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Posts tagged ‘baseball’

1
Sep

Maine summer photos with music & stories – Life in Maine with family & songs – the Marcrescue Blog

Greetings all,

My blog / email writing about life in Maine with family while running an independent music company has become a quarterly event it seems.

Simply because I write about our life and we spend so much time living there’s not much time left for writing.

But hopefully this makes each edition of my tales that much more interesting.

Summer in Maine is a time for being outside.

So I switch from the torture machine at the Y:

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To the torture machine I use outside:

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The biggest problem with the switch is a simple matter of gravity.

I use clip-in bike shoes and when you stop riding on the bike at the Y….

You just stop. The bike is on a stand. No problem.

My first ride this summer outside – I forgot about gravity.

At the end of the first big hill on my route I stopped for a break and a quick drink.

Forgot to unclip my shoes because I hadn’t thought about that all winter.

For those of you old enough to remember “Laugh-In” I looked exactly like the guy on the tricycle – who stopped and fell right over.

It was a slow-motion kind of moment – where you think “Oh oh….”.

You realize you’re going to fall over….you can’t do anything about it….even as it seems to take forever.

Landed on a rather sizeable rock.

Ouch that hurt.

Think I might have even cracked a rib or two.

But it only hurt to cough….for about three weeks.

I’ve had a great summer of riding….hopefully we’ll have a nice autumn and I can keep it up.  Great changing leaves on my ride as fall comes.

I’ll take photos.

In the meantime – we made the most of our local lake swimming hole.

Usually a late afternoon stop:

Barrett's Cove 07-05-2015

Maine has unique events that we can’t seem to get enough of.

Different farms open up their premises for visits.

Our first visit this summer was to the Glendarragh Lavender Farm.

26 acres along the St. George River and it’s chock full of different varieties of lavender:

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I suspect it has the nicest aroma of any farm anywhere.

Our friends Lorrie and Patrick Costigan started growing lavender in 2007.  Their drying barn on the property dates back to 1790.

In 2009 – they made it easy for us to get all the different kind of lavender products we could want – they opened a lavender store on Main St. in Camden.

It’s so nice to have a unique shop in town that has no duplicate anywhere. The magic of a small town in Midcoast Maine is we’re too small for most retail chains so walking down main street is like taking a stroll in the 1950’s or 60’s. Independent, interesting stores.

Such a pleasure.

Check out Glendarragh at www.mainelavenderstore.com

Our next farm stop was for wild Maine blueberries.

Every year on Maine Farm Day we head to our favorite blueberry farm to pick some berries and buy some extras.

I never remember the name….but I always recognize the sign:

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We didn’t pick this year because it was raining….but they had been busy:

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This basket didn’t last long in our hands:

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Summer is also baseball time.

We’re big Portland Sea Dogs fans (Red Sox Double AA Team).

A great stadium with a “green monster” wall the exact size of the one at Fenway and a perfect place to spend a few incredibly inexpensive hours:

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This particularly night was one of their “fireworks” evenings and after a very tense, close game – alas they lost. Unfortunately the Sea Dogs after a great season last year are mirroring their big brother team in last place this season.

But a true baseball fan – especially the New England variety – isn’t so hooked on success – it’s the game we enjoy.

The Sea Dogs always do a great fireworks show:

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Mid-summer –  it’s time for the “Lobster Festival”!

Music, carnival rides, crafts and a kid who’s discovered the joys of the “bungee jump ride”.

This year he did a flip for the first time:

LF 2015 Bungie 2

Mom and dad prefer the Ferris wheel:

LF 2015 Ferris Wheel

Always love the view – take notice of the second big tent:

LF 2015 Sky View

The object of the “Lobster Fest” is of course Maine lobsters.

They serve a lot of them over the five days of the festival.

All in that big tent.

We visited on Sunday – the last day of the festival.

Here’s the count of lobsters served up to the point we were there and the latest batch coming out of the biggest lobster cooker anywhere:

LF 2015 1

LF 2015 2

It’s also been a wonderful year for music.

Remember the old commercial for that weird “hair” company?

Where the guy in the commercial says “I’m not only the CEO – I’m also a customer”

Well that pretty much describes me.

I run an independent music company.

Because I love music.

Especially singer-songwriters – that’s what our company is all about.

It all starts with the songs.

Ever had a difficult time buying presents for your significant other?

From my own experience – it’s tough.

There’s nothing like working extra hard to get something I think my wife will love….and then get the….”Oh that’s nice…..interesting…..what made you think of that?”

It never even gets out of the box, hangs around the living room for about six months and then straight into a closet or drawer – never to be seen again.

Arghhhhh.

I solved that problem

With tickets for her favorite artists in concert.

A triple win.

She loves the present and the artist – I love the artist – and get to go along to the show.

This summer she finally got the payoffs for her Valentine’s Day present and her birthday present.

Our 5th time seeing this guy together – nothing like a little “Steamroller Blues”:

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Is there a better song than this?

James Taylor - KJR Sweet Baby James - 07-07-2015

We decided that this tour with a number of new songs from his new album was even better than the last time he came through Portland – how can a couple of Red Sox fans not love “Angels Of Fenway”:

James Taylor - KJR Angels Of Fenway 07-07-2015

A couple weeks later – it was the second payoff.

This time we had to travel to Boston and use some public transportation – the Green Line to Fenway Park:

Good news – bad news.

The good news – it was hard to get tickets – but we got in – and we were delighted – even though we were basically in the last row:

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The bad news…..how is it that the largest guy in the stadium has the seat in front of me….and decides to stand up for the entire concert:

Billy Joel Giant 07-16-2015

But no matter – it was a great night.

Can’t beat those songs – we love the “Piano Man”:

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Speaking of songs.

That’s what Mishara Music specializes in.

I learned a long time ago that there are millions of great singers and musicians….but without great songs it’s basically a karaoke music world.

So we look for and sign great writers.

The challenge then for an indie music company – is how to connect the artists we have with the people that might love their music.

Love our radio play – but radio can’t play everything we have.

So we also love our steams on Spotify, Pandora etc and plays on Soundcloud.

But sometimes it’s best to go direct to our fans.

The best way to do that is give songs away – with no conditions.

Amazon has been a great partner in that.

In a number of different ways.

We’ve had six free song album samplers:

Amazon Six Samplers Spring 2015- Letter Size

We’ve just recently starting doing individual song “sixpacks”:

Amazon Singles Sixpack

Here’s our brand new “sixpack”:\

Amazon Singles Sixpack Two

How do they do?

Through Amazon – Mishara Music has given away somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,300,000 free songs.

Feedback has been wonderful from the people that have downloaded free songs.

Here’s a sampling of the response:

Barnaby Bright Just The Same

Cass Dillon Friends

Connor Garvey Old House

Dave Morrison Best Poem

Ken Yates The One That Got Away

Meggan Waltman Rain

Peter Bradley Adams Between Us

Barnaby Bright Gravity

Because of the response – more and more people keep downloading.

In the last week (Amazon changes the ranking hourly) I noticed at one point we had twelve positions on the Amazon Top 100 Free Album Chart:

12 Top 100 08-19-2015

And a few days later noticed that the songs from the latest “sixpack” were all inside the Top 30:

6 Top 30 08-23-2015

Curious?

Here’s some links.

This link takes you to the Mishara digital page on Amazon – there are over 70 free song downloads there:

http://tinyurl.com/MisharaMusic

Wanna hear the music first?

All of the albums have YouTube Listening links – you can listen all the way through – just search YouTube for the artist and album name.

For example – here’s the YouTube Listening Channel for our latest release by Cass Dillon “Oregon Road”

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9xqq6T1fTzCNrfwsv-36yA

Click on “Playlists” and you get a link that will play all the way through:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9xqq6T1fTzCNrfwsv-36yA/playlists

All our music is also on Soundcloud.

Here’s the two latest “sixpacks” as playlists on Soundcloud – just click on the link and start listening:

https://soundcloud.com/misharamusic/sets/mishara-music-free-song

https://soundcloud.com/misharamusic/sets/mishara-music-free-song-1

So it’s been a great music summer but today as I write this – is the first day of school here in Maine.

So we’ve been working hard to squeeze every last second of fun out of summer.

It was a very good weather summer here in Maine but it did rain from time to time.

A rainy day on a weekend?

A great day to head to the movies to see “Minions”

Of course – a new Minion was in order after the movie.

Had to be seat-belted in of course – Ethan is very insistent in that:

Bob Seatbelt

We had to have a “bring your Minion to work day”.

First he went to work with Kim at her office:

Bring Your Bob To Work Day - 07-21-2015

Then he took over my computer:

Bob at Marc work

But maybe best of all – don’t know how he hasn’t had one for his first 9 years….Ethan finally got his first Pez:

Minion Pez

The highlight of the summer is always the one week a year we get invited to join Kim’s Dad and Stepmother in the house they have for a week at Long Beach Island in New Jersey.

As soon as we arrive it’s off to the beach for Kim for her first beach walk:

LBI footprints 08-16-2015

I usually work during the mornings and head to join the family at the beach in the afternoon.

For me…

Beach and water? Check (I actually prefer swimming to hanging on the sand)

Umbrella? Check (I’m not a sun person)

Chair? Check

Towel? Check

Book? (The # 1 most important item for me on vacation) Check.

Ok, got everything I need:

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We actually get up early every year and head to the beach to try and catch some sunrise photos.

Wasn’t the only one up early this year:

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This past week was the Union County Fair.

I think we saw just about every parent we know with school age kids on the midway this year.

Ethan discovered the “YoYo” ride this year….over and over and over again:

Union Fair YoYo 08-27-2015

The highlight of the fair for me is my annual caramel apple:

Caramel Apple Union Fair 08-27-2015

Three last photos for this post.

Yesterday was one last early morning walk on a Maine beach for Kim before school starts and signifies the change of season – even though it’s still officially summer for a while longer and we’ve got some fun things planned.

Beach walks are essential for her well being, No surprise when she gets photos like this:

OOB early morning walk 08-30-2015

As the sun starts to travel southward in the sky and our days in Maine are rapidly getting shorter – it’s a good time to post the opposite photo from Long Beach Island….this time the sun setting over the mainland….we spotted the sunset coming fast and actually ran as fast as we could to catch the last rays:

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Isn’t that the way this summer has been?

It’s been the fastest summer I remember and it seems like we need to race to slow down…to appreciate what we have.

Especially when we look at the “real” world – it seems that the clowns have escaped from the Funhouse and we’re left watching them being covered 24 hours a day – day in day out.

Seems like this is where we need to build walls:

Union Fair 08-27-2015

Marc

Marc Ratner

Mishara Music

E-mail: marcrescue@gmail.com

Website: www.misharamusic.com

WordPress: www.marcrescue.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/marc.ratner

Twitter: www.twitter.com/marcrescue

19
Sep

Finally, a photo wrap-up of summer in Maine 2014 / the Marcrescue blog “Life in Maine with an Eight Year Old & an Appreciation of Music”

Greetings All,

A few notes before the attack of Maine summer photos:

1. If you’d like to make sure you receive this blog all the time – either sign up on the right hand side or if you’d prefer to receive via email – email me at marcrescue@gmail.com
2. You’ll notice during my music notes that we’ve made it extremely easy to listen to the music via Soundcloud and Spotify – whichever you prefer. You’ll also notice no sales links. Yes sales are important and if someone wants to purchase any of our songs – they’re always available on iTunes & Amazon. The key to building our audience however is getting the music heard.  Music has to heard to be appreciated.

Summer happens.

In our family and in our community here in Maine everyone makes the most of it.

Not because the season is short and winter is just over the horizon…..we love winter as much as summer.

But because there’s a spirit here about living life and everyone we know has been out and about.

The last time I checked in with everyone – we had just passed this milestone:

Last Day Of 2nd Grade - Letter Size

Then summer took off like a rocket!

Are you ready……we’ve going to cover a lot of ground here and quickly.

It’s officially summer – how do we know? Because the people down the hill put out their annual summer sign…..which perhaps wasn’t written out exactly the way it was intended…..I sure don’t know any kids that play slowly…..but then again – it grabs your attention:

Children At Slow Play - Letter Size

Gotta check the local swimming hole after a rainstorm:

After The Storm - checking the water - Letter Size

Before you know it – “Coach Pitch” baseball is all over already and it’s time to get your end of season medal:

Coach Pitch 2014 - Letter Size

Harvest time for wild Maine blueberries – got to pick up our 10 pound box…..we freeze them and have all sorts of blueberry treats all winter:

Blueberries 2014 - Letter Size

Whew let’s take a breather & cool off – how about some Lemon Sorbet for Ethan and Coffee Heath Bar Crunch for dad on Father’s Day from Camden Cone:

Father's Day Lemon Sorbet Coffee Heath Bar Crunch 2014 - Letter Size

Can’t beat Maine for summer camping:

Camping Searsport Shores 2014 - Letter Size

Especially when you can take your morning camping coffee to the bench 20 yards away overlooking the ocean:

Camping Coffee July 2014 - Letter Size

We take our eating seriously when we camp.

Some leftover beef brisket from the nearby BBQ place from the night before makes some mighty fine beef brisket hash for morning breakfast at the campsite – and yes it was every bit as good as it looks – not everything in Maine has to have lobster in it to be great:

Beef Brisket Camping Hash July 2014 - Letter Size

But that said – Searsport Shores – our favorite ocean side campground takes eating seriously. Their Saturday night lobster bake makes it awfully tough to hike back to your campsite:

Camping Dinner 2014 - Letter Size

Fourth Of July…..bummer no fireworks…..rained out…..but how ’bout the nifty homemade popsicles that mom made:

Homemade popsicles 2014 - Letter Size

Now let me take a moment here to say….during all of this…..work never stopped.

It never stops.

And some swell stuff happened this summer.

Chris Ross has spent the summer writing songs for his new album which he’ll begin recording shortly. He makes acoustic YouTube videos of each song when he’s finished writing them.

Can’t wait for the full band studio versions of these.

“Blame”:

“Burns”:

“You Can Have Mine”:

“Drunk Women”:

You can hear “Halfway To Wonderland” – Chris’ last album here on Soundcloud:

Or on Spotify:

 

One alternative to writing the new album….is spending the summer playing the new album at festivals.

That’s what Connor Garvey did.

Seemed to be a good plan.

Here’s where a partial list of where he played this summer:

Connor Garvey Summer Festivals 2014 - Letter Size

Here’s how it went – one of those summers where you need to get an extra suitcase to take home the awards:

Connor Garvey Summer Festivals 2014 Awards - Letter Size

Wanna listen to both of Connor’s new albums…..easy to do…..just posted both new albums on Soundcloud & Spotify.

“Before The Meteors” – the live album that mirrors all the songs that are in the new studio album is here:

Also on Spotify:

The studio album “Meteors And Beating Hearts” is here on Soundcloud:

Spotify:

There’s another way to spend the summer – recording.

Both Ken Yates and Barnaby Bright have been spending time in the studio.

Ken has been recording some new songs and filmed one of the tracking sessions.

Here’s “Once More To The Lake”:

Here’s Ken’s last album “twenty-three” on Soundcloud:

And on Spotify:

Don’t have anything to share from the Barnaby Bright album recording sessions yet – but coming soon.

The whole Barnaby Bright fan universe is anxiously waiting to hear the studio versions of the songs they’ve been playing on tour breaks all summer.

Including this gem – “Just The Same” – recorded last year at WNRN in Charlottesville:

“The Longest Day” their last album can be heard in it’s entirety on Soundcloud:

& Spotify:

I’ve been very busy all summer preparing new releases for this fall. More about that in a moment.

I’ve always been a believer in contributing to society in one way or another. Many might remember that I volunteered on a mountain search and rescue team for over 20 years while living in California.

Now in Maine I’ve found a new way to help….using my knowledge and long association with the music industry….I’m involved with our beautiful local historical opera house.

Built in 1894 and totally restored in the 1990’s…..I find myself during the Camden Opera House’s 120th anniversary….on the town board of directors.

Something I can do to help…..but unfortunately…..even after years and years in the music business…..I still can’t figure out which photographer is taking the photo…..arghhhh:

COH News Summer 2014 - Letter Size

The Camden Opera House is such a great place for artists to perform…..lo and behold here’s Barnaby Bright playing there this summer:

Barnaby Bright Camden Opera House 08-09-2014 - Letter Size

As a special encore – Becky and Nathan stepped away from the mic’s – because the acoustics are so great….and sang at the front of the stage joined by special guest Liz Longley….what a great night:

Barnaby Bright Liz Longley Camden Opera House 08-09-2014 - Letter Size

This being Maine one can’t go too long without mentioning lobster again. As always we had a great time at our annual local “Lobster Fest”.

Here’s something you probably haven’t seen before unless you live in Maine.

The lobster trap race at the festival.

How many times can you make it back and forth across the harbor running on the lobster traps without falling in?

Lobster Trap Race 2014 - Letter Size

If you’re a kid most likely your favorite part of Lobster Fest is the bungee jump attraction…..where you get to dream of being some sort of superhero while you’re flying in the harness:

Lobster Bungee Jumping 2014 - Letter Size

We always end our day at the festival riding the ferris wheel:

Ferris Wheel Lobster Festival 2014 - Letter Size

You cannot believe how many lobsters they serve during the five days of the Lobster Festival….here’s the count near the end of the last day – that’a a lot of lobsters:

Lobster Festival Lobsters 2014 - Letter Size

It was also a great summer for gardens……here’s the first of many batches of cherry tomatoes:

First Tomatoes 2014 - Letter Size

At the end of the summer we get a carton of heirloom tomatoes from our favorite vendor at our local farmers market:

Heirloom Tomatoes 2014 - Letter Size

Lo and behold – they magically (with a lot of hard work by Kim) turn into the best sauce I’ve ever had in my life. It’s gonna be a wonderful winter:

Heirloom Sauce 2014 - Letter Size

But we’re not there yet.

First a little mini-golf…..and this time Mom got the hole-in-one:

Mom's Hole In One Summer 2014 - Letter Size

Next up a day trip to Portland to check out the Jason Spooner Band performing at the Old Port Festival (they were great as always – as is the new album “Chemical”).

Just across from the stage we found this fence along the harbor (there’s always a cool discovery every time we got to Portland) – next time we’re bringing a lock.

If you look closely every lock has a message written on it. And they’re locked there by the people that put them there. So there they stay. Totally cool. What a great idea:

Love Locks 1 - Letter Size

Love Locks 2 - Letter Size

On the way back from Portland we’re legally required to stop at LL Bean’s Flagship store.

It’s open 24 hours a day / 365 days a year.

You meet the nicest people there at 3am:

LL Bean Summer 2014 - Letter Size

Summer time for us is not just about eating…..although it might seem that way.

The town library sponsors summer movies in the amphitheater next to the library.

Bring a camp chair and a blanket:

Summer Movies 2014 - Letter Size

Our local Bay Chamber Orchestra takes over downtown for an afternoon and dispatches classical players to storefronts, street corners and shops to perform for us. I caught this great duo at Zoot Coffee:

Zoot Bay Chamber Summer 2014 - Letter Size

Of course there’s the beach.

A good place to catch up on Harry Potter:

Harry Potter LBI 2014 - Letter Size

And contemplate the beauty of nature (credit report here – many of the artistic photos in this post including this one were taken by my wife Kim. Every time I see one of her photos like this – the first words out of my mouth are “I’m stealing this one for the blog”):

Art in Nature LBI 2014 - Letter Size

Had to get in some hiking:

Summer Hiking 2014 - Letter Size

One of the sessions at summer day camp is theatre….there’s nothing like hearing your kid singing “Kids” from Bye Bye Birdie….”Kid’s? Whatsa matter with all these kids today?…..Why can’t they be like we were – perfect in every way….” (they even designed their own costumes):

Kids 2014 - Letter Size

Of course after a hard afternoon of summer theatre – it’s time to cool off with a Sno-Kone at River Ducks:

Sno-Kone 2014 - Letter Size

As we seem to be back at food again……how ’bout some fresh Maine raspberries….so sweet:

Raspberries 2014 - Letter Size

Another trip to Portland to see the Sea Dogs (Red Sox Double AA Farm Team) win in the bottom of the 10th:

Portland Sea Dogs 10th inning win 2014 - Letter Size

What a surprise on the way down to Portland…….an annual gathering of VW campers of all ages…..all stopped at a rest stop to say goodbye to each other until next year’s meeting.

I had one identical to the beige one just to the right of center (arrow pointing at it) back in the 1980’s.

VW Campers 2014 - Letter Size

I never should have sold it.

The group even has it’s own t-shirts:

25 Years of Camping 2014 - Letter Size

Kim’s told me getting another one is now on our bucket list.

That’s a good addition.

Better get crackin’ on some new music if I’m going to get Kim her camper.

I fell in love with a song called “Rain” a number of years ago by an artist named Meggan Waltman.

Almost had the opportunity to release it….but stuff happened and never did get it out.

So I just obsessed about the song for years.

After Mishara Music (www.misharamusic.com) was established as a label……I went looking for Meggan.

She’d vanished.

Phone disconnected, no Facebook, no Twitter, no search results.

Zip, nadda, nothin.

Bummed I was.

One day out of the blue……an email in my inbox.

“Hi Marc, It’s Meggan….I’m back doing music again”.

Oh Happy Day.

Turns out she’d moved to Japan for a number of years.

That’s why I couldn’t find her.

So – this time I didn’t hesitate.

Didn’t pass “Go”.

Didn’t collect “$200”.

Got a Meggan Waltman EP titled “Nomad” out in record time.

A digital release to start.

8 tracks from 3 different recording sessions over a period of years.

Meggan Waltman - Letter Size

“Rain” is the first track.

And I want everyone to hear it.

So it’s free download.

No email required, no registration required.

Nothing like that.

Just click, download and enjoy:

http://misharamusic.com/free/rain/

Meggan Waltman Rain

Wanna hear the entire EP?

Soundcloud:

Spotify:

“Rain” will also be included in the next Mishara Music Free Song Sampler on Amazon.

This will be edition # 6.

Amazon Mishara Music Sampler 6 - Letter Size

You can get all five of the previous samplers anytime on Amazon.

Over 50 totally free songs by Mishara artists and friends of the label.

http://tinyurl.com/AmazonFreeMisharaSamplers

Amazon Samplers - Letter Size

Here’s a number for you.

Amazon Free Downloads 09-15-2014 - Letter Size

That’s how many free songs have been downloaded off of the Mishara Free Song Samplers on Amazon.

I’m looking forward to 2 million.

The passion here is sharing great music.

Next up.

A gem.

A songwriter (with a degree in English no less)

With songs the likes of I’ve never heard before.:

Ashley1 - Letter Size

You’ll meet her in the next blog post.

In the meantime.

The sky is changing – the seasons are changing – it’s getting darker earlier:

Moon over House End of Summer 2014 - Letter Size

But the cycle of life is always a surprise.

What’s new becomes old….becomes new again.

Ethan found our old antique dial phone (from the 1930’s) and insisted we hook it up for him.

He makes all his calls on it.

(He only has 3 numbers he can call – his dad, his mom and his nana).

No smart phone this…but so totally cool:

New Phone 2014 - Letter Size

And of course we end where we started:

First Day of Third Grade - Letter Size

Best,

Marc

Marc Ratner
Mishara Music

E-mail: marcrescue@gmail.com

Website: http://www.misharamusic.com

WordPress: http://www.marcrescue.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marc.ratner

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/marcrescue

15
Nov

Life in Maine with a 7 year old – don’t need much, a little music & a lot of imagination & family – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings all,
Back at the computer writing again.
With lots of photos of all our latest adventures and some new music.
(And note…..many, many of these photos – particularly the artistic ones were taken by my wife Kim.  She’s such a great photographer that I would be crazy not to up the visuals in this blog by not using her photos….but if I continue to do it without giving her credit….I’m in big trouble…..almost as much as I’ll be when she see’s the photos of her coming down the hay bales down the post a bit).
It’s a pretty simple life here in Maine but don’t ever confuse “simple” with “slow”.
Especially when you run an independent music company while your seven year attempts to monopolize all your time and money.
For him life much of the time is all about Legos.
The financial world of a seven year old is simple.
Money exists to buy Legos.
You think Legos are cheap plastic toys?
Only if you don’t have young kids.
I’m sitting here thinking about all that goes into building a house and how expensive it is – but if they were made out of Legos – houses would be way more expensive.
Probably 1000 times more based on how much those little suckers cost.
Of course when you’re a kid – you don’t have house payments, car payments and food comes out of the refrigerator or the pantry so your allowance can all go towards Legos:
Allowance 08-25-2013
But we’re very glad we live in Maine and can try as often as possible to take advantage of our surroundings and get away from the ever commercialization of childhood.
There’s definitely snow in our future…..it’s not here yet but you can see and feel the change in the air…..the leaves are gone. Even without snow it looks like winter now:
Leaves are gone winter is coming 11-08-2013
But before they left we had some wonderful colored leaves in the trees. (Note – it’s hard to capture the scope of the fall leaves in a photograph – so some of these photos use a special filter to bring out the color).
Out the back window, (with some visitors in the lower left of the yard going after the fallen apples from the apple trees):
 IMG_1957
On our way back from upstate New York visiting family we took this photo of leaves past their peak in Vermont but wonderful nonetheless:
IMG_1954
Looking out over Hosmer Pond:
Autumn 09-08-2013
One of the advantages of living in New England is being able to visit multiple apple orchards and pick your apples directly from the tree:
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IMG_1932
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Another great use of the outdoors……and usually a free occupation (outside of the small fee at the local state or federal parks) is hiking which we love to do.
We hiked a great park in upstate NY while visiting family – absolutely visually stunning:
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IMG_1882
IMG_1893
There’s a great trail no more than 1/2 mile from our house which takes us up “Bald Mountain”:
IMG_1969
One of our other autumn adventures is the corn maze at Beth’s Farm Market.
You really can get lost:
IMG_00000132
Who needs expensive amusement parks when a few hay bales will do just fine:
Haybales Beth's Farm Market October 2013
For that matter – you don’t even need the hay bales…..a back yard with some leaves is even better:
Ethan leaves 10-11-2013
One of the great ways of reducing the commercialization of music……is to give it away.
At Mishara Music we do that quite often.
Both on our website and at Amazon.com
At Amazon we just released out 5th free music sampler:
MisharaMusicSampler5-2
I think this one is the best ever.
And it’s doing quite well:
Amazon Mishara Music 5 - 1st Day 4
It’s a combination of Mishara Music artists and friends of the label – some newer unsigned artists and some experienced – Rebecca Loebe – a “Voice” Adam Levine team member a year ago – and very established – our pal Grant-Lee Phillips.
15 tracks by 12 artists:
Amazon Mishara Music 5 Song List
Here’s the link to the sampler on Amazon:
It’s been a while since I worked in radio (my first industry job) but to my ears it’s a pretty great hour of music.
It includes some very new music – specifically I’ll mention the new albums by Ken Yates which just arrived at radio stations around the USA this week and a new album coming from Connor Garvey.
Ken’s free track on the Amazon sampler is “The One That Got Away” which is soooo good and from his album “twenty-three”:
4PAN1T
Of course Ken’s had a wonderful friend already turn a lot of music fans onto his music via the second track on his album “I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love”.
Two years ago when Ken was attending Berklee School Of Music in Boston the guest speaker at one of his classes was none other than John Mayer.
At the end of the class John asked the students to play him songs and flipped over Ken’s tune.
So much so he blogged about it…..on his personal blog and it was then picked up and reblogged by all the John Mayer fan sites.
Ken put up a rough mix of the tune on iTunes and ended up selling thousands of downloads which has given him a great fan base for touring even before this album was released.
Here’s the post that John Mayer wrote about Ken and “I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love”:
Ken Yates - John Mayer 05-05-2013
The album is every bit as good as that first tune that John wrote about and if I mention one track – I’ll have to mention quite a few……hard to choose.
The first track “In The Middle Of Heaven And Here” ends with the most amazing harmonies I’ve heard on record in a long time.  “23” the title track is all about the unknown future. Perhaps the track that might get played the most on radio is “The One That Got Away” – as I mentioned it’s the free track on our Amazon sampler above.  But I also love “New York Rain” and “Get Me Out Of Hollywood”…..a track I take to heart after leaving Los Angeles myself after living there for 35 years and moving about as far away as you can possibly go in the continental US – to the coast of Maine.  Can’t go wrong with this album.
Wanna hear the entire album?  Check out the YouTube listening channel where you can hear every song all the way through:
Connor Garvey’s new album is “Meteors And Beating Hearts” and will be available at iTunes and Amazon on Tuesday November 26th as a “Thanksgiving” present to the world:
ConnorGarvey-MeteorsAndBeatingHearts1600x1600
12 new songs that show why Connor keeps winning the grand prizes at song festivals (2012 Winner Wildflower Festival Performing Songwriter Competition, 2011 Winner Maine Songwriters Association Annual Songwriting Competition). 
There’s no better start than to listen to “Old House” which is the 3rd track on the Amazon sampler and is a stunning love song about a relationship & an old house and ends with an extended guitar piece that will take you right back to Mark Knopfler’s guitar playing with Dire Straits.
Here’s a direct link to the free track on Amazon:
 
Other Mishara Music artist news includes the fun of reading the tweets about Barnaby Bright as they tour the country with Vienna Teng…..you get a sense of “see them once – and you’re hooked”:
Barnaby Bright Twitter 11-11-2013
I still can’t get enough of this new song “Just The Same” that will be on the new album after the first of the year…..if it’s this good in a radio interview at WNRN in Charlottesville at 9am in the morning…..I can just imagine what the finished recording will sound like:

Also from Twitter I keep seeing amazing tweets about Clarensau – and the song that’s starting to show up more and more is “Dance With Me” in connection with weddings:
Clarensau tweets 11-11-2013
If you’re a wedding dj (or if you’re not – it makes no difference) and are always looking for that special song to play at a wedding – check out “Dance With Me”:

Lastly in the music world….I’ve been on the road a bit lately with Chris Ross and the reaction to him live is just amazing.
“Mostly Sober” continues to generate response for Chris that I find to be way beyond what you would expect and shows around Veterans’ Day saw “Your America” bring tears to the eyes of people that have lived that difficult but essential life.
Here’s live house concert versions of both songs.
“Mostly Sober”:
“Your America”:
And of course Chris is better than anyone at documenting his life on Facebook….here are some of my recent favorite posts – you never know what’s going to come next (and it gives you an idea of why his songs are poetic masterpieces):
 Chris Ross FB Yo-Yo's
Chris Ross FB Raccoon
Chris Ross FB Salsa
And lastly about Chris…..on one of our recent trips I happened to glance at floor of his car by the right back seat and it says everything about being a traveling musician on the road……such a romantic life…..this is just how I found it:
IMG_1743
It really sparks your imagination.
Which I think is important for adults these days and if you’re seven years old and your parents can keep you from being glued to tv or video games or the computer….there’s no telling what you might come up with.
Like a birthday party for a stuffed animal with cards (mom and dad also had to make a card):
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Presents for Fireball – made out of dad’s empty cd boxes:
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And of course all of Fireball’s friends got together for the party:
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The guest of honor:
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And what family doesn’t need their own newspaper….or “nespaper” – he’s not shy about raising money for those Legos:
Nespapers For Sale 09-15-2013
Family days are the best in Maine.
Whether it’s time to get our pumpkins for carving for Halloween:
 Pumpkins 10-06-2013
Which we bring to the town library for “Pumpkin Night” on the library steps:
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And after a hard day’s apple picking you get to have a candy apple:
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And the whole town turns out for a special showing of a classic film at our old time movie theatre that was built in 1923 (and totally restored now) and showed the film when it was new:
Wizard Of Oz line 10-20-2013
Wizard Of Oz 10-20-2013
You can’t beat Halloween though……when you get to be an X-Wing fighter pilot:
X-Wing fighter pilot 10-31-2013
Which is made even better because Mom has a friend who can knit the coolest hats:
Halloween selfie 2013
Speaking of caps……I had a great time recently pulling out my four favorite baseball caps…..one for each series win:
IMG_1979
It’s been a classic fall for sure.
We don’t need much in Maine…..as long as we have each other.
Surprise someone – hug them – they’ll love it.
Marc
20
Aug

Life & Summer in Maine in photos, Caitlin Canty – a great way to listen, Don’t Go In The Basement & Music Conventions – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings All,
 
It’s been weeks since I’ve written..
 
We’ve been trying to make the most of summer and we’re horrified that it’s almost over.
 
We had so many plans, hopes and dreams for the endless stretch of summer days when school got out last June…..and now Ethan goes back to 2nd grade in about a week.
 
So…..no summer cleaning of the basement and garage…..they’re still scary places full of things we don’t need but don’t have time to get rid of.
 
How does that happen?
 
What were we thinking when we thought we had to have all that stuff…..when will we ever learn?
 
The good news… there’s a local Facebook “Garage Sale” sale page started by a friend of ours.
 
You can post things you want to get rid of…..and if the price is right almost everything sells.
 
A great way to clean out and de-stuff.
 
Except of course – you sell your junk…and end up buying someone else’s…and it ends up in the basement.
 
It’s just constant movement from one person’s house to another.
 
I’m sure beyond a doubt that one of these days we’ll buy something on the garage page….get it home and realize that it used to be ours in the first place.
 
But we’ll get a deal on it!
 
Be safe though….don’t go down in our basement!
 
 
So let’s wrap up the summer.
 
First new music and then summer in photos….and just the last part of summer…who can even remember back to the beginning.
 
 
Music.
 
Mishara Music by next week will have released three new albums this summer.
 
 
Early summer was Caitlin Canty’s “Golden Hour”
 
Acoustic, etherial and haunting.
 
Once you dig into the lyrics you’ll find an intensity that you didn’t expect.
 
I’ve always known that music attracts but lyrics are the emotional bond that really connects us to the artist.
 
Here’s our YouTube Listening Channel for the album – an easy way to listen to the entire album:
 
 
Caitlin Canty Golden Hour Cover 1000x1000
 
 
 
Mid-summer Sam Brenner released an acoustic guitar, vocal EP “Here At Home”.  There’s nothing better than hearing an artist with just guitar, vocals and songs.
 
It’s pure, enchanting and hard to do.
 
It’s tougher than you think to make a “simple” acoustic album – check out “Here At Home” on it’s YouTube Listening Channel and see how he did (while he’s working on his full album with all kinds of cool instrumentation):
 
 
SamBrenner-HereAtHome-1600x1600
 
Our last Mishara Music album of summer is from Canadian native and Berklee School of Music grad Ken Yates and his album “twenty-three”
 
It’s our end of summer album and highlights Ken’s songwriting which was written about in a blog post by none other than John Mayer.
 
John spoke to Ken’s class at Berklee in Boston and after hearing Ken’s song “I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love” he wrote about it on his blog and among other kind words said this:
 
“Want to hear a great song? (I mean a REALLY great song?)” – John Mayer, one forty plus
 
Wanna hear it?  Check out twenty-three’s YouTube Listening Channel here:
 
 
4PAN1T
 
Mishara has YouTube Listening Channels for almost all of our albums….I’ll post a bunch of them at the end of this letter.
 
 
 
On to summer in Maine with a 7 year old.
 
With my broken ankle (detailed in an earlier version of this blog – read them all at www.marcrescue.wordpress.com) it seems I’ve taken fewer photos than normal.
 
Hard to do with both hands on crutches (thankfully I think I’m finally off of them).
 
But my wife Kim has taken more than usual and any photo that you think is particularly cool, interesting and artistic…..you can probably bet she took it…..and I haven’t given her proper credit.
 
 
 
Swimming.
 
Nana’s apt has a pool:
 
Backfloat July 17th, 2013
 
We’ve been sneaking out at the end of the day lately to our favorite lake swimming hole at Barrett’s Cove:
 
Barrett's Cove 07-31-2013
 
 
 
Movies
 
In the seven years since Ethan was born I think Kim and I have seen only two movies that weren’t animated and oriented for kids.
 
Thankfully kids movies are a big business these days and pretty great.
 
We loved Despicable Me 2:
 
Despicable Me 2 Movies 07-14-2013
 
The flyer for the movie had cutouts for kids…..and no self respecting seven year old wouldn’t try them out:
 
Despicable Me 2
 
 
 
Wild Maine Blueberries.
 
Every year local farms open up on a certain day for self picking and we always go:
 
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IMG_1206
 
Later as all the blueberries ripen we always buy 20 pounds of blueberries and freeze them for smoothies all winter:
 
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They harvest a lot of blueberries:
 
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Our 20 pounds:
 
Blueberries 20 lbs 08-04-2013
 
 
 
Baseball.
 
Every summer we buy tickets for 4 Portland Sea Dogs (the Double A Boston Red Sox farm team).
 
IMG_1216
 
This year we hit both fireworks night:
 
IMG_1239
 
And “kids run the bases” after the game day.  Didn’t get a good photo of Ethan running the bases but we got to take pictures standing in left field by the “Green Monster” wall at Portland’s Hadlock Field – which is an exact replica of the “Green Monster” at Fenway Park:
 
IMG_1582
 
Nothing like singing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”….”And it’s One, Two, Three Strikes you’re out”:
 
IMG_1215
 
 
 
Conventions.

During the summer there are two radio / record business conventions that I attend every year

The great advantage of going to music business conventions is that the music companies bring artists in to play for the radio programmers and it’s a great opportunity to see wonderfully talented people up close in a setting that we’d never get to have any other way.
 
One of my favorite stories of how the professional and personal worlds can intersect happened a few years ago at the Boulder AAA radio / record gathering.
 
We had lunchtime and late afternoon mini concerts in a big tent set up in the back yard of the hotel.  This particular hotel was situated right by a river and running path used by the public.
 
There were no security fences or anything of that sort.
 
At this particular lunch meeting we were delighted to have a private concert by Patty Griffin.  A personal favorite artist of my wife and I.
 
I was standing by the back of the tent…..and watched out of the corner of my eye as a woman running on the jogging path…..stopped as she heard the music….and walked up the tent and peeked in and stood there in shock.  She told a couple of us standing around after the performance ended that her favorite artist of all time was Patty Griffin and that she was running along and heard music from the tent and thought – “Wow, whoever that is they sound so good….and they’re doing a great version of one of my favorite Patty Griffin songs”.
 
She of course thought it was some local singer doing a Patty Griffin imitation…..and then looked in the tent and was dumbfounded…..there was her favorite artist performing in a tent at lunchtime in downtown Boulder.
 
We explained the circumstances….she said thanks and continued on her run – still in a bit of shock but with a big smile on her face.
 
It was so much fun to see how music can make such a difference in someone’s life.
 
It’s why I do what I do.
 
This year in that same tent you would have heard and seen “The Courtyard Hounds” – who if you don’t know are sisters Emily and Martie – two thirds of the Dixie Chicks – who have been performing as the hounds with two albums released since the Dixie Chicks went on hiatus in 2007.
 
IMG_1478
 
 
 
The other convention I hit every summer is The Conclave in Minneapolis.
 
It’s more of a business meeting than musical and unlike so many meetings at conventions The Conclave specializes in having speakers that you can actually learn from.
 
This year was no exception.
 
I had three favorite moments this year in Mpls.
 
First the longtime director of The Conclave was retiring and as he was giving his farewell speech after having been given an award for his long service to the industry…..he noticed that his wife in the audience wasn’t paying attention and was doing something on her smartphone.  He stopped the speech and asking her what she was doing…..she was texting a friend.
 
That got the best laugh of the meeting.
 
For those of us guys who think we’re so darned important……our wives can put us in our place in a fraction of a second.
 
Lesson learned….which I’m sure I’ll forget again….and again….and again.
 
BMI – which is a performing rights organization for songwriters sponsored a session with Randy Bachman who was both a founding member of The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive.
 
IMG_1128
 
He told some great songwriting stories and demonstrated on acoustic guitar.  Randy talked about finishing the song “Takin’ Care Of Business” actually on stage during a performance when he substituted the line “Takin’ Care Of Business” into the chorus instead of what he’d previously written after hearing a local dj use the line to start his radio show that afternoon.
 
You never know where inspiration comes from.
 
 
The best talk of all was given by the former COO of American Express John Baker.  His discussion about his book “The Asking Formula – Ask What You Want and Get It” was one of the best presentations I’ve seen at any convention ever.
 
Ever!
 
The Asking Formula
 
 
 
 
But my favorite photo from either convention was from Colorado on a quick trip away from the meetings for breakfast with a friend in the mountains.
 
On the way back we noticed this sign – on the road next to a rushing river right along side us:
 
IMG_1487
 
Easy for the sign people to post….not so good for people still on crutches (as I was at the time).
 
I’ve never tried rock climbing on crutches….but I guess there’s always a first time for everything.
 
Thankfully the weather was dry.
 
 
 
Concerts.
 
As I mentioned on the last blog post – we took Ethan to see Paul McCartney at Fenway Park…..and 47 years ago my mother took my sister and I to see Paul and his first band in the Boston area as well.
 
Photos, stories and set lists from both concerts on the last blog post which you can read at:
 
 
The one thing I forgot to mention on that last post was what Paul said after he finished playing “I’ve Just Seen A Face”.
 
He said that at every concert people hold up signs and he has to keep reminding himself as he’s trying to remember chords and lyrics….”Don’t read the signs, don’t read the signs”…..and of course he can’t resist and reads the signs and then has to try and remember where he is in the middle of the song.
 
They turned the cameras on a number of the signs in the audience so we could see them and the two I remember reading were:
 
“I’m a Maccaholic and there is no cure” (For those that don’t know “Macca” is a long time Paul nickname).
 
And
 
“The guy behind me can’t see”.
 
I googled that one and it turns out that’s been an annoying sign at concerts of all sorts for quite a while.
 
What some people will do to get attention.
 
It’s a wonder that Paul got through the song with all he had to read in front of him.
 
A fun story and an excuse to post another photo from the concert……so much fun:
 
IMG_1573
 
We all hear the rumors every time he tours that this is the “last” tour….and at 71 how many more can there be?
 
One of my favorite moments of the show was when he walked to the front of the stage and stood there for a moment not saying anything just watching the crowd cheer….and he finally said….”I just wanted to take a moment to take this all in”.
 
An interesting comment.
 
At 71 Paul knows that this won’t go on forever as well.
 
I feel lucky to have witnessed these moments.  Paul and his Liverpool mates are such a big reason I ended up in music as a career.
 
Although to be fair to myself – before the Beatles came to America I was already involved in music – at that point having studied both classical violin (I played in the Mpls Youth Symphony Orchestra) and classical guitar.
 
 
 
In a completely different setting a few weeks ago Kim and I drove to Portland to see our new artist Ken Yates perform – opening for one of our favorites – Liz Longley.
 
Ken was terrific live…..both as a singer-songwriter:
 
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And a storyteller:
 
Ken story teller
 
I know both sides of Ken’s performance worked very well…..because after the show it took me a while to say hello…..he made a lot of fans that night:
 
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Liz Longley was great as always and my wife and I had a great rare date night out.
 
One of the very few times we didn’t take Ethan with us.
 
Fenway Park or One Longfellow Square in Portland – live music is always a joy.
 
 
 
Lobster.
 
Every July is the annual Lobster Festival in Rockland Maine – next door to us.
 
Nothing like fresh lobster:
 
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A sidenote here…..I know I never had my own lobster until I was long into adulthood…..growing up in Maine as a kid sure has it’s advantages:
 
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More live music – this time The Nutopians:
 
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Nothing beats the bungee jumping:
 
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We’re always among the last to leave – we love our family adventures:
 
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It’s been a summer of adventure for sure……witness our mini superhero telling us on a camping trip this past weekend:
 
“I’m pointing to adventure!”
 
Super Ethan Pointing To Adventure 08-17-2013
 
I hope you all had the adventure of summer in your lives as well!
 
One final note – if you like what you read here – you can sign up on the right hand side to get a notification email when I publish a new posting….or just sign up for my Twitter account – that’s where I notify people of new posts, free songs and post more photos.
 
 
Marc
 
Here are a few more Mishara Music Listening Channels:
 
Barnaby Bright “The Longest Day”
 
 
4 Panel Digipak Tube Pocket D1003 [Converted]
 
 
Chris Ross “Halfway To Wonderland”
 
 
 
B009NLADJK
 
Clarensau “This One’s For You”
 
 
Clarensau-ThisOnesForYou-SquareCover
 
 
Connor Garvey “Where Ocean Meets Land” (New album coming this fall):
 
 
B005POWEHI
 
Kat Maslich “The Road Of 6”:
 
 
RoadOf6-5x5 - Digital Cover - 04-15-10
 
 
Peter Bradley Adams “Between Us”:
 
 
Between Us - Square
 
Enjoy…..and remember – free songs from all of these albums are available on the Mishara Music website at www.misharamusic/freesongs and we never ask for an email address or any kind of registration;
 
Mishara Music Free Song Page August 2013
 
And
 
More free songs are available on our free song samplers at Amazon.com:
 
27
Sep

Summer photos, apples, new music, growing old, lobsters & even Bert

Greetings all,
First – a disclaimer – it’s been a while since I posted one.  This is the sorta almost weekly Marc Ratner / Mishara Music blog / email.  It started years back as a letter to radio programmers (now it’s posted for anyone and everyone to read – hope you enjoy….do let me know) about the music I was passionate about.  Especially since my business partner Linda Baker and I started the Mishara Music label – otherwise known as “A Home For Singer-Songwriters”.  The one thing I’ve found after years of being in the music business (including over 20 years at Warner Bros, Reprise & DreamWorks Records) is you need to love the music you’re involved with.  If you don’t have that connection – then go sell toothpaste.  A tube of Crest doesn’t care if it sits in a warehouse but I always remember that music isn’t just a digital file or a plastic disc – it’s the life’s work of an artist that’s made the decision to take the less traveled path in life that has no guarantees.
But the letter isn’t just about business and music.  It’s about life.  My love of music in intertwined with everything else in my world and that’s what I write about.
The quick perspective?  It’s a letter about life in Maine with a six year old….with a bit of music thrown in for good measure and a lot of photos.
Autumn is arriving quickly.
One of the first indicators of fall is when our local apple orchard starts their self-picking season. We’ll be gorging on apples for the next couple of months – they have 13 different varieties of apples and they have different ones to pick almost every weekend through the end of October:
The beginning of apples means the end of the wild Maine blueberry season and it was a great one this year:
But we’re prepared – we have our annual 20 pounds of Maine blueberries cleaned and separated into bags in the freezer for a winter of blueberry pancakes and smoothies:
For New England baseball fans the season is basically over.
Our local Maine team – The Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox Double A team) season is finished and they didn’t make the playoffs this year even though they had a great winning streak at the end of the season.
The Red Sox have regained the form that we’ve grown to love and bicker about over the last 100 years – minus those few weird winning seasons in the early and mid “00’s”.
But even with losing seasons how can you resist evenings like this:
Hadlock Park – the Sea Dogs home:
Fenway Park – in it’s 100th year:
Time to put away my two favorite caps for the year:
And now that the Red Sox are safely losing again I should probably spring for this t-shirt:
Autumn also brings three new albums to Mishara Music with a fourth in the works as well.
First up is new Mishara Music artist Chris Ross.
The new album is “Halfway To Wonderland” and goes up for sale for Mishara Music on October 9th:
Chris is very literate and his lyrics have an edge that I just love.
How can you resist an artist that has posts like this on his Facebook page:
And FYI – we already have a free song page for “Jack and Jill (Bottom Of My Grave)” – please feel free to post and share the page with anyone and everyone and remember with all the Mishara Music free song pages – no email, sign up or registration of any kind is necessary to download the songs.  It’s easy to download and share with anyone and everyone:
Coming right after Chris is the much anticipated new Barnaby Bright “The Longest Day” album:
You might remember Barnaby Bright was the Grand Prize winner of the prestigious Song Circle song contest in 2010 – a $10,000 grand prize:
 and here they are again in the finals of the NPR – Mountain Stage song contest:
 
They’ll be performing at Lincoln Center in NYC at the award ceremony on October 20th and then their cd release party will be at Joe’s Pub on October 23rd.
I just caught them in Boston last week headlining at Cafe 939 – a Berklee School Of Music venue and took this photo during soundcheck…..you can’t believe how great a sound you get from two voices, a banjo, a ukelele and a cello on this particular track they were soundchecking:
When Becky gets behind the grand piano it’s a completely different sound.
“Made Up Of” is an example of that, one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard and it’s inspired by a true story.
Get a first listen here:
And it’s our first FREE song off of the album.  As with Chris Ross – no email, sign up or registration of any kind is necessary to download the track.  It’s easy to download and share with anyone and everyone:
And a quick teaser – coming in November a new full album by Clarensau “This One’s For You”:
Some other Odds and Ends.
I’ve been on the road a bunch this summer and two photos from a trip to California need to be seen!
1.  Headed north on 395 b/t Los Angeles and Lake Tahoe they really can charge just about anything for gas they want.  This was before the latest price gouging because of the Middle East unrest:
And although he’s semi-retired from the photo business – Bert still travels with me but has gotten very camera shy lately.
But of course that depends on the circumstances!
When Erica Farber the President and CEO of the RAB (Radio Advertising Bureau) wanted to say hello and take a photo with Bert – he jumped at the chance:
And two last things to mention.
I’m sorry.
Really I am.
I’m going to talk about lobsters now.
I know by the time live Maine lobsters hit most restaurants – especially away from Maine – they’re charging an arm and a leg for them.
It’s not fair.
Because the prices the Maine lobster fishermen receive are the lowest in years.
We have a fisherman friend that told me recently that he was getting $2.50 a pound for lobster that it cost him $1.50 to catch.  He told me the middlemen that come to the docks and pay him that $2.50 then turn around and drive them a few miles and charge more than double what they paid him and then most restaurants triple that price and are charging upwards of $18.00 for the same lobster.
The lobstermen are hurting.
So there’s been a campaign about in Maine to support the fisherman.
So we did a lobster party at the house and bought them from our friend as part of a charity auction for our son’s old preschool.
Dan even came and cooked them for us.
It’s a simple operation:
And the results were wonderful:
I know I know.
That’s cruel.
But I’ll make you a deal.
Come visit and we’ll host a lobster party for you.
Lastly.
The night Barnaby Bright played in Boston last week was the night before the new iPhone 5 went on sale.
Walking back from the club to the subway I passed the big Boston Apple store.
They had the windows covered up while they prepared the new display and of course there were already about 100 people camped out waiting (only a few of them visible here):
And the press was ready to post on the 11 o clock news:
I took all this in thinking about a quote I’d just read from one of my favorite authors – James Lee Burke – from his new novel “Creole Belle”:
I’ve never read a better quote about getting older – I didn’t specifically look at the ages of the people lined up to get the new iPhone – but I believe they tended to be younger rather than older.
Our priorities change as we age…..and that’s not a bad thing.
Especially because of the way James Lee Burke put it:
Have a thoughtful week.
Marc
PS  The first radio station to add Chris Ross – off of a sampler – not even waiting for the album to arrive – was WBSD in Burlington, WS.  They loved his music and are adding both songs that were on that radio programming sampler.
The reason I bring that up is because now I’ll find out what kind of music penguins like.
Streaming is a wonder for radio and you never know who’s listening.
Tom Gilding the GM at the station has been getting emails from some streaming listeners that love the station….and certainly can use the entertainment.
They even sent a couple of photos and made a poster advertising the station to their local audience (remember what I said about penguins):
 
Marc Ratner
25
Aug

If you read any of my posts – read this one – the real life left turn – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings,
If you’ve been reading my emails / blog posts for any length of time you know they’re basically a travelogue of my adventures – mostly in Maine with a 6 year old – but also about road trips to music conferences and meetings – and they all start with the intention of talking about the music and artists at Mishara Music – the singer-songwriter recording label and management company I’m one of the partners in and so passionate about (www.misharamusic.com).
This letter is different.
It’s going to start normally and real life is going to take it in a really different direction.
Exactly what happened to us.
First.
Maine.
There’s so much to do – it’s overwhelming.
It’s a simple life but so rewarding.
I’ll write more in the following weeks about everything that happened this summer that I haven’t gotten to yet – and there’s plenty – here’s a sampler.
Cruising the small coastal fishing wharfs:
Wouldn’t you like to drive the LL Bean “Bootmobile”:
Picking wild Maine blueberries – but for some reason they never make it to the collection bucket:
Discovering the most beautiful sailboat I’ve ever seen (and we see a lot of them – but I’ve never seen one as nice as this one):
Acting out “YMCA” between innings at the Portland Sea Dogs Double A minor league baseball game:
Hitting the midway at the Union County Fair:
And of course getting the best ice cream anywhere on the Midcoast at Lulu’s our favorite ice cream stand:
Lulu’s does it right.
They have the best ice cream – handmade gelato from Gelato Fiasco and the absolute best ice cream in the world from Stone Fox Creamery.
It’s run by a woman named Ashley who just returned from college to run it and was started by her younger sister when she was 13 years old – Lulu was their dog.  Their dad built the shop.
We love Lulu’s.  Ashley’s a joy to buy ice cream from.
Ashley hard at work:
One of the great touches is the record (!) player spinning at the side of the shop – an evening a few weeks back it was jazz on the turntable – the other night it was The Beatles – and something I hadn’t heard in a long time – the record kept skipping – Ashley had to keep interrupting her scooping to reset the needle on the record:
So as you can see – we’ve been busy this summer in Maine.
As I mentioned I’ve a lot more to post about this summer – coming up in the next few weeks.
Now let’s talk about the power of music.
Why I want to do this will make total sense as you read on.
I’ve mentioned on and off this summer two specific songs that have been especially meaningful to people lately.
They both have their roots in true stories.
The first one is “Made Up Of” by Barnaby Bright.
It’s one of the new tunes on their upcoming album release “The Longest Day”.
The husband of a friend of Becky and Nathan’s (Barnaby Bright is a duo) passed away suddenly at a young age….and the song is about that loss.
Here are the lyrics:
 
You can hear “Made Up Of” on YouTube:
And Mishara Music and Barnaby Bright are giving this song away.
You can download it for free on the Mishara Music website on the Free Songs page:
And also on our third Mishara Music Amazon.com free song sampler:
Easy to do:
The other song that has it’s roots in real life is “I Would Trade” by Clarensau.
Tyler Clarensau wrote it when his Grandfather was in the hospital.
The lyrics:
You can hear “I Would Trade” on YouTube:
This is one of the responses on YouTube written in reply to “I Would Trade”:
 
Two very powerful songs.
About real life.
Why am I bringing them up?
Because the other night my wife and I were both on our computers doing this and that and all the sudden Kim asked me to come look at her computer.
An article on the front page of the New York Times.
She was stunned.
So was I.
We had no idea.
None whatsoever.
Please read on.
 
 The Short Life and Lonely Death of Sabrina Seelig
By
Published: July 28, 2012
SABRINA SEELIG seemed too young to die.
Just 22, she lived in a railroad flat in Bushwick, a part of Brooklyn that at the time was cheap but not yet hip, with a roommate who worked at the Museum of Modern Art. Ms. Seelig worked as a waitress in bistros on the Lower East Side while writing a novel and studying classics at Hunter College.

One night she stayed up all night translating a Latin text into English for a college paper. At 4 a.m. she e-mailed her professor saying she would deliver it in person. During the all-nighter, Ms. Seelig took Ephedra, a stimulant diet drug that had been banned by the Food and Drug Administration three years earlier, and had a few beers. When she felt sick, she called Poison Control for help, and spoke very clearly, a recording of the call shows. She arrived by ambulance at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, long regarded as one of the most troubled hospitals in the city, at 11:05 a.m. on May 30, 2007, conscious and alert but complaining of vomiting and dizziness.

She was given a sedative that put her into a deep sleep, and her wrists were tied to the bed. None of her friends or relatives knew that she was there, and medical records show no measurements of her vital signs for hours that afternoon, suggesting that she was left unattended by the medical staff.

By that evening she was brain damaged and on life support, with little hope of recovering. She died six days later.

Ms. Seelig’s case brings to mind the death of Libby Zion, an 18-year-old Bennington College freshman who died in 1984, eight hours after being admitted to New York Hospital, where she had been sedated and tied down. Ms. Zion’s death led to changes in the training of young doctors across the country, in a campaign led by her father, Sidney Zion, a well-connected New York writer.

But Ms. Seelig’s grieving parents, Warren Seelig and Sherrie Gibson, carried on their crusade in private — and without the satisfaction of knowing that her death had changed the way medicine was practiced.

How could a 22-year-old woman die so abruptly? How could a youthful misstep have had such disastrous consequences? Those are questions the Seeligs still struggle to answer after five years. Because their daughter was alone at the hospital, they are left with only a sketchy record of her treatment and no way to know what she felt during her final hours. Her mother and her estate sued Wyckoff Hospital and staff members who had treated Ms. Seelig for malpractice, but they lost after an emotionally grueling four-week trial in the spring.

Asked what her daughter’s biggest mistake might have been, Ms. Gibson said it was being young, carefree, adventurous and trusting.

“She had a wonderful innocent quality about her,” said her friend Erin Durant, an aspiring songwriter who worked as a waitress with Ms. Seelig. “I don’t mean that in a naïve way — that’s a terrible word to use, innocent, but she was very, like, kind but real.”

SABRINA was the younger of two sisters, and when she was little, her family lived in Philadelphia, where her parents taught at the University of the Arts. When she was 11, they moved to Rockland, Maine, a lobster town and artists’ colony. She and her sister, Ashley, went skinny-dipping in the granite quarries. Their mother designed and sold clothing. Their father taught art and made ethereal sculptural forms that have been installed at places like the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the new American Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia.

When she was 13, she wanted to start an ice cream stand. Her father helped her build it, and they named it Lulu’s, after their dog. The stand became a real business, a local phenomenon, and her sister still runs it today, with a small altar to Sabrina. “It has an authenticity about it, and Sabrina loved that kind of thing,” Mr. Seelig said. “She is an old soul,” he added, speaking of his younger daughter, still, in the present tense.

As a teenager, she directed plays, and her best friend, Caitlin FitzGerald, now an actress, starred in them. She graduated from high school a year early, in 2001, and took time off to travel before spending two years at Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., attracted by its reputation for creativity. Then, restless again, she moved to New York, where her sister was in art school.

Ms. Seelig found an apartment at 70 St. Nicholas Avenue, five blocks from Wyckoff Hospital, and filled it with inspirational quotations from literature, shells from Maine and two paintings by her sister — “the only ones she ever liked,” Ashley said, adding, “It was, like, extremely bohemian, like, oh, come on.”

She drank Earl Grey tea with steamed milk, and wore flowing thrift-shop dresses.

Ms. Durant took her to the office of The Brooklyn Rail, a free, nonprofit journal of arts and politics based in Greenpoint, in a building just over the Pulaski Bridge from Long Island City, Queens, on a street so desolate it belongs in film noir. For Ms. Seelig, it was a sanctuary, almost like going home.

The Rail’s publisher, Phong Bui, would let her visit in the middle of the night, after a shift as a waitress, so she could have a quiet place to write. “She would bring a bottle of wine or make coffee, depending on her mood,” he said.

To David Varno, then The Rail’s production editor, now getting a master’s degree in creative writing at Columbia, it felt like a salon. “We would read books, talk about Walter Benjamin’s ‘Illuminations,’ Dore Ashton’s ‘New York School,’ ” Mr. Varno said.

He went to her apartment for a couple of parties and saw her for the first time surrounded by her friends from Hampshire College, worldly, sophisticated and promising.

“They were all wearing these kind of fancy party dresses,” he said. “I felt almost out of my element, but also happy to see that side of her, to see her in a more festive atmosphere.”

Waiting on tables at the Pink Pony, on the Lower East Side, she met a regular customer, Jan Baracz, a Poland-born artist who was 25 years older than she was, and they started dating.

ON May 29, the day after Memorial Day, Ms. Seelig worked the dinner shift at Tree, a new restaurant in the East Village started by Colm Clancy, an Irish immigrant who had talked her into working for him.

She told Mr. Baracz that she could not see him because she had to go home to Bushwick to write her Latin paper. When her roommate, Colin Barry, left for work around 8 a.m. the next day, she was still at the kitchen table, papers spread out around her.

About 10:45 a.m., she called 911.

“I, I, I think I’m poisoned,” she says on the recording of the call, which was provided to her parents after her death.

“I think after taking Ephedra, I looked online but I took Valerian, which is maybe poison, but I am having a hard time,” she went on. Valerian is an herbal sleep remedy, which some toxicologists believe is a kind of placebo, with no medicinal qualities.

She added, “I’ve been vomiting for the past while, and my limbs feel heavy.”

She hesitated only when asked her age. “Ah, 20-, 22, 23, no!” she cried. To her family, her confusion was understandable. Her birthday was two weeks away, on June 15.

The dispatcher asked if her door was unlocked, and she said she would go downstairs and unlock it.

When the ambulance did not come right away, she called the health department’s Poison Control Center.

The Poison Control operator, a woman, told her to sit down and wait for the ambulance.

Ms. Seelig: When will they come?

Poison Control: When did you call them?

Ms. Seelig: I don’t know. A while ago.

The operator, who seemed to be putting her off, asked if she could call a friend.

Ms. Seelig: I can, I did; they didn’t answer.

Poison Control: Your mom?

Ms. Seelig: No. My mom is in a different state. I don’t think it will help.

Poison Control, dismissively: Well maybe you could just talk to her for right now until the ambulance comes.

Ms. Seelig: O.K.

Poison Control: O.K. All right. Bye.

As the woman hung up and the line clicked, Sabrina could still be heard saying, “But help …”

THE missed calls are part of the legacy of guilt and regret.

Before going to the hospital, Ms. Seelig called Mr. Baracz and a friend, Rebecca Green, but they did not pick up. She left no messages.

“Sometimes I think I have vibes,” her mother said. “But I definitely had no vibes that morning or that day that anything was wrong. It just came out of the blue.”

None of her friends had any inkling that anything was wrong until that night, when Ms. Seelig was supposed to host a dinner party. That afternoon, Mr. Baracz began calling about the menu. When she did not answer by 6 p.m., he sent a friend, Joanna Spinks, who lived around the corner, to look for her. The door to her apartment was unlocked and her laptop was on her bed, showing the Poison Control Web site. By calling 311, Mr. Baracz tracked her down at Wyckoff.

Ms. Spinks got to the hospital first, around 8 p.m., and then was joined by Ms. Green. They found Ms. Seelig in a small bed with a curtain around it. “She was there unconscious with all the tubes in her,” Ms. Spinks said.

Her face looked normal, as if she were sleeping. “We were cutting up, like ‘Earth to Sabrina,’ ” at her bedside, Ms. Green said, aghast at the memory.

Quickly, the guests from the canceled dinner party converged on the hospital.

Mr. Baracz, now 53, remembers asking a nurse what had happened. “You know what happened,” she replied.

“Every hour they gave us a new explanation of what was happening,” Ms. Green said. “When she was still asleep at 5 a.m., we knew something was wrong.”

Mr. Baracz called Ms. Seelig’s mother, who remembers being told by hospital staff that she should not rush to New York, that her daughter would come out of it by morning. Ignoring that advice, she and Mr. Seelig drove two hours to the airport in Portland that night and got to the hospital Thursday morning, where they were told that a constellation of specialists was being consulted.

Frustrated by a lack of clarity, Ms. Seelig’s parents had her transferred to the Weill Cornell campus of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan that evening; there, doctors tried a cooling therapy. Her friends held hands and sang. But it was too late. On June 4, 2007, Sabrina Seelig was declared brain-dead, and she was taken off life support the next day.

Ms. Seelig was an organ donor, so by the time of the autopsy, her body had already been carved up. The medical examiner concluded that she had died of “water intoxication,” which usually means becoming overloaded with water without enough salt.

NO one is left to tell what Ms. Seelig was thinking or feeling before she died. The medical record, a jumble of handwritten notes, offers the only insight into her death. It came out over four weeks in May this year, at the trial for malpractice.

In 2007, when Ms. Seelig was a patient, the state ordered Wyckoff to hire a management consultant to improve its governance and finances. Five years later, it is still struggling. The Brooklyn district attorney has been investigating allegations of mismanagement. A three-month investigation by The New York Times, the results of which were published in March, found a history of insider dealing and positions being given to people with political ties. The hospital officials involved denied any wrongdoing. The hospital does not carry malpractice insurance.

In a pretrial deposition, an emergency-room doctor, Dali Mardach, remembered asking Ms. Seelig, “What’s a nice-looking girl like you doing in Brooklyn?”

Dr. Mardach gave her two anti-nausea drugs, Phenergan and Tigan, which experts said can be sedating. As Ms. Seelig thrashed on the stretcher, Dr. Mardach ordered two doses of Ativan, a strong sedative, given intravenously at 1:15 and 1:45 p.m., for a total of four milligrams. She also ordered wrist restraints so that Ms. Seelig would not rip out her IV or hurt herself.

Much of the trial was a blur of technical detail. There was conflicting testimony as to whether Ms. Seelig was ever given oxygen. Her first blood test, which showed she was low on salt, was compromised; another test was not performed for hours. She was put in the care of a junior physician in training, Sameer Kaul, who found that she was “barely arousable.” Dr. Mardach and the nurse, Joyce Smith, disagreed about which of them had found her when she crashed.

Most telling, all the witnesses agreed that there were no new vital signs entered in her chart for more than three hours, from 2:35 to 6:10 p.m., when she was found in a holding or overflow area with a racing heartbeat and foaming at the mouth. Ms. Smith said she had been watching Ms. Seelig’s cardiac monitor constantly, so there was no need to write down her vital signs.

The plaintiffs’ expert, Dr. Kelly Johnson-Arbor, argued that Ms. Seelig had been ignored while she suffered an agonizing death of hypoxia, or lack of oxygen, which if she were awake would have led to a feeling of being “suffocated,” from the combined effects of the sedative drugs she had been given.

The defense argued that she had had a heart attack brought on by taking at least three Ephedra pills and whatever other drugs she might have taken. (The chart notes that she was “known” to take Focalin, an attention-deficit disorder drug commonly abused by college students to study.)

Late in the trial, as the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Alan Fuchsberg, realized that it was going badly, he tried to suggest that the low salt level cited by the medical examiner should have been urgently treated, but a defense objection was sustained.

Dr. Johnson-Arbor stood alone against three defense experts, one for Dr. Mardach, one for the nurse and one for the hospital and its intern, Dr. Kaul. She was hugely pregnant; they were all middle-aged men in suits.

In his closing, the hospital’s lawyer, Michael B. Lehrman, blamed Ms. Seelig for bringing about her own death with whatever cocktail of drugs she had taken. “You heard how confused she was,” he said. “She couldn’t even say her age. She was already in the process at that point of dying.”

After a day and a half of deliberations, the jury of four men and two women returned its verdict: Wyckoff and the individuals working there had not been negligent.

The jury did not seem to identify with Ms. Seelig.

One juror, Marat Leychik, 23, an unemployed graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice who lives with his parents in Coney Island, said he had never had to use any stimulants, not even caffeine, to write a paper. “She, in my opinion, overexerted herself,” he said.

Another juror, Irene Katzos, 39, a homemaker turned breadwinner from Bay Ridge, said that unlike Ms. Seelig she was “not artsy.” When the Poison Control call was played, Ms. Katzos saw tears streaming down the face of Ms. Seelig’s father, who was hearing the recording for the first time. “I swore I would never look over there again,” she said.

After the trial, Dr. Eric D. Manheimer, former medical director of Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, where he oversaw one of the busiest and most highly regarded emergency rooms in the country, reviewed Ms. Seelig’s chart at the request of The Times and concluded that she had not been properly monitored.

As a precaution, doctors should have put a tube in her airway to keep her from breathing her own vomit and stomach acid and to provide oxygen, he said. And they should have moved her to intensive care. Her low salt could have been an additional “metabolic cause of stupor and coma,” he said.

“It’s not rocket science,” Dr. Manheimer said. “Once your mental status is going down, you don’t know when the person is going to stop breathing.”

Ms. Seelig’s parents are left with a July 2007 letter of condolence from Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, then New York City’s health commissioner, whose office turned over the Poison Control recording.

“I wept after hearing the recording,” Dr. Frieden, now head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote.

“As a parent, physician and fellow human being, I was deeply disturbed by the interaction of the Poison Control Center with your daughter,” he wrote. Dr. Frieden said that the person who took the call “no longer works for the Poison Control Center,” and that he was working on better coordination with 911.

For Mr. Seelig and Ms. Gibson, the letter serves as evidence that their daughter’s death did matter to someone, and made some difference.

Asked what lesson might be taught by Sabrina’s death, Ms. Gibson said there was one. “No one should go to a hospital without someone with you — no one,” she said. “Don’t go unless somebody at least knows you’re there.”

A version of this article appeared in print on July 29, 2012, on page 1 of the National edition with the headline: The Short Life and Lonely Death of Sabrina Seelig.

As I already mentioned – my wife and I were stunned.
Ashley who we’ve become friendly with at our visits to Lulu’s had mentioned that her sister had started the business.
But that’s all we knew.
Last Sunday when we dropped by – Mom was filling in for Ashley who was out of town.
I told her I was going to write up this story in my blog / letter.
She said thank you for spreading the word about what happened.
They’re fighting the court decision.
Nothing will bring Sabrina back…..but making everyone aware of what happened will hopefully keep this tragedy from ever happening to anyone else again.
Please share this story with anyone and everyone.
Enjoy these few remaining days of summer.
Be nice to the people you know.
And the people you don’t.
Marc

Marc Ratner

Mishara Music

 

E-mail: marcrescue@gmail.com

Website: www.misharamusic.com

WordPress: www.marcrescue.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/marc.ratner

Twitter: www.twitter.com/marcrescue

22
Jun

A striking letter, a tribute, graduation, summer baseball, camping, music & it’s hot!!! – the Marcrescue blog

Greetings all,
It’s officially summer.
No doubt about it.
We’ve been busy.
Last week was graduation at Kindergarten – with a chorus performance by the Kindergarten, 1st Grade & 2nd Grade multi-age class…..basically 36 kids all singing something different at the same time…..what a wonderful concert:
Our first Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox Double A Farm Team) game of the year:
We even found a couple of days without rain to hit a campground by the ocean. Yummm, nothing like Blueberry pancakes straight from the camp kitchen…..served of course with real Maine Maple Syrup:
The ocean was just a short walk from the campground:
Somehow in the middle of all this I did some work.
Or should I say a bunch of work was done for me.
Connor Garvey may have moved past his radio window but all sorts of things are happening for him.
He just got a great review on Amazon from someone discovering a couple of his songs on our Mishara Music Free Song Amazon samplers (arghhhh – of course she misspelled Mishara!):
If you want to check out the Mishara Music free song sampler on Amazon that she’s talking about you can find it here (unfortunately the Amazon free page works in the USA only but you can find a lot of our free songs that will download internationally at
But that’s not all…….earlier this month Connor was one of the three song writing winners at the Wildflower Music Festival in Texas:
And yesterday a great blog post – about one of my favorite songs on the “Where Ocean Meets Land” album – “Western Wind”:
Here’s the video link to the “Western Wind” video in the photo:
And Clarensau has been getting attention as well.
The Tweets just keep on coming – we all loved the one at the end:
And Tyler Clarensau was interviewed by The Appetizer blog / podcast  – you can learn a lot about the band by listening to the interview which is here:
But the most important musical event this week was the letter I received from Ripley Johnson the Program Director at WVMP Roanoke, VA about the audience response the station is getting when they play “I Would Trade” by Clarensau.
A bit of backround – Tyler Clarensau wrote the song when his Grandfather was in the hospital and the lyrics resonate with people because they articulate a sad part of life that we all go through and the listeners are so thankful for the understanding and grace that they provide.
Here’s the letter:
Here are the lyrics to the song:
You can listen to the song here:
So thankfully that was all going on while I was involved in another family event.
The same day Ethan was graduating from Kindergarten my late father was being honored at The Danforth Museum outside of Boston – they were dedicating a studio room to him on the occasion of his 90th birthday.
So immediately after graduation we jumped in the car and headed towards Massachusetts.
The plaque is still on order but here’s the studio named in his honor, the separate art exhibit of his work and Ethan showing off his artwork as well:
A nice collection of artwork was on display – some from the museum collection and some loaned by friends:
If you ever wondered where the artwork for the Mishara Music logo / website etc came from now you know:
And there’s even a secret webpage on the website that takes the viewer to another collection of David Ratner paintings…..click on the “Artists” page at www.misharamusic.com …..and then click on the tiny figure of the artist and it will take you there:
A great night was had by all.
But now after all of that – it’s back to work.
And if you’re on the East Coast it’s hot….really hot:
Which of course reminds me of my slight miscalculation from last fall.
Where I forgot that I was holding on to one of our air-conditioners waiting for my father-in-law to help me pull it out of the window…….
…….And I reached for a piece of foam that was stuck on the window with the hand that was holding the unit in the window……
No hand holding unit in place……
No more air-conditioner:
So that was the unit that was in our kitchen and work area where my wife spends much of her time.
So as the heat wave approached I had to put an air-conditioner back in that spot.
Of course it had to come from one of the other two in the house.
Guess which one got picked?
Yup – the one from my office window.
So now when I say Mishara Music is Hot, Hot, Hot!
Mishara Music really is Hot, Hot, Hot:
I wish you a comfortable summer.
Marc
1
Jun

A Bert retrospective / great radio to hear real artistic new music & the best cheesesteak! – The marcrescue blog

Greetings All,
Long time readers of this missive have been asking recently – “Where’s Bert?”.
For those that don’t know – “Bert” is the small stuffed Sesame Street character that my son Ethan gave me when he was three (he’s six now) as I was leaving on a road trip.
“Here Daddy, take Bert with you to keep you company”.
So Bert starting traveling with me….and working with me….and having a life of his own in these letters.
Everywhere.
But he hasn’t been featured in the letters lately so I thought I’d catch everyone up on what Bert’s been up to.
He’s always doing lots of work around the house – packing envelopes, doing dishes, vacuuming etc:
He loves to travel – even if it’s in the middle seat at the back of the aircraft.  And he loves camping and the beach:
He’s very active – golfing, kayaking and even bump-em cars:
He’s really good at being green as well – always takes public transportation whenever he can – he’s an expert at the NYC subway system:
His favorite vacation city is New Orleans – especially to go to Jazzfest. He thinks the crazies on Bourbon St are a bit much but there’s nothing like Cafe Du Monde:
How does such a small guy eat so much?  Pizza is a fav but he goes crazy in New Orleans – whether it’s a Crawfish Boil with Fried Green Tomatoes at Jazzfest or Beignets at the aforementioned Cafe Du Monde:
Bert is also socially conscious and is always volunteering to help people.  When he’s back on the West Coast he’s always going on Mountain Rescue operations:
Bert loves his baseball.  He tries to get to quite a few games every year to see the Portland Sea Dogs – the Double A farm team for the Boston Red Sox and last year he got to the new Twins Stadium in Minneapolis – nicely done he thought:
And of course he has sooo many friends – he’s such a talker:
But like me – he loves music most of all.  Playing and listening:
Lately Bert has been listening to a lot of Clarensau – the newest band on Mishara Music.
His favorite song is “I Would Trade” even though it’s so emotional – Tyler the songwriter in the band wrote it about his Grandfather’s passing and it strikes a chord with so many people.
You can listen to it here on our Clarensau YouTube listening channel:
 Bert also loves the Clarensau trivia the band put together:
If you were wondering this is what their album looks like:
So that’s what Bert has been doing while he has been absent from these emails – and his latest venture was attending the the Non-Commvention two weeks ago in Philadelphia
The Non-Commvention is a radio / record industry meeting held annually – usually in Philadelphia although it does move around to other cities on occasion – where non-commercial music radio stations and the music industry have meetings and lots of artists perform for the gathering.  It’s important because non-commercial radio stations are the strongest believers in playing new music by real artists in the broadcasting industry.
Read on!
He caught up with some old friends – Grady, Danny, Ripley, Sarah and Russ:
He never misses a set by his old pal Citizen Cope:
He couldn’t help asking “What’s with this Lefsetz guy? (A big music industry blogger http://www.lefsetz.com – who’s very controversial but far and away the most read music industry blogger by far.  Subscribe – it’s fun to read).  Lots of opinions but does he really know what he’s taking about?”
But the most important thing about going to the Non-comm in Philly is knowing that the non-com music radio stations are so committed to music (along with some of their outstanding commercial friends (although there’s not many of those) – some of whom were at the Non-comm meetings).
Bert was amazed a few weeks ago when Mediabase (A radio airplay monitoring company that issues standards for current music airplay for radio stations in order for them to report their playlists to the industry trade magazines) released it’s latest current music percentage requirements for the different formats they monitor.
AAA (which stands for Adult Album Alternative – basically the only artistic music format left as opposed to the lowest common denominator pandering music and artists that most stations cater to these days) with a minimum of only 10% current music?
Bert was astonished at that.
So he starting asking his favorite program and music directors at the Non-comm how much current music they played.
Here’s what they said (and the disclaimer for these folks – this was totally a surprise question to them and some included recurrents and some didn’t).  I’ve included websites if you want to go and listen to some great new music for yourself – they all stream live!  No particular order here – listed in the order I asked them the question:
Bruce Warren @ WXPN Philadelphia PA  http://www.xpn.org/  67%
Ripley Johnson @ WVMP Roanake VA  (a commercial station!)  http://www.1015themusicplace.com/  33%
Karoline Kramer Gould @ WJCU Cleveland OH  http://www.wjcu.org/  40% 50% night
Kyle Smith @ WYEP Pittsburgh PA  http://www.wyep.org/  35% day 55% night
Mark “Fish” Fishman @ KMTN Jackson Wyoming  (a commercial station!)  http://kmtnthemountain.com/  60%
Anne Williams @ WNRN Charlottesville VA  http://www.wnrn.org/  50% – (and they broadcast on 7 frequencies all over Virginia))
Kyle Meredith @ WFPK Louisville KY  http://www.wfpk.org/  60%
John McGue @ WNKU Cincinnati OH   http://www.wnku.org/  60%
Grady Kirkpatrick  @  KUWR Laramie Wyoming  http://www.wyomingpublicmedia.org/  50%
Danny Preston @ KNBA Anchorage Alaska   http://www.knba.org/  33%
Jim McGuinn @ KCMP The Current Minneapolis MN http://minnesota.publicradio.org/radio/services/the_current/  55%
Russ Borris @ WFUV New York NY http://www.wfuv.org/  45%
Jim Manion @ WFHB Bloomington IN  http://www.wfhb.org/  50%
So with a great sigh of relief – knowing that current music is not relegated to a Mediabase mandated 10% graveyard at all these wonderful stations and is in good hands with these and all the programmers that he didn’t get a chance to ask the question of at AAA radio – Bert suddenly after all the meetings, conversations and performances was very hungry.
And if you’re hungry in Philadelphia….where do you go?
Not the highly promoted tourist cheesesteak joints in Philly…..
…..Bert was off to his favorite – Jim’s Steaks!
Decisions, decisions – what to order when you finally get to the front of the line….and there’s always a line:
Well – you can’t just have one ya know:
I don’t know how he does it.
He never puts on even an ounce.
Thanks to all for a wonderful time at Non-comm – and if you have a hankering to listen to some great music – new and old – you can’t beat the stations listed above.
Marc