Tag: music (page 1 of 7)

Video mortally wounded the radio star

Dear Karen,

Have you ever been so repulsed by a video that it turned you off the song completely?  That’s what happened to me last week. Continue reading

Animal videos for a summer Sunday

Dear Readers,

This week it’s all about animals.

A farmer plays a tune for his animals.  Do they react with delight or derision?  You be the judge.

A group of devoted animal lovers rescues the unloved, the neglected, the forgotten cats and dogs who roam our streets.  This rescue brought a tear to our eyes.  We hope this little guy has been adopted by the time you read this.

Why did the owl say, “Tweet, tweet”? Because she didn’t give a hoot!  Funny, right?  (okay, maybe not so funny) Learn more about these interesting birds here, like how they want to rip your face off and eat your eyeballs.  Honestly, we’re not kidding about this.

Enjoy your Sunday; we hope you’ll use it wisely by singing to your pets, adopting a stray or protecting your face from dastardly owls.
Karen & Wendy

British Invasion bands of the 60s

Dear Readers,

alt="IMAGE-bands-british-invasion-after-the-kids-leave"Yep, time for another Saturday List! And today we have a treat for you: if you were alive in the early to mid-1960s, you’ll remember cranking up the radio when these songs came on.

Following its raucous, unruly birth in the 1950s, rock and roll had begun to emulsify into a smooth, syrupy kind of pablum by the early 1960s. Despite injections of energy from the surfing craze, it seemed to be in danger of collapsing into a sad, pop parody of itself.

In short, it was becoming a snooze-fest.

But help was on the way, and from a most unlikely quarter: while American kids were nodding off to songs like “Soldier Boy,” bands in Britain had begun to experiment with American blues, and were giving it their own interpretation. Skiffle, a blues and folk-based music with a DIY sensibility, made way for Merseybeat, music that started in the gritty industrial cities in the north of England. The best-known of these bands was a little foursome known as the Beatles.

By 1964, kids in North America had begun to catch on. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” hit the top of the US singles charts in January, and launched what became known as the British Invasion.

And what an invasion it was!

I still remember the furor when the Beatles landed in New York for their first tour—the frenzied hysteria made Justin Bieber’s fans look like rank amateurs. The Beatles were followed by Dusty Springfield, whose “I Only Want to Be with You” caused quite the sensation…and next thing you know, you couldn’t turn on a radio without hearing one of the British Invasion bands.

Beatles, Stones, The Who, the Kinks…it was glorious, and I’ve barely scratched the surface with this list. So tell me: who were your favourites? You can vote right on the list, add your opinions, or even add a band I’ve missed…have fun, go nuts!

And most of all, enjoy the music. That’s what it’s really all about.



British Invasion Bands of the 60s

KarenWendy Irving British Invasion Bands of the 60s

KarenWendy Irving | 14 items | 152 views

Bet you can't read this list without starting to hum a tune or two!

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  1. 1. The Yardbirds - For Your Love (1965) (Full version)

    The Yardbirds - For Your Love (1965) (Full version)

    Live H.264 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU5zqidlxMQ&fmt=18
    Ever wonder where legendary guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page all got their start? Yep, it was right here. With their adorable bowl haircuts and fuzzed-out sound, the Yardbirds were a blues-based group that expanded into rock in a big way.

  2. 2. A Hard Day's Night Screenings Info

    A Hard Day's Night Screenings Info

    Yep, they've digitally restored the movie and they're re-releasing it. Let's face it, the Beatles are legend. And A Hard Day's Night, their first movie, is a rollicking, ridiculous, and utterly engaging look at the band in their early days. If you've never seen it, what are you waiting for?

  3. 3. The Rolling Stones

    The Rolling Stones

    These days they're not so much a rough-edged blues-based rock group with a bad-boy reputation, as an ongoing franchise juggernaut that shows no signs of slowing down. But let's take a moment and remember the Stones as they were: rock and roll at its absolute best.

  4. 4. The Who - My Generation

    The Who - My Generation

    Wendy's all-time favourite band. Ever. Period. And if you try to contradict her, she will fight you.
    Also part of the Big Three, along with the Beatles and Stones. Their Mod sensibility included smashing guitars onstage and wearing British flag-patterned clothing (why? because it was the 60s!), and their iconic song, "My Generation" defined the growing dissatisfaction we all felt back then.

  5. 5. Herman's Hermits - I'm Henry Vlll I Am

    Herman's Hermits - I'm Henry Vlll I Am

    Emerging from the Manchester beat scene shortly after the Beatles, Hermans Hermits specialized in lighter fare, with an emphasis on a British music hall sound. They were meant to be a non-threatening alternative to the Beatles, Stones, and the Who...but that also meant their repertoire, and ultimately their appeal, was limited. Fun fact: "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" was written by Trevor Peacock, who played Jim Trott in "The Vicar of Dibley."

  6. 6. Dusty Springfield - Son of a preacher man

    Dusty Springfield - Son of a preacher man

    Dusty Springfield's sultry, evocative voice and her blonde bouffant hair made her instantly recognizable--and this song is one of my all-time favourites by anyone, ever. She manages to capture the laconic table chatter of a Southern family, and their blindness to a mysterious tragedy, in a few simple lines. Simply beautiful.

  7. 7. The Troggs - Wild Thing

    The Troggs - Wild Thing

    The Troggs--if you remember them for nothing else, it'll be for this song. Garage music at its finest, and if you listen carefully, you can sing "Louis, Louis" over that fuzzed-out bass line.

  8. 8. The Zombies - Time Of The Season

    The Zombies - Time Of The Season

    My favourite memory of this song: driving with Mrs. Auchterloney and my friend Mary, I noticed Mrs. A. singing along--to a rock song! Our parents wouldn't have done this in a zillion years, and I instantly decided I wanted Mrs. A. for a mother, since she was obviously much cooler than the one we had. Probably not a bad choice on my part, all things considered.

  9. 9. Animals - House Of The Rising Sun (1964)

    Animals - House Of The Rising Sun (1964)

    Okay, it's a little incongruous, hearing an old American folk-tune like "House of the Rising Sun" in a British accent...performed by fresh-faced kids in suits, no less. But what they lacked in blues cred, they made up in enthusiasm and a yes, musicianship. In fact, over the years, this has become the definitive version of the song.

  10. 10. "Lola"- The Kinks

    "Lola"- The Kinks

    Okay, I admit I can't listen to this song without wanting to sing the Weird Al Yankovitch version, "Yoda." But still. It's good stuff, and worthy of a place on the list. The Kinks were latecomers to the British Invasion, mostly because the US censors kept banning their songs. Yeah, that would kind of put a damper on things.

View more lists from KarenWendy Irving



Sunday Videos: We learn something new every day!

Hello students,

Sometimes it happens that we at After The Kids Leave discover we don’t know everything about everything. It’s not a common occurrence, but we’re willing to admit that it happens. Join us in discovering something new today.

What really happened in the case of the woman burned by a cup of hot McDonald’s Coffee?

How about engagement rings? Why do we all want diamonds instead of rubies, sapphires or emeralds? The answer is more diabolical than you’d think.

Finally, we never knew that Sweet Dreams, by Eurythmics could be covered by one man and one cello:

Enjoy your Sunday, and feel free to astonish your friends today with these stunning tidbits of information.

Class dismissed,

Karen & Wendy

Jitterbugging into eternity: Watching our parents dance

Dear Wendy,

It’s so funny that you’d mention Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing” when you were talking about your 8 desert island discs. I was just listening to that song on the weekend, after I’d set up our new stereo speakers, and I have the same reaction that you do.

The moment I hear Gene Krupa’s pounding drumbeat, followed by that opening Harry James trumpet salvo, my heart quickens a little, and I can almost see Mum and Dad jitterbugging in our family living room.

Watching them dance was like watching a pair of Olympic ice skaters—they danced like two halves of the same person, intimately familiar with one another’s moves. It was as though they sensed rather than saw the other, so that no matter what one partner did, the other was ready with the next move.

They never seemed to notice us watching them—when they danced, they moved into a private, intimate space where it was just the two of them, completely oblivious to the rest of the world.


Mum and Dad were in their own special world when they danced. And they never really stopped.

I remember Dad trying to teach me to dance once. It didn’t go well.

“Don’t move your hips so much—you’re not a hula dancer!….No, not like that, you have to let me lead….stop bouncing! Just try to follow me, and listen to the music. This isn’t rock’n’roll, it’s swing—it’s supposed to be smooth!”

Essentially, I think the problem was that I wasn’t Mum.


All dressed up and ready to boogie

It makes me wonder: how did our parents learn all the moves they used to execute so brilliantly and effortlessly? Because no one is born knowing how to dance, right?

Or maybe we are. Maybe emerge from the womb with the instinct to follow music with our bodies, but somehow as we get older, we forget what we once knew. Life intervenes: we grow shy or inhibited, we forget that moving to music is a primal instinct.

But even if dance is innate, that doesn’t answer the question of how two people can be so completely in synch with one another that they can merge into a single, swinging entity, at least as long as the music’s still playing.

Even when our parents were at their alcoholic worst, bickering and sniping at one another or us, it seemed that music had some special power to draw them into their own secret world, where they moved together easily, gracefully.

I’d watch them, filled with a combination of admiration and relief: at least when they were so fully absorbed in one another, they weren’t paying attention to me. Score!

I still love that old music. The arrangements hold up even today, and you just can’t deny its power to get you up and dancing. I’m not sure how I feel about the afterlife, but I’m pretty sure that if one exists, and if our parents are there, they’re twirling and jiving together, into eternity.


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