Tag Archives: music

Remembering Levon

Yesterday, April 19, 2012, the music world lost a legend, Levon Helm. This loss was a personal one in our home. Not only do my husband and I have a strong bond to the music of The Band, but our children both share that love. Part of the soundtrack of our lives, Levon and The Band will forever make us feel the love. That down home sound crawled its way into our home in a big way.

A few memories to honor the man who helped shape the sound we loved:

1. The first album I ever owned was The Band, Music from Big Pink. My older brother, who was a strong influence on my formative musical tastes, bought this for me as a birthday gift when I was still in elementary school. While the other kids were listening to The Archies and The 1910 Fruitgum Company, my bro made sure I was a cool little kid.

2. My first concert was Bob Dylan and The Band, 1974 at the Nassau Coliseum. I went with my girls and our parents had to drop us off because we were too young to drive.

3. A few summers ago I was fortunate enough to stumble into the end of a counselor’s day off from the camp my kids attend. My son and his friends rolled into the restaurant we were in and as luck would have it there was a band playing. Out of nowhere all the boys broke into a rendition of The Weight that will forever remained burned in my memory.

4. But the highlight memory of Levon Helm for me will remain attending The Ramble last December 3rd. It was one of those special nights where the music wrapped itself around everyone in that barn and held us in its embrace all night long. For those who are not familiar with the Midnight Ramble, it is a concert series in a barn/studio that is part of Levon’s home. There are scheduled guests, but this particular night had a host of drop bys that blew us away. Spanning the years of my adolescence to one of my favorite new bands of today, we were treated to Jimmy Vivino, Garth Hudson, Donald Fagan, Jackson Browne and Dawes.

Thank you Levon, for a great run. For the passion. For the joy in your face when you banged those drums even after the cruelty of fate robbed you of your singing voice.

And most of all, for the music.

Photo: This image is from the downstairs bathroom at the Midnight Ramble. I hope the Helm family will forgive me the ‘no pictures’ rule for this one, I simply could not resist.

 

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Time to Cry Tuesday – RIP Clarence Clemons

There are certain bands that feel like the soundtrack of your life. Everyone has them; the bands they grew up on. When you hear their songs it brings you back to those lazy days of your adolescence – hours on end spent listening to music in your friends’ rooms. Every note, every lyric burned into your brain for eternity, evoking those memories that you built your friendships on. For me these bands are woven into the fabric of who I am, what makes me feel like me.

For some reason, every time I hear early Springsteen, I am transported back to my friend Ali’s room. She must have been the first one to turn us all on to Bruce. All these years later I still never tire of those songs. They feel like home. Like friendship. Like my High School girls who were, and always will be, there for me no matter what. Fast forward to college, the sound of Springsteen will forever sound like a night at Neal’s house. Air guitar abounding, there was not a note we did not know.

And in the center of all those songs was The Big Man’s big sound – that sax that could cut right through you. When Clarence blew, we all sat back and felt it to our core. His sound was so distinct it felt like a vocal.

A loss shook through the land of rock ‘n roll this weekend when Clarence Clemons died. So here’s to Clarence, “the Minister of Soul, the Secretary of the Brotherhood, probably the next King of England” the biggest Big Man of them all! Of all his famous solos, Jungleland stands out as the ultimate example of his soulful power.

Sit back, close your eyes, and mourn the passing of one of the most beloved men in rock ‘n roll. RIP Clarence. Heaven is going to be rockin’ this week for sure!

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Rastah Nike

Tonight, being Wednesday, was another installment of the River to River Festival and we had a blast at the Burning Spear concert. Reggae brings out all kinds. Free reggae takes it to the next level.

We were standing directly behind a most joyful man who did not stop moving the entire show. He was soaked like he just came out of spin class. He smiled the entire concert and I am pretty sure he enjoyed the show more than anyone else there.

The best part of this guy was his shoes. Rastah Nikes. Gotta love them.

One love all you roots rock reggae peops out there. Sorry if you missed the show, that old man can still get the crowd going.


Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Time to Cry Tuesday – Make More


Make more music. Make more art. What a lovely sentiment.

Last week, as I walked from the subway to Stuyvesant High School for a River to River Festival performance I passed this window. I believe it is a kid’s place.

Here in this little piece of Tribeca that used to sit in the shadow of the Twin Towers it struck me how resilient this city is. And how, almost 10 years since that horrific date, a neighborhood could thrive with families and culture.

Battery Park City and this edge of Tribeca are model neighborhoods in which to raise children. There is free music, public art, more green space than you could ever imagine, playgrounds, an esplanade along the hudson and restaurants, bars, galleries and shops all creating a quality of life that rivals any other neighborhood in NY.

It is hard to imagine how this neighborhood looked in the days following 9/11; a war zone in our very city.

Unthinkable.

And yet in the true spirit of New York it rose again to become a place to live where they encourage kids to:

Make more music and make more art.

Simply enchanting, is it not?

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Stone Free

Well, a Friday night in the household and one by one we lost the dogs.

And the boys.

Guest dogs have all gone to their respective families, guest boy is off to sleep in his own bed before the SATs tomorrow (good luck Mikey), and our boy is off with his campies.

That leaves me, Mel, Gary and Jimi.

Hendrix of course. Gary brought home the much awaited, newly released Valleys of Neptune and we listened to it a bit in the car on the way to dinner.

Yeh, a chick that loves Hendrix, what can I say?

Oh great, now she is a rock critic? Hey screw off, this is my blog and if I want to indulge in a little rock n roll, I damn well can. Oh sorry, feeling a little testy on a Friday.

Back to the music; it is such a clean sound, the remastering is phenomenal. The technology allows us to hear what we have missed for so long. It makes me both grateful for this new compilation to be released and so very sad that this giant died so young. Jimi could have really changed music. More so than he did in his few short years. He had IT; felt it like no other and could bend sound and minds alike in such a way that it is hard to imagine where he would have gone. And if this is not wonderful enough, our friend gave us a rare CD of acoustic recordings titled, By Himself: The Home Recordings that all you Hendrix fans will be very jealous of (and yes we share). Six tracks including my all time favorite Hendrix song, Angel. It’s like having Jimi hanging out in your living room with just his guitar and his voice. Thanks Alan, best gift ever.

Some things are never destined to go further than they have. The music of Jimi Hendrix sadly falls in that category.

At the risk of sounding like a Time to Cry Tuesday, I will turn this around and share the sheer joy I found with these new releases. It is like having someone special re-enter your life that you never expected to see again. Cool, right?

Now if you will excuse my I have a date with Jimi.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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No Time to Cry – Fat Tuesday

Ok, I admit it. I have fallen hopelessly in love. No, don’t worry, I am not leaving my adorable husband. This love affair is with ‘Nawlins, my friends. And what better day to blog about it from the rooftops, if you will, than on Fat Tuesday? So for this week, Time to Cry Tuesday will be replaced with No Time, in celebration of Mardi Gras.

If you have been following along here at i could cry, you would know that I have become quite infatuated with all things New Orleans. Hating to be cliché and ride the post-Superbowl wave, but timing is everything. At the same time that the Saints took center stage I visited The Big Easy for the first time. And I am still trying to figure out how I could live 50(ouch) years without ever visiting a place that is so aligned with my essence.

The season of New Orleans has come, and who deserves it more. The spirit of the place has survived one of the worst natural disasters on American soil, and it still comes bubbling up, sticking it’s tongue out with a big wide drunken grin screaming ‘ain’t nobody gonna beat dem Saints – who dat, who dat!”

When we visited, the streets could spontaneously break out into song and a turn down a little alleyway could bring us upon the most spectacularly off beat gallery. A place truly built on art and music, this town is irreverent, ballsy, and quirky. And even better, it seems to not put all that much value on botox, brands or bank accounts. Um, does this sound like anyone to you guys? Are you starting to see the resemblance?

This past Saturday night we had a blast at the 4th Annual Nolafunk Mardi Gras Ball at Le Poissin Rouge on Bleeker Street. We went to see Bonerama perform but loved Tab Benoit as well. I am sure Big Sam’s Funky Nation was just as– well – funky, but a few hours of 95° heat, dancing, singing and crowds was enough for us.

I stood near the stage with those horns blowing, behind the world’s oldest hippie, the costumed characters marching through the crowds, feeling like this mass of humanity was one big living breathing party organism and it was impossible to not fall madly in love. Somewhere around the second chorus of Aiko I lost my voice and could not care less.

The thing about the New Orleans culture is that it is all-inclusive. The crowd at this show was not one of posers, or rockers, blues guys or jazz aficianodos, these people were not skinny or fat, young or old… this was a crowd of EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. There is something about that music that brings everyone together in one place for one reason and one reason only – to have an amazing time. To love life even when it sucks. To get out there and feel the joy of the music no matter what your troubles are when you leave. Not just survivors, but more soldiers of feel good.

I suppose if I were asked what city I would most want to be, I might just have to say New Orleans.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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Filed under holidays, Time to Cry Tuesdays, travel

Amy’s Pre-Grammy Day

In celebration of the Grammy’s, or perhaps because it was the last day of the exhibit and my sweet sister-in-law made sure that I would not miss something so wonderful before it was over, we went to the Brooklyn Musuem’s “Who Shot Rock & Roll” this afternoon.

I will tell you all that I am sorry the show closed today because anyone who is a true fan should be sorry that they missed this gem. (Dr. Jimmy, we missed you!) Along with some of the most memorable images of the past 50 years in rock and roll, the exhibit was peppered with treats such as a full wall of a lenticular Jimi Hendrix (this is the process like the old wink buttons where the image changes when you move around it) , Jerry Garcia and Mountain Girl, and a mosh pit shot that defied reality. Also, not to give Jimi too much weight, but there was a series of him burning his guitar at Monterey Pop that I really wanted to slip in my bag on the way out. Amongst the iconic shots like Bob Gruen’s John Lennon  in the NY T-shirt and images from rock photography greats like Danny Clinch and one of the world’s greatest photography talents, Richard Avedon, the show was more about the not so famous photographers. The men and women who never achieved great fame but shot those who did. I found their stories the most interesting.

As if this pre-Grammy day was not perfect enough, I drove home in time to hear Bob Dylan’s Theme Radio Show on XM and tonight’s theme was New York. Although I did not get to hear the whole show I did hear this: Duke Ellingtons, Take the A Train into Funky Broadway, not by Wilson Picket but Dyke & the Blazers, into a wonderful reading by Bob of Emma Lazurus’ The New Colossus (you know: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yadayadyada) into Lou Reed’s Dirty Blvd that parody’s that work. (Give me your hungry, your tired your poor I’ll piss on ’em
that’s what the Statue of Bigotry says. Your poor huddled masses, let’s club ’em to death and get it over with and just dump ’em on the boulevard.)
Not gonna lie, had that one cranked up to window rattling levels. Always been a sucker for Lou Reed.

All in all, I go to bed tonight a happy camper. Sometimes the week beats the crap out of us. If we can rejuice with what we love on the weekend we wake up Monday with a better attitude and the skill set to try again.

Haven’t had enough of me yet? You can also read me at 50-Something Moms Blog. For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.

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