End Of The Month Wrap Up: February 2015


Between all the snow we had in February, the roomie and I did make it out quite a bit. Of course, you know about all the trips to record stores because you’ve been following along and know I do a weekly summary. Right?!? Of course, there was Garnick’s but Mr. Richard went to RRRecords for me and we made it to Bull Moose in Portsmouth together. As the crate digging trips are regular, we also wanted to get out and have some new experiences.

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First up this month, we went to go see Green Porno live in Boston. Are you familiar with the act? If not, it’s a bit educational, a bit sexy and absolutely hilarious. We used to watch the TV show while we were in college so it was like a flashback going to see the show. The actual performance itself was part lecture, part performance art and featured some of her TV clips like her hamster, duck, dolphin and praying mantis.

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We were a bit high up, but despite the above photo, it really wasn’t that blurry. We saw everything on stage from the puppets, to the screen to Isabella recreating some of her films, like when she used tomatoes to symbolize eggs in her mouth and sprayed herself in the face to show how a certain fish reproduces. Mr. Richard and I laughed harder than we have in a long time while still learning a ton.

We had other plans to spend “Pal-entine’s Day” (I just made that up, ripping off Lesley Knope’s Galentine’s) but the snow hit. I won’t bore you with more images of my trash cans covered in snow, but check out the past updates if you’re visiting this blog from outside the north east. It’s been quite the month for snowfall here and I certainly haven’t lived through anything like it.

Luckily all of our plans could be moved, like a trip to the Butterfly Garden a few towns over and a few dinners we have certificates for. Look for those little adventures next month! Our luck did take a turn for the best and we avoided any bad weather for our trip to Maine.

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I mean, it was cold, obviously. This is winter in New England people, but bundled appropriately, we trekked out, stopping in Portsmouth for some crate digging (again, check out some of the previous weekly updates for more).

In Maine, we stayed right on the water, a gift from his parents. We arrived early and pulled over to go for a little walk along the beach. Obviously, most stairs were blocked off, but just staring out was peaceful enough. It was so calming! Below is a little collage of the ocean, the top picture being sunset of our first night, the middle being early the next day and bottom of a lighthouse we visited.

PanoMaine

We got to the hotel, Anchorage Inn, and it was beautiful. There was a heated indoor pool with bar, fitness room and in the summer, a playground. The only slight hiccup was we planned our trip over school vacation. We got into the room and barely had the bags off our shoulders when the phone rang. Assuming it was the front desk to say they forgot something or ask if we were okay, I answered. Screaming. I hung up.

Ring, ring. “Is your refrigerator running?” comes out of what I best could guess was a six year old. I hung up again and thought of Dave Chapelle. “I don’t like people playing on my phone!” and called the front desk. It took one more prank call before it ended. We were settling in and as funny as it would have been to a younger me, I wanted to relax damn it!!

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After we got the chance to settle in, we ventured back out for some dinner. Obviously, a lot was closed for the winter but we drove into Kittery and found this amazing Thai restaurant, Tasty Thai. It was a bit of a drive but every single bit was worth it.

We eat a ton of Thai food, like, we’ve probably tried 90% of the Thai in Boston and at least 80% in Lowell and a lot in New Hampshire, Vermont and other random places but this was hands down the best. Mr. Richard even went as far to say it was better than anything he had in Vancouver when he was there for school. He never says that! I mean, he compares everything to there and nothing ever compares, but this was a total 180!

The Thai rolls were crispy and perfectly filled, curry puffs to die for and the pad Thai was plate licking delicious. We even considered stopping back there on the way home to get three orders of the curry puffs and 500 side orders of the peanut sauce.

LighthouseMaine

We woke up early and headed north before turning back to Massachusetts. We ended up at a lighthouse where we both snapped some great pictures. It was about 10 degrees cooler there and five times as windy so we could only stay so long. The view was still breathtaking and we managed to catch some beautiful lighting and sat in the heated car a moment to take it all in.

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It was so windy, Mr. Richard was photographing the lighthouse while I was coming up from exploring off the pavement and the wind blew his phone down onto me! I’m surprised he managed any pictures of the lighthouse since the parking lot was full of seagulls. He loves them and must have snapped a dozen or so reference pictures for more stencils he’ll cut!

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We both don’t particularly like our pictures taken, but I did get a few throughout. Above is our little collage of ice cream and beer in the hotel, selfies while walking the beach, free breakfast and a little gambling on the way home.

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This last week, I went out to a bridal expo with a friend from work. It was at the aquarium, free to go with free food and wine! We expected a sort of time share pitch to get her to have her wedding there, but we pigged out and ran around the aquarium taking full advantage of the child free zone.

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The food was amazing, pasta, bacon wrapped scallops and jerk chicken! It was a bit strange to eat so much seafood in front of the fish but that’s the circle of life I suppose! I definitely want to somehow go back when it’s this empty so I can get more close up pictures of all the sea life, but who knows when I’ll have that chance again…

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This morning, for Rare Disease Day, Mr. Richard and I spent the morning at the Butterfly Place in Westford, Massachusetts before going out to the record store. It was so beautiful!

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We so many different butterflies! It was spectacular! They had some small birds as well, but since it’s winter the plant life wasn’t as full. We’re definitely planning a trip back in summer when it’s more lush. I’d also like to get my friend up here with her baby. I think she’d be in awe!

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It was also really warm so it was a really, really great treat to bask in the 80 degree temperature. I didn’t want to leave. If you’re in the Boston area, get up here to Westford. Right now on TravelZoo.com you can even get a great deal!

BlueButterfly

I hope you like the pictures, there’s larger versions on Facebook so make sure you’re following along! Check it out in the sidebar of the blog or by clicking HERE. I try to keep all the social media pages current and a bit more personal. For instance, on Twitter, I’m using today to shout out different rare diseases in honor of the roomie! Check it out and raise awareness! #RareDiseaseDay2015

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Every Rose Has It’s Reality TV Thorn


Obviously, all the members of Poison were important to the group’s history but let’s focus on the man responsible for my own resurgence of interest in the group: Bret Michaels. More specifically, his slide into reality TV. So much trashy TV. My brain’s rotting just thinking about the shows…

It started with…

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Rock of Love with Bret Michaels

Obviously starring Bret, the first season featured 25 women competing to be Michaels’ girlfriend. Each week, the women face challenges, the winner of which gets to go on a date with Michaels. Some of the challenges were based on situations that they might encounter if chosen to be Michaels’ girlfriend, most were ridiculous, including phone sex, roller skating with strollers and more.

RockOfLoveCast

The first season winner was 24-year-old Jes Rickleff from Naperville, Illinois. At the reunion, she revealed that she did not have romantic feelings for Michaels, and that she thought that he should have chosen the runner-up, Heather. The second season featured another set of 20 women. This time around, Michaels chose 37-year-old Ambre Lake from Los Angeles, California. After the show, the two maintained a relationship, but parted ways after just a few months. The third season premiered in January 2009. The season finale was a series high for VH1, and Michaels chose Penthouse Pet Taya Parker as the winner. A fourth season was offered to Michaels, but it was announced in May 2010 that he would be appearing in a new show entitled…

Bret Michaels: Life As I Know.

The show chronicles the lives of Bret Michaels and his family. Filming of the series began before Michaels’ health troubles, and filming was suspended after his hospitalization. Production resumed when it was cleared by his doctors. This was particularly juicy since it reminded America that yes, Bret had a on and off again relationship while filming Rock of Love.

Mr. Richard and I often look back on the era of Rock of Love and the spin offs as the peak in reality TV. There’s nothing really like it anymore. Go back, watch Rock of Love, Charm School or Tool Academy and tell me, can you find trashier, more mind numbing TV? I figured that Bret’s reality TV stardom was fitting for Every Rose since he only refers back to it a million times over the seasons!

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Side One

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Side Two

Livin’ for the Minute

Mr. Richard’s Reviews: Ice Cube – It Was a Good Day


Ice Cube – It Was a Good Day (written by Ice Cube and produced by D.J. Pooh)

After recently watching the new sitcom Fresh Off The Boat I was inspired to write the review for this classic west coast rap. This song plays in one of the first episodes. However, I don’t have a lot to say about Ice Cube in particular.

In fact, I respect Ice Cube as a storyteller and “honest”, intelligent rapper and one of the founders of gangster rap, but I don’t love his discography by any means. It’s hard not to like this track though. Just hearing the opening lines of music brings me to a calmer state of being, like reclining on a beach chair with a fresh, frozen drink. Maybe it is the perfect combination of “Come on Sexy Mama” by The Moments and “Footsteps in the Dark” by the Isley Brothers.

Before leaving N.W.A., I like all of his work. His solo career and now acting, television and movie production, Coors Light endorsements, etc. just bug me. None of it is at 100% ever anymore because he spreads himself too thin. All of it has a tinge of awkwardness that almost makes me feel embarrassed for him and his legacy. At this point, nobody under the age of twenty probably don’t even knows that he is a musician and rather a bad dad comedy mockery. I mean “Are we there yet?”…

That being said, I can’t knock this golden-era tune for anything, especially because it’s an original maxi-single pressing with the main version on side a and the instrumental on side b. Maybe it’s because we all have an inherent vision of a day entirely in our control without any issues. Hilariously, somebody actually took the time to sit down and figure out what specific day Ice Cube was rapping about based on the circumstances told in the lyrics of the song, which just goes to show how many people love this track.

- Mr. Richard

Check out the original post HERE.

Introducing Pearl Bailey


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Anybody that watches American Dad like I do, will recognize the high school above. Seth McFarlane paid homage to Pearl Bailey by naming the high school in his show after Pearl. It’s a kind of obscure for the normal viewer of American Dad, but I had picked up on it right away!

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Introducing Pearl Bailey

Pearl Bailey

Side One

I’m Gonna Keep on Doin’ What I’m Doin’
I’ve Taken a Fancy to You
Here You Come with Love
That’s What You Think
Call Me Again When You’re in Town
It Figures

Side Two

The Saga of My Life
What Will We Do on Sunday
You’ve Got It Made
Who Me? I’d Love It
Empty House Blues
Love ‘Im, Love ‘Im, Love ‘Im

I’ll Be Good To You And Stuff Like That But There’s A Train Coming


“We had the best jazz band in the planet, and yet we were literally starving. That’s when I discovered that there was music, and there was the music business. If I were to survive, I would have to learn the difference between the two.” – Quincy Jones

My previous post on Quincy Jones was a bit more focused on his overall career and family so this time, I’d like to just focus on his musical career for a moment. In that career, there are a lot of firsts and doors opening and I think it’s important to include it all! Well, most of it, I did edit it down a bit.

At the age of 19, Quincy traveled to Europe to tour and said it turned him upside down, altering his view of racism in the US. In 1956, Jones toured again as a trumpeter and musical director of the Dizzy Gillespie Band on a tour of the Middle East and South America sponsored by the United States Information Agency. Upon his return, Jones signed with ABC-Paramount Records and started his recording career as the leader of his own band.

In 1957, Quincy settled in Paris, where he studied composition and theory with Nadia Boulanger and composer Olivier Messiaen. He also performed at the Paris Olympia. Jones became music director at Barclay Disques, a leading French record company and the licensee for Mercury Records in France. During the 1950s, he successfully toured throughout Europe with a number of jazz orchestras. Jones again formed his own big band, called The Jones Boys, with eighteen artists. Though the European and American concerts met enthusiastic audiences and sparkling reviews, concert earnings could not support a band of this size. Poor budget planning resulted in an economic disaster; the band dissolved and the fallout left Jones in a financial crisis. Irving Green, head of Mercury Records, helped Jones with a personal loan and a new job as the musical director of the company’s New York division. There he worked with Doug Moody, who founded Mystic Records.

In 1964, Jones was promoted to vice-president of Mercury Records, becoming the first African American to hold this executive position. In that same year, he turned his attention to film scores, another musical arena long closed to African Americans. At the invitation of director Sidney Lumet, he composed the music for The Pawnbroker (1964). It was the first of his 33 major motion picture scores.

Following the success of The Pawnbroker, Jones left Mercury Records and moved to Los Angeles. After composing a film score for The Slender Thread (1965), starring Sidney Poitier, he was in constant demand as a composer. His film credits in the next five years included:

  • Walk, Don’t Run (1966)
  • In Cold Blood (1967)
  • In the Heat of the Night (1968)
  • A Dandy in Aspic (1968)
  • Mackenna’s Gold (1969)
  • The Italian Job (1969)
  • Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)
  • The Lost Man (1969)
  • Cactus Flower (1969)
  • The Getaway (1972)

In addition, he composed “The Streetbeater,” which became familiar as the theme music for the television sitcom Sanford and Son, starring close friend Redd Foxx; he also composed the themes for other TV shows, including The Bill Cosby Show, Ironside, and the Goodson & Todman game show Now You See It.

In the 1960s, Jones worked as an arranger for some of the most important artists of the era, including Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, and Dinah Washington.

Jones’s solo recordings also gained acclaim, including Walking in Space, Gula Matari, Smackwater Jack, You’ve Got It Bad, Girl, Body Heat, Mellow Madness, and I Heard That!!. He is known for his 1962 tune “Soul Bossa Nova”, which originated on the Big Band Bossa Nova album. “Soul Bossa Nova” was a theme used for the 1998 World Cup, the Canadian game show Definition, the Woody Allen film Take the Money and Run, and the Austin Powers film series. Jones’s 1981 album, The Dude, yielded multiple hit singles, including “Ai No Corrida” (a remake of a song by Chaz Jankel), “Just Once,” and “One Hundred Ways”, the latter two featuring James Ingram on lead vocals and marking Ingram’s first hits.

In 1985, Jones wrote the score for the Steven Spielberg film adaptation of the Pulitzer-prize winning epistolary novel, The Color Purple, by Alice Walker. He and Jerry Goldsmith (from Twilight Zone: The Movie) are the only composers besides John Williams to have scored a Spielberg theatrical film. After the 1985 American Music Awards ceremony, Jones used his influence to draw most of the major American recording artists of the day into a studio to record the song “We Are the World” to raise money for the victims of Ethiopia’s famine. When people marveled at his ability to make the collaboration work, Jones explained that he’d taped a simple sign on the entrance: “Check Your Ego At The Door”.

In 1988, Quincy Jones Productions joined forces with Warner Communications to create Quincy Jones Entertainment. He signed a ten-picture deal with Warner Brothers and signed a two-series deal with NBC Productions. Jones produced the highly successful Fresh Prince of Bel Air (discovering Will Smith); UPN’s In the House, and FOX’s Madtv—which did 14 seasons on Fox. In the early 1990s, Jones started a huge, ongoing project called “The Evolution of Black Music.”

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Side One

I’ll Be Good to You

Side Two

I’ll Be Good to You

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Side One

Stuff Like That

Side Two

There’s a Train Leavin’

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Side One

There’s a Train Leavin’

Side Two

Ai No Corrida (I-No-Ko-Ree-Da)

Quincy Jones


The music industry has always been this sort of perverted gateway for the bastardization of the black culture while a white man profits. Because of this and in light of recent events, I wanted to use Mondays in February as my sort of positive protest. I want to highlight a different successful black musician and what they’ve done to be a positive role model, how they’ve given back to the community and sometimes their ancestry. Being a white girl, I can’t say I necessarily understand everything about dealing with racism or have the best idea to solve it, but I personally want to stay positive and focus on the good in people so that’s why you’ll see these posts coming up.

Quincy Delight Jones, Jr. (born March 14, 1933) is an American record producer, conductor, arranger, composer, musician, television producer, film producer, instrumentalist, magazine founder, entertainment company executive, and humanitarian. His career spans six decades in the entertainment industry and a record 79 Grammy Award nominations, 27 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend Award in 1991.

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Quincy was born on the South Side of Chicago in 1933 to Quincy Delight Jones, Sr. and Sarah Frances Jones (née Wells). Both his maternal and paternal grandmothers were slaves, his paternal from Louisville and maternal from Kentucky.

With the help of the author Alex Haley in 1972 and Mormon researchers in Salt Lake City, Jones discovered that his mother’s ancestors included James Lanier, a relative of Sidney Lanier, the poet. Jones said in an interview, “He had a baby with my great-grandmother [a slave], and my grandmother was born there [on a plantation in Kentucky]. We traced this all the way back to the Laniers, same family as Tennessee Williams”. Learning that the Lanier immigrant ancestors were French Huguenot refugees, who had court musicians among their ancestors, Jones attributed some of his musicianship to them.

For the 2006 PBS television program, African American Lives, Jones had his DNA tested and genealogists researched his family history again. His DNA admixture revealed he is predominately African with 34% European in ancestry, found on both sides of his family. Research showed that he has Welsh, English, French and Italian ancestry, with European ancestry in his direct patrilineal line. Through his direct matrilineal line, he is of West African/Central African ancestry of Tikar descent, a people centered in present-day Cameroon and known for their music.

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Jones’s social activism began in the 1960s with his support of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. Where do we go from there?

  • One of the founders of the Institute for Black American Music (IBAM)
  • One of the founders of the Black Arts Festival in his hometown of Chicago
  • In the 1970s Jones formed The Quincy Jones Workshops which educated and honed the skills of inner city youth in musicianship, acting and songwriting
  • Founder of the Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation
  • Helped launch the We Are the Future (WAF) project which is the result of a strategic partnership between the Global Forum, the Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation, and Hani Masri, with the support of the World Bank, UN agencies and major companies.
  • Serves on the Advisory Board of HealthCorps
  • In 2001, Jones became an honorary member of the board of directors of The Jazz Foundation of America, working to save the homes and the lives of America’s elderly jazz and blues musicians, including those who survived Hurricane Katrina
  • Worked with his friend John Sie, founder of Liberty Starz, to create the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.

Jones supports a number of other charities including the NAACP, GLAAD, Peace Games, AmfAR and The Maybach Foundation. Jones. On July 26, 2007, he announced his endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president. But with the election of Barack Obama, Quincy Jones said that his next conversation “with President Obama [will be] to beg for a secretary of arts,”. This prompted the circulation of a petition on the Internet asking Obama to create such a Cabinet-level position in his administration.

On top of all of this, Quincy has also received so many awards, if I were to list them, it would be way to much. I still have to get to one of his singles after all! So, rather than read my copied and pasted (yes, even the pictures) from Wikipedia information, hop on over yourself to see his list of awards HERE.

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Side One

The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)

Side Two

 The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)

Elvis, Connie Francis and Kay Starr’s Singing Dentist


You know what my absolute worst fear is? Dentists.  As soon as my mom couldn’t drag me to one any more, I really didn’t go and my fear just grew and grew. At this point, I have to go to the dentist for a ton of work which has been started but the roomie has to trick me in my appointments and drug me. Luckily, he brings me to his mom’s office so I at least feel slightly more comfortable.

Randy Starr (born Warren Nadel, July 2, 1930) is an American dentist and singer-songwriter best known for writing twelve songs for Elvis Presley.

Starr was educated at Columbia University where he took his undergraduate degree from Columbia College in 1951, and his DDS degree in dentistry from Columbia College of Dental Medicine in 1954.

During the 1950s, he was a member of the American band The Islanders, whose “The Enchanted Sea” was the fifteenth most popular hit in 1959. Randy appeared on TV on several occasions. In August 1957, he performed his hit song “After School” in one of his five appearances on American Bandstand. In 1962 Starr appeared as the real songwriting dentist on To Tell the Truth.

Randy wrote songs that were recorded by The Kingston Trio, Teresa Brewer, Chet Atkins, Kay Starr, and Connie Francis.

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Side One

After School

Side Two

Heaven High (Man So Low)