Posts Categorized: Music

Jun 08 2013

Leaps and Bounds… #blogjune

A few weekends ago, we spent the afternoon and night in Manhattan. First seeing the new Hangover movie (if there is a next one, we are going to wait until DVD) and then heading to the Highline Ballroom to see Paul Kelly.

It was general admission but seats were available on first come, first served for a dinner and show. So we got there early and we were fourth in line when Paul Kelly walked right past us! Also, you won’t believe it. The tickets were only $25! I felt guilty knowing what I would experience for that price!

We were both really impressed with the food at the Highline. We both had very low expectations so it was a pleasant surprise! At our table was a couple on holidays in New York from New Zealand. The rest of the place was probably 80% Australian. I did hear one American say he first heard Paul Kelly when he was on a Qantas flight and they were playing him on the inflight radio!

Dan Kelly was the support act and he was really good. I’ve always loved him since doing one of the best duets ever on Rockwiz with Martha Wainwright. I just play this over and over all the time.

After his set, then it was time for Paul. The show was in two parts. The first part he played his whole new album Spring and Fall which is performed as a song cycle. Then the second part was a greatest hits selection.

Paul Kelly and Dan Kelly

The whole show was really, really good. I loved it so much and it was so relaxing to sit back and hear a master at work! Bill did not know one song from either Paul or Dan and he enjoyed it so much as well. The only annoying part? The woman who kept yelling “SING I REMEMBER!!!!” If only she knew the song was called Leaps and Bounds. 😉

Paul Kelly and Dan Kelly

Jan 29 2013

Yes… another Chris Issak post!

Let’s talk some Chris Isaak shall we?

Earlier in the year I was doing our regular donation payments when it came time to pay our PBS donation. When I went to their website, I found that one of their subscriber gifts for donation was 2 tickets and a Meet and Greet with Chris Isaak at his Beacon Theater show later in the year. It was a no brainer – we were SO there. The Beacon is my favorite venue in New York – we were basically guaranteed an awesome night. I’ve met him a few times. After his show (my first Chris Isaak concert) in 1996, I met him at Gaslight records in 1998 and after his show in Melbourne in 2006. So this would be my fourth Chris meeting!

Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy changed our plans. The show was rescheduled. My friend Honore was supposed to come down from Massachusetts for the show but with the Amtrak service being still sketchy, Bill stepped in and we decided to make it a date night.

We were told that for the meet and greet, our photo with Chris would be taken by the PBS photographer. So I was envisioning a gorgeous quality photo and was very happy to have someone professional take the photo. We had to line up outside and then in the theater itself, while Chris finished up the Live Nation Meet and Greet. We were told that basically we got to have a photo and that was it – so it wasn’t a usual Chris Isaak meet and greet protocol but it was fine nevertheless.

When we were lining up, Bill said he wasn’t interested in a photo, instead he would stand to the side and take a photo of me instead and hold my coat. Before I knew it, it was my turn to step up. I walked towards Chris when he turned around and said “WOW – that is such a BEAUTIFUL dress!” I was floored and went bright red and said “Thank you SO much!” while giggling. Then we had to turn around to get our photo taken. The ‘photographer’ was standing in one of the rows. We turned around and it was basically ‘Say Cheese!’ and that was it. I turned around to wish them well for the show when Chris asked where I was from. I said “Brooklyn!” to which he looked at me strangely until I added “… via Melbourne!” He was all excited and noted how they’d be doing a fair bit of work in Australia next year. Bill then wandered over and told Chris how great he looked (he really did look amazing for his age!) when Chris told Bill “All clean living man!!” and that was that. I said goodbye to Chris and Kenney and headed for the door.

We wandered across the road to Big Nick’s Burger and Pizza Joint. If you want a dive place, this is it. My white pizza was really nice, Bill’s burger was delish and it was great to be able to calm down after all of the excitement.



We were then able to wander back across Broadway to get in our fab fab fab (as in 5th row, center) seats. The Beacon is the best – seats are comfy, sound is awesome and the place is just gorgeous.

Best music venue in NYC

The whole show was really good – he loves the Beacon and you can tell he feels at home there! Bill is also converted – he had a great time… which was so good to know seeing as he hates concerts. Chris and the guys are so professional and really and truly, they never play a bad show That is why I see them nearly every year! Check out some of my photos –

Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak

When we got home I was so excited to see the photos Bill took of us from afar. Hmm this is what I got –

Awww Bill's rushed pic..


Seriously… what am I doing? :(

Seriously – two of the most blah photos ever. I was sad but hopeful for the other shots to come.

In the end I had to wait FOUR WHOLE DAYS for PBS to send me the ‘professional’ photo. Oh my gosh. When it arrived it was like it was taken on a 2006 Blackberry 2 megapixel camera. The photo is SO BAD I found myself laughing hysterically. For added ridiculous value, it has a huge date and time stamp across the bottom of the WRONG DATE. Here it is –

The PBS photo

So that was our date night with Chris and the guys. Just looking at the photos makes me laugh – we’ll see them again next year without hesitation and Bill has promised we’ll get the proper meet and greet where we can have a good chat with the guys (because seriously, they can do pre-concert chit chat well) and take a DECENT photo!

By the way, here was the setlist for the show. SO very, very good!

American Boy
Pretty Girls
Blue Hotel
We’ve Got Tomorrow
I Want Your Love
San Franciso Days
I’m Not Waiting
Somebody’s Crying
Wicked Game
Best I Ever Had
Notice the Ring
Baby Did A Bad, Bad Thing
Doin’ the Best I Can
Ring of Fire
Dixie Fried
Can’t Help Falling in Love
It’s Now or Never
Live It Up
Miss Pearl
Great Balls Of Fire


Super magic
Oh, Pretty Woman
Big Wide Wonderful
Worked It Out Wrong

Jun 12 2012

A little flashback… #blogjune

This clip is proof that concerts in malls are totally awesome. I never did see any concerts at Northland growing up but.. how awesome was Tiffany’s concert? Especially when she had random looking guys acting as security guards. Check it out at the 1.10 mark! Also, can you imagine if we went to the airport and rode around on the baggage claim like she did? How times have changed!!

Back in the day I could not stand Tiffany. This was all because of a a poll in Smash Hits where she rated higher than Kylie. I had to stick up for Kylie so this meant I would never play Tiffany. The years have passed and lately this song has been rocking my iPod… it is great on my morning commute.

A little bit of trivia, the Ogden City Mall in Utah where a lot of this was filmed became a dead mall and was completely demolished in 2002.I have a fascination with American malls so if you are like me, you will love the Dead Malls website.

Next up.. how beautiful is Debbie Gibson’s song ‘Only in my dreams’? I have posted this so you can have it stuck in your head for weeks just like I have!

Also – another Debbie Gibson favourite of mine –

I have found that that more and more I use the shuffle function less and tend to use set playlists for morning and afternoon commutes. I think this must be only because there are certain kinds of songs that are only suitable at 7am… so 80s bubblegum pop it is!

Jun 10 2012

Lindsey Buckingham… again! #blogjune

Lindsey Buckingham has been touring again so naturally, this meant I had to go. Lucky Bill was coming along to keep me company. I just cannot miss Linds when he is in town! It had still only been less than a year since I actually met him! WHOA!

He was playing at BB Kings Blues Club in Midtown and I had never been there before so it is always good fun checking out a new venue.

Lindsey at BB Kings

For dinner, we went to Becco on 46th Street. Becco is Lidia Bastianich’s restaurant – it did not disappoint. I opted for the three dish pasta where they come around with big frying pans filled with the three pastas of the night and continually fill your dish. The pasta was fantastic (the penne with veal ragu and peas was easily on par with pasta I ate in Rome) and Bill got the main chicken dish that was in a light broth with some Israeli cous cous and vegetables – the chicken was absolutely amazing. The only downfall was it was seriously the noisiest restaurant I have ever eaten in. I am not one for shouting over the table so basically we basically didn’t talk through the whole meal.The tables are very close and we had two very loud speakers on either side of us so we didn’t stand a chance but the whole restaurant was like having five McDonald’s playgrounds inside but with adult voices.

We then made our way back down to 42nd St to get to BB Kings. Here is where the ranting starts. We got there 10 minutes after the doors opened and decided to have dessert there so we would reach the $10 per person charge that you must make for sitting down. The tables on the floor was pretty packed already but we didn’t get to choose where we sat… even though it was general admission. The guy leading us to our seats offered us one table that was behind a pillar or right down the front where Bill would have his back to the stage. We took down the front but it was awful. We were told we HAD to sit facing each other. Um ok? Luckily, no-one was sitting beside us so I mentioned to Bill that when the show starts he can come and sit next to me so he could actually see the stage.

Then, at about 8.15 (show was starting at nine) they bought down a girl and sat her beside me. Um – how does it work that you can come in late and end up with a better seat than Bill? Okkk then. But we still had the seat beside Bill where he could move and then wiggle around when the show started. Oh no we didn’t. About 20 minutes later, they sat another girl beside Bill. So we were essentially jammed beside the stage with not even an inch of room between us and the other people and Bill couldn’t see a thing as now he didn’t even have room to spin around. I went up to our waitress and asked if we could just move seats up to the back as they had great booths, with a good view of the stage and these were still empty. She said no – if we did we would have to pay another $10 charge per head AGAIN. This was on top of the $60 each ($73 including Ticketmaster charges) that we had already paid for our tickets and on top of our desserts and drinks that we had already bought. So I cracked it and said to Bill I wouldn’t care if we left because he couldn’t see, I was slammed against the side of the stage and it was just miserable.

Then, the waitress came over with our bill. Bill noted to me how the tip was already included and she wouldn’t be getting anything else as she was pretty much hopeless. She came and took our card and then came back ten minutes later with the receipt for us to sign. She pointed out to Bill that this was just a partial gratuity, basically letting us know to add more to it. Bill is a VERY good tipper so he was very much “No worries!” and was about to up the tip to his usual ‘average service’ tip of 15%. That was until he saw the amount. The included gratuity was ALREADY 15%. So he wrote that on the receipt an when she came back he pointed out to her that it wasn’t partial as it was already 15%. To which she said “Exactly – that is only a partial tip!” AHA – she thought we were tourists – understandable considering my accent but who was she kidding?! I would LOVE to know how much she is swindling other customers (especially those who were drinking) out of more money with her scam. Bill quickly pointed out to her that 15% is a partial gratuity but that is only when it comes to GOOD service. She then just walked away. Worst service EVER.

I looked up towards the back and noticed that all the decent booths and tables up there were only just filling up. Which means that people coming in last, were getting way better seats than us – it was a schmozzle of the highest order.

Lindsey came out and I tried to enjoy it being squashed against the stage and with the girl beside me basically sitting on my lap. He played REALLY well. It was just him and his many guitars… but check out the setlist. Go Insane was AWESOME and he totally rocked Come.

Cast Away Dreams
Bleed to Love Her
Not Too Late
Shut Us Down
Go Insane
Never Going Back Again
Big Love
I’m So Afraid
Go Your Own Way
Seeds We Sow

Here is proof that I did stay to see him –

Lindsey Buckingham

It was then time to leave… which would have been easy but President Obama was at an event across the road. EEEEKKK. We had to have the flash off for the Obama/Clinton lighting to show up but… here is Obama, Bill Clinton and me!

Across the road from President Obama

See all those huge garbage trucks? They are used as barriers while the President was there. They circled the block! Which left me a bit dismayed as that means all he sees lining the streets when he comes to New York is old garbage trucks?! You can see more pictures here of the garbage truck barricades.

When we were finally in the cab on the way home, Bill also mentioned how he saw a mouse trap under one of the booths there… so then I got visions of mice running over my bag that I had under my seat. UGH!

The worst came the next morning when I checked our online banking and somehow our credit card had been used online at the Apple Store and Anthropologie. I knew the transactions had taken place between 6am (when I first checked) and 8.30am (when I checked again)… sometimes it does pay to be OCD about banking! Bill and I also had a fair idea about who may be responsible but of course, no proof. Anyway, after all that, we contacted BB Kings and they have been STELLAR in dealing with the issues we bought up. We learnt that for a gig like Lindsey’s there should have been no issue with us moving seats and the set tip is definitely is NOT a partial gratuity. They were sad we had such a horrid time with our server and have offered us tickets to another show of our choice. Our bank has also been great dealing with the card issue so no complaints there… the only way we can find out who it was would be to file a complaint with the police and then our bank will hand over any documentation (if they even find it) to them. The Anthropologie transaction didn’t end up going through so that is a bonus but that also means there is no record of purchase or shipping address.

So there you have it. Could any more drama happen over the course of twenty four hours?! Sheesh!!

Jun 05 2012

Ahh The Badloves… #blogjune

I have been thinking about this for a while. What could really be one of the most underrated Australian albums ever?

Today I realized there was one album that deserves this accolade. Obviously, there are more contenders but, for today, it is The Badloves debut album Get On Board.

Every song on this album is just about perfect. They stopped producing music as a band way too soon but this was a stellar debut. I was luckily enough to see them live twice and both shows were unbelievable. I remember working at Parks Victoria and it was a couple of years after the Badloves were big. At that time I was working with a girl from the UK called Joanne and I introduced her to the Badloves. She played the CD over and over and over again. I hope wherever she is in the world now, when she happens to play that CD now (and maybe it is only one that she would stumble upon once per year) that it brings back awesome Melbourne memories.

Another fun memory was one night I was reading the liner notes (with the prevalence of music downloads I really miss the liner notes) and I realized my Library school lecturer was actually a cellist on the album.

If you haven’t listed to them for a while, give Get on Board a spin again. It really is a beautiful album!

Mar 22 2012

Discovering 1995 in 2012..?!

Today on the SiriusXM 90’s channel they had a Hootie and the Blowfish BBC Vault Concert special.

I started listening and thought they were not bad live. I listened some more and it was an awesome concert. I checked my iTunes. I do not own one Hootie and the Blowfish song! 34gb of music and not ONE.

Well I’ve changed that tonight. I think for me, Hootie and the Blowfish were always one of those bands that I would hear on the radio and they were played over and over again and I never paid much attention to them past that. I think I hated how they were just everywhere so I blocked them from my radar. At the time they were popular, it really wasn’t the style of music I was into… so I just missed them. Anyway, it has been nice to add some new songs to my collection tonight even if I am nearly 17 years behind the times.

My favourite so far –

Mar 11 2012

Operation Bruce

There was one thing I wanted to make sure of when I moved here, and that was to make sure I took advantage of the concerts that come to New York that I missed seeing in Australia. One thing stood in my way, tickets here are very hard to get. It seems everyone wants to see their favorite performer in NYC so getting tickets can end up being a very expensive experience!

When I saw that Bruce Springsteen was touring here I made sure that was one concert I wanted to see. Just imagine – the Boss at Madison Square Garden. YES!

I actually survived the Ticketmaster Meltdown of 2012 and somehow, ended up with tickets on the floor to his show. It was so much of a story, they actually had a segment on the evening news about it. Thousands of fans missed out and we got two tickets.

When I jumped on Stub Hub after the sale that sold out in seconds, I was shocked to find tickets in our area selling for thousands. I flirted with the idea of selling them… but I have been in that position before where I really really wanted to see someone and missed out on tickets as I couldn’t afford the scalpers rate. But on the otherhand I was thinking “Oh… just IMAGINE what we could do with the money!” Scalping is not illegal here, if you have a ticket you can sell it. It was so tempting.

BUT we stuck with our tickets. As Bill and I discussed it – we’re not huge Bruce fans but it will be GREAT to see him. I love his old stuff and I am hoping he will play some of that but also, his new album Wrecking Ball is getting great reviews. So I think we’ll be in for a good night.

Just check out this photo from his special SiriusXM show from the Apollo Theatre the other night… The Boss still has it going on that is for sure!

Bring on Bruce!

Feb 13 2012

Jordis is BACK!

Oh my gosh I just nearly fell of the couch!

Tonight, I have just been sitting here watching The Voice before bedtime. Mainly because I am Team Adam Levine and Bill couldn’t be bothered changing the channel. There was a teaser for after the break when I saw a girl who would be auditioning next. I screaming “OH MY GOSH BILL THAT IS JORDIS!!!” This is where we also cue the “Jenelle is going cuckoo” look from Bill.

Jordis Unga was one of the competitors on Rockstar INXS. She was absolutely AMAZING. We loved her, but as the performances got more cut throat Jordis was unable to keep up with the likes of JD Fortune and Mig Ayesa – not shabby competition!!

It was fantastic to see her back and she performed wonderfully tonight. I really hope she goes far – her voice is so strong. She is a rarity when you see the same ol’ thing on all of these shows.

This explains it all –

Watch Jordis rock –

I’ll be cheering her on all season… Blake Shelton has a star!