Tag Archives: Rock n’ Roll

Sinizen “Grass Roots Culture” — Reggae Music

Sinizen Grass Roots Culture.

Download Sinizen’s new music, “Grass Roots Culture.”  One of my favorites is “Take it Easy,” but they’re all catchy tunes.

Click on “Grass Roots Culture” on Amazon to listen and to download.     Their website is http://sinizen.com.  You can find them on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.  They’ll be touring again soon.  To check out the band’s tour schedule, click on MySpace.com/Sinizen.

To vote on your favorite song from the album, click here to take you to the poll.


Filed under Entertainment, Music


SINIZEN Live @ the Galaxy 1/29/10 Stay Away Satan

I’m following the tour of Sinizen as they travel the country and into Canada this year. My daughter is as she describes herself “tour manager/roadie/merch salesperson/whatever a band needser.” Her fiance is the bass player, Ryan Harvey. They are both music business graduates from the Berklee College of Music in Boston and now are using their business education to hopefully make some money doing what they love.

This is a video from their performance January 29, at the Galaxy in Santa Ana, California.
“Stop being better the us” Mark McGrath of the headliner band “Sugar Ray” told Sinizen after the show last night, Ryan reports.
To see their schedule, go to Myspace.com/sinizen. You don’t want to miss them if they’re in your area!

All great bands have merchandise:  To get yours go to rharvey1 or Sinizen Merchandise at It’s a Beautiful World!

Here’s how they describes themselves, according to their website:
While the reggae rock scene continues to grow by the second, SINIZEN stands out with their own mix of reggae-dub-rock-hiphop-latin, allowing anyone to recognize their sound as the SINIZEN sound, with the ever-so-smooth sax tone from Jorge Guzman, The thumping reggae bass from Ryan Harvey, the eclectic jazz drumming of Mike Manning and the six string slinger/Singer K9. These boys aren’t just band mates, but brothers. They have been through thick and thin and never once quit. Just pushed through the difficult roads and became a touring machine, touring the united states and soon to be touring Europe and japan. Opening for such acts as Eek-a-mouse, Don Carlos, The Wailers, The Dirty Heads, The Aggrolites, Sugar Ray, Shwayze, Kottonmouth Kings, Unwritten Law, and HEDpe. Their newest Record “Grass.Roots.Culture” (March2010) is a solid reggae masterpiece produced by Lewis Richards. The band has taken action to do non-stop touring and promotion. so we are coming to your town and we’d love to meet you!

Sinizen was featured on the cover of "Rock n Tattoo" magazine in April 2010.


Filed under Entertainment, Family, Music, Personal, Travel

Spiritual Rez

Spiritual Rez performed at the Bottleneck in Lawrence, Kansas, July 21, 2009.

Spiritual Rez performed at the Bottleneck in Lawrence, Kansas, July 21, 2009.

I could hardly hear my daughter on the phone over the music.

She was at a concert, listening to friends in a touring reggae band.  Finally I made out what she was repeating.  “Can the band spend the night at your house?”

I swallowed hard.   “Uh, uh.  Sure.”  Where would we put them? We’d just had some rooms remodeled in the basement, and everything was messier and junkier than usual.  The band members were friends of my daughter and her boyfriend from their alma mater, the Berklee College of Music.  Had I been thinking ahead, I would have known they’d be sleeping in our basement.  Another touring band — friends of theirs — crashed in our basement earlier in the summer.  (Do people still use the word crash for camping out in someone’s house at the last minute?) 

Spiritual Rez and friends.

Spiritual Rez and friends.

I made my daughter promise they’d be quiet. My husband and I are old fogies, and we need our beauty rest.  I never heard a thing, and in the morning I wondered whether they’d even come.  I looked out the front window and saw a van and equipment trailer parked out front.  Later, I found out that they’d played music on the driveway, and I’d slept through that.

I got out the boxes of cereal, bowls and made coffee, and one by one they appeared.   They introduced themselves and settled in, happy, they said, to be in an actual home rather than a hotel or a motel, some of which weren’t the homiest of places.

Ian “Meat” Miller,  who is the band’s manager, its drummer and one of the two van’s two drivers, fired up his laptop to look for the next places to stay as they continued on the road.  He uses priceline.com, which sometimes produced great places at reasonable rates.  (This isn’t a paid product placement, ha, ha.) The band has a lot of expenses.  It’s not cheap fueling a van pulling a trailer and feeding and housing six people across the country.  The bandmembers describe themselves as “a reggae horn funk dance party energetically touring the country.”

Spiritual Rez at the Bottleneck, Lawrence, Kansas, on July 21, 2009.

Spiritual Rez at the Bottleneck, Lawrence, Kansas, on July 21, 2009.


They were such a cheerful, fun crew, that my husband and I invited them to return after their show that night in Kearney, Nebraska, about a five-hour drive north.  They’d stay the night in Kearney and return to Kansas City before their next stop in Lawrence, Kansas.   

When they returned on Sunday, they greeted me with “Hi, Mom.”  I did want to adopt them all.  They were full of stories about their evening in Kearney, where they played in a bar. A fight broke out.  As bystanders but too close for comfort, they dodged punches.  The police came. Kind of like the old west. 

As they talked, I thought about what it would be like to always be on the road, performing in new places all of the time.  They seemed to love it.  They were different personalities, but somehow made it work.  They read a lot and talked about some of the books they were reading.  One said he was reading “Dante’s Inferno,” which he said was written as a poem. I confess I never read it myself.  Coincidentally, a question about Dante was the Final Jeopardy question that afternoon.  Would I have gotten the answer without Spiritual Rez’ guidance?

Miller and Toft Willingham, the lead singer, recognized Mt. Cook in one of my New Zealand photographs, which both had seen on a tour of New Zealand visiting Willingham’s brother James who was working at Peter Jackson’s WETA Digital on James Cameron’s “Avatar”.  They made the trip on their annual winter break, when they stop touring for a short while.

More Spiritual Rez.

More Spiritual Rez.

The band was happy that Lawrence was barely an hour away.  They set out on a Monday on a rare day off, which they spent exploring the city and the University of Kansas campus, they said.  Their concert was on Tuesday night (July 21) at the Bottleneck.  Willingham told the crowd that Kansas was the 32nd state they’d performed in.

They really were an energetic reggae horn funk dance party.  It was a beautiful night.  Even my old creaky bones were moving.

After Lawrence, they set out for Colorado.  Miller said he loved watching the Rocky Mountains rise out of the plains.  At this writing, they’re in New York state. They post their activities and schedule on MySpace and facebook, for those who want to find out when they’ll be in your neighborhood.   

The band was formed in 2003 at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where the band is based, although the core members come from Hawaii, Rhode Island, Chicago and Florida. Others have joined the group on and off.   The band members we saw: Toft Willingham – Vocals; Van Gordon Martin – Lead Guitar; Jesse Shaternick – Bass; Ian “Meat” Miller – Drums; Bryan House – Trombone; Nick Romer – Trumpet.

You can buy and hear more music on their website Spiritual Rez and MySpace.com/SpiritualRez.  You can also find their music on archive.org, which is a great site.  Below is a slide show I made of their performance at the Bottleneck in Lawrence, including their jam session with the Rubblebucket Orchestra.  The music ran out out before the photographs.  Oops!  It’s my first time adding music.  I don’t have the audio editing talent in the family. That belongs to my awesome daughter.  So listen and prepare to get up and dance!  Check out the dozens of videos of Spiritual Rez videos on You Tube.



Filed under Entertainment, Music

Woodstock — Forty Years Ago? Wow….

Woodstock Poster

Woodstock Poster


My friend Kathy and I took a photography class in a Wichita, Kansas, high school during the summer of 1969.  Mark, one of the other students, told us about an outdoor three-day music concert he was going to in New York state after the end of classes.Woodstock album  He was sketchy on the details, but it sounded like they’d have to sit on the ground. No chairs!

Always practical, I asked him:  “Where are you going to stay?” 

He shrugged.  “We’re going to sleep on the ground, I guess.”

“That doesn’t sound like much fun,” I said.  This is why I miss out on a lot of cool stuff. 

Of course, afterward I was one of the millions who bought the album and watched the movie and lived the experience vicariously in my warm, mud-free living room. 

Decades later, my friend Anita, who lived in upstate New York at the time, and I visited the city of Woodstock, a charming little town, where we tried to imagine what it would have been like to make the journey in 1969 and be a part of rock n’ roll history.  

History of Woodstock Festival.


Filed under Entertainment, History, Life, Movies, Music, Personal

Robert Plant receives Commander of the British Empire Honor


Robert Plant with Prince Charles.

Robert Plant with Prince Charles.


(Photo by Johnny Green)
Former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant , right, receives his CBE from Britain’s Prince Charles during the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London  on Friday, July 10, 2009.
Robert Plant Receives Commander of the British Empire Award.

Robert Plant Receives Commander of the British Empire Award.

Associated Press, July 10, 2009 — Robert Plant received a royal honor from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace on Friday, putting the former Led Zeppelin front man one notch above his old band mate Jimmy Page.

But, Plant joked he and Page would not be fighting over rank, even though Plant’s new Commander of the British Empire is a higher honor than Page’s Order of the British Empire.

“If we can remember each other’s phone number at this time in life it’s a miracle,” he joked. “We’re still good friends, we both enjoy a rather dark sense of humor that comes, I think, from being from rather the wrong side of the tracks for all those wild years.”

Plant opted not to take part in a Led Zeppelin reunion tour last year, choosing instead to concentrate on his collaboration with American bluegrass singer Alison Krauss.

Also receiving the CBE on Friday was English actress Liz Smith, 87, who appeared on the British TV series “The Royle Family.”

Link to my earlier post on Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin, my favorite band.

Link to my earlier post on “Sir” Robert Plant.



Robert Plant with his children Logan, left, Carman and Jordan on the right.

Robert Plant with his children Logan, left, Carman and Jordan on the right.

Former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant with his son Logan, left, daughter Carman and son Jordan, right, pose for a photograph with his CBE which he received from Britain’s Prince Charles during the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London on Friday, July 10, 2009




Filed under Entertainment, History, Life, Music

Generation Tattoo



Sinizen, a reggae band, is featured on the cover of "Rock n Tattoo" magazine in April 2010. The link to the magazine and the band's website is at the bottom of this post.

Sinizen Grass Roots Culture.


Go to FREE DOWNLOAD of Sinizen’s new album (at left) by clicking on Grass Roots Culture.

When I was growing up, the only “person” I knew with a tattoo was Popeye the Sailor Man.  Now, I can’t go anywhere without seeing one or more tattoos on one or more people. 

It won’t be long until at least half of the population has a tattoo. The Pew Research Center reports that 36 percent of people age 18 to 25, and 40 percent of those age 26 to 40 have at least one tattoo.  Like in many trends, rock  and rap musicians led the way with tattoos.

One of the hazards of getting a tattoo is that you might change your mind.  Angelina Jolie has had a few tattoos removed or covered over. Here she's had the geographical coordinates from the locations where her children entered her life.  This tattoo imperfectly covers an old tattoo of Billy Bob's name and a dragon, which now looks like a bruise. There are probably a few more coordinates on her arm by now.

One of the hazards of getting a tattoo is that you might change your mind. Angelina Jolie has had a few tattoos removed or covered over. Here her children's geographical coordinates cover Billy Bob's name and a dragon, which is still partly visible.

Soon the public won’t see tattoos as shocking and cutting edge, but as mundane.  My father, an aviation engineer, said that when engineers start doing something “wild,” then it’s just about to go out of style. So let an engineer with a tattoo be your barometer for the end of the tattoo trend.  Clear skin will then be the rage for rebels.  (Well, maybe not.)  

Tattoo trends themselves go in and out of fashion.  Neck and hand tattoos are more popular, but the “tramp stamp,” the tattoo on a woman’s lower back, is becoming passe, the local newspaper recently reported. 

At my hair salon a while ago, a manicurist asked me about my daughter’s first solo trip to visit friends in California.  I told her: “She had a great time.  Best of all, no piercings and no tattoos.” 

Ryan is a member of the band Sinizen. He's also an artist. The link to his website on redbubble is in my blogroll at the right under Shameless Promotion.

I hadn’t gotten the word that this woman was now the proud new bearer of a “tramp stamp.” I just assumed she’d agree that “no tattoos” was a good thing.  I also didn’t know that my daughter had, in fact, gotten not just one but two tattoos in California.  Two tiny stars on one foot, one matching a star on her best friend’s ankle. Not only am I not on the cutting edge, I’m also out of the loop.

I don’t care. No tattoos for me, thanks.  I don’t like my freckles. Why would I want more marks?  And once it’s inked, it’s permanent! (Although tattoo removal is a growing industry!)  That first girlfriend you’d love to the end of time?  Now, you have to ink over her name with a giant dragon.  Did you and your BFF get matching roses on your shoulders?  Now, you find out she’s a skunk. About those Japanese characters that were supposed to say “Love and Peace”?  They actually say “I’m a stupid tourist.”  That dolphin on your belly?  Now it’s a whale.

With a dozen or so tattoos, Angelina Jolie is more inked than most people her age, but almost 40 percent of Americans ages 26 to 40 have at least one tattoo, according to Pew Research Center.

In our society, we may see tattoos as marks of rebellion or outsider status, but there was a surge of tattoos in the Victorian Era, led by two English princes, including George, who later became King George V.  Read about it in the Victorian Era. Tattoos hold different meanings in different societies. In some, tattoos are signs of status or membership in a group, club, clan or criminal syndicate. Some tattoos are meant to frighten or even to attract. 

“Hey, gorgeous, I’m crazy about those blue lines on your chin.”

Maori man.

Maori man.

Tattoos could be useful, too.  Tattooed sailors could be identified when they washed ashore. Tattoos also had more sinister uses when they marked prisoners.

Tattoo is a Polynesian word, and some of the most elaborate tattoos were created in New Zealand and Borneo.  In the early 19th century, a Maori named Hongi was introduced to King George IV, who admired his tattoos.

Whatever else you might think about tattoos, you might agree that many tattoos are incredibly beautiful as art.

Sinizen’s website.

Tattoo n Rock Magazine.

You can read about the history of tattoos at The Tattoo Museum.  An article about tattoos in the New York Times can be read here: Tattoos Gain Even More Visibility


Filed under Art, Entertainment, Family, History, Humor, Life, Personal, Random, Uncategorized

The Rolling Stones

J.A. got these autographs for me.

My autographed photograph of The Rolling Stones.

I never win anything, I don’t collect autographs, and I usually don’t know anyone who can get me past security…..But the rock n’ roll stars were in alignment at least this one time in April 1999. (Ok, so it’s an old story.)

 The Rolling Stones were bringing their “No Security” tour to Kansas City, their first trip to town in ten years.  Friend and neighbor KG was organizing a group to go. 

We were excited. We actually knew someone who knew someone — our friends and neighbors, the As. Their son-in-law, B.F., was a back-up singer for The Rolling Stones. We’d seen the family photos with the Stones in the A’s kitchen. Grandkids on Stones’ laps.

Mrs. A. offered to get us backstage passes, but told us we were on our own for tickets. 

I didn’t want to pay $250 each.  There were cheaper tickets, but KG wanted the best.  I was planning to sit in the nosebleed section. I’m cheap, what can I say?

KG chided me, “Come on, just pay the money, when will you have this chance again?” 

I never win anything, but I won these tickets in a drawing at a department store.  I\'d told friends my husband and I didn\'t want to pay $250 each to go with them, but I was counting on winning tickets.  Amazingly, I did!

These tickets say they cost 0.00, but they were priceless!

I told KG I’d win tickets. A local department store was holding a contest for tickets. I’d enter. I’d win. Easy.

KG laughed: “You’re out of your mind.  You’ll be sorry.” 

You know, I never doubted I’d win. (Although I’ve had that feeling about contests before and since and didn’t win, but that makes a lousy story.) The day before the drawing, I remembered that I’d have to actually enter to win — wishful thinking alone doesn’t work — so I hurried to the store and dropped two entries into the box — one for me, one for my husband.  This was in the days before most contests were online.  Then I waited. 

KG asked: Did you get tickets yet? 

“No, but I will.”

“You’re delusional.”

A while later — it seemed like forever — someone from a New York office called to tell me I’d won two tickets. Actually, she told me that my husband’s entry had won, so now I had to twist his arm to take me.  Forms were FedExed, signed, notarized, FedExed.  I practically lived on my front porch one weekend, waiting.  There were deadlines that had to be met, or we’d lose out. I had no idea how complicated it was to win something. Finally the tickets arrived by FedEx.

On the concert’s eve, I was in KG’s kitchen, when we saw a long limousine pull into the A’s driveway.  Who was it? We took a walk, hoping we could catch a glimpse in the window of someone from the band.   We couldn’t see anything.  I felt like an idiot.  We laughed at ourselves.

When we got to Kemper Arena on the night of the concert, we pushed our way through the crowds to meet Mrs. A. in a large dining area — the band lounge.  But there was no band, of course.  A lot of people were eating and drinking.  We weren’t hungry so we passed on the refreshments. We didn’t recognize anyone.  We could hear the echo of the opening act, Jonny Lang.  We weren’t actually in the real back stage, but, hey, we had a pass! Still, I was sorry I had missed Lang. We were here to hear music, not watch people eat.

We hurried to the concert floor.  It was crowded, shoulder to shoulder. I could see Dr. A., in a suit and tie, and  Mrs. A., in a jacket and skirt, near the front in the crush of people.  At a break, Mick Jagger introduced B.F., who called out, “I love you, Mom and Dad.” 

Dr. and Mrs. A. had faithfully attended all of The Stones concerts when the band came to town, whether in Kansas City, in L.A., where the As had a home, or in Tokyo, where they had relatives, although Mrs. A. confided that it really wasn’t their kind of music. I think it grew on them, though, over time.

Twenty thousand fans were there, and I think they all squeezed onto the stage floor.  Who was left in the cheap seats?  Mick Jagger was electrifying as he pranced, pouted and shouted on the long stage!  What if I hadn’t won tickets?  I would have missed out.  It was an unforgettable, not-to-be repeated experience. Part of our exuberance was feeling a connection to our generation, resonating the patterns already imprinted in our brains since the days in 1965 when I first heard “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” at Dara’s birthday slumber party for all of the girls in the eighth grade at St. Mary’s.

The following week, Mrs. A asked us whether we wanted band autographs.  I said, “Sure.” A week later, I got the photo above, signed by Mick Jagger, Ron Wood, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts in gold ink.  I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it, although I’m happy to have the photo. It’s been in a file drawer ever since, until I scanned it for art for this post.  I’ll have it archivally framed one of these days.

In August 2005 in Boston, my daughter’s boyfriend, R.H., worked on the crew to erect and then take down in Fenway Park what was one of the largest stages ever constructed for a rock concert.  The Rolling Stones were kicking off their “Bigger Bang” tour there on Aug. 21 for a two-night stand.  R.H., a college student and musician, was a lot more excited by the work than he was by the music which was not of  his era.  He was happy to climb to the top during the take-down.  He joked about seeing the members of the band hobbling off to their limousines. By the time R.H. had been born in 1984, the Stones had been making music for twenty years. 

R.H. and my daughter, L.L., are in a generation that seem to have infinite music choices.  They can find it anywhere.  Are there any bands that unite them, any common soundtrack to their lives?  They seem liberated by it.  They probably won’t be gathering twenty years from now in a huge stadium to re-visit the music of their youth.  Now, though, when I see their music “mixes”, I see as many songs from my youth as I do from theirs.  Too bad, the old dinosaurs of our age will be gone.

Our long-time colleagues, friends and neighbors got these passes for us.  Not much was going on backstage, but a lot of people eating and drinking while the opening act, Johnny Lang, was playing. No musicians were in sight!

We got into the band lounge where we saw a lot of people lounging and eating, but no Rolling Stones.

On a trip to Chicago in October 2006, my husband and I stayed in a hotel full of Rolling Stones fans, who were going to an outdoor concert at Soldier’s Field, still the same “Bigger Band” tour that had kicked off in Boston.   I was wistful. There were tickets left. Should we get some?  We’d come to Chicago to see the King Tut Exhibit at the Field Museum. I hadn’t even known about The Stones. The temperature had dropped into the teens. The wind was howling.  We watched from our hotel window as the crowds trudged toward the stadium, which we could see from our room.  I sighed.  The moment had passed. The next morning, the fans were enthusiastic. They’d made their own heat.  I rationalized that we couldn’t have recaptured that night in April long ago when everything came together.  But, except for the cold, I wish we would have gone.


Filed under Life, Music, Personal