Category Archives: the internets

The Compromise

My DIL sent me this last week as an example of American Idol “passions”.  I figured I’d have a need for it, just didn’t imagine it would be this soon.

  The Compromise, The Format


Grace of the Sun (Studio Sessions)

Somebody gave me a heads up that Grace Potter & The Nocturnals were kicking off artist sessions from the famed Sun Studios in Memphis, TN.


Now I’ve been to Sun Studios several times. It’s located at 706-710 Union Avenue, right in the heart of Memphis. It’s known as the birthplace of Rock & Roll, where Sam Phillips discovered the Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Carl Perkins, widely known as Phillips’ Million Dollar Quartet.

Here’s a recording of a jam session when all happened to be at the studio one day….you might recognize the tune.

But, I digress.

Sun Studios is a very simple place. It was never about the surroundings, acoustics or fancy mixers…it was (and is again) about the music.

I think it’s appropriate that Grace Potter kick off these sessions, as she is surely “about the music”. The sessions are designed to highlight up and coming talent, both known and not so well known. They will be featuring new artists each Monday, Wednesday and Friday through the blog, Live From Sun Studios. I’ve added it to the Blog Roll here, so make sure to check them out. If the upcoming sessions are as good as Grace’s inaugural contribution of Mystery Train, then we’re all in for a treat.

As for Grace, my friend John Furnari informs me that Grace’s train just keeps running. The young Ms. Potter is gaining wide acclaim, recently jamming with The Meters on JamCruise. It’s also just been announced that GPTN will be performing on the bill with Tom Petty, Radiohead, Ben Harper, Steve Winwood, Wilco, Jack Johnson, Drive-By Truckers, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Regina Spektor, Donovan Frankenreiter, and MANY more at Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival in San Fransisco, August 22-24. All you West Coasters need to make this one a priority.

For all the latest on GPTN, make sure to stop by Somebody’s always glad to see you there.


A Trip Around the Sun

Hard to believe it but it’s been a year since I took the fateful leap into bloggerland.

With this historic post, my life took a decided turn for the better.  I’ve found a great creative outlet that allows me to enjoy the thoughts of others while vomiting out my own.  My life has been enriched by your support to pursue the things that I really enjoy and to explore more music.

Thanks to all of you who read and comment and to those who just read.  While I invite you to comment, I understand if you don’t.  To those of you who have been here since the beginning (and you know who you are), I want to particularly thank you for your loyalty and friendship.  Of course, I’d like to thank that somebody who showed us how it’s done.  For without that brave soul, hundreds of tiny, unnoticed blogs would not have proliferated; freeing the captives.  (I keed.  I keed.)

Hopefully, I’ll have some more time soon to get into some discussions I’ve been noodling on in my big ole head.  Funny thing about finding a job that you really like…you end up spending a lot of time doing it.  However, I’m trying to carve out my moments of blog time and ideas but it’s like my swearing to get organized.  Mr. D. says that I just need to break down and admit that it’s just not going to happen.  This is how he sees me in terms of my projects and work, etc.


I’ve gotten better and this blog, in particular, keeps me somewhat focused.  Just don’t throw any shiny objects in front of me and I’m pretty much o.k.

I think that music is God’s way of providing a Rosetta Stone for folks to feel common emotions and to kun-NECK, you know, soothe the savage beast.  For the life of me, I am flabbergasted when someone tells me that they don’t really listen to music or they don’t know a watershed tune like We Can Work it Out or Hallejuah.  That’s why I feel that Music Maven’s purpose is to educate, discuss and advance music and artists of interest.  Bridge generations, genders, race and creed via the love of music.

I must say, however, that the best explanation of music that truly resonated with me came from some guy that happened to capture my attention a few years ago:

It’s music, man.  If music’s in your heart, you feel it, you play it, you sing it, you perform it, you bust your buns doin’ it.  And, that’s what it’s all about….



The News That’s Fit to Print…and then some.


Up until last Friday, I somewhat chose my words carefully on this blog as to never have my opinions or thoughts adversely affect my employer if some internet nut ever connected the dots between me and my job and decided on some inane act of revenge. (Don’t laugh….I’ve seen it happen to a good friend.) While I’m not in the CIA or anything like that, I take my responsibilities to the folks who pay me very seriously and would never want to jeopardize their business or reputation by someone hiding behind a keyboard in dark room somewhere looking to settle a score for something I said on this blog.

However….last Friday was my last day of employment with my employer. I still love them all dearly but it was just time for a change. I’ll eventually be working in an independent roll for another company, but for the next few weeks I am unemployed. Unemployment provides me with the opportunity to say a few things that I have been biting my tongue about. So, allow me this rant. Just for today. And, maybe tomorrow.

Today’s rant is about delusional people.

I am so sick of reading and hearing the opines of delusional people. While some are harmless, like Alabama’s fans thinking that Nick Saban is the re-incarnation of The Bear; other “theories” can and do cause irreparable damage to people’s reputations, careers and lives. Take the Les Miles to Michigan situation. On the morning of the SEC Championship, before the game, Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN quotes a “reputable source” and says that it’s a done deal. Les Miles is leaving LSU for Michigan and the announcement would be made before Monday.

Now…I have to question…why? Why make that announcement before the guy is going out to coach a bunch of young men who don’t need to be hearing that their coach is leaving? And, as it turns out….it WASN’T TRUE. However, Herbstreit’s bogus announcement caused Miles to have to distract himself from his pre-game preparation, call an impromptu press conference and effectively take himself out of the running for the Michigan coaching job (his alma mater and dream job), even before getting to discuss an offer with the Michigan administration. Of course, there has been no apology from ESPN or Herbstreit for breaking a FALSE story and potentially jeopardizing a team’s shot a National Championship. I can promise you this….if LSU had lost to Tennessee, there would have been hell to pay at ESPN for that move.

As if that wasn’t enough, even after Les Miles signs his contract extension with LSU, the ESPN minions continued to call him a liar and lump him in with all of the scruple-less coaches who have lied about staying when they were actually going. **cough**Nick Saban**cough**. Matter of fact, right up until the Michigan announcement that integrity deficient Rich Rodriguez of West Virginia would be stalking the sidelines in Maize and Blue next year, ESPN was still berating Les Miles and saying, point blank, that Les Miles was going to be coaching at Michigan next year. Are they trying to affect LSU’s preparation to play Herbstreit’s alma mater, Ohio St.? One has to wonder. Maybe there’s no “motive”, just stupidity or a wanting for there to be a story so bad that you’ll make one up just to have it.

With the proliferation of the internet, in particular, people just say what they want even though there is no basis of truth to their assertions. One such preposterous claim is that these are not the same woman:

You tell me….

For those of you who are not enlightened, this is Caroline Lyders — the girlfriend of Taylor Hicks. However, there’s a faction of fandom that is proclaiming that the woman on the left — who happened to accompany Mr. Hicks to Hawaii in May and is currently in Asia with him — is an impostor. As the theory goes, Ms. Lyders was “hired” by Taylor Hicks to pose as his girlfriend to hide the identity of the chick on the beach. Why? Dunno. Makes no sense to me, but there are folks out there hell-bent on “exposing the sham”. They are determined that these two are not the same person. I’m like WTF? Unless that’s her identical twin, it’s her. But nooooooo, they say (among other very nasty things about this girl).

I’m a black & white kinda girl. Logical to a fault. That “conspiracy” defies logic. But, these folks go right along printing fairy tales and trying to get legs underneath the “story”. Despite the rationalization of “part of the sham” each time Taylor is seen with Ms. Lyders, will it ever be true that this lady is, in fact, involved with Taylor Hicks for these folks?

Maybe, like Les Miles, when something happens that is irrefutable proof that what they are doing is really what they are doing, people will just “Let it Be”, no? Sorry, I just had to work The Beatles in — this is a music blog, after all.

As for me, I hope that I can get as much satisfaction in Taylor and Caroline’s happily ever after as I’ve received from Rich Rodriguez’s move to Michigan. Taylor’s looking pretty happy to me…..

Rant over. For now.


Whiter Shade of Gray….



The wizard. The man behind the curtain.

On the last day of January of ’06 a little blog took its first big breath with the audition clip of an American Idol hopeful that had piqued interest around the country with his gray hair and booming soulful voice.

The blog (not the man) got bigger and bigger, attracting new “readers” and posters each day. Through the fretful journey of the American Idol Season 5, there were vast discussions on “Artists with Soul” like Ray LaMontagne, Amos Lee, Cat Power, Jamie Lidell, Eva Cassidy and James Morrison. Fantastic (yet respectful) debates on Monkey vs. Robot, Selling Out, Tipping Points, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory analogies. Naturally, there were also discussions on song choices, wardrobes, hairstyles and AI manipulations. More than 50 people in chat on “performance night”, who’d a thunk that?

Then, the confetti falls on the right dude. Righteous exuberance abound. Like proud parents we watched “our boy” make it…to Leno, GMA, Today Show, and Ellen. But what made him tick? Who was this guy, really? Well, our omnipresent man behind the curtain found out for us. An EIGHT PART interview with the new American Idol. And what an interview it was.

Then, in the middle of the celebration….FINITO!…..gone like the wind. Gut kicked. After a long summer of deafening silence, the blog (and the man) were back. This time, “official”. While certainly a “win” for the man, maybe not so much for the blog. Different time, different people, different tone. Like that over-used “brief shining moment that was Camelot”, it’s hard to re-create something that was organic and unplanned, yet ends up fabulous for a short time and in a small space.

So, after much consternation, we arrive at FINITO, Part Deux. While certainly saddened at the prospect of losing the “water cooler” where so many great conversations were held, this time it’s less sorrowful and feelings of gratification and appreciation are paramount. This time, it feels right.

A week ago, after realizing that it was only a matter of time until all of the artful dodging and internet gymnastics that Gray was having to do was going to force a choice, I expressed, at Monkbot, that I had passed Denial, and was in the latter phase of Anger of the Kubler-Ross Grief Scale. Over the last week, I think I managed through Bargaining and a wee bit of Depression and am finally to the Acceptance stage…particularly since someone I consider a good friend will experience a huge relief and satisfaction that he did something good that really did profoundly affect others.

Not many people can go through this life and claim that. I sincerely appreciate the hard work and effort put into creating an entertaining, insightful and educational site. He inspired me to take some baby steps to pursue my own “efforts”. I hope that Taylor Hicks understands and appreciates the friend he has in Gray Charles (the man). Dude, you are ALWAYS welcomed here.

So how DO you sum it all up? Words seem so hollow but maybe this touches it a bit:

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” – Gilda Radner

True dat. Here’s to not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it without knowing what’s going to happen next…..and, to saying “yes”.

The Poet Game….


Posted by on March 31, 2007 in gray charles, the internets