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Van McNeil's Blog

Posts from March 2013

Bela Fleck Interview
Chick Corea & Béla Fleck, two master songwriters, musicians, and band leaders meet in a historic duet of piano and banjo will be performing together at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts Tuesday evening, April 2nd.

The duet will combine 20-time Grammy winner Corea and 15-time Grammy winner Fleck's most recognizable tunes with the music from their Latin Grammy-winning album The Enchantment! With a mix of jazz and pop standards, crossing a myriad of genres, from jazz, bluegrass, rock, flamenco and gospel, this will be a casual, intimate evening with two legends from different musical worlds.

In this interview Bela and I talk about...
His relationship w Chick and how they met.
What you can expect during the show.
The Banjo in mainstream music.
Steve Martin and more!

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Van McNeil to Professional Bowlers Tour...

On top of rockin ur radio with the hits on 99.1 The Mix, (Weekdays 12-4p) I also co-host the Spare/Time Bowling Show! (Sundays 9-10am on SportRadio 1250 WSSP-AM).

Really Van? A radio show about BOWLING? Yes! Suprisingly, it's a very fast hour!

Lemme give you some background on my love for the sport..(Yes, IT IS a sport!)

I grew up just over the border in Mundelein, IL, A stones throw away from Mundelelin Lanes (now Lakeside Lanes) where my parents and I bowled leagues and where I got my first job as a lad.

When I wasn't cleaning up the bowling alley or dealing with a lane problems, I'd be bowling, ALOT! Part of my pay, FREE BOWLING! How could you NOT take advantage?

At one point, it was suggested that I try to make it on the Professional Bowlers Tour. At that same time the wonderful world radio entered my life and I chose radio instead of chasing my dreams of the PBA...UNTIL NOW!!

If you don't know the Professional Bowlers Association is rolling through Milwaukee this Summer with the PBA GEICO Summer Swing at AMF Waukesha, AMF West and AMF Bowlero Bowling Centers and I''M GOING FOR IT!

Take a listen to the announcement below and WISH ME LUCK!

#YOLO #chasing-dreams #LoveTheLanes
First TV Appearance EVER! 2013 Bowling Game | Time Warner Cable Sports...click here.

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Director Jon Chu G.I. JOE: RETALIATION Interview
Jon Chu has established himself as a versatile, original, and technologically innovative director working fluidly in multiple mediums.

Jon directs the highly anticipated “G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation,” the second installment to the popular franchise which is in theaters starting Thursday.

In this interview Jon and I talk about...

What you can expect from this movie.

Live Action vs. Green Screen

His directing background and shooting On-Location in New Orleans w the cast.

MOBILE USERS: Click here to watch G.I. Joe Retaliation Trailer.


Adrianne Palicki G.I. JOE: RETALIATION Interview...click here.
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Topics: Entertainment_Culture
Locations: New Orleans
People: Jon Chu

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Adrianne Palicki G.I. JOE: RETALIATION Interview
Adrianne Palicki is a talented young actress who has established herself as a breakout star of both television and film.
She is best known for her critically acclaimed role on NBC’s “Friday Night Lights,”Palicki was also seen in MGM’s remake of RED DAWN. and recently starred in Sony Pictures’ epic film LEGION.

In this interview Adrianne and I talk about...

What G.I. Joe Retaliation Is all about.

Training for the movie and shooting on location in New Orleans, Louisana.

Working with Bruce Willis, Director Jon Chu and the cast PLUS what's next?
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Darrian Ford / Sam Cooke Interview
Darrian Ford - The Cooke Book - The Music of Sam Cooke is a celebration of the greatest hits of Sam Cooke, and includes musical gems from his all too brief lifetime of his music. 

Spend an evening reliving the magic in this tribute to the man who began his musical journey in gospel music, went on to become an international pop sensation and is largely attributed as the man who invented soul. 

Darrian Ford, the show’s creator, is joined on stage by musical director John Cicora, along with Ben Joseph on piano and Anderson Edward on bass.  Performing an evening of favorites, including ‘Best Things in Life Are Free,’ ‘Change Is Gonna Come,’ ‘Cupid,’ ‘If I Had A Hammer,’ ‘Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen,’ and ‘You Send Me’.

In this interview Darrian and I chat about...

What the show is all about.

Life on the road with the band.

Taking the show on a national tour? Darrian's favorite Sam Cooke song.
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You're welcome America!
So back in September 2012, I talked to the Senior Director of Marketing at Dorito's, Jeff Kline, about an upcoming Super Bowl contest and of course I was on a mission to get some inside info.

One of the topics? The Cool Ranch Doritios Locos Taco!

And what did see today as I drove by the T-Bell on the way to work. The COOL RANCH DORITOS LOCOS TACO!

You're welcome America! :)

Here's the next question...which is better?
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Tags :  
People: Jeff Kline

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Matt Nathanson Releases NEW Single From Upcoming Record
I had the chance to hang with Matt Nathanson, Summer of 2011, when his last record, "Modern Love" was released and finally two years later, after tearing up the road with Kelly Clarkson / Colbie Calliat / Gavin DeGraw and slaving in a hot studio over a hot mixing board we have some NEW music!

Name of the single is, "Mission Bells", from his forthcoming Summer release which has yet to be named.

Take a listen and let me know what you think?

Perhaps a Matt Nathanson return to Summerfest? One can only hope...

MOBILE USERS: Click here to watch Matt Nathanson in The Mix Studios...click here.

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Jungle Jack Hanna Interview
Recognized around the country as America's favorite zookeeper, Jack has made countless television appearances since 1983 on shows such as Good Morning America, CNN's Larry King Live, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Fox News Programs, and the Late Show with David Letterman.

Jungle Jack took his infectious energy to the airwaves by creating two of his own nationally syndicated television programs Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures and most recently Jack Hanna's Into the Wild.

Jack Hanna's Into The Wild LIVE! stops by the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts for ONE NIGHT ONLY! Friday, March 8th - 7pm.

In this interview Jack and I chat about...

What fans can expect THIS FRIDAY at Jack Hanna's Into The Wild LIVE!

On his 30+ year career....

On charity efforts | Jack Hanna's Heroes...

On David Letterman, Good Morning America and more...

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So far, SO GREAT!
3 & 1/2 months and counting since my family and I packed up our stuff in NJ and made the trek to Milwaukee! Anytime you leave what you've "known" for years and years, you always worry that: It won't work It's not a great fit It'll take a LONG time to FIT IN Well, I'm here to say that all of those answers couldn't be farther from the truth! From DAY 1, my radio family here at The Mix has welcomed my family and I with OPEN ARMS (My favorite JOURNEY song btw) and it's like we've known each other forever! At the same time, my new family of radio listeners (ALL OF YOU reading this right now) have also made me so incredibly comfortable and happy and as stated above, it's like I've known you well, longer than the 3.5 months I've been here! You've helped my family and I find a place to live, great restaurants (my family and I love to eat), great places to visit to entertain my kids, a travel baseball team for my oldest son Anthony and of course, great karaoke so I can get my sing on! I will continue to ask for your advice on different things along the way and I know WITHOUT A DOUBT, you'll be there to answer whatever questions my family and I have! For that, I'm very grateful! Just wanted to take a few minutes to say THANK YOU for welcoming Me, my wife Sarah, and children Anthony and Benjamin with such warmth and kindness! We look forward to being a part of the community for a long time to come! Thank you for listening to 99.1 The Mix! I'm havin' a BLAST! Hope YOU are too! Sincerely, Mark Summers
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Grow Potatoes in the Garden or Container
What is white, red or yellow, can be eaten fresh, fried or even raw and is one of the most important staples of the human diet? If you guessed potato, you are right. Grow your own in the garden, planting bag or containers. You can plant small potatoes or pieces of larger potatoes to start new plants. These contain "eyes" that grow into potato plants. You may have seen this happen on potatoes stored in the pantry. Buy certified seed potatoes at garden centers or from garden catalogues. Cut whole or large seed potatoes into smaller pieces containing at least one good "eye". Plant them in a 2-3 inch deep furrow, 10 to 12 inches apart, leaving 24 to 36 inches between the plants. As the plants begin to grow, mound the nearby soil over the tubers until the rows are 4 to 6 inches high. Keep the planting weeded and wait for the harvest. A bit more information: Save space and have some fun by growing your potatoes in a planting bag. Fill the bottom few inches of the bag with potting mix. Set the potato pieces on the mix. Cover with several inches of soil. As the potatoes grow, continue adding a couple of inches of soil at a time until the bag is full. Harvest by dumping the bag and lifting out your potatoes. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Brown Needles and Leaves on Evergreens
A walk through your garden this spring may reveal browning on both needled and broadleaf evergreen trees and shrubs. Winter winds and sun, exposure to deicing salt and record low temperatures are likely the cause. Evergreens continue to lose moisture through their leaves and needles throughout the winter. The winter sun and wind increase moisture loss. Those gardening in areas with frozen soil are likely to see the most damage. But even those in warmer regions may see winter scorch on newly planted or exposed evergreen plants. We can't turn the needles and leaves green, but we can provide proper care to speed recovery. If the branches are pliable and buds plump you should see new growth this spring. Broadleaf evergreens will replace the brown leaves with fresh new growth. Brown needles will eventually drop and the new growth this spring may mask the damage. Wait for warmer weather to see what if any new growth appears. A bit more information: Once plants have started to show signs of new growth, you have a decision to make. Is the plant healthy and attractive enough to nurture and keep? Or, would you be better off starting with a new plant and one better suited to the growing conditions. A difficult decision, but one that can save you time, money and frustration in the long run. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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A Multi-Season Beauty – The Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus)
Add seasonal interest and bird appeal to your landscape with the white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus). This slow growing small-scale tree can grow up to 20 feet tall and wide. The slightly fragrant white flowers cover the plant in spring. The male plants produce slightly larger and showier flowers, but the female plants produce an abundance of blue fruit in late summer. Though the fruit is somewhat hidden by the leaves, the birds seem to have no problem finding and devouring it. But don't worry however as they won't leave behind a mess. The fall color can vary from a good yellow to a yellowish green. And the smooth gray bark become ridged and furrowed with age. Fringetree is hardy in zones 4 to 9, grows well in full sun to part shade and though it prefers moist fertile soil, it is adaptable to a much wider range of conditions. It can be found in nature growing along stream banks and the woodland edge. A bit more information: Use fringetree as a small tree or large shrub, as a specimen plant, near buildings, or in mixed borders as an understory. And be patient in spring as it is late to leaf out. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Daisy – the April Birth Flower
Celebrate April birthdays with a bouquet of daisies. This April birth flower symbolizes childhood innocence or according to the Farmer's Almanac they were given between friends to keep a secret. Many flowers share the common name daisy. It comes from the English name "days eye" referring to the fact many daisy flowers open during the day and close as the sun sets. Bellis perennis, known as English daisy, is most often designated as the April birth flower. It is hardy in zones 4 to 8, grows about 6 inches tall and flowers from spring through mid summer. You will find this plant listed as an attractive perennial or nasty weed. In the south the plants often burn out after flowering during the heat of summer. In cooler climates they are often dug after flowering to maximize enjoyment and minimize spread. The young leaves can be eaten in salads or cooked. A bit more information: Sweet peas are also considered the April birth flower. This is especially true in April. This flower represents modesty and simplicity. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Garden Longer with Less Aches and Pains – It’s National Garden Week
Avoid sore and strained muscles that often arise after a long day in the garden. A few simple changes in your gardening habits can keep you gardening longer and with fewer aches, pains and strains. Use long-handled tools to extend your reach and minimize bending and stooping. And if you need to get a bit closer to the ground, try placing only one knee on the ground or using a stool and keep your back straight. Keep your tools handy by wearing a carpenter's apron with lots of pockets or using a tool caddy. An old wagon, wheeled golf bag or trash can make moving long-handled tools a breeze. Use foam or wrap your tool handles with tape to enlarge the grip and reduce hand fatigue. Or better yet, invest in ergonomically designed tools with larger cushioned grips. They are designed to position your body in a less stressful position, allowing you to work longer. A bit more information: Further extend your energy by taking frequent breaks. Use sunscreen, wear a hat and drink lots of water. For more ideas, check out my 10 Pain-free Gardening tips. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Celebrate National Dandelion Day – It’s not just a weed
Stop, don't pull those pesky yellow flowered dandelions popping up in the lawn and garden. These beautiful flowers have not only been used as bouquets for mom and crowns for children, but have a long medicinal and edible history. On April 5th, Dandelion Day, celebrate the benefits and beauty of this perennial plant many consider a weed. You'll find this adaptable plant growing in a wide variety of locations. The name dandelion comes from the French "dent de lion" meaning lion's tooth. This refers to the leaves with their jagged tooth-like edges. Dandelions are high in Vitamins A, B, C and D and were used by Native Americans for kidney disease, swelling and skin problems. Harvest the young leaves in spring and add them to a salad or sauté with onions. Brighten up a salad with just the yellow portion of the flowers or ferment them into wine. A bit more information: Dandelions are also known as 'wet-the-bed'. This refers to the old belief that just touching a dandelion can cause bed-wetting. This may be tied to the fact that dandelions have been used as a diuretic. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Celebrate National Celery Month - Grow Your Own Celery Indoors or Out
Celery, an unassuming vegetable has long been used as a flavorful ingredient in soups, stews and casseroles. You'll also find it fresh on a relish tray or as a crunchy low calorie snack. Its value is being recognized and celebrated during April, National Celery Month. This long season vegetable is difficult to grow in many areas. The plants are slow to germinate and the young transplants will bolt if subject to cool periods. Grow celery in full sun with moist organic soil. Provide ample moisture and mulch to keep the soil moist throughout the season. Wrap or cover the stalks two weeks before harvest to blanch the stems for a milder flavor. Or have a bit of fun and grow some celery from kitchen discards. Next time you chop up a bunch of celery for soup or stew, save the base and grow a new plant. A bit more information: It's easy to grow your own celery from kitchen discards. Save the base of the celery in a shallow dish of water or bury the bottom half in a well-drained potting mix to root. Set in a bright location. Keep water in the saucer or the soil mix moist until new growth appears. Pot up and move to a sunny location. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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It's that time...
It's that time of year...ALLERGIES! This morning I walked my dog only to experience ichy watery eyes... So off to Walgreens I went to pick up Visine A eye drops...We are teaming up with Visine A eye drops to help me get some relief! Just a drop in each eye and aaaahhhh relief. So, if YOU experience allergies and want to get back to feeling normal...I recommend Visine A eye drops and get back outside and enjoy the things you like to do without looking like you're sick! NICE!
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Definitely Gonna Miss This Guy!
It's definitley time for David Letterman to retire, especially with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel doing so well! But after I heard his announcement, I have to admit, I was a little sad, I'm a HUGE fan! Below is a picture of me in New York visiting my friend Shelby who was one of his writing interns this past year!
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Definitely Gonna Miss This Guy!
It's definitley time for David Letterman to retire, especially with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel doing so well! But after I heard his announcement, I have to admit, I was a little sad, I'm a HUGE fan! Below is a picture of me in New York visiting my friend Shelby who was one of his writing interns this past year!
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