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So, I have my daring moments, like singing with Sister’s Morales
many moons ago during an open mic night, walking along the DC mall alone at
night to see the sights, you know, stuff that I probably shouldn’t have done if
I had thought long term.

So, this morning as I was walking into work I had my bag and drink,
it was quiet, until I turned the corner at which time this came on a giant screen TV in the lobby:

Now, I’m not specifying my feelings on the quality of the
presentation…or the content…but I wish I had the confidence to do something
like that and not be worried about being made fun of. Not just the being made
fun of, but the fact that it’s in electrons for all to see FOR EVER! This was a
bold move. It’s seen by some 8,000 people every day. I couldn’t do it…and I’m
fairly bold. So, to this guy…congrats on the win, and here’s hoping you have
a bold future.

La La Lu

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Well, here it is. A little teaser of what I’m working on.

I loved Lady and the Tramp when I was a kid and we ended up having a cocker spaniel when I was a teenager named Lady that looked just like the cartoon dog. I decided to do a little Peggy Lee and sing La La Lu. I haven’t recorded the whole song yet, since I don’t have a mic yet. Hopefully I’ll be a bit better organized going forward. Attached is a VERY rough cut of the begining of the song.

la la lu

As I said, rough. No accompaniment, no tweeking, just my voice. As I practice more, it will get better…I promise.

Alright then, until next time where hopefully the recording will be much better!

singing

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I haven’t posted in a while, it’s been crazy around here! So this is what’s happening, I’m going to sing a little baby medley. I’m looking about six or so songs. The first one is going to be the song from Hook called When You’re all Alone. There is discussion on who will accompany me. Will also be singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Ella style, with my cousin doing accompaniment for that one. I’ll post the rough versions up here to show the progress. I’m excited. Going to teach myself some guitar and warm up the old piano again to do some of the background. It’s all very exciting. Its all for family, so this will be the only place you’ll find it, as I’m not really what you would call commercially viable. I love singing and playing music, so this is great and its out of love for a new little buddy that entered the world. If it turns out ok, will probably send it out to some friends that have kids that I don’t get to see, so they have some Auntie Jen Jen around.

Alright, here it goes, wish me luck. Next post will have some tunage attached.

Many blessing everyone.

September 11th

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September 11, 2011

Like most people in the country this day has very strong
emotional thread running through it. In fact, I’m a little tearful as I type
this. 10 years ago today America changed, but I like to think of it in a good
way. This was the day we were reminded of the indomitable spirit of this
country. The firemen, police and everyday person risked their own lives to
protect and save others. Since then we have not let the fear twist us, as one
might after being hit that way, we protected ourselves and our friends so that
this won’t happen again. I’m not saying all of the changes have been great, I’m
really sick of the “naked” machines in airports and am glad I don’t travel like
I use to. All and all, we are a stronger country.

Like many Americans, I have a story from that day. We had
just moved my brother and his now wife up to New York on August 18th
of 2001. It was filled with hope, dreams and adventure. September 11, 2001 was
a day like any other day at its start. My mom had told me my bro was starting
his job in the city that day and would let us know how it went later. I showed
up at the firm I worked for on the 16th floor downtown San Antonio.
One of the guys listened to the radio and turned around and told us that the
first plane has hit. It was unimaginable. It must have been a serious accident.
And then he turns around and says a second plane had hit. Ok, this might not
have been an accident. After that it seemed to just be raining planes. The
Pentagon and field in the middle of nowhere was next. All those people, all
those lives, business men and women on their way to work just like everyone
else. My mind started to race, what about my brother!?! Where was he? Did he
get to work? Was he home safe? My coworkers told me to suck it up and work. I was
in my mid 20’s, I couldn’t work! All I could think of was my brother being
safe. I’m his big sister, I have to protect him! It’s been my job since we were
kids! If anyone messed with him I would take care of it…not a very intimidating
bean pole with unruly hair, but I had a fierce attitude and wouldn’t let anyone
mess with my family! I was ready to drive up there that day since there were no
planes. I wanted to see him and make sure he was ok. The buildings feel after
that. My mom called and said she received an email from him saying he was ok,
but surrounded by people covered in dust and other things trying to get a hold
of their families too. He worked in a tech center with computers and email was
the only way to get a message out. The email wasn’t enough for me. I had to
hear is voice to make sure he was ok. The day went on and I was at the office
all day. Drove home and started to dial. I spoke with friends that have family
in NY too. I dialed and dialed my bro’s number. Busy, busy busy. I finally got
through and cried as I talked to him. They had call waiting and he asked me to
stay on so he could talk to other people. If you got a call you stayed on so you
could talk to others. He had walked home over the Brooklyn Bridge. We thought
he might have been under the WTC when the first plane hit and didn’t know
anything had happened until he came out from the subway. He was ok, tired,
beaten, but ok. All I wanted to do was be there and hug him and make it be ok. Obviously
it wasn’t going to help, but it might have. We told each other we loved one
another and hung up.

I hadn’t seen any
images of that day, didn’t want to. I remember watching the Challenger accident
over and over and I just didn’t need to watch this. It took days before I did
watch, and it certainly didn’t make me feel better. For weeks after we would
call and talk for a little while to make sure everyone was ok. They talked
about how it was still smoky and dusty and full of the unknown. I went to DC in
February of 2002 for my new job. I hadn’t flown since August of the previous
year. No one was allowed to be on the gangway anymore. Little kids won’t get to
run up to their daddy’s like I did when mine came home from Korea. All of a
sudden there were long lines, security dogs and pimply faced teens with machine
guns. I felt like I was back in Germany.  There had been a raid on the hotel I stayed in
that morning because someone was looking out the windows too long. It was
strange. At the end of the week I hoped a train and went up to New York. It was
different. It was sad and dark and there was something missing from the
skyline. They toured me around, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, and
the usual tourist traps. I hugged the stuffing out of my family and didn’t want
to leave.

So many lives changed that day. Really, the entire country
changed. Kids born now won’t know what this day means to us. We can teach them,
talk about it, read it in books. Much like reading about the Revolutionary War,
to them it’s just words on paper. I hope we continue to remember this day in
the country. Not calling it “day of service” but September 11th. Because
that’s what it is. That day is fresh in so many people’s memories. Just about
everyone has a story like the one I told. The biggest difference between the
Revolutionary War and September 11th is the internet, the individual
stories are going to be told as long as we have electricity and internet.
People who have stories like mine can tell them and they can be easily found in
searches for years to come. I hope we remember the people who died and those
who made the ultimate sacrifice to save us for a long time to come. I know, I will
tell my children and hose to come on this day every year I’m alive. And will
end it with God Bless America.

Toadies acoustic

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Whitewater Amphitheater

It was a hot Friday night at the tail end of August at Whitewater
Amphitheater (http://whitewaterrocks.com/)
adjacent to New Braunfels. And the sold out Toadies Acoustic show was about to
kick of Dia De Los Toadies 4 2011! I had been waiting for this concert for
months. Bought the tickets the week they came out!  As always, my friend and I got there before
the gates opened so we could get a good spot up front. While in line, heard
talk about seating, ok, seating, probably off to the side. After we walked in…nope,
it was all up front! I didn’t remember seeing it as an option online…fail! First
time I’ve bought tickets for a show, so I will never be allowed to buy tickets
again! So we went and picked up a drink and something to eat. While in line,
guess who was behind us!? Todd Lewis, the lead singer of the Toadies! Rock
stars have to eat too! And I guess its tacos and fries.

Here is a video from last year’s show. I’m just out of frame of
the video…was in the thick of it for most of the show.

Quiet Company

While we stood in line we heard a little preview of Quiet Company
(http://quietcompanymusic.com) doing their sound check. I knew I was going to
dig it! They did not disappoint. The venue was intimate and the crowd was much
smaller than expected. The whole band was wearing suits (insanity in the heat! But
looking sharp).  And this is what they
opened with

No, this isn’t a video from the show, but it gives you some
flavor. Next was a Pixies cover of Here
Comes Your Man
which of course I sang along with. This was followed by Songs for Staying In and a cover of
Weezers El Scorcho with one of my
favorite lyrics “I’ll bring home the turkey if you bring home the bacon” The
band will be releasing a new record called WE ARE ALL WHERE WE BELONG Oct 4 with a little release show
Sept. 30th.  Their new song Fear and Fallacy,
Sitting in a Tree
is going to be something I’m guessing will be played on the radio pretty
soon, check it out:

To break it up the lead singer Taylor
Muse told a dirty nun joke, will not repeat on this blog, maybe in
person.  Next was a fun cover of Cakes Friend is a Four Letter Word. Then we
are back to another new song off the upcoming album called How Do You Do It with the sweet lyric “ just wanna see your smile
in the morning”, with their cuteness, wish they were singing it to me *grin*. After
that up beat tune we move onto a cover of the Smiths Ask, so here are the Smiths actually singing:

Lastly, sadly, they played another new song called On Husband’s Wives. I would recommend ya
go see them. Hopefully they won’t be wearing suits in 100 degree weather again.
Also, love buying merch and they have some really fun stuff. Bet if you go in
the next few weeks you can get some “Fire” sale merch and catch and autograph (I
did!) They were all very sweet and approachable.

Toadies

(http://thetoadies.com)

With a fun opening cover like O0h
La La
how can this show go wrong!?! It didn’t! With Lewis playing a mandolin,
it was even better! The shows I’ve seen in the past are usually fairly hard
core. This set was mellow, which was a very nice change. Even the Toadies pointed
out that it’s not really an acoustic show, it’s more of a…well what do you name
it? I was thinking “Limited Edition Mellow Show” but even that doesn’t really
cover what this show is.

Up next was Dead Boy Boogie. I have seen the Toadies four times
now and they keep the show really fresh and the crowd goes crazy every time.  Of course was crowd favorite Tyler with a sing along and mandolin. Next
up were Doll Skin and  Mine.
There were a lot of covers tonight but I
really enjoyed the Toadies cover of the Beatles Don’t Let Me Down. Next came the crowd rousing I Come From the. Everyone was singing along with the whole song. It
was funny and sounded great despite all the drunk singers. Normally, I’m a “I
paid to hear the singer, sing not you!” person, but it was pretty amazing.

Followed by an AMAZING cover of the Talking Heads Psycho Killer and Clark killed a guitar
solo. Next up was Paper Dress and Song I Hate. And to much cheering it’s mandolin
time again aka “tiny guitar” and a cover of LCD Soundsystems Someone Great, check it out here:

Of course they had to play the song that sort of lead to this
whole Dia De Los Toadies(said in Texas accent) thing Possum Kingdom (which I’m sad to hear had burned again this year
due to the drought), followed by Send You
to Heaven
and another cover of and artist called Ida Maria called We’re All Going to Hell. After seeing
her video, I understood the attraction, very cheery/cheeky.  Clark on keyboards, finished up the night with
Mexican Hairless (we think, no lyrics
so not 100%)

The whole night was just so much fun and created some good
memories. Next year seats! And I guess I won’t be in charge with that. I swear I
didn’t get that option!!! And I leave you with this:

Also keep your eyes peeled for some photos to be posted
ASAP.

Next up will be the show…but I want to make sure that I have
it all put together in an orderly fashion. So it might be a few more days. My
life has been very busy, and I have a new computer to get us to. Will try it
put it tomorrow.

writer/bloggers block…

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I have started this review of Matt the Electricans live album several times and just can’t get out of my writers block. So I’m watching The Walking Dead to try and get out of it….I’ll write a proper bloggy review here shortly.

Sad that I can’t seem to write, especially since this is such a great album, alive with some great music.

This too will pass.

In the mean time, check him out at http://www.matttheelectrician.com

As they said in The Walking Dead, “sometimes words fall short”

disappointed

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This week has been very sad in the independent music world.

First is the rioting in London. Luckily, my new friends in Van Susans are ok (posted today) however, I’ve read that one of the warehouses that holds several indy bands music to be distributed was burned. @TDCinemaClub and @Pitchforkmedia reported it this morning on their twitter feeds. I’m all for expressing ones self (I have glitter nail polish on right now and look forward to having purple hair one day) but not when it comes at the expense of others expression. It makes me mad, sick and sad when I hear that. A few years ago, the state put up some hand painted murals along the road, someone when and tagged it. Why? What is the point of destroying someone else’s work!?  So, rioters, stop! You aren’t doing yourself or anyone else any good by behaving this way.

Second, someone stole Portugal. The Man’s (http://portugaltheman.com) equipment van! With all the equipment! The van was returned but all of the equipment is gone. They have posted that they wouldn’t like donations…but I know I’m defiantly going to their next show and buy a shirt. It’s nice to see the music world pulling together and helping out. It just sucks that anyone would do that! And at Lollapalooza! I hope whoever stole their stuff gets what’s coming to them (all things bleeped)! Again, people! Don’t mess with artists! What did they ever do to you!? Just don’t touch other peoples stuff period!

PS – here is a site with a list of all of their missing stuff. if you life in the Chicago area or stalk eBay please check it out and see if you can help: https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?hl=en_US&hl=en_US&key=0AhuqJxSxnrEPdEUyd0oxNWJPTGphLXZkN1hNRFQ5dXc&output=html

Ok, I’m off the soap box….for now! As Wil Wheaton says “don’t be a D!*K!”

My next post will be WAY more fun. I’m going to write about Matt the Electricians live album which came out in January of this year. It’s really funny. One of the songs is called “Facebook Friend” (and it’s not bleeped). Sooooo keep your eyes peeled and let me know what you think! Here’s hoping that Portugal. The Man has a run of really good luck! And that the indy artist who’s work burned are able to recoup.