Tag Archives: Music

Hey! Got A Spare House Payment? Great! Let’s Go To A Concert!

I am a big Pink Floyd/The Wall/Roger Waters fan. My husband? Even bigger.

So when I saw on 60 Minutes the scope and scale of the Roger Waters show that is touring the country, I was intrigued.

Three years to plan and create this rock opera extravaganza. With 42 high-definition projectors. The screen, flashing images throughout the concert, is 3 stories tall and as long as a football field. Choirs. Orchestras. And Roger Waters, of course.

My husband’s birthday is this summer and I thought, what a treat! I’ll take him to see this amazing concert. And since I get to go, too, it’s a win-win!

Fifty bucks for tickets in the nosebleeds. Hmmmm. Let’s see what it is a little closer to the action. The tickets jump to $199 and $250. And we’re still not even near the floor yet. We’re still waaaaayyyy up there. It’s a pretty huge venue.

(Cue cynical smirk.)

Wonder what the prices are for tickets on the floor?

They start at $575. Or you can pay $1250 to be right on top of the action.

One thousand, two hundred, fifty dollars.

For one ticket.

Just one.

That’s a house payment. Or college tuition payment. Or a monthly paycheck for a teacher.

Twelve hundred dollars and change for the opportunity to be entertained for a few hours.

I’m appalled.

And then I stumble upon this piece about Roger Waters being thrilled that he was able to see Jimi Hendrix and Cream back in the 60′s for about 2 bucks. Recounted as the “deal of his life” Waters said, “It might have been the best purchase I ever made.”

Where is our deal, Mr. Waters?

I am so sick of celebrities: wearing their armbands of support, wearing t-shirts and hats screaming their favorite charity, lending their name and face to a philanthropic endeavor, pleading with us to give all we can and then turning around and agreeing with the venue to charge us a thousand bucks to see them play. I realize the star doesn’t receive all of the profit. But c’mon. A thousand dollars? You’re kidding me, right?

So, I’m curious. What charities does Roger Waters want me to support?

I go to looktothestars.org and search his name.

And this is what I find:

“Charities & foundations supported

None known – if you know of one, please drop us an email”

Not surprising.

Sigh.

We’re not going. Even to sit in the nosebleeds.

I still love the music.

But I am no longer a fan.

(I know there are artists out there that refuse to deal with certain venues or ticket sellers because of outrageous pricing. If you know of any, please list them in the comments section below. Those are the artists I want to support.)

11 Comments

Filed under Music, Soapbox

Hurry! Listen To This Before It’s Too Late!

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but I haven’t published a “Tunes for Tuesday” in quite some time now. Ok. Maybe you’ve noticed and you’ve been too polite to ask about it. Afraid it might stir up something unpleasant or I might take it as a criticism of my lack of follow-through.

Oh, you’re so kind.

Or maybe, you haven’t said anything because whenever you’d see a “Tunes for Tuesday” post you’d quickly click the other way because you don’t need any music recommendations, thank you very much, and thank God Jane gave you a free pass to click somewhere else by posting something so dull.

This is the probable explanation.

But aren’t you dying to know the real reason I’ve been reluctant to post music recs (until now)?

Apparently, when I post a music video from YouTube – even a remote, homemade video created by Joe or Jane Commonmusiclover – it eventually gets pulled from my blog by the powers that be because I’m violating some privacy law. (Or some such thing.)

Seriously?

Lil’ ol’ me?

Crusader against plagiarism Jane?

So, I post the video on my blog? What’s the big deal?  It clearly says “YouTube” on it. (So, duh. That’s where I got it.) It clearly has the name of the artist and the name of the song.

And here’s the kicker. I don’t make a dime off posting it here. And I don’t make a dime from this blog. Never have. Never will. I’m not in this for the money. (Just the fame) I don’t have advertising. I don’t get paid to write. I don’t get kickbacks for pushing books, music or my favorite charities.

I do all this free advertising for you, dear YouTube and your artists, out of the goodness of my heart. I am the common man billboard, shouting out to all 12 of my readers to hurry and buy your product. And I don’t ask for a dime.

(But maybe I should……..? Hmmmmmm…….)

I’m taking a big chance here, posting a music recommendation. So hurry and listen before it’s too late!

My daughter gives me music recommendations. She’s the only reason that Lady Gaga and Flo Rida (among others) are on my ipod. I give her recommendations. I was listening to Cage The Elephant and All Rebel Rockers before her. She couldn’t believe I had Shake it by Metro Station on my ipod before her. But, hey. What can I say? I’m all cool like that.

I’m not like a regular mom. I’m a cool mom.

Now, I’m a bit behind in finding Paper Tongues. Apparently, they produced their first album in 2009. And this song, Ride to California, is my new favorite song. It’s like Cage the Elephant and Flo Rida mashed up together. Rock hip hop is the best way I can describe it.

It’s catchy. It’s fun. Turn it up loud and start cleaning your kitchen. Put it on repeat and you’ll have a sparkling house in no time.

That’s how I get through daily housework, anyway.

Enjoy! (While it lasts)

(Disclaimer to the powers that be: I am common Jane. I am merely pushing your product, FOR FREE, in the hopes that other like-minded individuals will buy your product. If your sales increase because of my recommendation? Yay! Good for you! I won’t ask for a dime. But they won’t plummet, either. I promise. Even the annoying Google ads still run on the video. Please consider this before pulling your video from my blog. Thank you.)

11 Comments

Filed under Music

A 43 Year Age Difference Wrong? Not If You’re A Rock Star.

Fact: Steven Tyler is 63 years old. That is 5 years younger than my own mother. So, technically, he could be my father. A young father, but I’m pretty sure he was “doin’ it” at that age.

Fact: Steven Tyler’s first solo performance video was released this week.(You can see the video here.)

Fact: The back-up singer, Nicole Scherzinger (age 32), could definitely be his daughter.

 Almost Fact (because I’m still trying to prove it): The model used in the video, the object of Steven Tyler’s desires, looks young. Like really, really, really young. Uber-young. Young enough to be my daughter. So that would be young enough to be his granddaughter.

Fact + fact + fact + almost fact = something that turns my stomach.

Ewwwww.

Just ewwwww.

11 Comments

Filed under Music, Observations, Soapbox

When You Bleep Out The Uckin And We Can Still Hear The F and The G? You’re Not Foolin’ Anyone.

I’ve had this idea for a website (that I will never put into action but let it to be known I thought of it first) where you can ask a specific question with specific parameters for your specific situation and an expert in that specific field will answer you specifically…I mean, personally. (Now, if there is already a site like this and I don’t know about it? Don’t tell me. I want to be ignorant in my bliss, thinking I thought of it first. Thank you.)

Why do I need a website like this? Because I wonder and ponder inane stuff all the time. Every waking moment. From the minute I open my eyes in the morning.

Like this, for example…..

Any music execs, disc jockeys, radio station owners in the house?

  • I understand how it happens when a song is hip, current and hugely popular. You know, when every time you switch the radio station and the same song is on every station. But what about when a song is no longer hip, current or hugely popular. As in over 10 years old. This has happened quite a few times with the two rock stations I flip back and forth between. This morning, a song I happen to enjoy (Chemicals Between Us – Bush) was on one station. As soon as the song finished, it segued into Vasoline by Stone Temple Pilots. It’s a song I have on my ipod but I’m sick to death of it, so I changed the station, only to listen to the last minute of…you guessed it, Chemicals between Us. As much as I like the song, I just heard it. And I didn’t want to go back to done-to-death Vasoline. It was suffer in silence or listen to top 40. (Katy Perry won.) How does this happen? Do the djs have little airwave spys that listen to competing stations and copy their playlists, hoping to snag extra listeners? Coincidence? With any song that’s over 10 years old and happens somewhat frequently? I think not.

On to my second pondering…..

  • At risk of sounding like my grandmother here…..what is it about PG-13 crap on the airwaves? I have small children in the car. But we like to listen to music. And my 7-yr. old is a little headbanger. He loves rock. Aside from never being able to listen in the morning (with the sophomoric, potty mouthed, sexually charged spew coming from the morning djs), when you bleep out an expletive but you leave in the first sound “f” and the last sound “g”? You’re not hiding much. I enjoy the song Nightmare by Avenged Sevenfold. (You can listen to it here.) It’s on my ipod. The “unclean” version. But no way is my kid ever going to hear it. And no way is he going to hear the “clean” version on the radio because even if you bleep out the “uckin” I can still hear the “f” and the “g”. And no way am I ready to have that conversation with my kid. So, I censor away. Yep, it’s a communist state in the Jane household.

Which leads me to wonder this….

  • When a show is G rated, shouldn’t the commercials be G rated too? I’m sick of watching sporting events or even shows on Nickelodeon and having to mute or change the channel when a PG-13 or R rated movie trailer comes onto the screen. Or a Victoria Secrets ad. My kids love baseball and football. Or Brady Bunch reruns. I shouldn’t have to censor the commercials for G rated television. That’s just wrong.

There you have it. My rant, I mean, my ponderings.

Jane’s Inane.

Any experts out there listening?

Inquiring minds want to know!

21 Comments

Filed under Completely Random, Deep Thoughts, Music, Observations

Christmas In November. Well, Actually I Saw Signs In September But I Refused To Notice.

Halloween is two days behind us. We haven’t even come down off our sugar high and there are candy canes and displays in the grocery stores for fruit cakes and Christmas cookie decorations.

It has always amazed me how early Christmas displays pop up. And I know I sound old when I say this, but the signs seems to be popping up earlier and earlier. Back in my day…..

OK. I really don’t remember what it was like back in the day. I was too excited for Halloween and getting tons of candy and then making it last until Christmas. At least. And because my sister would scarf up her candy within the week and I would carefully and deliberately  ration my own stash — Christmas seemed a long way off.

And it is. 53 days away. But I was out shopping today and from the looks of things, I’d say it’s just around the corner. They’re even playing Christmas carols.

What about Thanksgiving? Or Election Day (today), for that matter? What about living in the moment? Or one day at a time? Why are we rushing things?

Zen-zen, people! Breathe.

I have a friend who refuses to decorate for a holiday until she is actually in the month that the holiday falls. I admire her restraint. I think the stores should follow suit.

But then I remember why the stores are getting ready so early. And that reminds me of the Green Day song “Macy’s Day Parade.”

“Give me something that I need
Satisfaction guaranteed
Because I’m thinking about
A brand new hope
The one I’ve never known
Cause now I know
It’s all that I wanted” – And I find these lyrics particularly interesting, today of all days. I don’t know how the elections are going to turn out in your area but I know in mine, people are ticked. They’re tired of the same-old-same-old from politicians on both sides. They’re disillusioned by the great hope our poor president promised two years ago.

I truly feel for the man. What a mess he has to clean up. A mess many people are expecting him to fix – and him alone. This recession, that was supposed to be over in the summer of 2009, seems far from over. Even if we wanted to celebrate with mass materialism, many people just can’t do it.

And I say? That’s a good thing.

We can blame Macy’s and Publix and the evil bankers on Wall Street. But when it comes right down to it, we’re the ones pulling out our credit cards and signing mortgage loans we have no idea how we’re going to honor. I read an article recently (I wish I remember where, but I don’t. Sorry!) that said 50 years ago the majority of Americans didn’t own homes and car loans were unheard of. You paid cash. You rented until you could put down a hefty down payment on a house. The only credit you used was with your local butcher or milkman.

We’re the ones getting sucked into the merchant’s insistence that we start celebrating (by spending, spending, spending on stuff we don’t need) early.

And we’re the ones who can show a little restraint.

Like my friend.

14 Comments

Filed under All In A Day's Work, Be-Causes, Music, Observations

Divorce: Standing Alone In The Wreck

If I could have a regret in my life that is wrapped up in a wonderful gift it would be my first marriage. All by itself, I regret that marriage. Oh sure, I learned so much about myself. I grew. I became a better person.

And most of all, I received an amazing, wonderful, beautiful daughter. If the way she had to come to be was through that marriage, fine. I accept it. But I don’t have to like it.

Because I hate what she has had to go through. I hate what it’s done to her self-esteem. I hate the choices she has had to make because of the split. All because I chose him for her dad.

When I was going through the divorce my attorney advised me on many things. She predicted things that would come to be and I nodded. Not in agreement. Because my ex would never, ever do the things she described. Never. Ever. (Insert wry laugh here.)

Boy. Was I wrong.

I have watched my beautiful daughter experience such dysfunction. Promises broken. Lies told. A step-mother who is insanely jealous. A woman who treats my daughter like “the other woman.” Since she was 6 years old she has had to keep secret any activity with her father that doesn’t involve her step-mother. Every movie. Every ice cream cone. Every shopping trip.

Recently, we have been weathering an amazing storm. A situation I never dreamed would happen. Out of respect for my daughter, I won’t air the dirty details. But it has ripped my daughter to the core. She wants to change her name. She wants to never see him again. She feels abandoned and unappreciated. And what tears my heart apart is that she feels unimportant, unworthy and unloved by him.

If I could go back and change something, anything – I would. Quite honestly, I have no idea what I’d change. If it means me not being her mother, I would sacrifice that for her to be treated better by a father. I only want the best for her.

And she doesn’t deserve this.

She deserves so much better.

23 Comments

Filed under children, Lessons Learned, Marriage, Music, parenting

I Grieve. Or I Am A Rock. Take Your Pick.

 Two weeks ago, my brother-in-law died.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my daughter’s boyfriend’s death.

Today, my aunt died.

It’s been a rough few weeks. To make matters worse, my aunt wasn’t doing well for the past week or so and I had no idea. She lives over 2000 miles away and we kept in touch through emails and holiday cards. My parents knew. But chose not to tell me. (Dysfunction is alive and well in my family.) I already live with the regret of my last visit with my grandmother. And while I feel good about how I maintained my relationship with my aunt, it bothers me in this moment that I didn’t get the chance to talk to her one more time. If I had known she wasn’t doing well, I would have called her. She’s not the type to email me and tell me she’s suffering. And I had no idea.

“I grieve for you
You leave me
Let it out and move on
Missing what’s gone
They say life carries on
They say life carries on and on and on” – The grief in me misses the relatives and friends who have passed. This part of life sucks. Losing people. Good people. People who are loving, kind, fill you with joy. And because I’m getting older I’m in for more loss. How do you reconcile that? How to adjust? We carry on. But with more lonely moments than before.
 
“I’ve built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island
And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.” – Anger. At my parents for cutting me off like this. Punishing me for not playing by their rules. Anger at the loss I’ve experienced and the more to come. I will get through this. But for now I want to be an island. I want to never cry. I want to feel no pain.
 

Or

Take your pick.

36 Comments

Filed under family, friends, Music, Relating

Gimme Chemicals! I Have A Teenager!

Need I say more?

And the sad things is, she’s an awesome teenager. (Knocking on everything wood in sight) We’ve had a few, a tiny few troublesome incidents with her. So few, in fact, that I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Why is it sad that she’s an awesome teenager? Because I’m beginning to realize that there are parents out there who are way more stressed than I am. And I can’t imagine going through more.

My troubles include:

  • an A-B student, taking Advanced Placement and honors courses, who is perfectly fine with getting C’s if she doesn’t like the teacher, the assignment, her seat next to the door, or  the temperature outside that day.
  • a teen who chooses high school football games, dances and other activities over studying for exams next week
  • a child who has to be reminded and reminded and reminded to do the few chores we ask her to do
  • a senior in high school who knows she’s going to college but doesn’t want to actively participate in the process. She tosses all brochures into the circular file, with her mind already made up to go to the easiest state school that’ll take her.
  • a spendthrift who never budgets for gas for the car she uses or lunch at school. When I hand over her allowance that is supposed to cover more than one item, she blows it in one day at the mall – and no, her purchases don’t include anything she needed in the first place.

I know. Pull out your violins. Cry me a river. I have it so tough.

But I’m stuck. How in the world do you teach responsibility, dedication, discipline? At her age I was the one applying to schools, begging my parents to consider the school of my choice – with them shaking their head no, and telling me I would go to the university right next door. I just want for her what I couldn’t have at her age. But she doesn’t seem to want more.

I want her to want more. So how do you teach ambition or drive? How do you push without pushing too hard?

On the other hand:

  • You tell her to be ready by a certain time? She’s rarely (if ever) late. Punctual to a fault.
  • You ask her to help you with something? I can count on one hand how many times she’s given me attitude. She is almost always willing to chip in – well, that is, if it isn’t already on her chore list.
  • As much as we’ve been at odds she hates leaving the house or going to bed at night without us resolving the conflict. I hate to admit it, but she’s usually the one that makes me talk it out with her until we can hug…and mean it.
  • When her money just flies out of her purse, it’s often to buy something for someone else. She is very, very generous.
  • She still wants to spend time with us. Whether it’s to watch Masterpiece Theater with me, go out for sushi with her dad, take the boys to the park or out for ice cream or a family hike – she is eager to go and will switch her schedule to make time for us.

But some days. Some nights. I’ve had it with the struggle of the week. And you parents with more struggles than mine? You need this song more than I do. So crank it up. Shake your head. And scream it so the neighbors hear! (Well, maybe not that loud. Wouldn’t want a visit from the men in white now would we?)

Disclaimer: I have no idea what kind of chemicals The Pink Spiders are speaking of. The chemicals I crave come in red and white Coca Cola cans, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream tubs and those brown and yellow packages carrying plain and peanut m&m’s. THOSE kind of chemicals.

25 Comments

Filed under Music, parenting

I Always Thought I’d See You Again. Truly, I Did.

Ten years ago, in August, my maternal Grandmother (Grandma) had a stroke. My daughter and I raced up to Michigan to spend some time with her because, according to my mother, this was the end. My paternal grandmother (G.G. – she felt she was too young to be called great-grandma)  also lived in Michigan. When I told her we were coming she said she would change her travel plans so she’d be in town to see us. I told her, no. Go ahead with your plans. We’ll have lunch with you before you go. We have a limited time (just a long weekend) and we’ll be spending most of it with Grandma. But G.G. insisted.

We visited G.G. for lunch when we first arrived and then promised to spend time with her on our last day and go out for dinner with her before we were off to the airport.

The rest of the weekend was spent spending time with Grandma, trying to talk with her, sit with her, eat with her, telling stories. My daughter and her cousins played, picked blueberries, giggled and put on shows for us.

On our last day, I was spent. Emotionally. Physically. My sister and I decided to cut our visit with G.G. short. No dinner. Just visit with her for a little while and then off to the airport. I was exhausted with our whirlwind trip and I just wanted to be home. Besides, we were planning on a much longer visit with G.G. for Thanksgiving, one of her favorite holidays.

This decision was made on our way to G.G.’s house. And we were already running late. She expected us about an hour before. I was anxious about this – I hate being late – but there is no rushing my sister. When we were growing up and shared a room I used to set two alarm clocks just so we could be on time for swim practice in the morning.

G.G. was disappointed that we were late. She had every right. And then, her shoulders slumped when we told her we didn’t have time for dinner. She was so disappointed. I remember visiting with her on her screened in porch. Her eyes were a bit vacant. We were talking about recipes and she went to get her little file. As she was pulling out some favorites she handed one to my sister, a couple to me and said, “Just keep them. It’s not like I’m going to make them again.”

Our visit with her was typical. We laughed. We debated. We shared. She was a bright, strong, engaging, interesting woman. I loved our talks. But this particular visit was a tiny bit strained. A tiny bit awkward. I chalked it up to our disappointing her and promised myself I’d make it up to her when we came in November.

We packed up the kids to go. We kissed and hugged and said our goodbyes. And as we drove down the driveway I saw my G.G. standing there, next to her precious house, arms folded across her chest, looking smaller than I’ve ever seen her. She looked frail. She looked sad. I missed her already.

Without warning, she died a few weeks later. My sister called to tell me and even though she called her “Grandma” I knew exactly who she was talking about.  But this wasn’t the Grandma that was supposed to die. This Grandma was strong, vibrant and healthy. I was supposed to spend a week with her at Thanksgiving and eat her famous turkey and cucumber salad and yummy chocolate chip cookie bars.

And my other grandmother, the one who had the stroke. Lived a few years more. Happily. And with many more visits from us.

We never know how much time we have with each other. We can’t count on the next holiday, the next Thanksgiving, the next weekend. My heart still aches for G.G. and I struggle with the regret I have, disappointing her so, on what was my very last visit with her.

Please know, G.G., if I had to do it all over again, I would have done things so differently that weekend.

So differently.

“I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain
I’ve seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I’d see you again” – James Taylor

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Filed under family, Lessons Learned, Music

Elevatin’ To Another Level – Not Higher, Just Different

I always wanted to be the party girl.

No. Scratch that.

I always wanted to be included.

But I wasn’t.

In high school, the guy I had a major crush on, and who I thought had a major crush on me, went to see Rush perform at the local university without me. I was disappointed and I asked him about it. He said, “I didn’t think you were the type.”

What type is that? Sure, I didn’t smoke pot. Yes, I was the one nursing a beer all night long, pouring sips down the sink when no one was looking so it would look like I was finishing my drink at an appropriate pace. I suppose he and his friends didn’t want me tagging along, judging their smoking and drinking and having a good time. But I didn’t judge. Not really. It just wasn’t for me. I still enjoyed their company. I still wanted to be included. And while we did a lot of things together, I still didn’t feel like I belonged.

That group I so desperately wanted to feel a part of was brilliant. I mean it. All were in Advanced Placement classes. One (my crush) went to MIT on full scholarship (but then got kicked out for dealing drugs.) One went to Berklee and his girlfriend went to Juilliard (she dropped out to become a psychologist.)  Another was in med school when he died of a brain aneurysm. His dad was a surgeon who demanded an explanation and rumor has it, a full autopsy revealed that it was from prior drug use. How they determined this, I don’t know – it is rumor, after all. Maybe it was to scare us straight. Maybe the family wanted to cling to something because Tony had been clean for years.

They were bright. They were funny. They were wild.

And I wasn’t.

Enter college, and I was married by the time I was 21. Still finishing college. But now I was an old married lady. Fellow students wanted to go out and celebrate after a big test but I had a husband to get home to. Pull an all-nighter with a co-ed study group? Too awkward with my husband at home who had work in the morning. With all the detours in my life - changing majors, schools, getting married – it took a little longer for me to finish college. My peers were only a little younger than me but they looked up to me, like some wise sage. Oh, the difference a few years makes when you’re young.

They were bright. They were fun. They were free.

And I wasn’t.

I had my first child when I was 29. Two more when I turned 40. That ten-year span puts me at odds again. The parents of my daughter’s friends are exploring new hobbies, going on more vacations, spending more time out with friends, experiencing freedom again. But we still have two small boys at home. Having a blast with them (with less energy than their friend’s parents) we’re a little more tied to the home front, still acutely aware of how much raising children costs, getting to bed early even on the weekends. The parents of our boys’ friends are the ages of my former high school students. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – but there is something to be said for those 10 years of life experiences.

They’re still interesting. They share in parenting joys and frustrations. But every once in a while, a comment will reveal that they’re still green.

And I’m not.

The paths I have chosen have always kept me out of the loop. I’ve never quite felt as if I belonged anywhere, really. And those choices have kept me from being included in things. Parties. Concerts. Study sessions. Play groups.

The odd one out.

Most of the time, I’m OK with that. Most of the time.

But some days, it’s lonely.

I’d like to think that, all my life, I’ve just been on a different plane, a different level.

Not higher, just different.

And some days, it sure would be nice to be dancing with everyone else – at the same concert, at the same party, on the same level.

28 Comments

Filed under Music, Ponderings