Archive for January, 2012
I feel a bit nostalgic for a moment.
A few days ago I posted some information on Facebook that I recently discovered on Buddy Holly. I felt this was an appropriate time to discuss this at this time of the year. I was a kid listening to my mom’s old records decades ago and among them were “At the hop,” by Danny & the Juniors and “Not Fade Away,” by the Crickets. That was Buddy Holly’s former band.
On Feb. 3, it will be the 53rd anniversary of the death of three rising music stars whose lives ended suddenly. They are Charles “Buddy” Holly, Ricardo Valenzuela “Ritchie Valens” and JP Richardson aka the “Big Bopper.”
They had just finished a gig in Clear Lake, Iowa, at the winter dance party tour and a few minutes later their lives would be taken in a plane crash about five miles north of clear Lake Iowa en route to their next show in Fargo, North Dakota.
Buddy Holly’s band at that point had released about six singles and had sold 4-5 million records, Ritchie Valens was just 17 and had also released a handful of singles, he was too sick to board a tour bus, which had a broken heating system. The Big Bopper also was recovering from flu-like symptoms and requested a seat on the plane.
Ritchie Valens, for those too young to remember — most of us were long from being born yet — was just starting out and had only a few hits in just about eight months with Donna, “Common Lets Go” and “La Bamba.”
JP Richardson was considered the main act at the time and excited the crowds with “Chantilly Lace,” his biggest hit.
Years later, Don Mclean would record “Miss American Pie,” in memorial partly to the tragic event remembering “the day the music
died.” Contrary to popular belief, the single engine 1947 Beechcraft Bonanza that the singers flew in was not nicknamed Miss American Pie and most of the song is not about the legendary trio, only part of it is.
The Surf Ballroom’s annual commemorative event honoring the musical legacies of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson began in 1979.
This Feb. 2-4, 2012, the Surf ballroom will host an all new Winter Dance Party in anniversary of the bitter sweet events that happened back in 1959.
The sold-out event this year will feature Pat Boone, Jason D. Williams, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, Marshall Lytle of the Original Comets, Tommy Allsup (Buddy’s guitarist), The Flamingos, Danny & the Juniors, The Bobbettes, John Mueller’s Winter Dance Party and Sid King & The Five Strings!
Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012
Doors open at 7 p.m. Nightly
Ticket Price: $ 110.00 Adv / $ 125.00 Door
(Again, sold out)
As promised, I’m writing about two out of the many area musicians. The first is Keith Franx, native of Minneapolis who came to Quincy to live with his family in 1994. Keith remembers a time in the land of 10,000 lakes when Prince, Soul Asylum and the Replacements were just starting out. “Oh man, Soul Asylum was TERRIBLE back in those early days,” he says.
I have seen Keith play locally a few times. Thursday night was the third. I showed up at a local watering establishment just to listen to Keith.
Keith plays a bluesy, soul type of one-man show guitar while at times playing the harmonica simultaneously. That takes a lot of talent. He is not a lead guitarist though. He‘s a strummer, so he is a in a different league than a BB King. Nevertheless, Keith has written and recorded hundreds of songs. From listening to him, his influences range from Cat Stevens, Van Morrison, Tom Waits, Black Crows and a little bit of Barenaked Ladies — sorry man. Keith pauses between sets to tell a story of his fourth grade crush, his teacher. He was excited when he got to sit next to her a field trip she took them, too. Some movie I had never hear of, “Sounder.” But, most importantly, he told the story of rushing through the airport to have his picture taken with a guy named Taj Majal, who is an American Grammy Award winning blues musician. At the time, he didn’t know who that was.
He also incorporates elements of world music into his music. No, I have not heard that much of him, but members of the audience certainly did. Keith admits that is his REAL influence. I’ll give him that. Keith’s next show is Feb. 3 at Johnny Bang Bang’s.
Next, I will be doing a CD review of a band named Purple Melon, an unsigned band that claims to represent the best of British rock.
Monday, Christian Dior revealed its Spring/Summer 2012 line of Haute Couture Fashion. The line was led by the Creative Designer stand-in Bill Gaytten, the No. 2 man to the fashion house’s former couturier John Galliano. Found guilty of “public insults” based on origin, religion, race or ethnicity, Galliano claims to not remember the incidents based on his “triple addiction” to alcohol, sleeping tablets and Valium. Galliano’s position is still vacant, and Dior is taking steps to recover its damaged reputation.
Some believe Gaytten’s designs, which seem to be revamps of Dior’s legendary 1947 collection, are meant to remind us of a time when Dior was at the top of the fashion world. Many are already critiquing the show’s pieces for being too safe.
I have to admit I was surprised at how “ready-to-wear” this line is, as couture fashion usually needs to be dialed down for the average consumer. Safe or not, I’m enjoying this ladylike trend that went mainstream in the ’50s. The silhouettes are flattering, and the fabrics are delicate. Maybe Gaytten’s strategy will work, after all, who can look at these clothes and still think of a angry racist? If anything, I’m thinking martinis, the Rat Pack, and shopping to get a “little brown bag”.
Today’s most popular burlesque dancer has collaborated with Target Australia to create her own line of lingerie. The aptly named Von Follies line will include 26 pieces including everything from balconette bras, high-cut briefs, G-strings, garters, bustiers and fitted corsets. Dita’s items will hit Target shelves in Australia on Feb. 8, in time for Valentine’s Day.
These items will be in the patterns and fabrics that are synonymous with Von Teese fashion, such as leopard-print satin with eyelash lace detail, red satin with delicate black lace trim and black lace with intricate ribbon detailing. There will also be spot-pattern mesh overlay effects on nude and black grounds, as well as sexy looking nude and black fishnet.
Currently, Americans will have to go online to shop.target.com.au to purchase Von Follies. But don’t stress ladies, there are plans for global distribution after the product line is expanded throughout 2012.
Don’t think this is Dita’s first rodeo in fashion. Her 42-piece Stella McCartney winter collection from 2007 was a huge success and a number of stores sold out within the first 10 minutes. Von Teese has worked with various fashion houses in the past, including Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier. On her first solo collection, she said, “I wanted to design pieces that are tributes to my vintage obsessions, to make them beautiful and functional, while modernizing them for everyday wear.”
If any of you are huge Dita Von Teese fans, look for her at the L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival on Saturday, March 10, as she walks the runway for Target.
For every fashion event, there is a best and worst dressed. You got a look at my bests, now let’s take a look at the worst and ask ourselves.. why… WHY?!
I’m assuming this bridal-esk Elie Saab gown Jessica Biel donned for the Globes has something to do with her recently getting engaged to Justin Timberlake. But, wow, is this is a bad sign of what’s to come for a wedding dress. This long-sleeve lace dress is way too matronly for Biel. Even with the high slit and open back, the extra fabric around the bust and shoulders is so off-putting. A thigh-high slit is normally very sexy, but the color of the lace completely washes out her legs.
Madonna’s dress… where do I begin. First off, I just need to say this Reem Acra gown is the evil cousin to it’s beautiful predecessor worn by Olivia Wilde in 2009 and Julia Bowen at this years Globes. Look it up — this is what a Reem Acra gown should look like. OK, back to Madonna. The flap skirt (hadn’t seen one of those in awhile) is unique but very unappealing. Frankly, I’m surprised Madonna who spends 95 percent of her time and money trying to look younger wore this outdated of a style. The fingerless gloves, really? I get that you’re a performer and musicians typically get a different set of style rules, but it’s the Globes and you look ridiculous. I suppose she thought the crucifix necklace pulled this rocker-in-a-gown look together. Tip for next year, steal whatever Jessica Biel was supposed to wear.
Let me be blunt about Zooey Deschanel, the color is gross and the dress doesn’t fit. The reason this is a one-of-a-kind Prada dress is because no one else would ever wear this thing! Her amazing figure is totally absent, and is that white thing around her neck a doily or part of the dress? The skirt is so blah like a bad bridesmaids dress and the top should have been more fitted around the waist. Also, I’m getting a real Lite Brite vibe from that thing.
If you would have told me Lea Michele will wear a beaded and mesh Marchesa gown, I would have assumed it was gorgeous. Both Marchesa and Michele are rarely anything else, but E! said it best when they called this look “figure skater.” The cut out detail is too sharp, and combined with the color, I feel like she’s wearing scraps of metal. Lea Michele, you are 25 years old! Wear something young and fun. This is a dress worn that should be worn by a 40 year old actress to prove she is still sexy.
I love the red carpet march of celebs, a collection of beautiful women wearing gowns that often seem to come out of a dream. So suffice it to say, it’s disappointing when celebs show up in a boring frock that’s been seen a million times before. The simple solution to avoid boring fans would be to wear something that’s never been on the red carpet. Yet, no one wants to be on the “worst dressed list” which, once on, can be difficult to shake.
For 2012 Golden Globes, there were definitely some swings and misses — cough Amanda Peet — cough cough Jessica Biel. With that being said, I’ve gathered a few ladies who took a chance, and nailed it.
Nicole Kidman arrived in a curve-hugging Versace gown. The Aztec-inspired beading pattern was pulled together perfectly with her gold jewelry and clutch.
Newcomer Shailene Woodley’s shimmering gown combined a uniquely structured top, with a flowy chic skirt. This rough and smooth match up is complimented perfectly by the soft color.
Charlize Theron in a low-cut Dior gown showed us how to execute a side peplum. The tall slit and sparkly headband add even more elegance to this stunning look.
Rooney Mara manages to make this black cut-out Nina Ricci gown look sweet and not at all intimidating. Rooney made the right choice to not add jewelry and keep her hair and makeup simple, as the cut-out detail needs no help to make a statement. Also, don’t miss the detail at the bottom of the skirt.
Madeleine Stowe combines a structured bodice, peplum, and lace/tulle detailing in a drop dead gorgeous gown. The color is bright and perfect for making an entrance.
When I first moved to town, I was thrilled by the huge inventory of historic buildings that are in stock in the city of Quincy — particularly the ones downtown. Quincy is home to enough of these gems that it has become a beacon to architects, preservationists and scholars all over the eastern part of the country. There is one gentleman in town that is making sure it stays that way.
His name is Terry Austin. Just before the holidays, I had the pleasure of spending an hour or so meeting up with Terry and perusing some of these great structures that have had life breathed into them with multiple uses.
Terry has an eye for preservation and understands most of the techniques used in early building materials, moldings, wood work — he can identify most types of wood just with the naked eye — techniques used in press tin molded ceilings, even color schemes. He also understands the reasons why building owners used real stuff out front and more composite stuff behind the façade: Costs.
Terry and his son, Bret, owners of Austin Properties of Quincy Inc., own the northwest corner of Eighth and Hampshire — where the Interior Elements Shop is — as well as the northwest corner building of Eighth and Maine. Three buildings were recently purchased at the northeast corner of Sixth and Maine where “Everything and the Kitchen Sink” is located. After some renovation, this building is now being sold to the shop owners. Terry and Bret also own the 626 Maine building where the Maine Course Restaurant is located, and he used to own the building at the southwest corner of Eighth and Maine where Quincy Billiards is now located. All in all, they’ve handled 50 residential units and 16 commercial around town — including some in the German district on the south west end of town — over 30 years in the real estate investment business.
One of his most exciting new projects is on Hampshire Street just east of Fifth on the south side of the street. A few fully renovated rental units are upstairs already, and there’s going to be a new bakery going in on the ground floor.
Terry started out as a foreman for Firestone Tires decades ago and has made himself a valued commodity in the business. He bought his parents house back in the late ’70s. With a partner, he got started doing this on the side, using the equity in that house to finance many of the projects that came along. Later, after Firestone left Quincy and he and his partner split, he continued on his own.
He admits he used to do some of the work himself, but now, most of it is contracted so that he can focus on the aesthetics of the exteriors, working to revive most of historic downtown Quincy.
Terry is the owner and founder of Austin Associates and is an expert in foundry and metal casting work. Established in 1987 and incorporated in Illinois, the company employs five to nine workers. Terry is also on the board of Quincy Preserves and likes motorcycles.
Ladylike. Pretty. Classic.
Spring’s bringing trends sure to make any gal feel oh so feminine.
Soft pastels were all over the runways, and some looks continued the color block trend in a very sweet way. These pastel pieces transform easily from the runway to your closet. And bonus — color blocking outfits are simple to put together and the pieces are versatile.
Florals are not exactly a new idea, but we did see a new spin on them for 2012 with the emergence of the “floral suit.” Typically shown in bright, vibrant colors, the floral suit is a skinny pant and tailored jacket or top. If head to toe floral is a bit much for you, use the suit pieces separately.
Peplum Silhouettes are simply chic, reminiscent of a time where men always wore suits and women lace gloves. This shape is fantastic for showing off your hourglass figure, no matter what your size is.
Floor-length skirts in silk taffeta, tulle, and organza look very different from the stiff winter maxi skirts. Simple fitted tops are a great contrast to such full, flowing skirts. I hope Quincy gets on board, because this trend will make the average girl feel like a princess. So take that Kate Middleton.
I wanted to write a piece on the most fashionable Gleek, but looking over 2011′s red carpet pictures, it’s a close call. Especially since I found them all stunning in some soft hues. So I’m singing praises on a collection of what I believe are the best gowns our on ladies.
Lea Michele — So many amazing choices, but I have to go with the Oscar de la Renta Spring gown from his 2011 Spring collection. It’s a salmon silk faille one shoulder gown with cascading ruffle detail. The exaggerated ruffle was such a hot couture trend for 2011, and not many can pull it off so well!
Jayma Mays — Most of what she wears is a risk, but this draped Jenny Packham dress saw few critics. This is my hands down favorite for her because this dress has so many details that somehow work together, and the color is outstanding on her.
Dianna Agron — Usually outshadowed by others because of her conservative dress choice, this J. Mendel dress puts the spotlight on her. We can’t chalk it up to simply the dress though, the Cathy Waterman jewels put this look over the top glamorous.
Naya Rivera — She wore a pale pink Douglas Hannant gown with rosette detailing at the bust. I love that the shape of the dress is so sexy, but the color and rose detail are so sweet.
Heather Morris — We’ve never seen Heather look so beautiful! This blush colored Romona Keveza gown, paired with a Swarovski crystal clutch and Martin Katz jewelry was simply stunning.
I go to a lot of restaurants in the area. Probably more than I should. It’s just a thing that I have. My feet keep itching to go places. It’s not just in Quincy; it’s wherever I am at the time.
This past summer, I ventured into Mi Jalapeno. I can’t remember if somebody recommended it or not. But it sticks out at you — you can’t miss it. As you pass by it on Broadway, the sign slaps you in the face. Great way to advertise.
I Yelped it, and there was only one review. Brian S. says, “Great fast Mexican food. Mi Jalapeno has a great patio for outdoor dining. Mexican food should be eaten and enjoyed outside with some fine margaritas or a good Mexican beer. This place has XX Amber on tap, and you can get a 32 oz mug for around $3.25. That’s enough for me to show up right there.” I would agree with that statement.
So I tried it out, and I have been back a few times. I’ve tried other places in town, too. But I keep going back to Mi J. I did my own review. “OK, it’s not the authentic kind like you can get in San Fran, Chicago. It’s the more common Americanized version that is popular north of the border. But a lot of people like that, we all do. Just maybe not as good as the real thing. Very good if you like the American version. The best part: If you want the onions and cilantro, you can still get them. Top of with a squirt of lime. Delicious.” It’s the only place in town that does that, at least that I know of.
The interior is festive too, with its adobe-like walls and bright orange pastel décor. Flowers hang from the ceiling, and Mexican style balustraded rails divide the lounge area from the rest of the dining room.
Their menu is different than their two other locations in Springfield, Ohio, and Forsythe, Ill. There are six different enchilada dinners, eight fajita entrees, eight nacho entrees, seven vegetarian specialties, and 21 a la carte items ranging from tacos to burritos and more. They feature 31 different combination dinners all priced at $6.99. Not bad at all! The tacos are the crown jewel of Mi Jalapeno. They are fresh and delicious. Priced at $1.80, order a bunch of them.
Mi Jalapeno is located at 3120 Broadway in Quincy. Hours are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Contact the restaurant at (217) 221-8586 or http://mijalapeno.com/.