Archives for November 2009

tunes you need Tuesday: unplugged R.E.M

So, I was up late last night, unable to sleep for no reason and when I woke up at 6:15 this morning (after 3 hours of sleep) the song "Daysleeper" was in my head.  When I get a song in my head I usually fire up the iPod and play it, oh, I don't know — 42 times.  I enjoy that.  With all the R.E.M. on my iPod, I looked for another version of "Daysleeper" because I thought I had an acoustic version, but I couldn't find one.  I just knew there was an acoustic album, but it was the 2001 MTV Unplugged  I was thinking about.  This afternoon I set out to find video from the episode and I do believe I hit the motherload.  

When a band does an unplugged set  it shows what they can do, strips away the fancy studio fixes and you have a pure performance.  That's great for music fans.  If a band is really talented you'll hear that in the song, it shines through.  What Michael Stipe does here is fantastic — he has a voice that can easily overpower a song, but he is great at controlling it in an acoustic setting and the instruments aren't drowned out.  

And now for some "Daysleeper."  

One of the things that's different about R.E.M. is that they really don't do love songs.  I kind of love that.  Of course, they do love songs, but they're not typical, they're not sappy, they're honest.  That's why "At My Most Beautiful" is one of my favorite R.E.M. songs.  It's sweet, but not saccharin.  The piano in the song is wonderfully done and the melody is fantastic.  

"I'll Take The Rain" is done very well here.  I'll say what I always say while listening to my own iPod: I love this song.

I've adored "Find The River" since first hearing it on 1992's Automatic For the People, which is a fantastic album.   Let me explain what that means to the iTunes generation.  You see, back in the day, bands made albums.  Albums were meant to be  listened to as a whole, meaning the songs were connected, not necessarily a theme, but there was usually a flow and it was harmonious.  These days, artists release a couple of songs and they're lucky if someone hears the entire album with the invention of iTunes.  That's a sad thing because you miss those gems that aren't released as singles.  "Find The River" didn't chart in the U.S. so you probably didn't hear it unless you bought the album.  Here's the acoustic version.

Sadly, you can't get these acoustic takes on some of R.E.M.'s best songs on an album.  In what I consider to be a great travesty, they didn't put out an accompanying album.  I KNOW!  I couldn't believe it either.  Very sad.  I'm glad that at least for now, the videos are available on You Tube, so if you enjoyed the blog today, go watch the rest and you won't be disappointed.  R.E.M. is a fantastic band with music that holds up unbelievably well.  And by the way, the band is currently 30 minutes away from me, in New Orleans recording their new album.  Don't think I'm not working on finding out where they're recording.  If we're lucky there will be a part two to this post entitled "Kerry meets R.E.M. (and they didn't have her arrested for stalking)."

big announcement Wednesday

The Kerry Blog has a big announcement coming up on Wednesday.  What could it be?  Here's a hint:  this ain't Oprah, there will be no car giveaway.  

Love,

Sunday rewind: The B-52s

As I've said in a previous post, sometimes music is just supposed to be fun.  Thank God for The B-52s for days when fun is what you need.  The B-52s are quintessentially a party band from Athens, GA.  Between Fred Schneider's spoken-word vocals and Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson's harmonies (they also shared lead vocalist duties with Fred on half the songs), The B-52s made something special in the 80's.  They started as New Wave, played only on college radio and became part of the mainstream by the time Cosmic Thing came out.  I've loved them since my pre-teen days when their style meant as much to me as their music.  I identified with the style and the quirky style, and I'd still like to wear my hair as high as Kate's.  

The B-52s are precisely the fun we need today and thought you'd enjoy a few videos for this Sunday's Rewind.  

First up: "Private Idaho." 

"Legal Tender" is about counterfeiting money.  What?  You got a problem with that?

This is "Song For a Future Generation" and it's lovely in a bizarre way.  I adore the way the band members introduce themselves.  If I were in The B-52s I'd say: "I'm Kerry, I'm a Cancer, I love the Google and enchiladas!" You'll have to watch the video for that to make sense.   What a fun way to meet the band.  If you're unfamiliar with the early days of The B-52s, guitarist Ricky was Cindy Wilson's brother who was in the band and passed away from AIDS in 1985.  A lot of bands would have folded upon such a devastating loss, but The B-52s soldiered on and became a household name.

My favorite B-52s song has been "Deadbeat Club" for 20  years now.  Writing that sentence makes me feel so damn old.  Ah, youth.  Keith is supercute in this video, he has a Morrissey thing going on with the hair and glasses, and that's never a bad thing in my opinion.  Oh, and check out Michael Stipe's cameo.  

So, that's The B-52s for today.  If you enjoyed it, check out "Dance This Mess Around," "Planet Claire," and "Rock Lobster" on You Tube.  

decking the halls

We decorated for Christmas and I’m loving the ho, ho, ho on the bookcase. More pictures to come.

decking the halls

so thankful

Dear Friends and Readers,

BeThankfulCarvedPumpkin(White)  The turkey is in the oven and I've set aside a few moments in this busy day for one of my traditions.  I've been making Thankfulness Lists forever, for the past few years they've been here for everyone to see.  I hope that at some point today you make your list, whether on paper or in your head.  But more importantly, I hope that you thank God for the blessings in your life.  Whether you realize it or not, you are blessed.  You are blessed to be breathing, laughing, crying, celebrating, hurting, talking, and living.  Each day is a blessing, good or bad.  I wish you a happy Thanksgiving surrounded by the people you love most.  

The Annual Kerry Blog Thankfulness List

I am thankful for…

my God

my husband  and all that he does for our family

our children and all the frustration and happiness they bring me

the greatest friends a girl could ever have, each one special to me for so many reasons

my parents and grandparents for their strength and love

my extended family for the characters they are

my church family

love, without love there is nothing

honesty 

forgiveness when I need it

hope, because sometimes that is all we have

kindness, because it shows you care

the power of words

music

memories

laughter

and you.

Love,

so true

Found this shirt on Neatorama.com tonight.  

Behind-great-man-model

"Behind Every Great Man is a Woman Rolling Her Eyes."  So true. 

tunes you need Tuesday: thankful edition

You know, there aren't enough Thanksgiving songs.  Why are there a brazillion Christmas songs, but the only Thanksgiving songs I know of are "10 Little Indians" and Adam Sandler's Thanksgiving song.  That's it.  

So, I thought I'd share Natalie Merchant's "Kind and Generous" for its theme of thanks.  It's a great song, uplifting, fun, and the video has great costumes.  I need the pink aerialist costume where Natalie's on the horse and trapeze  (although I'm more of a female cannonball, let's face it).  

I do love that song.  It brings to mind all the people in my life who have been a blessing to me.  We all have people who have made a difference in our lives, saved us from ourselves, and helped in a time of need.  I hope you've thanked those people and that you can be that person for someone else.   This is a perfect week to do so.

happy Thanksgiving week

If this were the radio, I’d say it’s a special long-distance dedication.

things I’m over

So, most of you know I’m kind of easily annoyed by things.  I’m kind of the female version of Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm.  You know it’s bad when I take to making a list.

Things I’m Over (Official List)

  1. Anything that as to do with Twilight
  2. Oprah “retiring.” For the love of Dr. Phil, this ain’t the end of O.
  3. Football games that everyone thinks are life and death
  4. Heidi and Spencer
  5. The former Miss California idiot
  6. Rude ass people
  7. Personalized license plates that make no sense (my town seems to have more of these per capita than the rest of the country and I plan to get one that says OMGSTFU).
  8. Lady Gaga
  9. Dancing With the Stars
  10. Those Windows 7 commercials 
  11. My senator emailing me every other day like we’re BFFs.
  12. People on Facebook who write a status update with some sort of message with “copy and past this as your status update and pass this on.”  No, and you can’t make me.  I’m not a follower, never have been.
  13. The Black Eyed Peas
  14. This fly that has been in my kitchen for 3 days.  It is clearly smarter than I, as it is unable to be killed. It’s currently in the blinds and making me nuts.  
  15. All the paper the kids bring home from school.  I’m drowning in paper.
  16. The cover of Sarah Palin’s book.  Sarah, a track jacket?  Seriously?  You dressed better on the campaign trail.  Did McCain take away your stylist?  I’m not a republican, but call me, I’ll be glad to help a sistah out in the wardrobe department.  We’ll go to Macy’s and get Orange Juliuses in the food court, it will be good times.  
  17. Children that have a television, games, toys, a wii, books, and more who say “we’re bored.”
  18. Getting 42 catalogs a day in the month or so before Christmas.  Why do I even get the one with adult fairy, witch, and Renaissance Faire costumes?  Oh, and it’s not a Halloween catalog.
  19. The Genius feature on iTunes that suggests songs I already own.
  20. People who started wishing me a “happy Thanksgiving” two weeks ago.  You never hear me wishing you a “happy Cinco de Mayo” in April.

give thanks banner

Sometimes I remind myself that years ago this started out as a scrapbooking blog.

I made a Thanksgiving banner today with the "help" of the kids.  I let them ink edges.  I'm not crazy, I'm not letting have all the fun.  It says "give thanks" and I used all sorts of stuff on it: Basic Grey letters, Prima flowers, Jenni Bowlin bingo card and notepaper, and a lot of ink and Tim Holtz crackle paint.

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