From sweet and smooth classics, to new names, to old names with new music...the focus here, is to shine a little light on some damn fine music.

I'll find it. You can listen, review, or tell me I wouldn't know good music if it kicked me in the ass. I personally don't give a shit.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Gerry Goffin: We Will Still Love You Tomorrow

Without a doubt, the seven songwriters who touched and influenced by early life were: John Lennon/Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil, and Gerry Goffin/Carole King. All brilliant, all offering different compositions dealing with love and life. Today, we lost the second in that incredible group.

I'd say the majority of people who love music know the name of Gerry Goffin, most notably for his marriage and musical partnership with Carole King. That's how I knew him. It seemed the names Goffin-King were listed under the title of nearly every 45 rpm record I bought when I was a kid.

Starting with The Shirelles and "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow," a song whose subject matter is not as relevant today, but is still as breathtakingly beautiful to hear, no matter which of the twenty or more artists has covered it. The Drifters had great success with "Up On The Roof" and "Some Kind Of Wonderful." Aretha with "Natural Woman," and The Byrds with "Wasn't Born To Follow." And The Monkees, "Take A Giant Step," and "Pleasant Valley Sunday." So many more. It was a ride that never seemed to end.

Back then, I didn't know who wrote the words, I just knew they were beautiful. And even as a young girl in the days before feminism even had a name, I felt pride that a young woman, and Carole King was very young, could hold her own in the songwriting business, alongside her husband Gerry Goffin.

After his partnership with Carole was over, Gerry had other successful musical collaborations including Michael Masser, with whom he wrote  "Do You Know Where You're Going To," sung by Diana Ross in the movie Mahogany, and "Tonight I Celebrate My Love" for Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson.

Tonight, we celebrate him.
Easy Journey Mr. Goffin.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

John Steinbeck Move Over. I'm Talkin' Dust Bowl

For a while today, I was looking for the Ghost of Tom Joad.

I decided to look at the weather app on my phone to see just how hot it was. Now I believe I have three different weather apps on my iPhone, but since I only interested in the temperature, I went to the regular iPhone weather app.

My town comes up with the temperature of 90. But the present weather condition was... Dust. Now I live a dozen miles out of New York City, so I check their weather and it's also 90 and Mostly Sunny. Maybe I don't live in Jersey, maybe I'm in the freakin' dust bowl. So I go outside and... no dust, no tumblin' tumbleweeds, not a cloud in the sky. It was... mostly sunny.

This Dust condition bothered me, so I kept checking the phone. Apparently the Dust-Up last for hours. though the only dust I saw was indoors not outdoors. Perhaps it was Siri suggesting I do a little cleaning. I really do hate that bitch. But I digress.

Somewhere around the end of the workday, I finally got an all clear message on my phone that it was now Mostly Sunny.

No more flashbacks to The Grapes of Wrath, just a late afternoon sun in Jersey. Dust-free.

Slippin' Into Darkness, 100 Words

Yesterday was one drag-ass day. Nothing could speed it up. Must have been a slow one for Lance as well, because he decided to give his blog a face-lift, go check it out at Myblogcanbeatupyourblog. He also asked me to pick the song for his weekly meme, the 100-Word Song.

Fair enough. After some thought, I decided to go classic (no great surprise) but not melodic. A little something with enough meat to tell a story, but also something the readers of my blog wouldn't mind hearing.

Write 100 words with the song as inspiration. My choice, and as you will read, this is all about making a choice, is "Slippin' Into Darkness" by War.

There were no shadows, Cillia knew that. It was all black and white. She realized who he was, and more importantly, she knew what he was. Now she needed to know who she was. The choice was hers, and this was the night she needed to make it.

Almost dressed, it was time. Was it fear staring back at her in the mirror? Or was it shame? Oddly, she felt unconsciously the choice had already been made, though her mind remained uncertain.

Then she knew.

As she slowly slipped into the black stilettos, Cillia felt her own significance slipping away.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Got It Covered: You Keep Me Hangin' On

"and there ain't nothing I can do about it."

Even though the song was full of desperation, the first time I heard Diana Ross sing that line, I remember thinking "oh she'll be just fine."

"You Keep Me Hangin' On," was the eighth song by the Supremes to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Another great song written by the Holland-Dozier-Holland team out of Motown, it had hit written all over it from the get-go. And this great song has been a hit not only for the Supremes, but it has also been successfully covered by several other singers and bands. Let's take a ride..

It moved from the classic Motown sound, to psychedelic rock by way of Vanilla Fudge. I also remember hearing that cover the first time, and I believe my reactions was sort of like "whoa, how'd they come up with that?" It's just a fabulous version of the song.

In the 70s, it came back again again a few times. First, because I could listen to him sing an instruction manual, Mr. Wilson Pickett. Full of soul and hopelessness. Just damn good.

 Also from the 70s, this time by Rod Stewart. Much more theatrical, and going back to rock mode, it just proves a good song is a good song.

As the music scene went to the disco and dance era, and the pop scene became way too relevant for my liking, Kim Wilde used a different arrangement and created another hit.

Now for my money, I'd probably take Diana and the girls. After all, there are those memories of us girls fighting over who would sing the lead in our bedroom mirror version of 60s karaoke. But then, the psychedelic version by Vanilla Fudge brings up a whole very different rush of memories. Yes, the difference of a few years brought about quite a change in recreational time. But I digress.

Enjoy a taste or two, and feel free to leave your memories.


Friday, June 13, 2014

The Trews @ Bowery Electric NYC

While the New York Rangers battled to stay alive in the Stanley Cup Finals taking place a little north of Bowery Electric, a group of musicians from Canada, who this year had no team in the last round of the hockey playoffs, plugged in and turned it up to max vol.

The Trews were back in town.

While north of the border, the Trews continue to top the charts, win awards, and play to ever growing crowds, here in the States they are working hard to reach the same level. If achieving that success was only based on talent and hard work, the Trews would be a household name. So until luck and timing fall in line, the band will continue to drop into select markets around the U.S., and blow away new audiences, and probably a few amps.

For the entire review, please click on The Trews @ Bowery Electric NYC at


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

An Empty Chair

Yesterday marked the one year passing of one of this earth's great women. We are also coming up on Father's Day and I'm missing my dad, so when I saw Lance's selection for this week's 100 Word Song challenge, I knew immediately I would be jumping in.

Very simple, take the song as a theme and write 100 words in any form of expression.

This week's song is "Empty Chair" by Don McLean.

One’s in the kitchen, another’s in the living room too. Where I once heard words that made me smile, now just a place where memories linger in open air.

True, the days are less painful now. Though random thoughts still easily bring tears.

Like now.

I hope in twenty years I can still cry for you, as that would mean all you were to me is still in my heart. Though your voice is muted, your words, your lessons, your love is still entwined with my being, and my soul.

My heart is still full, only your chair is empty.

Miss you Pops.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Steve Perry, Captured by the Moment

Photo courtesy of Steve Perry Worldwide

I know... hardly anyone noticed.

So yeah, it was kinda big news, and yeah it's got everyone talkin' about it. Will he be back with Journey? A tour? New music? Just stop it.

Can we no longer just enjoy the moment? In the past week or so, Steve Perry decided to come out of hibernation and do what he was put on this earth to do. During the encore of two performances by the Eels, Perry came out and sang. And you know what. It wasn't earth-shattering, it wasn't mind-blowing. It was... nice.

I use that word because that's exactly what it was. It was nice to see him. It was nice to hear him. It was nice to remember. But apparently, that's not good enough. Let the comparisons begin... really people, get a life. Does he sound like he did twenty years ago? Yes and no. I'm sure he knows what his vocal limits are, I'm sure it was a little scary going back out there in the age of cell phone videos, knowing for good, bad or ugly, those performances will live forever on YouTube. But you know what... it was still Steve Perry, with that remarkable voice, the one that brought a smile to your face and tears to your eyes.

And there was something else there too. He brings heart to the table. That's not a vocal range, or part of showmanship. Heart is defined by a feeling conveyed. There was heart in those brief performances he just gave.  If for the twenty year absence, he wasn't feeling heart in his game, I'm glad he wasn't around. Nothing's worse than someone going through the motions onstage, as they make a buck or two. We see that way too often. But not with Steve Perry.

So ultimately, as he dips his toe in the water again, it will be his decision if it feels good enough to jump in all the way. As we've seen from the last twenty years, whatever he decides will be on his own terms. But for now, having him back, even a little bit, well... it's nice.