Archive for April, 2012

Exploring a New Place

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In my secret life Day Job, they recently moved us to downtown San Jose, CA. We’ve been here a couple of weeks now, and I’m starting to get out and explore in different directions on my afternoon walks.

At our old building, I had a nice creek trail that I could walk for about as far as I could walk, either upstream or down. And we were close enough to the Bay that we got to see tides in the creek. We were a bit short on manmade amenities though.

Now I’m right next to the San Jose Convention Center, which means I’m near lots of restaurants, hotels, and major corporate offices. It’s a big change.

I’m learning, or rediscovering, some things about my fellow humans in the process of learning my way around.

Today I went north along the Guadalupe River, which involved crossing the river twice and choosing from a network of trails – no more “just walk along the levee as far as you can go.” All of the signage talks about how proud they are of having maintained some of the “natural” state of the river. If you consider concrete webwork on the river bottom “natural,” anyway. They say that animals and fish can still use it, at any rate. Nature adapts, and so do people.

I came back on surface streets, just for something different. I passed a huge condo skyscraper, which boasted of selling “a lifestyle.” I’m not sure what they were selling, but it’s obviously a lifestyle that allows people to exist for long periods of time without interacting with the rest of the world, if they so choose, in a huge, sterile-looking building with parking garage, exercise room, and I have no clue what else. I didn’t bother going in to check.

Coming back, everything was traffic signals and walk lights, making the flow work for cars and interrupting it for humans. Once out of the river corridor, the only greenery was manicured lawns and street trees.

And of course there were those who’ve fallen off the economic ladder, some with their sleeping bags and everything they own in a shopping cart, hoping for a quiet place to crash and a few bucks for food. There but for the grace of God(dess) go all of us – I know quite a few people who are no more than a few paychecks away from the street. And it’s not a great time to be looking for work, no matter how experienced you are. I’m thankful for the Day Job, even as I write songs to poke fun at that life.

Is it any wonder people either go crazy or feel a need to escape? It might be a “lifestyle,” but it sure doesn’t feel like a life.

On the plus side, while I haven’t used them yet there are at least two bars within a block of here. Some night when the commute traffic between here and home looks hopeless, I expect I’ll hunker down for a round or two.

And it *is* a pretty creek in a lot of places, and a beautiful day to be out walking along it.

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Trop Starz & Tiki Barz

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Trop Starz & Tiki Barz is comprised of a group of fun-loving parrot heads who wish to raise funds for important charities, while increasing awareness of a new music genre of music called Trop Rock.

 The members of this group are people known as “parrot heads”. The parrot head motto is, Party With a Purpose…which means that, in addition to their love of the tropical lifestyle inspired by   Jimmy Buffett, they also want to give back to their community.  They do this by raising money for charities, and donating man-hours for environmental issues…and having fun while doing it.

We are proud to present some of the premier TropRock musicians in our area… and beyond. Not only do we have some great local talent coming from Binghamton, we also have bands traveling from western New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and as far away as California! You will not be disappointed by the music you will hear and we hope it will make you feel like you’ve been transported to a tropical island somewhere.
Please check back often as this list may change.

For a preview of what you’ll be seeing, look up our bands on facebook 
or iTunes, or visit their websites for more information:


First and foremost, the mission of this event is to raise money for a national, as well as two local charities. These charities are the Wounded Warrior Project, the Magic Paintbrush Project and the Humane Society.

For more information on these organizations please visit their websites at:

Check out their site.

Review of Marley (Bob Marley Movie)

Posted in Island Enthusiasts, Pirates, Reggae Roots Music, Trop Rock Artists | 2 Comments »


A lively and in-depth look at Bob Marley: Documentary captures the music legend’s highs and lows

Whenever an artist’s family authorizes a documentary, there’s a worry that it’s going to be a rosy, public-relations piece. “Marley’’ is not that. It’s an outstanding, warts-and-all look at reggae legend Bob Marley, who died young of cancer at age 36 in 1981 but not before becoming a Third World superstar.

Marley overcame a ghetto upbringing in the Trench Town neighborhood of Kingston, Jamaica, to become a gifted writer of socially conscious, spiritually uplifting reggae anthems. If you love this music, you’ll be dazzled by the generous 66 songs in the film but you’ll also appreciate the ruthlessly honest look at his life, right down to his rampant womanizing. He had 11 children by 7 women. It’s astonishing to hear how his wife, Rita (who was also one of his backup singers), put up with it. They had separate rooms on the road and “we never fought about women,’’ she says, though one of her daughters, Cedella, adds there were times when her mom was “hurting.’’

In many other ways, though, Marley was a beacon of hope for the Jamaican people. He and his band the Wailers brought songs of freedom to places as far away as Africa, where Marley played at Zimbabwe’s independence day (he paid out of pocket to take the band there). He also set box office records at the time in Europe by playing to 2 million people in six weeks. And when he returned home between tours, he gave away a lot of money to destitute Jamaicans who came to visit his compound in Kingston, on the appropriately named Hope Road. There is archival footage of all of it, from his concert stops to his homecomings, enhanced by newly compiled interviews with everyone from Cindy Breakspeare (who was crowned “Miss World’’ in 1976 and was one of his girlfriends), to former band members, relatives, boyhood friends, business associates, and even his Rastafarian doctor.

The film is ably directed by Kevin Macdonald, who won an Oscar for best documentary for “One Day in September,’’ about the murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Macdonald is a hardnosed filmmaker not given to sugarcoating. And there is none here, starting with graphic footage of Cape Coast Castle in Ghana, from which thousands of enslaved Africans were once shipped by boat to the New World. The film then cuts to Marley singing “Exodus’’ and its famous line “Let the captives free!’’ Macdonald also emphasizes how much of Marley’s music was inspired by his rejection as a youth, since he was a “half-caste’’ — his dad was a white British Army officer and his mother a black Jamaican. He only saw his dad a few times and he was mocked by many Jamaicans in school.

Marley was signed by Island Records owner Chris Blackwell, the executive producer of this film with Marley’s son Ziggy, but Blackwell’s history is not sugarcoated either. Marley’s former bandmates Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer are said to have been very distrustful of Blackwell’s attempt to turn the Wailers into a “black rock act,’’ though Marley ultimately approved the move and the others quit the group.

This film is long. But it grabs one’s senses and won’t let go. It is visually exhilarating, especially the aerial, mist-enshrouded views of Marley’s first home deep in the country in St. Ann’s Parish. And, as you might expect, you can almost smell the ganja coming off the screen. A joint or a pipe bowl is never far from the action. But it also moves to an emotional climax as Marley, dying of cancer, is shown at a holistic clinic in Bavaria where he lived much of the last year of his life. A nurse describes Marley as “very patient.’’ And Marley never left a will, because he never thought he was going to die. He even issued a statement in his last year that he would tour again soon. It is this spirit that makes you love Marley despite his flaws.

Steve Morse, a former Globe critic who now teaches an online course in rock history at Berklee College of Music, can be reached at

© Copyright 2012 Globe Newspaper Company.

The Fishermen Lost at Sea Memorial

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The Fishermen Lost at Sea Memorial unveiling will be 6-9pm on Sunday 4/29/2012. John Levique Pirate Days and the John’s Pass Seafood Festival have been instrumental in helping FFLAS raise funds for this memorial for 7 years. (GOOSEBUMPS!) This incredible dedication will honor those brave souls who have lost their lives to the sea. Below are the details…

On behalf of Mayor Palladeno and the Madeira Beach Board of Commissioners, we would like to extend an invitation to you to attend the dedication of the long awaited “Memorial to Fishermen Lost At Sea” on April 29, 2012 from 6:00p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The unveiling and dedication will take place at sunset in front of the Bell Tower at the Entrance to John’s Pass Boardwalk.

· 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – Opening with music by Sunza Beaches

· 6:30 p.m. – Color Guard by Pinellas County Sheriff’s Officers; Pledge of Allegiance by Mayor Travis Palladeno; followed by the Star Spangled Banner sung by Mr. Finocchiaro and a moment of silence (Fly Over Coast Guard)

· 6:40 p.m. – Thank you and acknowledgments of the VIP’s by Mayor Palladeno

· 6:45 p.m. – 7:35 p.m. – Speeches from survivors that have been lost and found at sea (speakers below)

· 7:35 p.m. – 7:40 p.m. – Call for donations to complete memorial by (Mark Hubbard)

· 7:40 p.m. – 7:50 p.m. – Music by Sunza Beaches

· 7:50 p.m. – 7:55 p.m. –Artist Rob Epstein to speak the artistic theme and to provide his thoughts

· 7:55 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. -History and Blessing of the memorial by the Church By The Sea, Pastor

· 8:00 p.m. – 8:05 p.m. – America the Beautiful sung by Mr.Finocchiaro; The Lighting of the Flag behind the memorial

· 8:05 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. – MusicDJ, Pete Shackett’s Grouper Republic & Here’s To The Fisherman/Mad Beach Band); Unveiling of the Memorial

· 8:15 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Inclosing, Music by Sunza Beaches

Speakers: Mark Hubbard to MC

· Pat Shontz past Mayor visionary of the Bell Tower (Mrs. Madeira Bch) Confirmed

Terry Lister, Madeira Beach Commissioner, District 1

· S.O.F.A. Bob Spaeth; born and raised, owned 30 boats (Mr. Madeira Bch). Confirmed

· Martin Fisher local commercial fisherman 1979 three boats currently. Confirmed

· Bill Miller a leader in the fishing community. Confirmed

· John and Shirley Costello family of son lost at sea. Confirmed

· Nick Schuyler single survivor off our lost for ­­­many hours. Confirmed

· Dave Zelewski local charter captain lost diving for four hours 10 mi. at sea. Confirmed

· Captain Matt Tevlin and John Baker lostfor 11 hours, drifted up to a boat 200 miles at sea. Confirmed


Capt.Mark Hubbard (727) 393-1947, Ext. 1418

ShirleyCostello (727) 459-2540

Margaritaville Online Wins Award

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THQ’s Jimmy Buffett inspired world, Margaritaville Online, made headlines over the weekend when it took home the ‘Best Social / Casual Game’ award at the Canadian Videogame Awards. Since launch in January, Margaritaville Online has helped bridge the gap between the music and the videogame industries, which is now being followed by the recently announced/launched Facebook and Online games for Grateful Dead and Jay-Z’s ‘Empire’, both based around their music and life stories. These musicians and video game companies have created a new way to experience music and games using iconic songs and lifestyles as the backbone to the storyline.

Since launch, Margaritaville Online has seen great success and some impressive data points include:

– # of countries playing MVO: 210 (based on FB country codes)
– Total player hours played since launch: 2,997,137 hours (341.9 years)
– # of objects hacked (bamboo): 12,877,842
– # of objects smashed (barrels/crates/rocks): 68,349,432
– # of objects netted: 14,279,550
– # of times players have dug: 4,684,060
– # of times players have changed outfits: 618,291

Additionally, the minigames have had some extensive playtime – check out the below:

– Total played since launch: 2,599,862
– Hammock Time: 591,890
– Limbo: 312,414
– Pirates: 1,349,381
– Steel Drum: 139,136
– Tile Puzzle: 207,041

written by admin

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Gardening – My Other Escape

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Ah, springtime! When mens’ fancies turn to…digging in the dirt? Growing food?

Well, mine do, anyway. With my various other projects – rebuilding the edge of my deck, working on songs for the new album, dialing for gigs – I’ve been a bit delayed and distracted from my usual spring planting.

It looks like this will be the weekend when that changes for me. I was out first (or second) thing this morning, to collect my semi-annual three bags of compost from our municipal waste folks. Our arrangement is that I give them all the greenwaste that I don’t compost myself every week, and several times a year, they give me shit right back. Three bags of it, all ready to help little things to grow.

After that, I got back in the car and headed down to Orchard Supply (OSH), to see what they had by way of vegetables. They must have seen me coming – they had a mini-garden center set up in the parking lot:

They were ready for me!

Of course, my hands were full of vegies and a roll of weed mat before I went into the store!

By the time all was said and done, I’d accumulated the following goodies:

  • Orchid food, for the free orchid I got back after the holidays at work
  • A six-pack of bush beans
  • Three different heirloom tomatoes – Mortgage Lifter, which I’ve been hearing about for years, Russian Orange (new to me), and Sweet 100 (because I like cherry tomatoes)
  • Three full-grown strawberry plants in a pot – to fill in around my fruit trees where I have spaces
  • An Ancho Poblano pepper, so I can do salsa later in the summer
  • A pair of Mud gloves. These are like kitchen gloves on steroids – hardy enough to stand up to digging in the dirt, but hopefully sensitive enough for those planting and weeding tasks I’d previously been doing bare-handed, because the leather work gloves I already have are way too coarse, and I can’t feel a thing through them.

So now I have all these plants, that I need to find homes for and take care of. It’s sort of like puppies in that way – I can’t just let them sit around the house until they die of neglect. As it’s now noonish, I’ll leave them where they are until around 4 and plant them then – it’s better not to expose them to the harsh noonday sun right when you transplant.

Several of them are in a new biodegradable type of pot, similar to peat. The roots are growing right through the walls. I figure I’ll just slash the sides of the pots and put them in whole; that way the roots will have more ways out and I won’t have to disturb the roots on those plants to put them in.

And then I get to figure out what I can do with them when they grow up.

Like this:

  • Becca Learns to Garden
  • oneanna65

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Complete List of Jimmy Buffett Tour Dates through September

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May 2012

05.03.2012 – New Orleans Jazz Festival – New Orleans, LA
Tickets now available at TicketMaster

05.30.2012 – The Moody Theater – Austin, TX
Tickets go on sale Friday April 13th at 10AM
Buy tickets at TicketMaster

June 2012

06.02.2012 – Woodlands Pavilion in Woodlands, TX
Tickets go on sale: Sat, 04/14/12 10:00 AM CDT
Buy tickets at TicketMaster

06.07.2012 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre – Charlotte, NC
Tickets go on sale: Sat, 04/21/12 10:00 AM EDT
Buy tickets at TicketMaster

06.09.2012 – Aaron’s Amphitheatre – Lakewood, GA (Atlanta)
Tickets go on sale : Sat, 04/21/12 10:00 AM EDT
Buy tickets at TicketMaster

06.23.2012 – Comcast Center – Mansfield, MA
Tickets go on sale Sat, 04/14/12 10:00 AM EDT
Buy tickets at TicketMaster

06.28.2012 – First Niagara Pavilion – Pittsburgh, PA
Tickets go on sale April 2nd
Buy tickets at TicketMaster

06.30.2012 – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre – Chicago, IL
Tickets go on sale April 2nd
Buy tickets at TicketMaster

July 2012

07.31.2012 – Klipsch Music Center – Indianapolis, IN
Tickets go on sale April 21st
Buy tickets at TicketMaster

August 2012

08.02.2012 – Riverbend Music Center – Cincinnati, OH
Tickets go on sale April 2nd
Buy tickets at TicketMaster

08.28.2012 – Susquehanna Bank Center – Camden, NJ
Tickets go on sale on April 14th
Buy tickets at TicketMaster

08.30.2012 – Jones Beach – Wantagh, NY
Tickets go on sale April 16th
Buy tickets at TicketMaster

September 2012

09.01.2012 – Jiffy Lube Live – Bristow, VA
Tickets go on sale: Sat, 04/14/12 10:00 AM EDT
Buy tickets at TicketMaster

Phins on the James 2012

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Phins on the James 2012

We (the Parrot Island Band- a Trop Rock/Jimmy Buffett tribute band from Georgia) had a great time at a parrothead event, Phins on the James, last week. Having grown up in the Tidewater, VA area (Bry), it was great being in Lynchburg, VA with many wonderful people.

Parrot Island Band at Big Lick Grill

The Parrot Island Band opened the evening at the Big Lick Tropical Grill. We were originally scheduled to play on the outdoor deck but rain caused us to move inside. With 250 or more in attendance, it was a great venue and a superb event.

Parrot Island Band having a Trop Rock evening

The Calypso Nuts followed us and they had the crowd on their feet and dancing at the very first song. As usual, the Calypso Nuts did a marvelous job and are both outstanding musicians and tremendous entertainers (Rob and Lynley, you can send the check or just pay me the next time you see me .

Calypso Nuts close for the Parrot Island Band

One of the many special treats for us was getting to spend some time with “Big Ed” Meyer and Kate Walker-Starr from Island Dreamz Radio. The entire evening was broadcast live on the station, allowing those who couldn’t attend to listen in over the Internet.

Parrot Island Band enjoys visit with Big Ed

Getting back to VA also allowed us a couple of fun personal moments. Kevin Garrelts, our conga player, was able to visit with his brother, Art and sister-in-law Joanne, whom they hadn’t seen in a couple of years. I (Bry) was able to visit with two friends from high school (Burt and Scott Robinson). While Burt and I have kept in touch over the years since high school, I had not seen Scott since his wedding in the early 80’s.

A big thanks to Tom and Nancy Cofer of the Heart of Virginia Parrot Head Club who made it possible for us to play at the event.  To all those who planned this event, you did a GREAT job! Most of us will never know all the work that went into running a superb event. Oh yeah, it was my (Bry’s) birthday and what a wonderful way to spend it!  It was also great seeing our friend from Tidewater, Andy Harrell… hope our paths cross again soon.

I hope I didn’t leave anyone out, it sure was great being with everyone and I hope we get a chance to get together again. Until then, from our song… “Phins on the James”,

“Phins to the left, phins to the right

Phins on the James, at the Big Lick Grill tonight

Phins to the left, phins to the right

Phins on the James, it’s a Parrothead delight”

Thanks to all…

Beaches and blessings…

Will you take me to Parrot Island?

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Another Quick Note from WFR On Island Time in Paradise – Grenada

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Almost to Carriacou and posting on the sat phone. John and Jill and I thought it was time to get out of the rat race. Actually, we have been having a blast on Grenada. St. Georges has been a real trip, but we thought we would head to a little more traditional spot in the Southern Grenadines. Today has been a little hazy and our voyage has been uneventful. A high cloud cover has threatened rain, off and on all day and, it is almost 6:00 p.m., time for a Cuba Libre and a sunset. I hope to post on my blog tonight or in the morning. …until then, WFR on island time in paradise.

Featured Artist (DJ) of the Week – Keep Trockin’ For DJ Jeff

Posted in Featured Artist of the Week, Radio shows, Trop Rock Artists, Trop Rock Happenings, Trop Rock Radio | Comments Off on Featured Artist (DJ) of the Week – Keep Trockin’ For DJ Jeff

Jeff Allen, one of our favorite Trop Rock DJs on BeachFront Radio as well as a close personal friend to many of us, has recently revealed that he has begun the good fight against the Big “C”….Pancreatic Cancer.

The PTTW Committee, along with Trop Rockers all around the country, will be distributing wristbands in support of him for a suggested minimum $5.00 donation.

Please join us if you can. You can get the bracelets at many of the upcoming Trop Rock events or you can order them via PayPal or by check (see below for both options) and we will send them to you.

If you would prefer to make a direct donation via check, please make it out to “The DJ Jeff Fund” and send it to Nina Hill, 322 Sandra Ln, Woodruff, SC 29388.

For more imformation, contact Doug Murray at

To order your bracelet click here.


Our Friends at Living Like A Pirate have also created a shirt in which 100% of the profit goes directly to “The DJ Jeff Fund”

Click HERE to order your shirts.

From all of us at the Trop Rock Blog, Living Like A Pirate, & PTTW
~~ Keep Trockin’ DJ Jeff ~~