My Kind of Town

I was in Chicago earlier this week. I didn’t get much of a chance to see the city, as I was mostly inside a hotel at a conference. I stayed at a hotel next to Grant Park, which was nice. I had a chance to walk around in the morning there before the conference got under way. I made my way down to the lakefront, where I walked around with about a thousand of my new closest friends who were jogging along the lakefront. Except those who were dressed for running who were walking with Starbucks cups – and they all were Starbucks cups. Obviously there are many Starbucks that are close by (and no other coffee shops) – why are there no other coffee shops around?

I did get to the Merchandise Mart, and on the way saw a number of different, cool bridges. I didn’t see the “High Fidelity” bridge, but the city seems quite proud of their diverse sets of bridges and bridge designs. It’d be worth exploring more – hope to get the chance to get back to the city.

And the soundtrack to my visit included these tunes, put together for your pleasure this week. They include Mission of Burma, Wussy, Matthew Sweet, the dB’s, Van Morrison, Ryley Walker, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Bill Withers, Michael Jackson, Major Lance, Roky Erickson, Olivia Tremor Control, the Apples in Stereo, and Camera Obscura.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.

Download here

Wedding Bell Blues

Well, it’s pretty much become all wedding, all the time around here. What was once an event that was far away is coming into sharper focus. Nick was up to teach Kate how to dance (they weren’t very successful, but I wasn’t around to help – I took a ballroom dance class in high school that I still remember). Nick also sent in his vows for us to look at and edit.

I’ve forgotten how good a writer he is. What we saw was a rough draft (round two , he tells us). We made some suggestions and he tightened it up so it works very well (I won’t bore you with my one quibble that stayed in – I was outvoted by the better writers 2-1 – Kate has real writing talent that she doesn’t use, but should). It’s funny and poignant and an amazing expression of love. He has real potential as a writer, too. C’mon, great writers in the family – write!

Let’s get ready for this wedding with some songs from Mission of Burma, Wussy, Matthew Sweet, the dB’s, Van Morrison, Ryley Walker, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Bill Withers, Michael Jackson, Major Lance, Roky Erickson, Olivia Tremor Control, the Apples in Stereo, and Camera Obscura.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.

Download here

Busy June

It’s June – we’ve made it this far in the year without getting blown up – let’s keep up the good work! This month is very busy for me. I’m heading out to Chicago for a conference on June 11, the we’re heading down to New Jersey at on June 21 for my son’s wedding. There’s a lot of excitement building up over it – don’t see why. People get married all the time, don’t they?

My son Nick and his fiance Lindsay are handling things pretty well overall – no threats of canceling the marriage as far as I can tell. It should be fun, and it’s hard not to get excited. Just 20 more days until the actual day. Lots to do before that, and to help we’ve got songs on today’s podcast from the Art of Noise, Cocteau Twins, Pet Shop Boys, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Wanda Jackson, the Everly Brothers, Tom Rush, Gram Parsons, Dave Alvin, Taj Mahal, Richie HAvens, Relatively Clean Rivers, the Allman Brothers Band, and the Fifth Dimension.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.

Download here

Memorial Day

Happy Decoration Day! That’s how Memorial Day started – people used to go to cemeteries and spruce up the graves of military veterans who died in combat. My wikipedia page says it started before the Civil War, but really it was the Civil War that popularized the practice, especially in the South. African-Americans claimed that they started the practice, and the North has also claimed that it started the idea. Whatever – it’s become a day to honor those brave people who died serving their country, and we shouldn’t forget that, even in the Memorial Day Sales hype, or all the barbecues that we’ll attend.

Let’s honor the dead with our podcast, which is more focused on the living, with Joni Mitchell, John Martyn, Bert Jansch, Luke WInslow-King, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Pinkshinyultrablast, the Searchers, the Bangles, Continental Drifters, Shocking Blue, Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs, Argent, and Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.

Download here

Out of Touch

I am completely out of touch with what’s going on culturally. Never thought that I wouldn’t at least know basic stuff (what’s being watched on TV, who’s topping the music charts?). I always thought when I was a kid that I couldn’t understand how my parents couldn’t at least identify what I felt was very important stuff to know. Now that I’m older I’m at least as bad as they are. The top selling album is beerbongs & bentleys (sic) by Post Malone. Did you know that? Would you be able to identify any songs that he sings? What’s his genre, anyway? Rap, pop, dance? I heard (on purpose) a Post Malone song the other day – I still can’t answer the question. I think it’s what passes for popular music today – kinda rap, kinda pop, sorta dance-y, and totally unmemorable. Someone was trying to convince me that it’s all just pop – meaningless, fun music. Well, it’s certainly meaningless, but not fun to my ears. Hard pass.

And the top TV shows? How about the Big Bang Theory and the Good Doctor? I don’t watch either, and except that I believe that it’s a medical drama, could not tell you anything about the show the Good Doctor. Just checked – the Good Doctor looks like an updated Doogie Howser. Am I close? Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know. I do watch some TV – but I don’t think that I see any regular network TV shows.

Have we as a culture become isolated and given over everything to the young? Probably not – I think that has been happening since popular culture came into being. I paid closer attention to things when my son was younger (had to have an idea of what he was consuming), but that time has long vanished, and I’ve been able to let slip that which is unimportant, which means popular culture. It feels good, to tell you the truth.

I still listen to new music, though – just not what the kids are into, and I feature a bunch of new stuff on today’s podcast, so let’s dig into the new sounds of Liz Phair, Belly, Eleanor Friedberger, Speedy Ortiz, David Byrne, Neko Case, Shakey Graves, the Who, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan & the Band, Roy Orbison, Dwight Yoakam, the Everly Brothers, and Rockpile (ok, the last 8 songs aren’t “new” as such).

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.

Download here

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers. Hope your day goes well.

Enjoy some Mother’s Day with music,. How about this podcast, which today features Felt, Medium, Medium, Brazilian Girls, John Lennon, Marshall Crenshaw, Robbie Robertson, Tommy Keene, Pet Shop Boys, Bananarama, Sade, Chaka Khan, Brian Eno, John Cale, and Robert Wyatt.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.

Download here

Bees’ Knees

I have a bad left knee. It’s “classic” osteoarthritis says my Doctor. Great, another classic. I’ve had a couple of cortisone shots for it, and while I’ve complained that they weren’t effective, they did relieve some of the symptoms. Problem was, my knee was getting worse – walking up and down stairs got to be an absolute killer for me. In January I went to the Doctor’s to see about the next step, hyaluronic acid shots, but he also suggested that maybe I could try some physical therapy. So I hied myself on over to PT and got some exercises to strengthen the area, and voila, the pain has been disappearing.

I think that losing weight has also helped (it’s something the Doctor suggested). But the pain has been reduced remarkably, so that I feel some twinge when walking up stairs with a heavy load (laundry, say), but nothing like before. I know that this is not a permanent solution, but anything to slow the next steps, leading to the final solution – knee replacement – is appreciated. Good, old fashioned easy exercises – who knew it could work so well?

Let’s exercise to this week’s podcast, which features birds. Spring means birds, which means the Beatles, Joe Cocker, Neil Young, Galley Beggar, Richie Havens, the Guess Who, Joni Mitchell, R.E.M., Taj Mahal, Archie Bronson, the Cardigans, the Buffalo Springfield, Paul McCartney & Wings, and the Flat Five.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.

Download here

Plus Ca Change

Spring is a season of change. The earth begins to renew, flowers spring up, trees and animals, and sometimes it’s time for humans to make or face changes. My son is getting married in June, so he’s facing a change. Oh, it’ll mostly be a subtle change, but the pomp of it all makes the realization that the relationship that you’ve been in is now more permanent – it’s a change.

I think that in general people don’t like change – they learn to stay where they are and exist in a world they’ve made. I am someone who likes the routine of certain rituals and ways that I’ve done things and live my life, but I can embrace change as well. I hope that everyone can face change and accept the challenge.

I left my old job back in March after 13+ years, and then found a new job that is pretty similar to my old job, but with some different aspects that are challenging and will be fun. I like to be challenged, and found myself not being challenged as much in my old job. I guess it was time for a change.

Let’s make change where we need to, but don’t change if you regularly listen to the podcast. If you don’t normally listen, then make the change and get involved with Robin Trower, Split Enz, Buffalo Springfield, the Band, Everything But the Girl, Jim Kweskin’s Jug Band, Kate Tucker, the Incredible String Band, a Band of Bees, Badfinger, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the Association, Three Dog Night, the Classics IV, and the Monkees.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.

Download here

Dieting in the 21st Century

Well, after some occasional snow this week (none of which stayed around here, but in Northern New Hampshire – geez), looks like spring might actually be happening. Looks like a pretty solid week of spring in the forecast – let’s hope.

I’ve been on a diet lately, as well as ramping up the exercise,and I’ve lost somewhere between 15 and 20 pounds. I may be plateauing a little now, but hope to lose more as time goes on. It hasn’t been too hard – I first discovered that my weight started ballooning again after my dog died. Apparently, the long walks I took with my dog were good for me, too, so I started to walk every morning – a little longer than the normal morning walk, and the same as my weekend walk. I’ve added more exercise as well – nothing too strenuous, but it’s helped bring down the weight.

The other part of losing weight has been to cut down on alcohol. That’s been pretty easy, too. I’m not a big drinker (waits for my wife to disagree), but it was regular. It’s now very occasional, and that’s helped, too. I remember Bill Burr talking about losing weight because he got puffy in the face from drinking, so he cut down on drinking and I’ve followed suit. Oh, I’ll still drink, not just as much as before.

Losing weight wasn’t some big New Year’s resolution, but just a general “let’s get a little bit healthier” decision I made. I have no true goals, so I won’t get frustrated if I don’t lose x amount of weight. I just want to feel better, and so far, so good.

Music to lose weight to? Maybe, but really, just a great listen. So take some time to hear The Beatles, John Martyn, Crowded House, Traffic, Tom Waits, Pulp, the Liminanas, Guided by Voices, Tina Charles, Dr. Buzzard & the Original Savannah Band, David Bowie, Hot Chocolate, Orkestra Akokan, Bruce Cloud, Joe Bataan, and David Byrne.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.

Download here

Tax Day

Well, it’s tax time again – seems like it happens every year around this time. We’ve been pretty lucky, in that we are delayed in the due date by the 15th being on the weekend (today if you’re reading this when I post), and having a delay due to Patriots Day (thank you Massachusetts). Every year for a long time we’ve owed money, so the due date is important to us (government isn’t getting paid early, but if I were getting a refund, my taxes would have been done as early as possible – give me back my money, government). I guess that I prefer to owe money rather than have paid too much in, but it still hurts when I have to send a check for a largish amount to satisfy the deficit-ridden government (who won’t waste the money on programs I want to see the money go to).

Over the years I’ve lost things to reduce what I owe to the government – no more dependents and the mortgage interest gone, but the property taxes still help reduce what I owe. Don’t take this as complaining, though. I’m happy to pay me share in to keep the government afloat, even if I don’t agree with how they spend my money once I give it to them. I don’t share my spending habits with them, either. I’ve become less and less a consumer of economic goods as I get older, although when I do spend it’s kind of large (new car last year). Hope everyone’s had a good tax season.

Let’s celebrate the tax days with my new podcast. Included is a trip to the country and we look around one more time with Anna Domino, Ashiko, Gus Gus, Big Country, Talking Heads, Allen Toussaint, Them, Mary Weiss, Johnny Adams, Alejandro Escovedo, Family, Pink Floyd, and Traffic.

This podcast is, as always, available to stream or download at brennick.net. There should be more content there, and I will try to put more things up this year. The podcast is also available to download as a podcast at your favorite podcast streamer – iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast is called brennick.net. Check that out sometime. I welcome suggestions and comments, too – leave them as you will. Thanks for everything you do to encourage me.

Download here