of Aaliyah’s life and music catalog were all pretty terrible. Let’s just say, if the family doesn’t support it, it’s probably for a reason. It was a huge disappointment and certainly did no justice to the legend that is Aaliyah.

I did manage to hit a pretty big milestone this month. My 1000th Single / EP was entered! It ended up being The Routers, check the post out HERE. You may remember that I made the decision to split the lists in Excel so it’s now three tabs; Full LPs, Singles / EPs (7″ and 12″) and then 10″ LPs, EPs and singles. It’s easier to find everything when I’m checking to see if we have a song or not. It’s also a lot easier to make note of these milestones. They push me to keep going.

InstagramPlug

Don’t forget! If you want to see images of Dawson and Daria, the whole vinyl collection or local musicians, hop on over to the Instagram account for My Dad’s Albums. Hashtag your own vinyl pictures with #MyDadsAlbums so I can check them out too!

Nifty Links For November:

Be sure to follow My Dad’s Albums on Facebook for all the links I share. These are the best ones from the last month for you!

Do you ever get jealous of another person’s record collection? I do all the time! One collection I’m insanely jealous of is Questlove’s. I mean, it just makes me drool in envy! Check out Questlove’s (you know, from The Roots) record collection HERE.

Need some new jewelry and have an eclectic style, kind of like me? Check out THIS blog from Vinyl Expressionz. The blog is just starting out but I found it through Instagram and am planning on ordering my own necklace soon on their Etsy page! I have their Facebook and Etsy pages listed on my Great Links page too if you’re interested in getting a piece of your own.

As we enter December, there’s a lot of holidays coming up. I hope everyone, of every faith has a fantastic month! November, as relaxing as it was for me, was a month of turmoil for this country. I was very worked up by the events because I just want us to respect each other and treat every single person equally. You don’t need to like every person you meet but at least take a minute to hear their story. Much love to you all!

Wooly Bully, Wooly Bully, Wooly Bully


Going through the albums and remembering the different songs, I realize how many songs I loved that were simple but slightly hard to understand at times. Whether it was the tempo, screaming or even accent, it seems like I was just drawn to them when I could sing (you’d call it screaming) along and make it up as I go. Wooly Bully is one of those songs.

Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro
Matty told Hatty about a thing she saw.
Had two big horns and a wooly jaw.
Wooly bully, wooly bully.
Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully.

“Wooly Bully” was the band’s first and biggest hit. It became a worldwide sensation, selling three million copies and reaching No. 2 on the American Hot 100 chart on June 5–12, 1965. It was the first American record to sell a million copies during the British Invasion and was influenced by the British rock sound which was mixed with traditional Mexican-American conjunto rhythms. It stayed in the Hot 100 for a then-impressive 18 weeks and was nominated for a Grammy Award.

The lyrics of “Wooly Bully” were hard to understand, and some radio stations banned the song. The lyrics describe a conversation between “Hattie” and “Matty” concerning the American Bison and the desirability of developing dancing skills, although no attempt is made to synthesize these divergent topics.

Sam the Sham underscores the Tex-Mex nature of the song by counting out the rhythm in Spanish and English, and the characteristic simple organ riffing. According to Sam: “The name of my cat was ‘Wooly Bully’, so I started from there (side note: cats are the best inspiration, I have one stalking me looking for love right now). The count down part of the song was also not planned. I was just goofing around and counted off in Tex-Mex. It just blew everybody away, and actually, I wanted it taken off the record. We did three takes, all of them different, and they took the first take and released it.”

WoolyBully

Side One

Wooly Bully

Side Two

Ain’t Gonna Move