Ah, 2017! Fresh as a baby animal!
Ah, 2017! Fresh as a baby animal!
For so many people, putting “Best” and “2016” together is definitely an oxymoron, and in my world it’s no different. Personally, it was a bad year with many losses and tears. It all began with the death of David Bowie (https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2016/01/11/rest-in-peace-to-the-prettiest-star-david-bowie/) Then my favorite cat of all time had to be put to sleep, at the age of 19 (https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/rest-in-peace-derick-mommys-little-heart-6-24-96-to-4-29-16/). And finally, we said good-bye to my beloved father-in-law who passed at the age of 94 a few months ago (http://obits.nj.com/obituaries/starledger/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=181972211).
It was just one of those years where the “hits” just kept on coming and there’s not enough hours in the day for me to write about all of them.
Since I really don’t like to focus on negativity, let’s just say, THANK GOD for music; it’s what makes the world go ’round, and a salvation to many. Like every other year, 2016 was no worse in the music department. There were so many live performances my husband and I attended this year, including a few of his own with Rob Fusari and Pharoah. And my “Learn + Listen” series which made the cover of the Caldwell News: http://www.mypaperonline.com/library-patrons-learn-and-listen-about-famous-musicians.html
Lucky me, I also was blessed to write about many performances for various publications.
Whether it was outdoor concerts, or indoor venues, there was not one bad show in the lot. It’s always so hard to pick a “favorite” but as every music fan knows, there are those songs and moments that keep popping into your head, days, even weeks, after the show is over. To any musician who is reading, whether you’re mentioned here or not, if I approached you after a show, I sincerely loved your act.
That said, in my humble opinion, I’d like to present what I felt was the best on my radar this year. ENJOY!
BEST SONG/VIDEO – ROB FUSARI “Let Love Down”
TOP THREE LIVE PERFORMANCES
1 – ROB FUSARI – The Bitter End, NYC, May 24, 2016
(“Your Trap” featuring Andrea Martin, Matt, Mario, Dennis, and The Constellations)
2 – SOUND + VISION: THE MUSIC OF DAVID BOWIE (Musical Direction: RICHARD BARONE) – Outpost in the Burbs, Montclair, NJ, Friday, Dec. 16, 2016
(“Fame” featuring Richard Barone, Jeffrey Gaines, Burnt Sugar Arkestra, Nick Celeste. In other outstanding performances: Wesley Stace and Elvis Perkins)
3 – PUNKY MEADOWS + FALLEN ANGEL BAND – B.B. Kings, NYC, June 14, 2016
(“The Tower” featuring Punky Meadows, Danny Anniello, Chandler Mogel,
“She Makes Me Laugh” from The Monkees “Good Times”
BEST VINYL – JACK WHITE “You Are the Sunshine of My Life”
How cool to hear this on a record player!
BEST MUSIC MOVIE – “LET ME DOWN HARD”
Starring Keith Roth, DJ 95.9 The Rat “Electric Ballroom,” performs with Frankenstein 3000 and David Johansen; songwriter for Punky Meadows and so much more!
BEST MUSIC BOOK – CARMINE APPICE “STICK IT!”
Honest; and in a strange way, endearing! Loved it!
And, again, because some things have to be said more than once, in my own little world, quite a few super cool things happened to ease the pain of the sadness, like going to see so much live music, being around amazing people, being able to write for a living — and public speaking (which includes music and health programs!) Not to mention, my incredible husband who is my rock through all the hardships and triumphs. All in all, there were two stand-outs that made this year incredible.
First I got a new kitty, Nicholas Gray; my husband and I adore our new snuggle bun! How can you not?
And, thanks to Ashley Valentin-Patino, I became a professional wedding officiant, and will be marrying many more people in 2017! Speaking of “bests” Ashley’s wedding to Mitchell was not only the best of 2016, but aside from my own, I’d say the best wedding of all time!
May 2017 will bring more love, music, and happiness to the world! Grim Reaper — be gone with you!
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta and Ashley Valentin-Patino
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist, available on Amazon in paperback only: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X
To contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, write her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Authors, from left, Linda Holt, Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, Melanie Mitchell
It was my honor to sign copies of my two books, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” and “Love Cats” at Randy Now’s Man Cave in Bordentown, NJ, yesterday (Sunday, Dec. 19, 2016).
In addition to rubbing elbows with other authors, Mary Muehleisen was also there representing her late brother, Maury Muehleisen who played guitar with Jim Croce, and died in a plane crash with Jim at the age of 24. She was selling two of Maury’s solo CDs (which are incredible, by the way! What a gorgeous voice he had, and a beautiful guitarist and songwriter).
Interesting story, a customer came in to buy a Jim Croce record for his girlfriend for Christmas. He did not know that Mary Muehleisen was going to be there. What a beautiful coincidence. The customer brought one of her brother’s CDs.
Mary Muehleisen and Maryanne Mistretta
It was such an honor to meet these wonderful ladies, as well as selling quite a few books!
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, Randy Now’s Mommy, and Randy Now!
Thanks so much to Randy Now for hosting such a wonderful, memorable event!
My books on sale in Randy Now’s Man Cave!
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta works as a professional journalist and public speaker. Her books are available on Amazon.
“On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X
For more information on Randy Now’s Man Cave, visit: http://www.mancavenj.com/
For more information on Maury Muehleisen visit: http://www.maurymuehleisen.com/main.html
For more information on Linda Holt, visit: http://www.religiousscholar.com/
For more information on Melanie Mitchell’s book, “Monkee Magic” visit: http://zilchmonkeescast.blogspot.com/
Saturday, Dec. 16, I won tickets to see the David Bowie tribute “Sound + Vision: The Music of David Bowie” at Outpost in the Burbs, Montclair, New Jersey.
The show was definitely in the Top 3 of all the performances I saw this year! I think they blew our minds. The Sound + Vision performance, which was directed by Richard Barone, was euphoric and touching. Over 20 songs were interpreted in honor of David Bowie, with almost all getting standing ovations.
The Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber is made up of: Jared Michael Nickerson (bass); Leon Gruenbaum (keys); Ben Tyree (guitar); Trevor Holder (drums); Mikel Banks (vocals); Shelley Nichole (vocals).
And a shout out to School of Rock Montclair — warming up with Bowie hits. Standouts were “Golden Years” and “Under Pressure.”
Outpost in the Burbs posted several videos of the Sound + Vision performance on YouTube.
Sound + Vision: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVE1ziiwLTg
Ziggy Stardust: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVE1ziiwLTg&t=132s
Thanks to such great talents for an epic evening. David Bowie will live forever in the hearts of both musicians and fans. This show was definitely proof of that! I truly wish they would do this show over and over again.
From left: Danielle Aykroyd, Jeffrey Gaines, Mikel Banks, Shelley Nichole, Richard Barone, Elvis Perkins, Nick Celeste, and Wesley Stace (Photograph by Mair Lewandowski-Reitz)
Mairr (left) and I — before our mascara ran all over our faces, in memory of Bowie
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “On the Guest List” available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X
Keith Beck and Maryanne Mistretta hanging out prior to performance
Tuesday, December 13, 2016, Pear Tree Enterprises (www.https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/) presented the holiday edition of the Learn & Listen series at the Maywood Library, Maywood, New Jersey.
The holiday series featured the music of John Lennon and David Bowie, including their famous holiday songs “Merry Christmas/War is Over” (Lennon) and “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” (Bowie).
Maryanne Mistretta spoke told the audience the “Behind the Music” stories about both songs; followed by live entertainment from Keith Beck (http://www.zigmanbird.com/)
The Learn & Listen series is an hour presentation; a half-hour biography on a famous entertainer, followed by live music. Pear Tree has the following artists: David Bowie, John Lennon, Johnny Cash, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, and Ella Fitzgerald.
For pricing and availability, contact Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta at: email@example.com
Maryanne with husband, bassist, Dennis Lords
What a rock ‘n’ roll weekend it was! I’m always thrilled to see my husband perform onstage; me right in front of the stage, us staring into each others eyes and giving knowing looks.
Music has always been my life. It’s unfortunate that I do not play an instrument or sing, but I did once write a children’s song called “It’s Christmas.” It was recorded at Baby Fishmouth Studios (https://www.facebook.com/Baby-Fishmouth-Studio-518623148225118/), produced by Tom Corea. I came up with the lyrics and melody. Dennis but the music to it. After recording the song, we were interviewed by the late Mark Blaustein who had a radio show at Montclair State University.
It was a dream come true having my song played on the radio.
From time to time, I’d be in Baby Fishmouth Studios with Dennis and was asked to sing back up on Come On Christmas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3HovV9KRs) and I was the Beach Girl spoken vocalist on Sufer’s Christmas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHFSXh5HoRM) — Hey, Santa, surf’s up!
But, most of the time, I’m happy to take a back seat to my baby and let him shine! On stage, and off, I couldn’t ask for a better husband and kitty daddy!
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a professional writer who has interviewed musicians for many publications including The Aquarian Arts Weekly, Punk Magazine, In The Flesh Magazine, The Montclair Times, and New View Media. She is the author of “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X
Healthy Blood Sugar
This month I wrote a feature that was published in Vitamin Retailer Magazine, online and in print, on maintaining healthy blood sugar. To view the article, visit: http://vitaminretailer.com/maintaining-healthy-blood-sugar/
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a journalist and public speaker. She is available to give health lectures. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org