So Take a Listen to Ryan Dolan–You Might Find Yourself Hooked on This Irish Singer

I’m not really sure how I ran into Ryan Dolan, but soon after I saw his youtube video for Ireland’s entry in Eurovision 2013 with his song Only Love Survives, I was hooked. And for sure, I was pretty happy when I got a tweet back from him  (@RyanDolanMusic) for something I had mentioned about him.  Turns out he’s a really good guy.

Now he’s got a new single out, Start Again.  It’s quite different from his Eurovision song, and the video that’s been made for it is something that everyone should judge for himself.  I don’t think very many on this side of the Atlantic have heard his music.  Take a look at the videos; they are worth a listen.  I’m hoping some station here in the U.S. will start playing him.

 

There are a number of videos for Only Love Survives, but I like this one from Irish television.

 

 

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Celebrate the Fourth of July with Red, White, and Boy, Erm–Blue; Catch Steve Grand’s New Single and Video

I enjoy gay shorts–gay short films, that is.  They have been a staple of gay film festivals for years, and many classics as well as recent productions are available with just a brief search of youtube or dailymotion.

“All-American Boy” by out, country singer Steve Grand could stand as a short film on its own, but add the lyrics and music and this video becomes something special.  Not to mention Steve is one pretty fine firecracker.  

Download the song and read more at http://stevegrand.bandcamp.com

Get more of Steve on Twitter @stevegrandmusic and http://www.facebook.com/SteveGrandArtist

On the Road Home: Those Sirius XM Channels Can Lead to a Place . . . Well, a Place where the Music Is “Musique”

How the 9 button got pre-set to 155 I don’t know, but luckily this mystery put me onto a kind of music I probably wouldn’t have tried.  My car came with 6 month’s worth of Sirius XM satellite radio on it, and I liked more than enough channels to renew it when the free time was over a couple months ago.

There are so many choices in music and talk that I only randomly switch over to a local Top 40 station these days.  Anyway, how many of the repetious songs about gettin’ drunk at the club or seein’ what’s hidin’in somebody’s CK briefs can a person listen to?

This Channel 155 was a refreshing change almost from the instant my fingertip hit the button.  And I couldn’t understand a word of the lyrics.  Latitude Franco is a French Canadian channel with just fun, pleasing-to-the-ear, mostly pop music.   I don’t know if all the songs are Canadian or not, but they are all in French.  I’m enjoying the music so much that I would almost start studying another language again.  I did say “almost”.
Un Jour Sur Deux by Stefie Shock

Québécois singer-songwriter, Stefie Shock

I can’t get the song above out of my head.  Of course, I could use a translator to get “Every Other Day” from “Un Jour Sur Deux”, but I’ve tried to find the full lyrics; so far no luck.  However, I’m almost certain this fun song by Stefie Shock doesn’t have much to do with getting trash-faced in the neighbor’s pool last summer. The sound and the voice do make me think of David Bowie, or even more, Miguel Bosé of Spain.

Give it a play and you might get hooked like I did.

Winter Weather Brings Ice to Houston But No Snow

The agave leaves are slick with ice from the sleet and rain that came during the pre-dawn hours.

The predicted snow didn’t come to Houston.  Having gone to bed even earlier than most work nights.  I woke up around 5, and the light from the streetlight outside showed no snow on the ground, nor even any white flakes coming down, so I jumped back into bed until it would be time to take Annie out.  Even by 7:30, she was somewhat hesitant to go out.  When I checked the outside temp of 26, I could understand her lack of enthusiasm.  (Still 26 is a bit better than the 21 that hit us early Wednesday morning, and the daytime high was just 35 yesterday.)

But we did go out, still no snow.  There were, however, small puddles on the patio.  Then when I looked up there was a sheen of ice covering the garage.  As I stepped out onto the grass, the ice-covered leaves crackled underfoot.

I felt a little guilty for not having to go into work on a Friday, but aside from my crunching the frosty leaves, it was still outside, no usual hum of the commuter traffic coming from 529.  “No need to feel guilty,” I thought.  I was no different than the so many others who had been told on Thursday not to come in on Friday.

Once I started nosing around the yard, I found that the bricks on the front fence were coated with ice.  From this, I knew that any bridges and overpasses would be covered too.  As I’ve now gotten back inside, I’ve found according to the Houston Chronicle, that is the case, and that there have been many accidents because of the icy roads.  I’m glad that I don’t have to get out there and make my way to work.

I know those from the more northern climes might think us somewhat wimpy when we get a bit of actual winter weather.  However, with the hundreds of thousands of vehicles out there crowding the freeways on a regular workday morning, ice-covered roads could create complete havoc.  Even with the much lighter traffic,  the Chronicle says there have been more than 100 accidents already, one of them a 10-car pileup on 290, which is one leg of my normal morning drive.

I do feel a bit like I’m playing hookie.  No matter,  I’m going to grind some beans to make coffee and make a real breakfast, then enjoy the rest of a leisurely morning.

Nathan Adrian’s Swim Helps the U.S. 4X100 Relay Team Earn Gold in the World Swimming Championships

Nathan Adrian--his speed in the final split helped pull out the win for the U.S.

Nathan Adrian--his speed in the final split helped pull out the win for the U.S. Want more of Nathan? Check out the Vid Box on the right.

Sunday TV usually doesn’t have much. I never have the stamina to get into “Meet the Press”. Otherwise, until later in the evening it’s just old movie re-runs and infomercials. (Check below if you’re looking for more Nathan Adrian.)

By chance though today, I turned on NBC in time to watch part of the World Swimming Championships taking place in Rome. The highlight of the day for the U.S. swimmers was the 4X100 meter relay. Even with Michael Phelps back into competition a year after the Beijing Olympics and his little misdirection with marijuana, the team to beat according to the commentators was France.

Phelps led off the U.S., but only managed to keep the team in third place. The star of the day for the American swimmers was Nathan Adrian, the fourth man in the relay, who really kicked it. He finished the relay with the fastest split of anyone to touch in 3 minutes, 9.21 seconds for the U.S., beating out the Russians, who finished second, and the French, who got only third.

Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps, and Matt Grevers watch as Nathan Adrian swims the final leg of the 4X100 relay.

Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps, and Matt Grevers watch as Nathan Adrian swims the final leg of the 4X100 relay.

The ESPN article had this to say: “The French were the ones who cracked. The Russians touched second in 3:09.52, while France — which sent out four of the world’s fastest sprinters, at least on paper — were relegated to the bronze at 3:09.89.”

Check out all  about the Roma09 Swimming Championships hereLooking for video of Nathan Adrian beating Cesar Cielo in the 2010 Pan Pacific Championships?  Go here.

An Historic Day for Iowa and for Marriage Equality: Couples Get Licenses and Exchange Wedding Vows on the First Day for Same-sex Marriage in the Heartland State

Melisa Keeton and Shelley Wolfe became the first same-sex couple to exchange marriage vows under the new Iowa ruling.  (Des Moines Register photo)

Melisa Keeton and Shelley Wolfe became the first same-sex couple to exchange marriage vows under the new Iowa ruling. (Des Moines Register photo)

Today is the first day that same-sex couples can apply for marriage licenses in Iowa, and in some cities they are lining up at county courthouses to do it. Some couples, who have had the usual 3-day waiting period waived, are already getting married.

Couples line up waiting to apply for marriage licenses at the Polk County Courthouse in Des Moines, Iowa.  (Des Moines Register photo)

Couples line up waiting to apply for marriage licenses at the Polk County Administration Building in Des Moines, Iowa. (Des Moines Register photo)

According to the Des Moines Register, at least 360 same-sex couples had applied for marriage licenses on the first day. There also have been petitions by anti-marriage groups asking courthouse officials not to grant licenses to gay couples, but, in general, there was very little visible protest against those waiting to make their applications.