Virtual Race: Voldemort V-Miler

Race Title: Voldemort V-Miler
Distance: 5Miles
Company: Hogwarts Running Club
Charity: Achilles International

Music Monday: John Mayer The Search for Everything

Still Feel Like Your Man
Emoji of a Wave
Love on the Weekend
In The Blood
Theme from “The Search for Everything”
Moving on And Getting Over
Never on the Day you leave
Roll it on home
You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me

Finally, Finally, Finally! John Mayer released “The Search For Everything” in its entirety on April 14.  I had previously reviewed Wave One and Wave Two – so here I am again with the full on album review.  It was kind of weird to get a “new” album but already be familiar with most of the tracks on it and that made listening to it all together a little bit strange because I felt totally comfortable and familiar with some and then a little bit like “who are you and what are you doing here?” with the rest of the tracks.  So after listening to it a couple of times all together, I listened to the newer tracks on their own to get a better feel for them. I keep going back to the Wave One and Wave Two tracks as favorites though – Love on the weekend, Emoji of a Wave have been on heavy rotation. To a lesser degree, Still Feel Like Your Man.  I do like how it is more of a throwback to my favorite John albums (Paradise Valley at this point I can take or leave, Born and Raised is alright but I prefer the “older” stuff) and that he worked with the same group from Continuum which is my favorite. (Today. I think. Who knows. We’ll see.)  Very much so looking forward to hearing some of these newer tracks in concert in August since he didn’t debut any of them live until the album came out – an idea which I get but was a little annoyed about as well.


Scrapbook Saturday: Hanson Halloween Pt 2

Part 2 of the Hanson Halloween shows!

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Book Review: Otis Redding

In addition to being a biography about Otis Redding, this book also talks about the area around him and what the times were like for everyone as a bit more of background so you can really understand what was going on at the time.  I was sad to see that only 1 photo had survived from Otis’ childhood.  Otis knew that Sitting on the Dock of the Bay was going to be his million dollar selling song, but I don’t think he realized that just days after recording it in 1967 he would be killed in a plane crash and it would top the charts becoming the first posthumous single to top the charts in the US.  Many used Otis’ death as a commercial opportunity to make money by selling his records.  This was a very interesting and very thorough biography and a very sad story.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

A definitive biography of Otis Redding, the musical artist who was widely regarded as the quintessential soul singer of the 1960s, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Redding’s iconic performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival.

Otis Redding remains a living presence in the canon of American popular music on the strength of such classic hits as “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now),” “Try a Little Tenderness,” and “Respect,” a song that Redding wrote and recorded before Aretha Franklin made it immortal.  As a singer, songwriter, bandleader, and arranger, Redding was the chief architect of the distinctly southern, gospel-inflected style of rhythm & blues associated with Stax Records in Memphis.  Yet, while Redding’s music has long served as the gold standard of 1960s soul, an aura of myth and mystery has always surrounded the story of his life, which was tragically cut short at the height of his career by his death in a plane crash in December 1967.

Otis Redding is the biography that finally does justice to the unfinished life of the man who was once celebrated as the “King of Soul.”  Jonathan Gould’s book draws on comprehensive research, the cooperation of the Redding family, and previously unavailable sources of information to present a fully-formed portrait of Redding’s background, his upbringing, and his professional career.   That said, this biography is not only a book about Redding and his music; it is also a social history of the time and place from which they emerged.  Rejecting the often sentimentalized view of race relations in the music business, Gould never lets us forget that the boundaries between black musicians and white listeners were becoming porous at precisely the moment when racial tensions were reaching a height throughout the United States.  His indelible portrait of Redding and the mass acceptance of soul music in the 1960s is both a remarkable look at a little-understood artist and a provocative exploration of the tangled history of race and music in America.

Throwback Thursday: Push Play 9/26/09

Headliner: Push Play
Opener(s): Phil Benson, Care Bears on Fire
Venue: Irving Plaza
Cost: $0



Book Review: Baseball Faith

Baseball Faith is about 52 baseball stars who reflect on their faith.  About 1/3 of the names from the table of contents I recognized.  There are several Mets and former Mets featured in the book – such as Murphy, Matz, Francoeur, Martinez and Rivera.  And of course, Albert Pujols was featured.  A book about Pujols and his faith was one of the first books I ever read in exchange for a review with this blog!  Each of the players has a writeup including their favorite verse, a writeup about them and some of their stats.  This is a very quick read but I found it very interesting to see which of the verses spoke to the players and why.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Baseball Faith will inspire and encourage you in your faith journey, as 52 MLB players–past and present–share their stories and how they are chasing the success that only comes from being God’s man and following His plan. These men are committed to living their lives with eternity in mind. Empowered by God, they are looking beyond the competition to a larger goal: following God’s game plan for their lives as team players, as husbands, fathers, sons, and then using their influence to point others toward Him. Featuring personal stories from Hall of Famer John Smoltz, three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, former MVP Albert Pujols, perennial All-Star Mariano Rivera, and many more,

Virtual Race: Patronus 5k

Race Title: Patronus 5k
Distance: 5k
Company: Hogwarts Running Club
Charity: Noah’s Light

Music Monday: Wertz In Progress

If you’re a fan of Matt Wertz, you’ll want to check out the “#WertzInProgress” project that he has been doing. Unfortunately I bookmarked a whole bunch and they disappeared on me before I had a chance to listen to them all – but each week he emails unreleased songs, exclusive versions, and untold backstories on some of his favorite tunes.

You can sign up here: and if you reply to the email with your thoughts on the tracks you may just get a personal reply back from Matt!

Scrapbook Saturday: Hanson Halloween Pt 1

Part 1 of the Hanson Halloween shows!

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Book Review: Cheech Is Not My Real Name

Cheech is Not My Real Name is an autobiography by Cheech Marin, who you may know better as one half of Cheech and Chong.  The story begins with Cheech being on TV at age 6 and at age 7 being told that he will never be an artist.  After starting at a Catholic school he realized that he excelled at being a door to door salesman after being forced to do various fundraisers.  During the draft, he fled the US and ended up in Canada and got a job with a magazine.  Sometime around there he met Tommy Chong and they were doing performance troupe type work but ended up going out on their own as a duo.  He was able to get his status changed from a draft dodger to unfit for military service.  Cheech and Chong blew up and he talks about a few of the shows they did where there were so many people that they couldn’t even see where the crowd ended.  They got movie deals and were screwed by higher ups in the biz.  Eventually the duo went their separate ways and Cheech did work as a voiceover actor – appearing in Disney movies Oliver & Company and The Lion King (a couple of my favorites!)  Cheech has also competed on Celebrity Jeopardy several times and is often “on call” to fill in if any of the other celebs need to back out at the last minute!  A really interesting read about a really interesting and fun dude!

I received a free e-copy of this book I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

The long-awaited memoir from a counterculture legend.
Cheech Marin came of age at an interesting time in America and became a self-made counterculture legend with his other half, Tommy Chong. This insightful memoir delves into how Cheech dodged the draft, formed one of the most successful comedy duos of all time, became the face of the recreational drug movement with the film Up in Smoke, forged a successful solo career with roles in The Lion King and, more recently, Jane the Virgin, and became the owner of the largest private collection of Chicano art in the world.
Written in Cheech’s uniquely hilarious voice, this memoir will take you to new highs.