Monday, December 30, 2013

HwH's Top 5 Moments, the 2013 Photo Recap!

It's been a great year for equality and a great year for Antigone Rising. Those two things mean it's been an epic year for the entire staff here at Hangin' With Hendo. Here's a rundown of our top 5 moments. Coincidentally they are all in the first person and all center around me. Nobody else spoke up (or showed up, for that matter) at the staff meeting...

Meet our side project, Prison Love.
The scenic drive into town...!
#5 - Torrey, Utah - Redrock Women's Music Festival
A perfect and heavenly location was the backdrop for a weekend in August that brought us together with one of our oldest best friend's, Michelle Malone, and now one of our newest, Toby, to create a magical 48 hours of pure musical bliss.

Sometimes you wish time would stand still. We are hoping to be back for 2014...
The crowd at Red Rock Women's Music Festival.

Sneaking a kiss side stage
Pre show hang with mom.
#4 - Pride Festivals!
We had the honor of headlining Northampton, MA and North Jersey Pride Fests this year. We love being invited to these events and look forward to playing on several more pride bills in the new year. Northampton Pride was especially amazing for me because I was accompanied by my sweet four year old son, Thomas. He helped Tony tech guitars and drums, he helped Julie sell merch, and he got to play sports with Roy (Julie's husband). Plus he went out to sushi dinner with the band.
Thomas sells merch

#3 - The "Whiskey" video shoot!
In June we invited former members of Antigone Rising to get back in the saddle with us as we filmed a video for our song, "That Was The Whiskey." Directed by Mikki Delmonico, we spent an outstandingly fun day filming in our friends bar, 'Still Partners', in Sea Cliff, NY. There's not much to say other than roll the video below:

#2 - DOWN with DOMA.
Pride March w/ Thomas & Kate
Cathy and friends
send a subtle message
via Instagram...

On the morning of June 26th, I was sitting at my kitchen table incessantly hitting refresh on my computer awaiting the news on DOMA.
When it finally appeared on my screen I burst into tears. The kids were eating pancakes trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I told them it was a great day for our family and I was happy crying. That led to a barrage of questions on what 'happy crying' meant. I told them sometimes something so great happens, you cry from happiness. This led to a thousand more questions, completely taking me out of the moment that the Supreme Court struck DOMA down, forcing me to watch the recap on the news an hour later. Four is a great age.
Celebrating with friends

Sarah and I headed into New York City later that day to be front and center for the historic event. We magically found an empty bar on the corner of Christopher & Gay St. with a window looking out on the square where Edie Windsor addressed the crowd. We soon realized it was empty because the air conditioning was broken. But that didn't break our spirits. Literally and figuratively.

And for the first time ever, we marched with the kids in New York City's gay pride parade that Sunday.
Thomas & Kate hand out stickers at the parade.

 #1 - The Kiss on the Cover
"You might be the first person in our family to be on the cover of Time Magazine." - Things my Dad says...

Back in March, Sarah and I got a phone call asking if we'd be willing to come in to be photographed for Time Magazine's DOMA issue. We said yes, not realizing it would turn into an actual smooch on the cover of the magazine. It really made our week, and it will likely top my list next year and the year after as well. Read my blog post from the day the issue came out right here: The Kiss on the Cover.
April 8, 2013 issue Time Magazine.

Our friend, Kat DiResta took this mock photo of the cover, featuring the funniest person on Earth - Sibby.

Thanks for a great year on the blog. Here's to 2014!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

My Baker's Dozen Christmas Song List!

#1Whitney House - Do You Hear What I Hear
I believe in my heart that Whitney Houston was kissed by God, and her version of Do You Hear What I Hear is proof of it. My very favorite all time Christmas song due to Whitney's version. Any time. Anywhere. Volume on 11.

#2 - Andy Williams - Happy Holidays/The Holiday Season
This just reminds me of being a kid at my Grandparents for the holiday. If this song doesn't get you in the Christmas spirit, you need to get yourself some meds.

#3 - Bette Midler - From a Distance (Christmas version!)
My very good friend, Julie Gold, won a song of the year grammy for writing this. The world is a better place because this song exists. And I just think the heavens beamed a light right through Julie as she came up with the lyric 'God is watching us, From a Distance.' I can't even type it without getting teary eyed.

The rest fall in no particular order, though this order is pretty accurate if you really wanted me to list an order:

Stevie Nicks - Silent Night
The only version. Listen and go to Stevie church with me.

Band Aid - Do They Know It's Christmas 
Every. single. time. Openly. Weeping.
Bono's 'tonight thank god it's them instead of you.'
Can't get through it dry eyed. Can. Not.

Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas is You
Say what you will about Mariah. The lady can SING. And she sings the dickens outta this. If this doesn't make you shake your toosh, I suggest you crank Andy Williams 'Happy Holidays' on your way to get your scripts filled...

Dan Fogelberg - Same Old Lang Syne
I have never met anyone who doesn't love this song. If you are the first, you know what I am going to say. Medicate yourself.

Frosty the Snowman - Ella Fitgerald & Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Etta James.
Vitamins. Minerals. Ella. Etta. Take yourself to school.

Mary J. Blige & Jesse J. - Do You Hear What I Hear 
Whitney made this my very favorite Christmas song and I never thought I'd hear another version remotely worthy, until Mary J. & Jesse J. This sh** is HOT! Amazing duo.

Amy Grant - Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song)
I love this entire Christmas album. Amy is like the Jennifer Aniston of music. I think something might be wrong with you if you don't like her. And this song gets me every time I hear beat out her version of 'Grown Up Christmas List' by a smidge.

Johnny Cash - The Little Drummer Boy
I don't need to explain this, do I? If I do, you're on the wrong blog.

Faith Hill - Where Are You Christmas 
This isn't an excuse, 2005, I was sharing a house with Sibby. Sibby is a BIG Christmas decorator. I was sitting in our living room lit by blinking Christmas lights and whatever CVS offered by way of decorations when Faith Hill's 'Where are you Christmas' came on 106.7, Lite FM (the light at the end of your dial). For some reason, I was flooded with memories of my grandmothers. So. That's why.

Train - Joy to the World.
I try hard to not like Train. But, without fail, they always run me down like a freight....Train. They have the best pop sensibility. So I give in. I love Train. And their version of Joy to the World makes me so so happy. Yay Train.


Disclaimer: Not all of my bakers dozen appear on spotify, so I used other versions of the same song...specifically, Stevie Nicks' Silent Night (you know, the one I said there is only one version of?), I substitute Kelly Clarkson and Reba's version. It's palatable enough. And I replaced Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas with Glee's version (eegads). Seriously. There was not a better option. Sorry for that one.

Kristen's Xmas Bakers Dozen Playlist!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I Made Buzzfeed's Most Powerful Quotes from LGBT Icons & Allies Year End List Alongside The Pope and Obama!

I am so excited that Buzzfeed picked up a quote from my very own 'The Kiss on the Cover blog (March, 2013) and included it in their year end round up of The Most Powerful Quotes from LGBT Icons and Allies in 2013. I am adding it to my bucket list and scratching it off simultaneously. This totally made my day!

The list also includes quotes from Madonna, Obama, The Pope, Hillary, Edie Windsor and Elton, just to name a few. I am sure Obama and The Pope both tweeted about how they made this list alongside me as well.

Check out the whole list by clicking right here. 


Friday, December 13, 2013

Everything Changes Video Footage Upload to FTP Instructions!

Click the image below to read instructions on how to upload footage from last night's video shoot at  Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. Or, click right here! 


Monday, December 9, 2013


The following is a detailed message from Val Lasser, the director of our upcoming video shoot! We will be filming during the encore of our New York City show on Dec. 12, 2013 at Rockwood Music Hall. The band will play along with the recorded track of 'Everything Changes.' It will be done in ONE TAKE, so be sure you've got your iPhone, iPad or other smart device ready to roll with 5GB of available space. More info regarding how to upload footage once we've got it recorded is coming!