BACKSTAGE PASS RADIO PLAYLIST: Lunchtime Concert Series (1/26/15)

24 Jan



We’re back this week with some more great music from around the country, and around the globe!  As always we encourage you to visit the websites and social media pages of the artists you hear today, and let them know you heard (and love!) their music.  Also, don’t forget to follow Taunia on most social media platforms with @divataunia.  Today’s playlist include:

1.  The Voodoo Hawks with “Stand Tall”
2.  Habib Marwane (for Create Emotions Music Recordings) with “Ruthless Love”
3.  Mr Eurodisco + Blackbird with “Wanna Make You Dance”
4.  Xavier Toscano with “Never Wanna Leave”
5.  Mr. Bout-It Feat Slim Deez – “Last Girl”
6.  Benjamin Akira Tallamy with “The Teignmouth Electron”
7.  Justin Magnaye with  “Imagination”
8.  Corey Primus with “Too Far Away”

Be sure to bookmark the radio show page at  The chat room opens 15 mins before showtime, and we’d love to have you as part of the show!  Follow on Twitter at @divataunia

TORe – FOR me?

20 Jan

I’ll be honest:  I’ve regained this year and it has SCARED THE BAGEEZUS OUT OF ME. Now granted, it is to be expected. They tell you up front that you’ll probably regain 15-20 lbs of your original loss.  Mine was a bit skewed, though, because of my unexpected kidney-near-death-illness for a few years when I lost WAY more weight than I was ever supposed to.  When I settled back in to a normal and healthy safe weight, I landed right around 165.  That was my happy weight.  I stayed there for a few years. Until recently.

I’m almost seven years out now from my gastric bypass surgery, and I’ve regained a LOT this year.  At one point, I was up to 186.  Right now, I’m at 176.  My appetite?  Pretty big.  I can eat – a lot.  Not as much as pre-surgery, but a lot more than post-surgery.  I get hungry now.  I can eat almost anything except steak and ice cream.  And it scares me – a lot.  Am I going to regain it all?

I went home to Boston for the holidays and I was right around 186 when I got there.  No one in my family said a word, and I was truly thankful for that.  I knew that everyone could see it, but they were all very kind and even though the last time they had seen me was twenty lbs lighter, they were just happy that I was home.  They focused on what mattered, and my weight wasn’t it. (Thank you, family. You guys are the bestest.)

My sister was listening to NPR and heard about a bariatric procedure called TORe, which is a transoral outlet reduction. Apparently, it’s s less invasive procedure to make your stomach smaller again. It involves inserting an endoscope through the mouth into the stomach while the patient is under anesthesia. It costs $8,000 to $13,000 and insurance coverage varies (although I’d be willing to wager that Kaiser, my insurance, would laugh me right out the office if I requested it). New sutures are put in place to once again reduce the size of the stomach, and most patients can immediately return to work.  It apparently can help return your pouch back to it’s previous restriction, leaving you feeling fuller and less hungry.

The interesting thing about the article (linked above on “listening to NPR”) is that when you click on the link that NPR provides about the procedure, this is the description that UCLA Health uses to describe transoral outlet reduction:

Endoscopic suturing for bariatric revision has been studied for more than a decade. A study published in 2013 in the journal Gastroenterology on patients who had weight regain after RYGB compared 50 patients who had endoscopic suturing for bariatric revision (also called transoral outlet reduction, or TORe) with patients who had a sham procedure. Patients who received endoscopic suturing experienced a 3.5 percent weight loss compared to 0.4% among the patients who underwent a sham procedure. (10). No significant procedure related complications occurred.

That doesn’t exactly leave me with a warm and fuzzy feeling.  A sham procedure?  Yikes!  My procedure was done quite well in very capable hands.  It’s just the nature of our bodies – eventually the pouch will stretch a bit.  In any case, I sent the article to my surgeon and asked him about the procedure and his thoughts.  I’ll follow-up with anything he responds with.

I wouldn’t consider this now, but if my regain continues and/or gets worse, I may. I’m curious:  what are YOUR thoughts? Would YOU consider this procedure?  What do you know about it?  Have you had the procedure?  Leave your comments below.


16 Jan

I’ve decided that I’m going to start a new series on the blog called “Freaky Friday,” (I know, completely unoriginal title) dedicated to all of the seriously weird #$% that I get from creepers online during the week.

This week’s weirdness comes courtesty of a work-related freelance site that I am on.  I provide music and music education gigs online and potential customers can order gigs from me, but they can also send notes and ask questions about the gigs or potential gigs.   And with that, this week’s creeper.  Enjoy!

CREEPER: Hello there. I would like to ask you with some help with something.
ME: Sure. What can I help you with?
CREEPER:: I need some videos, with a woman who has strong lung power. Since you sing and play the trumpet, I just thought you may be able to help.
ME: (sensing weirdness): Could you be more specific? Is it a breathing video? Singing? I have a few teaching videos that I could provide if needed.
CREEPER: Well,I need some videos for birthday gifts,which include bursting balloons and such, by mouth, but with a bit of a “twist”, using balloons or inflatables that are not the usual, for bursting.
ME: Sorry, I’ll have to pass.
CREEPER: Really? You don’t know how sorry I am, for that.
My favorite part is that they’re actually *surprised* that I’d turn down the opportunity. lol

BACKSTAGE PASS RADIO: 1/12/15 – First show of the new year!

11 Jan

The Backstage Pass Radio Program
Mondays @ NOON PST



Welcome to the brand new season of The Backstage Pass Radio Program’s Lunchtime Concert Series!  We’re kicking off 2015 with some great new music, sponsored by our friends at  Here’s today’s playlist:

1.  Corey Primus with “Life Goes On”
2.  Phil Day featuring Azaria with “Drowning”
3.  Nick Venturella with “This Could Be”
4.  Blue Collar Glomeration with “Devil’s Lair”
5.  Doc Jazz with “Rising Tide”
6.  Nic Nassuet with “The Nothing”
7.  Sarrantos with “Close Your Eyes”
8. VooDoo Hawks with “Quicksand”
9. Jim Vierra and Friends with “Last Train Home” (written by Jim Vierra and Adam Gardner)



9 Jan

When this gentleman and his music landed in my inbox, I was like a little kid – giddy because I saw the word JAZZ. Anyone who knows me knows that I am ridiculously in love with any and all types of jazz music (you know, because that’s what *I* do), and always at the ready to listen.  And I was not disappointed with Jim Vierra and his track “Last Train Home.”  The song was written by Vierra and Adam Gardner and prominently features some seriously great guitar playing.


This instrumental track starts out with the urban sounds of the subway system with a beautiful muted trumpet (which of course I immediately love being a trumpet player myself).  Then it kicks in with a great smooth jazz groove, and the melody is beautiful delivered by Vierra.  What’s most impressive, though, is the solos between the horn and guitar, no noodling here.  Just beautiful, melodic and improvised soloing at it’s best.

Jim and Susie (I believe his wife) helm the website – which I have to mention is really beautiful (the home page is really inviting) and you immediately sense how grateful and happy they are to be able to make music and have the connections they do.


I’ll be featuring “Last Train Home” on The Backstage Pass Radio Program this Monday, 1/12/14 @ NOON, PST.  The show streams live online, but it’s also archived after the air date, so you can listen at any time.


You can also find Jim and Susie on social media:


Please do check out the website.  You’ll be able to find more about this song, as well as the other types of music and recordings they have.  Your ears will thank you for it!


8 Jan


If you’ve ever been in a bar having a few drinks, dancing to some classic and bluesy rock,  you probably recall good times, dancing, and a room full of folks celebrating life after working all week.  The VooDoo Hawks could easily be the soundtrack to that melody and those good times.

Based out of Colorado Springs, CO and they’ve shared the stage with an impressive lineup:  The Allman Brothers, Grand Funk Railroad, Humble Pie, Marshall Tucker, Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and ZZ Top.  The VooDoo Hawks have an impressive following and have been working consistently and are a well-known, good-time show that has tons of fans at their home base of Colorado and beyond.

The definition of Roadhouse Rock & Blues is exemplified in their music. With gritty guitar, dirty-blues singing, and a rock and roll feel that brings to mind a blend of  The Rolling Stones, The J Geils Band, and Lynard Skynard, the one thing you won’t be doing when they play is sit down.  This music demands you have fun!


This isn’t bubblegum pop:  these are seasoned musicians playing serious rock.  While their website could use a little dressing up (don’t let the cartoon hawk deter you!), the band itself is seriously rocking.  The members name’s along look like a who’s who of rock legends:  Rikki Dee Hall, Bones Malone, Skip Moore, David Turnupseed, Chris Demott, and Rosendo play it like they mean it.  You won’t hear demure music, you’ll only hear some of the best rockin’ Colorado has to offer in songs like Sigolene, Never To Old (to Rock and Roll), Stand Tall, and Garden of Eden.

Their take on “Quicksand” will be play on the Monday. 1/12/15 Backstage Pass Radio Program, where you can listen to the show streaming live or visit the archived link later.  In fact, they’ll be on every Monday with a new tune for the next four weeks, so be sure to bookmark the show here to take a listen:

Monday, 1/12/15 @ NOON, PST


8 Jan


Note:  listen for Doc jazz on The Backstage Pass Radio Program on Monday, 1/12/15 @ NOON, pst
Lunchtime Concert Series:

I’m a sucker for a song with a political message (it’s the bleeding heart liberal in me), and Doc Jazz delivers just that. Doc Jazz describes the song as “Rising Tide is a shoutout for all those people who took to the streets in the summer of 2014 in cities all over the world, to demand justice and freedom for the Palestinian people.” A shoutout and a super-funky groove that demands you listen.  That’s the way you get a message across!

The song has a very Prince-esque feel to it, harkening to his Sign “O” The Times and New Power Generation days. The bass groove is definitely driving this song, and there’s some killer backup vocals. You can easily tell this was crafted by a musician with skill and a whole lot of heart.

Although you won’t hear any vocal acrobatics from Doc Jazz, that’s quite ok. He keeps the melody line pretty simple – my guess is to make sure that they lyrics and message don’t get lost. And the gals in the background more than makeup for that with their well-placed riffing and phrasing in the song.

Most interesting to me was reading a bit about his bio. Although he is of Palestinian origin, he was born in the Netherlands. He’s now in the UAE and is a surgeon. Bravo to a man of multi-talents!

Check Doc Jazz out at this website:


Official Site: | @docjazzmusic

Doc Jazz is a Palestinian surgeon and musician living in the Arab Gulf, known for his funky style of jazz-pop and his inspiring song lyrics. He has songs in English, Arabic and also a few in Dutch, since he was born and raised in the Netherlands. Most of his repertoire deals with the Palestinian cause, but he has quite a few songs that deal with lighter and more conventional topics.

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