Sunday, April 19, 2009

Let's start at the very beginning...

A very good place to start...

A little known fact about me (unless you're in the inner circle) is that I'm a huge Sound of Music fan. When I was a kid, the movie's opening aerial shots filled my heart with the desire to travel and see those beautiful places. And I did. When my husband and I went to Austria a few years ago, we went with one main goal - to go on the Sound of Music tour (everything else was just icing on the cake....I'm so happy that he shares my passion for this film.) Years before that, relatives went to the Trapp Family Lodge - a ski resort in Stowe, VT run by descendants of the famous family - and brought me back a book about the family and a CD of the real von Trapp Family Singers, which have both become staples in my collection. I've also read the original book that inspired (but was not mirrored in) the movie. And the movie...I lost count how many times I've watched it. I not only know the songs front and back, but also know the behind-the-scenes dirt (here's one for you: Charmian Carr, who played eldest daughter, Liesel, slipped when dancing during the gazebo scene, fell into the glass window and cut herself. If you look closely, you can see the bandage around her ankle.)

I owe alot of who I am today to this, magical, movie.

So, it's with a goofy grin and a warm desire to have been in Antwerp, Belgium during this wonderful scene that I watched this:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Avril 14

From where I sit today, the skies are gray in layered masses, waiting for the tenderness of the morning to transform into a raw day before the rain drips down, one sober drop at a time. The trees are starting to wake from their winter slumbers, with just a hint of colored buds...but not enough to wash the landscape in a soft green fuzziness. Daffodils are in bloom, are the cherry blossoms...

On this dreary kind of a day, I turn to a song I heard a few years ago. At times, I hear echoes of Spring attempting to shake the last bit of sleepy Winter from its eyes. Other days, the song conjures up images of a light day soaked in warm sunshine and washed in wildflowers. A song that could not be more appropriate for today:

Avril 14 (Aphex Twin)

So, what images come to mind when you hear this song?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rocco deLuca

Last night I had the privilege of attending an exclusive event hosted by my favorite radio station, RXP, with - as they've been described, "the best band you've never heard of" - Rocco deLuca and the Burden.

First, I have to give a huge thanks to RXP. It all went down like this: I posted earlier this week about how much I love the station. And I do. Seriously, if you haven't listened yet, do so...and soon! So, then, I shared my link on the RXP facebook page, just to let them know I think they're doing a great job. I actually didn't think anyone would read my post. Well...folks at the station did read it, liked it, and before I knew it, I was contacted by a lovely girl in their promotions department, offering me tickets to the exclusive event at The Studio at Webster Hall (a special performance of several songs followed by audience Q&A)...and also to the scheduled concert at the Bowery Ballroom. How cool is that.

Second - not only was it a thrill to have been recognized in such a cool way by the station, but it was to a show for a band I actually listen to!

Rocco deLuca and The Burden is a band that formed in California, and they are now promoting the release of their second album, "Mercy." I have their first album "I Trust You to Kill Me" (it's really not as morbid as it sounds!), and I have to say, as incredible as they are on the album, they are absolutely amazing in person! Awe-inspiring! I have been to many shows, and maybe it was the intimate setting of the event at The Studio, maybe it was because the show was stripped-down acoustic, but, by far, Rocco's voice is the best I've ever heard in a live setting. Fantastic. The music has a definite bluesy sound mixed with a hint of rock. Lyrics are soulful and heartfelt. I highly recommend you give them a listen if you haven't already:

So, an amazing night all around. I didn't get to meet Leslie Fram (she's a DJ at the station and was MC for the event...the "promotions" girl told me that Leslie read my blog, loved it and wanted to meet me, but it was not to be.) But that's ok. I still had the time of my life.

Monday, April 6, 2009



With all the excitement, stressful or otherwise, in my life lately, I almost forgot - April is National Poetry Month and National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo)!

Now...for my regular readers out might recall my struggle to participate in last November's NaNoWriMo - where participants were to write an entire novel within 30 days. In my mind, that was just over the top. As Mike Snider said on his blog, NaPoWriMo is not quite as crazy as NaNoWriMo. I have yet to officially participate in National Poetry Writing Month, so I couldn't say...but I would imagine, based on my own writing style, that he's right. I find much more pleasure in writing poetry than novels (not to say that I will never again try the novel-writing thing!) So, 30 poems in 30 days is a much more managable task.

So...I'm totally psyched that poetry has its own month, and, although I will not make any promises on how much poetry I'll get to write between now and the end of the month, it gives me a good goal - especially since my poetry writing has taken a back burner to a little thing called Life. Stay tuned, since I'll probably be posting some of it here just for you :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Radio, Radio

This post is a bit o' advertising for one of the best...nay, THE best rock radio station in the NYC metro area. I normally don't do this sort of thing, but I believe in the product...and being that one of my closest friends just started listening...I realize that the word isn't completely out yet and I'm willing to be the prophet in this juncture.

I love music...but you knew that already. Music is like religion to me. I'm quite selective in my music and which artists I consider "good," "better," and "best" in exalting the form to a new level. I think to appreciate music, you have to listen to a wide variety of artists and genres, not just what's "cool" today or what the mainstream radio stations want you to listen to. They're paid to tell you what to listen to, people.

Then, there is 101.9 WRXP.

If you haven't heard of this station, listen to it and you, too, will become a believer.

For years, 101.9 was synonymous with jazz here in the New York area - CD 101.9 to be exact - which I listened to from time to time. Like the day, just about a year ago, when I tuned in for some relaxing jazz...and instead heard a rare Clash song: "Whu-what?? Uh...oh...OH! Oh my god! This is awesome!!" And so a love affair was born.

It's not just a rock station - it plays the deep cuts that most mainstream radio stations have NEVER played. It plays classic rock, modern rock, and the alternative songs from the New Wave and Britpop eras that I loved. [Back in the '80s/'90s, there was an alternative radio station based in Garden City, Long Island 92.7 WDRE (later WLIR). My older sister listened to it, so of course, I listened to it. They played the likes of The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Ocean Blue and so much more. The sound was like none other I heard - and remember, this was during the days of MC Hammer, New Kids on the Block and the bland sounds of Huey Lewis and the News. The music on WDRE was original, intelligent, exotic. Top-40 didn't cut it anymore for me, and still doesn't.]

I've since been struggling with the gap between my taste in music and what radio plays.

I believe that New York is a "rock-n-roll town". Yet, lately, it seems top-40, rap, R&B and teen pop are the only options out there. Not that there's anything wrong with that. The few stations that once played rock have faded out/changed formats in favor of terrible music-of-the-minute pop hits, like 92.3 K-ROCK and Jersey favorite 106.3 G-Rock. 92.7 WLIR is now a Latin-music station. There is still the class rock played by Q104.3 and some local sprinklings (89.9 WSHU - a station from Seton Hall University with mixed programming; and 105.5 WDHA). While all of these stations that have, so far, resisted the sting of changing formats, they still - in my ears - are dismally disappointing.

So - 101.9 WRXP. Do it. Your ears and mind will thank you....profusely.