Sing Like Nobody’s Listening

Last night I attended my first Austin Ukulele Society meeting and it was so much fun. It was Valentines Day so everyone learned “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. I can’t remember the last time I felt so completely lost in what was going on and enjoying every moment, without a hint of self-consciousness.

My lack of skill and the fact that my ukulele was not properly tuned (or at all) were of no bother to the two kind souls who sat on either side of me. The man on my left suggested I could always just strum in on the first beat if the fingering was too hard for me. I felt like a 3 year-old who’d been handed a toy steering wheel so I felt I was driving too. Whatever, I felt part of, and I guess that was the point. He must be a kindergarten teacher. 

So there I was, singing “Can’t Help Falling in Love” like nobody was listening with 139 strangers. It was amazing.

Also, the woman on my right with the blue ukulele and a rose tucked behind her ear sang like an angel.

Austin Ukulele Society

Cocaine & Rhinestones: The History of Country Music

My friend Patti Lou turned me on to this podcast a year ago. Holy guacamole this podcast is pure gold. I sure do hope there is a second season on the horizon. Host Tyler Mahan Coe’s stories about the truth behind some of country music’s tallest tales makes each episode a wild ride.

When looking ahead at the episodes I wondered, “Why are there three entire episodes about “The Harper Valley PTA”? I can tell you now that it’s not the story you thought you’d hear. Not even close.

I come by my affinity for 1970’s country when my family ran called the Golden Spike Inn, a kinda sorta truck stop in Byers, Colorado in the mid seventies. I’d spend the weekend pumping stolen quarters from the cash register into the jukebox to hear Charlie Pride, Dolly Parton, and The Kendalls until it was time to head back to our real life. Stop what you’re doing now and listen to this gem.

I should mention these stories are often violent and of an adult nature so probably not appropriate for a family road trip, unless your family is like my family. In that case, roll down the windows and enjoy.

Oh, be sure to listen to these in order. After the first episode, you’ll see Ernest Tubb in another light, and also be back for more.

Cocaine & Rhinestones

Fab Five for Friday

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1. Fall. My other favorite four-letter word. I can’t help it, but as someone who grew up in cooler climes than my new found home in central Texas… once the calendar ticks autumnal equinox, I’m ready to whip up large bowls of oatmeal and wooly ponchos.

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2. Fleabag.  So smart. So funny. So sad. So good. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is brilliant.

3. Magazines. Not just because I work at one either. Whether I subscribe or pick up at the newsstand, I rarely crack them open immediately, but tend to stack them up on a side table until I have a quiet hour or two to savor the glossy pages with a cup of coffee.

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4. This Podcast… Becoming a Badger. Firstly, I love anything about badgers. Frances the Badger is my spirit animal. Secondly, the story of the french comedian and his struggle with his humor not translating is very funny. Perhaps funnier than him. Someone should pitch this to Netflix for a series… full of obvious gaffs, awkward moments, and witness shame. Then finally the rat hunting terriers in NYC. My favorite part is when the interviewer asks Paco’s owner, “What’s his way in?”, and he answers, “He weighs in at 32 pounds.” Thinking she wants his fighting weight. Priceless.

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