Wife, Chicken Mommy, eBay Seller and Walking DIY Disaster

Category Archives: Music

I’ve all but given up my music photography since moving to Michigan. Luckily, I find shows here and there where I can drag my big camera (Canon Rebel) along. Most often lately, I only use my phone camera (iPhone 4S) because it’s so damn handy. When we were on vacation in November I took my big camera to the Norton Records wash- a -thon, but I chickened out at the last minute what with all the water and cleanser and fragile vinyl lying around.

In a fun turn of events my friend Twinkle needed some photos for a story she was doing on Norton and I was able to send her a few! It’s been a good while since I’ve had a photo published so I was happy to help!

Check out her story

You can find Twinkle here

and Norton Records here. Norton still needs lots of help. If any of you record lovers feel so inclined, I’m sure they can use some monetary help in addition to the volunteers needed for clean up efforts.


Every year as a family we typically adopt a family. This year’s finances have been pretty tight, so we aren’t sure if we can swing it. Instead of giving up totally on the idea of helping someone in need, we’ve offered some help to a family friend. Still, it didn’t quite feel comparable to what we’ve been able to do in the past. Watching the news coverage of hurricane Sandy wrenched my heart. Until this past weekend I’d never been to New York City, so I only knew what it was like from stories, movies and tv. The scenes from Sandy coverage of the flooding just took my breath away. How do you watch an immense tunnel fill with water? How do you watch you car float away into a river? How do you see your warehouse full of records all but washed away?

When I read that Brooklyn based Norton Records lost their Red Hook warehouse, I immediately began to form a plan. The Millionaire has been traveling to the Philadelphia area for his work with a client over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend for the past several years. We’ve been fortunate enough that the small bonus he receives to travel over the holiday covers the expense of taking the rest of the family along. We had tossed the idea of a side trip to NYC the last 2 years, and this year decided to go come hell or high water. Then, I happened to see a call for volunteers from Billy Miller, one of the owners of Norton Records, and the details of my plan fell into place.

Anyone who knows anything about me and the Millionaire knows that we love music. We met via the Goner Records message board, no less. Our love of music has translated into a love of sharing that music, and the accompanying love of vinyl with the Millioniare’s kids. We have made a point to expose them to the music we love, the records we love and the artists we love. When possible, the kids go to shows and meet our friends and favorite bands. When I proposed helping Norton out during our side trip, the Millionaire didn’t even bat an eye. The plan was complete!

Sunday afternoon after a day of walking the streets of Manhattan, craning our necks to see the tallest buildings we’ve ever seen and grabbing a hot dog from a street vendor, we set off for Brooklyn. We fortified ourselves with what each member of the family unanimously agreed was the best pizza any of us has ever tasted: Brooklyn’s Grimaldi’s Pizza. With bellies full of pizza and excitement, we took off for Brooklyn Bowl, the bowling alley that donated the space for the wash-a-thon.

Billy and Miriam couldn’t have been more gracious and patient as they showed us what needed to be done. Rows of tables were set up with record washers provided by Discwasher of Pittsburgh, cleaning solution and rolls and rolls of paper towels. And records. Oh, the records. Stacked in tilted, soggy piles, some over waist high. One entire table was dedicated to tearing off the flood-soaked sleeves, while the rest of the tables were reserved for cleaning and drying and a final staging area full of fans to dry the labels. It made my heart hurt to see all those records, and know it was a matter of time before some were too far gone to save. Needless to say, we worked feverishly to clean and dry as many records as we could, knowing we only had a few hours before we had to leave the city.

I am so very proud of my chicken babies for their uncomplaining hard work. They could plainly see all around them the variety of folks that came out to help. Not only that, with the great DJs from WFMU that donated their time, the kids had an experience of listening to a great assortment of tunes that had us clapping, swaying and shaking right along. One of my most valuable life lessons has been the opportunity to learn how to have fun while I work. This weekend, my chicken babies had that opportunity as well. In the end the Millionaire family cleaned and dried 8 stacks of records. Each stack, a different run of a single title. Some were bigger than others, but we cleaned our hearts out. Our small reward was the visible gratitude from two of our record lovin idols, Billy Miller and Miriam Linna. That’s the best souvenir I can imagine.



I have so many things swirling around my head to write about. Sometimes dumping it in one spot helps me clear my mind enough to move forward. There. I admitted it. So here are the posts I’d love to do, but haven’t found a way to gel into coherent thoughts. My hope is that I can put this out there for accountability purposes:

  • More kitty introductions. The world definitely needs more cat photos on the internet.
  • Further discussion of the Deep Clean Extravaganza
  • My dysfunctional extended family and the emotional blackmail and abuse that come along for the ride – there’s so much I could probably write a book. Not even kidding a little bit.
  • Crafty shits. I don’t feel like I’ve gotten my craft on all year. That makes me sad. I blame a summer heat wave and no A/C
  • Gonerfest 9 photos.
  • My awesome Shutterfly cards & super duper adorable TinyPrints return address labels (just about my only creative efforts this year)
  • Product review for an awesome pet product that I LOVE.
  • An upcoming giveaway and blog hop – stay tuned because this one is imminent.

I wrote this while still in Memphis  at Gonerfest 9.

” I can’t believe we waited so long to come to gonerfest dumb, dumb, dumb. My mopey days are done. The hoard won and I’m ok with that now. All is well when I’m siting in the back room of the HiTone watching gonerfest on rocket science audio’s monitors and catching up with some of my favorite people in the world. It’s so good to be in Memphis. I have to soak up every ounce of music and mayhem before the weekend is out. Good times. “

The one big plus to being married to a divorced man with kids is the built in date night every other weekend. Free babysitter! (I firmly believe all parents need a break from their kids on a regular basis,especially non-divorced parents!) Most times we just relax and enjoy the time to ourselves. Every now and then something really fun comes up. the best is when a good rock n roll show comes through town and I get to flex the old music photography muscles.

My husband’s good friend Tom worked on an awesome book based around the Touch and Go zine and its creator, Tesco Vee, of the Michigan based punk band, The Meat Men. I’m a bit young to have actually had experience with this iconic zine, but I’d heard of it/the Meat Men. It was with great pleasure that I anticipated the Meat Men show that was held last weekend at the Pyramid Scheme. We milled around and managed to secure the last copy of the book at the merch table, and Tesco was even kind enough to sign it for us.

I can’t believe it, but I let my husband talk me out of bringing my good camera. FAIL. Big fat FAIL. Tesco Vee puts on one helluva show. I wish I had better pictures to post than these crappy iPhone pictures.



So, the kids finally realized their dream of meeting Mr. Shakes-a-lot. None other than Greg O. Cartwright. Greg did a solo show at Record Graveyard, all ages! We beat a path there, where we ran into some awesome folks and gave the kids an earful. Actually, they gave themselves an earful, since they requested most of the set list.

Yay for lifetime memories.

Record Graveyard Hamtramck, MI

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…to interpret with mental-illness-goggles on.

Positively 4th Street

Bob Dylan

Positively 4th Street

You got a lotta nerve
To say you are my friend
When I was down
You just stood there grinning

You got a lotta nerve
To say you got a helping hand to lend
You just want to be on
The side that’s winning

You say I let you down
You know it’s not like that
If you’re so hurt
Why then don’t you show it

You say you lost your faith
But that’s not where it’s at
You had no faith to lose
And you know it

I know the reason
That you talk behind my back
I used to be among the crowd
You’re in with

Do you take me for such a fool
To think I’d make contact
With the one who tries to hide
What he don’t know to begin with

You see me on the street
You always act surprised
You say, “How are you?” “Good luck”
But you don’t mean it

When you know as well as me
You’d rather see me paralyzed
Why don’t you just come out once
And scream it

No, I do not feel that good
When I see the heartbreaks you embrace
If I was a master thief
Perhaps I’d rob them

And now I know you’re dissatisfied
With your position and your place
Don’t you understand
It’s not my problem

I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
And just for that one moment
I could be you

Yes, I wish that for just one time
You could stand inside my shoes
You’d know what a drag it is
To see you

June 2006 HiTone Memphis (with Digital Leather?)

Jay reatard keyboards july 2006

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