Posts Tagged ‘Willie Nelson’

Kacey Musgraves & Her Very Kacey Christmas

Grammy Awards, ACM Awards, and CMA Awards winner Kacey Musgraves also just delivered her first Christmas collection, “A Very Kacey Christmas”.

Although she’s a country music singer, like Brett Eldredge, you only have to start this album to know she’s true to the genre. It’s real country with real Texas twang and I mean that in the very best way.

kacey

This album features many popular Christmas classics such as “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Let It Snow”, and “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve”. But, Musgraves expands the cultural horizons with “Feliz Navidad” and “Mele Kalikimaka”.

She’s not afraid to show what an amazing songwriter she is on the album with four original songs (out of the twelve featured).

My favorite original on the album is “Ribbons and Bows”, followed closely by “Present Without A Bow” with Leon Bridges, and “A Willie Nice Christmas”, which features country music outlaw and legend, Willie Nelson.

While you do hear songs about having too much to drink at Christmas (that spiked egg nog will get you every time), it’s very rare for an artist to sing about staying “higher than the angel on top of the tree”!

If you know anything about Musgraves, you know she boldly sings songs that she wants to and she doesn’t stick to the tired and safe guidelines of country music.

Her first country radio hit, the Top Ten smash “Merry Go ‘Round” featured her brother “hooked on Mary Jane”.

And, Musgraves other Top Ten hit, “Follow Your Arrow”, not only was about rolling joints, but she told you to “Kiss lots of boys/Or kiss lots of girls/If that’s something you’re into”, which is definitely not your parents or grandparents country music.  (Okay, there was Garth Brooks’ “We Shall Be Free”, which told us we would be free “when we’re free to love anyone we choose.”)

The point I’m getting at here is she takes chances.  The biggest on this Christmas album is with the remake of The Chipmunks’ “Christmas Don’t Be Late”.  Yes, that one!  However, with Musgraves in control and without Alvin, Simon, and Theodore terrorizing Dave, it’s a bona fide true country Christmas song.

The only misfire on the album and this is strictly a personal thing for me is including “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas”.  It’s one of my least favorite holiday songs.  However, I’ll add that Musgraves’ performance is incredible, as it always is.  I just don’t like the song.

“A Very Kacey Christmas” is definitely a great addition to your growing list of Christmas albums.

GRADE:  B+ (Thanks Hippopotamus!)

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Random Friday Thoughts — November 11, 2016

On Wednesday, my “Random Friday Thoughts” went through a major re-write.

The script changed.

I had to delete the part of thanking God that more Americans and enough blue states “elected a proven leader as the 45th president of the United States and sent an egocentric, racist, and overall, scum bag packing.”

So, here’s the updated version.  Thank you for checking out my thoughts.  If you disagree, do it diplomatically!

A HEARTFELT THANK YOU

Senator Hillary Clinton, I want to take a moment to thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me hope that all I’ve worked for in life would continue on through your presidency.

Thank you for being a forward-thinking First Lady.  My one vote made a difference in 1992 and, again, in 1996.

Thank you for all of the years fighting for those that needed a voice, a strong person and not just a strong woman.  You were there for children, mothers, the LGBTQ community, people of color, minorities, the environment, but most of all, the world.

We failed you!

Hillary AP

I’ll never forget that cold, January day in Davenport, Iowa, when I had a chance to tell you “good luck” and you placed your hand on my shoulder.

I hope that we meet again.  You’ve been an inspiration to me for 20-plus years and for that, I’m grateful and honored to have fought the fight with you.

We may have lost this battle, but I’m still with you.

(Editor’s note — that’s me, by the way:  As I’m sitting here Friday morning, proof reading and putting the finishing touches on today’s blog, I’m tearing up again reading back what I wrote a couple of days ago.  I was more invested in this election, more than any before it, and I’m devastated.  Laugh if you want because I fear that I won’t be the only one shedding tears over the next four years.)

REMEMBERING MY SWEET MOTHER

I think about my mother for one reason or another every day.

Dessie Birthday 1989

My mother, Dessie, died 26 years ago this week.  At times, it seems just like yesterday and at other times, it seems so long ago, which it was.

Dessie 1990

Mom, Tammy and I miss you greatly.  But, we both know that you are with us every step of the way in life.

Many of you checked out the blog I wrote about my mother last year on the 25th anniversary of her death.  If you didn’t, here it is again.

Mom — 25 Years & Half of My Lifetime Without You

“A REMARKABLE MOTHER”

As I’ve stated before, I get much of my real reading done on the treadmill after work. Since I knew the anniversary of my mother’s death was coming up, I wanted to read about another incredible woman —  Lillian Carter, the mother of my favorite President Jimmy Carter.

“A Remarkable Mother” is from 2008 and was published twenty-five years after Miss Lillian’s death at the age of 85.

a-remarkable-mother

I’ve read many funny stories about Miss Lillian.  She definitely said what she wanted and she didn’t care what her son’s presidential handlers thought.

She was a strong advocate for racial equality back in southwestern Georgia during the turbulent period all the way through the 1960s, when President Lyndon Johnson was running for re-election.

If you didn’t know, she even joined the Peace Corps and traveled to India when she was almost 70-years-old.

There are many fun quotes and stories I remember reading over the years and President Carter shares many of them in the book.

This is my favorite.  When Jimmy Carter was running in the 1976 presidential race, a female reporter from “The Washington Post” met Miss Lillian in Plains, Georgia, and said, “Miss Lillian, your son claims that he will never tell a lie.  Do you believe him when he says that?”

Miss Lillian said Jimmy had always been truthful and she didn’t think that would change, but the reporter didn’t drop it.  Finally, Lillian said, “Well maybe a little white lie every now and then.

When the reporter said, “Aha!  Aha!  And what do you mean by a little white lie?

The always quick thinking Miss Lillian responded, “Well do you remember a few minutes ago when I met you at the door and said that you look very nice and that I was glad to see you?

I sure hope that my mother and Miss Lillian are friends in heaven.  They are just two of the remarkable mothers we’ve lost!

SAD MICHAEL BUBLE NEWS

Singer Michael Buble and his wife, Luisana Lopilato, are putting their careers on hold following the devastating news that their 3-year-old son, Noah, has been diagnosed with cancer.

buble-family

He’s being treated here in the United States.

A couple of weeks ago, I previewed Michael’s new album, “Nobody But Me”, which is incredible.

mb

In my random thoughts on October 21, 2016, here’s what I wrote: “My early favorites are “I Believe in You”, “On an Evening in Roma (Sott’er Celo de Roma)”, “Today is Yesterday’s Tomorrow”, “God Only Knows”, “Someday” (a duet with Meghan Trainor), and the title track.”

For Michael and his family, I’m featuring “God Only Knows” this week.

I’ll be saying an extra prayer for Noah, Michael, and his family !

Also, it’s that time of the year that his 2011 album,”Christmas”, goes into heavy rotation and it’s sensational.

MichaelBubleChristmas

ANOTHER THANK YOU, BUT THIS ONE ISN’T SO NICE

I’m moving on from this week’s presidential election after these three parting thoughts.

I expected the race to be close and it was.  As of this writing, Hillary Clinton (60.3 million) got more votes than Donald Trump (60 million).  It’s incredible that with more than 126 million votes cast, there was only a difference of about 338-thousand votes.

debate

There are two camps I blame for Clinton’s loss.  One is the 38% of Americans that didn’t vote.

However, the people who I mostly blame for Trump winning the presidency are not just the people that voted for him.  While that’s vital, it’s the people that didn’t like either Clinton or Trump, the “protest voters”.

4.1 million people voted for Gary Johnson and 1.2 million for Jill Stein.  In toss-up states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida, the margin of win was small enough that the “protest votes” for Johnson and Stein were enough to turn blue-leaning states red.

I’m all for having three or more viable parties that have a chance to win a presidency. However, I tried and tried to tell people who didn’t like either front-runner that a vote for Johnson or Stein was a vote for Donald Trump.

ss

Well, since we live in an “electoral college” voting world, thank you very much.  Your protests were successful in electing Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.  I hope you can live with it.  I’ll have to.

Thank you again!

MY ABSOLUTE FINAL THOUGHT

I’m going to highlight this, so there’s no confusion — I don’t believe that every person that voted for Trump is a racist, but there are those that are and you know who you are.

Trump

With that being said, if you deny that Trump didn’t do enough to distance himself from the love and flattery he was getting from David Duke AND if you don’t think that Trump also repeatedly made very racist remarks in his campaign, then you’re clearly (God, how do I say this with people being so sensitive) ignorant, misinformed, in denial, oblivious, or you just don’t care?

That kind of hate used to live in the darkness of night and hide under sheets.  That isn’t just a part of our sad history in the United States, it’s still very alive today.  The only difference now is that it doesn’t have to hide.

kkk-tweet

davidduke kkk

If you believe in a higher spirit, say with me, “may God be with us”!

Tammy Faye 2

BETTE MIDLER GETS CANDID 

Okay, that’s not shocking at all.

Bette

But, for once, I’m not talking entirely about her no-holds-barred Twitter feed.  It’s about that and her own mortality.

She recently spoke to “Entertainment Weekly” and Twitter came up:  “I look at it as entertainment, but I don’t need that much entertainment in my life.  Then you feel like you’re missing out on your life.  I don’t have that much time left, so I’m going to spend it looking around and observing and thinking and memorizing poetry.” 

In the spring of 2017, Midler returns to Broadway as the widowed and brassy Dolly Gallagher Levi in “Hello Dolly”

In honor of her upcoming 71st birthday (December 1st) and the holiday season, here’s Bette with “Cool Yule”, the title track of her 2006 Christmas album.

Bette, thank you for being the voice of reason in such a crazy world!

“CHRISTINE”

The most popular movie with the title, “Christine”, is based on Stephen King’s novel about a possessed vintage car.  But, now there’s another movie with that title that I can’t wait to check out.

It’s a true life story about a Florida news anchor in the 1970s that changed television news forever and shocked and scarred viewers.

It stars one of my favorite actors, Michael C. Hall (“Dexter” and “Six Feet Under”) and Rebecca Hall (no relation).

PET SHOP BOYS CONCERT

Last weekend, I finally got to see the Pet Shop Boys in concert on their “The Super Tour” in Chicago.

Here they are performing their Top Ten hit, “Always on My Mind”.

If that whetted your appetite to go back in time, here are my 20 favorite Pet Shop Boys songs.  And, since they only had six Top 40 hits in America, I bet you’ll find some fun ones you haven’t heard.  Just click below.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2016/11/02/my-20-favorites-from-the-brilliant-pet-shop-boys/

I GUESS I HAVE O.C.D.

ocd

With that being said, I’ve been listening to Christmas music for a couple of weeks now and here in the Quad Cities, Mix 96 has switched over to continuous holiday music!

BRETT ELDREDGE PUTS A “GLOW” IN CHRISTMAS

It’s early fall, but there are already several new Christmas albums on the market to fill your holidays.

The a cappella group Pentatonix just released their third Christmas set in less than four years (!).

Country acts Chris Young, Jennifer Nettles, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, and Rascal Flatts are offering holiday cheer this year.

glow

“Glow” is the first Christmas album from Illinois native and relative country newcomer Brett Eldredge.

He’s already released two hit country albums and, since 2012, has scored five Top Ten hits on the Billboard Country chart.  His latest, “Wanna Be That Song” is at #12 and will likely be his sixth Top Ten.

But, we’re talking Christmas and “Glow” here.

The standard edition features eleven songs and the Target exclusive gives you three more.

The only original song on the album is the title track.  I’ll be forthright in saying that I love the classics and I have to warm to new originals and I did with “Glow”.

be

Brett is not only an attractive young man, he also has a very strong voice.

If you only buy the standard edition, you’ll likely listen to the eleven songs (“I’ll Be Home For Christmas”, “White Christmas”, “Winter Wonderland”, and many more) and think, “it doesn’t sound very country”.  It doesn’t.  The music is very much jazzed up.

It’s like he’s channeling Michael Buble and that’s a good thing.  But, comparing Eldredge’s voice to Buble’s is like comparing Mick Jagger’s voice to Paul McCartney’s.  Both strong, but very different in delivery.

Now, if you buy the Target exclusive, the three additional songs are the only ones on the album that lets you know that Eldredge in a country music star.

It’s like you changed discs in the player from a jazz artist to a country one.

“Glow” is an exceptional Christmas album and it solidifies the fact that pop star Meghan Trainor should be on every duet!

On this album, she sings “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with Eldredge and just last month, she appeared with Michael Buble on “Someday” from his “Nobody But Me” album.

GRADE:  A

“A VERY KACEY CHRISTMAS”

Grammy Awards, ACM Awards, and CMA Awards winner Kacey Musgraves also just delivered her first Christmas collection, “A Very Kacey Christmas”.

Although she’s a country music singer, like Brett Eldredge, you only have to start this album to know she’s true to the genre. It’s real country with real Texas twang and I mean that in the very best way.

kacey

This album features many popular Christmas classics such as “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, “Let It Snow”, and “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve”. But, Musgraves expands the cultural horizons with “Feliz Navidad” and “Mele Kalikimaka”.

She’s not afraid to show what an amazing songwriter she is on the album with four original songs (out of the twelve featured).

My favorite original on the album is “Ribbons and Bows”, followed closely by “Present Without A Bow” with Leon Bridges, and “A Willie Nice Christmas”, which features country music outlaw and legend, Willie Nelson.

While you do hear songs about having too much to drink at Christmas (that spiked egg nog will get you every time), it’s very rare for an artist to sing about staying “higher than the angel on top of the tree”!

If you know anything about Musgraves, you know she boldly sings songs that she wants to and she doesn’t stick to the tired and safe guidelines of country music.

Her first country radio hit, the Top Ten smash “Merry Go ‘Round” featured her brother “hooked on Mary Jane”.

And, Musgraves other Top Ten hit, “Follow Your Arrow”, not only was about rolling joints, but she told you to “Kiss lots of boys/Or kiss lots of girls/If that’s something you’re into”, which is definitely not your parents or grandparents country music.  (Okay, there was Garth Brooks’ “We Shall Be Free”, which told us we would be free “when we’re free to love anyone we choose.”)

The point I’m getting at here is she takes chances.  The biggest on this Christmas album is with the remake of The Chipmunks’ “Christmas Don’t Be Late”.  Yes, that one!  However, with Musgraves in control and without Alvin, Simon, and Theodore terrorizing Dave, it’s a bona fide true country Christmas song.

The only misfire on the album and this is strictly a personal thing for me is including “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas”.  It’s one of my least favorite holiday songs.  However, I’ll add that Musgraves’ performance is incredible, as it always is.  I just don’t like the song.

“A Very Kacey Christmas” is definitely a great addition to your growing list of Christmas albums.

GRADE:  B+ (Thanks Hippopotamus!)

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — January 10, 2014

It’s Friday and we’re out of the deep freeze from earlier this week when wind chills hit -50°.  I hope you have a great weekend.  We’re taking down the Christmas tree, watching movies, and going to brunch Sunday.

If you’re thinking of a movie to rent this weekend and you want to see a love story, you have to see “Bridegroom”!

“BRIDEGROOM”

I’ve blogged about the love story of Shane Bitney Crone and Tom Bridegroom several times and, last weekend, we watched the documentary “Bridegroom” by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the powerhouse behind “Designing Women”.

NETFLIX POSTER

It doesn’t matter if you’re straight or LGBT, the story of Shane and Tom meeting, falling in love and traveling the world, Tom’s accidental death, and Shane not being able to attend the funeral in Indiana because of Tom’s family’s homophobia is touching and heartbreaking.

While watching this 80-minute documentary, you don’t feel that you’re watching a gay love story, you sense that you’re watching the love between two friends grow.  Simply, it’s a love story of two people.

If you’re opposed to marriage equality, this might open your eyes to see why it’s so important in this country and the world that everyone that falls in love should have the right to marry.  If you’re on the fence, I sense that you’ll want to find out how to make marriage legal for everyone.

“Bridegroom” is a must see!  As the credits rolled, I wished that I had known Tom and I hope that Shane can find that same love again.

GRADE:  A+

LILY TOMLIN GETS MARRIED

Legendary comedian Lily Tomlin, last seen on Reba McEntire’s ABC series, “Malibu Country”, is now a married woman.

Lily Tomlin

The 74-year-old actress married Jane Wagner, her partner of 42 years.

Friend and columnist Liz Smith writes, “It was an eventful New Year’s Eve … my longtime friends, Lily Tomlin and her love, the writer Jane Wagner, got married on the eve of 2014. … My wish is that their happiness will be as great as their combined talents.”

Best wishes Lily and Jane!

IS IT OKAY TO “OUT” PEOPLE?

I don’t know if Illinois Republican Congressman Aaron Schock, from Peoria, is gay or not.  I know he’s cute, has a nice body, and an interesting sense of style.

Aaron Schock aaron-schock-1

However, there’s been rumors swirling around Schock for years.  And, now his sexuality is front and center after a Facebook post from journalist Itay Hod last Friday.

Itay Hod

That’s just a portion of the lengthy post of Hod’s “hypothetical” question.  The story is now being picked up by gay and straight news outlets.

Itay Hod 2

So, there two are ways to go with this?  Is it a big deal if Schock is gay or not and should people “out” other people?

Here’s a tweet from Hod about his feelings?

Itay Tweet

Here’s my opinion and I welcome yours.  Dialogue is always good.

Having any public figure to “come out” as gay helps to demystify gay people.  It also gives kids that may be LGBT or questioning their sexuality a role model.

People have talked about Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster’s sexuality for years, but she refused to address it.

Jodie Foster

I was happy when she finally came out as a lesbian at last year’s Golden Globe awards ceremony in an acceptance speech.  Or, did she?

There’s a big difference between someone who lives their life as their own and a person, like Schock, who has been an enemy to the LGBT community and marriage equality.  In that case, the answer is yes.

Aaron Schock 2

If there is proof, yes, PROOF, that Schock is gay, it needs to come out and so does he.  Maybe then he can live a happier life not hiding in the closet and maybe explain if his political career is that much more important than the lives of his LGBT brothers and sisters.

If he’s straight, let him be and let’s vote him out of office for his ignorant anti-gay voting record.

It’s people like Schock that stood in the way of Shane and Tom getting married in California and Shane not having “legal rights” to visit Tom as he lay dying in the hospital!

DEJA VU

This isn’t the first time I’ve brought up the subject of “outing” people.

It was the topic of my seventh blog back on January 15, 2012, called “Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are”.  That blog was about the sexuality of professional football player Tim Tebow and others.  Here’s the link if you want to read it.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/come-out-come-out-wherever-you-are/

TimTebow-635

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

PsychoTwo To TooChannel 4 Weather Guy

KE$HA CHECKS INTO REHAB

Pop singer Ke$ha is known for her wild videos and stage antics.  Her songs are fun and over the top, too.  In her first hit, the #1 “Tik Tok”, she sings “before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack”.

Kesha

So, you might think her treatment has something to do with drugs and alcohol.  However, it’s something different.

The 26-year-old pop star released a statement last weekend saying, “I’m a crusader for being yourself and loving yourself but I’ve found it hard to practice.  I’ll be unavailable for the next 30 days, seeking treatment for my eating disorder…to learn to love myself again. exactly as I am.”

EATING DISORDERS AFFECT BOYS, TOO

Ke$ha, I wish you much success in what will be a daily struggle for the rest of your life.  I know it’s something that she and the millions like her will fight each day.

When people think of eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia, most incorrectly believe it only affects females and Karen Carpenter’s name likely comes to mind.

karen carpenterpeople

However, it’s estimated that 10-15% of those affected by eating disorders are male.

I, too, am a recovering food addict.  You’ll often hear me blog about eating healthy or walking on the treadmill.  It’s not because I’m vain.  It’s because I fight the food demon of overeating every day.  A few pounds to the average person is a huge burden, a catalyst for insecurity, and a path for destruction to a food addict.

After nine years of being a practicing bulimic from 1986-1995, I’ve been on the wagon now for going on 19 years.  Like an any other addict, recovery is a daily process.

It’s because of this that I blogged a couple of years ago about Adele’s weight.

adele out

It’s been my second most viewed blog since I posted it.  I’m sharing it again to raise awareness of weight and eating disorders.  I hope you check it out.  Feel free to share it because it might save someone who needs to know they are not fighting this battle alone.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/do-we-really-need-to-tell-adele-shes-too-fat/

In memory of Karen Carpenter, one of my favorite singers ever, here’s a medley of The Carpenters’ greatest hits.

“COUNTRY MUSIC:  FACTS, FIGURES & FUN”

After finally finishing enough magazines to read a book, I ended up reading four last year and vowed to read many more than that in 2014.

I just finished my first book, a short little 96-page history of country music that I picked up at a yard sale or a dollar store.  It’s called “Country Music: Facts, Figures & Fun” by Mike Evans.

Country Music

It was an interesting little read.  While most know that country music was originally known as the derogatory term “hillbilly music” and was changed to “country & western music” in 1949 and shortened to country music, its roots are traced by to the British Isles hundreds of years ago!

You probably already know that I love my women of country music.  While this book did profile Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, and Shania Twain, there were only a few brief mentions of my favorites, Reba McEntire and Patty Loveless.

The book also educated me on the history of bluegrass, singing cowboys, honky-tonk, the crossover appeal of “The Nashville Sound”, and outlaw music.

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY” FLASHBACK

When I think of “outlaw music”, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings come to mind.  The phrase was coined from a 1972 Jennings song called “Ladies Love Outlaws.”

Waylon Jennings

Jennings was born about a half-hour outside of Lubbock, Texas, in 1937.  While he became one of the biggest stars in country music, he never forgot his family back home.  In my year in Lubbock, in 1997, I interviewed his brother, who owned a gas station in west Texas, and he confirmed that about his famous brother.

Waylon scored his first hit in 1965 and his last Top 40 appearance on the Billboard Country charts was in 1991.

In all, he had 83 Top 40 hits on the country charts.  Of those, 53 reached the Top Ten, including 15 number one songs.

While I have many Waylon favorites (solo and with Willie and Jessi Colter, his wife), my all-time favorite, “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)” was released in April 1977 and it reached, #1.  It also reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #16 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.

Did you know that Jennings was a bass player for Buddy Holly and he gave up his seat on a chartered plane in February 1959 leaving Mason City, Iowa, for the next show?  That plane crashed killing Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper.

Buddy Holly Plane Crash

Waylon Jennings died in 2002.  He was 64.

ONE TOO MANY CONCUSSIONS?

On a recent episode of “UK Celebrity Big Brother”, former boxer champion Evander Holyfield told fellow contestant Luisa Zissman that being gay is not normal.

Evander Holyfield

Holyfield mumbled “yes, it is a choice… that ain’t the way nobody is made” and said if a person was handicapped, you’d go to a doctor to get it fixed.

I would go into the whole debate of how being gay is not a “choice” like picking out food on a menu, but he probably couldn’t hear me!

Tyson Holyfield Ear Bite

Peace out, my friends, and have a great weekend!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — April 5

My friends, another Friday is upon us and I’m very pleased to announce that I have nothing planned this weekend and I’m so thrilled about it.

Between work and upcoming events, both public appearances and personal commitments, I have a lot going on for the rest of April and May and I’m already overwhelmed!  But, this is one thing that I really look forward to each week, sharing my random thoughts with you.  What do you think of this blog feature???

FINALLY, IT’S WARMER!!!

Although we’ll have to deal with some scattered showers Saturday, it’s going to be very warm with highs in the Quad Cities around 70°!   This will be the warmest weekend since December 1-2, 2012, four months ago, when we reached 61° and 59°.

With that being said, I think we’re going to grill out Saturday night.  Maybe we’ll be lucky and get to sit outside on the patio.

As many of you know, I love Moscato and flavored vodkas, but here’s something that I think I’m going to have to check out and it would be perfect for the BBQ.  If you’ve already tried it, let me know how it is.

This is what I’ve read about it:  “This is our take on the traditional margarita. Beer drinkers were already mixing Bud Light Lime into margaritas to create ‘beer ritas’; Lime-a-Rita just adds a new level of convenience by providing a beverage with the perfect balance of flavors.”

strawberrita

PERFECT WEATHER COMING UP — FOR DUCKS AND FISH

After a dry day Sunday, a very wet period is expected from Sunday night through next Thursday with rain chances each day.  I wouldn’t be surprised if we get more than 2″ of rain in that time period.  I know our fish pond could use the water since we just went through a 12-day period with no measurable rain or snow.

WG10

SPEAKING OF FLAVORED VODKAS!

Wanda Sykes

STRESSED OVER “MARCH MADNESS”

Every spring, I wager $5 and fill out my brackets for the men’s NCAA basketball tournament, better known as “March Madness”.  In the past, I’ve never been a contender down the stretch!  However, this year, “March Madness” is insane for me.

Final Four Picks

If you’re a basketball fan, you can see that I have Louisville and Michigan in the final with Louisville winning.

If my calculations are correct and both of those teams make it to the finals, then I’ll likely win the “pool” at work and if those two teams make it to the final and Louisville wins, I think I may have won a 50″ LED television from a local newspaper’s bracket contest!   So, what started out as fun and a $5 investment could turn out rather profitable for me.  You know what I’ll be doing Saturday night when the two games are being played!  The finals are Monday night, April 8th, on CBS4, in the Quad Cities.

Go Louisville and Michigan!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Give Peeps a Chance

Hellfire   Palm Tree LightsYoko Ono Tweet

HIS HEROES MAY HAVE ALWAYS BEEN COWBOYS, BUT…

It’s no surprise to my friends that I idolize Reba McEntire, Madonna, Lady Gaga, former President Jimmy Carter, and former U.S. Secretary of State, First Lady, and Senator (and future President?) Hillary Clinton, but I’m now feeling the love for an unlikely ally.

Willie Nelson

When you hear the name Willie Nelson, you probably think country singer, outlaw, hippie, marijuana smoker, troubles with the IRS, and other things.  But, what about LGBT and marriage equality supporter?  Yes and yes!

Willie says, “For same-sex couples, taxes are different, benefits are different, survivor benefits are different.  It’s crazy … I never had a problem with any of it. I’ve known straight and gay people all my life. I can’t tell the difference. People are people where I came from.”

And, the “Red Headed Stranger” goes on to say with his wicked sense of humor, “I never thought of marriage as something only for men and women. But I’d never marry a guy I didn’t like!”   And, with a mix of humor and seriousness, “[gay people] should be just as miserable as the rest of us,” before stating that he finds the public uproar over same-sex marriage “ridiculous…in this day and age.”

Willie Nelson Marriage Equality

Willie recently posted this picture when the Supreme Court of the United States was debating California’s ban on same-sex marriage, “Proposition 8”, and the “Defense of Marriage Act”, which states that marriage is between a man and a woman.

And, here’s something else you may not know about Willie.  He’s a strong advocate for better treatment of horses and he supported the passage of the “American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act”.  He told “Men’s Journal” magazine in July 2011, “I’m an outside person.  I like to camp out and ride the horses.  I have 71 of them there [on his Luck, Texas ranch] — beautiful paint horses — that I rescued from places that were selling them to be slaughtered.”

Willie Nelson Horses

Willie Nelson turns 80-years-old later this month.  To the man who has had a total of 82 country hits (60 of which were solo hits) with 44 of them reaching the country Top Ten and 23 topping the charts (14 #1 solo hits), I salute you and I appreciate you being a strong ally in supporting equality for all.

Happy Birthday, Willie and thank you!

“If You’ve Got The Money Honey I’ve Got The Time”

“Always on My Mind”

TELEVISION SOUND BITES

In television news, a “sound bite” is a short comment, from a longer interview, that stresses a point that the speaker is trying to make in a news story.  So, here are some of my sound bites about things that I watch:

TWD S3 Finale

* A record 12.4 million people watched the season three finale of “The Walking Dead”.

* The one-hour (two back-to-back 30-minute episodes) season finale of “The New Normal” was funny, cute, and sentimental.  However, the ratings are less than stellar and I don’t think it’ll be renewed  for a second season unless creator Ryan Murphy (“American Horror Story” and “Glee) has a lot of pull in Hollywood and at NBC.

* The viewership of the first two weeks of this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament was up 31% this year over last year — the highest ratings in 19 years!

following_nevermore

* I’m ready for this season of “The Following” to end.  I know the season finale April 29th will be incredible, but the show is really starting to drag and it’s starting to irritate and bore me.  My correspondence with my good friend, Kelly, in Baltimore, Maryland, sums it up.

Kelly:  “Bates Motel is what I wanted The Following to be. (Following and I have broken up.)”

Me:  “‘The Following” and I sticking together for the kids until the season finale and then I’m done. I can’t believe how ridiculous it has become. I mean, give the FBI a break. I know you have to draw it out to 15 episodes, but really. Last week was nothing but filler.”

* While we dropped cable because we never watched television, I want to see “Bates Motel” on A&E, which Kelly highly recommends.  Last night, I watched “Hannibal” on NBC and it was incredible, gory, suspenseful, and psychologically stimulating.  If you missed it, NBC usually has most of its show online for viewing.

Here’s the “Viewer Discretion Advised” trailer:

My Wednesday’s blog link about the new “Hannibal” series:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/come-into-my-house-but-not-for-dinner/

* And, finally, “Dexter” season 7 arrives on DVD May 14th.  The countdown is on:  39 days!

SO LONG, ROGER!  TWO THUMBS UP!

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert, the legendary movie critic and television co-host, who popularized a movie rating of “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” died Thursday in Chicago.

Since 2002, the 70-year-old Ebert struggled with cancer of the thyroid, salivary glands, and the chin, which affected his ability to speak, eat, and drink, he never gave up and was a fighter.

Two years ago, he published his book, “Life Itself:  A Memoir”.

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

With the record warmth in March 2012, things looked a lot different last year compared to now.  The grass was green, lilacs were in bloom, my friend, Lynn, had a flowering bush budding with Easter eggs, and my garden was already tilled!

Lilacs040612

EasterEggsInBloom 040512  TilledGarden040612

MY FUTURE HIT PICK

Chris Wallace, a musician from Chicago and the former lead singer for the band White Tie Affair, released his first solo song, “Remember When (Push Rewind)” last summer and it was a pick hit of mine and one of the absolute best songs of 2012!  It did get moderate airplay, but was pretty much ignored at pop radio in the big scheme of things.  While it reached #25 on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart, it never cracked the Billboard Hot 100.

The follow-up coming out later this month is “Keep Me Crazy”.

PEEPS’ ’80S FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Andy Bell and Vince Clarke have been making music together since 1985 as Erasure.  Although they only scored three top 20 pop hits in America, #12 “Chains of Love” (1988), #14 “A Little Respect” (1988), and #20  “Always” (1994), it was “Oh L’Amour” that blew me away when I start going out clubbing and dee-jaying.  It hit #3 on the dance chart in 1986.

I guess I’ll wrap this up now because I could go on and on.  I do have many random thoughts!  Just ask Ray! 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Anthony

They Said What??? Willie Nelson, Lily Tomlin, & Rick Perry

“TODAY” SHOW EXECUTIVE PRODUCER DON NASH

(about host Matt Lauer and former co-host Ann Curry’s relationship):  “You can’t fake it for very long that early in the morning.   I think viewers have a sixth sense about all that. If your two anchors don’t like each other off the air, they’re not going to be fooled if they love each other on the air.

MORE DON NASH

“Off air, Curry and Lauer had no relationship and barely spoke.  When she started, Curry had asked Lauer out for lunch to get advice, but Lauer seemed to drag his feet scheduling it and Curry felt he didn’t offer much. … with Curry, who threw off his rhythm and also threatened his dominance of the hard-news stories, he could often look sour.”

“MALIBU COUNTRY” ACTRESS LILY TOMLIN

“It’s stunning, the progress in the last 15 years.  “Time” magazine offered me the cover in ’75 if I would come out.  I was a bit insulted that they thought I’d trade my personal life for the cover of “Time”.  It’s probably just as well. Being such a big TV personality at that time, it probably would have been tsunami-like.”

POP MUSIC ICON & BROADWAY COMPOSER (“KINKY BOOTS”) CYNDI LAUPER

“I can hear myself everywhere — I’m not deaf.  But a lot of people inspired me.  You get from everybody and you give.  It’s a whole cycle.  I love music and I will always listen to and make music.  I heard Cher say she’ll probably still be standing with the cockroaches.  I’m with her.”

ACTOR ADAN CANTO

(who plays Paul, one-third of the Paul-Jacob-Emma love triangle on “The Following”):  “It’s been strange how I’ve become desensitized or light-hearted while conversing about death and violence at work — you know, just talking about the best ways to depict a scene. I’d imagine it must be an awkward scene to eavesdrop on.”

“THE NEW NORMAL” ACTOR JUSTIN BERTHA

“I’ve thought about this a lot, because one if I’m lucky enough to have children, you have to make those choices.  I would absolutely want my child to be part of an organization like the Boy Scouts.  On the other hand, I can’t necessarily condone it if their values don’t promote equality.”

CLEVELAND BROWNS LINEBACKER SCOTT FUJITA

“I don’t ever want to explain to my daughters that some ‘versions’ of love are viewed as ‘less than’ others. I’m not prepared to answer that kind of question.”

TEXAS GOVERNOR AND FORMER REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RICK PERRY

(regarding Madonna wearing a Boy Scouts uniform and speaking out against its anti-gay policies):  It’s fascinating that someone would make that kind of gratuitous shot at an organization that has probably done as much to promote young men to the type of values that the vast majority of the people in this country aspire to.”

“MAGIC MIKE” STAR & “PEOPLE’S SEXIEST MAN ALIVE” CHANNING TATUM

“I’ve spent time with George Clooney, and he’s the most interesting man on the planet. He can do it all. I guess what I’m saying is I’d have sex with him.”

COUNTRY MUSIC ICON WILLIE NELSON

“[gay people] should be just as miserable as the rest of us,” before noting that he finds the ongoing debate over same-sex marriage “ridiculous…in this day and age.”

MORE WILLIE

“For same-sex couples, taxes are different, benefits are different, survivor benefits are different.  It’s crazy … I never had a problem with any of it. I’ve known straight and gay people all my life. I can’t tell the difference. People are people where I came from.”

FINAL THOUGHT FROM WILLIE 

“I never thought of marriage as something only for men and women. But I’d never marry a guy I didn’t like.”

Anthony

I’m Your Christmas Juke Box Today

I hear people say that it seems like Christmas starts earlier each year.  In the quest to get more of your money, that’s true.  By the time “Black Friday” arrives, many stores have already had big sales.

I love it each holiday season when “Mix 96” in the Quad Cities changes their music format to all Christmas!  I could listen to holiday music all year around and I confess that when I’m overly stressed, I turn it on to chill out, even if it’s September.

holiday boom box

Today, I’m going to share my favorite Christmas songs with you.  Now, while I love Reba, Michael Buble, and Josh Groban, every song from their Christmas albums cannot make the list, otherwise you’d still be reading it next Christmas, so I’ll select just one of my favorites from each of them.

Whether you’re at work, at play, or at home reading my blog today, click on each of my selections and let me your Christmas Juke Box today!

While Christmas would not be complete if we didn’t hear Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, or Elvis belting out classics, they are not in my Top Ten.

My other favorites that just missed out, too, are “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” (Bruce Springsteen), both versions of “Please Come Home For Christmas” (The Eagles and Bon Jovi), “Jingle Bell Rock” (Bobby Helms), “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” (Darlene Love), “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” (Brenda Lee), “Sleigh Ride” (Debbie Gibson), and “If We Make It Through December” (Merle Haggard).

Now, my ten favorite holidays songs.  To make this list, it has to be a song that regardless of what I’m doing or if I’m in the car and it comes on, I’ll stop and listen until it’s over.

10

WILLIE NELSON — “PRETTY PAPER” 

My love for this song goes back to watching my mother cry every time she heard it.  And, now I know why.  We really need to slow down at the holidays and show more love and compassion, especially to strangers.

#9

MICHAEL BUBLE — “IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS”

8 red

REBA — “THE SECRET OF GIVING”

I absolutely love the message behind this song.  I wish radio (pop and country) would play it at Christmas time.

I  remember when I was in Maryland, in 2005, and one of the radio groups had an all-day telethon to raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims and the American Red Cross.  You could call any of the radio stations that you listened to and make a donation and they’d play your request on whichever station you chose, regardless of the genre.  I donated $10 to play this Reba song on the hard rock station. 🙂

green 7

JOSH GROBAN — “O HOLY NIGHT”

“O Holy Night” is my favorite Christmas song.

I could very well have had Reba, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Faith Hill or countless others listed here.  But, there are many classics on Josh Groban’s “Noel” album and his version is perfect and that voice makes me melt!

6 red

PAUL McCARTNEY — “WONDERFUL CHRISTMASTIME”

 

GREEN 5

ELTON JOHN — “STEP INTO CHRISTMAS”

 

red-number-4

JOHN LENNON & YOKO ONO — “HAPPY XMAS (WAR IS OVER)”

If you’ve only heard this song on the radio and have never seen the video, it’s graphic.  War is never pretty, even during the holidays.

green 3

MARIAH CAREY — “ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU”

 

number_2_red

BAND AID — “DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS?”

Christmas has definitely taken a turn a bit darker in my countdown after many upbeat and fun holidays songs.

And, what would Christmas be without a Christmas Bonus?

Christmas-Bonus- Woman

What?  You want the other present?

Christmas-Bonus- Man

Wait, I’m not talking that kind of bonus.  Casey Kasem always had an “American Top 40 Extra”!  So, here’s mine.

Before I started the countdown of my favorite Christmas songs, I said, “while I love Reba, Michael Buble, and Josh Groban, every song on their Christmas albums cannot make the list”.  The same can be said for the Carpenters, so here’s an extra medley before we get to #1.

We’ve counted down the hits, all the way from number ten to number two and now we’re up to my favorite Christmas recording of all time!

#1

THE CARPENTERS — “MERRY CHRISTMAS, DARLING”

Which of these do you like or dislike?  What is your favorite?

Merry Christmas!

Anthony