Our son and our nephew were jamming, our son on guitar, and Stephen on base, Jack was background vocals. They weren’t playing anything commercial just jamming, blending their sounds, playing in the dining room. Jack was in the living room with me, howling in time to the base. I was watching t.v with their music in the background and it was really nice, but Jack singing his heart out was just funny. I regret not thinking to record the jam session, hopefully there’ll be another time.
That is our rock star on stage with his band Vanities playing at the CoCo 66 in Greenpoint Brooklyn New York and if you look closely at the first picture, you’ll see Jack’s adorable face in the lefthand bottom corner. As I said in the title; we are becoming groupies, my husband, Jack and myself. If our daughter weren’t away at school, I’m sure that she would have been with us.
It is exciting to see how the crowd responds to Vanities when they’re playing; people are, let me put it this way, enthusiastically moving to the music and everyone else has at least their head moving to the beat. The band seems, with every outing and every performance, to be getting more and more comfortable on stage and connecting a lot more with their audience. It is really cool to watch them evolve as a band and as young musicians.
Jack was happy to see our son on stage, his tail was wagging a mile a minute. We didn’t keep him there for more than a few minutes, we didn’t want to strain his little ears. When we got outside with him, he proved to be a big hit with the people hanging outside taking a break from the music. It was adorable because Jack does love being made a fuss over and he loves all of the attention.
Jack is such a ham. 😀
My husband and I had a great time. When our son’s band came on “The Vanities” Zach, the lead singer/screamer, dedicated the set to my husband, which made my husband so very happy. So we were standing in the audience, beaming with pride and it must have been so apparent on our faces because after they were done with their set, three very pretty girls who were standing right in front of us turned around and asked us “You must be the parents of one of the band members” We both proudly said “yes the guitarist/singer on the left over there” The three girls told us “they are so GOOD” That was pretty cool.
While they were performing, quite a few guys were dancing and the dancing has certainly evolved from the slam dancing of my day. The dancing was really aggressive, arms whirling around really hard as well as the legs. It fit the music and I was wondering as I was looking around the crowd, most of which were dressed in conformity, even though they were dressing to make statements, where did all the angst and “anger” stem from? I was thinking probably their angst and anger stems from the power of being young and I mean that in the best possible way. When you are young that is when you should be railing against The Man and injustice as well as the “way things are just because they are”.The kids were dressed in the skinny jeans or Bermuda shorts, with either Pro Keds or Vans as sneakers and the many tattoos and piercings, none of which are inexpensive, so these kids were living within a certain means. I was thinking these things as we were driving home, just wondering where the audience was coming from and what appeal did my son’s band hold for them. It was a sociological stream of consciousness I would say and it led me to thinking back to my high school years of listening to Heavy Metal and Punk Rock, hanging out with my own group of friends, listening to the rebels and finding meaning and truth in the lyrics.
Arriving home, my husband and I got to work in the kitchen to prepare a feast for our tired and hungry musician upon his return. There was breast of duck, that my husband cooked perfectly and I made a morel mushroom cream sauce, accompanying the duck was a paillason de pommes de terre or a potato “straw mat” filled with grated Gruyere cheese, basically a large round hash brown filled with cheese, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside with the nuttiness of the Swiss cheese as a bonus. I had made the red and yellow bell pepper frittata on Friday.
All in all, a full day and a great one at that.
This afternoon we are off to Worcester, only an hour away, to hang out with the youngins, hopefully we won’t stick out too much like sore thumbs, the old fogies that we are, lol. I know you are only as old as you feel. I am looking forward to seeing our son on stage, head banging, playing and singing at the same time. I can’t do that, I am lucky that I can walk and talk at the same time and keep upright. I am not adept at getting my left side and right side to do two separate things which is what musicians must do, both my hands want to do the same thing; an excellent example is the pat your head while you rub your belly, I either rub my head and belly or tap my head and belly. When I have tried, I end up cracking myself up, it is so silly.
It will be a good time tonight.
Last night my husband and I were invited by a delightful couple, Andrew and Renee, out to a wonderful restaurant, Row 34, in downtown Boston and then to a performance by The Temptations at The Wilbur Theater . Both were wonderful experiences, the food at Row 34 was delicious; all seafood, fresh from the ocean; oysters and littleneck clams on the half shell and well prepared fish of different stripes, each deliciously presented in its own way.
The real highlight was seeing the Temptations live. When they took a break, they mentioned that they had just returned from a European tour and that is what I found on Youtube, their performance at La Cigale in Paris.
I was enchanted by their stage presence, their happiness while performing and especially their stamina; they didn’t flag once and they aren’t spring chickens. Otis, the only original member has been performing for 54 years, that is an incredible accomplishment and I loved his easy-going manner when he regaled us with a little bit of his stories and the twinkle in his eye when he spoke of the past. The venue was perfect for their performance, it was relatively small and intimate, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. I was tickled to see older persons in wheelchairs and with their walkers and oxygen tanks, swaying to the music and tapping their feet. Over to my left there were several college students getting down with the Temptations and front and center there was quite the crowd of fifty year olds making eye contact with their own personal favorite Temptation, asking for autographs and shaking hands.
It was a great evening; excellent company, great seafood and fantastic music.
What are your earliest and fondest memories of dance?
My parents came over to the United States in 1967, a couple of months before I was born. I don’t know where my mother found the courage to leave her entire family while very pregnant with her first child to come to the United States, not speaking the language, but she found it. I know that my great aunt (Tantine Georgette) was a source of great comfort and introduced my parents to many of her friends, that was a huge help. It was those friends that became my mother’s best friends for the years down the road. My father was a very outgoing and easy going person, so for him it wasn’t such a traumatic move, but for my mother, I can barely imagine how it must have felt, I do know that my Tantine Georgette was a lifeline and the friends that she introduced into my parent’s universe made our lives wonderful because they were all French and it made our little circle feel as if France was always nearby.
My parents and their friends had the best dinner parties and after all of the food was eaten, the party moved away from the dinner table and onto the dance floor, which at whoever’s house the party was held at, was inevitably the living room. The records were sorted out and out came the samba, the rhumba, the tango, the waltz and the slow dances and even though these were my earliest memories of dance and music; it doesn’t mean that I was a bystander, I was out in the middle of the dance floor and getting my first dance lessons from my father and my father’s friends.
I especially loved dancing with my father, he always sang to the Platter’s, “Only You” was one of his favorite’s as was “The Great Pretender”, that was another one. When he taught me the tango, he always hummed to the beat while we danced and that helped me keep count with him without actually counting, his sounds kept the steps and the music in time, all in my head, it felt right and I didn’t have to think about it, just follow my father.
I miss those days.
I do not appreciate country music except for Willie Nelson, I love Willie Nelson; all of his songs, especially this one and the duet he did with Julio Eglesias “To All the Girls I loved Before”
As my hubby and I were driving back up to Massachusetts, we’re home hooray! Jack is thrilled by the way, so is the baby boy, his gigging went great but he missed Jack a lot. Willie Nelson was singing to me in my head as the miles melted under our wheels. New Jersey is one very long state, Washington D.C, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland are all mushed up, so that part goes by pretty quickly, because you have to concentrate on the road and staying on the right highway, but New Jersey just goes on and on and on. My favorite part of the road trip is going over the Delaware Memorial bridge, it always reminds me of my little sister and how much fun we had the few times that I went to pick her up when she was a student at University of Delaware. The bridge is a beautiful one, twin suspension and it makes a gorgeous backdrop to the grand river below.
I know that a few of my friends are big country music fans and while I don’t like most of it, I do love Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Tracy Atkins; those three in my mind are more than country, they are great music, classic that will always stand the test of time.
You make a new friend. Make them a mix tape (or playlist, for the younger folks) that tells them who you are through song.
I remember spending hours making mix tapes when I was younger, using my cassette player and buying blank cassette tapes, waiting for my favorite songs on the radio and recording them, hitting the stop button and then patiently waiting for another song to come on to record right afterwards. Those were the days, often the result was a little grainy and the volume not very consistent, but the thought and effort were there. A lot of love went into this project and that is why mixed tapes were a big deal. I don’t think that a playlist would ever have the same deep meaning simply because with the new technology, the time and work isn’t there. There isn’t the huge investment put into the finished product and I am not talking about the monetary value.
I am feeling a little nostalgic for the old days of low tech technology, the dinosaur age of technology if you will, when you still put some elbow grease into it.
Describe what it feels like to hear a beautiful piece of music or see a stunning piece of art.
When my sister and I were growing up, especially when we were living on 24th Street, every weekend morning, I remember waking up to the musical compositions of Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach and Tchaickovsky and sometimes to shake things up an opera or two. My father was the one who manned the record player and because of him, I love classical music. Do I have a favorite? I can’t say. When I was little I remember seeing Fantasia at the movies and that led to a love affair with Tchaikovsky and then when I got to high school I went towards Bach, Brahms and Grieg, darker more somber pieces, these two composers suited my rebellious teenage spirit.
Luciano Pavarotti became a crush at some point during high school. My father used to play the album “King of the High C’s” and I was hooked. The power inherent in his voice and the beauty coming forth from his lips set goose bumps up and down my spine. His voice brought my soul to places that were magical, his talent was singular and spectacular.
Then I feel in love with Beethoven, how can you not? The movie “Immortal Beloved” is a guide to Beethoven’s music and there is such love, passion and fervor in his music. His genius transports me to beyond thinking, to just feeling the music wash over me and pluck at my heart. It is another magical experience.
I am in awe of these genius’ and I feel so lucky to have the appreciation that my parents instilled in me.
My hubby and I watched the VMA show Sunday night because like most of the world, we love music and the show has always been entertaining, you never know what Lady Gaga is going to do or what Katy Perry is going to wear. The fashion police is out front and center because musicians take a lot more risks then your average movie star and it is very delightful to watch.
Now I do not consider myself a prude or a puritan, but I have to confess that I was getting uncomfortable with Miley Cyrus’s performance when she was grinding against Robin Thicke during their performance and also seeing what she was doing with that styrofoam finger went way over the top to the point of ickyness.
Maybe because my baby girl had watched Miley Cyrus be Hannah Montana for so long and seeing her be a little girl made me feel a little dirty after seeing her rub her little physique against a grown man because Miley may be twenty but she still looks like a very young teenager and it was just too much for my little eyes and little brain to take in, my hubby was half asleep so he was spared.
Now I know that I could have changed the channel but it was too much like a car wreck, I couldn’t look away. The craziest was that Lady Gaga’s performance was so very tame by comparison even her outfit with the mermaid sea shells and thong was not provocative when measured against Miley’s gyrating, twerking and tongue exposure.
I suppose that I am writing about it because poor Miley hasn’t left the news as of yet. I am worried that in her pursuit of ditching the image that she had as a result of portraying Hannah Montana, she is letting herself be defined by superficial notions of what passes as adult behavior. I remember that being twenty is a heady experience, you are still a brand new adult and still figuring out what that means, I just hope that someone on her team will be there to catch her when the nay sayers get to be too much to bear.
This was one event, she has talent and seems to be such a sweet girl, so I am sure that she will grow out of this phase and get back to celebrating her music with her lyrics and her abilities.