The John Lennon Letters

I’ve mentioned once or twice that I’m kind of into the Beatles.

I might sort of believe (at least I’ve often said) that I’m the reincarnated spirit of John Lennon.

Okay, that might be a little extreme but I can honestly say I’ve loved the Beatles since I was a wee one.

Need proof? I sing Yesterday and Hey Jude to the little guy (instead of lullabies). I’ve been as close as I’ll ever be to seeing them in concert. I’ve stood at Strawberry Fields and stared up at the Dakota Building in New York (where John Lennon lived). I’ve read dozens of books on the Fab Four and even wrote a paper or two about them. I actually considered naming our baby Lennon (wouldn’t that be cute!?).

Needless to say, listening to the Beatles always makes me happy and I geek out whenever I get the opportunity to learn about them … which brings me to the point of this post. For Christmas this year, my mom gave me the most unexpected and yet absolutely perfect gift – a copy of The John Lennon Letters.

the-john-lennon-letters-1

Thumbing through, I was giddy to see a compilation of letters that John had written to friends, family, business partners, teachers, and other musicians. Broken into chronological order, the letters date back to his elementary school days and continue all the years of his life. It even includes a couple of notes written on December 8, 1980 (the night he was shot … and the day before my birthday … see why I might be his spirit!?)

The book is full of images, stories, and so much more. I was so touched and excited by receiving it that I started reading it almost immediately. However, I’ve changed my mind on reading it cover to cover. I’ve placed it on my coffee table for now and plan to thumb through it frequently as a source of inspiration.

If you’re a Beatle fan, a Lennon lover or a music aficionado, I’d recommend getting your own copy as quickly as you can get to a book store. You will not be disappointed! Also – there’s an app, too. (Nerd alert!)

63028_434217457841_6552785_n(My mom, sister and I in front of a John Lennon exhibit in NYC.)

Image 1: Source. Image 2: Mine.

Dress & A Ditty: And We Were Singing

A good song has a catchy beat and meaningful lyrics. A great song takes you back to a place, a person, or an unforgettable moment. Today’s great song does just that….

Five years ago today, countless hearts were broken when my cousin was surprisingly taken from this world at an unfairly young age. His memory lives on the hearts and minds of our family; I am frequently reminded of his infectious laugh or of dancing with him at my wedding.

Today I think of when we celebrated his life and will forever associate this song with that day. I’ll never forget standing with my siblings and cousins in a circle, singing through our tears, and toasting each other to his memory.

Although my cousin would likely poke fun at me for something as silly as a Dress & A Ditty, I’m sticking with it:

Wear this when you’re lounging around reminiscing over old photos or when you’re out sharing memories with family and friends.

And listen to this, sing at the top of your lungs, and throw your hands in the air when you belt out:

Them good ol’ boys were drinking whiskey in rye / Singing this’ll be the day that I die / This’ll be the day that I die.

Miss you, cousin.

Image Sources: Forever 21, Google Images

Dress & A Ditty: Think Pink

Wow, it’s already Wednesday?? This week has FLOWN by! It’s been absolutely nuts around here as we prepare for Wyoming Art for the Cure! I’m so excited for the event…it’s this Friday!

Since I’m in a pink state of mind with the upcoming celebration, I had to use the color as inspiration for this week’s Dress & A Ditty. (Note: not every week will be colors).

So, here we have it:

Dress – Where this BCBG dress from Tula (an awesome women’s store in FC) to a fabulous event or for a fancy night out.

& A Ditty – Listen to this song by Pink (even though it’s slow and a little sad…it’s one of my faves) to mellow out while you’re prepping hair and makeup before your big night.

P.S. To make a donation to Wyoming Art for the Cure, click here!

Dress & A Ditty: Cream

So there I was, staring at my spouse over dinner, trying to think of something to talk about that didn’t involve the milk consumption, sleeping patterns, or BM schedule of a certain rugrat. I couldn’t come up with anything.

And morning after morning, I sit and stare at my computer wondering what I should blog about. All I can come up with are posts about my blue-eyed baby boy.

When I was pregnant, I complained that I always had the same conversation with everyone I talked to. (When are you due? Boy or Girl? Have you picked a name? Is the nursery done? How are you feeling? Every.single.conversation.)

But now, I’m the one guilty of veering every exchange of words in one direction: the little dude.

So, what’s the deal? I like stuff. At least, I used to like stuff….I just wish I could remember what that stuff was. What did I do before the little man arrived? What did I talk about before every conversation was answering the questions above? What in the world did I write about for the last year???

And then I remembered…. I like adventures. And food. And books. And fitness. I like volunteering. And heroic animals. And epic films. I also like fashion and music.

Eureka! I DO like stuff.

So, in a desperate attempt to burst my baby-centric bubble and to incorporate more fashion and music into this little blog, I decided to start a new series called Dress & A Ditty.

The first ever Dress & A Ditty Inspiration: Cream.

Listen to this song by Cream while you’re trying to come up with conversation starters that aren’t, “My little angel did the cutest thing today…”

And wear this cream shift to the event you signed up for pre-baby (assuming you remember to attend).

Photo Source: 1, 2

Here’s to Life!!!!

In 2004, I went to what used to be the Starlight in Fort Collins, CO to see a band my spouse said was pretty good. That band was Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers (formerly The Refreshments).

I fell in love that night in a bad way. When ex-guitarist Steve Larson busted out a cover of Ring of Fire, I melted. When Roger Clyne played Green & Dumb, my heart soared. I was an insta-fan and have been cyber-stalking, as well as real-life stalking, them ever since.

I’ve been to countless RCPM concerts between that first Starlight show and now. I’ve followed them all up and down the Front Range, crashed the backstage to meet the band…..uh…..a couple of times, named my blog after my favorite song, and have been moved to tears more than once at an RCPM event. I LOVE them.

Lucky for me, I get to see them again!!! TONIGHT!!! Roger Clyne and current RCPM guitarist, Jim Dalton, are partnering with Johnny Hickman from Cracker for their 5th annual Three Amigos show at the Road 34 Bike Shop! Bah! (I think I’ve been to the show all five years….)

I’m trying to keep my excitement to a reasonable level; I don’t want to overdo it and accidentally induce labor somehow (although if my son were born at a Roger show,  I wouldn’t really have any issues with that).

I’ve said almost everything I can about the band in numerous posts and if you have some free time this afternoon, please check them out here. If you’re pressed for time, you can walk down memory lane with me in the bazillion pictures I added below. So many good concerts…so many Stacey hairstyles?

Have a great weekend everyone. In the words of Roger Clyne, Here’s to Life!!!

Cheers!

Thankful Thursday: Best Songs Ever

Happy Thursday!

via Better Homes & Gardens

Today, I am thankful for Christmas Music! I adore holiday jingles…I’m one of those who listens to all-Christmas-all-the-time radio stations from mid-November to December 25. I secretly listen to a little Bing, Mariah, and HCJ in the summer. And I’ll drop everything and sing along to Mavis Staples when the Christmas Vacation theme song comes on. I LOVE the stuff.

Since we’re rapidly approaching the best day of the year and it’s finally appropriate to listen to cheery tunes all day long, I thought I’d pass along my favorite Christmas songs so you can build your own holiday playlist and share an uplifted holiday spirit with others. You know, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear….right?

On this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for the way each of these songs makes me feel, the memories I have associated with every jingle, and the smile that never fails to pop up when I hear one of these tunes playing in an unexpected place. Hope you enjoy them too!

  1. Do They Know It’s Christmas Band Aid (1984 is the best version)
  2. Christmas is the Time to Say I Love You Billy Squire
  3. Auld Lang Syne Mairi Campbell & Dave Francis
  4. All I Want for Christmas is You Mariah Carey (or Michael Buble)
  5. Reggae Christmas Bryan Adams
  6. Santa Claus is Coming to Town Bruce Springstein
  7. Where Are You Christmas?Faith Hill
  8. The 12 Days of ChristmasThe Muppets
  9. Carol of the BellsTrans-Siberian Orchestra
  10. Peach on Earth/Little Drummer Boy Bing Crosby & David Bowie
  11. Oh Holy Night Josh Groban
  12. Please Come Home for Christmas – Harry Connick, Jr.
  13. Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Leon Redbone & Zooey Daschanel
  14. White Christmas – Bing Crosby
  15. Christmas Vacation – Mavis Staples
  16. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – John Lennon

It’s Monday – Let’s ROCK!

Rock on a Monday? Heck, yeah! Let’s kick this week off on the right foot. To get started in a rock n’ roll frame of mind, I’m going to tell you all about a concert I recently went to. I got to see, once again, my very favorite band in the whole world, Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers!

Now, you’re likely familiar with them if you’ve been reading this blog for a while (example A, B, C, D) but just in case, they are an independent rock n’ roll band with a southwest edge and a love for tequila. I’ve been a fan for years and rarely, rarely miss a show. Being knocked up wasn’t going stop me this time either…

They came through town early in September to the Aggie Theatre. As always, the fun Roger-lovin’ crowd was a group of jolly souls – singing along to every word of RCPM’s greatest and dancing the night away. We were right there with them – having a blast!

The spouse and I kicked off the night with two of our closest friends at Jax, our new favorite restaurant in FC (post on Jax coming in the future). We then strolled the short distance to the Aggie, enjoying the autumn air and excited to see RCPM once again.

The opening bands were….interesting. Thankfully, we arrived late (as per usual) so we missed much of the pre-Peacemakers music. Finally, Roger, PH, Nick, and Jim came on stage and started the show with Leaky Little Boat. It was a strange song to start with, one I’d never heard at the beginning of show, but oddly perfect for that evening.

They went on to play all their best songs – Banditos, Green & Dumb, Switchblade, and A Little Hungover You. They mixed in a few off their new album, Unida Cantina (which we bought and I recommend that you buy ASAP), which has my new favorite song Paper Airplanes. Then they teased all of us by leaving the stage without playing the song of all songs, Mekong (read: Here’s to Life).

But Roger saved the day. He came back out on stage, busted out his guitar and blasted out an acoustic version of Mekong that had me jumping and screaming like a Beatlemaniac in 1964. Jim joined him for the famous guitar riff in the middle of the song and the two of them closed the show while we all screamed, ‘Here’s to Life!’

All in all – perfect!

Hope you all have a terrific Monday!!! Let’s rock this week! (Okay, that sentence was super-cheesy. Sorry! Have an awesome week!)

Thankful Thursday: Concerts

Happy Thursday!

Last night, the spouse and I went to see Incubus at Red Rocks in Denver, CO. Red Rocks, if you’ve never been there, is by far the coolest venue to see a show at in the state of Colorado (or any state for that matter). It’s an amphitheatre cut into the red mountainside in the foothills of the Rockies surrounded by huge boulders jutting out from the earth into the sky. As you watch a concert at Red Rocks, you take in a panoramic view of the city of Denver. If you’re lucky (like we were last night), you’ll watch the moon rise up over the city behind the stage – perfecting the already-breathtaking views. It’s truly a special place.

Not only am I stoked that we went to Red Rocks, but I adored the show as well. Tom Morello (formerly of Rage Against the Machine) opened for Incubus and put on a pretty fantastic set. Closing his act with The Ghost of Tom Joad, he really set the tone for the evening. Incubus came on shortly after with their incredible light show, amazing sound, and uplifting energy. We were on our feet from the first song to the last; belting out the well-known lyrics of their top hits and swaying along to the slower, softer songs.

The lead singer of Incubus, Brandon Boyd, is truly one of the most talented vocalists I’ve ever heard. I’m not joking when I say they sound better live than they do on a recorded album (the sad truth is so many bands sound so much worse). In fact, I wasn’t a huge fan of Incubus until I first saw them in concert. Between the vocals, the instrumentals, the light show, and the familiarity of so many songs – I’ve truly fallen for them (in a band-love kinda way).

So, this Thankful Thursday, I am thankful for concerts! I’ll see just about anyone live because not only is it an awesome night out but you can learn so much about a band when you see them in person vs. hear a song on the radio or watch a video. You get to hear how they speak, see the way they carry themselves, and watch how the react when they make a mistake or say something accidentally. It’s remarkable (depending on their star-status) to realize that your favorite guitar legend or idolized lead singer is just a regular person doing what they love in the best way that they can.  Truly inspiring.

So thank you, universe, for concerts! Hope you all have great Thursday full of lots of things to be thankful for!

Me & Spouse Sorry…it’s a bit blurry

So, tell me , do you like going to concerts? What’s the best concert you’ve ever been to?

I Don’t Think Much, but I Can’t Stop Thinkin’ About You

Yesterday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade kept me from posting Day 12 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, so I’m combo-ing yesterday’s item with today’s. It’s pretty easy to do since Day 12 of the Challenge is to post a picture of something you love and Day 13 is to post a picture of your favorite band or artist.

Since I LOVE my favorite band so much, I figure they qualify as both items :)

It will come as no surprise to anyone who reads my blog that my favorite, favorite band in the whole wide world is Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers (after all the title of this blog was inspired by their song lyrics). I’ve been a die-hard fan since the first time I saw them at the Starlight in FC and Steve Larson (their previous guitarist) covered Ring of Fire. From that moment, I was hooked.

Countless concerts, loads of signed memorabilia, and many backstage-crashing good times later, they still capture my heart with their southwest rock. Many people don’t believe they know who RCPM is, but you probably do. Their most-played radio song is Down Together from the late 90’s and you might know them from the fast-paced guitar jam which is the opening credits song of the show King of the Hill.

Adored by their fans, RCPM hits the Denver and FC area several times a year (thanks to their new guitarist, Jim Dalton, being from CO). Going to their concerts feels something like a religious experience as each of their screaming fans belt out every word to every song fully projecting their love to the stage.

There’s nothing quite like dancing slowly under the twinkling disco ball to Roger’s sweet serenade of Green & Dumb, or raising your shot of tequila high in the air toasting the band during Mekong. You can usually find me at the front of the stage screaming and singing at the top of my lungs. Once though, I literally cried during a concert when they played Ashes of San Miguel…and I mean ugly-cried. It was amazing!

I can’t imagine ever tiring of RCPM and I pray that I don’t cause when it comes to music, I don’t know much but now I know that no one else will do.

Here’s to Music!

Oh Roger, your love music is my drug.

My absolute favorite musician, Roger Clyne, will be at Road 34 Bike Shop tonight along with Johnny Hickman from Cracker (you all know Low) and Jim Dalton from RCPM and The Railbenders. It’s their annual 3 Amigos Show and something I anticipate ALL YEAR LONG….February is an AWESOME month!

If you don’t know Roger, watch the video below. You’ll probably fall in love, become a life-long fan, and write blog posts about them in your jammies on the mornings of their concerts after you bound of out bed bright-eyed and bushy-tailed saying, “Good Roger!” to your spouse.

Then…TOMORROW….Ke$ha at The Fillmore!!!!!

I know, I know. You now all believe that I don’t have “good” taste in music. Fine, I accept that. Usually my musical tastes lie somewhere between Hard Rock, Old Country, Classic Rock and 90’s Alternative  – although it’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between Classic Rock and 90’s Alternative since they keep playing Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Collective Soul on the “classic” stations.

Songs from H.S. on Classic station = I’m OOOLLLDD.

But, I digress, every once in a while a Pop song will come along with a catchy beat. I find myself tapping my foot along with the rhythm then secretly download it on Grooveshark. With Ke$ha, I’ve loved and downloaded every one of her high-energy, synthesized jams and I’m not afraid to admit it.

So, in summary,

“There are two kinds of music, good and bad. I like both.” – Duke Ellington

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Cheers!