Street Hassle (Lou Reed – Artist Of The Year Part 10)

Feeling confident with his new record contract Lou Reed decided to start experimenting in the studio. Not with his songs, but with the actual recording. His second album for his new label, Arista, was a binaural recording. This is a method meant to create a stereo effect during the recording process. I won’t go into the technicalities of this process,but will just stick to the songs as they are presented here.

“Gimme Some Good Times” opens the album and sounds as if it  were meant to be a soundtrack or audio snapshot of New York City. The title track is actually three songs, a sort of mini-suite which clocks in at 11 minutes and contains three separate stories. The musical riff is first played on a cello for the first section, then a guitar is the predominant instrument for the second, and a bass for the third (at least initially). This is rock and roll as art, and probably the most “Lou Reed” song of the 70s, if not his career. It is too long to include in this post, unfortunately.

“Gimme Some Good Times”

The songwriting on Street Hassle is much stronger than on his previous few albums. It is almost as if this were meant to be his real debut album. You could say he had some great songs, and yes, Berlin as an album is classic in its own right, but Street Hassle is much more of what we think of as a Lou Reed album than pretty much anything that came before. While the songs themselves may not be the most famous, as an album Street Hassle is easily one of the strongest of his early (pre-1987) career.

“I Wanna Be Black”

Really, if you’re not sure which album to get but wanted to pick up something other than a greatest hits compilation, Street Hassle might be the record to start off a Lou Reed collection with.

 

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Phamily Foto Phriday 9-22-17

Just a few pictures this time around. I know it’s not a great excuse, but I’ve just been so busy I have actually forgotten to take many pictures.

Xavier is doing 1st grade soccer. They practice on a field that is attached to a park. Their school does not have a field.

That park comes with a playground. One time for practice I had Tevye with me. Here he is climbing the play structure. Notice him struggling to reach. He made it all on his own.

August went on a Boy Scout outing, sailing to Blake Island. Laura wanted to make sure we got a picture of him with his two items of Roots apparel.

And there is Xavier at one of his games.

This is the developmental stage we are in.

 

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Getting Up And Going

I have mentioned before that I rather dislike exercising, but do it anyway because it needs to be done. I need to exercise for the usual reasons, better cardiovascular health, weight loss, etc. Fine, I do it, but don’t ask me to like it.

Because our schedule is so packed and crazy, the only time I can go is at 5:30 in the morning. Again, I don’t like it but I do it.

This morning I wake up and it’s five after, and I think “Crap. I’m already running late.”

I scramble out of bed, get changed, feed the cats and do all the usual things I do to get ready to go. It’s 20 after, and I usually like to try and leave by 15 after. I walk the distance to the studio, it’s only about three+ blocks. By giving myself fifteen minutes it allows me time not only to walk to the studio, but also get changed into the riding shoes, adjust the bike if necessary and spend a couple of minutes warming up – something that will be more and more important as the weather gets colder and colder.

Yes, even as it rains all winter my plan is to walk to spin class.

So I’m rushing around trying to get out of the house and to spin class when as I’m ready to leave I notice the time.

It is not 5:20 in the morning.

It is 2:20.

So yeah, back to bed.

When I did get up at the proper time I was severely tempted to roll over and stay in bed.

But I didn’t. Yay me.

To say this morning’s workout was hard would be an understatement.

 

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Speaking Of Putting Your Beliefs Into Deed

This past weekend I spoke at each of the masses as part of, well, I’ll just let my words speak for themselves.

Hello. I am Daniel Pelfrey. Some of you may know me from my lectoring, usually at the 5 o clock vigil mass. Most of you probably know me from the school. But I am here to talk to you about the other part of my faith being put into practice here at St. John the Evangelist. The Knights of Columbus.

My grandfather was Travis Pelfrey. My older son August was born just under a year after his death and I swear he has a piece of his soul in him, they are so alike. We gave one of our younger sons, Xavier, Travis as a middle name to honor him. My grandfather, for many reasons, was heavily influential in my life and I am proud to continue honoring him through my actions.

Travis moved around a lot. I mean, a lot. For decades he never lived more than a year in one place, often 6 months would be the norm. He was chasing work, always trying to get the best for his family.  Part of what helped him was the ready made community of the church, and particularly the ready friendship of a local chapter of the Knights of Columbus.

Most of us aren’t nearly as transient as my grandfather was, but there are still many valuable lessons to be  had from his experience. The watchwords of the Knights of Columbus are very much how I remember my grandfather. Charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism. He may not have been as devout as my grandmother, but in practice, he truly lived up to many of the Catholic ideals we  all strive for.

And much of that had to do with the Knights of Columbus. No matter where he landed he could jump in and lend a hand to whatever volunteer project was taking place. He was a doer, a very hands on kind of man, and always willing help others.  If someone asked, and sometimes even if they didn’t, he would jump in and help.  He was a man of deed, much like  the Knights of Columbus are.

That is why I joined the Knights of Columbus – to put my faith into action.

As an organization, the Knights of Columbus awarded nearly 2 million in scholarships and grants for higher education. The winter of 2016 saw over 75,000 coats distributed in over 1600 communities, part of a program that has been running since 2009. Support and aid for military chaplains and vocations. Wheelchairs. And so many other charitable works.

On a more local level one council in Louisiana held a fundraiser to help rebuild the St. Joseph Abbey damaged by flooding in 2016. A council in Kansas serves monthly at a free meal ministry. In Idaho a council helped with a program providing gas voucher and bus passes to homeless veterans to get to the VA. A New York council raised $3000 for St. Jude research hospital. An accessible ball field is being built in Ohio with the help of a council. Two Pennsylvania councils worked together to build a Marian shrine and offer free supply of rosaries and prayer cars at the entrance of a church.

The Knights of Columbus chapter here at St. John has supports the middle school trips, scouting programs, provides rosaries for first communicants and confirmands, and our annual Christmas tree sale helps the women’s shelter here at St. John’s. You also may remember a few years ago we spearheaded an effort to build a well in Father’s village in Kenya.

Now, this is where you come in. We need your help.

The idea of putting your faith into practice is very much something we all can take away from my Grandfather’s example.

The Knights of Columbus here at St. John are looking for new members. The barrier for entry is pretty low. I mean, they not only let me be a member, but they put me in charge, so that should tell you something.

The requirements to join are to be Catholic, I think most of you have that covered, male and over 18.

The benefits of  joining are innumerable.  The insurance is something that cannot be understated. It’s a fantastic deal dating back to the organization’s inception in 1882 when the Knights was formed as a way to provide for widows and children of Catholic men.

But I became a knight to, like my grandfather, put my faith into action. And I am challenging you to do the same.

I have heard all the excuses before. I don’t like the politics of the Knights. It’s too liberal, it’s too conservative.  I have heard both!  I’m too busy. It’s a commitment. I want to help out, but don’t want to join.

I know my grandfather didn’t agree with the politics in many of the places he found himself in, but he was still a Knight because he believed in the works they were doing. I can’t tell you how to reconcile these things, but I can tell you that living your faith every day and putting it into tangible deed is an easy choice for me.

I have 7 kids, I’m leading 2 Cub Scout dens and am active with my son’s Boy Scout troop. Like everyone else, I am a busy person, this is my faith. Being a Catholic is a commitment. Being a knight helps me follow through on that commitment.

I’m not even asking you to attend our meetings which are held once a month – though it would be nice. We need some new blood to help get projects going and find new ones to support. Sometimes we just need a few extra hands for one day, for one project, and if you can make it for only that, we would welcome you with open arms.

You CAN do it. Don’t sell yourself short.

With the Knights of Columbus, it is truly putting your faith into action and you get back much so more than what you put into it.

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Rock & Roll Heart (Lou Reed – Artist Of The Year Part 9)

After the debacle regarding Metal Machine Music and fulfilling his contract, Lou Reed got a new contract at a different label. Switching from RCA to Arista (both now under the ownership of Sony acting as the same label) Lou Reed got to work on a new record.

Rock & Roll Heart was released the same year as his previous album Coney Island Baby and featured much of the same personnel. This means some of the songs were recorded during the same sessions. It also means this was a particularly creative period for Lou Reed, having enough songs to fill two album. That said, much like the previous album, Rock & Roll Heart sort of feels unremarkable.

Opening the album is “I Believe In Love” which sounds like a throwback tune to the late 50s or early 60s. A very ordinary and plain song in most hands, but with Lou Reed behind it, there is enough going on to at least make it an interesting listen. This is followed up by the droning “Banging On My Drum” which is much more guitar heavy than you might expect.

It is this dichotomy at the heart of Lou Reed’s output in the mid-70s. He is trying some interesting things, something a little different, but much of it is fairly ordinary and not worth listening to if it weren’t for Lou Reed himself.

What I think the situation was that Lou Reed signed a contract and his new label was anxious to get a record out as soon as possible. They asked him for one and he dug through his catalog of songs that didn’t fit on his previous album as well as whatever demos or half-finished ideas he had and finished them up. Probably there was more left over than you might think because Coney Island Baby only had 8 tracks compared to Rock And Roll Heart’s 12.

The title track is, again, a fairly “standard” song, a bit mellow, a slower mid-tempo number that is really brought to life by the keyboard which almost sounds like it was intended to emulate a church organ.

Side two opens up with an instrumental, a real oddity for Lou Reed. Another interesting thing about Rock And Roll Heart is that nine of the twelve songs clock in at 3:05 or shorter. This further reinforces my theory that Lou Reed was working quickly to get a new record out on his new label. “Claim To Fame” really does sound like an unfinished idea that was polished up to get it on the record.

Rock And Roll Heart may have been rushed out to get some new product out for the new label, or maybe Lou Reed purposefully held back a number of songs so as to not release them under his previous contractual obligation. Whatever the circumstances, I find Rock And Roll Heart a much more “listenable” album than Coney Island Baby.

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Four Hours

Today has been… challenging? Rough?

Just a day?

It is difficult to write a post about getting only four hours of sleep while suffering from only getting four hours of sleep the night before.

Initially I was going to go into the why of getting up in the middle of the night, then thought better of it. Ultimately it would be embarrassing in the long run for somebody else.

No, not like that… just… let’s move on.

So I go to bed at 10, and fall asleep fairly readily, like perhaps 15 minutes. I’m up again at 11 to pee, then right back to sleep.

It was getting up at 12 where things stopped going well.

But let’s face it, getting up twice only 2 hours after going to sleep is not necessarily “going well” for many people.

After going back to bed I just couldn’t fall back asleep. I lay there for 2 hours, doing every trick I could think of.

I woke up a little before 5 so I could make it to my 5:30 spin class.

Doing the spin class wasn’t so bad, sure it was rough getting up and going, but I suck at fitness anyway so it wasn’t like my performance was off.

No, it was as the day wore on that I started to feel the effects of less sleep.

And I simply couldn’t nap. Between all the various little things I had to get done throughout the day there wasn’t any chunk of time for me to myself.

So here it is, just after 9 at night, and I’m hoping to be able to get to sleep soon and that I’ll be able to stay asleep. I’m not a great sleeper any more. I used to be, but now I don’t know what the problem is. I wake up and can’t fall back asleep.

Hopefully all of my kids stay asleep. Parenting on just a few hours rest is no fun.

And this has nothing to do with the baby.

That’s what is so frustrating.

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Of Dog Shit And Tardies

Two somewhat unrelated yet connected thoughts this morning born out of experience.

First – curb your dog.

After dropping off most of the kids at school I took Tevye (and Grace, in the stroller) to preschool. While waiting for the door to open he walked off the sidewalk and around the rhododendron. It’s a small area, and there are some smallish grass-type plants in there and further down some bushes. The rhododendron has been trimmed back and grown to the point where it really is a small tree at this point.

So Tevye, despite my attempt to grab him as well as my verbal plea, went off the concrete and started to go around the rhododendron.

You can tell by the title where at least part of this post is going.

After getting Tevye back by my side I saw him grabbing at his shoe. Oh, and it smelled. Wait.  He wiped something on his shirt. Literally moments before the door opened I had to deal with Tevye having dog poop on his shirt, hand and shoe.

Fortunately we live a block and a half away. We walked home and I spent a fair amount of time cleaning Tevye and his shoe as well as changing his shirt. Actually, his shoe was probably the cleanest it has been since it was first purchased. But it took a little while.

On the way back to school, approximately 15 or so minutes after the first bell, I noticed one of Xavier’s 1st grade classmates. His father was getting him out of the car and beginning to walk to school.

Nearly 20 minutes after school starts they were still over a block away, and walking as if they had all the time in the world. This was the same child who, especially during preschool, routinely showed up late.

The thing is, getting to school late isn’t that big of a deal, but when it becomes routine, it is a big deal. Starting in preschool habits are established that can and will last throughout your school career. Getting to school on time is important as it sets the tone for the day as well as establishing how the day will go. Quite often there is work being done in the first half hour of school that is just as important, maybe even moreso than later on in the day.

And that’s the second thing I want to mention – get your kids to school on time.

Both ideas are simple things, but really, in the long run, can have larger consequences.

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Killing Hasselhoff (DVD)

I thought “Yeah, this will be a fun movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Obviously if Mr. Hasselhoff is down with the idea of playing a version of himself where he deserves to be killed it should be funny.”

For the most part my initial thoughts were correct. David Hasselhoff plays a fictional version of himself, one in which he still owns K.I.T.T. and is as popular as any celebrity out there. His pompous take on himself is certainly the highlight of the film. There’s one scene taking place at a party hosted by Hasselhoff and is one of the funniest sections of the movie.

What I had a problem with was the plot lacked understandable logic. I understand the premise and find that believable, but the execution of the story left quite a bit to be desired. Ken Jeong is Chris, a nightclub owner who winds up owing a lot of money, so much he finds himself in so much trouble he decides to tip the scales in his favor with the annual celebrity death pool by killing off his pick – David Hasselhoff.

The setup is fine, and there are definite moments in the film that work, but overall the execution is clunky. We never get a proper explanation as to why Chris needed to borrow so much money from the loan shark in the first place. Then there is the death pool itself. It is established in a scene that doesn’t make much sense, as if it isn’t an annually refreshing pool so much as a singular event.

Chris decides one of the ways he is going to try and kill David Hasselhoff is with a pizza laden with a deathly allergic food. Never mind that Hasselhoff would taste it and spit it out or even smell it and not eat in the first place. In delivering the (supposedly deadly) pizza to Hasselhoff at a public autograph signing on the beach Chris pushes his way through the line. This makes no sense. Why not just walk around the line? There was no reason to literally push past people in line to deliver the pizza. The pizza could be delivered by coming in approximately two feet to either side of the line of people waiting for autographs. This is the kind of logic Killing Hasselhoff displays.

And there are far too many dick jokes. It is almost as if screenwriter Peter Hoare and director Darren Grant are fulfilling a middle school fantasy.

There are some deleted scenes, some of which could have fit right back int he film without dragging it down. At 80 minutes Killing Hasselhoff breezes by pretty quickly. It isn’t a bad film, but it should have been a heck of a lot better.

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Phamily Foto Phriday 9-8-17

Well, that’s been a couple of busy weeks. It started off with Déla’s birthday. For her 12th birthday  she got her  ears pierced. At the mall.

The mall also has Cinnabon.

Right before school started Ciárán was invited to a birthday party at a skate park. He had never been on a skateboard before and was reluctant to try things out but with a bit of coaching he started to figure it out a bit.

And yes, there was that first day of school.

I couldn’t even get in to get a picture of Déla and this was the best one I could of Xavier.

Ciárán was very ready.

Barely managed to get a picture of August heading in.

And somebody is doing very well with his swim lessons.

Then there was PAX where I took several of the kids in different combinations over the course of the weekend.

 

 

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Folklife’s Seattle Children’s Festival Schedule Ready One Month Before Event

October 8 will see the annual Northwest Folklife Seattle Children’s Festival at the Seattle Center. This one day event is free to the public, but donations are suggested.

On five different stages and two discovery zones attendees can enjoy storytelling, dance, workshops, demonstrations and much more. Performers will range from Aztec dance to the Eckstein Middle School Jazz Band with a range of offerings in between.

Some of the highlights include a musical instrument petting zoo, STEM hands on area, cooking workshops, Brazilian Capoeira, and Duwamish storytelling.

All the information you need is at their website:
nwfolklife.org/seattlechildrensfestival/

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