Friday, July 29, 2011

Never ... Tear Us Apart

This week's edition of Retro Friday features the band INXS, and the song Never Tear Us Apart.

Ahhh ... INXS. Such a huge part of my High School years, and my college years, and my post-college years for that matter! I love this band!!

The band INXS is an Australian rock band, formed as The Farriss Brothers in 1977 in Sydney, New South Wales. The band was comprised of Garry Gary Beers on bass guitar, Andrew Farriss on guitar/keyboards, Jon Farriss on drums, Tim Farriss on lead guitar and Kirk Pengilly on guitar/sax. For twenty years their lead vocalist was Michael Hutchence, whose "sultry good looks" and magnetic stage presence made him the focal point of the band. They originally became popular for their New Wave and style, but they later developed a harder pub rock style.

They achieved international success in the late 1980s and 1990s with a series of hit recordings including the albums Listen Like Thieves, Kick, and X; and the singles: What You Need, Need You Tonight, Devil Inside, New Sensation, Suicide Blonde, and Never Tear Us Apart.

I think my favorite INXS album is Kick. Kick was released in October 1987 and with it the band achieved worldwide popularity. Kick peaked at #1 in Australia, #3 on the US Billboard 200, #9 in UK, and #15 in Austria. It was an upbeat, confident album that yielded four Top 10 singles in the United States: New Sensation, Never Tear Us Apart, Devil Inside and the #1 hit: Need You Tonight.

I have two great INXS memories. The first of which is from High School. I had two very good girl friends in High School who were football nuts just like me. (Yes, my love of football started early!) At the beginning of our Senior year of High School, we decided to road trip to all of the away games. Why not ... this was our last year of High School, and who cared that the team wasn't all that great ... we enjoyed it, so what the heck!

We were road tripping to one of the farther High Schools, in Camarillo I believe , and it was a super foggy night. I have no idea who one the game that night, but I can vividly picture the three of us, in my friend L's mustang, rocking out to Never Tear US Apart. Good. Times.

Now flash forward to after college. My husband and I ran a dance club in St. Louis for 4 years, and one of the perks was getting to go to a lot of concerts. One of the concerts that we got to attend was INXS (summer of 1997), and they were awesome seats. We were in the third row and Michael Hutchence jumped off the stage and came into the audience, RIGHT where we were, and sang. Ahhhh ... heaven!

Not too long after that he tragically took his own life, but I feel truly blessed to have seen him live in concert! What an amazing performer he was!

Okay ... there's this Friday's walk down memory lane ... and here is a little INXS for your listening pleasure! Never Tear Us Apart:


Thursday, July 21, 2011

But Anyway

This week's edition of Retro Friday features the band Blues Traveler, and the song But Anyway.

The band Blues Traveler originated in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1987. The band exhibits influences from a variety of music genres, including blues-rock, psychedelic rock, folk rock, soul, and Southern rock. They are known for extensive use of segues during their live performances.

Currently, the group consists of singer and harmonica player John Popper, guitarist Chan Kinchla, drummer Brendan Hill, bassist Tad Kinchla and keyboardist Ben Wilson. Tad Kinchla and Ben Wilson joined the band in 1999 following the death of original bassist Bobby Sheehan.

While Blues Traveler is best known among fans for their improvisational live shows, the general public is most familiar with the group from their Top 40 singles which include: "But Anyway", "Run-Around" and "Hook". They gained mainstream popularity after their fourth studio album four, released in 1994.

Continuing on with last week's theme, But Anyway is another song that I love as a result of "the" band that my best pal K and I were "Band-Aids" for in college. Blues Traveler had done a college tour in 1990 for the album that But Anyway was on, but I did not really get into their music until "the" college band that we were following started playing the song But Anyway. It seemed like such a great anthem for us during our senior year, too. Yes, we were still going on dates with guys (duh, we were still in college!), but it wasn't like we were actually going to get serious with anyone so close to graduation, so But Anyway kind of became our song.

To help you understand why ... here are the lyrics!

I lied I told I love her
She did not care but anyway
I told her we'd still be friends
And she did not care but anyway
I tried last week to call her

She wasn't home but anyway
I think I'll spend my life alone
I really don't care right now,
but anyway
It's a state of affairs

and a state of emotions
the kind of thing that you must understand
I tell you one thing

You tell me another
We walk away, maybe then shake hands

I'm quitting cigarette smoking
It's bad for me but anyway
I don't think the TV was joking
When it told me this but anyway
The newsman said not to sit on strange toilet seats
It's my life he's trying to save but anyway
I found out that I got eye cancer
Too many television waves but anyway
It's a state of affairs
and a state of emotions
the kind of thing that you must understand
I tell you one thing

You tell me another
We walk away, maybe then shake hands

Some day the answer will find us
Quite a long shot but anyway
I think the past is behind us
Be real confusing if not but anyway
I put all my hope in tomorrow
It's gonna be great I can tell anyway
I see a new, a new day dawning
I like to sleep late, oh well, but anyway
It's a state of affairs
and a state of emotions
the kind of thing that you must understand
I tell you one thing
You tell me another
We walk away, maybe then shake hands

It really is a silly little song, and it always brings a smile to my face whenever I hear it! "The" band that we followed in college used to play quite often at this little bar called "Bridge Mc Guire's Filling Station" and I can still picture in my mind them playing But Anyway, and us dancing around (like complete fools I might add)!

Okay ... enough of my memory lane blabbering! Here's a little Blues Traveler and But Anyway for your listening pleasure!


(Luv ya K!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Sweetest Thing

In honor of the U2 360 concert at Busch Stadium this weekend, today's Retro Friday is going to feature U2 and the two following songs: One, and Sweetest Thing.

The band U2 is an Irish rock band from Dublin, Ireland. They formed the band in 1976, and the group consists of Bono (vocals and guitar), The Edge (guitar, keyboards and vocals), Adam Clayton (bass guitar), and Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums and percussion). U2's early sound was molded by post-punk music, but eventually grew to include influences from many genres of popular music. Throughout the group's musical career, they have maintained a very recognisable sound built on melodic instrumentals, highlighted by The Edge's unique guitar sound and Bono's expressive vocals. Their lyrics are often filled with spiritual imagery, and focus on personal themes and sociopolitical concerns.

Each of these songs that I am writing about today made an impression on me in college, and of course each song triggers a specific memory of an event that occurred in college, so here we go!


There are a lot of dances at Notre Dame. First, let me back up just a bit. Some little known facts about Notre Dame are that there are no fraternities or sororities at Notre Dame, and that the majority of the student population lives on campus all four years. Okay, with that being said, back to the dances at Notre Dame. Because of this largely on-campus student population, each dorm on campus typically has two dances per semester. One formal dance off-campus, and a more informal SYR dance that is held at the dorm itself. SYR stands for "Screw Your Roommate." You are supposed to set your roommate up on a blind date, and really, it is up to your discretion as to whether you "screw" your roommate over or not! (Fortunately, my roommates were really awesome, and always set me up on good dates!!)

Okay, so back to "One." During the second semester of my senior year I was trying not to date any one person exclusively, seeing as we were all going to go our separate ways shortly anyways. I had been hanging out with Mr. "Joe Smith" a bit that semester when he asked me to his on-campus, in-dorm dance. He seemed like a nice guy, and so I said yes. Later on I find out that he also asked one of my friends to the dance as well. He thought it would be fun for the three of us to hang out. Hmmm ... hang out, huh? Sounds like you're just trying to set something up with you and two girls that is just NOT gonna happen! So, for whatever reason, we both agreed to go with him to this stupid dance, and it was the weirdest thing ever. I don't remember much from the dance except for dancing with him to the U2 song "One" ... and forever disliking that song as a result of him asking two girls to the same dance! Boys!!! And really, why on earth did we ever agree to both go with him to the dance?!

Sweetest Thing

There was this band in college, that you might say we were groupies of ... otherwise coined as "Band-Aids" by the movie Almost Famous. We pretty much were at one of their shows, at least once a week. They played a few original songs, but mostly played covers of a variety of songs from the 70's, 80's, and 90's. The majority of these songs were from the alternative or rock genre, and they sounded really great ... and several of the band members were easy on the eyes, so it was all good. There are about 10 songs that, when I hear them randomly on my iPod, or on the radio, I immediately think of this band. The Sweetest Thing by U2 is definitely one of those songs. A very "happy-go-lucky," good memory inducing song for sure!

Okay, that's enough of my walk down memory lane for this Friday! Here is a little U2 for your listening pleasure!


Sweetest Thing


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Will Write For Wine ...

Sounds wonderful, right?

Well, that was the name of the Wine Tasting Event that I went to tonight. A wine tasting event for bloggers who blog about food and wine. How did I get an invite? That is a great question ... I'm just super excited that I did!

If you have not checked out STLwinegirl yet ... please do! She is on Twitter at @STLwinegirl, and you can check out her web site as well: Her bio says that she is ... Creating a personal experience with food & wine that is approachable & accessible! In Home Tastings, public & private events, education, consultation, writing ... and I could not have said it better myself!

Back to the event! I thought that I knew a fair amount about wine, but I quickly found out that I really did not know much about wine at all! I had so much fun at the event tonight, I'd love to share a little of what I learned ... so here goes!

Do you know why many people start out a meal or event with a sparkling wine? This is because a sparkling wine cleanses the palate. Also, please don't call a sparkling wine from California "Champagne" ... because it is only "Champagne" if it is from the Champagne region of France!

Do you know why a sparkling wine is served in a fluted glass? The fluted glass is designed to control the release of the bubbles, but if you really want to "twirl" and "smell" your wine ... please drink it in a regular wine glass. It would take a very long time for all of the bubbles to dissipate, so you really don't "need" the fluted glass! Oh, and do you know how many bubbles are in a bottle of sparkling wine? Three to thirty MILLION. Wow.

Sauvignon Blanc

A Sauvignon Blanc typically has hints of citrus, tropical, herbal, or grassy flavors. Do you know why your mouth waters when you take a sip of a Sauvignon Blanc? That is a result of the acidity of the wine! Good to know, right?!


A Charonnay is a darker, yellow wine. It often has a buttery, oak, or "woody" taste, but not always. If it is not aged in cedar, then it will probably have more fruity flavors such as pear, apple, or pineapple. If the bottle describes it is "vanilla" or "toasty," it will probably have that "buttery" or "oak" flavoring.

Cabernet Sauvignon

A Cabernet Sauvignon is a deep, dark looking red. It is often a dry wine, but when it is in your mouth it is sweet and fruity. The Cabernet Sauvignon gets it's deep red color from the skin of the grape. Did you know that the inside of both green and red grapes are both actually that clear/yellow/green color? The color of the wine comes from the skin, not from the fruit inside!

Do you know the 30/30 Rule of Temperature? When serving a white wine, pull it OUT of the fridge 30 minute before serving it. When serving a red wine, but it IN the fridge 30 minutes before serving it. I had no idea!

And finally, proper home storage. Do not store your wine in the kitchen ... it is the warmest room in the house, and the room that has the most temperature fluctuation. Store it out of direct sunlight, and in a room that where there is no movement (do not store it in the laundry room!) ... and if possible store it on it's side. So basically, the closet is good!

Okay ... I learned so much more tonight, but I don't want to give away all of her trade secrets. You really need to attend one of her events to get the full STLwinegirl experience!

Oh, and I'd like to give a shout to some of the bloggers I met tonight. I don't have all of their web sites yet ... but here are some of them!

Iron Stef:
City in a Jar:
STL Soup to Nuts:
Eat It St. Louis:
Hannah Violin:
Michelle A. Marcus:
A Small Town Girl's Guide:
How Mom Rolls:
Every Little Thing:
Rhubarb & Honey:
Inebriated Epicurean:
Eat Local:
Katie's Feast:
Tony Loves Food:

And one more ... where the event was hosted: Nebula CoWorking


Thursday, July 7, 2011

What is Love?

Today's edition of Retro Friday features the artist Howard Jones.

If you asked me to pick artists for the sound track of my teenage years, Howard Jones would definitely make the list. His songs were the epitome of teenage angst, mixed with a little encouragement and positive thinking: What Is Love? ... Things Can Only Get Better ... No One Is To Blame ... Everlasting Love. My High School friend A turned me on to Howard Jones, along with much of the KROQ 80's music that we listened to, but when I hear Howard Jones in particular, I definitely think of her!

Howard Jones was born on February 23, 1955 in Southampton, Hampshire, England. According to the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums, "Jones is an accomplished singer-songwriter who was a regular chart visitor in the mid 1980s with his brand of synthpop. Jones, who was equally popular in the U.S., appeared at Live Aid". Allmusic journalist, Stephen Thomas Erlewine adds, "Jones was one of the defining figures of mid 1980s synthpop. His music merged the technology intensive sound of new wave with the cheery optimism of hippies and late 1960s pop. Jones racked up a string of hits in the mid and late 1980s, before he retreated into being a cult figure in the 1990s".

My favorite Howard Jones album is the Dream into Action album, which was released in 1985. One of the most popular singles released from this album, "No One Is to Blame," was later re-recorded and featured Phil Collins as both drummer and producer. Dream into Action was Jones' most successful album, reaching number 2 in the UK and number 10 (and going platinum) in the U.S. The album produced the hit singles "Things Can Only Get Better", "Life In One Day", and "Look Mama". Another highlight of 1985 was Howard Jones performing live at Wembley Stadium as part of the Live Aid concert, singing his 1984 hit "Hide and Seek" while playing a piano belonging to Freddie Mercury.

Listening to Howard Jones brings back very happy-go-lucky High School memories for me. It's just one of those things that always brings a smile to my face! I hope that after listening to a little Howard Jones, you feel the same way, too!

Here is a little Howard Jones for your listening pleasure!

Things Can Only Get Better

No One Is To Blame

Everlasting Love

What Is Love?

I know ... no embarrassing stories this week ... only great music! Enjoy!