Ocean Grove at Pearl Street Northampton, MA

Friday Night Ocean Grove brought their tour to Northampton, MA.  Since there was no CT date on the schedule, we decided to take a little road trip.

The opening acts were The Feel and Arrows over Athens.  Since my policy with openers is.. if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all, that is all I will say about them.

This show was only their 7th show as a band, but they have been touring together for years as the backup band for the Jonas Brothers.  They started the show with “Grab Your Coat” which was really high energy.  They only have 1 EP out right now (Little Record) so most of the songs are relatively unknown to the fans, unless you had seen them live before.  They had mentioned one of the songs they had not done at the LA or NYC shows – I want to say it was “You’re The One”, they said they were saving it for the real tour.

They also did a great cover of Adele’s “Rollin in the Deep”  that seems to be the song to cover lately – and it is a lot of fun to sing along to!

I was having a really tough time keeping track of the setlist, since most of these songs are relatively unknown and very few did they mention the name of it beforehand.  I was trying to cross-reference with the setlist that the venue had posted from the NYC show, but I wasn’t doing so well. (And my phone was on the verge of dying) Then once the show ended I realized that we were leaning up against the sound board pretty much all night – and the guy running it MUST have had a setlist.  Everyone around me left so I turned around and asked the guy “Do you have a setlist?” and he handed me it!  I thanked him and was pretty excited that I would not need to go home and spend hours trying to figure out which song was which haha.

After the show was over, the band hung around to meet anyone who wanted to meet them after the show.  I am REALLY awkward in these kind of things because I never know what to say.  Jack was first and I had them all sign the setlist.  Then it was Ryan, John, and Greg.  I opted not to get a photo with them because the room it was being held in was SUPER dark and when that happens the flashes tend to make me blink… so I didn’t even want to bother if I knew that I’d have my eyes closed!

They said that they will be touring again over the summer! We are looking forward to it.

Setlist under the cut!  I will post photos later on this weekend or next week – if they came out ok.  I spent a LONG time trying all the settings on my camera because not much was coming out.  So if anything is even halfway decent I’ll share.

Grab Your Coat
Dream Date
The Best
Take It Away
You’re The One
I Want You In Love
Not You
Rollin In The Deep
We’re Still Breathing
So Cool
Won’t Say Goodbye
Our House

Space Races Giveaway Ending Soon + Bonus Code

Our Space Races Poster giveaway is ending tomorrow evening at 11:59PM EST.  It has low entries so if there is anyone you know that you think might like it – be sure to enter!  As previously mentioned this poster would look great in a kids room or even a classroom!

Since I am doing back-to-back concerts this weekend (Ocean Grove tonight and Jon McLaughlin tomorrow) I have decided to offer up a bonus entry code.  This is good for ONE entry on either the Space Race Kids giveaway OR the Freschetta giveaway – so choose wisely! You must complete the Mandatory entry first before commenting with the bonus code which is “Enchanted”

(Anyone who uses the bonus entry on both contests will have those comment removed. Bonus code is good for 1 entry on 1 contest only. Bonus entry code expires April 30 11:59PM)

Book Review: The House that Ruth Built by Robert Weintraub

A lot of my friends are probably a bit surprised that I actually read this book.  While I love baseball, I am a Mets fan and certainly NOT a Yankees fan.  But like I said, I love baseball.  And I actually really enjoyed reading The House The Ruth Built.
It was really interesting, and although it had a lot of history in it, the book did not bore me at all.  It follows the Yankees the first season that they had Yankee Stadium and focuses a lot on Babe Ruth.
I also enjoyed how it told a bit about how the radio broadcasts began and how the reporters worked on their stories.  Having studied Journalism in college, it was interesting to see how things worked in the 1920s versus now.  Also interesting was the cost of tickets.  The most expensive opening day tickets were something like $3.00.  Bleacher seats? Just $1.00.  A couple of scalpers ended up spending the night in jail after trying to sell the bleacher seats for $1.10! And a program from the game? 15 cents!  Those $1 tickets probably sell for closer to $100 today!  Another interesting fact was how a lot of the players got jobs during the off season because they got paid so little.  Could you imagine any if the players today having to take a job in the off season?

Before the 27 World Series wins, before Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Derek Jeter – the Yankees were New York’s also-ran franchise. They didn’t even have a stadium, renting out the New York Giants’ Polo Grounds and, embarrassingly, losing to them when it counted: in the Fall Classic.

But in 1923, the Yankees played their first season on their own field, and everything changed. Babe Ruth bounced back from a contentious season to carry the team to their first title, justifying his new Stadium’s nickname, “The House That Ruth Built.”

This is the untold tale of the Yankees’ break-out season, filled with stories of New York and baseball in arguably their greatest eras. Robert Weintraub’s fresh reporting vividly illuminates the singular year that made the Yankees the storied franchise they are today.

You can learn more by following these links:
The House That Ruth Built on Facebook
@RobWein on Twitter

I received a free copy of this book from the publishers in order to post this review.  I was not otherwise compensated. All opinions are mine.

Rock N Roll Fridays – Happy Together Tour

1. THE TURTLES… Happy Together …”Imagine me and you, I do, I think about you day and night, it’s only right…”
Who was the last person you thought about day and night?

I will say this much.  There is a person, but I don’t want to name them here.  Or anywhere… lol 
2. THE TURTLES… Eleanor … “They’ll turn the lights down way low and maybe we won’t watch the show…”
What was the last movie you made out to?

I can’t recall ever making out at the movies. It is too expensive to not watch 😉
3. THE TURTLES… She’d Rather Be With Me… Me oh my, lucky guy is what I am, tell you why you’ll understand, she don’t lie although she can”
Has someone ever left another person to be with you?

Not that I know of

4. THE BUCKINGHAMS… Hey Baby They’re Playin Our Song… “Hey baby they’re playin our song, the one we used to hear when we used to get along”
What song did you love to hear in your most recent relationship?
I can relate almost any song to anyone or anything so I can’t think of any one song specifically.
5. THE BUCKINGHAMS… Susan … “Susan, do ya have to be confusin’, I’m losin my mind….”
Who is the most perplexing celebrity to you?

I guess right now I’d have to go with Charlie Sheen…

6. THE BUCKINGHAMS… Kind Of A Drag… “Kind of a drag, when your baby don’t love you, kind of a drag when you know she’s been untrue…”
What’s been kind of a drag for you lately?

Finding a job.
.. frustrating to upload / send out so many resumes each day and not even get a “sorry we already filled this” email in return.

7. THE ASSOCIATION… Never My Love… How can you think love will end when I’ve asked you to spend your whole life, with me…”
How do you react to a break up?

Not well.. lol 

8. THE ASSOCIATION… Windy… “and Windy has stormy eyes that laugh at the sun up high and Windy has wings to fly above the stars…”
What is the worst downwind you have ever been in?
I don’t know
9. THE ASSOCIATION… Goodbye Columbus … “It’s a lucky day just for changing leavin the old world behind, lucky day for walkin a new road, just to clear your mind…”
What do you do when you’re overly happy?
If I’m happy… then I am nice to people!

10. THE GRASS ROOTS… Let’s Live For Today… “I think of all the worries people seem to find, and how they’re in a hurry to complicate their mind, By chasing after money and dreams that can’t come true, I’m glad that we are different, we’ve better things to do…”
How are you different from your significant other?
I don’t have a significant other at the moment

11. THE GRASS ROOTS… Midnight Confession… “In my midnight confession when I tell all the world that I love you…”
What is your confession this week?

My confession is that I have not seen the last 2 Harry Potter movies.  And I OWN one of them on DVD.  (However, I am currently watching the first movie and will go through them all over the next few days!)

12. MARK LINDSAY (Paul Revere & The Raiders)… Miss America … “Do you miss America, miss America, miss America, I know I do…”
Do you believe we should still have Miss America pageants?

I don’t think they are hurting anyone, so I don’t see why not.

13. MARK LINDSAY Arizona … “Arizona, cut off your Indian braids, Arizona, hey won’t you go my way…”
Have you ever cut your hair or shaved a mustache/beard for someone else?
My mom is always begging me to cut my hair.  I haven’t gotten a hair cut in over a year. So no.

Idol Thoughts

We are down to the top 6. Sigh. No more Stefano.  Anyway…

The top 6 chose songs of Carole King.  They each did a solo song, as well as duets.  The pairing of the duets kind of made me laugh.  Ok, only one did! The pairing of Haley and Casey seemed natural (especially since they are rumored to be dating) and the pairing of Lauren and Scotty just made sense since they are both our country singers.  Of course, that left Jacob and James! (And I just realized if Jacob went home it would have been James and Stefano and that would have been so cute! ok. Trying to forget about Stefano now…)

A recap… Jacob was dressed like a clown.  Lauren brought a random audience member up on stage, had him sit… and then left him there.  Scotty took a non-country song and injected some country in it. James stripped his performance down a ton.  Casey was a bit iffy, but stopped literally slapping five with people in the audience and was a bit more delicate.  Haley did well.  And the duets weren’t all that bad.  (Though I was not a fan of the chorus on Lauren/Scotty’s song – they didn’t seem to get the harmonies right or something, it seemed off.)

Recently I saw the numbers for how many twitter followers the final 6 have.  Scotty was WAY in the lead (100,000+)  I don’t remember off hand how the rest of the order went (Casey, James, Lauren, Haley, Jacob, perhaps?) but Jacob was last.  Many seem to think this might be how the rest of the season will play out.  Although I think that the Bottom 3 this week will be Jacob, Casey and Haley (it is hard to pick when it is half of them!)… so not exactly those with less twitter followers.  I am hoping beyond hope that Jacob goes home though!

Dial Idol has everyone but Scotty as yellow – or in danger of being in the Bottom 3.  By the stats, they have Casey, Haley and Lauren as the bottom 3 vote getters.  Interesting…

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April Get Glue Stickers Take 3!

When I saw that there was a Honor Society sticker, I had to make sure I actually got it.  So I got a friend to sign up for an account and we were careful to get only 20 stickers before requesting.  Apparently 4 of the stickers were not available for whatever reason, so I ended up getting 4 duplicates.  The 4 that were earned but not sent are Grace Potter and the Nocturals, Mat Kearney, Black Crowed and Mitchel Musso – all part of the Live Nation set of stickers.  Maybe they will show up in the next set of requested stickers, we’ll have to wait and see.

Freschetta Simply Inspired Giveaway!

This post brought to you by FRESCHETTA®. All opinions are 100% mine.
Recently I had the chance to try FRESCHETTA® Simply…Inspired™ pizza.  I will admit that I am not the world’s biggest pizza fan (though the rest of my family is), but I loved this pizza! There are 8 great and distinctive flavors available – we chose the Hawaiian Style pizza. (Our local grocery store only had 3 of the 8 flavors available)
The pizza came in FRESCH-TASTE SEAL ™ packaging, which locks in all the great flavors while at the same time using 30% packaging material!  Instead of the typical cardboard box.  It took about 15 minutes to cook and it made the kitchen smell great! (I think it was the sweet bbq sauce mixed with the pineapple!)  After it cooled, we dug right in.  The flavors were all very good – it tasted as good as it smelled, if not better! I think that I have just been eating the wrong pizza all this time and that is why I don’t like it!

FRESCHETTA® Simply Inspired Hawaiian Style

Make sure that you Like Freschetta Simply Inspired on Facebook, in addition to getting an entry in our contest there will be weekly giveaways of awesome prizes through the rest of 2011. Also very soon there will be a $2 off coupon for Simply Inspired exclusively for Freschetta Simply Inspired Facebook fans!

One lucky reader will win a Bamboo cutting board and a coupon so they can try FRESCHETTA® Simply…Inspired™ pizza for free!
Mandatory Entry
Please also include your email address in this entry so I can email you when you have won!
Visit freschettasimplyinspired.com and leave a comment with which flavor is simply you!
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After you are following, tweet about the giveaway (Can be done 1 time daily, leave link to tweet)
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Contest will end Thursday May 19th at 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be chosen from all valid entries using random.org.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email alerting them of their win or prize will be forfeited.  Please allow 1-3 weeks for arrival of prize.

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NBC – The Voice

Last night, The Voice premiered on NBC, finally! If any of you watch NBC even semi regularly, I am sure you are all well aware of the fact that this show would be starting up since they played commercials for it constantly!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the show, there are 4 coaches and contestants have a “blind audition.”  The coaches have their backs to the contestants so what they look like or are wearing doesn’t have anything to do with if they are picked or not – it is strictly on their voice.  The coaches (not judges!) are Adam Levine of Maroon 5, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton. They will each have a team of 8 singers. If the coach likes what they hear, they hit a button and their chair turns around.  If only one coach turns around, then the singer is automatically added to their team.  If more than one coach turns around, then the contestant gets to choose which team they would like to be on.  It is fun to see the coaches interact and tease each other when trying to get contestants to choose them.
I am not really familiar with Blake (he’s country, so that explains it) but I love Adam, Cee Lo and Christina.  That is what first made me want to watch the show, but I am actually enjoying it. I wasn’t sure it would live up to all the hype – I swear there was a commercial for it every commercial break during any NBC show I watched for the past week.  (Not to mention during The Biggest Loser there was an icon of “The Voice in 59 minutes!” in the corner of the screen.)
Frenchie Davis who was kicked off of American Idol for being a lingerie model auditioned and is on Christina’s team, so I am really excited to see her again and I hope she does well.  Some have been mocking saying that “her sob story is American Idol” but I didn’t think what Idol did to her was fair at all so I am glad to see she is getting a second chance of sorts.
I also liked Javier Colon – who is from Connecticut! So he definitely gets bonus points for that, but he is a great singer as well.  Apparently he also opened for Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, but unfortunately I did not catch any of the shows where they were together.  Bummer!
I am still not entirely sure how these teams are going to work, and the previews said that once they have their teams they have to cut them down to only 4 contestants… so it will be interesting to see how it all will play out.

Book Review: Story Engineering by Larry Brooks

Story Engineering Mastering the 6 Core Competencies of Successful Writing by Larry Brooks is a great guide for anyone who is looking to write a story.  It breaks down all the items your story needs to have in order to be successful.

The book tells you what the 6 Core Competencies of Successful Writing are and describes each of them, in detail, so that your story will be evolved and involved enough to keep people’s attentions.  He also provides examples in movies and books where the competencies are used (either properly or unproperly).  Fortunately for me, I knew most of what he was referencing, though he does explain enough I would think so you can understand the point even if you had not read the book or seen the movies.

For the past 2 years I have participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and while I have completed the word goal of 50,000 words, my stories aren’t quite finished.  In 2009 I just threw an ending together to hit my word count and in 2010 I hit my word count and then just stopped writing, even though another chapter or two is probably needed to actually provide closure to the story.  However, before NaNoWriMo 2011 starts, I am going to re-read this book and I will be prepared to not only reach my word count but have a story that might be published worthy! I will have the whole story mapped out and once I know where the story is going and I am not just flying by the seat of my pants, I should have something that I’ll actually be looking to share.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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