Monday, December 31, 2012

The Long Road To A New Year

Distance and time have all sorts of mathematical equations surrounding them.  I like to believe that they can be extrapolated and ripped away from their fixed points and viewed separately as experiences  While distance can be a "long and winding road" it is also a journey.  Time can also be a countdown clock or a fixed moment.  2012 will remain a difficult collection of those experiences.

The year started with my grandfather's passing.  Weird to think about it now.  I still have a lot of work to do editing some interviews that I conducted with him.  One can say that time caught up or that we ran out of time with him.  What I do know is that he remains in my thoughts each day.

I ended and started new projects.  It isn't really easy to know when the road should end.  Think about the above picture.  If you were just laying down asphalt, where would you decide to put a fork in the road?  Where would you stop?  Projects can be hard to judge like that.  I thought the road would be quite a bit longer for the new news site but I'm happy that I learned my lessons early.  What lessons?  One big one, really.  "Are people really ready for facts?"

We also saw the passing of my sister-in-law.  Time and distance.  We had an idea that an end was coming but didn't know how far out it was.  All we know is that it was too soon.  We did a lot in her name (raising money for breast cancer... even have some bracelets left over) and spend quality time before her passing.  At one point I thought that our love and support for her husband and step-son were important but who would have thought that we'd be the ones supported when around them?

At the end of the year several of us came down with the flu.  (Ok, most of both sides of the family.)  Time does heal all, doesn't it?  While we support one that is sick until health, another gets sick and we rally behind them until better and then another one goes down... and today I'm better.  House is full of healthy people again.  Just not mentally.  B)  So much emotional distance traveled this year and now it's definitely time to move on to a new beginning.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Halfway Mark In Month-long Workout Project

Today is the start of week 3 of my month-long workout plan.  Yes, there will be a follow-up plan but setting goals is important.  This series will end on Christmas day and allow me to reward myself a little.  But let's talk about the journey so far.

Understand, these are part of a series called 10 Minute Trainer.  The idea is that you work out multiple muscle groups at the same time to maximize your effort.  My abs after 1 day of focus were sore for a good 2 days.  (Which I believe prove they got a beating.)  Arm muscles and leg muscles feel full and strong now.  I can see a major difference in my quads as they are a lot stronger in supporting myself during the workouts.  The way the workouts are mixed up do leave me wanting more.  But, I want to take this slow and enjoy the journey.  Maybe I'll expand it next month before going on to advanced.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

From Time To Eternity

The bonds of marriage really aren't like the ball and chain that they are made out to be.  Sure, I guess bondage and the binding legality of the ceremony can be confused.  One can even say that the bonds established bear greater further significance.  Remember that phrase "lawfully wedded" in the ceremony, you suddenly gain a whole 'other side' of the family that you append with the phrase "in-law."

At about 4pm on Tuesday, my sister-in-law Paula Stage-Squire lost her year-long battle with cancer.  I've done more praying in the last year than I have in the last decade with her being a primary focus.  She was a strong, intelligent and caring person of faith that people could rely on.  She was also the partner to a very good man, my brother-in-law Joe.  She loved her nieces and nephews immensely.  As you can see from the above photo, nature could easily be seen as the family backyard and they loved the outdoors.

I told my wife a little while ago that, if it weren't for what I learned from previous relationships, I would not have been good for her at all nor would I have appreciated her as much.  I have been made a better man by them.  People leave impressions and help shape our hearts through joy, pain and strife.  Paula did make us better people and all of our hearts are heavy at this time.  Today, she's no longer a sister-in-law but a sister from this temporary home.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Changing My Direction... Intentionally

Decided that it is worth making some life adjustments before throwing out a New Year's resolution -- as those really don't have a great track record for anyone.  Thanksgiving was a chance to give thanks for all that I have, have been given and have ahead of me.  That was the last stop before taking a detour to a better path.

When you grow up around someone that works out twice a day, takes his vitamins daily, has a physically intense 12 hour-a-day job and is always looking for a 'healthier' option, it is bound to creep into your psyche.  But knowing and practicing are two different things.  I have always been big on vitamins but, previous to this, I had gone with low carb and timed eating which worked together but didn't make much sense as a way to live long term.  I even decided to use a blender to mix smoothies using... well, we'll go into that another time as I have a video for that.  Although I felt good, portion control became an issue.  So I gave more than a glance to nutrient dense meal replacement products and found Shakeology.  It could sound like a quick fix but I'll explain that away in a future post but I can say that since starting it in October, I lowered my cholesterol 45 points, dropped a few pounds and have no issue with cravings.

So, the day after Thanksgiving, I went the Shakeology 3 day cleanse.  (Contact me here for details.)  Long story short, it is 3 days of restricted calories, 3 Shakeology drinks, some green tea, a gallon of water and a whole lot of bathroom breaks.  Generally, it is used for when you feel your weight loss is at a plateau, to detoxify and/or to start a new program.  In the end, over a belt size down and no hunger during the process.

Last week began phase 2.  The cleanse was a planned springboard for my new workout program.  Ever felt that you just didn't have time to work out?  Did you just skip it that day?  Did you ever let that stop you from going after that?  We all do it unless we are fiercely determined or on a show with Bob, Jillian and Dolvet.  That's when I saw 10 Minute Trainer.

Part of the idea here was the stacking your workouts.  Think about how one person, maybe yourself, would go to the gym and focus on 1 body part.  While holding that dumbell in your hand to do bicep curls, why not work another muscle or two.  Anyhow, it was a great first week of four and now starting the second week.  At the end, I will see where things go and, if I'm ready to ramp it up a bit more, possibly go to advanced series or stack the workouts.  As of now, I'm really thankful that I started this now and feel like I'm regaining a bit of myself.  I hope your next New Year's resolution is as fulfilling.

You can find more details about particular products here or email me here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Post Post-Thanksgiving Shakeology Cleanse Post

I saw some positive gains here... well, let me say, losses and gains.  I don't have a scale, don't plan on using measuring tape even though some may really may like doing so.  I definitely lost a few pounds and could see definite improvement in many areas.  I can the sides of my abs (pre-six pack) and a thinner jaw/chin.  Looks like I am also down a belt size.  Can't wait to see a blood test next year.  I have gained a lot of knowledge about hunger and nutrition and how a body can be satisfied with so little.

My vet told me once that the problem with my dog eating her poo was that certain nutrients weren't being absorbed in digestion and she was now seeking it and any other unprocessed items there.  Shakeology is nutrient dense.  It's so dense that there was no hunger during 3 days of these 5 eating times.  But, what do people not getting those essential nutrients do?  Some may skip breakfast or eat a large one.  They may flip that scenario around for dinner.  They may eat crap all day.  My son mentioned to me today that he sometimes eats because he is bored.  So, if you aren't getting the nutrients... you are doing what my dog does -- searching for nutrition and eating crap to fill the void.

My assessment?  I'm sick of eating crap for no reason.  Meals should mean something.  Eat to live, don't live to eat.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Post-Thanksgiving Shakeology Cleanse: Day 3

Slept amazingly well again.  The 3 day cleanse may be a perfect thing for insomniacs.  Woke up about 15 minutes until 6, made our green tea and Shakeology mixes.  I also took a long look in the mirror.  A little leaner in the face and mid-section but also a lot more energy.

Wife had a banana and I had an apple as our 9am snack.  Just in time to get ready for some football.

We returned from running some errands (after deciding the football game wasn't going to go our way) just in time for lunch at noon.  She had a chocolate and I again went with greenberry for our Shakeology mixes.  The reason I decided to change things up around lunch was I felt that I needed to break up the chocolate taste as... I really haven't had a craving for chocolate since taking Shakeology.  We both topped it off with our green tea.  We then took the dogs for a walk.

At 3pm we had our final chocolate Shakeology mixes of the cleanse cycle.  Left out a piece of ice to see if it helped or hurt the taste but found it didn't affect it much.  Also had our half-serving of almonds.  Decided to watch a little television.

I love the way that I am excited about our final meal of the night.  I can't really describe it.  Well, I can (it's the same spinach, romaine and chicken breast salad mentioned previously) but what I mean is the anticipation.  I even told my wife that I would be happy having that with her for dinner here and there because it just leaves you feeling satisfied.

All our water is gulped and, yes, the need to pee is strong.  One of us spent more time in the bathroom than the other one and figured that we really had that much more junk in our system to 'cleanse.'  Tomorrow should be an exciting morning.  Back to putting bananas and peanut butter in my shakes.  But I really love how I am feeling right now.  A summation will follow tomorrow.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Post-Thanksgiving Shakeology Cleanse: Day 2

Today we slept in.  In fact all of the day before we just stayed around the house to minimize issues with needing to run off to the bathroom or not have to adjust our eating for the people around us.  Noticed a few slight differences in the mirror around chin and abs but both of us felt noticably lighter.

We had breakfast at 8am.  Our green tea followed out chocolate Shakology mix.  Headaches persisted but wasn't debilitating (well, for me) but hers gradually went away.  We decided to run some errands and move about a bit.  Took the dogs to get shots and then went shopping.

At 11am, we had our snacks -- her a banana and I an apple.  We then headed off to run a few more errands and a little more shopping.  It was around this time that my headache went away just before returning to make lunch.

Due to our late rise and an inevitable later dinner, we decided to cut 30 minutes out here and eat lunch at 1:30pm.  Since it is the lightest of the meals, it would be the easiest to cut back.  She had her chocolate Shakeology and I opted for greenberry (made the same way.)  We followed this with our green tea.  We stayed in from here on out watching television.

At 4:30pm, we had our next Shakeology and both opted for chocolate.  We chased that with 14 raw unsalted almonds each (about half a serving.)

Stomachs began to growl again by 7:30pm (but that had been absent for quite some time.)  Again went with the same dinner but decided to bake the chicken instead of grilling to see the difference.  Still an amazing meal that I can look forward to each evening.  I am starting to think that the cleanse subconsciously has you looking forward to a salad every night.  I can't think of any better way to train a brain to re-think dessert.  I have also learned to try to drink my gallon of water earlier in the day than later as it can seem overwhelming if you forget.

Overall, a great day.  More energy than Day 1 and it made us confident that we can accomplish some regular activities at the same time.  Some, but not all activities.  At this time, both of us are free of headaches, full and feeling pretty darn good about ourselves.  We are eagerly anticipating Day 3.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Post-Thanksgiving Shakeology Cleanse: Day 1

I had read about the Shakeology cleanse about a month ago.  To put all my cards on the table, I love the way I feel taking Shakeology once every morning for breakfast and have noticed many positive changes.  But the idea of taking it 3 times a day and limiting my calories seemed absolutely nutty.  I am a person that loves to study nutrition.  In fact, I have a nutrition guide with calories and information for most items sitting near the kitchen as we speak.  So, I had to look into this.  Neither of us weighed in or measured anything beforehand as we really are looking at this as a health change and clease --not a diet.

My wife started taking Shakeology every morning as well and she agreed that trying this 3-day challenge after Thanksgiving while we were both off of work would be best.  I couldn't agree more.  So let's explain today -- day 1.

We woke up at 5:45am and started making our green tea.  Followed that with our chocolate Shakeology.  We mixed the 2 scoops together with 16 ounces of water and 22 ice cubes -- dividing the contents equally.  Not having the almond milk and strawberries that we were used to was a major change but we believe that our taste buds have made improvements over the last month or so while using the product.  We also bought gallon jugs of water each for us to finish every day.

At 9am we each had a piece of fruit.  I went with an apple and she went with a banana.  The hardest part was here as you are functioning for another 3 hours on just a piece of fruit but it keeps you anticipating the next meal.  A little stomach growling isn't bad, right?

We mixed our next batch of Shakeology at noon, the same way, in our wonderful Vitamix.  We followed that with our green tea.  Now, to clarify the tea, we have been adding Stevia which is also a component in Shakeology, so we felt that wasn't cheating.  Around this time, the wife started getting headaches.  Persistent and located in the front and back of the head but she endured.

At 3pm, we had our next Shakeology mix.  We also took the advice of another person that he replaced his snacks with half servings of raw unsalted almonds.  It comes out to about 14 of them.  Getting to chew the almonds added a little satisfaction as you feel you are biting into something.

For our final meal of the day at 6pm, we grilled up 4 ounce chicken breasts (one seasoned with salt and pepper while the other included garlic, paprika and cayenne pepper.)  We placed that on a bed of 2 cups of spinach and 1 cup of romaine lettuce with 2 tablespoons of dressing (light honey mustard and the other light caesar.)  I can honestly say that this was the most satisfying meal of the day.

We both slept extremely well that night, but her headaches followed her to bed.  Mine started gradually before bed at 8:30pm.  But at no time were we hungry.  This is a shocking fact that really says a lot for what Shakology does as an appetite suppressant.  Pretty amazing.  I can also note that we were both extremely emotional... don't know if that had to do with what we were watching on television all day or if it is a side affect.  We were pretty much couch potatoes all day.  Day 2 should be pretty intriguing but I'm expecting some struggles as I have heard some similar notes.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

A Time To Put Things Away

You have to figure that there is a point in time that typewriter manufacturers either transitioned to a new line of business or closed up shop.  Knowing when you are fighting against the tide is important.  It's also important to know when the water is muddy, rising or throwing you against the cliffs.

The experiment is over.  On June 1 of this year, we initiated the Muze News project.  What we didn't tell you were the underlying motivations for the site.  It seems that the time was not right for a news aggregation site that avoided gossip, side-stepped conjecture and went right for release information.  You see, when an album comes out, there is a little dance between the artist, label and press.  First, a mention of the artist wanting to record a new album, work with a producer or finds inspiration in (insert event).  Second, articles pop up about the act in the studio, going into the studio, writing songs or a tour is announced.  Third, a month or season is floated to the press about the album (like "hopes to release the as-yet untitled album early in 2013".)  Fourth, a song is debuted, a single is selected or video is filmed.  Fifth, a single is released.  Sixth, the new single is performed on one or several TV shows or radio shows with interviews.  Seventh, a second single is mentioned with a release date.  Eighth, the album is given a name and a month is mentioned for the release.  Ninth, the album release date is released.  This kind of keeps going on through each single being released abut the album comes out.  Often, it can be jostled.  But, notice that just up to that point, there were 9 different ways to mention the artist's new album before it even came out.  We just cut to the chase:  New single coming out (insert date), new album (insert date) and new video (insert date.)  The more mentions an artist has in the press, the more interest you have in their product when finally released.

Now, we did also mention artists passing away and there is a good reason.  It often goes unreported.  As often the release dates sometimes get lost in the babble out there.  Why do I say babble?  When an artist calls another artist out, slaps another artist, flips off a crowd, moons a crowd, gets arrested or countless other things that do not relate but get them mentioned in the news.  We hoped to prove the populace was ready for something other than the TMZ style of reporting music information.  Seems to be a wrong assumption.

Much thanks to all those who have supported this project, have been visiting the site and have let others know about it.  The way we interact is as important as the way we get our news.  As with the typewriter manufacturers, one needs to know when to look for the exit.  Because, there is bound to be a word processor or a computer just a few generations away that can do the job more effectively.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thank you little Tivo

It's been a decade.  In September of 2002, I purchased my first Tivo.  It was a risk as I didn't know anyone with one, at the time.  But, I also didn't want to pay monthly so I went with a lifetime service.  It recorded some amazing content.  There were interviews with my father for local sports news and when my friend Daniel was on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.  (I think I burned those to disc later, so no big loss.)  But I learned to depend on it.  I even talked the girlfriend (now wife) into doing the same... and hers is still running.  They would send recordings back and forth.  I guess, you can say they were dating.  I wonder if we need to console the other... console?

Technology has come a long way in a decade.  I know it will be better moving to an HD unit with more capacity and shiny new remote.  I even thought about paying a company to get it fixed.  But, that would be like buying ribbon for a typewriter.  It's time to move on.  Just sad to see it go.  I figure that with the lifetime service I paid about $50 per year for it.  Pretty darn cool when you think the replacement could easily be a "DVR" via cable or satellite service costing $20 a month.  And buying another Tivo makes it difficult to move to satellite later.

So, thank you little Tivo for recording more cooking, home repair, cartoons and drama series than you were expected to.  I mean, heck, you were only turned off a few times when we moved.  Thank you for making my life easier.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

West Coast Tour 2.0: Silver Falls in Oregon

I look back at these photos and have Rodney Atkins' "Take A Backroad" running through my head.  The next stop on our vacation/tour would be Oregon's Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area.  The drive was pretty enjoyable.  Beautiful winding roads with a lot of lush trees, farmland and the occasional wild animal all right outside your car window... unless you venture outside.  Which we did. 

Our first stop was a little creek that runs off from the falls.  With a motor court-style entry and two picnic benches, it could easily host a small group or two as they kick back and enjoy the chirping birds and surging waters.  Jake, David, Kenzie and a neighbor friend Courtney went to investigate the waters before we moved on.  Jake decided to take a quick photo... well, I decided to take it.  He just hopped in front of every shot I took.  The dogs wanted to go running into the wilderness but we held them back.  After a little time walking around, we decided to check out another area.

But we did come back.  I'm breaking the timeline a bit here because I wanted you to see the whitewater in the background on both these photos.  Were it a bit deeper, I could see some tubing going on but not here.  The kids decided to try swimming when we returned and the water was icy cold.  Kerry and I took the dogs out a ways to look for suitable spots for them but there are some holes in the rock containing stagnant water with interesting little insects in there.  Had to prevent the dogs from drinking out of them.  Under the water looked like a series of slabs or plates, that seemed pretty sharp to me and I didn't like the look of it for the kids playing in it.  So after nibbling on a few chips and stretching our legs, Bear and Bettieann loaded up the truck and we the Tucson and we were gone.

Between the two visits to that area, we were on a mission.  It was an area called the Silver Falls and Golden Falls that my father-in-law had spotted some time back.  He'd taken Kerry's aunt and uncle to the latter before and now it was time to check the other one out.  But it was a distance away.  What amazes me about the drive is this canopy or archway the trees create.  It's stunning when a little light peeps through in an area that seems protected from the outside world.  Had to try to take a photo of it but the closest I got was on the way out.

By the time we parked, we divided off duties.  Bettieann stayed with the vehicles, I followed Kerry as she grabbed Bella, Bear stayed with David as he took Tulip, Jake and the kids tried to get up there as quick possible but Jake would reconsider at about half-way up-hill and decided to get his iPod and start over again.  I had a great time talking with Bear taking in the scenery as he got some great shots.  We also helped another hiker take a personal photo.  Speaking of personal pics, this one speaks volumes.  Dave is trying to keep pace with Tulip as they continue the journey upward.  There is something cute about a dog that stops and smells everything.  That cuteness can wear off when you have a goal that she doesn't seem to be on board for and she can be a bit stubborn.  Not exactly a jogging partner, there.  Gotta love her.  Dave has the Hawaiian swim shorts, polo shirt, gladiator-thing going on.  You have to like the hiking shoes?  Sandals may seem fun and easy to just slap on but so are Vans and moccasins and... they provide better traction and while letting less rocks in under your toes.  But, lessons have to be learned, right?

So what was the at the end of the trek?  I can't really gather the words well but I'll try.  If you've ever seen those videos of metal being heated into a liquid form and poured into a vessel, this reminded me of silver overflowing from that same vessel.  A very fitting name.  We didn't bother going to the other spot as, we were told, it didn't match this.  Couldn't chose between these two shots.  Enjoy.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

West Coast Tour 2.0: Gold Beach, Oregon

There is something to be said for man and his attempt to conquer the water.  We'll leave that for someone else to espouse.  What I will say, is that I've heard of Gold Beach before and when I heard about the possibility of a 90 minute drive to somewhere that would lead to a 104-mile whitewater wilderness tour, I felt it was a memory worth creating.  Or recreating, you see, Kerry had been on the same ride about 28 years before with her twin sister (for which we received a text saying something to the effect of "how dare you rewrite childhood memories without me.")  But the idea that it was such a strong memory for both of them meant that it would be a great one for 3 kids, 2 adults and a grandpa (who took some of the best photos shown here.)

Probably a good start is introducing the crew.  Pictured from left to right we have Kenzie, Jake, Dave and Bear on our single row on the boat.  Kerry has never been a fan of being photographed so, don't expect to see much of her.  We got a call early that morning saying that if we hurried down there a bit earlier than planned, they'd upgrade us from the mid-size and mid-priced ride to the wham-bam-who's-your-momma 7+ hour trip.  So drive Bear did, arriving just in time.  Wish I got a picture of the little dog out in front of the store that would shove a large smooth rock toward customers in hopes they'll shove it back to it -- in one of the funniest little games that I've ever seen.  Cute.  Oh, well, off to the boat...

One thing that I still remained impressed with were the bridges.  I mean, look at this one.  It's the first one you see when you leave the dock.  They mark a lot of the history in the area by how high floods were when they went through.  One specific bridge still stands despite flood waters rising about 10 feet above it.  But this bridge stood out.  I think they mentioned a French architect and some bill getting signed that made it happen.  From the opposite side, there were nests. (What kind can get lost on me.)  Someone even took a photo of the boat and its occupants from above.  Well, I shouldn't mention it and not show you.

I'm over there on the left side waving in a borrowed brown jacket next to Kerry (your only photo with her in it... see what I mean.)  It's a pretty good sized boat with 3 engines and (what took us a long time to notice) a dog.  I told the kids that it was a specially trained water dog there to rescue children that don't keep their hands in the boat and fall in the drink.  They were pretty well behaved, so the threat wasn't important.  Jake was a little seasick at first (and forgot to take a pill) but someone sitting behind us mentioned chewing gum... which flowed plentifully the rest of the trip.  What Kerry and I found funniest was the same man that helped Jake had a hat that said Navy on it.  He'd lunge forward every time there was burst of water from spray, waves or rapids and use the hat to block her face from each assault.  I told him later that he was definitely a true gentleman.  When he looked confused, I told him that not many men would throw the whole Navy in front of his 'lady love' to protect her from the elements.  Got a broad smile from him and a laugh from what I thought was his wife.

I mentioned wilderness in referring to the boat tour, right.  Well, there were a lot of funny little creatures everywhere.  And the driver did a great job of making sure we knew if something was nearby.  First there were the little birds nests on the opposite side of the bridge.  Then there were tons of birds... and I will not be able to tell you much about them other than there was an osprey, herons and well... this well-recognized American symbol.  I can tell you that I never in my life expected to see a bald eagle.  I guess that's the living-in-a-desert mentality.  I mean, I didn't see a lizard anywhere on this trip.

But we did see a bear!  Sure, the eagle was #1 on my list but to see a hunter in its pursuit of a meal just gives a tingling feeling.  We followed it down bank quite a ways.  From the photo, you can see she (the guide believed it was a female from previous sightings) is searching the water for a nearby fish to pounce on.  Didn't know how the kids would react to seeing something so natural as that (especially after they kept reciting lines from Finding Nemo) but we moved on.  Sure, having a cell-phone as your camera on a trip like this means only one thing: the battery is going to run out that much sooner.  So I had to keep turning it off and turning it on to save power to take specific shots.  Thankfully, Bear (my father-in-law... appropriate nickname to reinforce at this point, right?) had the good equipment to catch these.  My grainy photos could have been Sasquatch sightings.

There were a couple good breaks here and there and the kids got to stretch their legs.  Really beautiful surroundings to do so.

Do you remember me saying something about rapids and whitewater?  Well, that actually did happen.  The problem is that you really shouldn't use electronic equipment when the boat is rocking, when it is spraying water all over you or when the driver does a 360.  So a smart photographer would keep his equipment safe and dry.  So, Bear put his camera away and (cough) someone else took these final enjoyable shots of part of the waters of the Rogue River often called The Wild.

Another full day of the trip in the bag and, yes, a very long day with more sun than I'm used to.  So, it's time to recover.  Maybe a slow day.  Maybe not.

Friday, July 13, 2012

West Coast Tour 2.0 -- Coos Bay, Oregon

Today was the start of what I'm calling our West Coast Tour 2.0.  We started off in the great Las Vegas valley after the wife finished work.  With the mini SUV packed, nephew Jake and dogs belted in we were on our way.  18 hours later, we find ourselves in Coos Bay, Oregon with the Freidel clan (the in-laws.)

Tip #1 for long trips -- sleep.  If you get up at 3am, get ready, drive to work at 5am for your 6am shift, finish a full shift and then start that 18 hour drive... you may have issues.  Could be worse if you are as stubborn as myself or the missus.  So, both us us were a little sleep deprived and with only a 90-minute change at the wheel and several caffienated beverages... we made it in.

Tip #2 for long trips -- sharing.  I can be a little obsessive when it comes to music.  But, the idea I came up with, to avoid anyone wanting to put on their headphones and tune out, worked well.  In order of age, let each member of the 'team' choose an album that will be heard in its entirety.  Sure, you may have that awkward moment that someone chooses Yanni or N.W.A. but that could be a good thing.  Think about it... sometimes we don't know what our kids listen to.  Here you can evaluate what they like and... you have a captive audience for that assessment.  Best part?  Hearing one of the younger passengers singing "Daydream Believer" after hearing the Monkees' 'best of' without any prompting.

Tip #3 for long trips -- laughter.  It doesn't hurt to have little animals to break any monotony.  Just make sure to have fun.  Don't take things seriously, discuss the music, the trip, the stops along the way and yourselves.  As you can see... Jake had a little bit of fun with Bella.

All went well and we're enjoying the wea... ok, I need to knock on wood before I jinx the good weather here in the great Northwest.  As you can see from the first picture above, it's pretty nice out here.  Commence downtime!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

West Coast Tour 2.0

We took a year off from road travel but we are just 2 hours or so from our official West Coast Tour 2.0 (or so I like to call it.)  A lot was happening last year.  But I am expecting a lot of adventures ahead.  We will be exploring the "city by the bay" and our state capitol... as well as a few other stops.  Dogs will be trying out their new seat belts (expect a photo at some point.)  We will be riding up to Oregon with my nephew and exchange hostages with the in-laws.  Going to be educational, fun and well... you never know what may happen.  Will keep you updated as we go.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Starting The Day With A Thought

Yesterday was strange for many reasons but I would like to share the first one with you.  I visit my doctor -- an amazing man that I'd recommend in a heartbeat -- and he dropped a question in my lap.  It wasn't a normal question but something compelled him to ask about where I was going professionally.

Now, of course, we all think about what we do and where the path is leading.  But, with that question in my head for the rest of the day... it can make you nuts.  What urged him to ask?  Where is my path going?  Where are my new ventures heading?

I'm not unhappy with my direction but for some reason, it feels like I just got out of high school and was asked, "What do you want to do with your life?"

Friday, June 01, 2012

Muze News

New beginnings.  I do believe that looking at the past once in awhile will give me a better understanding of where the future is going and can go.  I have mentioned, many times over the last decade and a half, that there is a gap in music news coverage.  I think back on the sign that I saw driving by a Las Vegas hotel that told me a band was not only together again but touring.  That thought led me to starting a newsletter in an effort to fill that hole.  That path led toward a Web site and podcast series.  But that gap in media coverage was still there and not only did it affect artists of one decade but beyond.

That's where we stand today as of June 1, 2012.  But my hope for the future is still informed by the past.  Today's launch of Muze News will hopefully start to fill that void.  Artists record singles and albums constantly and only a handful of them get airplay.  Many of those will be mentioned in articles and many will not but a lot of them will be overlooked.  The news is out there and if it isn't, we'll have to do exclusive content to get it out.  I don't intend to write the news as much as aggregate, collect and send you to it.

Muze News was created with one question in mind.  "Where do you go to get your music news?"  I wasn't really able to answer that despite being a newshound.  Sure, you have the purple section of USA Today but that tends to be mixed in with movies, television, books and celebrity gossip.  Radio DJs are a great source but they usually cover the type of music they play.  There are some great magazines out there but not all of them cover the rainbow of musical flavors out there or they overlook previously successful acts that have relevance now.

Today you and I begin a new journey.  Many changes are expected.  Already, we've added sections for a Video of the Week, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Accountability, Upcoming Award Shows and a Hotline (for article suggestions.)  We also don't plan to keep posting the same article over and over which means that you will have to do your part and check in often.  Together, let's change the music world by making it more informed.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Great White - Elation

Great White have returned with their new studio album, Elation, and the debut of new frontman Terry Ilous.  Many reviewers may ramble on about 'the change' from Jack Russell to the XYZ singer but I'm not here to criticize their history --  just Elation.  And that my friends is very hard to do as all I want to do is praise it.

The band found two really solid tracks to begin with in "(I've Got) Something For You" and "Feelin' So Much Better."  The former, expected to be the first single and video to be released, blazes to life and will surely be a live favorite.  "Feelin' So Much Better" is a personal favorite here as the vocal harmonies, punchy guitars and intuitive percussion make it a memorable ride.  There is a lot to love about this album.  I do feel that "Resolution" and "Promise Land," while decent tracks, are close but don't meet the caliber of the other 10 tracks.  Overall, the writing is impressive, performances are cohesive and leave little to objectively sneer at.  I enjoy the Louisiana bayou blues beginning of "Love Train," the strut of "Heart Of A Man" and the guitar solo to the ballad "Love Is Enough" as well as the beautiful "Hard To Say Goodbye," playful "Shotgun Willie's" and throwback glam-feel of "Complicated."

Great White have delivered.  Fans have to be feeling the elation too!

4.5 out of 5

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame -- Accountability

Welcome to this on-going post on which we will hold the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and its voting members accountable for their inductees and the history of those the do not induct.  As highly subjective as and 'hall of fame' is, it is important to put those so honored into a bigger context.  So here (listed according to year of eligibility) we plan to keep a list of those that aren't in yet.  Enjoy... or just get frustrated.

Johnny Ace

Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio
Marty Robbins

Chuck Willis
Danny and the Juniors

Kingston Trio

Carole King
Patsy Cline
Brook Benton
Neil Sedaka

Jan and Dean
Chubby Checker
Link Wray
Joan Baez
Cliff Richard and the Shadows

Paul Revere and the Raiders
Ben E. King
Gary "U.S." Bonds
Lee Dorsey
Petula Clark

Peter, Paul and Mary
Dick Dale
Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
Gordon Lightfoot
Glen Campbell

Billy Preston
Lesley Gore
Manfred Mann
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Gerry and the Pacemakers
Dionne Warwick
Tammi Terrell

Johnny Rivers
Moody Blues
Marianne Faithfull

Guess Who
Boz Scaggs
Randy Newman
Golden Earring
Spencer Davis Group
Junior Walker and the All Stars
Tom Jones
Herman's Hermits
Albert Collins
Sonny and Cher
John Mayall

Jim Croce
Cat Stevens
Harry Chapin
Grass Roots
Tommy James and the Shondells
Captain Beefheart
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels

Procol Harem
Gram Parsons
5th Dimension
Gary Puckett and Union Gap
Iron Butterfly
Canned Heat
Ten Years After
Vanilla Fudge
Harry Nilsson

Jethro Tull
Steve Miller
T. Rex
Deep Purple
Blood Sweat and Tears
Johnny Winter

Grand Funk Railroad
Blind Faith
Flying Burrito Brothers
Linda Ronstadt
Kool and the Gang
Joe Cocker
King Crimson
James Gang
Humble Pie
Three Dog Night
Roberta Flack

Diana Ross
Warren Zevon
Emerson Lake and Palmer
Todd Rundgren
J. Geils Band
Jimmy Buffett
Ringo Starr
Tangerine Dream
Ry Cooder
Uriah Heep

Little Feat
Electric Light Orchestra
Doobie Brothers
REO Speedwagon
Carly Simon
Meat Loaf
Steve Winwood
Thin Lizzy
Weather Report
Bill Withers
Rory Gallagher

Hall and Oates
Lou Reed
Blue Öyster Cult
Peter Frampton
Joe Walsh
Roxy Music
Big Star
Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes

New York Dolls
Pointer Sisters
John Fogerty
Barry White
Tina Turner
Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Ashford and Simpson
Marshall Tucker Band
Average White Band

Judas Priest
Bad Company
Jefferson Starship
Brian Eno
Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
Robert Palmer

Alan Parsons Project
Ted Nugent
Modern Lovers

Kenny Loggins
Peter Tosh
Southside Johnny and Asbury Jukes

Cheap Trick
.38 Special
Peter Gabriel
Teddy Pendergrass
Eddie Money
George Thorogood

Black Flag
Human League
Dire Straits
Kate Bush
Rick James
Gary Numan
Siouxsie and the Banshees

Pat Benatar
Def Leppard
Bryan Adams
Sugarhill Gang
Teena Marie
Iron Maiden

Huey Lewis and the News
Ozzy Osbourne
Robert Cray
English Beat
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Afrika Bambaataa

Stevie Nicks
Depeche Mode
Lionel Richie
Duran Duran
Phil Collins
Stray Cats
New Order
Mötley Crüe
Hüsker Dü
Billy Idol
Luther Vandross

Don Henley
Janet Jackson
Glenn Frey
Sonic Youth

Bon Jovi
Cyndi Lauper
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

Whitney Houston
LL Cool J
Steve Vai
Nick Cave
Jesus and Mary Chain

Big Audio Dynamite
My Bloody Valentine
Primal Scream

Belinda Carlisle
Crowded House
Dwight Yoakam
Eric B. and Rakim
Concrete Blonde

George Michael

Jane's Addiction
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince
Rick Astley
Richard Marx
Sinead O'Connor
Goo Goo Dolls
Debbie Gibson

808 State
Buckwheat Zydeco
DC Talk
De La Soul
Jeff Healey
Keith Richards
Kylie Minogue
Melissa Etheridge
Paula Abdul
Taylor Dayne
Tone Loc
Tracy Chapman
Traveling Wilburys
Widespread Panic

Monday, April 16, 2012

Eurovision 2012

I mention it on here every so often but, yes, the Eurovision Song Contest is gearing up for next month.  I've already started going through the entries.  I guess, what I really enjoy about the competition is that each European country submits a song and singer to perform and, being on another continent, leaves me no pony in the race.  I've discovered several of my favorite artists (and several of my wife's) via this contest over the last decade.  Expect to hear more about these artists as it moves forward.

If you'd like to look at some of the preview videos for these entrants, visit here.  Find a few new favorites for yourself and... maybe root on another country.  If you happen to be in Europe, "may the odds be ever in your favor."

I Failed To Google

So, I'm sitting at dinner with my family for my father's birthday and I finally let slip one of my new project ideas.  It is possibly more involved, accessible and promising than the show, the newsletter and even the other web site.  After fielding a few questions, the ideas are running around my head and getting me edgy.  Later that night, I am sitting at the computer running through domain name ideas with the wife.  With her help, I commit to a domain and am excited about the next few steps.  Work on a logo begins and a few other format evaluations take place.

We have dinner a few days later with my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and a friend.  My brother-in-law Greg mentions that he looked for the website (which I'd mentioned the name to previously) and found another site.  I asked about the spelling and any other variations which led us to a domain with the exact name but with "the" in front.  It had been around awhile, done some video work and would have been a costly future trademark affair if I'd launched the site and gotten further in the project.  Almost as embarrassing as scoring a big hit and having a watch manufacturer sue you over using their name in your band until being redeemed later by scoring a hit (albeit a remake) under your new name.

So, I'm out... about $40 but can redirect traffic from that page to the new site when we launch.  So, on top of trying to find an original domain name, selecting one that doesn't include too many numbers (as you have explain the numbers when saying it so they don't type out the words) and trying to express what it's about in a short name, you need to search Google for your name.  It may be available because someone is already using something close.  It's something I knew already but was too antsy and eager to put my foot on the path to execute.

Expect to hear something about the project here by July.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Non-R.I.T.: "I'll Love You Forever"

It's hard to not be a fan of the Monkees. "Stepping Stone," although sung my Micky, is a personal favorite that my mother had on a 45 -- and I played incessantly in my youth. If you don't like their pop music, love their courage to bring little known guitarist Jimi Hendrix out on tour to support them in 1967. Heck, Davy Jones is the reason another David Jones changed his name to David Bowie (to avoid market confusion.) Anyhow, the song below is a live version of Jones' 1984 holiday single which was only released in England. We will love him forever. (Song starts 1:20 into the video.)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Non-R.I.T.: "I Know Him So Well"

Non-random post. Didn't really know how I wanted to approach Whitney's passing yesterday as there was the initial shock, the moment I thought about the loss of Amy Winehouse, the anger at losing one amazing voice and the sadness that her loved ones will face in the future. As a musicologist, I look at her debut album and smile. Duets with Teddy Pendergrass and Jermaine Jackson, bass by American Idol's Randy Jackson, keyboards by Richard Marx, guitar by Dann Huff and backing vocals by her mom Cissy. Huge record setting album but speaking of her mom... here's a duet they did for the follow-up album. The song was written by Tim Rice and ABBA's Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson for the musical Chess but would become the final single released off Houston's Whitney album in 1988.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

R.I.T.: "Free"

Today's R.I.T. is Big Audio Dynamite's "Free." Released in 1989 as the first single off of the soundtrack to Flashback, the song would go to #22 on the U.S. Modern Rock Tracks chart. It would not be released on a BAD album (until their 1995 Planet BAD 'best of') but a reworked version called "Kickin' In" would surface on their Kool-Aid album. Really should have also done a show on Big Audio Dynamite when I could... well, and also Mick Jones' previous project, The Clash. Have a great weekend.

Monday, January 30, 2012

R.I.T.: "The Seventh Stranger"

Today's R.I.T. is the 1983 album track, "The Seventh Stranger," that closes Seven And The Ragged Tiger. The song was reportedly a favorite of Simon and Nick's that they wanted to see released as a single but their label, Capitol, wanted something more dance oriented. The song, as well as its preceding track "Tiger Tiger," gave the album its title. Crank it up and enjoy.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

R.I.T.: "The Sweater"

Today's R.I.T. is Canadian writer/performer Meryn Cadell's amazingly funny "The Sweater." The 1992 single was a surprise Canadian Top 40 hit and received a lot of airplay on college radio (helping it reach #24 on the U.S. Modern Rock chart.) Cadell's first independent album was released in 1988. The album, Angel Food For Thought, was re-issued in 2007.

Friday, January 27, 2012

What defines you?

Had an idea rattling in my brain for the last few hours and wanted to get it down... in 0's and 1's, I guess.  How do you define yourself.  If you were to take 3 things that define who and what you are (in order of importance), what would they be?  Feel free to take a second and write them down.  Don't worry, this page isn't going anywhere and I'm not looking.  Ok, if you took a real hard look at yourself when writing that down, you'll find something interesting.  You wrote down filters.

I'll explain.  Often, people go through life with a vision of themselves.  Be it strength, intellect, gender, race, sexual preference, nationality, political party, wealth, religion or a myriad of other divisors, we always hold something up to set our internal compass.  Let's use intellect for a moment.  You may believe you are a very smart person, absorb knowledge easily, rationalize concepts quickly and value it more than many others.  It's a great quality to have but here is the kicker.  If that was #1 on your list, it's also a filter.  If you put that above all else, you would have an equal distaste for ignorance, stupidity and idiocy.  You'd have to, as it is the top thing that defines who you are as a person.

So, if you place your birthplace (city, state or nation) above all else, you become less forgiving of other locales.  If your #1 personal definer was gender, you would support and promote it and look less favorably at the opposite sex.  If you were dirt poor, as were your parents and their parents, you would look unfavorably at the well-to-do if your made what defines you was the belief you'd always be poor.  This list can keep going.  Religion can easily easily go that route as can political ideology and sexual preference.  I won't belabor that point further.

The passion of what defines you makes that #1 on your list pretty darn important as it also becomes a filter for who and what we let in and deflect.  We could very well put "human being" at #1 on the list and not believe that we will hate or go on crusades against dogs, cats or horses... although one may go with "living being" if they were averse to eating animals and saw them as an equal.  I've had and still have friends that have a #1 on their list that clears rooms, creates enemies and leaves a bunch of unhappiness in their wake.

You really can be what you want to be.  You can define yourself.  But, finding a definition of ourselves that lets others into our own little world is important... and it is how I view tolerance.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

R.I.T.: "Long Long Way To Go"

Today's R.I.T. is Def Leppard's "Long Long Way To Go." Released in 2003 as a single off of their X album, the song went to #40 in the U.K. The song is currently their last hit to chart there. Brilliant lyrics and haunting undercurrent. I was honored when the label asked to use my album review to help promote the single... just wish it got a little airplay here in the U.S. Instead, the U.S. market pushed the song "Four Letter Word" (which would be their most recent chart hit here.)

Friday, January 20, 2012

R.I.T.: "Donald, Where's Your Troosers?"

Today's R.I.T. is Andy Stewart's "Donald, Where's Your Troosers?" No, really, that's the song and how it's spelled. It's a rendition of a traditional Scottish song by the then popular musician and television personality. The 1961 novelty #37 U.K. hit by the Scotsman resurfaced in late 1989 in the U.K. peaking at #4. Be sure to hear the whole song, though.

Monday, January 16, 2012

R.I.T.: "Dominoes"

Today's R.I.T. is "Dominoes" by Robbie Nevil. Released as the second single from his self-titled debut album in 1986, the song would go to #14 in the U.S. Nevil started his career songwriting for Earth Wind & Fire, the Pointer Sisters, El DeBarge, Al Jarreau among many others before getting his moment in the sun. After a few more albums, he'd return to songwriting for Starship, David Lee Roth, K-Ci & JoJo, Aaron Neville, Jeff Lorber, Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers and something called High School Musical. I think I need to reappraise my blame for the last three.

Friday, January 13, 2012

R.I.T.: "One In A Million"

Today's R.I.T. is The Romantics' "One In A Million." Possibly my favorite track by the band, pure power-pop rock. Released as the 3rd single off their In The Heat album in 1984, the song would go to #37 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #22 on the U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Time for a dose of reality, though. "What I Like About You" (which still gets a lot of airplay) is their third biggest hit, landing outside the U.S. Top 40 at #49 in 1980. 1983's "Talking In Your Sleep" was their biggest hit going to #3 in the U.S. (and #1 on the U.S. Dance chart.)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

R.I.T.: "Johnny, Are You Queer?"

Today's R.I.T. is "Johnny, Are You Queer?" by the smokin' hot Josie Cotton. The song would go to #38 on the Billboard Club Play Singles chart in '82, #2 on Canadian radio and be 1 of 3 songs she'd contribute to the Valley Girl soundtrack. According to Cotton, L.A. punk act Fear performed an early version of the song with no reference to Johnny but producers/managers Bobbie and Larson Paine would re-write the lyrics for their clients... the Go-Go's. The song became a live favorite for the group but the Paine brothers would forbid them from using the song after the band parted ways with management. Cotton lobbied to record a demo of the song which became the single and the rest is pretty much history. An official video wasn't filmed as her label, Elektra, was in financial trouble... thankfully, she filmed one later.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

R.I.T.: "Stand"

Today's R.I.T. is "Stand" by Liquid Jesus. This 1990 cover of the Sly And The Family Stone classic made it's mark appearing on the Pump Up The Volume soundtrack (and being played at the end of the film.) Liquid Jesus' pop sensibilities lay in the fusion of gospel, folk, jazz, rock and blues that would fit right in with Woodstock... no, the first one. It's just too bad that this cover is so much better than other recorded works including their Pour In The Sky album. Looking to find your groove today, play this!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

R.I.T.: "Moonbeam"

Today's R.I.T. is the 1987 single, "Moonbeam," from Men Without Hats off of the Pop Goes The World album. The song was a follow-up single to the Top 20 U.S. hit "Pop Goes The World" and would go to #46 on the U.S. Dance and #23 on the Canadian charts. The Quebec act scored 7 hits in their homeland from 1893 to 1991. Fun to see a goofy video like this pop up once in awhile.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Thank you, Grandpa!

Today my grandfather was buried.  He's just walking distance from my father-in-law.  Boy, there are a lot of things I could say about him and my feelings this last week.  I'm just going to keep it minimal.  If you look at a lot of the photos of him we have, you'd see that he loved his recliner.  Well, not as much as his family.  He came from a large family (being one of 10 children) and himself helped create a large family.  The first part of that was during his 22 years of military service.

I was talking with one of my aunts that I don't see that often and she told me how happy she was that I was able to spend as much time as I did with him.  I could sense some hurt in her voice.  You see, a career military man serving during several wars would not be home often and a chunk of your connection is lost when you don't spend time together.  Compound that with seeing your parents split and it's really rough for a child.  You can't fix the past, though.  What you can do is analyze what you've gained through those connections.

My grandfather lived a lot of his pre- and post-military life in the state of Idaho.  He was a pillar of his community, serving as fire chief, postmaster general, mayor and owner of the local store.  We would see him during some holidays and have longer visits during the summer when we'd stay there.  As a child, you focus on very centric things -- me, me and me.  Food, playing, sleeping and more playing would take precedence over real thoughtful conversation.  I wasn't happy with chores (which included moving irrigation pipe) and having only one TV in the house.

But lets, look at what I gained there.  I learned what it was like to do a form of physical labor, where eggs come from (by grabbing them myself), find adventure in a town trusting enough that they didn't lock doors, appreciate a town that isn't 'go, go, go' and to embrace quiet moments with family.  I never really understood grandpa's love for Westerns and military films and obsession with the news.  But, I would adopt the latter myself.

I lost a grandfather while in high school.  I lost another one after high school (when I returned from Reno.)  But, you remember when I related loss with the quality of your connection.  I can't say that I spent 5% of the time with either of my other grandfathers and the weight of this loss is that much stronger.  Knowing that his time was coming to a close, my first project after ending Talking 80s Music was to spend some quality time with grandpa and record his life story for myself as well as the rest of the family.  The me-focused child needed to fill in the gaps and use my interview skills for something greater.  I can say that I am better equipped to deal with his passing by doing it.  I think we said an unspoken long-farewell then.

His recliner isn't empty.  It's just moved closer to the Lord.  I could miss what I didn't have with him but I won't.  I will cherish the time he spent with me and share what I can with the family.  Spend time with your family, your elders.  Harry Chapin's song "Cats In The Cradle" plays in my head this week.  We don't have to be that kid!  We don't have to be that adult!  Connect!  Don't mourn the living!  The time is now!

R.I.T.: "Love Is Like A Rock"

Today's R.I.T. is "Love Is Like A Rock" by Donnie Iris and The Cruisers (no, not Eddie.) Released in 1981, the single would go to #37 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #7 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart. It's a great example of a song that worked its way up the chart from mid-December of 1981 until late February of 1982 -- all without an official promotional video. His biggest U.S. single, "My Girl," would be the follow-up but both are often forgotten behind his 1981 U.S. hit "Ah, Leah!" In late 2010, Iris released his 11th studio album, the Christmas-themed Ah! Leluiah!

Friday, January 06, 2012

R.I.T.: "Last Summer's Evil"

Today's R.I.T. is "Last Summer's Evil" by TNT. The song is track 4 on Antony Harnell's 1984 debut album with TNT, Knights Of The New Thunder. Love the strut of the song and Tony's vocal harmonics here. Odd that it would come up randomly today as Mr. Harnell recently put the silver album award he was presented for Knights Of The New Thunder on eBay with 10% of the final sale going to Breast Cancer Action in memory of Tony's mother who passed away from the disease in 2009. You can find it at


Thursday, January 05, 2012

R.I.T.: "The Zoo"

Today's R.I.T. is "The Zoo" by the Scorpions. The song was their second single off their 1980 album Animal Magnetism and would go to #75 in the U.K. Despite limited chart success, the song has become a critic and fan favorite -- being included on most of their hits collections. The lyrical root of the song comes from their first tour of the U.S. behind their Lovedrive album the previous year (which also earned them a gold disc.) During the tour, they laughingly nicknamed one of New York City's streets "the zoo" and it seemed to fit with a song Rudolf Schenker had been working on while on tour. Vocalist Klaus Meine took that thought and added references to the city streets -- mainly 42nd Street.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

R.I.T.: "Seven Spanish Angels"

Today's R.I.T. is a longtime favorite of mine called "Seven Spanish Angels" by Willie Nelson with Ray Charles. This beautifully written song by Troy Seals (cousin of Jim Seals and Dan Seals) and Eddie Setser went to #1 on the U.S. country singles and Canadian country charts as well as #6 in New Zealand in 1984. The song is actually credited to Ray Charles with Willie Nelson as well. You see, both Charles and Nelson had ideas of doing duets albums and would include the song on both of their albums. Ray's album would introduce him to the country music community in a big way and the song would be the biggest of 8 of his hits on the country charts. Crank up the volume and listen to the story.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

R.I.T.: "Green Mind"

Today's R.I.T. is "Green Mind" by Dink. Released as a single in 1994, the song would climb its way to #35 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart the following year. The song would become a mainstay for alternative radio stations in the Midwest and two more singles from the album would surface. The Kent, Ohio band was also aided by Skinny Puppy-producer Dave "Rave" Ogilvie in creating their unique sound. Despite recording sessions that would yield a follow-up EP, Capitol Records pulled the plug on their next album. The audio sample at the start comes from a commercial by an Ohio Chevrolet dealership pitchman, Bob Serpentini, that rose to local infamy at the time for mixing political rants with car sales.

Monday, January 02, 2012

R.I.T.: "U Gotz 2 Get Down"

Today's R.I.T. is Kwame's "U Gotz 2 Get Down." The song was the 3rd single released off his debut album, Kwame The Boy Genius - Featuring A New Beginning, and went to #7 on the U.S. Hot Rap Tracks chart in 1989. By the time the new single came out the polka-dot theme (seen in the video) was in full effect. Not an easy album to find until the rise of iTunes. After a few more albums, he'd be a much-in-demand producer working for LL Cool J, Mary J Blige, Dru Hill, Christina Aguilera, Will Smith, Pussycat Dolls and many others.