Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I have a few interesting gigs coming down the pike and if you visit www.myspace.com/guitargirl4scrabble you can read all about them. In order to prepare you, my gentle visitors, I offer you this clip from my most favourite, deffest guy, Socalled. Enjoy, and get in the groove.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

By popular demand for those outside the GTA,
here's the pic from the Toronto Star that ran

with Greg Quill's fabulous Mother's Day article.
Caption: Yummy mummies, from left: Joy Rose, hostess Erica Ehm, organizer Lynda Kraar and B-Girl Cynthia Ross.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


The Kraars are back in NJ after an exhilarating weekend in Toronto. Mamapalooza Toronto 2007 was a stunning array of Mom talent. Although everyone was a highlight, the crowd particularly went crazy for veteran punkers and soul survivors Zr04 and the B Girls, who dominated the Toronto punk scene in the 1970s. How truly exciting to have them grace our stage, with their kids in tow. What an inspiration to the younger moms, such as Sisters3, who now know there is life after 30.

Here are a few pics from our exciting, landmark event at Healey's. We'll be posting more pics in a bit. For now, enjoy!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

MAMAPALOOZA at Healey's tomorrow -
Mother's Day...doors at noon. Be there!


The mother of all concerts

More than 17 maternally enhanced artists set to rock the city with second Mamapalooza concert at noon tomorrow

May 12, 2007 04:30 AM Greg Quill, Entertainment Reporter

Of all the reasons to pick up an instrument and rock out in public, motherhood seems the most unlikely.

But membership in the Mama Nation is the prime qualification for performer status at tomorrow's second Toronto edition of the Mamapalooza Festival, the local offshoot of a growing New York-based franchise that boasts its own satellite radio program, a line of merchandise and 40 similar events staged in May all over North America, Britain and Australia.

You have to have your own material and some actual performing experience as well, says Toronto-born ex-pat, New Jersey-based singer-songwriter Lynda Kraar, co-organizer with seasoned local promoter Gary Topp, of the event at Jeff Healey's Roadhouse tomorrow.

More than 17 maternally enhanced artists – both homegrown and imported, they include Kraar, Ardene Shapiro, Zro4, Maria Kasstan, The B-Girls, Kathryn Rose, Arlene Bishop, Sandi Marie Porter, Heather Katz, Ilana Waldston, Michele Mele, Laura Fernandez, Lenka Lichtenberg, Sisters of Sheynville, The Sisters Three, Lara Berlin, Lynn Harrison, Naomi Macklem-Tremblay, Barbara Stokes, Marianne Girard, Zoe Chilco and host Erica (Yummy Mummy) Ehm – will hit the stage between noon and six.

"The original idea was for musical mothers to play for each other in a community that makes room for children and family members of both sexes," Kraar said in a recent interview from her home in Teaneck.

Like most of the acts on the bill, Kraar put her musical life to the side to raise children, but a series of coincidences in 2005 – the year her mother died – led her across the river to the heart of Mamapalooza territory in New York City, where reconstituted rocker Joy Rose had established an annual Mother's Day festival and a figurehead for the movement in her band Housewives On Prozac.

"It was a milestone for me, one of the best times in my life," Kraar said of her first Mamapalooza experience. "I just had to bring it back home to Toronto."

She did that for the first time last year, and with Topp's help staged a one-day festival that sold out virtually overnight and instantly became a fixed item on the city's cultural agenda.

"Toronto is ideally suited to Mamapalooza," she said. "It's an easy-access city for families with kids, it's liberal-minded and family-friendly, and the cultural mix is so rich – everyone is wide-eyed about everyone else."

For 50-year-old mother of four Joy Rose, who started the Mamapalooza ball rolling in 2002 in the belief that if people made more time for music, dancing and art they'd be less inclined to make war, the annual festival is "a celebration of the rearing momhead that has been with us throughout history.

"My idea was to create stages for women who had stepped away from their passion, women of a certain age, with a certain look, women who were no longer welcome in the music industry – professionals and semi-professionals who wanted to keep their music going now that their children are grown.

"And my hope is that it will grow into a women-owned business that will support itself and help careers blossom," added Rose, who won't be at the Toronto Mamapalooza.

That's exactly what former Toronto punk rocker Cynthia Ross hopes will happen with the reformed B-Girls, once darlings of the city's crash-and-burn culture and former touring mates of The Clash, no less.

With a son and a daughter in their 20s, Ross and her erstwhile bandmate Zenya, now a yoga instructor, have started playing again, partly in response to resurging interest in pre-grunge Toronto rock and power pop. They've already performed at the Radio Heartbeat Festival in New York.

"I was in a club in Brooklyn a month ago and they were playing our records, along with The Diodes and Teenage Head – all Toronto bands," she said.

"And apparently we're huge in Japan as well.

"I'd never heard of Mamapalooza, but when I checked out the website (mamapalooza.com) and saw they were serious about promoting women in the arts, we had to be a part of it."

Just the facts
WHO: Mamapalooza
WHEN: Tomorrow, doors at noon
WHERE: Jeff Healey's Roadhouse, 50 Blue Jays Way
TICKETS: $15, ticketweb.ca;
kids under 13, free


Mamapalooza: Celebrating moms! Moms show their artistic side and rock out at the second annual Mother's Day event!

By Karen Bliss

For the second-year, Mamapalooza's unique celebration of motherhood will take place in Canada this Mother's Day (May 13). The self-proclaimed movement encourages "moms who rock" to emerge from domesticity and day jobs and let loose their dormant artistic side.In this case, about 20 moms will hit the stage at Jeff Healey's Roadhouse in Toronto with families in tow to marvel from the sidelines.
"You never saw anything like it," says Lynda Kraar, founding coordinator of the Canadian event. "It's just moms getting all giddy and their kids are just looking at them like, 'I never saw mom having such a good time.'"

Kraar will perform and co-host the afternoon (1 to 6 p.m.) with Yummy Mummy television host Erica Ehm.

Other performoms include The B Girls, Kathryn Rose, Arlene Bishop, Heather Katz, Michele Mele, Lynn Harrison, Marianne Girard, and Zoe Chilco."It's a strong bond," says Kraar who stayed in touch with moms from last year's inaugural Canadian Mamapalooza.

"The thing that made us distinct when we were younger is you get the calling to be a musician and it really shapes who you associate with growing up. Your friends tend to be artsier than kids that go into professions or go into the work force.

"When you have kids, you get isolated and then when you have an opportunity like this to get your voice back -- because it's like you've had laryngitis all these years -- and it's great to associate with other people who experience what you do on a regular basis. And some of the people get into music a lot later in their life, but there's still that bond."

Kraar, now 47, fronted Lynda Marks & The Marksmen for 16 years in Toronto beginning in the late '70s, before moving to New Jersey in 1985. She has two daughters, ages 17 and 13, "both musical," she makes a point of adding.

She first read about Mamapalooza three years ago in a USA Today article.

"I thought, 'Wow, that's really fascinating. I'm just like a lot of other people who had a unique life before the kids came and then had a happily average mothering life.'"

Founded in 2002 in New York by Joy Rose of a band called Housewives on Prozac, Mamapalooza has a big mission statement, as posted on its web site, http://www.mamapalooza.com/, a part of which reads: Dedicated to serving, promoting, celebrating, encouraging, inspiring and awakening ALL mothers through the media and performing fine arts. Musicians, authors, comics, dancers, filmmakers, designers, craftswomen, educators, and community leaders coming together in a collaborative effort to highlight the challenges of motherhood in an ever-evolving personal, social, cultural, sexual and political landscape.

"The whole reason I became involved was my mother was dying of cancer," recounts Kraar, "and she died 13 days before Mamapalooza and just before my birthday, so two weeks after she died, I found myself onstage. I had a house full of people, seven women from England who were performing in an punk-art band called The Mothers, and they stayed in the house with me during that time. It was an absolutely perfectly timed celebration of life -- just phenomenal."

Learn more about the event by going to www.mamapalooza.com.
Photo courtesy Erica Ehm

Thursday, May 10, 2007


...presented by the Yummy Mummy Club and co-hosted by yours truly and Erica Ehm!

WHEN: Sunday, May 13 (Mother's Day), doors @ noon
WHERE: Healey's - 56 Blue Jays Way
$$$ : 15 bucks; kids under 13 FREE!
Come early to assure a great seat!


Scroll down for all the details. Click on our performers' links to hear them and learn more about them. See you there!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Thanks to the Toronto media for helping get out the word about Mamapalooza Toronto! Read on:

THANK YOU, http://toronto.24hrs.ca!!

Mamas ready to rock


Forget about "Desperate Housewives", there's nothing needy about these rock 'n' roll mamas. Certainly motherhood can conjure up images of minivans, car-pooling, SUV-sized strollers and Saturday afternoon baseball games, but what about wailing guitars, rock tours and weekly jam sessions?

Welcome to the real meaning of multi-tasking. Between helping with homework and lunch preparation, one group of moms regularly ditch the kitchen in favour of rehearsing, working out catchy guitar hooks and performing live on stage.

Now they're getting pumped to hit Toronto on Mother's Day (May 13) for the Mamapolooza Festival, a tour amplifying the talents of musician moms, beyond, of course, solid child rearing.

The lineup of 20 bands or so -- including Sisters of Sheynville and the B Girls will perform at Healey's.

At the helm of the Toronto happening is Lynda Kraar. She turns 48 this month, is the mother of two teenage daughters, ages 13 and 17, and has stopped the tedious process of dying her hair to cover up grey. She now flaunts a shade she refers to as "gun metal."

While just two years shy of turning the big 5-0, Kraar says she's nowhere near ready to set down her guitar.

"You're gonna have to pry that guitar out of my cold, dead hands," laughs Kraar.

Originally from Toronto and now based in New Jersey, Kraar says the festival brings a certain kind of mama together -- and they rock.

"Some women are hard-wired to drop everything once they have kids," she says. "I put my guitar down at the end of the eighth month of pregnancy because I couldn't handle the smoky bars ... but for some people, the switch goes off."

Still, motherhood isn't exactly ignored at Mamapolooza. In fact, the theme serves as hilarious lyrical fodder with tunes poking fun at parent-teacher meetings, changing dirty diapers and getting kids to eat their dinner.

With Kraar's country-infused tune, Suburban White in a White Suburban, it's clear she's no June Cleaver.

"Performers who are mothers congregate differently," she says. "Sure you see them at the park because they need to take their kids there, but you'll also see them on MySpace clustered together."

The festival, which debuted in New York in 2002 and now takes place in more than 30 locations, brings a certain balance to motherhood, explains the singer/guitarist.

"You can have your life back," Kraar insists.

Advanced tickets to Mamapolooza are $15 and are available at Rotate This, Sam the Record Man and online at: www.ticketweb.ca.

THANK YOU, www.torontostar.com!!!!

Rock 'n' roll plays on as fountain of youth

May 04, 2007 04:30 AM
by Josey Vogels and Li Robbins

Adventures in Aging

"Your momma don't dance and your daddy don't rock 'n' roll."
Are you kidding? Not only does your momma dance, this Mother's Day she definitely rocks 'n' rolls. So forget the flowers, give her a pink Daisy Rock guitar and send her to Mamapalooza.

Yep, there's a crazy little thing called Mom Rock – bands with names like The Mydols and Housewives on Prozac – bringing Mampalooza to a bar near you on May 13. More on that later.

Aging moms aren't the only ones squeezing into their leather pants, though. Iggy Pop has a new album. The Police are reuniting. Genesis are getting back together.

And Mick and the boys, well, they just won't go away. We can just see it: The Rolling Stones 2087 tour, sponsored by Cryonics Inc. – because, baby, rock 'n' roll will never die, not if boomers have anything to do with it!

We get the moms rebelling against the mommy-can't-rock stereotype. But what is it about rock 'n' roll that makes boomers so clingy? Why not middle-aged moms who play Indonesian gamelan, or lead Bavarian polka bands?

Perhaps it's because, for the "My Generation" generation, rock 'n' roll was "the best days of their lives," the music they associate with their younger selves – and you know how much boomers like their youth serum.

But you'll be relieved to know youthful vanity isn't the only thing keeping us stuck in a musical time warp.

Blame it on your brain. According to neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain on Music, the memory loss associated with Alzheimer's disease occurs less frequently when it comes to music. Apparently, those going doolally can "still remember how to sing the songs they heard when they were 14."

Even more frightening, Levitin says our musical tastes are pretty much cemented by the time we hit 20. So, because of our overly emotional amygdala and flirty neurotransmitters, we're musically stuck – teenagers forever.

Sure, some of us try to open ourselves up to new music later in life. But between our who-has-time-to-keep-up-on-music lives and our stuck-in-the-musical-past brain, our playlist can look something like this:
Your teenagers won't run from the room: Neil Young.

Memories of arena rock: Yes.
Kitsch value: Neil Sedaka.
Contemporary but dinner-party safe: Norah Jones.
Barista sanctioned we-are-all-one world music compilations.

What to do? You could turn to corporate efforts to shake off your inner rock' n' roll child. Please don't, though. Not if they're anything like the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) attempts to make music "relevant and so cool."

Funny, we just didn't realize that AARP's "hottie over 50," "babelicious baldy" James Taylor was relevant and cool.

Said babelicious baldy's manager did raise an interesting point in The New York Times recently, though, saying: "As much as (our generation) were once intuitive discoverers of music, we've lost that intuition. Now we have to be spoon-fed."

Fine, but we'd like to think we can still hold our own spoon. And, nowadays, it's even easier to dig in, with music blogs, Internet music recommender services and by making friends with music journalists ... (Hey, it works for Josey.)

But if you're determined to wax nostalgic, at least take a cue from the Zimmers (Google "youtube zimmers"), a band of seriously aging Brits who got out of their rockers to rework The Who's youth anthem, making a new statement about their own generation. They must have realized that if you want it to, music can provoke new thoughts, inspire new feelings.

Sure beats constantly trying to "get ourselves back to the garden."

Oh, and Mamapalooza – hosted by Yummy Mummy Erica Ehm, with a Jeff Healey autographed Daisy Rock guitar up for raffle – rocks Jeff Healey's Roadhouse from 1 to 6 p.m., May 13, 56 Blue Jays Way.
Visit mamapalooza.com.

THANK YOU, www.toronto.com!!!!


Rockin' Moms Hit the Stage this Mother's Day Price: $15, free for children under 13, Jeff Healey's Roadhouse
Sun May 13, 2007 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Good For: Kids, Family Official Site:

Editor's Profile

Being a mother isn’t all about casseroles, soccer carpooling and scrap-booking. Oh, no.

For many moms, it’s about getting down with your bad mommy self and rocking out. After all, anyone who’s heard songs such as Housewives on Prozac’s “Pee Alone,” “Eat Your Damn Spaghetti” and “Fuzzy Slippers” knows that Moms have enough angst-ridden material to put most metal bands to shame.

This Mother’s Day, it’s Mom’s turn to play - at Mamapalooza. This special concert will feature a lineup of rockin’ mom musicians who take their mommy angst to the stage.Originally founded by Housewives on Prozac’s Joy Rose, Mamapalooza was brought to Toronto by musician Lynda Kraar, who will be performing at this year’s event.

Joining her will be Ardene Shapiro, Zro4, Maria Kasstan, The B-Girls, Kathryn Rose, Arlene Bishop, Sandi Marie Porter, Heather Katz, Ilana Waldston, Michele Mele, Laura Fernandez, Lenka Lichtenberg, Sisters of Sheynville, The Sisters Three, Lara Berlin, Lynn Harrison, Naomi Macklem-Tremblay, Barbara Stokes, Marianne Girard and Zoe Chilco. The evening will be hosted by Erica Ehm. Dads, kids and other mom-lovers are also welcome. Kids under 13 get in for free.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007