03 Dec 2016 6 Comments
02 Dec 2016 2 Comments
01 Dec 2016 4 Comments
I love this! I’m seriously considering investing in one…it’s perfect!
26 Nov 2016 3 Comments
I’m always awestruck by rock-climbers…they’re phenomenal! Cindy captures these daredevils in all their glory.
are particularly hard,
subject to extreme ups and downs,
making you feel perpetually unsafe,
like you might, at any minute,
fall off a cliff.
People often wonder,
why be in such a relationship?
They may not share the love of the challenge, the discipline, the risk.
26 Nov 2016 Comments Off on Stunning Street Photography of Chicago
Beautiful photographs of the “Windy City” – fantastic!
18 Nov 2016 6 Comments
in Uncategorized, Various Topics Tags: 2016, amazing, artist, awesome, battle, Black is Beautiful, career, energy, fierce, force of nature, funk, genius, Grammy nominee, independent, indomitable, Music, myriad musings, notable Black women, notable passings, pancreatic cancer, pictures, powerful, random ramblings, sepultura13, Sharon Jones, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Sharon Lafaye Jones, singer, soul, sudden, talented, Taurus, tribute, untimely
Sharon Lafaye Jones: 4 May 1956 – 18 November 2016
I had a couple of posts ready to publish, including a blogging award nomination…but then, I saw this headline. So, in lieu of what I was planning on posting, here’s my little tribute to the late, great Sharon Jones, lead singer of the soul and funk band which had her name at the head of its title: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. She battled pancreatic cancer for a number of years, finally succumbing to the disease today at the age of 60. From the New York Times:
“Sharon Jones, the soul singer and powerful voice of the band the Dap-Kings, died on Friday of pancreatic cancer that had been in remission but returned last year. She was 60.
Ms. Jones’s death was confirmed by Judy Miller Silverman, her publicist. She said Ms. Jones was surrounded by members of the Dap-Kings and other loved ones when she died.
She continued performing throughout the summer, even while undergoing chemotherapy that she said caused neuropathy in her feet and legs and restricted her movements onstage. But Ms. Jones remained undeterred.
“Getting out on that stage, that’s my therapy,” Ms. Jones said in a New York Times interview published in July. “You have to look at life the way it is. No one knows how long I have. But I have the strength now, and I want to continue.”
The summer tour promoted “I’m Still Here,” a single with the Dap-Kings that detailed Ms. Jones’s birth in a brutally segregated South, a childhood in the burned-out Bronx, and a career hampered by record executives who considered her “too short, too fat, too black and too old.”
Ms. Jones was that rare music star who found fame in middle age, when she was in her 40s.
In addition to working as a correction officer at Rikers Island and an armed guard for Wells Fargo, Ms. Jones, who had grown up singing gospel in church choirs, initially dabbled in professional music as a session singer and the vocalist in a wedding band, Good N Plenty.
After meeting Gabriel Roth, the producer and songwriter also known as Bosco Mann, Ms. Jones made the leap from backup singer to main attraction. Desco Records released her debut 7-inch vinyl single, “Damn It’s Hot,” in 1996. She was 40.
With the encouragement and songwriting of Mr. Roth, who co-founded the Brooklyn soul and funk revival label Daptone Records and serves as the bandleader of the Dap-Kings, Ms. Jones’s full-length debut, “Dap Dippin’ with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings,” came out in 2002. She would go on to release four more studio albums and two compilations on the small label, a point of pride for the fiercely independent Ms. Jones.
“A major label’s going to do what?” she said to Billboard last year. “I sing one or two songs, they give me a few million dollars, which they’re going to want back, and then the next thing you know, the next record don’t sell, and then they’re kicking me to the curb. With us, this is our label, this is our project.”
Sharon Lafaye Jones was born on May 4, 1956, in Augusta, Ga., though her family lived just across the border in North Augusta, S.C. In “Miss Sharon Jones!” the singer recalled that her mother had needed a cesarean section, but because of segregation in the Jim Crow south, she was not allowed in the hospital’s main unit and was instead relegated to a storage room.
After her parents separated, Ms. Jones, the youngest of six children, moved with her mother to New York and was raised in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. “But New York in 1960, no peace to be found,” she sang on “I’m Still Here.” “Segregation, drugs and violence was all around.”
She went on to attend Brooklyn College and acted in “Sister Salvation,” an Off-Broadway play, before turning her focus to music.
With her late start, Ms. Jones recorded and performed at an unrelenting pace, and in the last year and a half of her life she made two albums, opened two national tours for Hall & Oates, was featured in a television commercial for Lincoln (performing the Allman Brothers’ “Midnight Rider”) and starred in “Miss Sharon Jones!,” a documentary about her life.
The film traced her life from the diagnosis of Stage 2 pancreatic cancer in 2013 through her triumphant return to the stage in 2015. Ms. Jones is survived by four siblings, seven nieces and three nephews.”
I saw her on The Colbert Report when she was promoting her album titled “I Learned the Hard Way,” and immediately bought it on CD. I absolutely loved her old-school style of recording and the sound evoked on her album, and the energy that she poured into her songs and on-stage performance were infectious. She idolized James Brown, and was called the female version of him due to her “roaring voice, frenetic energy, and gregarious personality.” She used music as a form of therapy for her cancer diagnosis, which was eventually classified as Stage 4 and metastasized to her lungs, liver, and lymph nodes – the pancreas is one of the lymphatic organs, from what I recall of med school and related biology and physiology courses.
Rest easy now, Sharon…you shall be missed. You join the pantheon of the greats – you deserve to be in their company, as you certainly earned it. Jimi, David, Prince, and many others await your presence…and give James a big-ass hug!
I’ll close with the three songs that I enjoyed the most, from the first album of hers that I bought. I’m definitely going to purchase the others before the month is over.
06 Nov 2016 25 Comments
in Uncategorized, Various Topics Tags: 2016, awesome, blog awards, bloggers, blogging community, followers, friends, good mood, honoured, humbled, myriad musings, nominees, online acquaintances, pleased, random ramblings, sepultura13, smile, Sundas, Sunday, Thank you, the Shamrock Show Mage, The Well-Red Mage
The Versatile Blogger Award: ***Halloween Special***
I was nominated for this award by The Shamrock Show Mage, co-author over at The Well-Red Mage’s blog, on 31 October 2016. It was a very pleasant Samhain surprise! I’m honoured and humbled by this nomination, and extend my thanks. If you haven’t done so, please check out their very awesome blog! It is one that has been added to my list of ‘dailies,’ which are the blogs I follow that I read on a daily basis.
First, the rules…
1. Display Award.
2. Thank the person who gave this award, and include a link to their blog.
3. Share seven things about yourself.
4. Nominate ten bloggers.
Seven things about me:
1. I’m a coffee fiend and drink 4 – 5 cups per day, but never after 3 p.m. I prefer buying whole-bean coffee and grinding it at home, and have a nice storage container for keeping the grounds fresh. I even use one of those ‘gold’ filters – paper filters absorb the oils of the coffee, diluting the flavor. No, I don’t consider myself a ‘coffee snob,’ LOL
2. I’m participating in the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge for the first time – but I’ve been blogging for a decade.
3. I haven’t attended a Hallowe’en party for over 10 years.
4. I don’t dress up for Hallowe’en every year, but when I do, I pull out all of the stops…and I never wear the same costume twice.
5. My favourite Hallowe’en candies are: Kit-Kat Bars, Twix bars, Whoppers, Gobstoppers, Lemon-heads, Atomic Fireballs, Swedish fish, and Twizzlers.
6. I’ve never TP’ed a house, but I have covered cars in shaving-cream and silly-string. I’ve thrown eggs at people, but only after they threw them at me!
7. I don’t decorate my house for the holidays – I have my own means of celebrating things.
(I mixed in some Hallowe’en-related stuff in there, just because!)
My 10 nominees:
1. Jacqueline at A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales
2. Tony Single at Crumble Cult
3. Brian Lageose at Bonnywood Manor
4. Sheldon Kleeman – Art Works
5. Kat Myrman at Like Mercury Colliding
6. Paul at Windblown Words
7. T. Ibara Photo
8. Tofino Photography
9. Cindy Knoke
(I’m aware that many blogs I follow are ‘award-free,’ so they are under no obligation to acknowledge this award or participate – I simply wanted to pay my respects to those blogs and their authors!)
04 Nov 2016 Comments Off on Breathtaking Starry Skies of New Zealand
in Uncategorized, Various Topics Tags: ALK3R, astrophotographs, aurorae, awesome, beautiful, breathtaking, eye-opening, Jake & Jo Scott-Gardener, magnificent, Milky Way, New Zealand, photography, reblog, starry skies, travel
Breath-taking, eye-opening, amazing and awesome…I love these!
New Zealand can be the scene of absolutely fantastic situations on an astronomic plan. The astrophotographers Jake and Jo Scott-Gardner indeed wander their mother country and especially the region of Queenstown in order to capture aurora borealis, shooting stars, meteors or the Milky Way with their cameras and satisfy their curiosity.
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