Tag Archives: music

Pegi Young, and Women Who Can’t Live Without Men

Standard

You know the type.  Even though he cheats on her….even though he bashes her behind her back…even though he is a serial liar, she clings to him, because she can’t live without a man to accompany her. Regardless of what he does, she HAS to have a man beside her or she doesn’t feel worthy or complete.

However, if  you’re in a relationship with someone who used to make you happy and no longer does, what keeps you there is not love, it’s fear, so don’t talk to me about being soft-hearted or forgiving, because you’re a fool, if this applies to you, and everyone who knows the two of you also understands this.  They just don’t have the heart to tell you.

If he has cheated once, he will do it again…and HAS…and still continues to.   You think by staying in an unhappy and unfulfilling relationship you are doing the right thing.  You convince yourself that things will get better, that he’ll change and that it’s not that bad, you can live with things the way they are. But the truth is you can’t and you know it.   Pegi Young is a woman who has said, “To hell with it…” and has forged a whole new life for herself, despite the public humiliation of her former husband’s infidelities.  I admire her for this.

Pegi Young turned that negative experience into a positive one.  She turned it into art.

This morning, NPR did a show about how Neil Young had dumped his wife of 36 years for the younger, prettier Daryl Hannah, shown here relaxing in France.

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-1-24-59-pm

But this story isn’t really about Neil Young.  It is about his ex wife, Pegi….the woman who was jilted….because she didn’t ‘just crawl into a hole and go away.  She embraced what happened to her in a way that puts Neil to shame.  Yes, “the best revenge is living well,” or so they say, and Pegi Young is doing just that.

I’ve heard a lot of people criticize her for putting out this album and drawing attention to herself at “this age” but I love it that she did this. Her album is not necessarily my cup of tea, and I have been a Neil Young fan forever, but I admire Pegi for taking the reigns and being in command of her own destiny regardless of what he did to her. Making this album demonstrated tremendous inner strength, and it doesn’t matter how old she is, what she looks like, how “jilted” she was when she did it.  She did it to heal, and I admire her for it.

Her new album is called, “Raw”….and it is.  She said that writing the songs that are on it is what got her through, i.e. saved her life. Each of her new songs deals with one of the seven stages of grief.  In this song, “Trying to Live my Life Without You,” Pegi wrote, “We regretted the changes that brought us to now. I’d take it all back if I only knew how. You can drive on away with the weight of demand. And the road keeps on going until you find where you land….”

She has made a statement that makes HER look like the better person. She has taken a pile of shit and turned it into gold.  I have so much respect for a person who does something like this instead of deciding to wallow in the shit as their lives go by with disrespect from their partners.  Pegi Young is a strong woman.  A REAL woman, and she has my respect.

Save

Save

Oatmeal, anyone? An Evening with Ottmar Liebert

Standard

When my daughter was small, she would refer to Flamenco guitarist, Ottmar Liebert as “Oatmeal”.  “Listening to Oatmeal again, Mom?”  she would ask.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 10.36.40 AM© Stacy Alexander – 2015

Last night, we were treated to two hours of this graceful guitarist’s skilled execution of some of the most incredible music I have ever heard.  Liebert was joined by bassist, Jon Gagon and percussionist, Chris Steele.  They had definite chemistry, and put on an ideal show in an intimate Portland venue in the Alberta Arts District.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 10.40.34 AM

© Stacy Alexander

Ottmar Liebert is what guitar playing is all about.  He is in tune with his craft to the point that it seemed, at times, that he and the guitar were one instrument.  He was graceful, and seemed comfortable in his own skin, playing, most of the time, barefoot, with his eyes closed, seemingly oblivious to his surroundings, riding the waves of his own creations.   I believe he was playing a small DeVoe guitar, but it didn’t have any markings on it that I could see, so I’m not certain that is what it was.

Since 1986 Liebert has lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1992 he purchased an “alt-ranchette” just outside the city, with an adobe guesthouse he built as a recording studio.  In May 2006 Liebert was ordained as a Zen monk by Dennis Genpo Merzel at the Kanzeon Zen Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He had a very strong presence….one of peace and goodness.  Both John and I sensed this immediately as we watched him.

(I couldn’t get the video of Luna Negra to embed.  This video (above) is an earlier performance.)

I have been unable to find a video of Jon Gagnon, his bassist, but will post one here, if i do later.  He  was simply put, rock solid in every way.  Jon had a huge presence and voice on a 4 string fretless which sang like an baritone opera singer…or, at times, a French horn.  I couldn’t figure out what one of his bass instruments was at all it.  The one shown here was huge, and had a EB-like headstock and a body shape of something like a JP and a morsh.   Its  tone was full of mwah, but soulful and crying. The  fretboard was  coated with something shiny. I’d not seen anything like it before.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 10.54.47 AMThe drummer, Chris Steele, was not to be believed.

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 10.57.15 AMI did find a video of Chris playing, and I encourage you to watch it.  He is truly a unique player, and fantastically talented.

There is a video on YouTube that I couldn’t manage to embed here.  Please look it up.  It is called “Good Drums, Bad Turtleneck” by Chris Steele.  This is the video to watch to really see this man’s talent.  You can find it here:

The Alberta Rose Theater is a sweet little venue….very small and intimate, which was the perfect place to hear a trio such as this.  John and I ate the venue’s delicious  hand pies and sipped Perrier as we basked in the warmth and beauty that these musicians presented to us. We had such a nice evening.   These guys are  true professionals…plain and simple.  They were tight, knew exactly what they were doing, and provided the audience with an amazing show.  ’nuff said.  Well…no….NOT enough said, actually.

As I was sitting there watching these incredible musicians, I though about my dear friend, another musician, and felt so sad that his life has taken the path that it has.  It could have been him up there on that stage last night….but as they say…”When you lie with pigs….”  He has made some not-so-wise choices.   I’ll leave it at that.

See This Smile?

Standard

This is the smile of a happy woman who KNOWS that  she is loved.

Simple pleasures are the BEST pleasures.

Redbird Moonshiner

Standard

My lovely daughter-in-law has the best taste in music.  I am forever learning about new musicians with whom I was not previously acquainted.  She posted this one on her Facebook this morning and I just had to share.  I told her I thought the style was like Eddie Vedder with a soda chaser.

Enjoy Redbird Moonshiner.

Horse to the Water

Standard

I’ve been a Sam Brown fan for years.  Sadly, a lot of people STILL don’t know about her.  Take a listen…

Livin’ in a Two Story House

Standard
Livin’ in a Two Story House

Wound up week 5 of my songwriting class last week and am going into the sixth week with the lyrics to my C&W tune coming along pretty well.  I really enjoy this Berklee College of Music class.  The teacher is an old pro and very witty and we’re all having a lot of fun with it.

Here’s a little sample….

You’re livin’ in a two story house
His story
Your story
They never match
You’re livin’ in a two story house
Too many holes in your roof for a patch
Headed  back to the future ’cause
Yes, he still does, 
and back to the future where
We always were….
…….

 

Ready to Grout!

Standard

I finished sticking the tesserae onto my mosaic guitar last night. It is now ready for grout.  I am still contemplating colors.  Thinking of either doing a multi-colored, bright grout or charcoal gray.  Will have to think about it for awile….but I think I’ll probably go with the dark gray.

The front:

pregroutguitar

And the back:

pregrout guitar back

After the piece is grouted, I will be listing it on Etsy.  Will post a notice here.

Hello 2015!

Standard
Hello 2015!

Happy New Year

arrivadercchi

We celebrated long into the night to bring in the New Year.  John and I were guests of our friend, Toni,  and her British boyfriend, Peter, and another Brit, who was also named Peter, at a local Jazz club.  The music was an incredible mix of jazz and classic rock tunes from the 60’s and every subsequent decade to contemporary times.  We had a lovely dinner and danced the night away…..with plenty of cowbell.

( Wait….do you recognize this woman?! 😉 )

cowbell

The club is called, “Arrivederci” and was a delightful surprise to us.  We do not frequent businesses in the suburb of Milwaukie because we have everything we need in our own neighborhood.  It probably would never have occurred to us to go there, had we not received the kind invitation to join Toni and the two British P’s.  However, we were so pleased that we went… and already have plans to go back.  It is a cozy, tasteful Italian restaurant that schedules world class musicians on a regular basis, really good food and a nice selection of area wines.  The owner, who is a friend of Toni, often stands in with the band and plays a dynamic jazz sax, which he did on New Years, and he sings.

white rabbit

The band was comprised of a compilation of musicians from other bands to create a one-night “New Years Eve” combo.  (That’s what they called themselves.)  They were great!

  We had so much fun!  The conversation (between songs) was lively and we could not have asked for better company.

stacy sings

John and I spent a quiet day at home yesterday, doing as little as possible.  I made some good food, and we noshed throughout the day. He went out for a bit to get us a salad for dinner from St. Honerie Boulangerie,  but I stayed in and laid low.   Had some good talks.  Read.  Watched a little telly together.  Thus far, 2015 has been a good year.  I have highest hopes that it will continue to get better and better!

Oh…and I have to mention one other thing.  Yesterday, on New Year’s Day, our orchid plant bloomed full force.  This had special significance for us (which I won’t go into) but also symbolizes the delicate balance of life and the incredible number of things that we both have to be thankful for at this time.  This flower is a miracle! Isn’t it gorgeous?!

orchid

Wishing all of you the very best.

 

Finding New Music

Standard
Finding New Music

How do you expose yourself to new music?  If you’re like me, you’re always on the prowl for something fresh, new and different to listen to.  I enjoy music from all kinds of genres, from high opera to classic rock…I grew up in old fashioned C&W territory and hated country music the entire time I was growing up, but I love and appreciate it now.  My  favorite, these days, is the creative alternative musician that does not have to rely on high tech productions to send chills up and down my spine.  Lake Street Dive sends me to the moon.  Many thanks to my good friend, Jimmy A. for turning me on to this group a year and a half ago.  They are fantastic!

and I love Eli Leib.  My friend, Kevin, turned me on to him. :

One way that I find new music to listen to is to go to the website of a local music venue that I really love, the Aladdin Theater or to simply drive the 8 minutes it takes to get there from my house, and see shows randomly, whether I’ve heard of the band or not.   I’ve never seen a show there I didn’t like, except for the time that a certain famous guitarist (whose first name is Leo)… was so drunk he could barely perform…but other than that…I’ve had a good time every time I’ve gone, and I’ve been turned on to some great bands.  I can surf to their site, write down the names of everyone they have booked, go onto the web and download some music and 9 times out of 10, I love what I hear.  I discovered the Floydian Slips through the Aladdin.

Another way that I find new music is to simply ask.  I recently asked my friends on Facebook to comment with videos that knocked their socks off.  Here are some of them:

The great Miche Braden:

And this one by Rising Appalachia…I adore this song, “Swoon”:

My daughter-in-law, Katherine shared this one with me.  She taped it herself.  How lucky she was to get to see Moji being plucked from the audience for one of the most mind-blowing sessions yet!  Wow!

My friend, Shannon Kringin (from the Goddess Kring Show in Seattle) sent me this hilarious chicken people video.  Mind blowingly bizarre!! :

My friend, Annie, sent me this gorgeous rendition of K.D. Lang singing Lenard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.  (I’ve never heard a bad version of this song:

Anyway…so there are some ideas for finding new music.   It’s a good thing to always remain open to new talent, new sounds and new ideas in music.  Of course, sticking with some that you’re already intimately familiar with can be pretty sweet, too.  🙂

Thank you…to my beautiful friend.

Video

A special friend sent me this video this morning.  You can see his reflection in my glasses.

Rene Best musician                                       Rene Best guitarist
stacy-black-dress2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rene Best musician

Jon Gomm….now THIS is a GUITARIST!! (WOW!)

Standard

I have an old friend in Houston that plays in this style.  This is Jon Gomm, a REAL guitarist.   The first time I ever saw anyone play in a style close to this, it was when Kaki King played at the TED talks.  Here are videos of both of them, and both are well worth a look-see.  I adore this kind of playing.  It is innovative, and not just the same ‘ol..same ‘ol, overworked, overused crap that 50 million other guitarists are playing.

I love a musician that thinks outside the box and carves new paths into the music world.  These two do that.  Jack White is another. Chris Whitley was another.

I’m really digging this new wave of talent.    It is fresh, interesting, intelligent sounding.  Pure.

Turn, Turn, Turn

Standard

I’ve long been a fan of the smooth guitar playing by Snuffy Walden.  Listen to Snuffy’s velvet strings and the lovely and unique pipes of Sara Niemitz  doing  their rendition of the Yardbirds’ classic, “Turn, Turn, Turn.”

Portland Waterfront Blues Festival

Standard
I have been to many, many blues festivals and concerts throughout the world in the years that I have been a music enthusiast.  Our annual Waterfront Blues Festival is one of the best, at least in America, and is just one more thing to love about living in Portland.  This festival is set in a park, right on the banks of the Williamette River in the middle of downtown.  One can hop on a bus or the trolly and be dropped off right at the gate.  The crowd is always mellow and the music is outstanding!  Even the food is exceptional!
This morning, John presented me with our tickets as a nice “good morning” gift, as he is prone to give me spontaneously.  (Both of us have a thing about gift giving and give to one another regularly.  Keeps things hoppin’! )  With company arriving within the next few weeks and travel plans on the horizon, I had not thought to buy tickets myself, so I’m really happy that he did.  We have a great lineup of artists this year and I look forward to going again.    The thing I look most forward to is dancing with the other happy attendees.  We do have a great time when we go!

2014 Featured Artists for the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival

  • Gregg Allman

    Gregg Allman

  • Los Lobos

    Los Lobos

  • Dumpstaphunk

    Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk

  • Boz Scaggs

    Boz Scaggs

  • Maceo Parker

    Maceo Parker

  • Lee Fields

    Lee Fields and The Expressions

  • Los Lonely Boys

    Los Lonely Boys

  • Charlie Musselwhite

    Charlie Musselwhite

  • John Nemeth & The Bokeys

    John Nemeth and The Bo-Keys

  • Joan Osborne

    Joan Osborne with The Holmes Brothers

  • Bombino

    Bombino

  • Blind Boy Paxton

    Blind Boy Paxton

  • Homemade Jamz

    Homemade Jamz

  • Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials

    Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials

  • Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas

    Nathan and the Zydeco Cha-Chas

  • Otis Taylor with Mato Nanji

    Otis Taylor with special guest Mato Nanji

  • The Soul of John Black

    The Soul of John Black

  • Sugaray Rayford

    Sugaray Rayford Band

Additional Artists

  • Ellen Whyte

    Albert Reda & Ellen Whyte

  • Andy Stokes & Lisa Mann

    Andy Stokes, Lisa Mann & the Oxford Allstars

  • Big Monti

    Big Monti

  • Cooper

    Cooper

  • Paris Slim

    Frank “Paris Slim” Goldwasser

  • Good Foot Allstars

    Goodfoot Allstars Tribute to James Brown

  • Samba School

    G.R.E.S. Grianças de Zumbi (Children of Zumbi) Samba School

  • Jim Pugh

    Jim Pugh

  • Puppet Show

    Juste À Temps (Just In Time) Puppet Troupe

  • Libertine Bells

    Libertine Belles

  • Lloyd Jones

    Lloyd Jones Struggle

  • Rad Trads

    Rad Trads

  • Rose City Kings

    Rose City Kings

  • Smut City

    Smut City Jellyroll Society

  • Bonepickers

    The Bone Pickers

  • Tim Williams

    Tim Williams

  • Too Loose Porch Band

    Too Loose Cajun/Zydeco Band

  • Lisa Mann Really Good Band

    Lisa Mann & Her Really Good Band, featuring Diane Blue

  • Liz Vice

    Liz Vice

  • Margo Tufo

    Margo Tufo

  • Mary Flower

    Mary Flower & the BBQ Boys

  • Chris Baum Project

    The Chris Baum Project

  • The Strange Tones

    The Strange Tones & DK Stewart

  • Duffy Bishop

    Duffy Bishop

  • American Music Program

    American Music Program

  • Andy T and Nick Nixon Band

    Andy T & Nick Nixon Band

  • Anson Funderburgh

    Anson Funderburgh

  • Lauren Sheehan

    Lauren Sheehan

  • Ayron Jones

    Ayron Jones & The Way

  • Ben Rice

    Ben Rice Trio

  • Chris Bergson

    Chris Bergson Band

  • Chris O'Leary Band

    The Chris O’Leary Band

  • Commander Cody

    Commander Cody

  • Curley Taylor

    Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble

  • The Frank Bey & Anthony Paule Band

    The Frank Bey & Anthony Paule Band

  • Hillstomp

    Hillstomp

  • Jeffrey Broussard

    Jeffrey Broussard and The Creole Cowboys

  • Kara Grainger

    Kara Grainger

  • Karen Lovely

    Karen Lovely’s Prohibition Orchestra

  • Leif Totusek

    Leif Totusek’s Candela Blues

  • Leo

    Leo “Bud” Welch

  • Lilla

    Lilla

  • Linda Hornbuckle

    Linda Hornbuckle’s Old Time Gospel Hour

  • Miz Dee

    Miz Dee

  • Rae Gordon Band

    Rae Gordon Band

  • Simon Tucker

    Simon Tucker Band

  • Ural Thomas & The Pain

    Ural Thomas & The Pain

  • Yvette Landry

    Yvette Landry

  • Horace Trahan & Ossun Express

    Horace Trahan & Ossun Express

  • Trancendental Brass Band

    Transcendental Brass Band

 

Having an Opera Day

Video

One of the things that brought us together initially, was the fact that both John and I were (and still are) big opera fans.  When we met, I had seasons tickets to the Houston Grand Opera , and we used to go together frequently….or I would go by myself….or I would go with my best mate, Katie or with my kids.

We are an opera family.  While still a high school student, my  son used to be an usher at the Houston Grand Opera, which allowed him to see all of the operas free of charge.   He has loved opera since.  I took all of my kids with me, however.  Again…we are an opera family.

I saw Pavarotti sing Nessun Dorma and other of his “greatest hits” in person, upon a number of occasions, thanks to dear Katie, and still weep at the notion of his no longer being among the living. He was magnificent!  I was never fortunate enough to see him in an actual opera, however.

John and I both adore Puccini’s operas and have been listening to them this morning with the windows open, the cool breeze blowing in and the flowers blooming everywhere outside. This is another day in which the temperature is mild and absolutely perfect. (These Portland springs and summers make the dark winters well worth the wait. )

As I write this, we are listening to Pavarotti sing Turandot.  There are simply no words to describe how beautiful this music is!  It really brings out the romance in my husband, too.   🙂

Fell in love with him all over again today.

This, my friends, is a beautiful day.

Thank you, opera.

Which Song Was Written for You?

Standard

A friend sent this little quiz to me this morning and I thought I’d share.  Answer a few questions to find out which song was written especially for you!   It’s sort of fun.  Click HERE to find out which song is a fit for you.

This is what mine said:

 “You are a positive and passionate person. Your smile is breathtakingly beautiful, no one can resist smiling after meeting you. Go on and spread some joy while listening to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, it’s YOUR song!”

 

What about you?  What’d YOU get? 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Portland, Pick Your Own!

Standard

 

There are SO many reasons to love Portland….and I do.  Here is yet another!

We live in the heart of a busy section of Portland, one that gets busier, in fact, every day.  Developers have come onto Division street, one block from our place, and are ripping out old businesses and putting in new ones every week.  We have recently acquired the name, “Restaurant Row” which is fantastic, because there are a ton of new, affordable restaurants within walking distance, all of which offer delicious, affordable fare.  However, I like to cook, and it can be expensive to eat out a lot, so we don’t do it that much.

I like to buy fresh, organic produce…lettuce, berries, all kinds of veggies…and I do a lot of grilling.  I have a nice, counter top grill.  It is not unusual to have a poached egg on steamed spinach for breakfast, or grilled Brussels sprouts.  Yum!  But the key to good cooking is the freshness and purity of the produce.  The best way to get ace produce is to pick it oneself.  We are fortunate in that Portland has a plethora of community gardens, co-ops and a number of nearby farms that allow people to pick their own!

pick

Kruger’s Farm
17100 NW Sauvie Island Rd.
Portland, Or 97231
503-621-3489

Kruger’s Farm, located on Sauvie Island, offers a full afternoon of activities for kids over the summer, and we will be taking Ingrid there to “help” us pick strawberries. The farm is ready for little hands to romp through their no-spray, U-Pick strawberry fields.  Ingrid will get to meet and greet Matilda, the farm pig, and delight in the wild turkeys and chickens that roam the grounds.

U-pick is offered for the following crops: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, marionberries, boysenberries, blackberries, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, and flowers. For the most up-to-date U-pick crop information available, visit their daily Harvest update page.

You can pick from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekends

Kruger Farm’s Farm Tunes Concerts brings live music to the farm from 6:30- 9:30 p.m. every Thursday night June 19 through August 28. The family that lives there invites Portland area families to bring their own picnic dinners or to purchase food, beer and wine onsite. There is a modest $10 parking fee per carload.  They also offer Farm to Plate dinners.

strawberry

Bella Organic
16205 NW Gillihan Rd.
Portland, Or 97231
503-621-9545

Bella Organic’s motto is “Local, Affordable, Organic, Fun”.  The farm is certified organic  and has more than 100 acres of ground where they grow everything from blueberries to asparagus. Right now,  the farm has four different varieties of strawberries available in the U-pick fields — Hoods, Totems, Seascapes and Tillamook.  Ingrid will want to see their barnyard animals, I’m sure.

Strawberries are available in June, July and August, as well as blueberries, marionberries and raspberries in July, thornless blackberries in August and pumpkins in October. For the most up-to-date crops available, check the U-Pick page.

Pickers can visit from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily (last call for U-Pick is 5:30 p.m.)

Bella’s Sounds and Tastes of the Farm are harvest festivals that occur each Saturday, from July 19-30, at 5 p.m. Proceeds benefit  Music for the Heart, an organization that donates proceeds toward  heart research. The events always feature a mix of live music by local bands and adult bevvies from local breweries and wineries, as well as artisan foods, compliments of local chefs. Admission is only $10 a car.  Great deal!

picking fruit

Columbia Farms U-Pick
21024 NW Gillihan Rd.
Portland, Or 97231
503-621-3909

Serene Columbia Farms U-Pick is spread out around a white barn with a green roof. The farm caters to a quieter customer, one who yearns for a farm experience minus the corn dog and pony ride. Kids will love getting their hands dirty while finding ripe, big berries in the fields while parents can take a deep breath and slowly exhale.  Serene is the BEST!

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, marionberries, boysenberries, and flowers. For the most up-to-date information on what’s being harvested, visit their blog.

Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed the entire month of August.

Columbia Farm’s blog lists terrific recipes using their delicious produce — everything from roasted tomato sauce to blueberry muffins. Don’t have a ton of time? In addition to U-pick, Columbia offers customers the option of calling ahead to order pounds or flats of berries for pick up.

 

So, we’re all set with produce, guitar pickin’ and summer fun!  Can’t wait!