live from daryl’s house

Y'all know I love some Hall & Oates. I love them so much that if I were Oprah, I'd give them away on the Favorite Things episode. Not their CDs, the guys.

Anyoates, did you know that every month Daryl Hall makes a web show from his house with different bands and cooking and airs it on his site? He even had my favorite, Sharon Jones on. I need a music/cooking show. For real.

Check it out Live From Daryl's House. 



 

Christmas gift idea #5

Sometimes I go looking for Christmas gift ideas for you, sometimes the ideas find me.  This post happens to be an example of the latter.

Christmas gift idea#5: 80's Barbies

My 7 year-old has Barbies on her Christmas list.  Barbies are a great gift idea for girls and 36 year-old women who have 7 year-olds.

While browsing the Amazon.com for Barbies I came across this doll.

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This is Peaches and Cream Barbie.  She debuted in 1984 and she was one of my favorites.  I was a Barbie nut.  I was 10.  

When I saw this doll online tonight — FOR SALE — I was 10 again.  I remember opening her box.  She smelled of peaches.  Her dress was chiffon and she had a stole!  

This was glamor straight out of Dynasty.  

Speaking of Dynasty.  

51nfeMGK+rL._SL500_AA300_Shut.  Up.  Remember last week when I posted about Joan Collins and wrote out loud that when I was a kid I made my Barbies reenact scenes from Dynasty?  

 Hello, Mattel?

 

I continued to browse the Barbies 'til I hit gold.  GOLD RECORDS!

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Cyndi Lauper, Joan Jett, Cher, and Flashdance Barbies.  

I'll give you a moment.  

 

Okay.  I'm back.  I put on my legwarmers and cut the neck off my sweatshirt.  Now I'm all better.  

Thanks for your concern.  

 

tunes you need Tuesday: (now with more) Lonely Avenue!

As you know, I took a little trip last week and while I drove, I listened to Ben Folds and Nick Hornby's new album, Lonely Avenue.  It's quite lovely.  Not lovely in the sweet and adorable sense, lovely in the sense that these are real song gems and there are little surprises in each one.  Each one tells a story, each one could be a novel on its own and the music is simply wonderful.  I really wish someone would turn Lonely Avenue into a movie with vignettes with each song.  Hollywood — get on that.

One of these songs, "Doc Pomus" got stuck in my head and there was something recognizable about it and the more I listened to it, I realized I knew the name Pomus as a songwriter.  

Listen to this as you read.


 

 

I went to the Wikipedia and searched "Doc Pomus" to find out why I knew that name, only to find out he wrote some of the biggest hits of the last half century.   

From his wiki:

Using the stage name "Doc Pomus", Felder began performing as a teenager, becoming a white blues singer. In the 1950s, Pomus started songwriting to make more money to support a family, as he had married. By 1957, Pomus had given up performing in order to devote himself full-time to songwriting. He collaborated with pianist Mort Shuman to write for Hill & Range Music Co./Rumbalero Music at its offices in New York City's Brill Building. Their songwriting efforts had Pomus write the lyrics and Shuman the melody, although quite often they worked on both. They wrote the hit songs: "A Teenager in Love"; "Save The Last Dance For Me"; "Hushabye"; "This Magic Moment"; "Turn Me Loose"; "Sweets For My Sweet" (a hit for the Drifters and then the Searchers); "Go Jimmy Go", "Can't Get Used to Losing You"; "Little Sister"; "Suspicion"; "Surrender"; "Viva Las Vegas"; "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame".

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Pomus also wrote several songs with Phil Spector: "Young Boy Blues"; "Ecstasy"; "Here Comes The Night"; "What Am I To Do?"; Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber: "Young Blood" and "She's Not You", and other Brill Building-era writers. Pomus also wrote "Lonely Avenue", which became a 1956 hit for Ray Charles.[6]

 

It also says Pomus had polio as a boy and was confined to a wheelchair in later life and reference Folds and Hornby's song and the lyric they paraphrased from Doc Pomus’ uncompleted memoir, February 21, 1984: I was never one of those happy cripples who stumbled around smiling and shiny-eyed, trying to get the world to cluck its tongue and shake its head sadly in my direction. They’d never look at me and say, “What a wonderful, courageous fellow.” 

Now, that's a song.

From Pomus to another writer/songwriter, Nick Hornby, "Working Day" must some up what every writer working today thinks: some guy on the net thinks I suck and he should know, he's got his own blog.

Take a listen if there are no kids in the room.  It's a short one.


 

 

I kinda love that.

I also really love "Password."  It's a thoroughly modern slow-jam about how well you know someone by how you know their passwords and the quirky things you know about people.  And not everyone can work "you have a thing for David Blaine" into a song.  That's brilliant.  


 

 

One more.  One that a lot of you will be able to identify with.  "Claire's Ninth" is the story of Claire's 9th birthday and her parent's divorce, from her perspective and the parents'.  The melody is fantastic and the lyrics are sincere and telling.  


 

I bet half of you reading have been in Claire's shoes, having two birthdays.  I happened to me as a thirty year-old, but I can identify.  

So, combined with last week's Tunes Tuesday that's almost all the songs on Lonely Avenue.  And I promise I won't write about Ben Folds for at least a week.  Maybe.  

 

 

P.S.  I wasn't going to put up "Picture Window" because it's a sad song, but everyone goes through pain and you never know who may be reading and may be dealing with pain and needs to know they're not alone. Pain is hard, pain is miserable and these lyrics are from a place of hurt, hurt that comes through in the song.  As I've said before, it takes talent to write music that makes you feel.  A lot of people can write a hit song, but not all of them can make you think or make you feel.  That's truly something.


 

and now – advice for young girls from cartoon princesses

The Second City Network made a video with a certain cartoon mermaid saying what I've been telling people for years.

I know I'm not the only woman ruined by the Disney princess films.  

I waited for my Prince Charming to come on a white horse, but he wasn't a prince and at the time he drove a Nissan Maxima.  Now he drives an Explorer.  I'm not sure if he's ever been on a horse.  

Sadly, I cannot communicate with woodland creatures and they have never made me a dress or cleaned my house.

Oh, and back in the day, I tried being someone I wasn't to win a guy too.  That never works.  I could write a non-bestselling book of tips on how not to win a guy.  Remind me to do that one day.

I hope The Second City Network makes this a series.  I think Snow White's advice would be superb.

Beck’s Record Club: INXS

Perusing Mentalfloss.com last night I read about Beck's Record Club, which has so far recorded the music or The Velvet Underground (I know, shut up), Leonard Cohen, and now INXS' album Kick.  I know.

From Beck's site:

Record Club is an informal meeting of various musicians to record an album in a day. The album chosen to be reinterpreted is used as a framework. Nothing is rehearsed or arranged ahead of time. A track is put up here once a week. The songs are rough renditions, often first takes that document what happened over the course of a day as opposed to a polished rendering. There is no intention to 'add to' the original work or attempt to recreate the power of the original recording. Only to play music and document what happens.


This is genius.  Some of the tracks flat-out blew my mind – "New Sensation" for instance.  I've played this 42 times.

This is good stuff.

And you could say they took "Mediate" in an, um, different direction.  

Beck is alone on "Loved One".  He did a fantastic job.  

"Never Tear Us Apart" makes me want to pick up the violin again, but I am against torture.  St. Vincent's vocals are perfect for this song.  

That was enjoyable.  And the way to make '80s music relevant and refreshing.  Go Beck.

all “to sir with love” all the time

So, Glee made me cry this week with the group singing "To Sir With Love," one of my favorite songs of all time. It was superfantastic.  

If you didn't see it, here it is.


G1 @ Yahoo! Video

And because I love it so much, here is the classic original by Lulu.

And because I simply adore this version with all my heart, it's Natalie Merchant and Michael Stipe.  

"If you wanted the moon I would try to make a start, but I would rather give my heart" is pure poetry.  That's magic, people.  It doesn't happen everyday.  

oh, hell to the no

I've been in a bad mood for several days.  It's not my fault.  Really.  Do you know what mantra is for a bad mood?  I've shared it before and it's the title of this post.  "Oh, hell to the no."  Today  I thought I'd share with you the history of "oh, hell to the no" as well as something very special to me.  Yes, this is a Very Special Episode of The Kerry Blog.  

Back in June of 2005, I had just moved into the house I live in now.  I was extremely pregnant with the third child and the hubs was finishing up his job in Uzbekistan.  It was a rough summer.  It had been a difficult pregnancy and having the hubs gone was hard.  Then lo and behold — on the Bravo network there was a silver lining.  

Being Bobby Brown debuted at the end of June and cheered me up like nothing else.  It got me through the end of the pregnancy and recovery from the c-section.  Hell, it was there for me through Hurricane Freakin' Katrina.  

I can't put my finger on exactly what it was that made the show so special for me, but it was trainwrecktastic and I couldn't look away.  I set the DVR to full speed ahead and looked forward to every episode.  Bobby was just so-so, the show was all Whitney "hell to the no" Houston.  Whitney was priceless.  Maybe drunk or high on "life," but priceless nonetheless.  

Whitney was awesome for scenes like this:

Which is what you should sing any time your spouse is aggravating.  

Sometimes Whitney got a little belligerent.  

Yes, that's the same Whitney from The Bodyguard, people.  She shows many sides in Being Bobby Brown.  I'm still not sure which one I liked best.  It may be the Whitney in the following video.  This is Whitney and Bobby in a gift shop trying on sunglasses.

Why "Being Bobby Brown: The Musical" isn't on Broadway RIGHT THIS SECOND is the question I know you're asking yourself. 

And yes, that cashier was afraid for her life.  Poor thing never saw THAT coming.  

Hell_1

screencap by fourfour

 

Back to "oh, hell to the no."  Whitney made this her signature phrase on the show.  I adopted it because it's pretty fabulous.  Feel free to use it, but use it correctly and don't wear it out.  A pronunciation guide can be found in the link above the videos.  Don't embarrass yourself (and Whitney) by saying it wrong.

Being Bobby Brown ran for one season and produced a Christmas Special.  OH, YES THEY DID.  But I would have to say my favorite episode was the Mother's Day episode when Bobby foolishly agreed to keep his brother's children for the weekend.  The episode spawned the Whitney quote: "it's Mother's Day, not All-Everybody Day!" Thank you for that, Whitney.  I think of you every Mother's Day now.  The saddest thing about Being Bobby Brown is that Whitney refused to do a second season and will not agree to have dvds released.  

I can't imagine why she doesn't want this show to live on and on.  

Sunday rewind: songs that I like to sing along to

So, for today’s Rewind, I give you my favorite songs I like to sing along to.  If I’m being really honest, it’s more like songs I think I can sing the hell out of.  

They’re mostly one-hit wonders, but such good stuff.  Oh, and these videos are some 80’s gold.

First up is one of my all-time favorite 80’s songs evah.  T’pau’s “Heart and Soul.”  Best line: I used to have a lover with a Midas touch.  IF I HAD A NICKEL, PEOPLE.

Next would be my theme song, “Goody Two Shoes” by the one and only Adam Ant.  Best line: You don’t drink, don’t smoke/What do you do/The subtle innuendos follow/There must be something inside.

This one would be a duet.  It’s “Obsession” by Animotion.  It’s the song that spawned a million stalkers — if you listen to the lyrics, it’s nuts.  The video makes exactly ZERO sense.  Best line: My fantasy has turned to madness /And all my goodness /Has turned to badness. 

Lastly, totally not a one-hit wonder and completely the opposite of the other videos today — The Commodores with “Nightshift.”  I love this song.  Major love.  When I sing this one in the car it’s dangerous, because I have to do the hand motions.  It’s a fab song, more subtle than “Brickhouse,” (obviously) and it’s about Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson, who both passed away in 1984, the year before this song came out.  The Kerry Blog is all about musical education, is it not?  This video is perfect.  The outfits at the end SO remind me of Isaac from the Love Boat, it’s good times.  Best line: At the end of a long day/It’s gonna be okay/On the Nightshift. 

new obsession alert

I'm obsessed with letterpress. 

Those of you who know me well know that I love everything about the written word, typeface, fonts, color, printing, and imagery.  Letterpress is the one medium that combines all of those things in an organic way that is unlike anything else I've seen.  Maybe it's because I learned to type on an actual typewriter and not a computer, but I love the feel of paper, I like ink, I adore the uniqueness that is only obtained by doing something by hand. 

I've been dabbling in computer graphics for a couple of years now, self-taught in Photoshop Elements, and I enjoy it quite a bit, but there is nothing like paper and ink.  A year ago, I drew an image for the ScrapFest! t-shirts and I hadn't had that much fun working on a project in years.  I love a Papermate Felt-tip Flair pen in a multitude of colors, they make me happy. 

Over the past week I've been looking for inspiration for the new ScrapFest! print materials we send to our vendors and I'm tired of the over-worked look I see so much in posters lately.  A few years ago, I saw a feature on Hatch Show Print, a letterpress shop in Nashville, on the Martha Stewart show and I Googled them.  I knew I liked the look of letterpress, but I was blown away with the work they've done and decided I needed to pare down and do something in the vain of Hatch Show Print. 

Here's a great little documentary on Hatch Show, so you'll see what I'm talking about. Their work is a who's who of country and rock music, and they do custom work for weddings and all kinds of cool stuff.  Take a look.

In the words of Liz Lemon from 30 Rock: I want to go to there.  I was in Nashville a couple of years ago and SO wish I would have gone to Hatch Show Print.  I need one of those monoprints.  Need.  I think a trip to Nashville is in order, who wants to come? 

So, all this digital work I do is great and all, but there's nothing like touching the stuff.  That's why I'm getting this little letterpress for myself.  Yeah, I'm getting it. 

a little perfection for your Wednesday

Y'all know I love my Counting Crows.  I needed a little "St. Robinson and His Cadillac Dream" this morning, and not just because my name is in the song.  It's one of my favorites, lyrics are fun and love the mandolin and how Adam does my favorite line of the song.  I'm sure you can guess it, it's not hard.