Filtering by Tag: rock and roll

A Memphis Awakening

Have I mentioned I love The South?  I love everything about it.  The people, the food, the music, the family values, the music.  Yes, I said music twice.  That's because there are two types of music you hear when traversing though the southland.  The kind that is readily accessible when you enter any type of live music venue, bar, club, or concert.  And the other kind, the kind that is soul changing... the kind that just fills your inner being with the sounds of the history, people, and mood of this deep region.  Memphis embodies all of this.  The city exudes the best of the best when it comes to everything that makes The South great...especially the music.  

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Eat Travel Rock TV is HERE!

First off, I want to start by saying how appreciative I am of all the support I've received from all my friends, family, and "supporters" since Chantel (my manager/producer) and I began this crazy project.  No one even knew what the hell Eat Travel Rock TV was, yet you all were on board.  Well now it's here and it's LIVE on my site... Just click HERE for all the available episodes... yet you still may not know what the hell it is.

Eat Travel Rock TV came about from the frustration I had while working on other TV projects, coupled with my desire to put my specific brand on camera.  I've had a vision of a show that fully integrates food, music, and travel in a unique and unexpected way.  There is nothing like it on television, nor the internet (as far as I've seen... those interwebs are a mighty huge place).  Plus I get to be ME!  There are no network constrictions, nor producers/directors who don't share my vision and let me do what I want to do and act how I want to act.  

Here are some examples of who you will meet along this journey:  I interviewed Chase Rice at the Windy City Smokeout (music and food, baby!) I interviewed Love and Theft in Key West, FL (music and travel!) I had Ryan Chiaverini give me a guitar lesson in his home (unexpected music!) and I brought Down With Webster to Fulton Market Kitchen.  We have launched 5 episodes today, and we will be releasing 1 episode each Wednesday.

No two episodes are alike, and I have MANY ideas for the future.  Stay tuned for many bands, musicians, famous chefs, innovative restauranteurs, Chicago athletes, notable personalities etc.  I plan to Eat a ton, Travel a bunch, and constantly rock out... so please join me on this journey.  I truly hope you enjoy this labor of love and I welcome your thoughts, feedback, and requests.  Thank you!!

The Rolling Stones: Need I Say More?? (2013)

It has been an unacceptable amount of time since I have last shared with you. Plus, what kind of music blogger would I be if I didn't fill you in on one of my most life changing musical experiences? On May 28, 2013 I had the honor of seeing The Rolling Stones, arguably the world's greatest band, in concert. It was a total fluke. I was sitting at Dublin's Bar with my singer/songwriter friend from Nashville, Jesse Rice, when I got the call from my friend, Aggie: "Kel! I have 2 extra ($600) Stones tickets, I'm picking you up in an hour!" Jesse and I couldn't believe our luck...especially since we're both intensely devoted fans. Was this really happening? Were we really about to see Mick, Ronnie, Keith, and Charlie... live (and alive) and in concert? This was just too much. We showed up 2 songs into the 3 hour set...during my favorite Stones track, Paint it Black. My level of elation was clearly visible. I ran to my seat and my heart was pumping while I was jumping up and down like a school kid... with a mile-wide smile plastered across my face. Jesse was in utter disbelief. He never thought he'd get to the the Stones live... needless to say we were both the epitome of giddiness.

Fascination is an understatement. To see in person, a band that has accomplished so much; a band who has cultivated and forever changed the very foundation of rock and roll, gave me noticeable goosebumps. Fascination also describes my attitude toward the ability the band still has, after 50 years, to just fucking rock out. Jagger was floating and hopping around the stage as if he were a 20 year old athlete. Ronnie Wood was more cut up that guys my age who work out every day. Keith Richards, even though he looked as if he was about to decompose on stage, killed it on his guitar. No one can do with a guitar what Keith Richards can do, and so effortlessly. He makes some of the most simple riffs seem so complex and gut wrenching. As Jesse, a guitarist himself, said, "He gets so much out of so little." All four of them were hard core rock stars, through and through.

As far as vocals are concerned: I was much more impressed than I initially believed I would be. I've heard several live renditions of "Sympathy For The Devil" over the years and I've always been, not only disappointed with Jagger's vocals, but with the vocal arrangement as well. But to my pleasant surprise, his vocals on EVERY song other than "Sympathy" were incredible. Literally have not changed since the studio recordings. "Sympathy" was still an unfortunate let-down, as it's one of my favorites and I really hoped it would have been closer to the original. But hey, you can't always get what you want....

Some of the key moments from the set list included, a transcendent performance of "Wild Horses", the groovy "Miss You", and the United Center shaking, "Honky Tonk Women". My favorite performance, by far, was "Gimme Shelter"... it was just so mesmerizing....the intro guitar and the "ooh oooohhhss" were palpable through my entire body.... and don't even get me started with the endless wailing verses "War, Children... it's just a shot away;" all the screams and howls were perfectly orchestrated and executed.

So after this show I was rating it one of the top 5 shows I've been to in my life, maybe even top 3. But I kept saying... it just would've been even cooler if we were closer... or got to meet them. Wellllllllllllll my friends...... Here's a fun tangent. Let's just say I have 3 rock idols; Eddie Vedder, Mick Jagger, and John Fogerty. The fact that I've become friends with Eddie over the last couple years has almost been too much to comprehend. I surely didn't think I'd have encounters with my 2 other rock god idols... especially since, well, they're kinda old. So much to my surprise, while I was just sitting ON a booth at Studio Paris, May 29th, I see the unmistakable face and tiny frame of Mick Jagger walking toward me... and sits...DIRECTLY NEXT TO ME. Pardon the expression, but I pretty much shit my pants. I'm not one for EVER interrupting a celebrity and I think asking for fan pics is super gay... I am VERY "anti". But this was MICK FUCKING JAGGER. Fortunately, he saw me first and smiled. I told him I loved his show and that it was basically life-changing. He was very pleased and asked my name, shook my hand ,and gave me a hug. Then in his adorable London accent, asked if I wanted some champagne. Ummm, yes please!!! He poured me the glass himself and we "cheersed" each other. It was one hell of a moment... and the sweetest champagne I've ever tasted.

My Life In Lyrics (2012)

Sometimes I feel as if song lyrics are grossly underrated.  It boggles my mind how few people pay attention to lyrics.  They’ll never know any words to any song…even the world’s most famous and recognizable songs… like Happy Birthday????  Now, I’m not one for poetry…hate it as a matter of fact… but when those words are set to music, it takes on a whole new life.  It’s incredible how you can have a page full of words and it would be next to impossible for a human to memorize them… but introduce a beat and a melody, and you can memorize those words almost immediately.

Song lyrics have been incredibly important to me, I feel like my life story can be told through songs I deem as my favorites.  I also tend to gravitate to certain songs and lyrics depending on which mood I’m in, or to illustrate something that is occurring in my life.  I almost pity people who don’t have this relationship with song lyrics because you’re missing an outlet… a friend you can go to no matter what trials and tribulations you may be encountering.  Not to mention, you are missing one of the biggest points the artist is trying to make with their music.

Here are some examples from my extensive love affair with music:

Pearl Jam- Black– “All the love gone bad turned my world to black…Tattooed all I see, all that I am, all I'll be…. “ Even though I never really had any “love gone bad” while I was in high school, this song and its lyrics made a profound impact on me.  It even inspired my (gulp) Pearl Jam stick figure tattoo I got when I was 16.  It really came full circle when, in May, Eddie Vedder asked me curiously, why did I get my tattoo.  All I said was “Black” and he knew exactly what I was talking about… he then smiled proudly and gave me a huge hug.  Quite the moment.

Alanis Morissette- Head Over Feet- “You’ve already won me over in spite of me, don’t be alarmed if I fall Head Over Feet…”  This was a big song for my friends and me.  It works perfectly for any situation where you fall for a guy you were resistant to… whether because they were the “bad boy” or too much of a “nice guy” (never happens).  This song helped justify “giving in.” Haha.

Elton John- I Want Love- I’ve always loved this slightly more obscure newer tune…and not just because Robert Downey Jr. was in the video.  But after a breakup and you’re feeling really shitty, these lyrics make you feel tough and hopeful. “So bring it on, I’ve been bruised.  Don’t give me love, that’s clean and smooth.  I’m ready for the roughest stuff.  No sweet romance… I’ve had enough.”

Fiona Apple- Criminal- “I’ve been a bad bad girl…I’ve been careless with a delicate man…” Ladies, need I say more?

Laura Pausini- Come Se Non Fosse Stato Mai Amore-  For some reason Italian pop music can make me happy no matter what mood I’m in… strange I know.  She’s my favorite Italian artist and her lyrics are intense. – Here are some helpful words… “E cancellare... tutte le pagine con la tua imagine, E vivere... COME SE NON FOSSE STATO MAI AMORE” You can’t expect me to translate too, can you??

Martina McBride- Wrong Baby Wrong- We all know country music is known for it’s descriptive and true to life stories. This song is no exception and is a go-to I play for girlfriends who just went through a break-up…ahh such a good friend ;)  “Wrong baby wrong baby wrong, it ain’t the end of the world, don’t you worry pretty girl…Now that he’s gone baby gone baby gone, you got nothing to lose…count the minutes if you want to, it won’t be long baby long baby long till you find somebody new.”

Zac Brown Band- Jolene- Even though this was written by Ray LaMontagne, Zac brings a spine chilling pain to the song.  The song actually hurts when you listen to it, yet it’s absolutely beautiful  “I found myself face down in the ditch, booze in my hair, blood on my lips…A picture of you holdin’ a picture of me, in the pocket of my blue jeans.”

Avril Lavigne- Hot- People may think Avril is a manufactured teeny bopper… untrue.  I have followed her career from the beginning, and before Taylor Swift and the likes, Avril was the artist girls listened to to hear their own lives put to music.  She’s an incredibly talented musician and writes all her own lyrics.  I picked “Hot” because even though I love her darker notes and tones the most, this is a feel good song and usually what I put on when I’m getting ready to go out at night…basically when I wanna feel like a sexy bitch… “You make me so hot, make me wanna drop, you’re so ridiculous, I can barely stop…”  Pretty profound, eh?

I can clearly go on and on forever (clearly)…but my point is; if you are a person who has never really made song lyrics a big part of your life… I emplore you to open your heart and ears, have a bit of patience, and try to hear what the artist is trying to convey.  It’s a shame to miss out on this dynamic and pure relationship with music.  What are some of YOUR favorite lyrics???