Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Eleven Days!!!!

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Monday, May 30, 2011

There's Nothing Like A Dane

This week's song is the charming, off-beat 'Golden Age,' whose piano-driven rhythm and Cyndi Lauper-ish vocals belong to Danish pop duo Asteroids Galaxy Tour, with vocals by Metter Lindberg and production/writing by Lars Inversen.

On tour, the Copenhagen-based duo becomes a sextet. Their big break came when Amy Winehouse heard their demo disc; the band's first live show was warming up for Winehouse in Copenhagen. After releasing a debut to good reviews in 2009, they hit the road with Katy Perry.

Our SOTW, 'Golden Age' was used in European TV commercials promoting the series 'Mad Men' (though I'm not sure why - the music evokes cabaret as viewed with a new wave sensibility) and hawking Heineken.

A stroll through 'The Golden Age'...

The band's debut single was 'The Sun Ain't Shining No More..'

'Around The Bend' is yet another great tune and video from the band...

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Blogging Made Easy

Blogging can be a challenge when you lead a busy life... Happily, Andrew sends me a steady stream of terrific photos of Bruno and Karl via iPhone text message..

Today, Bruno's Extreme Summer Makeover:
bt4 bt5

Later, Karl and Bruno in the park where they recently 'played restaurant,'
this time enjoying actual food!

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Love Of (New) Venus

We were happily surprised today by the staff of New Venus, the diner we frequent for its healthy food and spacious booths.
Last night they followed our dinner with chocolate cake, on the house, to celebrate our forthcoming wedding!

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Leaves Are Blue

My sister's kind enough to send special theater offers and, this afternoon, we finally used one! John Guare's 'House of Blue Leaves' is wrapping up a limited one at the Walter Kerr...
Ben Stiller, Edie Falco and Jennifer Jason Leigh lead a terrific cast... Ben Stiller has history with this play: as a teen, he made his Broadway debut in the acclaimed 1986 version, playing the teenage son of the lead character he's playing today, and... the original 1971 production featured his Mom, Anne Meara...

Here's a terrific excerpt...

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Irises from Andrew

for our engagement party this past Saturday...


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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Poetic License

Here's our marriage license from Connecticut! Are you listening, New York?

Here we are, freshly wed and gazing fondly into each other's eyes. A whole lot of nose going on!

Our lovely Darien Justice of the Peace, the Hon. Arlene Tulacro...

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Daniel Neilson '11!

My nephew graduates high school today! Here he is over the holidays with his girlfriend, Katie.. He'll likely be joining her at Mesa Community College soon...


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Just Married!

We tied the knot legally in Darien Monday...


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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

10 is Big!

Happy Birthday,

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Makin' It Legal!

This afternoon my baby & I head up to Darien CT's city hall for our legal wedding! This is very exciting... Justice of the Peace Arlene Tulacro will meet us at the station and do the honors... One day soon, I hope, gay New Yorkers like us won't have to cross a border to legally marry...

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Standing Tallest

"The Dreamer," this week's offering, is a full-on 60s folk anthem, but written 40 years later, in the Swedish countryside, but singer/guitarist Kristian Matsson, better known as The Tallest Man On Earth.

Matsson previously fronted Swedish indie trio Montezumas but went solo mid-decade with a series of rustic, gravelly-voiced tunes. "The Dreamer" sticks in your mind, and its chorus - and catchiest line - is also his album's title, 'Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird...'

Here's 'The Dreamer,' live at Studio A on TheAlternateSide.org...

Matsson's debut single is the charming 'Pistol Dreams,' played here at the 2009 Mission Creek Music Festival in Iowa City..

His best known songs include 'King of Spain,' here played outdoors on a sun-drenched Swedish day..'I am a native of the North Pole / and that could mess up any gig...'

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Feeling The Love

Christi knocked JP & I off our feet with an engagement party as heartfelt and close-knit as it was elegant and scrumptious. This iPhone photo doesn't begin to do it justice, but several friends had much better cameras (ours are broken and being replaced today)...
Thank you, thank you, thank you, and thank you! tomorrow, our legal marriage in Darien, CT.... and 20 days until the real wedding...

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Back To Life

I just created a new music mix for the first time in a very, very long while! Boy, did that feel good! It just washes away your cares...

JP & I are also returning to theater, as a pre-wedding present to myself. I finally used one of the special offers my sister emails me, and we're going to see 'House of Blue Leaves' next
Saturday, before it closes...

21 days to wedded bliss!!!

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Friday, May 20, 2011

I Haven't Given Up Blooging!

Time has been tight, squeezed between a work crunch from quarter-end and numerous deals on one hand, and a bevy of wedding prepartions on the other. But daily posting will continue! Here I am, demonstrating early elocution skills as a 6-year old in December 1966...This was during our 8-month stint in suburban DC. See the boxes under the TV? We'd just moved there in July, and we would be gone by March 1...

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Make Lemonade

And Mia and Ella did! Our young friends took the initiative to raise money to improve third-world sanitary conditions by selling lemonade in the park a few weeks ago...

It was great lemonade, and their goal was quickly reached...

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How I Became A Fashion Plate

ab10My reinvention as a stylish dude, courtesty of JP... It all began with my feet. Early in our courtship, JP noticed I liked the one pair of funky-colored socks I'd received as a gift. Soon, when he came a-courtin', he would regale me with a bouquet of brightness. How the west was won : - )

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Evening Entertainment

Watching TV in our Silver Spring, MD apartment, December 1966. This batch of photos marked my family's near-permanent transition to color film. Judging by the sky through the venetian blinds, this is probably early Saturday morning cartoon watching.. We wouldn't be in pijamas if it were 5-6 in the afternoon...

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Monday, May 16, 2011

An Easy One

This week's song is the 70s-inflected jangle-pop 'Weekend' by Smith Westerns, a Chicago-based quartet of teenagers that fuse indie, glam rock, garage rock into their own very urgent and fresh sound.

Fronted by brothers Cullen and Cameron Omori, Smith Westerns are influenced by Bowie and T. Rex, and, on 'Weekend', Wings-era Paul McCartney. Critics and fans are singing hosannas to their sophmore album, 'Dye It Blonde,' which dropped in January after two years of growing positive buzz... I think Cullen looks very androgynous... They are an easy SOTW to post, as newcomers without much back story!

Here's 'Weekend':

From their first album, 'Girl In Love'...

Watch the band on Pitchfork TV, first chatting for a minute, then playing 'Tonight'...

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

10th Story Rubbernecking

On Tuesday night a massive 'stretch' Rite Aid truck collided with a taxi and pinned it against a parked police van! Here's my video report...

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Two Brothers and a Restaurant

Who says kids these days have no imagination? Here are Karl and Bruno in the park playing restaurant! Karl's the chef this time..

Another satisfied customer. Karl just served Bruno the turkey breast and turkey bones with chocolate Bruno had requested.

Here's Bruno practicing his stadium skills. Reminds me of a Yo La Tengo video about 'Rock College' I must post sometime...

One of my favorite days of 2010 was hangout out with Karl and Bruno, playing frisbee...

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Maybe It Will Happen

This last month before our wedding will also be the month the New York State Senate decides whether or not to allow it to legally happen (governor & assembly strongly support it).

It might not happen; we accepted this when we chose to marry now, and get on with our lives. I don’t regret that. I won't let anything diminish our joy... but... I also won't stop fighting for our rights..

This battle won’t be easy, despite considerable and growing high-profile support...

It will require 4 or 5 Republican votes from people who’d personally like to vote for it but will need real courage....

...given their party’s dogged opposition and... ... given the anti-gay groups’ million-dollar vow to fund a primary challenge against any Republican who votes for it.. (all 9 long island senators are GOP, as are 1 each from Queens & Staten Island and 4 from northern NY suburbs… areas with a high concentration of gay people and their family members)…

I particularly like this mailing (pictured above) in support of gay marriage; with a postcard to mail to your state senator;

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Aaron's Highly Disciplined Past

Not! My short stint as a cub scout was most notable for my wistful envy of the den mother's older son and Dad,
who got to watch then-first-run Star Trek on their then-rare color TV up in the living room while we cubbed away in the basement..

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pass The Bunny Chow

Dishes we might eat on our African honeymoon!

Bunny chow, curry stuffed into a hollowed-out loaf of bread...

with Trotters and Beans, from the Cape, made from boiled pig's or sheep's trotters and onions and beans.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Future's So Bright...

...we gotta wear shades! Glorious spring weather is further lifting my already excellent mood as we look joyously and serenely forward to our wedding weekend, in just one month... We just launched our Wedding Website - go check it out!


Our new theme song is the Timbuk 3 classic from 1986....

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Monday, May 09, 2011

High Costa Living

I can't resist a contemporary song that could have been a hit in 1966. Case in point: today's Song of the Week, the twangy bluesy 'Witchcraft' by Matt Costa, a 28-year-old singer-songwriter from Huntington Beach, CA whose Dad was probably in grade school in 1966...

His career gained steam back in 2003 when his demo caught the ear of No Doubt guitarist Tom Dumont, who offered to produce a few tracks.. Since then, he's really worked it as an opening act, for Jack Johnson, Ryan Adams, Modest Mouse, and Death Cab for Cutie. Reviews for his two albums have been mix, but count me as a fan...

Checkout how great 'Witchcraft' sounds live in the studio of Charlottesville's WNRN..

Here's 'Mr Pitiful' from 2008, live on KFOG San Francisco...Echoes of Dylan, with a much nicer voice...

From 2006, Costa's debut song, 'Cold December...'

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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

To my one and only super-special Mom! Here we all are for Rosh Hashanah 1967, in Long Beach, NY

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Friday, May 06, 2011

Here Come The Grooms!

On Easter Saturday JP and I did a photo shoot with our lovely 11-year old photographer friend Mia, who took hundreds of snapshots to use on our forthcoming wedding website. Here's one we particularly like...

DSC_0045 2

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Thursday, May 05, 2011

After The Rain

Happy Cinco de Mayo, all... I hear we'll have abundant sunshine in New York all weekend! It finally feels like late Spring! It's been a long, intense work week, I got my publications out, and it's time for some well-deserved rest and relaxation!
This will be a very un-structured weekend.. Here's a photo of our friends' stairway statue, taken on Easter - was that really two weeks ago?

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Meryl, Matthew, and Me

My alma mater, Vassar College is celebrating the 150th anniversary this year, and its most distinguished living alumna, Meryl Streep '71, hammed it up on the cover of alumnae/i magazine Vassar Quarterly by impersonating founder Matthew Vassar, in reverse drag.. Matthew Vassar, convinced by his niece of the need to found a woman's college in New York, donated some Poughkeepsie land and half his fortune in 1861 for this purpose, even as the US was sliding into civil war.
meryl matthew

Vassar's Class of 1983 was lucky enough to have Meryl, then 9 months pregnant, as their commencement speaker. We '81-ers had to make do with Carter cabinet member Patricia Roberts Harris, but the Class of 1980 did worse; William F Buckley was chosen, he withdrew after protests, and everyone famous was booked, leaving only retiring biology professor Francis Ranzoni...
meryl matthew 2

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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Harpo and Groucho in Gravesend

More merriment from the wedding of Cathleen and Mickey, who are now honeymooning in the Dominican Republic's southeastern tourist enclave of Punta Cana. Someone once said I resembled Harpo Marx minus the blond wig and the harp; you be the judge. JP clearly makes an excellent 'Groucho impersonating Chaplin impersonating Adolf'

Most of the 75-80 guests held lit sparklers as they began the 10 block walk from the church to the reception hall.
Alas, our indoor wedding plans could scarcely accomodate such pyrotechnics; I did briefly consider it, though! Below, a Brooklyn neighborhood map illustrates just how deep down we traveled - Gravesend is that patch of aqua blue sitting on top of Coney Island, in the map's bottom right quarter, west of Sheepshead Bay, east of Bensonhurst.

The reception had neither a sit-down dinner nor a true buffet. Instead, cater waters pirouetted about carrying fried Chinese dumplings and other dim sum delights. Of which I had about 20... Needless to say, the long ride home on the F train was a true 'Alka Seltzer Moment'...

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

You May Now Kiss

On Saturday JP and I attended the wedding of his lovely co-worker Cathleen and her equally lovely partner, Mickey, in Gravesend (pronounced Grave's End), deep, deep into Brooklyn... The reception, at Knights of Columbus, featured a goofy olde-fashioned photographer with a wealth of disguises and props, who provided Polaroid Moments for both the Guest Book and as party favors...

The ceremony was at Saints Simon and Jude, a Roman Catholic church, though the priest was informal,lighthearted, and sweet. The vows written by the pair not only brought them both to tears but moistened my eyes and JP's as well... In just 39 days, that will be us up there (not at a Roman Catholic church, though)... And yes, the weather on Saturday was this sunny!

Ain't love grand?... You can see it in our expressions!

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Monday, May 02, 2011

What She Is

Today's Song of the Week, 'Give It Another Day,' could have been a huge pop hit in the late 60s or early 70s, bridging the gap between melodic/sunny and hippie cool with some down-to-earth optimism.

One listen, and it will stay with you like a good cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter morning. Not that you'd need such a thing with the week's glorious late spring weather.

The artist is pop-folk singer/songwriter Edie Brickell, who is.. smart, subtle, spunky, sincere.. ...all the good 'S' adjectives... She's also Mrs S, the better half of Paul Simon, see below for how they met, but they're still together, 20 years and three children later.

With her former group, The New Bohemians, she had a huge left-field hit in spring 1989 with 'What I Am' from 'Shooting Rubber Bands At The Stars..' What lyrics: "Philosophy is a walk on the slippery rocks /Religion is a light in the fog" I thought she was singing 'is the hair on a dog...' More recently, she's sung with her stepson Harper Simon, and this year she's back with some terrific new tunes...

Here's Edie live performing 'Give It Another Day' live on WFUV..

And of course, her 1989 classic 'What I Am' as performed on Saturday Night Live in 1990.
That's where she met her future husband, Paul Simon, standing in front of the cameraman. "He made me mess the song up when I looked at him," she explains with a smile. "We can show the kids the tape and say, that's when we first laid eyes on each other.'"

Another great live performance: 'What Would You Do?'

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Sunday, May 01, 2011

Mexican Night for Karl and Bruno

Once a week the
Andrew and the boys go out to indulge their passion for Mexican food... (When I was a kid, it was Chinese that got us excited...)

Left: Bruno's 'Access Denied'; Right: Karl's Vampire Imitation


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