Valet Confidential

Find out what I've been keeping under my hat

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MLK Day & Indigenous Peoples

I’m really happy with how the “Gospel Brunch” played out on this week’s show. There is some serious funkness happening in the first half, and the sermon is the closing excerpt from Rev. King’s address at the conclusion of the march from Selma to Birmingham in March 1965.

Prompted by a track by Jeremy Dutcher that I heard on a globalFEST wrap-up episode from NPR Music, I already had tracks from Indigenous musicians and poets planned for this show, before I knew about the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington on January 19. In fact, I originally planned all this for half of the previous Omnipop Omnibus (January 6), but I pushed it to this week when I saw how much great Tom Ardolino-related material I had for that show. Lots of great new recordings from David Greenberger, Black Thought, Chuck D, The Molice, and Juliana Hatfield, plus a little love note to my sweetheart at the end. xo

This week’s “Son of a Preacher Man” performed by Dom & The Giants

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Tom Ardolino Celebration

Well, I haven’t posted a new show in a bazillion months, but I want to share this one with you all. Hopefully it will spur me on to more regular posts, but I suppose only time will tell.

For this show I wanted to celebrate the musical legacy of Tom Ardolino, who both arrived and departed in the month of January. I have done a few of these celebrations of Tom and this year I decided to reach out to several people who knew him well and ask for a song or two which made them think of Tom. I told them it could be something he played on, something he sang, something he had shared with them on a mix tape, something they had introduce to Tom, or anything else that made them think of him. I was really touched by the thoughtful responses I got. At least three people suggested “Crazy” by The Hollywood Flames (the flip side of “Buzz Buzz Buzz”) as Tom’s favorite son, so of course I had to play that. The rest of the playlist I’ll let you discover on your own, and of course there is just never enough time to get to everything.

Special thinks to everyone who replied to my request and to the old NRBQ mailing list crew who 20 years ago put together a fan compilation called “Tommy Sings” culled from various radio shows and other recordings over the years.

This week’s “Son of a Preacher Man” is a dub version called “Dub of a Preacher Man” from Count Skylark & Harvey K-Tel; thanks to M. Freddy Stockwell (a/k/a FredWest) for the heads up.

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Buy Our Record – Support Community Radio

7 Inches in HeavenFor the fourth year in a row, I am the Artist Wrangler/Associate Producer of a record about records, “7 Inches in Heaven“. It’s a 7” 33 & 1/3 rpm compilation record filled with songs about records.

For the past four years, I’ve helped my pal DJ Belinda of the Bubbles in the Think Tank radio show make a compilation record for Record Store Day. Each year we get six musicians to contribute unreleased songs and get a couple of artists to create artwork for the labels and record jacket – all of it donated. Then we fund the initial record printing via a Kickstarter campaign and … voila … we end up with a limited run of 300 records. Half the proceeds from the record go to community radio station WMFO (91.5FM in Medford, MA) and the other half helps us make future records.

You can pre-order “7 Inches in Heaven” right now and we’ll ship it to you as soon as we have it in our hot little hands. We’re planning a packing & shipping party for Saturday which should get most of the records to purchasers in time for Record Store Day (Saturday April 18), so please go visit love.bubblesinthethinktank.com and buy the record – it’s a labor of love that we would love to share with you.

We’re pretty thrilled with this year’s record – as Belinda put it, it’s one of the best four records we’ve ever done! We have music from:

Dot Wiggin Band – that’s Dot Wiggin from The Shaggs – their album “Philosophy of the World” is included in Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Most Influential Albums of All Time”

Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby – Eric is probably best known for the classic Stiff Records track “Whole Wide World” and Amy for her album “Diary of a Mod Housewife” – together they’ve been making music together for 8 years.

Zoë Lewis – Zoe’s one of my favorite entertainers – a real joyful performer. The Boston Herald said Zoe mixes “Quirky lyrics, a little jazz, a little salsa, and a lot of enjoyment”

J. Cournoyer– You may know him from Calamity J and the Giants, drummer for any number of Cape Cod greats (Spampinato Brothers, Link Montana, High Kings, Lester), or even playing with Mumble & Peg(!).  Now you will know him as a member of the Bubbles in the Think Tank Stable of Stars!

The Marconis – the newest project of Sal Baglio of The Stompers, Woodpeckers and, often The Catbirds! A musician with a bag o’ songs and one ol’ soft shoe…

And introducing that up and comer Chandler Travis – John Donohue of The New Yorker says that Chandler writes “playful original songs that mix mind-bending wordplay with jazz, shimmering rock, and horn-fuelled R & B.”

This package promises to be one you’ll never want to put down with the incredible cover designed by Courtney Waite  and the most fabulous label and vinyl from  J.D. King.

Oh, and there are bonus download songs included!

We have 2015 version of Fred “Freddy” Stockwell’s “Hooray For Record Store Day”, this year performed by the enigmatic Swampy Junior & Swami.

The Tom Hambridge song “12 Inches”, which was co-written by the aforementioned Sal Baglio.

And two versions of one of the all-time great songs about records, “Records Go ‘Round”.  We have the original version recorded by Men & Volts from the belatedly released “Boomtown” (recorded c1984, released 2015!) and we a recording by then 9-year old Jack Moriarity on guitar & vocals with his dad Pat on drums – believe-you-me, it’s chock-full of youthful exuberance!

So please, won’t you buy our record? Orders in advance of Record Store Day will get some cool swag (we have buttons & stickers & other cool things from several bands) in addition to the record!

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We’re making another record and need your help!

Rosemary Clooney - BITTT triptych

Oh dear readers, won’t you please help us make another record about records for Record Store Day?

For the fourth year in a row, I’m the Associate Producer/Artist Wrangler for this project from Bubbles in the Think Tank Records.  “7 Inches in Heaven” is a compilation of previously unreleased songs about records that we’re going to release just in time for Record Store Day 2015 (Saturday April 18).  The last three have been absolutely fabulous and this year’s model looks to be equally fantastic.  Oh, and half the proceeds we make from the records goes to community radio station WMFO (91.5FM/Medford, MA)

Read all about it and donate on the project’s Kickstarter page – the good folks at Kickstarter already made it a “staff pick”, so you’ll totally be one of the cool kids by donating!

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I do not embarrass easily

Over on the Facebooks the other day, Michael J. Epstein (of Darling Pet Munkee, Michael J Epstein Memorial Library, et al) posted this comment to his own post regarding workplace harassment training: “Training Pro-tip: You should never write anything electronically that you wouldn’t want your mother to see.”

I am reminded by the differing responses I got from my teachers and my parents when this letter appeared in the local newspaper.

Get Cosmic - The Followup Letter

Which was a followup to this letter, written by a friend of ours:

Get Cosmic - The Original Letter

As I remember it, our followup appeared in the paper the day of a school district open meeting of some sort and I guess some parents were quite upset. The next day my English teacher asked “What do your parents think of that?” And I had to be honest, “They thought it was hilarious.”

My father, a Presbyterian minister, would occasionally accost my friends & me as we walked down the road, rolling down the window of his car and jokingly yelling “HEATHENS!”

Another thing I was reminded by the “pro-tip”: my mother made me a very accurate nun’s habit for a costume one year. I went by the name “Mother Flucker”. Mom thought that was great. Somewhere there’s a pic of me in costume – I sure wish I could find it to share with you all. I wore it for the Chorallaries of MIT “Concert in Bad Taste” one year, and I think maybe it showed up in The Tech.

Also, her favorite Chandler Travis song was “Where’s My Glasses“.

For the most part, I really don’t think about what my mother and father would think about what I write here, twitter, or facebook. Then again, perhaps maybe I do after all, I just know that they’d be OK with it.

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My Funny Valentine

The Boaks on the Phones

The Chandler Travis Three-O played on Valentine’s Day this year, part of our weekly fall/winter residency at the Harvest Gallery Wine Bar (every Friday – at least through the end of February – come on out & see us!). We broke out a slew of Chandler’s more romantic songs that we don’t normally performed (“Sex Magnet“, “In My Hand“), as well as this old standard that Berke suggested.

When I heard we might play the song, I asked to sing a verse or bridge, because “My Funny Valentine” was my parents’ song. Instead, both Chandler  & I took a crack at the whole song – he during the first set, me in the second set. Both versions came out pretty well, I think – mostly due to the fantastic backing by John Clark (bass) and Berke McKelvey (sax & keyboards), of course.

I think I only sang this song once before – I remember singing it at my parents’ surprise 20th anniversary party, and that’s it.

Dedicated to Bill & Carolyn Boak.  I love you guys and miss you every day.

xo

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One Last Plea For Your Love and Money

family---appreciate-recordsWe’re down to the last few days for our Kickstarter campaign for “7 Inches & Other Delights” – the 3rd Record about Records for Record Store Day from the Ever-Embiggening Staff of Bubbles in the Think Tank.

We sure want to thank those of you who contributed to the project, and would like to make a last-minute appeal to those of you who have not yet contributed and to those of you who might consider increasing your pledge.

Those of you who haven’t yet contributed – please check out the details – if you love real honest-to-goodness vinyl records and/or dig themed compilations, then this project is for you!  We’re even offering the two previous releases among the many rewards available to contributors/backers.  You can check out my summation of the project here, and our kickstarter campaign here.  We’re even lining up bonus download tracks – one of which will be a rare Blotto track previously released only as the B-Side of a single!

I do want to point out one of the rewards that have yet to be taken advantage of – for $250 you get the opportunity to have a short subliminal message on the record. Come on! How cool is THAT!?!?

For anyone who increases their pledge, DJ Belinda will send you several of her favorite songs about records which were released outside of the our projects – I don’t know what they are, but I bet they’re great.

If we manage to surpass our goal, we have a few really cool additional features we’re looking into – trust me, they will not disappoint!

So here again is our Kickstarter campaign:

And here’s an awesome remix of our promo video by my high school buddy and our label artist for “7 Inches & Other Delights”, Deane Arnold:

So please – help us give you the best possible package we can imagine.  I double-dong dare you to!