16 December 2007

Believe In Me...

13 August 1951- 16 December 2007

"You've got to just follow your heart and do your best work … There is no doubt in my mind or heart that everything I've done is exactly what I intended to do."

RIP Dan Fogelberg

10 December 2007

And though time goes by, I will always be, in a club with you in 1973…

Ok, so James Blunt wasn’t alive in 1973 (he was born in 1974) and if he had been I doubt he would have been clubbing, but that doesn’t mean he can’t write about that time. It’s called ‘artistic license’ and we’re all guilty of it. We all write about stuff we may know nothing about – hell – I write this music blog every week, don’t I? People actually read it too, not just my Aunt in Arkansas. But I digress……

To assume a sophomore album from an artist is going to suck is all wrong. If you think about all the songs that didn’t make their way on to the freshman debut than it makes sense that you would have a good starting point, right? While I have no idea what did or didn’t make it on to Back To Bedlam, certainly his second CD, All The Lost Souls, doesn’t suck. While it may lack a potentially overplayed, misunderstood, and misplaced wedding song (“You’re Beautiful” in case you weren’t paying attention last week), which I would think would be intentional on his part (can you blame him?) the CD does contain ten very catchy, slightly depressing, well written songs that make you think and feel your way around a dimly lit room.

I don’t’ think he can help it really. His voice is naturally predisposed to sounding pained and thusly each song he sings seeps a little bit of sadness from each lilting note. But I like it that way. I don’t want to hear him sing some happy horse-shit crap tune about how wonderful the world is (can you tell I don’t like musicals?). I want someone to express the pain and anguish that I can’t always put into words. If I want a “Silly Love Song” I know where to happily turn. I like James Blunt because of the heartache he puts into his songs and the discomfort that he expresses. In a music world filled with senseless one hit wonders, this guy is the real deal.

All if this, of course, is masked by his sweet melodies and retro production values which make me feel like I’m listening to an album from, say, 1973. It’s a cool thing, actually, about this CD – many of the sounds are very reminiscent of some classic 70’s artists like Firefall, Poco or Al Stewart. It’s a great balance between what’s happening now and what happened way back then. He does it well – it’s refreshing, his lyrics are honest and I truly love his voice both literally and figuratively.

My favourites from this collection of songs are “Same Mistake” (“I’m not calling for a second chance, I’m screaming at the top of my voice. Give me reason but don’t give me choice. ‘Cause I’ll just make the same mistake again.”), “Carry You Home” (“As strong as you were, tender you go. I’m watching you breathing for the last time. A song for your heart, but when it is quiet, I know what it means and I’ll carry you home. I’ll carry you home.”) and “Give Me Some Love” (“Why don’t you give me some love? I’ve taken ship-load of drugs. I’m so tired of never fixing the pain. Valium said to me, I’ll take you seriously, and we’ll comeback as someone else, who’s better than yourself.”). Though really, it’s hard to pick a favourite here – these are all really good works of art. If you’re a fan, you’ll like this one. If you aren’t – check out his first one, Back To Bedlam, than move on to this one. You’ll be glad for the journey. www.jamesblunt.com and www.myspace.com/jamesblunt

Ah…..Christmas Shopping in Los Angeles. Where else can you be shopping and see the ‘stars’ – it still trips me out – walking around The Grove last week I saw/smiled at Neil Patrick Harris and Martin Short. Then there’s the time we nearly ran over Keanu Reeves as he was crossing our path. Or this one time we walked by this chick who was all bundled up (I dismissed her as just another L.A. freak) and Abby turned to me and said it was Paris Hilton. Weird. Sometimes I can’t believe I live here. Even though I grew up down the road from David Letterman (he was always very nice to me), and used to see Paul Newman around, it still amazes me sometimes the people I’ve seen and met during my tenure in this place. I know - they’re just people too – some of them have been very nice (George Clooney, Annette Bening to name a few) and others, well, maybe they were having a bad day so I didn’t take it personally.

Either way – it can be cool to be here and I’m glad that for now I am. As wacky a place as this can be, and I don’t think I’ll ever understand how this place ‘works’, there are times when I’m happy to be here and grateful for the opportunities this place affords. Not just running into or meeting famous people, but having opportunities I wouldn’t have if I lived on a lake in Maine. That will happen one day – just not now.

So kids, The Holidays are nearing, and I’m not sure how inclined I am to do another blog before the New Year. I’m getting ready to head back East – reconnect with my peeps, get my feet on the ground, and hopefully play in some snow with my most adorable niece. In case I’m not back next week (you’ll have to check in to find out) I want to thank you all for your loyal readership this past year. It means a lot to me that this thing gets read by more than my family. I hope you’ve learned something along the way – discovered some music you may not have thought you’d like or learned something about life in Los Angeles that you never thought you’d know.

Either way – thank you for tuning in….Until next time…Happy Holidays!! & CHEERS!! To you – the New Year - and all the hope that comes with it! Nasdrovia!!!!

02 December 2007

…But I say nothing, I talk to no one, I know what I believe don’t need to wear it on my sleeve….

What can I say about Voice Of The Beehive? Hmm…perhaps they were one of the most fun bands to come out of the 80’s. Funky, poppy, bouncy stuff that made me want to dance and scream out in misanthropy. Their song “I Say Nothing” certainly struck a chord in my brain. I’ve often been accused of being vague upon attempting to answer a question or simply not answering. This song said it all for me when I could say nothing (forgive the pun). Oh yeah – the rest of the CD entitled Let It Bee is pretty fab, too! Check them out: www.myspace.com/voiceofthebeehive

This week I thought I’d do something a little different. There’s a lot going on in this huge world of ours and I thought I’d offer up some of my views. For whatever they are worth and for ever how much salt you wish to take them with here they are:

Carson Daly going back to work, despite the Writers Strike, so that 76 of his crew don’t miss their mortgage or car payments or otherwise have a crappy holiday because five staff writers are striking: AWESOME! (I get the reasons for the strike but c’mon guys…TAKE THE DEAL AND STOP HARRASSING PEOPLE FOR WANTING TO GO BACK TO WORK!).

Dave Lettermen paying his, and the Late Late Show with Craig Furguson, crew out of his pocket until the end of the year so they don’t have worry about cash: AWESOME! Conan O’Brian doing the same: DOUBLE AWESOME!

Jay Leno doing a back flip and NOT taking care of his staff & crew after telling them he would: CRAPPY!! The guy who defended Leno for doing this: DOUBLE CRAPPY!

Jay Leno doing yet another back-flip and this morning (Sunday) saying that he’ll pay his people until the end of this coming week instead of doing the right thing to begin with: LAME, BUT SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING!

George Bush asking for more money for The War when Hurricane Katrina victims are being kicked out of trailers with no affordable housing to move back in to because what little that is being rebuilt is not the affordable housing that existed before the hurricane: SHAMEFUL! ON SO MANY LEVELS!!

The upcoming election year: EXCITING, BUT TOO BAD AL GORE ISN’T RUNNING!!

Running 2 ½ miles in 28 minutes, 11 seconds, in the rain, on muddy grass, in 55 degree weather on Friday: EXHILERATING!

Camping, Hiking, Running, Tennis, Sailing, Rowing, Kayaking, Cycling, Climbing: FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO (besides write a song and play my guitar).

Discovering a new internet radio station that plays only chicks: COOL!!

Don Imus returning to radio: ABOUT TIME!

Some guy standing outside Old Navy at 2p in 60 degree weather saying “Man it’s cold out here!”: UNBELIEVABLE!!

People walking around L.A. with scarves on in 60 degree weather: WIMPY!!!

Anne Curry (and other newscasters) starting a sentence with ‘Meantime’ as opposed to saying ‘In the meantime’ or ‘Meanwhile’: ANNOYING, INNAPROPRIATE, INCORRECT!!!!!!!!!!

Hearing people ask “where are you at?” instead of asking “where are you?”: DON’T GET ME STAHTED! DON’T EVEN GET ME STAHTED!!! (intentional fake Boston accent).

People walking into a crowded store with their baby carriages on a Saturday and giving me a dirty look because I want to get around them: ARE YOU KIDDING?

Having people turn their heads and looking to see if anyone is behind them as they walk out a door and then holding it open: POLITE!

Alison Krausse singing anything (except Shawn Colvin’s “I Don’t Know Why” - I wish she hadn’t): HEAVENLY!!

Corinne Bailey Rae: SNOOZEFEST!!!

Jill Sobule going from her first album Things Here Are Different, 1990, to Underdog Victorious, 2004: GODDESS!

People choosing James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” as a wedding song: ARE YOU HIGH?!?!

Getting an email from my favourite old boyfriend from High School simply because he went to see Suzanne Vega last night and thought of me: SWEET! (yes I still have the Tiffany Heart he gave me).

Getting an invite from a neighbour to watch “Weeds” even though she knows I have Showtime: THOUGHTFUL!

Neighbours who walk by and look in my apartment every time they walk by: ANNOYING! RUDE!!

Witnessing people at Halloween taking pictures of a really drunk or possibly dying guy whilst waiting for help to arrive: ONLY IN L.A.!! or WHAT’S THE WORLD COMING TO?

Construction guys yelling under my bedroom window at 7a six days a week: HATING!

10 million immigrants arriving in the United States since 2000: IMPRESSIVE! 5 million (out of 10 million) ILLEGAL immigrants arriving in the United States since 2000: WHAT?!?!?!?

People who want to give ‘amnesty’ to those illegal immigrants: OK! BUT NEXT TIME I RUN A YELLOW/RED LIGHT OR JAYWALK YOU BETTER LET ME GET AWAY WITH IT!

Deporting a Police Officer who, because he was an illegal immigrant took the identity of his dead, younger, legal, cousin so he could ‘serve’ the community: YEP! SO MUCH FOR UPHOLDING THE LAW YOU ARE SWORN TO KEEP! KIND OF DEFEATS THE PURPOSE, DOESN’T IT?

Julia Roberts chasing down a paparazzo for taking pictures of her at a school: YOU GO GIRL!!

George Clooney ripping the paparazzi a new one as they endangered his life while trying to take his picture: WAY TO GO!!!

The press saying the guy who walked into Hillary Clinton’s campaign office claiming to have a bomb strapped to his chest and taking hostages ‘may’ have been mentally ill: DOESN’T THAT GO WITHOUT SAYING?!?!?!?!

“Damages”, “The Closer”, “Rescue Me”, “Weeds”, “ER”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Scrubs”, “30 Rock”, “Men In Trees”: BEST ON TV!

“The L Word”: THE WORST!

The movie “Love Actually”: UNDERRATED!!

The movie “Swingers”: OVERATED SNOOZEFEST!!

Hugh Grant, Terrence Howard, Jude Law, Christian Bale, Mary - Louise Parker, Julia Roberts, Annabeth Gish, Anne Heche: DELICIOUS!

Ty Pennington, Tom Cruise, Mario Lopez: UGH!

Sean Taylor being killed: SENSELESS!



Dumping the over-rated Eli Manning from The New York Giants: NOW THERE’S A THOUGHT!

Christmas shopping: FUN!

Going home to New England for Christmas: CAN’T WAIT!!

And finally:

A guy named ‘Peterson’, a missing wife, him denying any involvement even though he can’t really explain how is last wife ended up dead: I’M NOT A COP BUT EVEN I KNOW HOW THIS ONE ENDS…GEE, CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT ‘48 HOURS MYSTERY’ DOES TO THIS ONE!

WHEW!!! Now I don’t have to wear anything on my sleeve…

Thanks for tuning in…Until next week…CHEERS!