Category Archives: Did You Know?


If there’s one thing that pisses me off about the 4 or 5 weather apps I own on my iPhone, it’s that none of them ever make me laugh. “Really” you ask? “NO” dipstick, and nobody on this planet has ever thought that either. Well…until now that is.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some weather and l love me some comedy. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out why a website dedicated to funny viral-videos would want to cash in on the weather app game. Isn’t weather hilarious enough on it’s own? Nothing says funny like a good ole’ life smashing storm. When a hurricane or tornado hits, I bet the app gets pretty gut busting’ funny on the quick.
I haven’t downloaded it yet, so I don’t know how amazingly hilarious this app is going to be. But I sure hope it pushes out some funny weather quirkiness like this:



It’s friggin colder than a gawdamn witches ti*@y

during the Salem winter solstice parade.



Whatya you think d-bag? It’s still friggin cold!


Who cares, the Pat’s are in the Supa Bowl ya dink! And since none of yuz or ya boyz can afford tickets to Arizoner, get ya broke ass ova to ya neighbors house, he’s the one with the stolen cable ya bum!


You get the idea. Perhaps we need our own “Glosta” weather app. One that speaks to us on a local level!




It’s friggin blowin out daya, so ya nowt fishin. Go hit Pratty’s or the Nest for a pop.



Crappy, rainy, but in the 80’s…so get dressed, you have the greasy pole to walk today. And get drinkin, it’s almost noon!



Really? Look out da window a shmuck, there’s da weda right in ya face! It’s perfect out, call in sick and go to da sox game…and oh yeah..Yankees suck!



Who’s in? Any developers out there for iPhone apps?


Hey Peter Lovasco, what say you???!!!!!

Appears almost sold out, but there really are plenty of good seats left

Balcony Seat

View from Balcony Center Row H Seat 11 — still available here

If you’ve been following us for a while, you know we always warn you when a concert is about to sell out.  A quick glance at the seating chart for next Saturday’s John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band concert at Beverly’s Larcom Theatre, looks like it’s almost sold out.  But here’s the thing: there are lots of excellent seats left.  Most importantly, every seat at the Larcom has a great view and the sound is PERFECT!  For this show, the best available seats are in the Balcony and you can get them here.

This will be a special show, in part because local Rock Star, Gary Backstrom, is opening with his excellent band — and there’s a wonderful personal connection at play too: Gary’s drummer, Mike Doyle, studied at Berklee with Jackie Santos of the Beaver Brown Band.  You don’t want to wait until it really is sold out and miss this drummer’s reunion do you?

You can see Mike showing off at 3:23 in the video below, of Gary Backstrom Band at Harbor Loop.

And just in case you’ve forgotten the cult hit Eddie and the Cruisers (for which John Cafferty wrote and sang his hit “On The Dark Side”, here it is (with the movie’s co-star and Beaver Brown member, Michael “Tunes” Antunes on sax).


Holiday Delights on Cape Ann TV This Weekend

This just in from Lisa Smith:

Keep Warm, stay inside this MLK weekend and watch “Holiday Delights” on Cape Ann TV Channel 12. This latest version of the Gloucester Stage perennial favorite Christmas play was filmed with three cameras last month. It features over 30 young actors from the Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop and tells the story of a Gloucester girl who finds the true  meaning of Christmas on Christmas Eve. The program airs Saturday, January 17 at 9 am and 5 pm; Sunday, January 18 at 8 am; and Monday,  January 19 at 9 am and 6 pm.  See complete Cape Ann TV Schedule here.

So This Happened

In the category of Never a Dull Moment

I’ve been teaching for 22 years.  I’ve seen a lot.  I have had all sorts of excellent…and funny…and puzzling things happen….but, never…ever, this.  Until this week.

We have two crested geckos.  I’ve always believed in having a lot of pets.  It is a time suck when you’re the one ultimately responsible for caring for them (even with lots of helpful hands), but the lessons for the students are invaluable. We’ve had your run-of-the-mill hamsters and gerbils…and now the coolest guinea pig around.  We’ve also had a hedgehog and a rabbit.  We’ve had birds…and more fish than I can count.  We’ve also had tree frogs, anoles, a tortoise…and now geckos. There were a few years before I had the boys that I had a fish, amphibian, reptile, bird, and mammal all at one time so that we could really learn first-hand the different classifications of Phylum Chordata.  I digress.

The children have always treasured having the opportunity to interact and care for these critters and they’ve also provided fantastic learning opportunities.

What better way to learn the parts of a fish…ventral fins, pectoral fins, dorsal fin, caudal fin, gill openings, lateral line, etc…than observing a real live fish?

You get my point.

So, this week we learned that when a gecko feels threatened (don’t ask) it will “drop its tail” in an attempt to distract the predator so that it can flee.  Fascinating.  Most geckos will grow a new tail.  Crested geckos do not.  They can, however, live happy and healthy lives without their tails.  Phew.

What happens after the tail falls off, you may ask?  Well, see for yourself.


You Spoke, We listened: Booker T. Jones is coming to the Larcom 2/21

Just before Christmas, we asked people whether we should bring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Musicians Hall of Fame inductee, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient & the greatest Hammond B3 master of all time, BOOKER T. JONES, to Beverly’s Larcom Theatre.  Response was overwhelmingly positive, so we’ve done it and tickets are now on sale to the public, but they’re selling fast.  Get your tickets here and don’t miss out on Booker T.’s only New England appearance on this U.S. tour.  You may remember him from Booker T. and the M.G.’s, with hits like “Green Onions,” “Hang ‘Em High,” “Time Is Tight,” and “Melting Pot,”.  While at Stax Records, Booker T. also wrote “Born Under a Bad Sign” with William Bell, which was recorded in 1967 by Albert King and later by Cream and Jimi Hendrix and covered live by many others. Here’s Booker T’s powerful version with his excellent touring band!

And here’s Booker T. with Gary Clarke Jr. and John Mayer live at the 2013 Rock and Roll Induction Ceremony

BREAKING NEWS: GARY BACKSTROM BAND to open for John Cafferty on Jan 31 in Beverly

You’ve all heard the Gary Backstrom Band, right?  (If not, you’re missing out on one of Gloucester’s most exciting musical ensembles.)  Be sure to catch these guys when they open for John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band on Saturday, January 31 right down the road at Beverly’s Larcom Theatre.  Good seats are still available RIGHT HERE.  Some of the best available seats are in the balcony GET THEM HERE.

Gary’s got quite an impressive bio (see here) having opened for the Allman Brothers, Derek Trucks and Los Lobos among many others.

Besides being one of the area’s top guitar players, Gary is also a very talented singer/songwriter.  Here are a couple of videos of the band at Harbor Loop with special guest Carlos Menezes Jr. on Sax (great solos in the 2nd video):

Cape Ann Winter Solstice on Cape Ann TV Starting Tonight

If you missed this stellar December 20th show at Gloucester’s UU Church, hosted by Allen Estes and featuring Charlie Farren and Danielle Miraglia — or if you were there and want to re-live the extraordinary experience of that magical night, you can watch the entire concert on Cape Ann TV cable channel 12 tonight (WED) at 8pm.   Thanks to Jim Capillo for his excellent work on this show.  Here’s a teaser he put together for us.

It airs again tomorrow at 9am, Friday at 9:30pm, Saturday at 11am and 9pm, and Sunday at 9pm.  Check the schedule here for updates.

gimmesound embraces the paradigm shift in music

The music business is in undergoing a huge transformation — but you already know that, so why are we stating the obvious?  Two reasons:

1) Once in a while when you find yourself in the middle of a major paradigm shift, it’s worth stepping back for a moment to notice what’s going on before you arrive at the next level and exclaim, “Oh! Look what happened.”

2) 2014 was a dramatic turning point for music as evidenced by two Earth shattering stats that you might not be aware of:

  • Taylor Swift was the ONLY artist to release a platinum album in 2014.
  • Digital music sales were down in 2014 for the first time in 10 years (maybe ever, it’s hard to get good stats on music downloads).

Even with all the tech advances that empower musicians to record and distribute their own music relatively inexpensively and without getting “signed” by a major label, it’s harder than ever to make a living as a musician.  We believe that recorded music sales will never again be the major source of revenue for musicians — just like sheet music sales are no longer a major source of revenue.

Vickie and I believe that live music holds the most promise for the future of the music business, both for musicians and fans.  In this new world where we spend more and more time staring at a screen of some kind, we find people crave live concerts where we make powerful connections with musicians and other fans that transport us to a magical place we just can’t experience any other way.  Musicians who can draw fans to their concerts are able to make a good living doing what they love most–playing music.  Everybody wins!

We’re embracing this musical paradigm shift by focusing our efforts on presenting and promoting live music even more than we have in the past.  Our new focus is reflected, in part, by changes to  We’ll continue to provide live music listings while we transform the site into something new that helps musicians and venues promote their live shows better and works well on all devices, including phones.  You’ll notice that songs on gimmesound can now be played on phones and tablets (including the iPhone and iPad).  More mobile enhancements are coming.  Stay tuned . . .

Chelsea Berry & Tony Goddess on Curtain Up with Aurelia Nelson tomorrow (SUN) 9AM on 104.9

Our friend Aurelia Nelson just keeps the local stars coming on her fascinating North Shore 104.9 radio show Curtain Up and tomorrow (Sunday) is no exception.  Local singer/songwriters Chelsea Berry and Bang-A-Song Studio owner Tony Goddess will be Aurelia’s guests.  Worth getting up to listen in at 9am!

Here’s an example of the excellent results Chelsea & Tony got collaborating on Chelsea’s latest solo CD:

Firing up the GMG Santa Tracker


Good Morning Gloucester will be firing up the Santa tracking Radar Thingy when Santa is within 500 nautical miles of Cape Ann. Meanwhile, NORAD and Google have far larger Santa Tracking budgets and are currently tracking Santa leaving Kathmandu. Click links below for up-to-the-second plotting of Santa. Santa is currently darting back and forth between India and Russia reaching maximum velocity for the trip. Elves have had to douse him with water several times already to keep him from bursting into flames.

NORAD tracks Santa
Google Santa Tracker

Did you know?

“Jingle Bells” is one of the most popular Christmas songs ever written. Except it’s not a Christmas song. It was written to celebrate Thanksgiving. In 1850, James Lord Pierpont was hanging out in a tavern in Medford, Massachusetts, when he was inspired by Medford’s famous sleigh races to write a tune called ‘One Horse Open Sleigh” for a children’s Thanksgiving play. Everyone loved it so much that it became incorporated into Christmas. Another bit of trivia for you: Mr. Pierpont was the uncle of banker John Pierpont Morgan, better known as J.P. Morgan. “Jingle Bells” was also the first song broadcast from space, in a Christmas-themed prank by Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra.

Should we bring Booker T. Jones to the Larcom?

We’re about to book lots of new shows down the road at Beverly’s Larcom Theatre and one of the people we’re seriously considering is Book T. Jones who wrote “Born Under a Bad Sign” with William Bell, recorded in 1967 by Albert King and later by Cream.  Here’s Booker T’s powerful version with his excellent touring band!  Leave a comment or Click here and tell us whether or not you think we should bring these guys to the Larcom this winter.

Concert Tickets make Great Gifts — easy as 1-2-3 — Buy-Print-Under the tree

Oh, I just couldn’t resist that terribly corny rhyme …

Before I head downtown (Gloucester, that is) to (hopefully) finish up my shopping, I figured I’d remind all of you, who might be stressing about what to buy, how easy it is to raise your loved ones’ spirits with the gift of music.  Of course there are many excellent choices this year, but I’ll take this opportunity make a shameless plug for just 1: John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band right down the road at Beverly’ Larcom Theatre on Jan 31.  It’s really easy:

1) Buy your tickets here.
2) Print them out.
3) Fold, wrap in a bow and put under the tree (or where ever you like).

Here are some reasons why this is a good idea: It’s local.  Fun.  Don’t have to go to the mall.  Don’t even have to get dressed to buy them.  Gives you and your loved ones a treat in the dead of winter.  Gives you something to look forward to.  Doesn’t take up any space.  Music heals your soul.

Santa’s ETA on Christmas Eve is No Joke

In just three days children everywhere will be turning to NORAD to track Santa’s flight around our great big world. Because, after all, knowing exactly when to put out cookies and milk is super important.  Warm milk and stale cookies are crappy. The big guy and his team of furry friends deserve better than that.

NORAD’s mission is summed up simply as, “We have the Watch.”  And, that they do.


“We have the watch.”

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is a United States and Canada bi-national organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning for North America. Aerospace warning includes the monitoring of man-made objects in space, and the detection, validation, and warning of attack against North America whether by aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles, through mutual support arrangements with other commands.

However, on December 24th, they take on an even more important task.  That of tracking Santa.  And…they take it quiet seriously.  Their tracking system is no joke.  It consists of a radar comprised of 47 installations, satellites, SantaCams, and Fighter Jets!

It did, however, all start as a joke.

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.

NPR told the story through the eyes of “Santa Colonel’s” children earlier this week. It is truly quite wonderful.  Warm fuzzies, for sure.  Check it out with the link below.  And then, don’t dare forget, to also check out the Official NORAD Santa Tracking Site.

NORAD’s Santa Tracker Began With A Typo And A Good Sport

The Official NORAD Santa Tracker








Save $5 on CAPE ANN WINTER SOLSTICE TICKETS if you get them at Liquor Locker before 3pm today

WinterSolsticeBenefit2014Tickets for tonight’s Cape Ann Winter Solstice benefit for Gloucester’s UU Meetinghouse Restoration are only $20 in advance at The Liquor Locker 287 Main Street. But you can only get those tickets until 3pm today.

After that, tickets are $25 at the door.

Plus we have a few VIP tickets left on-line here.

We realize this holiday season can be hectic and stressful.  That’s why this year’s Solstice concert is designed to take you away and give you an new appreciation for the power of acoustic music in a magical space to cleanse the soul.

When you hear Boston rock star Charlie Farren’s hits like ‘Fool In Love’ and ‘You are the Only One’ solo with guitar in this intimate room, you’ll feel them even more deeply than the electric versions.  Add Danielle Miraglia’s soulful blues with slide guitar and mix in Gloucester’s iconic Americana singer/songwriter Allen Estes as host and we guarantee you’ll leave having been taken to a place you’ve never experienced before.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” outside.  Join us tonight and feel the holiday spirit inside.

Here’s a taste of what it will be like:


BREAKING NEWS: Tickets just went on sale for John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band @ Larcom 1/31

If you’ve been waiting for a multi-platinum recording artist (i.e., Rock Star) to come down the road to Beverly’s Larcom Theatre, wait no longer.  John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band (feat. Michael “Tunes” Antunes on sax) will ROCK the house on Saturday, January 31 with his #1 hits “On The Dark Side”, “C-I-T-Y”, “Tough All Over”, “Hearts on Fire” and one of my favorites “Tender Years.”

You know how you’re gonna feel in late January … like you need some high-energy music to break you out of your winter doldrums.  The thing is, these tickets won’t last that long.  So get them now (right here). They make perfect holiday gifts for all of your friends and family who will be feeling the same way in late January.  Here’s his hit, “On The Dark Side” from the Eddie and the Cruisers movie featuring “Tunes” on Sax.

Big weekend for local music stars: Tonight @ 7:30, Tomorrow AM @ 9

HenriCDCoverTonight at Beverly’s Larcom Theatre, Gloucester’s Henri Smith releases his first CD in a decade (recorded live at the Larcom in March) with a concert celebration that will, of course, include dancing a traditional New Orleans Second Line parade in the aisles.

Vickie and I produced the CD and Vickie designed the CD case and disc.

This will be your last chance to get your CD signed by Henri and the band before the holidays.  Very good seats still available in the balcony (here) and a few good seats also left in the orchestra (here).


L-R: Allen Estes, Aurelia Nelson, Charlie Farren

Tomorrow morning Allen Estes & Charlie Farren are Aurelia Nelson’s guests on her 104.9 show Curtain Up at 9am (Worth getting up for!)

You get to hear a new song and a taste of the Solstice experience you can expect next Saturday 12/20 when they perform with young, rising Boston Blues star, Danielle Miraglia in a benefit for Gloucester’s UU Church Meetingbouse Restoration.  This will be a festive night of original rock, blues and Americana music with a few traditional holiday sing-along favorites.  Tickets are still available.  Get them here.


Not on Any List of Tourist Destinations

So, you may know by now that I live in Rockport….but, I’m not FROM Rockport.

I lived in Middleton until I was about 12 and then moved to Hamilton.  Both of my parents are from Gloucester and I moved there right after college graduation. After meeting my husband I moved to Rockport, his hometown, back in 2000. So, looong story short, I’ve lived in Rockport for 14 years now, but again…I’m not FROM Rockport.

That being said, I can usually hold my own.  After 14 years I’ve finally learned the names of most streets (kind of), I know not to take a left down Broadway from South Street on Sundays because it is closed during church services, I know that if you want a cranberry walnut muffin to die for you go to Helmut’s, if the kids are jonesing for a shaved ice you go to Hula Moon, and if you’re planning on a long day at one of the local beaches you’d better plan around the tide…because some of our favorite beaches all but disappear at high tide.

I’ve learned a lot, I’ve met tons of truly kind and fantastic people, and…probably because of my local hero loving young boys…I can greet the harbor masters and police officers by name.

A couple of years ago I wrote how a bunch of the community came together to help celebrate Thatcher’s 5th birthday.  It was incredibly heart warming and perfect and to this day I tear up at how special that day was for him.

All of that having been said, there is one part of Rockport that, I have to admit, still intimidates me a bit.

The Dump.  Well, see right there…that’s part of the problem.  It is not actually called the Dump.  It is the Transfer Station….and rightfully so.  Back in Middleton we went to the Dump (in our giant wood paneled station wagon with no carseats)…and I remember it clearly, but it was before recycling, and it was truly just piles of trash.  I am certain that it is no longer like that now. In Hamilton, we put our trash out for pick up.  No trips to the dump necessary.

Now, in Rockport, my husband typically does the, as I call them, “dump runs.” He doesn’t necessarily appreciate the fact that I call them that and has explained that, in no uncertain terms, if I feel that it is simply a dump, then I am not necessarily worthy of making the trips.  Awww, shucks.

So, for YEARS, I had never actually taken a trip to the transfer station.

My husband had come home forever with random “treasures” from the swap shop….much to my dismay.  The swap shop alone began to spark my interest. Not because I was necessarily in love with anything that he brought home, but because I started to grow intrigued by the vision of the “Land of Misfit Toys” that he loved to visit.

Don’t tell my husband, but I actually found myself having “dump run” envy.  It didn’t help that my boys would also come home singing the praises of the dump. I started to feel a little left out.  The only girl in the house and all….and the only one not worthy of the weekly pilgrimage to the mysterious place at the end of the driveway on Nugent Stretch.  “What is down there?”, I started to wonder.

So, finally, I was allowed to tag along….

And I’ve been meaning to do a blog post about it ever since.

This place is not for the faint of heart and it is truly a fine oiled machine.  This place is the Disney World of recyclers, the Tour de France of the obsessive compulsive, and the Super Bowl of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” While you’re not going to find it on a list of tourist destinations, it is truly a sight to behold.  I’m also a bit smitten that it has an area for “Scrap Fishing Gear” as that kind of screams “Good job making a life for yourself in this quaint little town by the sea” if you ask me.

So, if like me, you have never had the opportunity to witness the wonder of the transfer station….here’s a peek inside.  Behold.

Henry Allen’s North Shore Folklore Theatre Company ~ After School Acting Program

north shore folklore

PROGRAMS for ages 4-13 starting THIS WEEK! Resister NOW.
Special holiday rate!! $225 per 6 week session! Sibling and MLCC Member
discounts apply!

Budding Artists, Mondays, choice of TWO 90 min sessions, 1:15 & 3:30
Ages 4-8
A.S.A.P. – After School Acting Program Thursdays, 3:30-5:30 Ages 9-13
The YouthArts Conservatory Lab is also enrolling, ages 14-21. First
session begins over holiday break!

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