Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Friday, July 30, 2010

Wonderful World - Daddy A Go Go
Let's Not Fight (Feast of Lights) - They Might Be Giants
Hey Soul Sister - Train
(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To - Weezer
Dishes - Joe's Backyard Band
Sleepoverland - Justin Roberts
Springtime, It's My Favorite - Billy Kelly and the Blah Blah Blahs
Black Slacks - Robert Gordon
Everyone Everywhere - Baze And His Silly Friends
Be Yourself - Grenadilla
The Galax Sea - Recess Monkey
I Love My Mom - Dennis Caraher

Looking forward to the weekend!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cookies & Milk - Royal Order of Chords and Keys
It's a No No to Kiss a Rhino - Roger Day
If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out - Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem
California - Luna
Green Eleven - Todd McHatton
New Game - Tim and the Space Cadets
My Brain - Mose Allison
My Doorbell - The White Stripes
Some Pieces - King Pajama
Sing About the Sun - Dog on Fleas
Stop At a Mom n'n Pop - Uncle Rock
Marshmallow Farm - Recess Monkey

Some new selections, plus the first song that Ben ever requested to hear again (It's A No No) from Spare the Rock podcast.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I Feel Like Going Home - Yo La Tengo
If Mama Had Four Hands - Sarah Lee Guthrie & Family
Superball - Magic Kids
Whistle For Willie - Randy Kaplan
California Gurls - Katy Perry (Feat. Snoop Dogg)
If Not For You - George Harrison
Best Day Ever - Spongebob Squarepants
Hologram World - Tiny Masters of Today
Baby Kangaroo - Joe McDermott
Joy - NoMeansNo
Sunglasses - Recess Monkey
Cities With Seagulls - Joe's Backyard Band

More new songs chosen by Ben!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hello Hippopotamus - Laura Doherty
Percy on Pluto - The Nields
My Darling Clementine - The Submarines
Spider-Man - Chris McKhool
Neighbors - Okee-Dokee Brothers
Muppets/Mahna Mahna - Primate Fiasco
One Day Soon - The Sippy Cups
Send Me On My Way - Rusted Root
Little Robot - Human Tim + Robot Tim
Don't Pass Me By - Georgia Satellites

Flipped by the Georgia Satellites second album on our shelf and just had to rip that song for Ben.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Monday, July 26, 2010

It Makes You Feel Good - Renee & Jeremy
White Light - Wilco
Joshua's Treehouse - Starfish
One Of Us - Joan Osborne
Roundy Round - Monty Harper
Heigh-Ho - Los Lobos
Frenzy - Dean Jones
The King Of Calibar - Bill Harley
Sack Lunch - Recess Monkey
Crow - Joe's Backyard Band
Rough and Tumble - The Fuzzy Lemons

Yes, some new songs this week. Watch for more as they show up.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Friday, July 23, 2010

Zoom A Little Zoom - Tom Glazer & Dottie Evans
Shout - Tears For Fears
The Secret Life of Six - They Might Be Giants
Sugarcube - Yo La Tengo
Don't Dream It's Over - Sixpence None the Richer
Happy Place - Milkshake
Li'l Things - Strange Kidz
How Do You Build a Robot? - Recess Monkey
My Name Is Jonas - Weezer
Honest Kid - Princess Katie and Racer Steve

Hmm... a lot of songs by artists who were also featured yesterday.

Either Ben is in a groove or I need to import some new songs.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cousin Max Is Prepared to Rock - Spare the Rock
Why Go Up There? - Tom Glazer & Dottie Evans
The Race Is On Again - Yo La Tengo
Rockstar - Charity and the JAMband
We Are Going To Be Friends - The White Stripes
Chicken Noodle Soup - Yosi
Walk Tall - Ziggy Marley
What's On Your Shirt? - The Jimmies
In The Mall - Weezer
Stay-At-Home Dad - Justin Roberts
Tiny Cool - Princess Katie and Racer Steve
Roy G. Biv - They Might Be Giants
The Boogieman - Keith Munslow
More Cowbell - Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights

Sick day set from Ben.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Smoothie - Kimya Dawson
Ice Is A Solid - Dorothy Collins
Oh My My - Ringo Starr
Everyone Loves to Dance - Aaron Nigel Smith
New Day - Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
The Summer - Yo La Tengo
One Of Us - Joan Osborne
Tarzan's Nuts - Madness
Mr. Tambourine Man - The Hollies
Mmmmm - Crash Test Dummies
What You Thought You Need - Jack Johnson
Funky Monkey - Yosi & the Superdads

Good midweek funky set.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It Makes You Feel Good - Renee & Jeremy
No Good Reason Party - The Dirty Sock Funtime Band
Spitting Seeds - Under the Tree Music
Trick or Treat - Justin Roberts
Periodically Double Or Triple - Yo La Tengo
I Get Around - Beach Boys
Roam - The B-52s
Tripping Down the Freeway - Weezer
Science Fair - Trout Fishing in America
History Never Repeats - Split Enz
Even Numbers - They Might Be Giants
I Love My Mom - Dennis Caraher

A nice summer set list.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Monday, July 19, 2010

Where Does The Sun Go At Night? - Dorothy Collins
White Light - Wilco
Driver Education - Indigo Girls
Head Over Heals - Tears For Fears
Si Se Puede - Deedle Deedle Dees
I Gotta Feeling - The Black Eyed Peas
Sometimes I'll Be There - Naked Brothers Band
Dinosaur in My Backyard - Hullabaloo
I Go Swimming - Peter Gabriel
Get A Clue - ScribbleMonster
When We Was Fab - George Harrison
Troublemaker - Weezer

After a sleepless night, a long morning set from Ben.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Not-Its Not Coasting on West Coast

Seattle Funsters Challenge Eastern (Kids) Rock Girls

Girl power. No, I'm not reminiscing about the Spice Girls. I'm talking about the modern-day kindie rock battle that's brewing between the East Coast (Audrarox and the Jimmies) and the West Coast (The Not-Its).

With this month's release of their second CD, "Time Out To Rock," the Not-Its make a case for the Northwest. Boasting confident vocals from former indie pop singer Sarah Shannon (from Velocity Girl), the 11 tracks cover child-centric topics such as relocation (Welcome to Our School), fears (Only Kids Can See), and frustration (Accidentally).

The band remains "on message" throughout their power-pop set. Mainly, that kids are people, too. And that even the smallest among us sometimes need help dealing with the simplest of issues. As in "Accidentally," where the protagonist copes with everyday mistakes:

I sat down in a chair next to my friend Claire,
When she jumped in the air.
Something happened accidentally.
She started to cry. When I asked her why, she looked me right in the eye.
It happened accidentally.
She looked down at her shoe, it was covered with glue.
Oh no what did I do?
Could this have happened accidentally?
It's my fault after all.

The Not-Its' goal is to provide young children with their first "real live rock show" experience. We had taken Ben to see Dan Zanes and the Wiggles. I passed on the Doodlebops due to exorbitant ticket prices. When my wife returned home, she was glazed over. "He went nuts," she explained. "There was no real story - it was just a concert and he wouldn't sit down for the entire show!"

We had seen abbreviated sets from Audrarox and the Jimmies at Kindiefest, but Ben's first real "rock" concert may have been the Jimmies at Symphony Space. But the gauntlet has definitely been thrown thousands of miles from West to East. The Not-Its make a strong case for being one of the best family-friendly rock acts on either coast.

If anything, "Time Out To Rock" skews a little young for Ben (now 9). A song like "Green Light, Go!" channels the band Garbage (for kids), but he's past the need for another song about lights changing color. But three- to seven-year-olds will groove on the guitars and drum beats.

From our perspective, though, there can never be enough songs like "Welcome to Our School," about helping a child get comfortable in a new setting. Until last year, this was Ben's situation for three years in a row. He should now be able to take the lead and welcome new children into his school. And there's nothing wrong with a song to reinforce that attitude.

The Jimmies are working on new material. Audrarox just released their second CD (which we haven't heard yet). We're dedicated East Coasters. But the Not-Its rock a siren song that's hard to ignore, all the way from Seattle.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Friday, July 16, 2010

Love My Kitty - The Good Mrs. Padgett
B.A.T.H. - The Not-Its
Tiny Cool - Princess Katie and Racer Steve
Mary, Mary - The Monkees
Mmmmm - Crash Test Dummies
Roam - The B-52s
Dixie Flier - Randy Newman
Dr. Wiggle - Recess Monkey
One Two Three Four - Feist
Just Can't Get Enough - Depeche Mode
Keep Fishin' - Weezer
Kansas City Octopus - Clementown

Ben spans the decades with Friday's playlist.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, July 15, 2010

Annie and Carly Are Prepared to Rock - Spare the Rock
Where Does The Sun Go At Night? - Dorothy Collins
Run - Mr. G
Rubber Biscuit - Supersuckers
Butter - Bunny Clogs
Morning Person - Shrek the Musical
Dance This Mess Around - The B-52s
Calendar Girl - Neil Sedaka
I Gotta Feeling - The Black Eyed Peas
Don't Stay - Laura Izibor
All You Need Is Love - The Beatles

We just finished listening to the LOVE soundtrack in the car. Hence, Ben's finale today.

Perez for Oswalt: Mets Trade Proposal

The New York Mets have a chance at the Eastern Division title.

Forget the wild-card.

The wild-card, like in the AL East, is going to come down to whoever doesn't deliver in the final 10 weeks of season.

In the AL East, the Yankees have the advantage over Tampa Bay and Boston. The club that gets hot can blow past the other two and win the division. Right now, the Rays and Red Sox are playing jump ball for the wild card.

In the NL East, the Atlanta Braves have made it a three-way race with the Philadelphia Phillies and Mets. The Phillies forgot the ancient baseball maxim, "You can never have enough pitching" and traded Cliff Lee to Seattle. Now Lee is in Texas, on his fourth team in less than two seasons. And the Phillies find themselves in third place in the East.

Clearly, the Mets need a name pitcher. They have five bodies in the rotation, but R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi are untested down the stretch. Mike Pelfrey has looked horrible in his last few outings and Johan "Have A Grand Slam" Santana has to provide his own offense to win games. There's a fifth guy in there somewhere... oh yes, Jon Niese.

Even the Phillies must know something about Pedro Martinez if they haven't floated an offer his way this late in the season. So the "Vote for Pedro" boat has clearly sailed.

I would made a modest proposal for the Mets: look to the Southwest. The Houston Astros are cash-poor and gullible. Let's take advantage. Offer Oliver Perez, some cash, and a pitching prospect, in return for Roy Oswalt.

Ollie has been awful, sure, but Omar Minaya could always tell the Astros, "He just needs a change of scenery! He's pitching well in rehab!"

The clock is ticking on Perez, who must be activated or moved by the July 31 deadline.

Salary-wise, it's almost a wash: Perez makes $12M and Oswalt makes $15M. Both have another year on existing contracts.

The Mets could improve their team by sending $5M with Perez...this lessens the bleeding if the Astros decide to eat Ollie's contract or trade him next season. Or perhaps Perez will perk up in new surroundings. After all, that's the load of crap that Minaya has to drop to get Ollie off the Mets roster.

The Mets payroll would go up $8M this season. But they would also take themselves out of the free agent race for a starting pitcher in the offseason. Oswalt would essentially be playing down the stretch for a contract extension. And playing in New York would only raise his profile. More money in advertising jobs and personal appearances. Sounds like the sales job the Knicks tried on LeBron James, hmm?

That's it, Mets. I've solved your problems again.

Now let's just hope that Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes don't have a repeat of their vanishing acts from 2009. Otherwise, the Mets will wind up playing jump ball with the Phillies and Braves for that wild-card spot come late September. And as we've seen in past years, they haven't come up with the ball.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sanford and Son - Quincy Jones
Home For The Holidays - Perry Como
Please and Thank You - Princess Katie and Racer Steve
Because It's There - Ellis Paul
Sing Like a Sparrow - Dean Jones
Coconut Woman - Karl Zero & THE Wailers
Pee Keeps Our Insides Clean - Pete Yorn
Kitty McGoo - Royal Order of Chords and Keys
Down To Earth - Peter Gabriel Soundtrack
Lima Bean - Dog on Fleas
Flaming Pie - Paul McCartney

Perry Como, in honor of Grandma joining us for dinner tonight while Ben made his playlist.

Andrea's Eulogy for Melvyn Odintz – July 6th, 2010

Thank you all for coming. We all know that the last few years were difficult for our father. Fortunately, that was only a small fraction of his 85 years. Today, my family and I want to share memories of what he was like before.

Our father grew up in Brooklyn with his parents, older sister and younger brother. As he got older, he grew to love music, an interest he later passed on to his children and grandchildren. He especially enjoyed big-band music. He learned to play drums and practiced on the drum set he kept in the basement of his apartment building. This proved to be a convenient location whenever there was a good concert in town. He’d leave “for school,” go down to the basement, stash his books in the bass drum, and skip class to go see his favorite bands play.

Of course, years later, he wouldn’t have been pleased if any of his kids pulled a stunt like that. Although he did make an occasional exception if there was an educational excuse, like taking Laurie and later Jay to see parades of astronauts who were in town on a school day.

Later on, Jay and I both played drums for a while, though not at Dad’s level of performing in the Catskills. But he showed us the right way to hold drumsticks: the jazz way, not the rock way. [Can demonstrate] He was also enormously proud of my son Ben’s piano playing and bragged about that to everyone.

He met our mother in high school but soon after he graduated, he was off to serve in the Navy during World War II. He was trained as a medic in Corpus Cristi, Texas. He wrote poetry and songs to my mother. In later years, he wrote many more poems for his children and grandchildren.

While in the Navy, our father was the sole survivor of a plane crash, which is staggering. And so he was able to return home, marry our mother in 1946 – and remain married to her for the next 63-1/2 years – and have 5 children throughout their 20s, 30s and 40s.

Pretty soon, our parents had 3 little girls, my sisters, Alayne, Sharrin, and Laurie, to take care of, and there was a lot of housework to be done. After the kids were asleep, he’d borrow an extra iron and ironing board from a neighbor, set up the 2 ironing boards facing each other, so he could see our mom, and he and our mother would iron together. So here was this Navy man ironing cute little girls’ dresses. And he did so with pride: Our father was always neat and had high standards for grooming.

More significantly, he was always very giving and generous, and taught his children by example to strive to be the same way. Years ago, when my sisters were little, there was a milk strike in the neighborhood. He volunteered to drive to Pennsylvania to buy milk from a farm – not just for his own daughters, but for all the kids in the neighborhood.

Another time, during a snowstorm, he pulled the girls on a sled all the way from Parsons Blvd. to Main Street to buy milk and bread for many neighbors in their building. If someone asked for help, he never turned them down. No favor was ever too much trouble. He helped non-native English-speaking neighbors fill out forms and others with their finances.

One New Year’s Eve, maybe 10 years, ago he didn’t think the widows in the building should be alone, so he ordered in food, and he and our mother hosted a little party.

Our father worked his way up in the post office, from sorting mail, to supervisor, and eventually, to arbitrator of labor disputes, because of his well-known character traits of honesty, fairness and justice. But for half of his 32 years at the post office, he worked the 4 to midnight shift. So he was home during the day when other fathers were working.

In the early years, he taught the kids in the neighborhood to play punch ball and hit the penny. In later years, I remember I used to wait up for him when it wasn’t a school night – he’d get home around 1 a.m. – and I’d keep him company, eating ice cream while he ate dinner, and then we’d watch musicals on TV like “Easter Parade.”

He was an extremely hard worker, often working 2 jobs, 6 days a week. But he made sure to spend his day off driving to Nassau to visit his mother, sister and family. This is a consistent memory for me, my brother, and my sisters, across many years. Jay remembers playing catch with our father in Aunt Frances’ backyard, and I remember visiting such nearby places as Toy Town, Hicks Nurseries, and McGuiness Amusement Park with my nieces, Danielle, Kimberly, and Meredith. Our father loved taking us on outings and buying treats and toys for everyone. My nephew, Justin, remembers lots of egg creams, shopping trips for Transformers, and a trip to buy a scooter. And even when Dad wasn’t getting around as much, he’d order musical toys from catalogs for my son and bring them over, with breakfast, on his weekly visits to my house.

But our father’s giving nature was truly proven when tragedy struck his brother’s family. He immediately took his vacation time from work, and our parents went to spend time with them every day. Sometimes our father didn’t express himself with words, but he always showed his feelings with his heartfelt actions.

Our father helped raise a family of nurturing, caring people who look out for each other. Just as he showed devotion to all of us all those years, we have tried to reciprocate, especially as my parents needed more help.

He stood by while we made mistakes, but my siblings and I all agree, he never said I told you so. He just swooped in and did what needed to be done – to help us, to help anyone, really. He didn’t have a lot of money and yet his attitude was that money was no object for what his family needed and sometimes simply wanted – he had good taste – and also to give to charity. He treated us to vacations, and, during his early retirement years, our parents enjoyed many days out in the city, going out to lunch and seeing Broadway shows.

Our father’s attitude toward hard times was, “We’ll figure it out. We’ll find a way.” And he always did. That’s what he taught his family to do. And we are trying now.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dear God - Sarah MacLachlan
The Like In I Love You - Brian Wilson
I Missed the Bus Again - Skankin' Pickle
Trading Squirrels - Recess Monkey
Wheels On the Bus - Primate Fiasco
Beach - Charity and the JAM Band
Imagination - Peter Himmelman
Velveeta Girl and Squatsy - Bunny Clogs
Don't Dream It's Over - Crowded House
Baby U - Dog On Fleas
More Cowbell - Joanie Leeds & The Nightlights

In lieu of an "all star" day at camp, I chose most of the songs for Ben's playlist.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Monday, July 12, 2010

Wings of An Eagle - Ziggy Marley
White Light - Wilco
Spider Song - Mr. Chris & The Gassy Bubbles
(There's a) Party In The Playroom - Einstein's Monkey
Mary, Mary - The Monkees
Nun Gimmel Heh Shin - The LeeVees
ZIp It - Mr. "S"
The Entertainer - Scott Joplin & George Gershwin
Tutti Frutti - Little Richard
Starman - Killian Mansfield
They All Asked For You - Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem
In The Mall - Weezer

Back to camp in the AM!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Friday, July 9, 2010

Snowflake, Snowflake - Tom Glazer
Junk Food Jump - Trout Fishing in America
Hello Hello (Good Morning) - Dustin Type
Tijuana Taxi - Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass
Wind It Up - Gwen Stefani
Fort - Recess Monkey
Little Sack of Sugar - Harmonica Pocket
Stay-At-Home Dad - Justin Roberts
Tripping Down the Freeway - Weezer
Periodically Double Or Triple - Yo La Tengo
The Thank You Song - Uncle Rock
Monster Face - Roger Day
Diving in the Deep Blue Sea - Monty Harper

Ben wraps up his first week back at camp with some fun selections.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Thursday, July 8, 2010

Salamander Green - Ralph Covert
Mule Train - Frankie Laine
Beanbag Chair - Yo La Tengo
How Many Times - Mel Glazer
Goods - Mates of State
California Stars - Wilco
Sound of Sunshine - Michael Franti & Spearhead
Shake! - Flannery Brothers
When We Was Fab - George Harrison
They All Asked For You - Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem3:41 PM
Eek! Ack! Help! Police! - Lucas Miller

Wednesday went bye-bye. Lots of confusion setting up and then getting Ben ready for camp.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Tuesday, July 6, 2010

White Light - Wilco
C'mon - Renee & Jeremy
Motion, Motion Everywhere - Tom Glazer & Dottie Evans
Too Much Going On - Mike Viola & The Candy Butchers
Goody Two Shoes - Adam & the Ants
Wouldn't It Be Good - Nik Kershaw
Lovely, Love My Family - The Roots
Hey Soul Sister - Train
The Green Grass Grows All Around - Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem
Rock Lobster - The B-52s
Kee-Mo-Ky-Mo - Nat King Cole
Nun Gimmel Heh Shin - The LeeVees

Funeral today.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Monday, July 5, 2010

Sunday Morning - GMG Jam
No Good Reason Party - The Dirty Sock Funtime Band
One Wasn't Enough - Flannery Brothers
(Don't Give Me That) Broccoli - The Phenomenauts
Spork - Keith Munslow
Dance This Mess Around - The B-52s
Mule Train - Frankie Laine
The Summer - Yo La Tengo
I Shall Sing - Grenadilla
At the Timeshare - The LeeVees
The Secret Life of Six - They Might Be Giants
Love My Kitty - The Good Mrs. Padgett
Honest Kid - Princess Katie and Racer Steve

Rest in peace, Mel Odintz (July 2, 1925-July 4, 2010)

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday - The Ting Tings
Baby Lee - Teenage Fanclub
Crash - Primitives
Look Both Ways - Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
Sand In My Sandwich - Princess Katie and Racer Steve
Saved By Zero - The Fixx
There Is No Away - Uncle Rock
Take A Bow - Leona Lewis
Baseball Dreams - Ralph's World
Apple - Me 3
Photograph - Ringo Starr
Undone (The Sweater Song) - Weezer
Violet Hill - Coldplay

A bonus playlist, since we heard most of Spare the Rock this AM.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Ben's Playlist - Friday, July 2, 2010

Sugarcube - Yo La Tengo
Everyone Loves to Dance - Aaron Nigel Smith
Chocolate Ice Cream - King Pajama
My Keyboard - Quiet Ones
Beautiful - Paul Simon
Tube Sox - Princess Katie and Racer Steve
It Must Be Summer - Fountains Of Wayne
Meet Me Halfway - The Black Eyed Peas
My Name Is Jonas - Weezer
Pussycat - Twink
It's Not Fair - Einstein's Monkey
Bushel And A Peck - Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem

Last weekday of vacation - holiday weekend and then camp starts on Tuesday.