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Happy Birthday, Shooter

As some of you know — I’ve been joining Shooter Jennings on the road for a little over a year now with my beau Jon and Shooter’s wife (and my friend) Misty.  Being on the road with them — our little heathen foursome – has been one of the most bizarre, exciting, interesting, and inspiring experiences of my life.

Sure, I’ve had my moments of exhaustion and frustration and pictured shooting up a hotel lobby full of innocent fellow travelers.   It is undoubted that Jon has imagined holding a pillow over my head while Misty directs him “Make Mary sleep forever.”  And Shooter has most definitely held back banging a full bottle of Devil John Moonshine (Available HERE) against my camera lens because I was mercilessly still clicking away after he was very much over having his picture taken.

They say that you should take a long road trip with your lover before you marry them to see if you can handle unexpected surprises, stress, and long days and nights — learn to deal with monotony mixed with excitement.  If that’s true, then Jon, Shooter, Misty, and I have passed with flying colors.  And in a lot of ways, I do feel married to the cause of Shooter’s music — the cause of Black Country Rock (Jon and Shooter’s label), and the cause of Misty and my shared desire to see/do/and visit everything.

Today is Shooter’s birthday and below are some of my favorite photos of the guy from the past year on the road.   I want to say thank you — Shooter —  it really is because of you and the opportunities that trickle down from you — that allowed me to travel with three people I’d all consider in the list of the loves of my life all across this country and this world.  Jon would never leave our hut for anyone else — and we’ve stayed in the nicest boutique hotels and the skeeziest dumps — we’ve eaten at the greasiest spoons and the fanciest cafes — and met the absolutely most horrible beligerent drunk bigoted idiots as well as the most wonderful, supportive and big-hearted fans.  You’re the reason Jon sat on Merle Haggard’s lap.  You’re the reason Misty walked through a closet (which had recently exploded) full of Mitzi Mozzarella’s clothes.  And you’re the reason I have seen..well..nearly everything and why my friends and family in Casey County are so proud to see me go beyond the captivity that can be the hills and hollers.

 

 

SJ & YouTube Celebrity Sensation Angry Grandpa with the birthday cake he presented Shooter.

SJ & YouTube Celebrity Sensation Angry Grandpa with the birthday cake he presented Shooter.

Shooter and whichever Spongebob character this is had an instant rapport with one another.

Shooter and whichever Spongebob character this is had an instant rapport with one another.

WWE Superstar Roman Reigns meeting with the SJ-JH Foundation.

WWE Superstar Roman Reigns meeting with the SJ-JH Foundation.

Shooter's dressing room at New Orleans Jass Fest.

Shooter’s dressing room at New Orleans Jass Fest.

Jon and Shooter backstage at Wrestlemania 31 in San Jose, CA.

Jon and Shooter backstage at Wrestlemania 31 in San Jose, CA.

Shooter at Wrestlemania 31 -- working the crowd with Curtis Axel.  Misty preparing for the long fireworks.

Shooter at Wrestlemania 31 — working the crowd with Curtis Axel. Misty preparing for the loud fireworks.

One of my favorite photos of Jon leading Shooter on stage at the Kansas City Speedway.

One of my favorite photos of Jon leading Shooter on stage at the Kansas City Speedway.

Shooter rehearsing backstage for his song with The Secret Sisters before the Nikki MItchell Foundation at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Shooter rehearsing backstage for his song with The Secret Sisters before the Nikki MItchell Foundation event at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

 

Shooter being interviewed at Kansas City Speedway while Jon looks on.

Shooter being interviewed at Kansas City Speedway while Jon looks on.

SJ touring the MOOG store & factory in Asheville, NC

SJ touring the MOOG store & factory in Asheville, NC

Shooter outside Haggard's bus.  Jon in his sunglass reflection.

Shooter outside Haggard’s bus. Jon in his sunglass reflection.

Shooter + a huge group after the Opry one night when he performed with his mom, Jessi Colter.

Shooter + a huge group after the Opry one night when he performed with his mom, Jessi Colter.

Us on the bus with Merle.  Is a caption really needed?

Us on the bus with Merle. Is a caption really needed?

Shooter at Chick Ridge Bike Rally in Kentucky.  Some naked chicks opened for him.  Really.

Shooter at Chick Ridge Bike Rally in Kentucky. Some naked chicks opened for him. Really.

Ultima-fan Red behind the stage while SJ performs for a huge crowd in South Dakota somewhere, maybe?

Ultima-fan Red behind the stage while SJ performs for a huge crowd in South Dakota somewhere, maybe?

Elgin + Shooter (one would not suffice)

Elgin + Shooter (one would not suffice)

Elgin + Shooter (one would not suffice)

Elgin + Shooter (one would not suffice)

Elgin + Shooter (one would not suffice)

Elgin + Shooter (one would not suffice)

Misty & Shooter coutin' their tickets in Orlando Florida at the FUN SPOT.

Misty & Shooter countin’ their tickets in Orlando Florida at the FUN SPOT.

SJ & Jon outside THE LOOK Boutique in Hopkinsville.

SJ & Jon outside THE LOOK Boutique in Hopkinsville.

Shooter at THE BEST BURGER PLACE EVER -- Ferrell's in Hopkinsville, KY with the best burger-smacker lady pictured behind the counter.

Shooter at THE BEST BURGER PLACE EVER — Ferrell’s in Hopkinsville, KY with the best burger-smacker lady pictured behind the counter.

Jon and SJ before I road a mechanical bull for 3 minutes and could barely walk the next day.

Jon and SJ before I road a mechanical bull for 3 minutes and could barely walk the next day.

SJ laid on the inflated ground by the mechanical bull for 20 minutes and said nothing.

SJ laid on the inflated ground by the mechanical bull for 20 minutes and said nothing.

SJ and Misty before Ziplining near Mammoth Cave.

SJ and Misty before Ziplining near Mammoth Cave.

Jon + Me +  Shooter in Colorado -- moments after we toured a swimming pool that is still under the floorboards of the venue and Jon was the only tall one -- so he nearly knocked himself out on the ceiling.

Jon + Me + Shooter in Colorado — moments after we toured a swimming pool that is still under the floorboards of the venue and Jon was the only tall one — so he nearly knocked himself out on the ceiling.

Some corn dogs that Shooter threw out the window seconds after this photo was taken.  In Wyoming.

Some corn dogs that Shooter threw out the window seconds after this photo was taken. In Wyoming.

Me watching Jon & SJ on TV when they were on IMUS in the MORNING.

Me watching Jon & SJ on TV when they were on IMUS in the MORNING.

SJ and Jon checking out the pimp ride of  Wayne (amazing man and Surf Ballroom historian) outside of the Surf.

SJ and Jon checking out the pimp ride of Wayne (amazing man and Surf Ballroom historian) outside of the Surf.

Jon and SJ held a BCR meeting at the boyhood home of Jesse James.  Then, the staff came and explained the chair and table were original to the home and we needed to leave.

Jon and SJ held a BCR meeting at the boyhood home of Jesse James. Then, the staff came and explained the chair and table were original to the home and we needed to leave.

Jon and SJ outside some restaurant in some town I cant remember -- but it was small.  I think it was the night before or the night after I ate my first sloppy joe.

Jon and SJ outside some restaurant in some town I cant remember — but it was small. I think it was the night before or the night after I ate my first sloppy joe.

Shooter recording BDB at Joshua Tree Inn in the room Gram Parsons died in.

Shooter recording BDB at Joshua Tree Inn in the room Gram Parsons died in.

SJ laughing with Richie because Ron Jeremy just left the stage after playing his harmonica for an extended amount of time.  Evansville, IN.

SJ laughing with Richie because Ron Jeremy just left the stage after playing his harmonica for an extended amount of time. Evansville, IN.

BDB and Shooter coming in from feeding the hogs.

BDB and Shooter coming in from feeding the hogs.

Shooter out in the desert.  Hanging out while I took photos of BDB.

Shooter out in the desert. Hanging out while I took photos of BDB.

Jon and SJ hugging in Texas.

Jon and SJ hugging in Texas.

SJ + Jon + an excellent Elvis impersonator + Joe Hennig.  Golden Nugget, VEGAS.

SJ + Jon + an excellent Elvis impersonator + Joe Hennig. Golden Nugget, VEGAS.

SJ =BDB + JH

SJ + BDB + JH

Jon and Shooter cuddling on a couch together at the Merle Haggard show in somewhere Minnesota.

Jon and Shooter cuddling on a couch together at the Merle Haggard show in somewhere Minnesota.

Misty & SJ being cultured ones and leading the way for Jon and me.

Misty & SJ being cultured ones and leading the way for Jon and me.

SJ and Jon in a hotel waiting on an elevator.

SJ and Jon in a hotel waiting on an elevator.

SJ and Misty in Nashville after we almost ran out of gas because we don't take the gas light seriously.

SJ and Misty in Nashville after we almost ran out of gas because we don’t take the gas light seriously.  Misty had taped Shooter’s boot together.

 

And these are just the ones that could go on the internet safely.

To listen to SJ or look for tour dates near you : click HERE.

To learn more about BCR because DUH : Click HERE.

 

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Nom Nom Nom: San Jose’s The Boiling Crab

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WHO ATE IT: My ruling (and super pregnant at the time) friend Brooke.

WHAT IT IS: Boiled Shrimp & Corn on the Cob

WHERE : Boiling Crab in San Jose, CA.

HOW IT GOT DONE: 12 minute drive from downtown San Jose + 40 minute wait + 10 minutes of ice cold dranks after ordering + lots of napkins

RATING: 5/5 Crabs 

 

 

 

Poem with a Picture: Shirley and My New Camera

DSC_0010the things that you can see:

are that i’m not very good

at using my new camera yet

the things that you cannot see :

are that i’m not very good

at hiding from my neighbor

when i’m pre-occupied with

not being very good at my new camera.

 

that grill behind me that’s got the cover on —

and that i’ve never seen uncovered in over two years–

belongs to Shirley

and she is slightly out of frame here

about to say something like

“oh look at that thing ya got there”

and pointing to the tripod

and i’ll say

“yes i haven’t figured out how to  use it yet”

because I don’t want her to slither into my

photos as she has my life

because one day my great great great grand nephews might point to Shirley

in one of those old archived photos somebody related to me felt to guilty to clean off of  a

flash drive

“wonder if this was Memaw’s friend, look at this nice old lady”

and point to Shirley

because Shirley sucks

far worse that I suck at using my new camera.

 

These 3 Videos Prove You Should Introduce Yourself to Singer Natalie Prass

Natalie Prass opens for Ryan Adams at the Ryman Auditorium.

Natalie Prass opens for Ryan Adams at the Ryman Auditorium.

Natalie Prass.  Hadn’t heard a peep about her before seeing her opening set before Ryan Adam’s performance at the Ryman Auditorium.  And I don’t know how.  A quick social media survey schooled me that 24 of my Facebook friends “liked” her on Facebook before I did.  And yes, almost all 24 of them are folks I consider to be tastemakers, too.  Had I lost my edge?  Have I been hiding under the country music rock so long that I somehow missed out on a new lady singer that falls right under the umbrella of lady singers I near-constantly cheerlead for?  Strong and lovely female voice carrying strong lyrics are my jam. Plus, it can’t hurt that Prass is as pretty as she sounds.

Home a day later and two-Ryan-Adams-Tshirts-Worth-Of-Dollars Shorter,   I hadn’t forgotten Prass and wandered down the Youtube Rabbit Hole.   I am kind of opener-hoarder when it comes to concerts.  I would go as far as to say I have a penchant for the “underdog” in any scenario.  The unique.  The not-quite-there-yet.  I still like watching the journey of an artist.  Some openers – under further interest scrutiny and closer inspection – much like thrift store clothes after you get them  home — aren’t exactly the same as what I deemed was sold to me.  Natalie Prass is not like this.  I like her even more.  I think I might…might.. love her?  Here’s 3 videos for your perusing to find out why:

THIS PAINFULLY SIMPLE RULING AND MILDLY UNSETTLING VIDEO:


THIS INTERVIEW WHERE SHE TALKS ABOUT LARP-ING : (YES.)

THIS VIDEO & SONG PRODUCED BY VOGUE WHERE SHE LOOKS ETHEREAL AND SOUNDS ETHEREAL :

I think me, you and Larry David can all agree — she’s pretty, prettttty, prettttttty good.  And of course, Ryan Adams agrees, too.  To check out the music and wares of Natalie Prass — her official website is : HERE.  If you’d like to join me and my 24 more-on-trend Facebook friends that like Prass on Facebook, do so: HERE.

102 Year Old Watches Herself on Film For The First Time

DISCLAIMER: Go ahead and have a chopped onion ready to blame for the tears about to stream down your face.

This is a video of 102-year old Alice Barker.  In the 1930s and 1940s, she was a chorus line dancer during the Harlem Renaissance.  She danced in commercials and TV shows, at historic clubs like The Apollo and Cotton Club, and danced with legends including Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

She is now 102 years old and living in Brooklyn, NY at the Bishop Henry B. Hucles Episcopal Nursing Home.  This video is the first she’s seen footage of her younger self dancing and is compliments of Mark Cantor of jazz-on-film.

In addition to being one of the loveliest real-life gestures made known by the power of the internet, this video also shows – and in such a stark fashion — youth and age side-by-side.  What is mortal VS. what is immortal.  Alice Barker is both the person on our screen and also the person on her screen.  Now, don’t let the meta-nature of that sentence cheapen its sentiment.  Watching this left a heaviness on my heart that one can only describe as the pains of acknowledging the wonder of life.

Oh and the best part?  Alice  is still alive and doing well.  As per the information with this YouTube clip —  she can ALSO receive fan mail!  We can all agree this is one woman who deserves some adoration.  Her addy is:

Alice Barker
c/o Bishop Henry B. Hucles Episcopal Nursing Home
835 Herkimer Street
Brooklyn, NY11233

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I Covet: This Patch

witches

So much so — I covet this patch so much so — that I’m buying two and giving one to one of my witchy woman followers on social media.  You can enter to win by sharing this image on Facebook, Instragram, or Twitter.  3 shares = 3 entries.

If you don’t like winning awesome things and participating in this tomfoolery, you may purchase this from Etsy Shop ButchCraft2 : HERE.

Young Mary’s 25: The best, weirdest, coolest Record Store Day 2015 Releases

Collages

Ah, Record Store Christmas is once again upon us.  On  Saturday, April 18 — music-lovers will — for the 7th year of “Official Record Store Day” – line the sidewalks at their local brick-and-mortar music-sellin’ establishment to get first dibs on a selection of an increasingly growing (for better or for worse?) list of titles available only (or for the first time) on that day.

In reality, Record Store Day is – like most other holidays – another consumer holiday in the cycle of consumer holidays. But to me, it’s like the fuzzier, smaller, better, nicer “Buy! Buy! Buy!” of all the “Buy! Buy! Buy!” that’s out there.  Record stores provide goods that are music and art  and services that are considerate and often curated.   Can’t beat that.

Instead of ranking these in a particular order , a frank overview of the 25 best things out on RSD 2015 was more suitable and effective.  I give you details on the band, release, label, etc and  I go above and beyond to answer the age-old question for each of my RSD selections, “Why should YOU care?” — *curtsies* You’re welcome.

Agree with my choices? Want to sing my praises and present me with a flower garland?

Or think I’m a blazing idiot behind a computer that just shoved another pile of scalloped potatoes in my mouth while typing this and that I don’t even deserve to make a list whatsoever?  You’d be half right.  Sound off in the comments!

RECORD: A-Ha, “Take On Me”

ahatakeonme

 

FORMAT: 7″ Vinyl Picture Disc

LABEL: Rhino

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?:  I admit there’s some argument here that you shouldn’t care.  But! I personally saw this on the RSD List and immediately had a vision of a black-and-white comic book character of myself entering our local record store and then later turning into my real life human consumer self and buying this.  Take my money, A-Ha.

Really — if you’re like me and you have some weird nostalgic bent of attachment to A-Ha because of their kick-ass video for Take On Me, then why not invest in the 30th anniversary 7″?

 

RECORD: Ryan Adams, “Come Pick Me Up”

ryanadamcomepickmeup

FORMAT: 7″ Vinyl

LABEL: Pax-Am

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? :  I know a few people in this Facebook group called “Ryan Adams Super Fan Group” and they give me all the deets on our boy Ry-Ry.  According to my sources, Ryan’s put out quite a lot of vinyl these last few years – some loved by the fans, some shrugged at by the fans, and some – to put it nicely- left under a rock by the fans.  This RSD release is an easy choice of a vinyl release worth “picking up.”  See what I did there?

The 7″ record includes  an alternate take of “Come Pick Me Up” and the previously unreleased “When The Rope Gets Tight” as well as one lucky copy will include the strand of Ryan’s hair that rests delicately across his eye.  Just kidding about the lock of hair…even though people would pay big bucks for a chance at that.  Call me PaxAm, I’m a marketing genius and I have scissors.

All kidding aside, Ryan Adams is one of the best singer/songwriters left out there doing his due diligence in this great big music world today and we should support him.  Simple as that.

RECORD: J Dilla, Fuck the Police

PJ1005

 

FORMAT: 7″ Picture Disc

LABEL: Pay Jay

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? :  This posthumous RSD release is a 7″ record shaped like a police badge that has “Fuck the Police” on it.  If that’s not fuel enough to consider buying the classic J. Dilla tune – it sure would be an interesting placemarker vinyl in your collection in regards to the social and political climate of today, too.   The original release of this single is considered “rare” or “out of print” and was on a 12″ vinyl and this will most definitely be a sought-after RSD title.  Props to the James Yancy Estate for making the limited 2500 copies available for RSD and props to you if you get your hands on a copy!

RECORD: David Bowie, Changes

davidbowiechanges

FORMAT: 7″ Picture Disc

LABEL: RHINO

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? :  David Bowie is a genius weirdo babezilla freakshow maniac that still has huge commercial appeal.  What’s not to like about that?  This 7″ picture disc has an AA side that is previously unreleased and was recorded in 1971 only for a small run of promo LPs made to get Bowie signed to a record deal.  That run of promos is called “the Gem Promos” by Bowie superfans.  Now, the rest of us will have access to it. But it’s limited edition.  Which isn’t totally bad news.  Because limited edition for Bowie is still 6000 copies.  You probably can get it and you should.

RECORD: Cassandra Wilson/ Billie Holiday,

“You Go To My Head/ The Mood I’m In”

Unknown

FORMAT: 10″ Vinyl

LABEL: Legacy

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? :  Any artist that finagles themselves into a prime position like sharing a split RSD release with Billie Holiday piques my interest.   I did not know who Cassandra Wilson was before I saw this on the RSD list.  Some interweb research educated me quickly and as it turns out, she’s a very, very legit jazz musician and vocalist.  In typical “split” format, Cassandra reintrepets “You Go To My Head” and “The Mood I’m In” on the A-Side and Billie Holiday’s originals of the tunes can be found on the B-side.

Also – you should always care about Billie Holiday.

Here’s audio of Cassandra doing “You Go To My Head” for you to check out:

RECORD: Bob Dylan, “The Night We Called It A Day”

Unknown

FORMAT: 7″ Colored Vinyl

LABEL: Columbia

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?:  Oh, Bob, Bob, Bob.  Does anyone else feel they’d want to say ” Ah, we meet again.” to Bob Dylan the first time you met him?  Because I always think that.  Not long ago, Dylan released “Shadows in the Night”  — the full length that the songs on this 7″ release come from — and I admittedly told everyone that asked my opinion that it was a “dozer” and great for “sleeping” or “nodding off” or “napping to.”  After a more structured listen and the Bob Dylan brainwashing that somehow happens to me with almost everything “Dylan” , I warmed up to it.  And especially warmed to the track “The Night We Called It A Day.”   Vinyl is limited edition (4000 copies) and pretty, pretty blue.

Also, just in case you haven’t seen the film noir-style music video for “The Night We Called It A Day” — here’s the amazing piece of artistry:

RECORD: The Everly Brothers, “15 Everly Hits”

everlybros

 

FORMAT: 12″ Vinyl

LABEL:  Varese Sarabande

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? :  I cried when Phil Everly passed away in January of last year because I knew that meant – for  good – there would never be the Everly Brothers again.  It was the real end.  Like a multitude of others who worship at the altar of the Everlys  — I fantasized that one last live musical reunion might happen.  Phil and Don (the living brother) just couldn’t personally make that happen.  But I don’t fault them.  For years and years, they recorded, played, and toured together and gave music some of the best harmonies EVER.  This album is a MUST on my list for RSD and really a MUST on my list for anyone’s general musical education requirements.  It was originally issued in 1962, first time in nearly 50 years, the 2000 RSD copies will be on wax, again.  Get it. Got it? Good.

RECORD: Gram Parsons/The Lemonheads,

“Brass Buttons”

gramparsonrsd

FORMAT: 7″ Colored Vinyl

LABEL: Rhino

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE?: The Side by Side Series that RSD has created always makes for some interesting pairings.  Lyrically and melodically pleasing song from two fairly different folks.  Gram Parsons was dead ten years before The Lemonheads even formed and now they share space on a record.  That is somehow special and bizarre and wonderful and why I love music.  4700 copies of this Bronze-N-Baby-Pink splatter vinyl baby are available.

RECORD: Rocky Horror Picture Show, “The Time Warp EP”

rockyhorrorrsd

FORMAT: 10″ Vinyl

LABEL: Ode

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?:  

“I’ve got to keep control.
I remember doing the Time Warp.
Drinking those moments when
The blackness would hit me.”

If you didn’t know these lyrics were from Rocky Horror Picture Show’s “Time Warp” — couldn’t I convince you they were obscure Nirvana lyrics?  Anyway – the song rules.  This vinyl comes with the karaoke track version which will CERTAINLY come in handy around Halloween party time.   Hasn’t been available on vinyl since 1989 (that’s vintage now, how scary!) — and comes in great packaging.  LETS! DO! THE! TIME! WARP! AGA-! Oh, you get it.

RECORD: Frank Sinatra, “Songs for Young Lovers”

sinatrarsd

FORMAT: 10″ Vinyl

LABEL: Capitol

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?: Go ahead and try to convince me that this album isn’t the perfect go-to spin for an afternoon of cocktails on the veranda with dear friends or 6 jumbo dogs on your crooked concrete stoop with the bros.  They’re quintessential good-timing jams from the original good-timer.  2900 copies.

RECORD : Various Artists,

“I’m Here” (A soundtrack to the short film by Spike Jonze)

spikejonzersd

FORMAT: 12″ Picture Disc

LABEL: Indian Club

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?:  The film “I’m Here” is the story of two robots living in L.A. — like a futuristic L.A.- where humans and robots both exist.  It’s sort of based on Shel Silverstein’s classic “The Giving Tree.”  The soundtrack is hipster heaven.  Say what you will about hipster tastes — but I like “hipster-y” things because when they get it wrong, they get it bad wrong — and, thus, when they get it right, they get it oh-so-right.  This soundtrack I suspect will be weird and indie and fabulous.  2250 copies of the 12″ picture disc feature indie heavyweights like Sleigh Bells and Animal Collective.

RECORD: Various Artists, “The Wrestling Album, Piledriver”

wrestlingalbumrsd

FORMAT: 2 x LP

LABEL: Legacy

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?:  It’s ridiculous, sure.  But, whatchu gonna do, brother? When 2,755 red and yellow colored vinyl records run wild on you? Featuring actual vocal performances from several iconic stars of the WWE (formerly WWF when these collections were released in the 80s) — it’s just off-the-charts.  A MUST for wrestling fans — and a crowd pleaser to non-wrestling fans that want some surprising diversity on their record shelf.  Vince McMahon himself sings on this.  Here’s a picture of me and Rowdy Roddy Piper this year at Wrestlemania because I frankly want to brag about my newfound wrestling connections and because Piper can be found on Track 7 of “The Wrestling Album.”  (Also: see My Wrestlemania Wrap-Up Post : HERE if you missed it!)

DSC_0290

 

RECORD: Blackberry Smoke, “Wood, Wire, and Roses”

40244_02_Jacket10.indd

FORMAT: 10″ Vinyl

LABEL: Concord

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?:  I finally listened to Blackberry Smoke.  Have heard of them for years, have heard their praises sung, but hadn’t gone down the rabbit hole myself.  Sometimes, if I hear *too much* about a band, I do this foolish thing where I refuse to listen to them because I assume its all hype.  But thanks to Sturgill Simpson, I know what real hysteric hype is, now.  And as it turns out, Blackberry Smoke just had normal , substantial real  (and consistent) hype.  Here’s the tune “Shaking Hands with the Holy Ghost” from YouTube.  This tune is not on the record – but it made me quickly take all the unfair Blackberry Smoke hater-ade I’d been drinking and stick it back in the fridge. I’m sure if Simpson remakes “In The Ghetto” again, I just might need to save a sip.

 RECORD: Asleep at the Wheel (W/ Willie Nelson  &

the Blind Boys of Alabama),

“Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys”

asleepatthewheelrsd

FORMAT: 7″ Vinyl

LABEL: Bismeaux Records

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?: Asleep at the Wheel put out a star-studded full-length Still the King album earlier this year.  It rules.  This is just a bonus pair of songs (not on the record) and is signed by Ray Benson and numbered.  You don’t have to be in Texas to know that Bob Wills is still the king, do ya now?   Only 1000 copies of this bad boy.

RECORD: Giorgio Murderer, Lazer Lord EP

giorgiomurderer

FORMAT : 7″ Vinyl

LABEL : Goner

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?: This is like the undiscovered …future icon?.. of my list.  This guy has around 500 likes on Facebook.  I found his 7″ for Primitive World in a record store in Louisville, KY and I have been betwixt by his weirdness ever since.   I bought the record on name alone because who names themselves “Giorgio Murderer” for God’s sake?  (I’m sure an homage to electronic pioneer Giorgio Moroder…but still.)  It’s a punk band that you both love instantly and become a fan of, but sort-of also feel like they deserve no fame or recognition at all?  The perfect mix to be what punk is supposed to : a self-destructive love/hate machine.  600 copies out there. Don’t be a dummy.

RECORD:  The Jesus and Mary Chain, “Psychocandy. Live. Barrowlands.”

jesusandmarychain

FORMAT: LP

LABEL: Demon Music Group

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? : I saw Jesus and Mary Chain at Riot Fest in Chicago a few years ago.  It was the only band I saw (other than – admittedly – Iggy Pop) that kept my unyielding attention through their whole set.   I didn’t check my phone.  Didn’t complain in my mind about the heat, didn’t people watch, didn’t crave a hot dog or slushie once.    It was  an all-encompassing beautifully raucous experience. This live record  of Psychocandy will- no doubt – be the same.   Red 180g Vinyl — 1500 copies.

RECORD: The Pizza Underground, “PU Demos”

pizzaunderground

FORMAT: 7″ Vinyl

LABEL: Jett Plastic Recordings/GranDetr

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?: Because the kid from Home Alone grew up and is theoretically profiting currently from being a member of a Velvet Underground parody band that sings pizza-themed songs.   It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  – War and Peace-Za.  

CD: Joan Rivers, “The Next to Last Joan Rivers Album”

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FORMAT: CD

LABEL: Stand Up! Records

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?:  This is a strange addition to the RSD list.  It’s a CD.  Joan is amazingly illustrated as if she had more work done than in real life.  And it was on vinyl previously, so why not a re-issue?  We don’t know why.  But alas, Joan Rivers was a comedy heavyweight and pioneer female.  And! Even though it is a CD format — the packaging includes an eight-page booklet with liner notes from Kliph Nesteroff (comedy historian), an essay from Sarah Silverman, and photos from the period by John Shearer.

RECORD: Joan Jett, “Flashback”

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FORMAT: 2 x 12″ Colored Vinyl

LABEL: Blackheart Records

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?:  Joan Jett frikkin’ rules.  She’s a Rock N’ Roll  Hall of Famer.  The label Blackheart Records has been doing the record-makin’ song and dances for many years long before some OFFICIAL RECORD STORE DAY fodder.  What’s legit more rock n roll than purchasing this?  *Just gave the rock n’ roll symbol and stuck my tongue out!*  Double blue 140g vinyl and never previously available on vinyl.

RECORD: William Tyler, “Desert Canyon”

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FORMAT: 2 x 12″ Vinyl

LABEL : MERGE RECORDS

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?:  William Tyler originally released this in 2008 as “The Paper Hats.”  It’s instrumental.  Some songs are long, some short, some noodly and some vacant.  You shouldn’t care if you hate things instrumental.  You should care if you – like me – thinks it fairly cool and definitely honoroable that this dude has made American Primitive guitar playing..like..a  thing for a new generation.

RECORD: The White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan

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FORMAT: 2 x 12″ Colored Vinyl

LABEL: Third Man Records

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?:  Even if you’re one of those stick-in-the-muds that only likes “The White Stripes” and “not Jack White” — uh, this is The White Stripes.  And the first commercial vinyl release of the album just in time for its 10 year anniversary!  Interestingly, this is the only vinyl that doesn’t reveal how many copies are available on the RSD website.  Because they’re probably printing a gazillion.  Because they can sell a gazillion.  And you should be one of those gazillion.

RECORDS: BCR MEDIA 4-PACK:

Stargunn, The Only Way Up Is Down

Waylon Jennings, 55 Live

Dennis Haskins, Belding’s Blues

Billy Ray Cyrus, Killing the Blues

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FORMAT: 7″ vinyl : Dennis Haskins, Billy Ray Cyrus, 12″ vinyl : Stargunn, Waylon Jennings

LABEL: Black Country Rock

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?:

*Stargunn was Shooter Jennings’ first band before he was the Shooter Jennings most people commonly know now.  He wore eye liner and fur coats.  It ruled.  If you’re not afraid to follow SJ when he goes down his musical dark alleys — this is a record for you.

*Waylon 55 is the first available recording of  country mega-icon Waylon Jennings taken from when he was an 18 year old at the local radio station in West Texas.  It is a MUST for any Waylon fan or country music aficianado.  Enough said.

*Dennis Haskins is known to most as America’s Favorite Principal.  But I actually know him in real life.  He is one part Tennessee born-good timin’ good old boy turned sitcom star and one part vibrato-creatin’ dark-lit-bar karaoke diva maniac.  Like the “A Side” of his record, Dennis Haskins is an ominous, wild, and very real mashup of “For The Goods Time” & “Delilah.”   It’s worth investigating.  Even Rolling Stone loved this track so much they sent a film crew to see Haskins live.

The Rolling Stone clip isn’t embeddable, but you can watch it right quick : HERE.

* Billy Ray Cyrus.  Wait, wait, don’t let me lose you here.  Give it a chance.  Put your ears to it.  I dare you.


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Well, ladies and gents — we made it.  There’s my RSD 25.  Weird. Wonderful. And most importantly, WORTH your WALLET.  All consumerism candor aside, Record Store Day is a very important day that we music-lovers have the power to keep tangible music with tangible art alive.  Let me know what you picked up by tagging my on IG (@youngmarysrecord) or twitter (@YMRecord) — especially if you take any of my advice or if you buy a fifth of whiskey and 20 Mcdonalds hamburgers and listen to your Ipod instead.

To see the entire list of RSD Releases (E.G. the other stuff I ddn’t include) : Go HERE.

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Print Mafia Announces Shirt Club & KICK-ASS Limited Edition T-Shirts!

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Our super-talented friends at Print Mafia recently announced their newest adventure – the Print Mafia Shirt Club!  And!  As of Monday, they’ve released the first shirt available for order!  And! As expected from the PM gang, the shirt RULES!

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Here’s the deal.  “Devil Boy” is available for order NOW, but for this week only!  And then — Devil Boy will go back into the PM Vaults for (maybe) ever or at the least for a very long time.   Then, on Monday (as will be every Monday),  Print Mafia Shirt Club will debut a new shirt that is ONLY available for purchase that week and ONLY print to order.  Yes, yes – it’s a tangled web of brilliant design and smart marketing and we sure do like it.    For God’s sake, even the shirt sizes have personalities.

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You can also choose to sign up for the Print Mafia Shirt Club’s nifty newsletter- which will give you options to preview the weekly design before anyone else and notify you of other special information like discount codes, sales, or when PM is going to turn into a full fledged cult and put Scientology out of business. Did I mention how much love is out there for this brand and their making of cool stuff?

To check out all the details, sign up for the newsletter, or order “Devil Boy” — click HERE.  At time of post, you have 24 hours left to order before “Devil Boy” goes back to ..H..E…L..I mean, the Print Mafia Vault.

And don’t forget to follow PM on ye olde Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram either!

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Wrestlemania Wrap-Up

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Wrestlemania is like the Super Bowl for WWE  each year – I watched something like 77,000 people fill a huge arena to the gills, all on the edge of their seat in San Jose.  

Here’s my beau Jon, Curtis Axel (left) and Bret Hart (right) in New Orleans.

A couple months ago, I was at a concert and mentioned our plans to go to Wrestlemania in San Jose, California to another group of concert-goers.

Half of the group I was chatting with responded with unbridled enthusiasm and patted my back with pride when I showed off a picture of my beau Jon with wrestlers Bret Hart and Curtis Axel from the year before.   The other half of the group snorted their noses like a pair of snobby horses and one had the audacity to ask me “How many Merle or Willie shows could you see for what it cost to watch adult men in costumes act out a fight?” followed by “Those dudes go out and draw a check for 2 minutes of spandex foreplay.”

Now, listen.  That’s apples and oranges for one.  But moreso, that attitude is what irritates me more than almost anything on the planet.  I had the desire to discretely reveal my own spandex wrestling uniform under my jacket and body-slam that dude.  Instead, I explained to him calmly that I wasn’t brought up a “wrestling” fan — I was introduced to it fairly late in life (like many things, actually) — but if you can’t see how hard the WWE Superstars and the crew that puts on their show work, you’re just intentionally not looking.  I also asked him what he did for a living and he said it was none of my business.

I’ll save my opinions on the epidemic-level misconception that being a person of notable fame, fortune or power suddenly makes life easier for another blog, but I wanted to start here, so I can express just how amazing the Wrestlemania experience is and how much goes into that industry.

Regardless of whether or not you can get behind the fairly soap-operatic narrative of WWE’s weekly programming, these WWE Superstars are really working. In addition to diligently presenting an entertaining (and insanely physically fit) character, it turns out these people are actually real life humans, too.  Many of them, with..ya know..wives or husbands.. and families, maybe a dog at home — doing a grueling tour schedule, year after year.  And! All the while! Everyday, WWE Superstars board the emotional rollercoaster of praise and criticism from viewers.   I don’t care if it’s the bottom guy/gal on the WWE roster –I know that person is a very special person because becoming a wrestler is one of the few career paths I know harder to take on than being a musician.  Believe that.

Here are a few photos from our Wrestlemania experience:

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Jon cracked the hotel room window to let in this glorious California breeze as soon as we got to San Jose.

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After a short lunch break, we headed to Axxess – a convention-type setting where wrestlers sign autographs and there are special events and matches.  We immediately ran into our friend Michael Green (of Angry Grandpa & KidBehindACamera YouTube Fame.)  He was – of course-  recording and he included us in his video : HERE.

 

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These are a pair of Hulk Hogan’s boots that were on display in a very well-done display at Axxess.  

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And THESE are some kick-ass outfits that Macho Man Randy Savage wore.  The Macho Man was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year.

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We got to see a match between wrestlers Curtis Axel and Heath Slater.  Howard Finkel was the ring announcer.  He’s been in the industry for years and I really enjoyed watching him on “LEGENDS HOUSE” – a WWE-produced reality series.  

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Fans watching the match and the giant promotional posters in the background.

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Curtis Axel on the way to the ring.  Overheard a ton of #Axelmania enthusiasm for this guy from the Axxess crowd.

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Heath Slater in the ring vs. Curtis Axel.  Slater was a pleasant surprise to me – seeing him interact live with the Axxess crowd made me realize just how much television and production can hide a wrestler’s true charisma.  He’s one of my new favorite underdogs after seeing him work this room.

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Our friend Brooke joined us for late lunch one afternoon at San Jose’s seafood restaurant, The Boiling Crab.  While Jon and I chose less-messy alternatives like fried oysters and fried shrimp, Brooke went all the way with this bagged deliciousness.  She fears almost nothing and that is why she is our friend.

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Jon really enjoyed this monument.  I’m googling to try to find what this exactly is — no luck yet.  Jon did love the saying written on it.

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We had just had drinks and desserts on the patio.  It was a beautiful afternoon.  I love this photo because of the contrast between Brooke’s very pretty profile and Jon’s harsh cigarette.

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San Jose’s downtown was full of tree-lined streets.  I really can’t say enough about the lovely weather and light, either.

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En route to Wrestlemania.  Our pals Shooter & Misty showed up just in time for the big dance.  We all wore #Axelmania with pride, even Jon paired his t-shirt with his Lansky Bros. blazer!

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Cali Five-O escorting to Wrestlemania.

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Wrestlemania Ticket & Wrestlemania Purse.  By “purse” – I mean security made me carry our belongings in there.

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I liked watching this little guy in contrast with the sea of fans in the background.

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Curtis Axel backstage watching the action happening in the ring.

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Axelmania Twins.  

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Portrait of Mortality.  Maybe my favorite photo of the week.  Undertaker returning to backstage after his match.

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Misty vs. Pyrotechnics.

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Mania.

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The moment Shooter converted to a WWE fan.

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I basically forced Roddy Piper to take a prom picture with me.  And I’m fine with that.  

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Last photo that I feel comfortable posting on this public blog forum.  Jon, SJ, and legendary wrestler Scott Hall.  Too. Sweet.

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OPINIONS: Fortune Cookies, Curly Light Bulbs, Men In Skinny Jeans, MORE!

OPINIONS is a new series on YMR where I ask YOU what topics or prompts you wouldn’t MIND hearing my opinion on and I ..uhh..give my opinion.  Some topics will get blog posts of their own.  Some topics will cause me to request a reply or rebuttal from the original topic-asker.  And some will end up with the  OPINION post as seen below:

As per Matthew Griffin, my opinion on FORTUNE COOKIES:

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Did you know that there are a ton of rules regarding fortune cookies?  Once I was at dinner with some friends and my friend cracked open a fortune cookie had no fortune in it.  Because I am a morbid creep, I told my friend “I’ll miss you when you’re gone. Do you want people to send flowers or set up some kind of memorial fund for you?” I learned – however! –to receive a barren cookie is actually a good luck sign rather than a notice of your impending death by MACK truck.  For more weird rules on fortune cookies, check this site out.  I found it by googling “What does it mean to get a cookie with no fortune?” – which may or may not be the title of my first collection of essays on my life.  Seriously.

As per Josh Green, my opinion on “WHETHER HE SHOULD WEAR SKINNY JEANS OR NOT?”

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Jeggings. No.  Super Skinny Jeans. No.  A nicely cut tapered jean?  Absolutely would be worth testing out.  A regular cut jean that was taken to your local seamstress and tailored to look a little tapered and to best fit your body type?  Double yes.  I’m not suggesting any man squish his legs into some denim prison chamber – but investing in a nice pair of “going out” jeans that really fit should be on every man’s yearly retail to-do list.  PS.  Having your clothes tailored does *NOT* have to be expensive.  Ask for Mamaw’s rolodex and a suggestion for her best sewin’ buddy who had the best dressed boyfriend in college.  Yesterday is the new today, damn it.

As per Ben Allen, my opinion on THE OLD SCHOOL LIGHT BULB VS THE NEW CURLY LIGHT BULB

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The truth is… everytime I see or install a curly light bulb, I think about whether or not Pluto is a planet.  I think about seeing my boyfriend’s niece in her stroller the other night and holding up an Iphone to the cooing baby and saying “I wish you grew up and never had to know what this abhorrent technology is.”  The new curly light bulb disturbs me.  More than 5 teenagers have expressed their interested in “photography” to me lately and to my horror, I found out well-lit “selfies” are what they deem “photography.”   And I’d imagine each and every one of their teenage faces was illuminated with a curly bulb.  I shake my cane at curly bulbs on aesthetics alone.

If I was at Camp Anawanna with a Curly Light Bulb and a bunch of other Old School Light Bulbs, I’d totally be the bully that started the chant – LET’S GIVE CURLY A SWIRLY.  .. Okay I think I’m done here.

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As for the difference and purpose of CFL bulbs vs LED bulbs vs lighting a fire in a trash can – I’m uneducated and if anyone reading this has true bulb knowledge, please email me (youngmarysrecord (at) gmail (dot) com) and lead me into the light.

As per Terry Jennings, WHERE DO YOU BUY YOUR SOCKS?

I really am an open-minded sock buyer.  I think most women are. I think men tend to find a sock and stick with a sock.  I’ve bought socks all over this country – from major retailers to small American-run sockeries.  (Sockery is not to my knowledge a real thing and I just liked writing that sentence.)  Here’s some socks I really like, though:

american iconic sockscountry socks

hamburger socks spock socks Superhero-Cape-Socks

 

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As I’ve gotten 60+ prompts, questions and suggestions on my first round of this — this will be the beginning.  If you enjoy my writing, please feel free to share my posts or just ignore that they ever existed.  And don’t just sit there, bust a LIKE!