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Stories by Holly Ramos

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Truth Serum: A Shot of Soul, Groove, and Heart

By: Holly Ramos

Garland Jeffrey is one beautiful New Yorker. The African American Puerto Rican American singer songwriter out of Brooklyn had been making music for close to 50 years. His brand new album Truth Serum on the Luna Park/Thirty Tigers label is gorgeous; it’s got soul, groove, heart, chops, style and songs I care about. What else can I say, oh yeah….the man is 70! This album is cooler than most of what is out there. God bless you, sir.

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Valerie June Is Pushin’ Against A Stone

By: Holly Ramos

Oh my, the lovely Valerie June has arrived and we are in for a treat. Some are saying that the singer/songwriter/musician’s breakout was overnight, but June says, “it’s been a long night.” The new album, Pushin’ Against A Stone, is her first major release, a studio recording produced by producers Kevin Augunas, Dan Auerbach, and Peter Sabak but Valerie has a bunch of self released work under her belt. She is not new to this lifestyle.

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Chelsea Manning is a She

By: Holly Ramos

I am very lucky to have had the good fortune of having a close friend who happens to be transgender. One day we lay swinging together in her hammock in the back yard of her East Village Apartment, enjoying the lovely day and each other’s company. At some point our long and meandering conversation came around to penises and I made a commented about them and she, agreeing with me, said, “I know, and I have one!”

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Truly Cool TV: Orange Is the New Black is Criminally Good

By: Holly Ramos

Half Irish and half Puerto Rican, I probably appear white to most people but I come from a rich Latin background and I have a real sensitivity to the lack of people like me in the media. Lucky to have a diverse community of friends of all different colors sexualities, shapes and sizes, I miss seeing them properly portrayed as well.

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Truly Cool Music: Juana Molina Music to Pay For

By: Holly Ramos

I LOVE Juana Molina and you should too. Do you already know all about her? I hope so. I just pulled this artist’s 2008 release Un Dia and am reminded why this is one of the coolest cds released last decade and why everyone should own it.

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The Truth about Baby Veronica Update: Baby Veronica Is Going Home

By: Holly Ramos

For those of you following the Supreme Court ruling on Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, No. 12-399, there have been some updates.

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Truly Cool Music: Brett Dennen Is A Wild Child

By: Holly Ramos

So Brett Dennen is a singer songwriter with a new cd called Smoke and Mirrors coming out on October 22. The first single, Wild Child, is getting airplay and it sounds great. Wild Child has that Steve Miller “The Joker” groove and a catchy verse that will hook you instantly.

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Eddy Arnold meets Cheetah Chrome on You Don’t Know Me

By: Holly Ramos

Man, Eddy Arnold could write a song. He wrote the beautiful “You Don’t Know Me,” (with co-writer Cindy Walker) a classic country number that not only sounds like a Patsy Cline hit, but also evokes the emotion of one.

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Truly cool music: Mary Gauthier is a foxy mountain

By: Holly Ramos

Oh my! Was it seven years ago that I saw Mary Gauthier play a free show in Madison Square Park on 23rd street in NYC. They have cool free shows there every year and I was lucky to be invited by my sister, who was already hip to Mary. It was a cool summer evening and the show was lightly attended but when Mary started singing we were all transfixed. Even the crickets were silent. I have been a fan ever since. Mary charms you like the foxy cool guy in a jean jacket in high school and then delivers her songs with the quiet strength of a mountain, breaking you in to pieces. She is a legend in her time, a simple folk singer, so humble, so wise and so talented. Born in New Orleans to a mother she never met, Mary has lived an amazing life of transformation which fuels her music. It was in her 35th year that she gave up a drug and alcohol habit, got clean and picked up a song writing habit. Only a few years later in 2005 she released the classic Mercy Now, which catapulted her career. It featured the song “I Drink” which was covered by Country star Blake Shelton.

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Truly cool music: Mary Gauthier is a foxy mountain

By: Holly Ramos

Oh my! Was it seven years ago that I saw Mary Gauthier play a free show in Madison Square Park on 23rd street in NYC. They have cool free shows there every year and I was lucky to be invited by my sister, who was already hip to Mary. It was a cool summer evening and the show was lightly attended but when Mary started singing we were all transfixed. Even the crickets were silent. I have been a fan ever since. Mary charms you like the foxy cool guy in a jean jacket in high school and then delivers her songs with the quiet strength of a mountain, breaking you in to pieces. She is a legend in her time, a simple folk singer, so humble, so wise and so talented. In the grand scheme of legends, Mary is just starting her fantastic career. She is still young and yet she plays it like an old timer. Just listen to “I Drink”, “Mercy Now”, and “Your Sister Cried” and tell me that your heart isn’t bursting with sorrow, compassion, tenderness, and the joy of music. It’s her writing, her delivery, her voice, her lyrics, come on Mary, you’re killing me… Mary Gauthier released her first live album, Live at Blue Rock, at the beginning of the year and embarked on a world tour. She has been playing shows since January and is still going strong. Right now she’s in Canada and then she’s back in the States through the fall. The live recording is cool, but you really just want to go and sit and see her, feel her presence, enjoy her humanity. Either way, she is a grand talent worth supporting. You might also want to checkout her cover of Eddy Arnold’s “You Don’t Know Me” on the new compilation released last month of the same name. http://www.marygauthier.com/tour/

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The Truth about Baby Veronica

By: Holly Ramos

The Truth about Baby Veronica: An adoptive mother weighs in on the Supreme Court ruling on Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, No. 12-399.

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Truly Cool Music: National Wake

By: Holly Ramos

Ahhh zeitgeist. Music made during a certain period is so identifiable. You can try to recreate the production sounds

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Truly cool music: Har Mar Superstar Gets Heavy

By: Holly Ramos

This is how I was turned on to and tuned into Har Mar: First off, let me say that my life is magical and glorious. My three-year-old daughter has a baby sitter named Lydia who is also a film director because, yes, Los Angeles is a special place.

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Black Sabbath 13

By: Holly Ramos

1970: I was in first grade and I sat in my cool beautiful older cousin’s room, which was painted black

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Queens of the Stone Age reborn…

By: Holly Ramos

Ah Death, the fantastic gift it gives the living, a reminder about how fragile life is, or an invitation to realign our selves with our priorities

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Rickie Lee Jones The Devil You Know

By: Holly Ramos

I was a kid when Rickie Lee Jones made her debut with Chuck E.’s in Love. She was everywhere I looked- all over FM radio, the Grammy’s, the cover of Rolling Stone

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Truly Cool Work: The Royale

By: Holly Ramos

After seeing the Royale, a new play at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, in Culver City, CA, I fell compelled to talk about it, which is the mark of good work.

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Graham Parker and the Rumour Warm My Working Class Heart

By: Holly Ramos

When I was a youngster, our working class one bedroom housed a family of four. We did not have surplus. Everything was meager. All I had was precious.

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Jim James Sings about God and it is Good

By: Holly Ramos

Jim James, front man of My Morning Jacket has released a solo album called Regions of Light and Sound of God.

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Portugal. The Man are Men

By: Holly Ramos

When I heard Evil Friends, the new Portugal. The Man single, on the radio, I was excitedly trying to place what I was listening to.

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Giorgio Gomelsky: dedicated to the honesty of music

By: Holly Ramos

In 1991 Jesse Malin, Howie Pyro, and I threw the very first GREENDOOR dance party in Giorgio Gomelsky’s air-condition-less loft on 24th street.

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Art As A Gateway Drug

By: Holly Ramos

Oh my, so much has been written on the creative process and how to nurture it. Creativity can be daunting. “The voices” in our heads can stop us...

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Goodbye Les Blank

By: Holly Ramos

My father was handsome man with dark greased-back thick hair, olive skin, and green eyes. But what I loved most was the space between his two front teeth.

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