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Shelly Peiken book discussion and signing September 25, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Books, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Travel.
1 comment so far

Back in March, I wrote about my experience reading songwriter and Freeport native Shelly Peiken‘s (“PIE-kin”) book, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter. I was hoping for an opportunity to meet her in person the next time there was a book signing in New York City or here on Long Island. Over the summer, that opportunity came to be as Shelly invited me and her fellow Facebook friends to an event on Friday night at Turn of the Corkscrew Books & Wine in Rockville Centre, not too far from the LIRR station. I proudly committed to going, as did many other friends from her youth in Freeport. That includes my mother Lisa, who grew up within walking distance of Shelly.

My original itinerary to get to Turn of the Corkscrew was similar to the previous Friday’s journey to Long Beach for the Long Beach Jazz Festival. The only difference is I would eat an early dinner at home before leaving for the Wantagh LIRR station where I would take the 5:59 train. Mom would meet up with me in RVC, as it’s colloquially known, coming from work in Freeport. That never happened because Mom decided to come home first so we could go together. We did, leaving the house at about 5:50. We arrived a half hour later. Shelly wasn’t due to speak until 7:00, but I always like to be early so I can get a prime seat.

After having a can of diet ginger ale and two chocolate chip cookies, I took these preliminary pictures:
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Shelly arrived on time, hugging my mother Lisa on the way to the podium:
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For about an hour, Shelly read excerpts from Confessions of a Serial Songwriter
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…and sang a few of her songs:
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The songs were:
Bitch” – #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for Meredith Brooks in 1997
Almost Doesn’t Count” – #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 for Brandy in 1999; #19 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for Mark Wills in 2000
Human on the Inside” – #59 in Australia for the Divinyls in 1996; #30 on the Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart for the Pretenders (as “Human”) in 1999
Who You Are” – #8 on the UK Singles chart for Jessie J in 2011

Mom loved “Almost Doesn’t Count.” “That’s very pretty,” she complimented after the last chord. “Thank you, Lisa,” Shelly cheerfully replied. Mom added, “It’s my kind of song.”

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Shelly also admitted she’s working on an audiobook version of Confessions. I can’t wait to hear it.

After Shelly’s friend Suzan Koç took a group picture of her with all of us in the first few rows, it was time for the signing portion of the night. I had my copy ready and Mom bought a copy, too.

She wrote the following in my copy:

Mike –
I love that you came
Nice to meet you in person
Shelly

I couldn’t agree more.

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Here’s what she wrote in Mom’s copy:
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Lisa –
I cried when I saw your face
Shelly

Aww.

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As the crowd thinned out, all that remained were Shelly and her friends. They sat, reminisced, and looked at childhood pictures, for a half hour. I sat with them and took it all in.

Before sitting down, Shelly gathered them for a picture:
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From left to right, there’s Linda, Lisa, Celeste, Shelly, Lisa, and Peggy.

Thank you again, Shelly. I had a wonderful time, and I know (friends) did, too. Tell Suzan it was nice to meet her, too. And thank you, also, to Carol Hoenig and Peggy Zieran, the co-owners of Turn of the Corkscrew.

Kerry Kearney Band, Special EFX at Long Beach Jazz Festival 2016 September 19, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel.
3 comments

On Friday, for the first time in four years, I came to the second day of the four-day Long Beach (NY) Jazz Festival. This was the festival’s 14th year and the sixth year I’ve attended.

I was there to see Chieli Minucci and Special EFX, but was treated to blues by the Kerry Kearney Band beforehand.

Despite running 7.6 miles earlier in the afternoon, I walked a mile and a half to the Wantagh LIRR station just before 4:00. I waited for the 4:27 westbound train, which I took to Lynbrook. Then, I switched platforms to board the Long Beach train. I took the same two trains four years ago.

After I arrived in Long Beach, I walked to Brixx & Barley for a pasta dinner. I had eaten there with my parents and sister on Mother’s Day after we walked the Long Beach Boardwalk.

Unfortunately, there was still a lot of time before the Long Beach Public Library was opened to patrons. So, I walked to the nearby Starbucks and treated myself to dessert. There were only a few people outside the library when I left, but a crowd had gathered when I returned. I was still able to get a front row seat when the doors opened at 6:45.

The Kerry Kearney Band went on just after 7:00.

Here’s Kerry in action:
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The rest of Kerry’s band was David Cohen on piano:
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Gerry Sorrento on bass:
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Mario Stiano on drums:
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…and Nydia “Liberty” Mata on percussion:
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I saw Nydia perform with Alan Bates at the 2008 festival, and she played the steel drums during cocktail hour at my friends Jenni and Clemente’s wedding reception a few weeks after the 2011 festival.

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The band was also joined by Victor Poretz on harmonica:
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…and Charlie on trombone:
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A few wide shots:
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The last note:
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The set lasted about an hour. A half hour later, it was time for Chieli Minucci and Special EFX.

As with the Kerry Kearney Band, Special EFX was introduced by Steve Adelson, Long Beach Jazz Festival founder and Chapman Stick player:
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Chieli played electric guitar:
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…and acoustic guitar:
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Jay Rowe was on keyboards:
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Jerry Brooks on bass:
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Joel Rosenblatt on drums:
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…and Antoine Silverman on violin:
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As always the set list was a mix of Special EFX tunes and Chieli’s solo work. Here’s the list:
1. Courageous Cats
Originally heard on: Jewels (Chieli), 1995

2. Dance on the Delta
Originally heard on: Yet to be released album

3. Crazy Eights
Originally heard on: Genesis, 2013

4. Daybreak
Originally heard on: Global Village, 1992

5. Speak to Me
Originally heard on: Masterpiece, 1999

6. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (Allman Brothers Band cover)

7. Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers (Stevie Wonder cover; based on Jeff Beck version)
Originally heard on: Renaissance (Chieli), 1996

8. Kickin’ It Hard
Originally heard on: Night Grooves (Chieli), 2003

Antoine Silverman did not perform on #1 and #7.

Various shots of Chieli Minucci:
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Jay Rowe:
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Jerry Brooks:
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Joel Rosenblatt:
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Antoine Silverman:
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Wide shots:
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After the last note:
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The bow:
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With that, my night was complete. It was great to be back at the Long Beach Jazz Festival. I hope to be there again next year.

Joe Falco Documentary September 10, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Fire, History, News, Personal, Video.
1 comment so far

Five years ago, I posted my 9/11 experience, via a written summary of a portfolio I submitted in college a few months after 9/11. Two years after that summary, for my senior project, my dad Bill and I interviewed Joe Falco, an FDNY firefighter who survived the collapse of the World Trade Center’s South Tower. I never posted it to YouTube until tonight. Here is the resulting documentary, with pictures added two years later: