Cluck Old Hen, Buffalo Girls, Weaver John and much more – The Barnard Tapes!

October 28, 2009 at 5:53 am | Posted in Fun for Your Family, kids music, Reviews | 1 Comment

It has been a very long time since I have written…ooops, sorry.  Time does fly, and when I started this thing, I planned on a post a day – that lasted about 8 days.  Anyway, I have been in the studio and performing – and I am happy to say we have finished our latest CD – The Barnyard Tapes –

Front Cover web page

The Barnyard Tapes - Cover Art by Dave, our Drummer

If you read this blog before I dropped off the edge of the earth for a year, you know about my fascination with public domain music – that’s what we focused on.  So check it out at our website right here – listen to tracks at CD Baby – and enjoy.  I’ll try to write again soon.

Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker and the Trans Siberian Orchestra

December 2, 2008 at 10:52 pm | Posted in Being a Dad, Reviews | Leave a comment

Rumor has it that Pyotr Tchaikovsky wasn’t that interested in writing the music for the Nutcracker Ballet. The story was originally titled “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King,” by E.T.A. Hoffmann. It had been adapted by Alexandre Dumas père when Tchaikovsky was hired to write the music in 1890.

Maybe it was because he had just finished writing a ballet about Cinderella, a beautiful, exploited young woman who finds her way to fame and glory by marrying a handsome prince. Somehow, writing music for a dancing kitchen utensil just didn’t seem that exciting. But, thankfully, Pyotr persevered. The result was the most pupular Christmas ballet in history and the sale of millions of nutcrackers every Christmas that couldn’t crack a nut if their life depended on it (but they can dance around and kill a mouse king…). If you don’t believe me about the most popular ballet thing, check here: Nutcracker Performances, it lists performances in all 50 states and nine countries outside the U.S.

This thing vs. a walnut?  Please...

This thing vs. a walnut? Please...

We took the kids to see The Nutcracker this weekend – and I have to admit, it was great. I probably should mention that we left the three year old at home, and toward the end, my five year old son wanted to crawl out of his own skin (The only way I kept him from running up the aisle was by telling him that a pirate ship was going to come crashing through the wall any minute…when he asked me at the end why it never did, I said, “That must be in Swan Lake, I always get those confused…”)

BUT in spite of that, for well over half the show, both kids were enthralled. And why not? This show has it all. Big scary mice, a creepy old man, a castle made of candy, a seemingly random mix of dances from different cultures (The Spanish dance, the Arabian dance, the Chinese dance, the Russian Dance, the Dance of the Reed-Flutes (from Reedflutia), the Dance of the Shepherdesses and so on…)

AND, if all that’s not enough, the Trans Siberian Orchestra has given us a rocking version of the Nutcracker Suite music to run around the house and pretend like we’re ballerinas after the show. I have to hand it to the TSO, it features amped up guitar solos that children of 80’s metal/glam bands love: Nutcracker Guitar Solo as well as being true enough to the original to keep the classical music lover in me happy: Nutcracker Intro

So, take your kids to see the nutcracker, pick up a copy of the Trans Siberian Orchestra’s Nutcracker Suite and start the holiday season right!

Dianey Does It Again…Chicken Little, Where’s Your Mom??? Oh, and a review of Disney’s Chicken Little…

November 9, 2008 at 7:09 am | Posted in Reviews | 2 Comments

A couple of weeks ago, a well meaning aunt sent my kids the DVD of “Chicken Little” – Walt Disney’s misguided 2005 attempt to compete with Pixar. I’ve learned over the years to preview any Disney flicks before showing them to the kids – plus I’m still a geek and a sucker for good animation. So one evening I sat down to watch and (surprise, surprise) in Disney’s version of the this fable, Chicken Little’s mom is dead. She was killed by Disney’s long-standing neurosis. (I have no doubt that Disney’s fear of Mom’s is listed in the latest DSM – a personality disorder of some sort).

My mom is gone!  Disney took her!

"My mom is gone! Disney took her!"

I first wrote about Disney’s seeming hatred of Mom’s here (Granted, Chicken Little was already on screen but he wasn’t in my world…), and Chicken Little is another feather in Disney’s ‘gratuitous offing of mom’ cap.

Here’s the thing: When my kids watch Bambi, I routinely skip the scene where mom is killed. Guess what? The kids don’t notice. Even more importantly, I (as an adult who has watched a lot of films), don’t think it really affects the plot. Seriously, Bambi could have just grown up and left home.

Back to Chicken Little. Mom is dead because…? There are a couple of lines about “Your mom knew how to deal with this sort of thing much better…,” But as Bambi showed us, Mom could have lived and the same drama would have existed.

Is anyone out there who works for Disney (or Dreamworks)? If you read this, tell me (please), is there some sort of clause in the contract that states that you have to knock off mom at the first possible opportunity? (It’s a real question…comment!)

Anyway (let’s pretend I don’t have a serious issue with Walt’s neurosis), the film stinks – bad. Everything in the film stinks, the cloying characters, the sorry attempt at humor (it’s as if they watched Shrek and couldn’t pull it off…), the gratuitous violence, the convoluted and confused plot, and the too-good animation (I get it, guys, you can make really cool computer-generated animation…neat).

Let me put it this way, if you’re someone who slows down on the interstate to see all the horrific details of a car wreck, watch this film…it’s that bad. Thanks, Disney, for another classic!

A Review of the EJ200CE, Musician’s Friend and the Gibson/Epiphone Experience

May 18, 2008 at 6:22 am | Posted in Musings, Reviews | 5 Comments

Gibson mailed me a EJ200CE two weeks ago. For the uninitiated, the EJ200CE is billed as “the guitar you’ve seen in the hands of everyone from Elvis to Emmylo.” (This isn’t quite true, you actually saw the Gibson J200 in their hands – and in the hands of Clint Black, Motley Crue, The Eagles, Vince Gill and Jimmy Page – the EJ200CE is a cheap copy made by Gibson subsidiary, Epiphone.)

Elvis and his J200

In any event, Gibson kindly included a note explaining how to adjust the truss rod. It’s a good thing too, because this particular EJ200CE had some nasty fret buzz when I played a C. So, after reading Gibson’s note and getting moral support from this web site: Frets.Com and this one: Athens Music Network, I busted out the allen wrench and went to work. My diagnosis? The truss rod nut needed to be tightened (I can’t exactly remember how I reached that conclusion, but I was forging ahead…). I tightened; things got a little better. I tightened more, they got a bit better…15 minutes later…I pulled the wrench one last 1/8th of a turn and BINGO, the guitar sounded GREAT.

I mean that, it sounds really good, and it makes me happy every time I play it, but it was a LONG road getting here – here’s a condensed version of the story…

I ordered my first EJ200CE about 7 months ago from Musician’s Friend – black. It was my first new acoustic guitar in a lot of years, so I was going for a different look. I thought I was getting a good deal at $399.00 (especially considering the fact that the real thing – the J200 – goes for about $3500…) They sent it within a couple of weeks and I was pumped when I pulled it from the box. It looked good, it sounded good…until I plugged it in. The built in pickup didn’t work. I did all the obvious things like change the battery and curse, but it didn’t work no matter how many times I swore at it.

In the meantime, I’d also ordered a hard case for $90. That arrived the next day and, OOOOPS, it was the wrong case. The guitar didn’t fit. Amazingly, when I called for the second day in a row, the operator at Musician’s Friend felt like debating this fact with me, suggesting that I wasn’t putting it in right. I’m not sure when you last put a guitar into a case, but there really is only one way it can go. (Musician’s Friend’s moto? “We’re cheap, and our service shows it!”) I assured the nice saleswoman than I wasn’t attempting to put the body of the guitar into the neck of the case, and she agreed to send me a label to send the case back along with the guitar.

The second shipment arrived some weeks later, and this time, the case was right, the pickup seemed to work, but there was some serious fret buzz. I resolved to take it to a guitar shop to have the set-up adjusted, then the holidays hit, ski season, 10 feet of snow, all that, and before I knew it, it was March before I pulled up to The Guitar Gallery . The good people there informed me (free of charge, I might add…which will inform the eventual moral of this story), that the truss rod was already adjusted as far as it could go…in other words, the buzz was here to stay.

So, I called my good friends at MUSICIAN’S FRIEND and guess what? Somehow, unbeknownst to me, we’d had a falling out. Apparently we weren’t friends anymore (“But will you still sign my yearbook, Musiscan’s Friend…?”) See, at three months, I was well outside their 45 day return (no questions asked) policy.

I may be old fashioned, but I cut my teeth on LL Bean’s Gurantee (God, I love those people…), so this 45 day thing seemed a bit cold, I mean the guitar WAS substandard. But, me and my friends were really on the outs; my arguments fell on deaf ears. So it was goodbye Musicians (not my) Friend…and hello GIBSON!

To cut this short, Gibson/Epiphone agreed to take my reject guitar back. I sent it in and waited, and waited, and waited. About two weeks in I contacted them. A day later, I was informed by a very nice e-mail agent (named Jon Sutherland – maybe even a real person) that they would figure it out soon…blah, blah, blah, so on and so forth…many e-mails later we (Jon and me) figured out that no black guitars were available, but they did have a ‘natural.’

I took it….and waited. Finally, OVER A MONTH LATER, I got the guitar. It’s not ‘natural,’ it’s YELLOW. My wife’s first comment? “That guitar looks like a banana.” So much for being cool like Johnny Cash. On the other hand, I can see myself accompanying Jimmy Buffet with this thing.

My Big New YELLOW EJ200CE

You know the ending – almost. I adjusted the guitar and it does sound great. But, BUT…Gibson broke my case. No joke, when I pulled it out of the box, the hinge was broken off. So, the saga continues. FED EX just picked the broken case up last Thursday. According to tracking data, it’s recently been picked up by a Fed Ex truck in Willington, CT. Eventually, I may get a new one.

The moral of this too long tale? Buy local. Go to your ‘Guitar Gallery” equivalent. You’ll spend $100 or so more, but, I promise you, I have spent much more than that in both time and money. Learn from my mistakes – and fight the online corporate music bastards – they’re not your friends. Do me a favor and read Guitar Gallery’s web page. Notice how hesitant they are to send you a guitar? That’s because they know that picking a guitar is like picking a friend – it’s not something you want to do at a distance. Apparently even a well known company like Gibson lacks in the quality control department these days. Let the guys at the retail store deal with the lemons (or bananas…) Let them send them back so you don’t have to.

Look at the guitar you’re buying, feel it, play it. I bought my last acoustic at a little guitar store in Burlington, VT. It’s a Yamaha FG-420E-C. I played it for two hours before I bought it and I’ve played it for 20 years since. My new banana sounds good, and I’ll use it at shows, but somehow, I know I’ll go back to the old Yamaha because it, and instruments like it, are the only ones who have really earned the title of musician’s friend.

I love my Mom, I love my Wife…why doesn’t Disney?

February 13, 2008 at 6:10 am | Posted in Being a Dad, Musings, Reviews | 3 Comments
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Read the second part of this post here!

The opening lines of the Disney-Pixar film “Finding Nemo” relate a (somewhat) touching exchange between a husband and wife as they settle into their new home and contemplate their soon-to-be family…They are in essence ‘ pregnant’ (the fertilized eggs are outside the fish…cuts down on labor pain), and are setting up the new nursery (we’ve all been there) – here are the lines:
Marlin: Wow.
Coral: Mmm.
Marlin: Wow.
Coral: Mm-hmm.
Marlin: Wow.
Coral: Yes, Marlin. I… No, I see it. It’s beautiful.
Marlin: So, Coral, when you said you wanted an ocean view, you didn’t think you were going to get the whole ocean, did you? Huh?
[deep breath]
Marlin: Oh, yeah. A fish can breathe out here. Did your man deliver, or did he deliver?

In the ensuing scene, Coral (aka MOM/WIFE) and all but one of the eggs are devoured by some ravenous sea creature (an eel?). True to Disney’s longstanding tradition, mom and wife are killed off and taken out of the picture before she has any impact at all. Hmmmmm….

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“Mom? Mom…where are you!?”

I’m going to take a little break from the music scene to contemplate this Disney curiosity (pathology?). First a list of films (that I can recollect) that belong to the Disney Dead Mom’s Club (These are in no particular order):

  • Bambi
  • Dumbo (OK,not dead, but caged and considered insane)
  • Snow White
  • Cinderella
  • Pinocchio (Maybe this is unfair, Gepetto is a pretty irresponsible Dad, though, getting pregnant with no mom to support him…)
  • Jungle Book (OK, Walt was an equal opportunity killer there, knocking Mom and Dad off…Speaking of equal opportunity, how about that “Lion King?” Just Dad was killed…)
  • The Little Mermaid (Actually, this may have been a divorce situation…in any event, mom/wife is no where to be seen.)
  • Pocahantas
  • Aladin (neither the hero or the heroine have a Mom)
  • The Fox and the Hound (another orphan situation with Tod, the fox)
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Max and Goofy…(again, it’s hard to say here, who would marry Goofy after all? Some quasi-dog lady probably just went home with him one night after one-too-many at the local pub, then left him with the kid…)
  • Cars (Just kidding, Cars don’t really talk or have relationships – they are made on production lines which, if I remember my high school biology correctly, might also be referred to as asexual reproduction.)

So, as this large body of work demonstrates, Walt Disney, and the whole Disney family, it would seem, has an issue with parents generally, and specifically with moms…why? An internet search of Walt’s family history doesn’t offer a lot of insight (granted, I didn’t look too hard)…Wikipedia states, “Walt and his sister Ruth attended the Benton Grammar School where he met Walter Pfeiffer. The Pfeiffers were theatre aficionados, and introduced Walt to the world of vaudeville and motion pictures. Soon, Walt was spending more time at the Pfeiffers’ than at home… [6]“(Read the whole bio here: Walt Disney at Wikipedia). Does the fact that Walt effectively left home at the age of 9 indicate some deep divisions in the Disney home? Could he have left home because of a domineering Mom who emasculated him and ensured that generations thereafter would suffer through scores of animated features which are, in essence, Walt’s working out his childhood demons based on his fear of his mother? Probably, but without some major research, we can only speculate.

The other option, of course, is that Walt and company needed a quick dramatic jolt to jettison their early films deep into the public consciousness. What better than the death of a mom? What, after all, is more sacred than motherhood? The concept is shocking, and it doesn’t take a cynic to imagine Walt and the boys sitting around trying to figure out how to move their little children’s film from average to blockbuster. The room, of course, was full of cigar smoke, and one of the guys said, “Let’s off the mom…that’ll get some attention…” It’s cheap, easy emotion, and, in a two hour film, it leaves lots of room for musical numbers and some comedy. After that first time, when Bambi hit the big numbers, the boys were hooked, and they’ve never looked back. It keeps paying, as “Nemo” showed us in 2003, sixty-one years after Bambi’s 1942 release.

So why doesn’t Disney love Moms? Simple, it doesn’t pay, and, in spite of what Mickey and the rest would have you believe, this is all about the money…they can’t let a few moms get in the way…

So, in tribute to Bambi’s and all the other Disney moms and wives out there – here’s an Evanescence song…we’re with you Bambi and Bambi’s Mom, Nemo and Coral, Dumbo and Dumbo’s Mom, etc….you live on, no matter what Walt put you through!

Easy Reader, that’s my name, uh, uh, uh…

February 7, 2008 at 6:08 am | Posted in kids music, Musings, Reviews | 2 Comments
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For some reason the other day, I thought of Easy Reader…come on now, you remember him that super cool, funky, far-out guy on “The Electric Company.” I just had to pay Youtube a visit and take a walk, or should I say a ‘trip,’ down memory lane. Just to get you in the groove, here’s a little Easy Reader to help you remember…

Yes, my friends, that is Morgan Freeman, otherwise known in Hollywood these days as ‘God’ (“Bruce Almighty,” “Evan Almighty” and of course the ominous voice from above in “March of the Penguins…”). So before he was God, he was Easy Reader…”Top to bottom left to right reading stuff is out of sight…”

Like my parents and millions of other parents did in the ’70’s I’m going to ignore the obvious and somewhat problematic fact that Morgan Freeman, as much as portraying a reader in these skits, was portraying a reading junkie – he needs his reading ‘fix’ – then his man (or etch-a-sketch) on the street, Stanley, always cuts him off, ‘just as he’s getting into the groove.’ Then he starts looking around desparately for his reading fix – a match-book, a dollar bill, you name it. I’ll ignore all that, and focus instead on the message…See, I agree with Easy’s message, ‘reading IS out of sight…’ OH, and then there’s the music…

In addition to Easy Reader, I got a few other Electric Company Skits for the kids, and, like everything else in the show, the music is a constant of stream of either funkadelic 70’s or “Free To Be You and Me.” One particularly psychedelic musical moment prompted Isabel to ask, “Why is the music so weird…?” You would have thought we were listening to Pink Floyd – “The Wall.” Here’s one example…

How about that soundtrack? 

Then there’s the opening credits…”Moving out in a new way, moving out in a new way…we’re gonna turn it on, we’re gonna give you the power…” You get the idea.

OK, so I have to say, in spite of the fact that the Electric Company overdid it on the psychedelia at times, I love this stuff. It has it all, great music, and unbelievable cast (Gene Wilder, Joan Rivers, Mr. Freeman, etc.) and it’s hilarious. I’m pretty certain Saturday Night Live owes a lot to The Electric Company…at the very least Lorne Michaels and the early SNL cast were big fans, I just know it…so, I’ll leave you with the lyrics to the first “Sign Song” from the Electric Company…out of sight!

I like fish food. You do, too.
Don’t look now; your hair is blue.
Walk right in and see the zoo.
Up is down, and I love you.Stop and go and dance a dance,
All the way from here to France.
Day and night, all bright and new.
Left is right, and I love you.

Froggie Went a’ Courtin’

February 3, 2008 at 9:51 pm | Posted in Being a Dad, kids music, Music for You, Reviews | Leave a comment
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Bruce Springsteen’s 2006 release, The Seeger Sessions is a great CD for kids – try it some time. Recently Abe and I were listening to it as background music. “Froggie Went a Courtin'” came on – I’m sure you’ve heard it somewhere along the way, lots of kids singers have done very vanilla versions of the song, but not Bruce – not the BOSS. He does it like it ought to be done (of course), and Abe was groovin’ to the tune. If you’re familiar with the song, you know how it goes – Froggie goes a courtin,’ woos Miss Mousie, they have the wedding and then we get a list of all the guests…”First to come in was a flyin’ moth, she spread out the table cloth…” and so on.

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“Next to come in was a BIG BLACK SNAKE!”

I want to pause for a moment here – and say two things. First, our kids are pretty naive. I wish I could tell you it’s because we knew what we were doing. Truth is, it was because of inertia. When Isabel went to pre-school, we had never moved beyond Sesame Street – why would we when it worked so well? (OK, I do need to admit that it took me awhile to get over Baby Bear‘s speech impediment.) I’ll never forget ‘Daddy Pizza and Movie Night’ when we went to the pre-school with all the other kids and dads. The movie was “Finding Nemo,” and Isabel didn’t make it past the first scene (by the way, what’s Disney’s issues with Mom’s?) All the other kids wondered why my daughter was crying and saying “I want to go home…” At the time, I felt like saying, ‘It’s because the kid’s/fish’s mother was just killed – the biggest crisis she’s ever had to deal with on TV is Big Bird having trouble finding Ernie!!!’ I didn’t say that to all the jeering four and five year olds, though, I just picked up my crying little girl and left. The second thing I need to tell you is that Abe is a lyrics-hound. He listens intently and repeats lyrics to himself. He likes the sound of words. Sometimes, days after we see a movie, we’ll hear Abe repeating the lines…a little like the guy I hung out with in college who used to repeat Caddyshack lines…scary.

So, back to “Froggie Went a Courtin.’ As we made our way through the wedding, we eventually came to the line that Abe would repeat again and again. He’d listen to it with the same sort of glee that someone might go into a haunted house at an amusement park . The line is of course, “Next to come in was a Big Black Snake – chased them all into the lake…” Here it is, that line is, from Bruce, in all it’s glory – Springsteen Froggie Clip – For a coupe of weeks, that snake was the villain in our games, he woke up Abe (and, consequently Tonya and me) more than once in the middle of the night…to have the imagination of a child. Strangely, though, this song has intrigued a lot of people over the years…

Here’s one loyal Springsteen fan’s attept to list all the other recordings of the song – Versions of Froggie Went a Courtin’ . Another devotee of the song has listed the over 170 verses of the song that have been written or sung since it’s first printed incarnation in 1611 here – Froggie Verses . The song’s one drawback…it’s repetitive. Man, is this song repetitive – but that, of course, cuts both ways. It drives us adults crazy, but sucks our kids in – it’s probably the reason why this song has lasted so long, and probably why, 400 years after it was first written, it can still give a little boy the chills.

 

 

Public Domain starts in 1923 – aka You want some great Free Music…without Limewire?

January 27, 2008 at 6:56 am | Posted in kids music, Music for You, Reviews | 1 Comment
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Pretty much as long as I can remember, I’ve paid .99 for a song. I remember saving up my allowance to buy a 45 at the record store. The first record I bought, I’m very embarrassed to say, was John Travolta’s “Let Her In” – HOLD ON! Before you stop reading this blog forever, let me explain. I actually thought I was buying Paul McCartney,’s “Let ’em In…” (You remember, “Someone’s knocking at the door, Somebody’s ringing the bell, Someone’s knocking at the door, blah, blah, blah – blah, blah, blah…AND LET ‘EM IN.” I don’t really recall John Travolta’s song – not surprisingly.

These days, iTunes has revived the .99 tradition (You can find my CD’s there: Dreher on iTunes). Somehow, though, I can’t imagine that today’s kids, clicking their way through a sale at iTunes on their parents’ credit card, will ever remember that transaction as fondly as I recall running down the street in 1976 with a few quarters and change clutched in my little hand on my way to a date with Paul McCartney…or John Travolta.

pmcartney.jpg jtravolta.jpg
An easy mistake to make….

Anyway, if you’re willing to step even a little further back than 30 years (and leave the 70’s for awhile) – if you’re willing to step, say 95 years back, there’s a treasure trove of music that’s absolutely free because it’s in the PUBLIC DOMAIN. That means it’s yours, it’s mine and most importantly, it’s our kids’. Think of all the great music – Stephen Foster’s stuff, “Oh Susannah,” “Camptown Races,” “Hard Times Come Again No More…” all public domain. “Frogie Went a Courtin -” public domain, “Frankie and Johnie – ” public domain, “All the Pretty Horses – ” public domain – you get the idea. There’s so much great stuff that you can sing, perform, record…for free.

Probably the best website that I’ve come across for Public Domain music is (appropriately enough) Public Domain.org. Not only has its founder, Benjamin Robert Tubb, listed hundreds of songs that are in the public domain, he’s tracked down lyrics and played them all in midi files!!! He’s got them catalogued by author, by genre and by year. If I weren’t a happily married man, I might just fall in love with the guy for all the efforts he’s made for the common good. You really need to check out his site. At minimum, you’ll get a few songs you can sing with your kids. Possibly, you get a major history lesson in the cultural trends that have shaped our country. Mr. Tubbs does go to great pains to point out that his performances of the songs are copyrighted. In other words, I can’t put them on my next CD. At the same time, he puts them all up for free – to listen to, download, take on a car ride…he’s my hero.

I might as well put in a shameless plug at this point. Since I just happened to mention my next CD, I thought I’d add that it will feature some great, and often unknown, public domain music. The whole project started when I found my great grandmother’s 1st grade school book – published in 1891. There were, of course, a bunch of songs in it, some well known, others lost in obscurity, all public domain. One jumped out, “Weaver John.” Here’s a demo of the song that I played with Gavin, my bassist and back-up singer, and Dave and Chris, my percussionists – Weaver John – you can listen for free.

 

 

 

 

 

My Wonderful, Wonderblink Wife…

January 25, 2008 at 5:33 am | Posted in Being a Dad, Reviews | 1 Comment
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Wonder Blink Photography

Since the day I met her, my wife Tonya has been a natural behind the camera – great for me, because it means I never have to take any pictures (I’m the type of photographer who thinks I have an astounding shot, but forgets about the clutter in the background, forgets to focus, or ends up taking a close-up of my pinkie). The thing about photography is you need to hold a bunch of things in your head at the same – not one of my strengths. Tonya, on the other hand, seems to be able to think about stuff and DO things at the same time – amazing from my perspective…and her photos are amazing from my perspective as well – here are a couple:

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Our kids on Wallis Sands Beach on the New Hampshire Coast

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Isabel and Abe

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For years, Tonya has thought seriously about starting a photography business – this year, she and her friend Diana decided to finally do it. They began Wonder Blink Photography this spring, and have been doing lots of family photo shoots since – they shoot a candid photo-journalistic style – and seem to be able to capture the twinkle in a little girl’s eye, the love of a mom for her kids or the fleeting look of glee in a child’s face, like few photographers I have seen. OK, so I know I’m biased, but take a look for yourself -and while you’re at it, check out her blog – wonderblinkblog – not only is she a great photographer, she’s full of wit and wisdom too!

AC/DC or AB/CD? PART II (Read pt. I first!)

January 23, 2008 at 7:52 am | Posted in Music for You, Reviews | 1 Comment
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Irony – Angus Young or Brian Johnson (AC/DC’s guitarist and lead singer, respectively) might be unable to define that word, but it’s a bit ironic, nonetheless, that after my disparaging comments about “You Shook Me all Night Long,” last night, that was the one that I ended up re-writing for my kids. After writing that post, I felt compelled to listen to “Back in Black” this morning on the drive to work. A few things struck me. First, these guys loved the blues – a lot of their music is full of blues riffs – I like it. Next, wow, are these guys juvenile. Honestly, I know they were going for the adolescent boy’s audience, but it really is too bad that so many of the lyrics are in such bad taste because the sensibility is more like four year old (as opposed to 14) – take the first line to “Hells Bells:” “I’m a rolling thunder, a pouring rain I’m comin’ on like a hurricane…” What parent of a four year old hasn’t experienced that early on a Saturday morning after staying up a little too late Friday night…”Morning sweetie, I’ll get up in a sec..?” Mostly, though, I noticed that these guys knew how to write a catchy tune – which is why I was humming “You Shook Me…” all day long.

It did morph over the day, though, and, against my better judgment, I will post the result. I’m no Brian Johnson (and I’m no Angus Young, for that matter), but please understand that I recorded this in about ten minutes in my barn (and it’s pretty cold, so I was in a hurry…) Anyway, hope you enjoy, Sleep All Night Long.mp3

Here’s the lyrics – I played it in G, just in case you want to sing it to your kids tonight before bed…

You are a fast machine, you keep your motor clean running around, like I have never seen
You have the tiredest eyes, telling me no lies, it’s time for bed before you start to cry
So we go up the stairs, letting go of your cares, you love your crib your favorite blanket’s there
So now let’s be quiet, come on just try it, sleep through the night everything will be alright now
Please, sleep all night long, don’t wake me up no, no, no – please sleep all night long

You’re working double time, just learned how to climb, you can go up the stairs in record time
You want no applause, and you never pause, you can tear up a room, you just go, go, go
You never cool it down now, in between rounds when you’re finally asleep, I’m dead on my feet
So now let’s be quiet, come on just try it, sleep through the night everything will be alright now
Please, sleep all night long, don’t wake me up no, no, no – please sleep all night long

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