Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vintage Cars, Killer Hooks

I love music partly because I love surprises, and I'm certainly surprised to see seminal Bostonian new waves The Cars regroup after a 22-year hiatus and release an album that stands with their best and sports not one, but two, killer singles! Our Song of the Week is the second of the two, the thoroughly hooky 'Blue Tip' with its angular singing, wry lyrics, and smooth synth rhythms punctuated by pleasant electronic bleeps.

Not bad for a band of sixty-somethings! All four living Cars are present, including bandleader Ric Ocasek whose vocals are as off-kilter and edgy as ever (he lives in Union Square now, looks and dresses the same, like death on a stick, and has a teenage son!). Only Benjamin Orr is missing, lost to cancer a decade ago (his smoother vocals drove 'Drive').

The album dropped in May to favorable reviews, and I'm not sure how much it will be heard, so I thought it deserved a SOTW 'push'..

Let's start with "Blue Tip":

The album's first single, 'Sad Song,' is equally memorable:

My personal Cars favorite, from 1982, 'Shake It Up':

this entry's permalink

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blogging From Behind

After the wedding and the Brazil trip comes the 'pre-Honeymoon work crunch.' Blogging has been spotty. I'm hoping my new camera will fix that...

At left: Asuncion, Paraguay, viewed from across the Paraguay river. The 'city center' feels like the 1950s, and is small - about 10 blocks long and 10 blocks wide. After that, it gets very rural... shanty towns... dirt roads.. free-range chickens...

this entry's permalink

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Falls Well That Ends Well

Seeing Iguazu Falls (pictured right), which straddles the Brazil-Argentina border, was a lifetime high point - twice.

So I'm really looking forward to seeing Victoria Falls, straddling Zambia and Zimbabwe, on our African Safari Honeymoon.. Other falls I've fallen for: Niagra, as a teen with my family, and Yosemite's many very high but very thin falls from the canyon rim to the valley floor. All pictured below:

Niagara as seen from Cave of the Winds

At Yosemite: Bridalveil Fall and Horsetail Fall...

this entry's permalink

Monday, June 27, 2011

India's Geneva

Kinda Sorta. Erstwhile Mogul kingdom Udaipur is a city perched on a lake. This is the City Wall, actually the back of City Palace...

this entry's permalink

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Life In Rainbow City

We finally checked out the lovely Rainbow City installation of colorful and surreal giant balloon shapes that's visiting 10th Avenue and W 28th St to celebrate the opening of Section 2 of the High Line. The exhibit was designed by experiential art producers 'Friends With You,' aka Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III (read more here).

The rainbow colors used were particularly apt on Friday night as JP and I strolled in the cool early summer air high above this exhibit, aware that the final vote on New York's gay marriage law was imminent. When we returned home, my email might as well have said 'You've got civil rights!'...

We strode down the three-story stairs to check out the sculptures up close... Here's my new husband out amongst the balloon garden..

By day, kids swarmed in delight around the balloons.. By night, adults surveyed the surreal landscape with help from the impromptu beer garden set up next door.

Exhibit highlight: a balloon you can enter and jump around in. We did not do that. But here, JP gives you an idea of the scale..

this entry's permalink

Saturday, June 25, 2011


What a journey. In the 70s I was a scared teenager alone in the word, in the 80s I couldn't mention my private life at work, and then, slowly but surely, what was once unthinkable to America became obvious in terms of fairness, decency, and love. What a wonderful time to be alive, and how proud I am to be a New Yorker!

this entry's permalink

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gay Marriage Approved by N.Y. Senate!

Full members of the American Family! Wow! We've come a long way, baby...

this entry's permalink

Coming Very Soon!

It really, really looks like New York will have legalized same-sex marriages before I wake up tomorrow.. maybe even before I go to bed tonight. WOW! This is going to be the Pride Weekend of the Century!

this entry's permalink

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Still Waiting...

this entry's permalink

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

So Close It Hurts

Will NY say 'I do' and welcome me and my kind into the American family?

this entry's permalink

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Seriously Dressed Up

Karl and Bruno's matching outfits for our wedding really rocked!
karl bruno

this entry's permalink

Monday, June 20, 2011

If The Shoes Fit...

This week's song, 'Stay The Same' by French DJ duo The Shoes, is a catchy, emotive mid-tempo tune that recalls very late-period new wave, notably The Beloved's 1993 UK pop classic 'Sweet Harmony,' which I've also posted below, for your comparison-shopping pleasure.

Quite an elusive band, The Shoes, not to be confused with the 70s-80s power-pop band Shoes from Illinois. Our 'The Shoes' has no website, no Wikipedia entry, and only a bare-bones allmusic.com page. tracked down the gallic twosome, Guillaume Brière and Benjamin Labeau, who 'toil in the creative substrata of electronica turning out big, buzzy remixers for inide popsters,' as Pitchfork informed me. Their surprisingly solid album was brought to my attention by my pal John Wiske, who emailed it with the following note: ' Woah. I'm really struggling with how to describe this. It's bright, but not sunny. It's dark, but not grim. It's electropop, but not insubstantial. It's nostalgic, but not derivative.'

Watch the 'Stay The Same' clip..

And here the all-naked video of that 1993 UK track that today's song reminds me of, The Beloved's 'Sweet Harmony..'

Back to The Shoes, watch their equally clever 'People Movin' In,' which samples the Temptations' 1970 'socially conscious' classic 'Ball of Confusion'...

THE SHOES | Myspace Music Videos

this entry's permalink

Sunday, June 19, 2011


At my request, Andrew captured Mr K's terrific dragon-shaped brass chopsticks-and-spoon-holders, one of many nice touches of our Rehearsal Dinner. Two days later, I took family to Shun Lee Palace to make up for missing Mr K's when Delta bumped them from their original flight. I was surprised to see: more dragonware! and....
for aaron

Betty White! Nearly ninety, America's most durable comedienne (pictured below, in the 50s and recently) looked spry and lovely as she and friends sashayed to their table.
I hope, when I'm 89, that I look and feel as good - and that I'm confident enough to eat Shun Lee's world-class but non-diet-friendly gourmet fare...

this entry's permalink

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Glow of Love

Enraptured, we are, at our Rehearsal Dinner, and showing major nose-age... Thank you, Andrew, for some truly awesome photos of our wedding weekend
nose 2 nose

I look pretty great here, on my Wedding Day with Christi, my terrific Best Person of Honor...
christi aaron

Friends came from far and wide: Denis from Paris, Erik from Boston...
aaron denis erik

From South Carolina (Paula, left, with me and her son John Wiske), from Houston (Henry and Richard, right)...
aaron and friendshenry

From Pittsburgh (Jane and Kathy, left), and from Maine (my new sister-in-law Jen and father-in-law Dick Forrest)
jane cathyjen dick

Reminds me of that great 1980 classic 'The Glow of Love' by Change, from which Janet Jackson created her massive 2001 'All For You'...
It's a lovely combination of downhome soul (Luther Vandross vocals) and Italo-disco sheen and tight production..

this entry's permalink

Friday, June 17, 2011

M Is For The Many Things

After our first dance as a married couple, the next dance went to our Moms..
The song: 'I'll Always Love My Mama' by The Intruders, an early 70s Philly Disco classic that the funky stations would trot out on Mother's Day, back in the day...
Mom Dance 1

I look bemused as I proudly
hoof it with my sweet Mom, who always knew I'd find my soulmate...
Mom Dance 2

My new mother-in-law, Ginny Forrest, and my new niece Rachel Haines.
It's Rachel who, as a toddler, gave Ginny her nickname 'Mimi,' which is all Rachel could pronounce then of 'Grandma.' This was Champagne Brunch the morning after the wedding, at East of Eighth. In the mirror: Erik, me, and Fernando.
Mimi Rachel

I'll Always Love My Mama:

this entry's permalink

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Wedding High Five

More of
our first glimpse at the June 11 festivities, courtesy of Deena. Here, my Thumb Up after the cutting - and mutual feeding - of the Orange Mocha Wedding Cake...
High Five

Taking My Cake: Feeding JP cake was
sweeter and less violent than this photo suggests....
Take Cake

My nephew Dan and his girlfriend Katie
hoofed up a storm as DJ Bob Fino spun the tunes...
Dan Katie Wed

Just for the hell of it, watch 'Wedding Bell Blues' rendered live in 1969 by those 60s Afro-Adult-Contemporary stalwarts, The Fifth Dimension; songwriter was the great Laura Nyro... Why would anyone not leap at getting married to the one they love, I ask you?

this entry's permalink

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Perfect Day

The first wedding pictures I've seen, courtesy of my sister. Here we are, JP and I, at the altar, two hearts joined as one. That's my dear friend Christi, the Best Person of Honor, looking lovely in blue.. JP chose our matching ties and pocket squares. At don't you just love the gloriously over-decorated and colorful venue?
JP Aaron Wed

Our first dance, to The Delay's 'Near Than Heaven,' (video below) was more mirthful than choreographed...
Aaron JP Dance

Here are my Mom and sister looking quite elegant; after many mishaps, my family arrived in time!
Mom Dee

As promised, our wedding song:

this entry's permalink

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Neck and Neck

Tonight I fly to Brazil for three days, not ideal just three days after saying 'I do,' but duty calls, and we do have our July 28-Aug 14 African honeymoon to look forward to. This will be my 129th foreign trip, and (I hope) our honeymoon will be my 130th... I surely plan no other travel, except a weekend in Maine with my brand-new in-laws in early July. Mexico and Brazil are my two most visited countries - I've logged 30 trips to Mexico and 28 to Brazil; this trip will be my 29th to Brazil, my 44th to South America, and my 78th to Latin America, as well as my 84th foreign business trips. I am The Veteran...

this entry's permalink

Monday, June 13, 2011

Wander On The Wonder

What better way to end this magical 4-day Wedding Weekend than a stroll down the newly elongated High Line's new northern reaches.
Wow! It sure isn't more of the same; expect a refreshing, surprising, and innovative experience with new opportunities for tranquility and urban bucolic bliss. We now have a two-mile-plus Valentine to unbridled nature breaking through an urban landscape - relish it! We'll have more to say - and show- on this ever-evolving topic...

this entry's permalink

The Eve Of

Our Friday night Rehearsal Dinner was classy, intimate, and memorable. Cuisine by Mr K's at 51st & Lexington, on the ground floor of a stunning pink marble art-deco skyscraper. Music by yours truly! The decor included shiny brass rice bowls and dragon-shaped brass chopstick holders!

Over two hours we were served a great variety of very tasty food in modest quantities that added up to a banquet that left everyone thoroughly satisfied but not bloated...

The main course plate: Prawns with Asparagus, Basil Ginger Chicken, Sautéed Garden Vegetables. The Appetizers, posted yesterday, were Shrimp Spring Roll (nearly 90% shrimp on inside!), Lover's Dumplings, and Crispy Beef (the latter sinful but a spoonful)...

this entry's permalink

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rehearsal Morsels

But not "Re-Morsels" :-) What a great wedding eve dinner we had at Mr K's on Friday! The wedding itself: truly
the most beautiful day of my life, the most meaningful, and the most fun - awash in the love of family and friends, a sea of happiness.... Many more photos to come...

this entry's permalink

Before We Met

It's very sunny here, with a delicious dollop of irony. Nice day for a white wedding..

My Song of the (Wedding) Weekweek is 'Just Before We Met,' yet antother irresistible gem from UK folk-rock quintet Noah and The Whale.

Imagine a 60s folk-pop nugget with rhythmic violins, a galloping pace, and catchy verse, chorus, and bridge. It's clever as heck, and very endearing. And as I join my life to JP's forever, it's an apt and charming reflection..

The group hails from London's Twickenham district and took their name from the director and title of a favorite film, Noah Baumbach's 'The Squid and The Whale,' a wonderful little movie if you ain't seen it yet.. They are very influenced by Belle & Sebastian, who are WAY overdue for a new album following their 2006 masterpiece, 'The Life Pursuit.'

Here's a great live rendition of "Just Before We Met" at Camden's Koko back in February:

The group's videos are goofy, retro, and wonderful. Here's the one clip of '5 Years Time' that hasn't been dis-embedded by the record company...

Here's their other UK hit single, the equally charming 'Shape of My Heart'...

One more: '2 Bodies 1 Heart'

this entry's permalink

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?