Category: Entertainment

Music Monday for 11.11.2019

(NaBloPoMo Day 6)

November is National Native American Heritage Month, so the theme for this week’s Monday’s Music Moves Me is “Songs inspired by, performed by, or about Native Americans.”

Three songs about Native Americans; one quite well-known, one not as well-known (but my favorite of the three, as it’s by one of my favorite bands!), and one by a hair band who had a day in the sun in the late eighties, but has since been mostly tragically forgotten until the movie Hot Rod featured several of their songs in its soundtrack and musicians such as MATT and KIM, Laibach, and Chamillionaire sampled their songs:

Iron Maiden – “Run To The Hills”

The Cult – “American Horse”

Europe – “Cherokee”

And a song by a Native American – sort of. I’m foregoing Redbone and others here and choosing instead a song by Ozzy Osbourne in which Randy Castillo (Apache) had a part in writing and, of course, performing:

Ozzy Osbourne – “Crazy Babies”

Who are some of YOUR favorite Native American musicians and performers? Let’s see them in the comments!

Featured image courtesy Comfreak on Pixabay

Music Monday for 11.04.2019 – Some Firsts

(NaBloPoMo Day 1)


It’s the first Music Monday of November, my first NaBloPoMo post (see my post about NaBloPoMo here.), and since this is a freebie week for Monday’s Music Moves Me, I thought I’d post a small playlist of first songs released by some bands I love. Keep in mind that these are not necessarily their first commercially successful singles, though.

R.E.M. – “Gardening At Night”

Thirty Seconds To Mars – “Capricorn (A Brand New Name)”

The Black Crowes – “Jealous Again”

Nine Inch Nails – “Down In It”

Alice In Chains – “We Die Young”

What are YOU listening to this first weekend in November?

Featured image courtesy ponce_photography on Pixabay

Music Monday and #RMF2019 for 10.28.2019 – The Halloween Edition

This weekend has been just what my soul needed. It cooled off a bit, and it was rainy and so windy. Perfect October weather! I had originally planned to do a huge Halloween playlist (or at least dig one from the past up, dust it off, and pass it off as new!) for Music Monday, but like plans of mine often do, they never came to pass. Mostly because I spent the weekend enjoying my favorite weather, catching up on reading for a book review, making some more household cleaners, and getting boatloads of post drafts made for my (triumphant?) return to Battle of the Bands one of these days.

What I have for you instead, is a collection of ten scary songs – some are Halloween-related, some spooky, some outright disturbing, most are rock (this is still #RocktoberMusicFest, after all), and I tried to pick a few that don’t usually end up on Halloween playlists.

First up…

Johnny Cash – “Ghost Riders In The Sky”
A herd of cattle with steel heels, red eyes, black horns, and horses snorting fire thundering through the sky? Paints quite a picture.

Gerard McMann – “Cry Little Sister”
From The Lost Boys soundtrack, this spooky, moody song was easily one of my favorites of my Senior year in high school.

The Cure – “Burn”
This is another one from The Crow soundtrack (I shared Nine Inch Nails’ cover of Joy Division’s “Dead Souls” here). The lyrics seem *to me* to deal more with devastating loss than being spooky. But it’s pain, and pain is scary.

Warren Zevon – “Excitable Boy”
You can find a wealth of information on Warren Zevon from his Wikipedia page. He has worked with an astounding number of top-notch musicians, and in my humble opinion, is in that category himself. I know everyone is already familiar with “Werewolves of London” – also fitting for a Halloween/Spooky playlist – but Zevon’s vividly compelling songwriting combined with his deep, smooth voice make all of his music sound pretty spooky to me. And if the lyrics to “Excitable Boy” aren’t scary and disturbing, then I don’t know what is!

Jane’s Addiction – “Sympathy For The Devil”
I know this is a cover, and the reason I’m using it instead of the Rolling Stones original is because a) it sounds spookier than the original, and b) I actually like it better than the original. I put this up as a contender for a Battle of the Bands face-off against another band (can’t think of who right now) at one of my other blogs, and I seem to remember this one winning by a landslide. This song was also featured in Sons of Anarchy.

Type O Negative – “Black No. 1”
One of the funnier selections for this list! I couldn’t leave out Type O Negative. They always toured around Halloween, and their shows were part of my Halloween and autumn celebrations.

Donovan – “Season of the Witch”
I don’t really have anything to say about this one, just that I love the whole vibe!

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – “I Put A Spell On You”
This was some really ground-breaking performance art for the 50s, and this is a show I would love to see even today.

Led Zeppelin – “Battle of Evermore”
This one always makes it onto the scariest/spookiest song lists, and I can see (and hear) why.

And last but not least…what would Halloween be without The Rocky Horror Picture Show?

The cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show – “The Time Warp”


Ministry – “Every Day Is Halloween”

…and that’s it for me till next Halloween! What is on YOUR Halloween playlist?

Featured image courtesy OpenClipart-Vectors on Pixabay

Music Monday for 10.21.2019

Hello, Music Monday-ers and 4M-ers! I am freshly back from my Mississippi/Memphis trip, where I got to briefly visit family, and got ever closer to the finish line on my Aunt’s estate. (where I have never seen so much stuff in my life – and I have seen a lot of stuff!) I am enjoying my Monday, having gotten up early to tend to the dogs and clean a bit of house while listening to your selections. I’m normally at work today, but since it’s inventory I’ll be working a long shift tonight instead. This is something totally new for me, so I hope I do everything right. I’ve spent the entire past week preparing myself and my department for it, so there’s really no reason for things not to run smoothly.

It’s a freebie this week on Monday’s Music Moves Me – which can be seen at Cathy’s, Dolly’s, and many of the other participants’ as well – meaning a song of your choice. Rocktober Music Fest 2019 is still going on over at Mary’s, so my post today is doing double duty. I’m working on my spooky playlist for Halloween, and I think I’ll share a selection from that:

Gerard Way – “Baby You’re A Haunted House”

What are YOU listening to today?

Featured image courtesy basil smith on Pixabay

Music Monday and #RMF2019 for 10.14.2019

It’s Sunday, and I didn’t get any of my weekend plans or errands done. Not only was I going to make cinnamon oil so that I could make a homemade Snake-Away spray, but I also needed to get my car serviced and wanted to get it washed/cleaned. I was going to make more homemade dog food, as the dogs are almost out. Not to mention, I needed to do some shopping for the coming week. Instead, all I managed was laundry (at least it was a good bit of laundry, though) and a headache and a nap. I’ve been feeling run-down all week, and my health issues struck again today. But the nap seems to have taken care of the bulk of it, and I’ll just do the other stuff later.

Oh, and I moved some book-related posts over from The ReInViintaged Life, got myself a NetGalley account (you bookish types should check it out!), and watched a few episodes of Insatiable. Is anyone else watching? I absolutely love that show. It’s dark comedy, and so cleverly written!

Obviously, I didn’t get around to making a #RMF2019 post for Sunday, so for today’s Music Monday And Rocktober Music Fest I’m bringing you some new music, again courtesy of one of the Exit 111 Festival bands, Dirty Honey. Their current single, “When I’m Gone”, is getting a lot of local radio airplay right now, and they’re another new band who are obviously influenced by Led Zeppelin – their Wikipedia page even states this. And they are the first unsigned band to hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs chart. Impressive! They’ll be in Birmingham later this week, and I really need to head down there to check them out.

Dirty Honey – “When I’m Gone”

This week’s theme at Monday’s Music Moves Me is “songs about taking a journey. It can be an actual trip, or a trip into the imagination, or even an emotional journey.” For that, I’ve selected this song because it always stirs my emotions. It’s about an actual journey, but manages to take me on a metaphorical journey as well – I find myself getting really nostalgic for my younger days, when I could just jump in a car and GO…somewhere…anywhere. Just run. Even though I have firmly planted roots both in my current home and my family’s home elsewhere, I’ve always had a Gypsy soul that longed to travel to other places, and a heart that has always had a strong need to start over elsewhere. This line from the lyrics still manages to nearly bring tears to my eyes all these years later:

“All by myself
I can see it like it’s right before my eyes
By myself time goes by
It was so long ago
It was a long time ago”

This band had a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in the late 90s-early 00s on alternative and college radio. I still think they’re incredibly talented and am surprised that that was the peak of their commercial career.

Black Lab – “Time Ago”

I guess that’s another week in the books, and another busy one about to start! What are YOU listening to this week? What songs take YOU on a journey – emotional, imaginative, or bring up memories of an actual one?

Featured image courtesy StockSnap on Pixabay

Music Monday and #RMF2019 for 10.06.2019

It’s the first Monday in October, my favorite month of the year. I love September almost as much, since it has the end of summer, the Autumnal Equinox, and my birthday. But October? October is magical. Something happens in October that brings out the happiness in me, and I appreciate this last hurrah before the colder, darker months.

And on that note, there is no theme this week for Monday’s Music Moves Me, but I’ve been really been getting in the mood for all the scary spookiness to come. Here’s a blast from my past. I loved this movie! (Trick or Treat, 1986):

Fastway – “After Midnight”

Also, Mary’s got a great little musical blog festival going on all month at her place, #RocktoberMusicFest2019, so I think I’ll stop by there as well!

What music are YOU listening to this time of year?

Featured image courtesy Free-Photos on Pixabay

Music Monday for 09.30.2019

EDIT: Linky Tools is still not working for me. Cathy was kind enough to help a gal out last week by uploading a pic for me, and I am so thankful. However, I still can not get Mr. Linky to pull a photo from my site, OR let me upload one manually. I have no clue if it’s a blog issue, a size issue (I have resized several photos, and none have worked), or a computer issue. I am still working on it, but I may have to just leave links to all I visit until I can figure this out. Your patience is appreciated!

Farewell, September! You blew in and out of here so fast my head’s still spinning, and I still haven’t updated with my concert review from August, or my birthday trip to Memphis mid-month. I may never get around to it! But I digress. It is Monday, and Mondays are for sharing music!

The theme over at Dolly’s is “First Grade Songs – songs that were popular the year you were in first grade (or when you were 6 yrs old).” I started first grade at five years old, in 1975. A quick Google search showed me there was indeed a great selection of music available to choose from that year. But since the theme specifies first grade or six years old, I decided to go with songs from 1976, since I both turned six by the time 1976 rolled around, AND that was the second half of my first grade year. These are my favorites of the ones I came across! But only six, and it was kind of hard to narrow it down:

  1. Fleetwood Mac – “Rhiannon”
  2. Electric Light Orchestra – “Strange Magic”
  3. The Runaways – “Cherry Bomb”
  4. Bellamy Brothers – “Let Your Love Flow”
  5. Eagles – “Take It To The Limit”
  6. Ramones – “Blitzkrieg Bop”

Feel free to listen/check out the videos below…

Fleetwood Mac – “Rhiannon”

Electric Light Orchestra – “Strange Magic”

The Runaways – “Cherry Bomb”

Bellamy Brothers – “Let Your Love Flow”

Eagles – “Take It To The Limit”

Ramones – “Blitzkrieg Bop”

What music was popular the year YOU were six, or when you were in first grade?

Featured image courtesy ponce_photography on Pixabay

Fall TV Season is well underway

One of the prompts for this week’s Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop was “Write about the fall lineup you’re most interested in watching.”

Finally, a prompt I feel completely qualified – nay, perhaps overqualified to write about – as TV is my jam. This fall season (with a few exceptions) kicked off earlier this week, and has really picked up speed. I don’t know if I have a particular lineup I’m excited about, but I *am* really excited about some shows I’m currently viewing, and some that are coming soon!

Here’s the master list, with premiere dates. If you’ve got time, you can scroll down and read my thoughts and watch some trailers if anything interests you.

  • Marianne – Netflix; currently streaming
  • American Horror Story – F/X; 9/18
  • A Very Brady Renovation – HGTV; 9/19
  • The Neighborhood – CBS; 9/23
  • 9-1-1 – Fox; 9/23
  • Prodigal Son – Fox; 9/24
  • Bluff City Law – NBC; 9/23
  • Emergence – ABC; 9/24
  • This Is Us – NBC; 9/24
  • Superstore – NBC; 9/26
  • Grey’s Anatomy – ABC; 9/26
  • Mom – CBS; 9/26
  • The Unicorn – CBS; 9/26
  • Ink Master: Grudge Match – Paramount; 10/1
  • S.W.A.T. – CBS; 10/2
  • The Walking Dead – AMC; 10/6

…and this isn’t even counting all the football and cooking shows and miscellaneous shows I might pick up along the way.

**If this is as far as you get, let me go ahead and ask: What are YOU most looking forward to watching this fall?**

Here’s what I’m currently watching:

Marianne – a French horror series about a horror writer whose novels, which she bases on her dreams, come true. Is anyone else watching? What are your thoughts? I have mixed feelings about this one. Sure, it’s good. It’s creepy. Super creepy. But other than that, I don’t feel like I really get as much from it, and therefore don’t like/enjoy it as much as many others do. But, I do enjoy it, and highly recommend it if you’re a horror fan. FYI: subtitled.

American Horror Story (Wednesday, 9/- I’m only one episode in on this season, titled “1984”, which, as you might have guessed, is an AHS-styled homage to 80’s slasher flicks. I have always liked AHS, and I grew up on 80s slasher films, so this season is right up my alley! Whereas I don’t like Marianne as much as many of my peers do, I seem to like AHS more than them. Of course I recommend it as well if you are a fan of the genre. I already included the AHS 1984 trailer in my Five for Friday post last week, but I’ve found an unofficial companion stream of wrap-ups from Think Story, posted after each episode airs. I find them pretty informative as well as hysterically funny! If you’re watching, you might, too. Here’s the first one (but the second episode breakdown is now up):

HGTV’s A Very Brady Renovation – The Brady Bunch was one of my favorite before-myt-ime-tv-shows to watch in the afternoons after getting home from school. I loved that family, and loved their FABULOUS HOUSE! So naturally, I was really worried when I learned that HGTV won the bidding war on the Brady house, with plans to renovate it. The first thing that popped into my mind was that they were going to Chip-and-Joanna the hell out of this beloved place. I was so excited to learn that the HGTV team planned to restore the house to it’s 70s glory by replicating the original series set! This premiered a while back, and the Far-Out Finale is this coming Monday (9/30), but I’m sure you can catch it on HGTV or OnDemand or reruns or something.

The Neighborhood – I love this show first and foremost for its sensitively and well-written comedy and its top-notch cast (Cedric the Entertainer, Max Greenfield, Tichina Arnold, Beth Behrs), but it also tackles race and privilege in a way that may make better sense to some who struggle to understand those issues.

9-1-1 – Now in its third season, this show continues to blow me away. There’s literally never a dull moment, so if you are into really hot rescue units and basically non-stop action, then this is the show for you. And just two more words: ANGELA. BASSETT.

Superstore – I have worked different positions in retail and other customer service industries for all of my adult life so I know, or have at least dealt with, all of these characters and customer situations at some point in time. And if you’ve ever worked in retail, you’ll recognize them, too. Plus, this cast is phenomenal.

Grey’s Anatomy – I didn’t get a chance to watch Grey’s in real time from the beginning, so I rectified that a few years ago by bingeing on a dozen or more seasons on Netflix. It’s different watching in real time, but I’m still along for the ride after all these cast changes and seasons.

And here are some that have premiered, but I haven’t gotten around to watching yet/I’ll give them at least a one episode chance, and those that are coming soon:

Prodigal Son – I haven’t watched this one yet, but I plan to this weekend. I’m very intrigued, and think this might just be the crime drama I need to fill the Criminal Minds (which won’t be back for it’s final season until 2020, sniff sniff)-sized hole left in my fall viewing schedule. And the cast is stellar: Tom Payne (Jesus from The Walking Dead), Keiko Agena (Gilmore Girls, Dirty John), and…LOU DIAMOND PHILLIPS! MICHAEL SHEEN!!!

Bluff City Law – this is another one which has premiered that I haven’t had a chance to watch yet, but my Mom has, and she assures me I will love it! It also has scenes shot in my beloved Memphis, so I look forward to seeing those as much as I do watching Jimmy Smits and inevitably getting pulled into what is bound to be an amazing series.

Emergence – I love these types of shows, yet hesitate to get into them because they usually only last a season or two. But we’re due for a longer-lasting drama with mysterious circumstances, so maybe it’ll stick? Also, it’s hard to pass up something starring Clancy Brown.

Mom – I haven’t seen this season’s premiere yet, but this is another sitcom I love for its fantastic cast and hilarity!

S.W.A.T. – Criminal Minds hasn’t been the same without Shemar Moore, but he’s just as swoon-worthy in this show. I’m still getting caught up on previous seasons, and I look forward to the latest when I’m all caught up. Are you watching? What do you think?

The Unicorn – I like the premise: (per the official website) “Walton Goggins stars in a comedy about a tight-knit group of best friends and family who helps Wade (Goggins) embrace his “new normal” in the wake of the loss of his wife one year ago.” And I *LOVE* Walton Goggins in everything he’s done. The cast also includes Rob Cordry, Omar Miller, Michaela Watkins, and Maya Lynne Robinson. Sounds like a winner to me!

Ink Master: Grudge Match – I’m such a huge fan of reality tattoo competition series Ink Master that I’ve watched seasons 1-10 twice, watched all episodes of spinoff Ink Master Angels, and now eagerly look forward to Ink Master: Grudge Match, featuring contestants and winners from previous seasons.

The Walking Dead – a lot of fans jumped ship a few seasons back, but me? I’m in it till the end. I haven’t enjoyed the later seasons as much, but am very interested in this season’s war with The Whisperers, and “People are putting their shittin’ pants on” indeed. I haven’t read the novels, so I have no idea how things are going to play out, but the official trailer teases at the possibility of at least one new power couple, and I am pretty excited about that as well. If you’ve watched from the beginning, are you still watching?

What do YOU most look forward to watching this fall?

Featured image courtesy Pexels on Pixabay

Teaser! Black Hearts by Karina Halle

(This post was originally published at The ReInVintaged Life.)

The last time I was on this blog, I did the cover reveal for Black Hearts by Karina Halle.

Well, now I’m back with a teaser to go with the cover. Black Hearts will be released February 19 (THIS COMING SUNDAY!), and you will NOT want to miss it! Here’s just a little taste of what’s to come….

The fog is continuing to roll in, bringing a briny mist that you can taste. Only the tops of the bridge remain visible, the orange red seeming to glow against grey skies, while shadows of the structure come and go as the fog moves in.

Violet stares in quiet fascination, her dark eyes taking it in. I can see the fog reflected in them, giving her an eerie quality. She appears to be listening but whether it’s the fog horns, the chatter of the fishermen, the lapping waves, or the dull roar of the bridge traffic, I don’t know. Could be something else entirely.

I don’t want to break her concentration or bring her back from whatever world she’s in. I just stand beside her and let her be. If anything, it says a lot about her comfort level with me if she lets herself drift away.

After a few minutes, she slowly turns to me and blinks. “How long did you say you were going to be in San Francisco for?”

“I don’t know,” I say carefully. “It depends if I find what I’m looking for.”

“And what are you looking for?”

“A reason to stay.” I hold her gaze with mine. The sea breeze picks up a few strands of her hair, moving them across her face like a black veil. Without thinking, I reach over and brush them away, tucking them behind her ear.

I could kiss her. I should kiss her. The feel of her skin against my fingers ignites a million torches inside.

Then she looks away, uncomfortable, the silence between us changing.

I steer the subject onto her. “You said your mother is a famous photographer. Does she have a studio?”

She lets out a soft sigh, her eyes back on the bridge. “Yeah. In the mission district.”

“And you don’t want the same for yourself?”

She rubs her lips together in thought before looking down at her hands that hang over the side of the railing. “As I said, I don’t know what I want. I’m not sure I feel comfortable with the idea of having a studio. My mom does portraits of people. That’s not what I like to shoot.”

“Not a people person?”

A wry smile cracks her lips. “No. Not really. It’s too…intimate. My mom is great at it because people feel comfortable with her. She can…I don’t know, manipulate their feelings.”

Interesting. Very interesting.

People like my father.

“So they end up exposing pieces of themselves that they don’t see. I guess I have the same intuition as her but the one on one is too much for me. I prefer to work with nature. With this.” She gestures to the fog. “No one else really understands how beautiful this is to me.”

I look back at the fog, moving faster now. I wouldn’t call it beautiful. Moody. Dark, maybe. If anything, her beauty stands out more because of the bleakness around her.

“My goal is to take photos that show how I see the world. All the beauty in it. The world is such an ugly and beautiful place, horrible and hopeful. I want to show the light in all the dark places.” She pauses and gives me a sheepish look. “Sorry. I know that must have sounded hella pretentious.”

I slowly shake my head because she sounds anything but that. She sounds real. She sounds like something I want to shake loose from her, to let free and run wild.

“You’re not pretentious,” I tell her, my voice low. “Not even close.”

“That’s not what I hear.”

“What do you hear?” I move in closer to her, the distance between us just a few inches. She doesn’t back up. “What does the world tell you you are?”

I watch her swallow, take a moment. “Oh, you know. I’m too self-absorbed. Narcissistic. Pretentious. I live too much in my head, I’m too anti-social, too distant. I feel too much, care too much. My mother has always chided me for being too sensitive and then I was diagnosed with having hyper-sensitivity, so it turns out she was right. I am too sensitive. About everything. And there’s not a single thing I can do about it except know that when I experience reality, it’s not what everyone else experiences. For better or for worse.” She sighs. “Mainly for worse.”

I feel like this is something she doesn’t unload on many people. My instincts about her were right. She’s fragile but not weak, too much a part of the world and too much removed from it. A contradiction.

“I’m sorry,” she says, shooting me a glance. “I didn’t mean to blab away like that. I know you probably think I’m crazy now. Hell, I think I’m crazy half the time. I really wish I could just be like everyone else. To just…shut it all off.”

“You’re not crazy,” I tell her. “I’m just understanding you better.”

Her mouth quirks up into a dry smile. “I’m surprised you understand me at all. We’ve only just met.”

“True,” I tell her as I reach out and run my fingers along her jaw, tipping her chin up. “But I’m sure you of all people would know that sometimes you can connect with someone in ways you didn’t think you could. Or should.”

She barely nods, her eyes focused on mine, anticipation on her brow. I’m met with the overwhelming desire to protect and shield her which is extremely inconvenient, if not unwelcome, given the circumstances. One minute I need to fuck her, the next I need to protect her, and in the end, what I really need is to do the job I set out to do.

EXCERPT: BLACK HEARTS, SINS DUET #1 Copyright Karina Halle 2017

If you like your romance a little (or a lot) dark and dangerous, then this is definitely for you!

Download it Sunday, and in the meantime, follow Karina on GoodReads, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, or her website.