Saturday, June 11, 2011

10th Rochester International Jazz Fest and Mobile Viewing

Well, it's time for me to start blogging again ... not that any of you will actually be reading it since my hiatus has been looonnngg.

Anyway, we hit Jazz Street last night with no particular plan as it was very late. Joe had a private gig, so I didn't meet him down there until a little after 9:00. We hung out by the Verizon Big Tent so he could grab some grub, then headed down Jazz Street to hear Mingo Fishtrap. I kept tweeting about them, but my auto spell feature turned them into Mongo Fishtrap. I just deleted those tweets because I was too busy listening to their great sound and moving to their infectious groove. The crowd, which was huge, loved them. We only saw about half their set at the free Jazz Street Stage, but they will be back tonight in the Verizon Tent. Since Joe was kind enough give me a Club Pass for Christmas, I can go see them if I'm down there.

I just set my blog up for mobile viewing. It worked, and if you're reading this on your Blackberry or Droid, it should be looking good.

If time permits, I will lay out my RIJF plans for the next couple of days later today. The big day, for me, is Friday when Prime Time Funk will hit the Jazz Street stage for two shows, 7:15 and 9:15. It's been quite a while - hell, it's been way too long - since they've been at the Jazz Fest, so come on down and dance with me!

yours in music (and dancing),

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Time to Re-think Facebook

Well, here I go, back to Facebook, and I'm completely terrified about it. Last Friday, someone sent me a chat message that had malware in it. Although I didn’t chat back, nor did I click on the link in the chat box, I still got hit. The guy who cleaned up my computer (at Microworx) said that you don’t have to click on anything anymore, sometimes you just have to “mouse” over something to be infected.

I’ve decided to do two things. First, I’m going to make a new Facebook page just for my blog. I’ll send out a note to everyone to ask you to “like” my new page, and I will use it to promote my blog. Those of you who want to read it can “like” it, and those of you who don’t can just ignore it. Second, I am going to pare my Facebook friend list down to pretty much only family.

I won’t be reading private messages on my Facebook. Those who truly want to reach me can email me at and I will check those messages and reply.

This means no more being able to catch up on my Facebook friends’ lives and happenings. This means missing out on invitations that are sent out only through Facebook. This means missing out on reconnecting with people I haven’t seen in a long time. This makes me sad.

I know the person who sent the infected chat message (and private message as well) did not mean to do so. And I hope that no infected messages were sent out from my Facebook. It does not seem as though there have been. I have checked with some of you, and no one has received any suspicious communication from me.

I cannot afford another $79 clean out my laptop, so this is, I think, the only action I can take right now. When Mark Zuckerberg finds a way to make Facebook immune from viruses, malware and spyware, I will be back.

Please “like” my new page.

yours in music (and safe web surfing),

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Well, that was sad ... I had my heart broken last night.

Jon Greeno (of Footnote) broke my heart last night. He told me that he "un-bookmarked" my blog. Well, who can blame him, actually? I haven't written since September. In fact, it's been so long that I couldn't remember my password and had to reset it! Bad, bad bloggist.

Joe and I went out to celebrate my birthday (shameless plug for me) last night. We wanted to go see Footnote at Tala Vera, but first we went to dinner at Virtu. I think we probably should have eaten at Tala Vera. Everyone who had eaten there looked happy. Anyway, Virtu was dead. Joe ordered some odd greens and beans, we had to ask twice for the bread, they had run out of the wine I wanted, Joe ordered coffee and it was served barely warmer than room temp, and we ordered steak salads. I'd had the steak salad before, and it was excellent. Not so, last night. I was not asked how I wanted my steak cooked, and I think it was still mooing. Joe's was rare, but mine was pretty much raw. The server took it back, and I ordered a very odd gnocchi. I guarantee you, we will not be going back. We had initally tried to go to Tony D's, which we love, but it was absolutely slammed. There was no where to stand at the bar for our 40 minute wait, and we could get right into Virtu. Obviously, now we know why.

After Virtu, we went out of Corn Hill, down to State Street and found Tala Vera. Unfortunately, it's not in a very "sexy" neighborhood, but it's smack dab between Corn Hill and High Falls, so I hope that it gets some extra traffic by virtue of that. It's a new "California-Mexican Cantina." I'm anxious to go back to try the food. It smelled yummy. Joe said his margarita was very good. I had a Kahlua and cream which was also quite nice, and the two drinks were only $10. We'll be back there soon.

When we walked in, Footnote was playing with their special guest, Bill Tiberio. We, sadly, were late and only heard one and a half songs with Bill and only a couple after he left. We thought they were playing longer. We just did not plan well last night!

Footnote is comprised of Jon Greeno on guitar, Herb Renke on bass, Jon Tucker on keys, and Keith Welch on drums/percussion. The band is easy on the ears - tunes with melodies and hooks. I like that. I don't want to be "challenged," I want to be "wooed." Footnote woos. The room is new, and there is work to be done on how the sound is mixed. However, while the band was tearing down, there was music being played over the sound system. I thought it was some national group's CD, but it was actually Footnote! The owner had recorded the show. They sounded excellent. Maybe he was able to mix the sound better on the recording?

I like Footnote; they have a real nice vibe. I recommend checking them out when you can. It sounds as if the next gig they have on their books is the Brew at the Zoo & Wine, Too event at Seneca Park Zoo on May 14th, 5:30 - 8:30. I'm putting that on my calendar now!

We're heading out to Water Street tonight for a benefit for the Rochester City School of the Arts - Go Mad for Plaid. There are five bands playing.

Jon, I will try to write about that, too. Please bookmark me again!

yours in music,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Mom. No. They are so tacky. I hate them."

That's the text I received from my daughter after I sent her a picture text of the Skechers Shape-Ups I wanted to buy. True, they are rather obnoxious and are pretty much the essence of what a middle-aged woman who wants to get in shape the easiest way possible would wear.

These are the shoes that are supposed to improve posture and circulation, strengthen the back, tighten the abs, firm the butt, tone and firm the thighs, firm the calves and relieve joint stress. I asked the salesgirl if she had any personal experience with them, and she said that her mom was a waitress and swore by them. She would never return to regular sneakers. And, yes, she had lost weight.

Yes. I bought them. My apologies to Caroline and a promise to never wear them in her presence.

I picked the black suede ones; they are the least obnoxious looking. They don't "go" with anything except, maybe, my black yoga pants. Mostly because those are long enough to cover up a lot of the shoe. They are silly looking, with the (mostly white and some grey) sole one inch thick at its thinnest and a full 1 and 7/8 inches at the thickest point. The sole comes up at the toe and at the heel - so much so that when I leaned back, like you do, I almost fell over. Dangerous, these shoes.

So, first I tried walking around the house in case I didn't like them, that way I could return them. After I got used to that, Drew and I took the dogs for a long walk. I kept the shoes on while I did a few things around the house, ran some errands and did a little shopping at Wegmans.

Since my calves (and my ass) are tired, I have to say that they must have some merit. I hope so anyway. I'm going to try to use them every day on dog walks, errands, trips to the store, etc. Maybe they will make a difference.

Now, what to do about my arms?

yours in music and shoes,

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lawnmowers + Redline Zydeco + Tina & the Two-Timers + Small Town = Musical Weekend

A very musical weekend, indeed!

Friday night, I dragged Joe out of Fairport to the world of hellish parking that is downtown Rochester so that we could catch one of my faves, The Lawnmowers, at Abilene. They must be many peoples' faves, because the place was packed. Lots of musicians out to see this band with their special guest, Rudy Valentino. Not the one from the silent films.

The band sounded great, but the venue was a problem. I really like what the owner is trying to make happen at Abilene, but the setup is difficult. I was sitting at the bar watching people rudely walk in front of Russ Roberts to get out to the patio - WHILE HE WAS PLAYING - over and over again, and it made me mad. At least wait until a song ends, people. I couldn't really see much, just Russ being cut in front of, since there was a guy the size a of SubZero refrigerator who chose to stand directly in front of me. Oh well, I could still hear, and what I heard, I enjoyed.

The next night, I was going to a private party at which Redline Zydeco was playing, with a nice surprise of our friend, Dave Cohen, sitting in on drums. A beautiful night, the party host had built a nice little covered bandstand lit with white Christmas lights - it was really beautiful. Everybody loved the band; there were many dancers (even me; thank God it was dark) whooping it up on the lawn. Really fun band, really good sound.

From the party, I popped in to see my friends, Tina & the Two-Timers at The Landing. Tone-god, Dave Charneski, was sounding really good. I especially liked his solo on Waitin' on the World; it was beautiful. Tina's voice is one of my all-time favorites, so I always enjoy listening to her, and her harmonies with Bob Miller were lovely. Bob's slide guitar, $Bill Blind's drumming, and Richie's bass all come together real nice. A fun band, don't miss them the next time they hit The Landing (or anywhere else).

Finally on Sunday afternoon, I got Joe to take me to Schooner's to listen to Small Town. I have to admit, that I did more talking (to Kevin Hart's lovely wife) than I did listening. However, what I heard were dead-on covers of songs everyone loves. That's why this band is so successful; they're excellent musicians, they know what people want, and they do it really well. The last song was Soul Sister, by Train, which I absolutely love - everyone was singing along! There was a big crowd for them at Schooner's, and it was a very fun way to pass the afternoon. I can't wait to do it again.

Speaking of Small Town, apparently there's going to be a big bash featuring them at Slammer's this Friday night. I hope to be there. I am betting a lot of Rochester's musicians will be; it should be an excellent night for music.

yours in music,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Emotionally invested.

My friend, Val, hit the nail on the head when she said that I "get completely emotionally invested" in every job that I have applied for in my ten-month-long job hunting odyssey.

All of the positions that I've applied for have been ones that a) sound like a good fit for my skill set, b) sound like something I would enjoy and be successful at, and c) are at institutions for which I have a great deal of respect. I am not applying willy-nilly to any and all jobs out there; I'm choosing carefully and thoughtfully.

When I find that kind of a job description, I read and re-read it. I do a little organizational research if it's not an institution that I know well. I think about all of that, and I see if I can picture myself in the role. If I can, then I craft my cover letter, tweak my resume to best fit the job description - highlighting relevant skills - and fill out the online application. It takes time, it takes care and it takes thought.

By the time I'm done with all of that, I am, indeed, emotionally invested. Then I wait. Wait to hear nothing. Wait to hear "No, thank you, you don't have your Bachelors degree." Wait to hear that the position has already been filled. Wait to hear that I have an interview. Wait to hear that I'm "one of the top three candidates, but ..." Wait to hear that "it came down to you and one other, but ..." Wait and wonder. And try again.

When I first was laid off, I thought about going back to school and working on my degree. There wasn't much going on in the job market at that time, and it made sense to focus on finishing my education. Between that time and January, however, there seemed to be more activity in the job market, and I decided it made more sense to pursue getting a job instead of school. That was probably a mistake. I don't know how many positions I've applied for - I could check my records, but I think that would be too depressing - but I still don't have a job. And, I haven't knocked off any classes toward my degree.

I've been doing some freelance work, and I love that. It's just not enough to count on, not enough to pay the bills. I've had time to help with the Rochester Music Hall of Fame, and that is great, too. And, I've had time for me and for my family, which has been wonderful. But, eventually, I need to find a job.

I am currently emotionally invested in several positions. If I am not successful with any of them, then it will be time to make a decision. I have until September 1 to register for November classes. I think I'll continue plugging away at the job market while doing the prep work for returning to school. By September 1, I'll at least no longer be in limbo, and I will be investing in my future - one way or another.

yours in music (and job-hunting),

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Plateros

I stopped out to Ganondagan's Native American Dance and Music Festival in Victor yesterday. I was there to wander, but I also wanted to be sure to catch The Plateros. These three kids from the Navajo Nation in New Mexico are some very talented blues/rock musicians. They tore up the main stage with originals and well-done covers. I especially enjoyed a real slow blues tune they did, which I took phone video of, but my phone is old and does not do them justice. Check out their tunes on their MySpace page.

The group is comprised of Levi Platero on lead guitar and vocals, Douglas Platero on the drums, and Bronson Begay on bass. I can't imagine that these young men won't be hugely successful, not only on Native American music scene, but also in mainstream blues/rock. They've won awards and been recognized nationally. They've got energy, heart and talent.

Check them out today at 4:30 at Ganondagan. Get there early and try some food, walk the trails, check out the longhouse and see the beautiful art and native crafts. You won't be disappointed!

Yours in music,