#WW – Who Says You Need Instruments To Play An @OleanderBand Song

My youngest son and I share a love for music. He loves my favorite band Oleander. He recently decided he wanted to join in the musical fun, so turned up the music on his iPod and started drumming along using a toy mountain and sticks. Who says you need instruments to make awesome music!

WW - C Drumming Oleander

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Has your child (or you) ever made music with something other then a musical instrument?

#MusicMonday – Reflecting On Apologies – Sorry By @ArtOfDying

No compensation or product was received for this post. I did this post because I felt it would be interesting, and because I love music.

Music Monday Button

It’s Music Monday! This week I’m sharing a song from the band Art Of Dying. I first learned of the band when I heard their song “Get Through This”. That song is from their album “Vices And Virtues”, which also contains the song “Sorry.”

I’ve been thinking about apologies quite a bit recently. With over 27 years of marriage, children, family, life, advocacy and a bunch of other things, apologies (and the occasional lack thereof) have just been on my mind lately. I’ve always tried to apologize when I’ve hurt someone. I try to teach my boys to apologize, and to look people in the eye and say what they are apologizing for. I believe apologies need to be meaningful, and that by doing those things they help show sincerity. Apologies have never been especially difficult for me. I don’t like to see people hurting at my expense. Apologies are very difficult for my husband, he generally doesn’t apologize.

Art Of Dying’s song “Sorry” is one of my favorites. Here’s the lyrics.

Seems like everyday you cross my mind even after such a long long time
I’m still thinking about the way you smile, it tears me apart to know that it won’t ever be the same again
No it won’t ever be the same again

Now I’m sorry that I left you
I can’t go back, I can’t change anything
I’m sorry that I said so long, I never meant to hurt you
Sorry I waited so long (that I waited so long)

Not really sure what I’m doing back here or why I stayed away for all those years
I guess I had to try to find myself
I’m the only one to blame, no one else can ever make it all go away
Or make up, make up for all my mistakes

Now I’m sorry that I left you
I can’t go back, I can’t change anything
I’m sorry that I said so long
Now I’m sorry that I left you
I can’t go back, I can’t change anything
I’m sorry that I said so long, I never meant to hurt you
Sorry I waited so long
Sorry I waited so long

If I could do this all over I’d wanna go back, I’d wanna go back
If I could only start over I would take it all back, I would take it all back for you
I would take it all back for you

Seems like everyday you cross my mind even after such a long long time
I’m still thinking about the way you smile

Now I’m sorry that I left you
I can’t go back, I can’t change anything
I’m sorry that I said so long
Now I’m sorry that I left you
I can’t go back, I can’t change anything
I’m sorry that I said so long, I never meant to hurt you
Sorry I waited so long, I never meant to hurt you
Sorry I waited so long
Sorry I waited so long (that I waited so long)

And here’s the video. Actually, here’s two videos. The first video is the piano version of “Sorry.” The second video is the complete version of the song. While having the same lyrics, the two versions are as different as night and day, and I really like them both.

Piano version of “Sorry”

“Sorry”

Which video did you watch? Or did you go back and watch both? I can’t pick a favorite, I dig both of them.

Now I’d love to know something.

Do apologies come easily to you?

Leave me a comment and let me know.

I am sort of fascinated by what musicians like to eat. I asked Art Of Dying what their favorite foods were. The reply was:

  • Tenderloin Filet Mignon (cooked medium rare, you can’t go wrong!)
  • Salmon Sashimi (fresh west coast sashimi is the best I’ve had so far)
  • Breakfast Burrito (I’m on a search for the best tasty breakfast burrito in America). Ken-Tone’s in Chicago is one of my faves.
  • Beef sliders
  • Loaded Nachos with fresh salsa and guacamole (authentic Mexican restaurants have the best!)

I’ve gathered some recipes for some of these, which I’m sharing on From Val’s Kitchen. Be sure to check out this week’s Music Monday post featuring Art Of Dying, which contains my Top 5 Salmon Recipes, along with recipes for burritos and nachos.

A big thanks to Greg of Art Of Dying for taking the time to answer my question. Art Of Dying is not out on tour at the moment, but will be on the ShipRocked cruise in January. Their album “Vices And Virtues” is currently available to purchase online and through iTunes.

Art Of Dying - Vices And Virtues

MORE INFO

Art Of Dying website

Art Of Dying on Facebook

Art Of Dying on Twitter

Art Of Dying on YouTube

Exclusive Interview With @DigitalSummer As New Acoustic Album After Hours Releases Today #Rock #Music

No compensation was received for this post. I did this interview because I felt it would be interesting, and out of love for the album, the music and the band.

Digital Summer: After Hours Unplugged & Rewired

If you’re a regular reader then you know that I love rock music. One of my most favorite bands is Digital Summer, a independent and unsigned rock band out of Phoenix, Arizona. They are one of very few bands (literally two) bands that puts out albums that I like from start to finish. And lyrically, at one point or another in time, I have been able to relate to what they’re saying. When I learned that their fourth album would be all acoustic, I wondered if I would enjoy it as much as it’s three predecessors. I preordered the album on iTunes a few weeks ago, just so that I could get a copy of a new song “This City” before the album actually dropped. As soon as I heard the song I fell in love with it, and was hopeful that the remainder of the album would make me just as happy.

After hearing “This City”, I asked the guys in Digital Summer if they’d be willing to interview them for an actual feature here on Mom Knows It All once the album dropped. I was curious to know some of their thoughts on family, their present and their future. The band was gracious enough to say yes, and Jon answered my questions.

And so, with Digital Summer’s new album “After Hours: Unplugged & Rewired” dropping today, here is my interview with them.

Digital Summer spends time performing with Austin Rios, an obviously talented young man.  How does spending time with him affect your vision of the future and the possibility of parenthood?

Editor’s note – Austin is a very talented 12 year old that really knows how to play the drums.

DS – “Austin has played a handful of shows with us, and is featured on four of the songs from the new acoustic album. His presence doesn’t really spark any kind of parenting scenario, but we are very proud to show him the “bright side” of rock musicians. We show them that you can succeed without being a druggy, asshole, or lazy person. It’s definitely a good foundation for him for wherever his music career takes him in the future!”

How do you juggle career (two of them), family and personal time?

Editor’s note – The members of Digital Summer also have typical “day” jobs outside of the music industry, as well as being in the band. They all work together to handle different aspects of the band, as they are independent and unsigned.

DS – We all juggle our career jobs with the band. It’s the toughest when we tour, but we somehow make it work! We are all fortunate enough to have significant others and friends who support and understand our hectic schedules. I guess the best answer is that we all just got lucky! :)

Is it difficult to maintain family traditions with a busy career?

DS – None of us have kids, but in terms of relationships, it can be difficult. Time apart is a big issue at times, but like I stated previously, we have an excellent support system. For me personally, It’s kind of tough to do “family things” with my family because all of them live in Louisiana. However, I had to spread my wings and fly, so it’s part of the sacrifice I’ve made to chase my dreams.

Did you always want to be a musician, and how did your parents feel about your decision to become a musician?

DS – Ever since I was about 7 or 8 years old. I remember seeing an Alan Jackson music video for Chatahoochie, and thinking to myself, I want to be able to play a guitar like him! My parents have always been supportive!

What’s your favorite home cooked meal?

DS – My mom’s chicken & wine sauce recipe!

What’s on your iPod that isn’t your music?

DS – There’s so much! I’d say my most played artists are Sevendust, Alter Bridge, Creed, Submersed, and Black Label Society

What was the most interesting city you have visited & why?

DS – My personal favorite was Chicago. There is so much cool stuff to do there that it’s overwhelming on trying to figure out how to make time to sight see everything!

How do you stay healthy when on the road so much? I imagine it is a lot of fast food and sitting on a bus!

DS – Our live shows are pretty intense, so we get a really good cardio work out from that. I guess it levels out our bad eating habits!

Digital Summer’s new acoustic album “After Hours: Unplugged & Rewired” dropped today. It is available for purchase on their website and on iTunes.

I don’t have acoustic or video from the album that I can share with you, but I do have something that I can let you hear that’s pretty close. Here’s an acoustic audio version of the Digital Summer song “Broken Halo”. Broken Halo is on the new album and it rather similar to this acoustic version that they did a while back. Broken Halo is a great song in and of itself, acoustically it’s kind of magical.

I had also ordered a physical copy of the new Digital Summer album, which arrived (signed and made out to me, LOVE!)  three days ago, on Saturday. The album has thirteen tracks, including two new tracks and eleven acoustic versions of previously released songs. The tracks on the album are:

  • This City (new song)
  • Forget You
  • Shallow (Closer Than The Angels)
  • Suffocate
  • Closer to Me
  • Dance In The Fire
  • Morphine
  • Use Me
  • Whatever It Takes
  • Demons (new song)
  • Broken Halo
  • Sweet Misery
  • Worth The Pain

I have now listened to the album 11 times since I unwrapped it on Saturday. It is amazing. I love every single track on it. And incredibly, I had already loved eleven of the thirteen songs. The acoustic versions are incredible and made me fall in love with the songs all over again in a different way. The new songs are brilliant and I love them too. Digital Summer really knocked it out of the park with this album.

Digital Summer is:
Kyle Winterstein – Vocals
Ian Winterstein – Guitar
Anthony “Guido” Hernandez – Bass
Jon “Bubba” Stephenson – Guitar

A big thanks to Digital Summer for taking the time to answer my questions. Digital Summer isn’t on tour at the moment but does have a Scottsdale, AZ show scheduled for November 2, and in January will also be on the ShipRocked cruise (one of my dream vacations). I’m hoping that they are able to get to the Northeast sometime relatively soon, because I just need to see these guys live. Any shows that they do schedule will surely be on their website and on Facebook.

MORE INFO

Digital Summer website

Digital Summer on Facebook

Digital Summer on Twitter

Digital Summer on YouTube

#MusicMonday False Alarm From New @_SmileEmptySoul Album Chemicals

No compensation or product was received for this post. I did this post because I felt it would be interesting, because I love music, and because I like the song.

Music Monday Button

Music Monday is back! This week I’m sharing a new single from a new album with you. Years ago I first learned of the band Smile Empty Soul when I heard their song “Adjustments”. This past week the three-piece band released its sixth album, “Chemicals.”

Smile Empty Soul Chemicals Album

The first single from the album is called “False Alarm”, and I’ve been hearing it on satellite radio and I like it. It makes me think of the confusion at the end of a relationship, something I remember well from my younger days. Here’s the lyrics.

Glass shard sticking out of my heart
Now the summer has subsided for the rain
Last time take a look in these eyes
Spend eternity escaping from the pain

Last chance when the hummingbirds dance
And the river’s overflowing on its banks
Hold tight when the weather is right
There’s another that awaits to take your place

False alarm I could have sworn
That something else was going on
False alarm I could have sworn
That something else

False alarm I could have sworn
That something else was going on
False alarm I could have sworn
That something else

Glass shard sticking out of my heart
Now the summer has subsided for the rain
Last time take a look in these eyes
Spend eternity escaping from the pain

Last chance when the hummingbirds dance
And the river’s overflowing on its banks
Hold tight when the weather is right
There’s another that awaits to take your place

False alarm I could have sworn
That something else was going on
False alarm I could have sworn
That something else

Glass shard sticking out of my heart
Now the summer has subsided for the rain
Last time take a look in these eyes
Spend eternity escaping from the pain

Last chance when the hummingbirds dance
And the river’s overflowing on its banks
Hold tight when the weather is right
There’s another that awaits to take your place

Hold tight when the weather is right
There’s another that awaits to take your place

And here’s the video. There is no explicit language.

I am sort of fascinated by what musicians like to eat. I asked Smile Empty Soul what their favorite foods were and thought their answers were pretty intersting:

  • Panang Curry
  • Corn Beef Hash
  • Fried Catfish
  • Tabouli
  • Baby back ribs
  • Raw veggie/fruit smoothies (nutri-bullet)

In honor of Smile Empty Soul’s new album, I’ve gathered some recipes for some of these, which I’m sharing on From Val’s Kitchen. Be sure to check out this week’s Music Monday recipes for Smile Empty Soul.

Smile Empty Soul’s new album “Chemicals” dropped on 10/01/13. I’ve heard a couple of songs in entirety, and samples of the rest, and am looking forward to picking it up shortly.

A big thanks to Smile Empty Soul for taking the time to answer my question. Smile Empty Soul is currently on tour, you can find tour dates on their website and on Facebook.

MORE INFO

Smile Empty Soul website

Smile Empty Soul on Facebook

Smile Empty Soul on Twitter

#WW – 2013 #NJ POW/MIA Watchfire Without The Fire Because Of The Fire

My Dad has hosted a POW/MIA Watchfire for many years here in NJ, as part of the Sons of the American Legion. I am so proud of what he tries to accomplish, seeking to make and maintain awareness of what’s happened to some of our servicemen, and to not give up until every last one is home. At the annual POW/MIA Watchfire people come from all over the state. There is a large bonfire on the beach, which burns all night until sunrise. Official flag retirements happen during the night as well. Because of the big fire in Seaside a little over two weeks ago, Dad was unable to have a bonfire. That didn’t stop him. Someone helped out and a big light like the kind you see at highway road construction sites at night was brought in. Battery operated candles were lit. This was the first Watchfire since Sandy devastated our area almost one year ago. The scene was sort of surreal for those of us that have been attending for so many years. Like the beach, it looked and felt different in many ways and yet remained the same in others. And the 2013 POW/MIA Watchfire went on. Never forget what so many have given for us. And never forget, there are still servicemen that deserve to be brought home.

NJ 2013 POW/MIA Watchfire

NJ 2013 POW/MIA Watchfire

NJ 2013 POW/MIA Watchfire

NJ 2013 POW/MIA Watchfire

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#WW – Meet THE Man

This is THE man. This is my Dad, along with myself and my two brothers. The picture isn’t great, I took it over the summer after my Dad had his heart attack. Love this man! I would be lost without him. He stalks my blog occasionally, so if he sees this – love you Dad!

With Our Dad

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#WW – Where Are Your Street Signs?

A few months back when I drove into Philadelphia I looked on street corners for the street signs. I didn’t see any. At first I thought it was just a corner without a sign, because I’ve seen that a bunch of times. only after about 3 blocks did I realize where the street signs were.

WW - Philly Street Signs

WW - Philly Street Signs

WW - Philly Street Signs

Thanks for stopping by! If you have a picture up for Wordless Wednesday, leave your link below! Then head on over to From Val’s Kitchen and Here And There.