Oh my! Santa is already working over time here at BAD DOG RECORDS. Me too!
(Jonatha's little workshop..water AND wine...) The new website is here!!! and... news about my next project.
But in the meantime, how perfect.
A few days ago I found a Magnus chord organ – probably from the 60’s, sitting in the basement. I begged Rolly who works in the building to let me know whose it was, and if there might be any way I could buy it. He was a little cagey about it, but we plugged it in down there to see if it even worked. Oh JOY! In some ways, it’s one of the tackiest sounding things ever. At least this model has no volume pedal, no way to control dynamics, so it’s a bit like your blustery Uncle with no inner monologue or inside voice.
But for a few of the new songs that I’m working on? BINGO!
It turns out it belongs to Peter, the super. Someone gave it to him years ago, and he’s never used it and no longer has room. He was hoping it might be worth something, but alas, after a little research on the internet? - you’d be lucky to get 50 bucks. We gave him a great bottle of wine…
He gave it his blessing and hauled it up to my room for me. He threw in some classic songbooks with it. Merry Christmas indeed!!
All from the early 60's, The songbooks are almost as good as the organ itself:
“FAMILIES HAVE MORE FUN TOGETHER WHEN THEY SING AND PLAY THESE SONGS!” – WOW!
Of course they do! - in the picture even Grandma gets a little giddy when the family romps into “Nelly Was a Lady.”
I’m working on “Kind of a Drag” and “Lay Some Happiness on Me” from the hot pink songbook 21 POP FAVORITES.
WAY better than the usual Holiday fare. THANK YOU PETER!
More very soon!
I think the consensus at my thirtieth highschool reunion was that we didn't remember having "mean girls." (As some of you might recall... for me, that was SEVENTH GRADE!) But at the incredible Commonwealth School in Boston - the one place to which I am still very emotionally attached - we were all in our own little misfit orbits. And for each of us, there were at least a couple others whose quirks and insecurities matched up with and soothed our own.
Josh Berlin, JB, Romana Vysatova
Well, there was so much love in circulation Friday and Saturday night in Boston, some serious nostalgia really did set in. Everyone seemed still, very much.. themselves!
Julia, Susie, Rachel, Sarah, Caroline, Romana, Liz, Jenny, Carla, Todd, David, Michael, Jeremy, Josh, Tristan, Frank...I know I'm forgetting someone.... all doing incredible things, all with a buoyancy and hum. Inspiring. I can't wait to see you all again.
Ben Deily, '86
Saturday, three sets of alumni musicians jammed at the VFW in Cambridge. Ben Deily and "Varsity Drag" (class of '86) - very stylish rocking. Then I did a set, and segued into all of us wailing on "Taste of Danger" leading into a jamming set with Jeremy Berlin (class of '80) and his band Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish.
Jeremy, all a-blur...
Johnny Hoy, in a class all his own!
Old friends snuck in for the hang....
Linda Lou Levasseur showed up with her mom, our favorite dizzy singing champion!!!
It was kind of like Christmas, but with all the right intentions. My hip held solid for the show and the afterglow.
Back in New York City yesterday? gorgeous afternoon, heart shaped path.
We're back in the Circus again.
I am officially bionic. It makes sense, I was a huge fan of Lindsay Wagner in "The Bionic Woman." And I've always wanted a big scar.
Thank you Dr. Pellicci.
It is so strange to be going through what my mother did, but as me. Young (ish), fit, mentally intact, able to advocate for myself, make choices about doctors, hospitals, pain, when I'd prefer to go home, how ready I am to walk, to eat.
sunrise, pre-op, at hospital for Special Surgery, NYC
(Dr. Pellicci's very cool signature, just to make sure he fixed the right one.....)
I have been managing what my mom would have laughingly called a "gammy" hip for many many years now. A consequence of 28 years of ballet and modern dance, and hip dysplasia - "You know, like big dogs have" said Dr. Pellicci. (Finally, comfirmation, - as I've always maintained that I was a golden retriever in another life. I am relentlessly optomistic, loyal, and will always bring the ball back.)
So Tuesday morning I got a completely new right hip. I am already thinking of the medley I will have to sing.... "need a new hip, one that won't make me sick... one that won't make me dance too hard, or make me feel three feet thick." into "What is hip? by Tower of Power... into Ann Murray's "I know I'll never need that hip again, but I keep holding on, although the pain is gone..."
You get the picture.
So far it's been a pretty remarkable experience: of course the few days leading up brought some frenzied tidying, and some existential scary"what if" thinking. But over all I went in pretty psyched that I was finally DOING something.
Ray La Montaigne was playing when they wheeled me in to the OR. Nice. Apparently the hierarchy is that the anesthesiologist is deejay until the surgeon gets there. Then it's all Sinatra, all the time. I wasn't awake long enough to get to hear Frank.
And then...I woke up. Giddy! - There was a lot of singing going on in the recovery room. Some of the nurses even joined in - a little Adele, Bonnie Raitt, Whitney Houston. I killed time by knitting.
They stood me up just a couple hours after surgery, and I took a few steps forward and back. High as a kite.
It seemed like it took forever to get a room. But I'm sure they have to make sure you're really ok before they start wheeling you around. But the nurses were sweet; because I was so hungry, they snuck me some cherry Italian Ice pops....
pretty pretty flowers from my SECTION 101 pals. They are designing us a new WEBSITE. Coming SOON.
And then, by Thursday afternoon, I was bored,
already walking the halls, practising my stair technique with cane, all the precautions and exercises we tried and failed to accomplish with mom - trying to shut out my chatty whiny, oxy high roommate.
Also, really? Ensure? I mean, I can get the risotto of all time at home, and they were plying me with jello, ginger ale and ensure. An all sugar diet. I had to bribe them for saltines!!!
So, they sent me home. I finally got some sleep, and I can't believe how much better this will be.
HIP HIP HOORAY!!
The first show I ever went to was "A Chorus Line." My grandmother took me when I was twelve. I'm sure she had NO idea what she was getting in to. When they launched into "tits and ass" she must have been mortified, but she soldiered through and I was smitten. That's when I started studying every kind of dance I could find. I had been a hard core ballerina since I was six, but this was explosive new information! Jazz, modern, tap, African. I wanted it all.
Well, I got to Baltimore on Saturday and there at the Hippodrome, in the same building as my little gig, a huge poster for "Chorus Line."
My little heart went pitter pat. ("I can do that") I had to stop for tea at the HIPP Cafe: "One, singular sensation...... ringing through my brain."
Back to business....Baltimore was wicked fun. Thank you all who turned out. I think I was the first singer/songwriter they have had at that venue and they are hoping to make a real series of it. Moody lighting and cafe tables really made the atmosphere. The audience was appropriately heckly.
They were working on a massive installation of "The Grinch who Stole Christmas" downstairs. Baltimore is cooking!!
On to the Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia, where, finally, the elusive Glen Phillips joined the fun. His arm is healed beautifully on the outside, but he said there's still that 'whacked your funny bone' feeling pretty constantly. Could have been much worse. Point is, it was great singing "Sweetest Angel" with him, and adding a little harmony on his song about burning up in the solar flare!!! Thanks as always to my favorite guys, Bud and John at the Birchmere. They just always make me feel like a rock star. And Portland here we come.
this is happy sock monkey glen, but he preferred the sad one so:
Sean Watkins played acoustic and sang with Glen.... revelatory
DON'T FORGET TO VOTE TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"I really need this job, God, please I need this job..... God I hope I get it, I hope I get it. How many people does he need, how many boys how many girls."
Everything WAS beautiful at the ballet......