Happy Independence Day! To those that got a divorce from that loser on this day, I’m happy you’ve declared your independence. What? Oh, the country’s independence from Great Britain. Well, that’s certainly different!
I hope you have fun with your fireworks, your barbeques, or whatever you do to celebrate our country’s 238th birthday!
It’s going to be a nice one in the Quad Cities.
“Fernando” by ABBA is the song that I remember most about the Fourth of July as a kid.
While “Fernando” only reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100, it hit #1 for two weeks on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and would become ABBA’s best-selling single of all time selling more six million copies in 1976 alone!
WORST FOURTH OF JULY
With more than five inches of rain this past Monday night in the Quad Cities, luckily I was inside the house helping Ray fight basement flooding before the electricity went out for about ten hours.
While that wasn’t on Independence Day, my worst Fourth of July was back in 2007. I was caught in a flash flooding event around 2 a.m. after more than four inches of rain in a very short period of time flooded out my car on 19th Avenue in Moline.
Here are the scary details and I was one of the lucky ones to survive!
MOST “INCOMPARABLE” GAY NEIGHBORHOOD
Forget San Francisco, Hollywood, Barcelona, and Madrid, Chicago’s “Boystown” has them beat!
I’ve lived in some shady places in life, but now I can say that I spent three of my four years in Chicago living in “Out Traveler” readers’ most “incomparable” neighborhoods.
While it’ll show up as Lakeview on maps, anyone that is anyone knows that the club area near Lake Michigan between Lincoln Park to the south and Uptown to the north is “Boystown”.
I lived there for a year in 1995-1996 (Addison and Lake Shore Drive) and from 2002-2004 (Belmont and Sheridan). Miss ABBA and I spent a lot of time in her “puppy years” playing around Belmont Harbor.
“Out Traveler” says that Boystown “was the nation’s first officially-designated gayborhood” and that it has “everything you could want: bars, clubs, restaurants, architecture, walkability, its own El stop” and now, marriage equality.
PLEASE DON’T “WIGGLE” FOR ME!
I just heard Jason Derulo’s current hit, “Wiggle”, for the first time today and I hope that I never hear it again!
Sample lyrics: “You know what to do with that big fat butt/Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle” and “Hot damn it/Your booty like two planets/Go head, and go ham sammich”. Ugggghhhh!
I loved Jason Derulo’s self-titled 2010 album and it ended up being one of my favorite albums of that year. It produced three Top Ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100; “Whatcha Say” (#1), “In My Head” (#5), and “Ridin’ Solo” (#9).
Jason, go back to real music and not trashy, gimmicky songs that you’ll regret having to sing the rest of your career!
MEETING PAM TILLIS & LORRIE MORGAN
A couple of Friday nights ago, Ray and I got a chance to see the “Grits & Glamour Tour” with Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan in Clinton, Iowa. And, we lucked out and got to meet both ladies before the show.
We’ve seen them both in concert before separately. On this tour, they performed together and it’s an amazing show.
It’s just sad that country radio is so ageist and sexist that it won’t play new music by women over the age of 40. You think I’m wrong? Think of radio’s reception to the latest recordings by Reba McEntire, Patty Loveless, Martina McBride, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, and Faith Hill. And, before them, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, and the list goes on and on!
While you may have missed that show, Lonestar and Sara Evans will be at the Wild Rose Casino in Clinton on Friday, July 11th.
This Chilean drama is one of the best movies I’ve seen in the past few years.
Paulina Garcia plays Gloria, a 58-year-old divorcee that has to face the single life now that her two children are grown and have moved out. However, Gloria doesn’t spend her life at home feeling sorry for herself.
Watching the movie and seeing Gloria out drinking and meeting men that could possibly be “the one”, I was so impressed with her strength and determination. I spent the first part of my 40s alone with just me and my golden retriever, ABBA, wondering if we’d ever meet “the one”. Like Gloria, there were many empty dates and hook-ups, but I found love again.
I just couldn’t imagine doing it in my late-50s or 60s.
Garcia’s heartbreaking performance was amazing and she made me wish that Gloria was my friend. The role won Garcia the Silver Bear Award for Best Actress at the 63rd Annual Berlin International Film Festival.
When it was in theaters earlier this year, it made $2.1 million in the United States. You can rent it at Redbox.
REMEMBERING LAURA BRANIGAN
Hearing a much different version of “Gloria” in that movie got me thinking of Laura Branigan.
It’s been almost ten years now since the singer died of a brain aneurysm at her home on August 26, 2004.
From 1982-1987, she placed seven Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Of those, three reached the top ten: her first hit, the Grammy Award-nominated, “Gloria” (#2, 1982), “Solitaire” (#7, 1983), and “Self Control” (#4, 1984).
While “Gloria” peaked at #2 on the Hot 100, it topped the Cash Box singles chart in the United States in November 1982. It also hit #1 in Canada and spent seven weeks at the top of the chart in Australia in early 1983.
MADONNA’S GETTING CLOSE!
I’m only speculating based on recent Instagram posts, but I really think Madonna is getting close to dropping her follow-up to 2012’s “MDNA” album.
She has posted that she’s been working with EDM producer/disc jockey Avicii (who also remixed “Girl Gone Wild”), Natalia Kills, and Diplo.
Diplo tells “Rolling Stone” about Madonna, “I’ve done about three weeks with her, and we’re gonna do some more projects at the end of July. She’s just really cool. I think as far as artists reinventing themselves, she did it before anybody else. She kind of began that trend of actually coming back with a whole new look and style and sound and winning it and hitting the top of the charts. Those records are gonna be crazy-sounding. We really pushed the envelope with some of the stuff we were doing.”
And, just this week, she posted this teaser:
There’s also been rumors that the English electronic duo, Disclosure, is also working on the album. While they deny it, they say they’d love to work with her.
And, if that collaboration would sound anything like their current #11 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with Sam Smith, I sure hope they do something with Madonna since I love the song and the video!
Something tells me she’s going to silently drop the new album this fall or by the end of the year like Beyonce did last December!
“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”
I saw Martina McBride in concert 2001 as part of Reba McEntire’s “Girls Night Out” Tour in Darien Lake, New York. What a big voice from such a small woman!
Since blasting onto the country scene in 1992, she’s scored 42 hits on the Billboard Country chart. Of those, 20 reached the Top Ten and five topped the chart: “Wild Angels” (1996, one week), “A Broken Wing” (1998, one week), “Wrong Again” (1998, one week), “I Love You” (1999, five weeks), and “Blessed” (2002, two weeks).
“I Love You” was also featured in the Richard Gere and Julia Roberts movie, “Runaway Bride” and it’s her biggest crossover hit, peaking at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100.
I couldn’t find it, but luckily, my friend, Christopher found the official video to “Independence Day” for me. It’s one of the most powerful songs ever released in any genre.
Because domestic abuse is a heavy subject matter, the song only reached #12 on the Billboard country chart in 1994, but it did win Country Music Association Awards for “Song of the Year” and “Video of the Year” and was nominated for two Grammy Awards.
Have a great Fourth of July weekend and thank you for checking out my random thoughts.