ROC Spotlight Series - Dan Burns

What are you reading?  

Actually, Duffy Palmer recommended “When Breath Becomes Air,” which I read in one day.  It was both sad and inspiring.  Given that we all know someone stricken with cancer, I found that it helped me perhaps understand how people are feeling and dealing with the disease.  I also read “Killing Reagan,” which now with the passing of Nancy Reagan, has even greater meaning to me.  To say that Nancy was a strong woman who helped put “Ronnie” into the White House is the ultimate understatement.  Ronald Reagan was his own man, but he was greatly influenced by Nancy.  I also am trying to read “Of Men and Wolves”.  This book’s author will speak in a few weeks as part of the College at Brockport Writer’s Voice Series, which M&T Bank supports.  I really enjoy this sponsorship because it provides me with incentive to read a book from an author and subject matter that I am not familiar with.

What are you listening to?

Well, I seemed to have done a 360 when it comes to music.  I have always been a “Rush Head” and have seen the Canadian trio about 10 times, most recently this past December.  I actually took my 23 year old and 21 year old sons.  They loved it!  Granted, Rush is the ultimate “guy’ band, but I challenge anyone to find three better musicians than Alex Lifeson (lead guitar), Neil Peart (drums) and Geddy Lee (bass guitar and key boards).  I, also, for some reason have become a huge Peter Gabriel fan. If you have not heard it before, listen to the live version of “Downside Up,” which Peter sings with his daughter.  A very powerful song about 9/11.

However, my music tastes changed when I bought a car that had satellite radio.  I went through the numerous channels and got hooked on Sirius XMU 35.  This is the alternative indie rock channel.  Now I can’t go a day without it and have even gone to an indie rock festival in Boston called Boston Calling. With my wife and three kids, all fans as well, we saw my personal favorite “Chvrches”, then Alt-J as well as one of my new favorites, Father John Misty.  I also find Kurt Vile as a great artist to listen to while you are cruising down the thruway.  And then of course you have Radiohead, The National, Tame Impala, Grimes, and the list goes on and on.  

What is the last album or song that you downloaded?

Kurt Vile and Father John Misty have new albums out that are awesome.

Do you have a favorite podcast(s)?

I have never done this…but I did just join LinkedIn.

What are you currently watching on TV?

I still can’t believe my wife, Denise and daughter, Ellie, like “The Walking Dead” with all the blood and guts., but they do and now I am hooked on it, too.

What is the last movie you saw?

Denise and I recently watched “Spotlight” and “Revenant”.  We liked them both but really thought Michael Keaton was superb in Spotlight.  I think Leo DiCaprio did a great job but it’s hard to fathom how someone could win best actor with about one page of actual lines.

Who are you following on Twitter?

I just started going on Twitter.  I follow my middle son mostly.  He has an interesting perspective on a variety of topics.  I am actually amazed at how politically savvy he is given he is at the ripe age of 21.  

How do you spend your Sundays?

If we aren’t going to church, we have a fairly structured Sunday.  With it just being Denise, Ellie and I (our boys are out of the nest) my routine starts with a trip to Starbucks to get coffee for my wife and I, and iced tea for Ellie.  We read the paper and watch “The Today Show”.  Then I take my daughter Ellie to her trainer at “Wanna Get Fast” (Ellie is a lacrosse player) in Pittsford.  I drop her off and drive to the canal and take a jog along the canal.  Then we head home and Denise makes pancakes and bacon, we walk our dogs and then watch either the Bills game or the professional golf tour.  Usually, Denise makes a really good dinner for us.  Her chicken parm is awesome but it still can’t top her meatloaf, pot roast, and beef stew.  Our night is capped off with “Madame Secretary” and “The Walking Dead”.