mr. blackandwhite

Social D: Burlington VT
August 9, 2009, 11:48 am
Filed under: Music | Tags:

This past Tuesday I drove up to Burlington VT to see Social Distortion at Higher Ground and had a truly awesometastic time.

I left work around 4 PM to start the trek across N.H. and VT, up I-93 then across I-89. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and although the drive was long, 3 1/2 hours, I didn't really mind it because the drive through the mountains was so scenic and beautiful. I had a couple episodes of No Agenda saved up on the iPod and an iced coffee at my side. The drive went by nice and easy and I got to the club at 7:30. Perfect timing.

I didn't see much of Burlington but the area the club is located in felt like pure suburbia. It felt a little weird because there's this rock club surrounded by Quiznos and Burger King and gas stations and, thankfully Dunkins. (I was grateful for the Dunkins.)

I can't say enough how nice Higher Ground is. It is extremely clean, the staff was super nice and they even had a big jug of water with a stack of cups next to it set out on the side of the bar so you could get as much water as you needed without having to bug the bartenders. What a concept! Having received more scowls and nasty looks than I care to remember for asking for water from bartenders, I really appreciated this. Every bar should do this. Kudos to Higher Ground.

The show opened with The Strangers who were a good straight-forward rock/punk band. The singer sounded like Johnny Rotten and the band sounded like The Clash. Nice mix. The second band was an all female band called Civet. They were more thrashy in the vein of The Misfits on Earth A.D, except all hotties.

All in all, the opening acts were good. I hung around the back of the club during their sets. When Civet finished I moved up to the front. This was the smallest venue that I have seen Social D play so it was a perfect chance to examine and observe the amps, mics, pedals and assorted gear that the band uses (I am a gear queer). I hung out near the front, wished I was taller and listened to the nice mix of country and rockabilly the sound-guy was playing as we waited. 

Usually Social D plays in larger clubs / theaters so it was really cool to see them in a small to mid-sized place like this. I had a good spot. Just to the left of center. I could see Brent, Atom and Mike perfectly. I had to stretch to see Jonny but what are you gonna do. Again, I wish I were taller.

Finally Social D came on and it was time to get squished. When you stand near the barricade, that's what you get. I didn't mind, for the most part. I usually stand there with my arms down, clasped in front of me and just kind of ride the wave. If somebody leaned on me a little too much I lifted my arms and stuck my elbows out. A pointy elbow in the back or ribs usually makes someone lean somewhere else..

Here's the set as I remember and not in exact order:

The Creeps
Another State Of Mind
Mommy's Lil Monster
Sick Boys
Don't Drag Me Down
Ring of Fire
That's Alright
Highway 101

- tech / guitar problem. Mike kills time telling his joke about the kid who catches his parents having sex. ha-

Nickels and Dimes
Can't Take It With You (new song)
Bakersfield (new song)
Reach For The Sky
Bad Luck
Sometimes I Do
Ball and Chain

Still Alive (new song)
Prison Bound
Alone and Forsaken (reworked Hank Williams cover)
Story of My Life

I can only describe the show as totally awesome. After the show, since I was still cooling down, and was not ready to just jump in the car and drive, I went over to Dunkins, conveniently located right next door, (thank you!) got a coffee and went over to the bus to see if anybody was around. Atom Willard was hanging out and saying hi to the fans so I said hello and I am glad to tell you he is an extremely nice guy. 

It was time to head home. Thank god for the coffee and my iPod. That four hours back was killer, but it was totally worth it. 

After 39 years, it seems I am learning a few things at last. I only had one drink that night, the rest of the time I drank water and I was so glad that jug was out there and I could get as much as I wanted. I wore hearing protection for the first time ever and was even more glad. I kept it in all during the opening acts. When Social D was playing I took the plugs out. When they stopped or took a break between songs and someone two inches away was screaming directly into my ear, I put them back in. I tell you what, I was so glad I did this. I hate when my ears ring for hours or worse a day later when I've gone to a show. No ringy-dingys this time. Awesome. 

Next up: October 15th. Usually Social Distortion comes around about every two years. This time I only have to wait a few months to see them again as they will be in N.H. at the Hampton Beach Casino. 


I don’t know what to say about anything
April 5, 2009, 10:22 pm
Filed under: Don't Tread on Me,Music,Television,The B's,The Sox

It's one of those posts, yup.

Red Sox opening day is tomorrow!! I am looking forward to the start of the 2009 baseball season and the lazy summer days that are ahead, hanging out in the back yard, watching the kids have fun and listening to a game on the radio. 

The B's are the #1 seed in the East. Awesome. But that does not make me any less nervous about the first round of the playoffs.. 

I don't watch a lot of TV. Ok, I don't watch any TV, at all, because I think it's an evil flickering box. But I do watch sports, and Rescue Me. And Rescue Me comes back on Tuesday. I am fully psyched. 

Last week 3/4 of my grrrage band did an open mic at a local bar which featured several firsts, the most notable being, people getting on the floor and actually dancing during our set, somebody yelling 'FREEBIRD!' and a stranger buying me a beer afterwards. That is pretty f-ing cool, and what a blast! Awesome.

Today we went to a mall to go see the Easter Bunny and get a picture. My Son has no desire to sit on the Easter Bunny because, as he puts it, 'The Easter Bunny is freaky'. Ok, well, he/she/it seems friendly enough, by my Son does not like him. He just likes the candy that he/she/it drops off on Easter morning..

Nearby where the Easter Bunny was setup, a car dealership had put some new cars out on display. One of the cars was a pretty cool convertible. I opened the door so my Son could sit in it and I took his picture. After he got out a security guard came over and told me we weren't really supposed to get in the cars. I told him I was sorry, I did not think it was a problem since the car was unlocked. No biggie. 

I thought that would be the end of the discussion, but the guard went on to inform me that, 'actually you're not supposed to take pictures in here at all, it's a federal law'.

'It's a federal law that I can't take pictures of my children?' I asked.

'No, it's a federal law that you can't take pictures inside of the mall, for security reasons. If the feds found out you were taking pictures, they'd come in and shut this place down.' 

He continued to try to impress upon me the seriousness of the security threat that my snap-shots posed, but I had put the bullshit filters on by that point so I politely thanked him for the information and headed back to the Easter Bunny.

Aside from the ridiculousness of his statement that 'the feds' would come in and shut the mall down if they found out some guy was taking pictures of his kid inside.. you can't take pictures inside of a mall. Yup.

Metallica: Boston
January 19, 2009, 2:50 pm
Filed under: Music

I went to see Metallica in Boston last night. Here is the set:

That Was Just Your Life
The End of the Line
Harvester of Sorrow
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Broken, Beat & Scarred
Sad But True
…And Justice for All
All Nightmare Long
The Day That Never Comes
Master Of Puppets
Nothing Else Matters
Enter Sandman

Stone Cold Crazy
Hit The Lights
Seek and Destroy

A truly awesome time was had. It felt like a reunion with an old friend you had not seen in a long time. They played the full versions of all of their songs, no medleys, and not a single tune from the 'lost years' as we'll call them. James even played the white Explorer. Phenomenal.

Welcome back, Metallica. I missed you

Support quality rock. Pre-Order ‘Get It Together’!
November 11, 2008, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Music

I don’t know about you, but on the rare occasion that I turn on the radio these days, I’m usually pretty disappointed because most of what gets played on the radio nowadays is pre-paid, programmed in advance corporate suckage. 

Why not take matters into your own hands and support quality rock? Pre-order the Supersuckers new record ‘Get It Together’ and not only will you get a kick ass record and an entry into a contest that could win you an actual Les Paul Gold Top guitar, but you’ll feel good about yourself because supporting quality rock makes you feel awesome. Not only that, the more CD’s you buy, the cheaper it gets. I bought four myself, one for each member of my grrage band. Click on the picture and see for yourself!!


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Quick recap of the last few days from Friday up till now which is Wed.
September 17, 2008, 12:00 pm
Filed under: Life in General,Music,Nerdery,The Pats,The Sox,Web/Tech

Hey whats up everybody? Happy hump day.

Quick recap of the last few days:

The Supersuckers show last Friday = Awesome.
Driving home from Boston after the Supersuckers show with toothpicks holding my eyes open sometime prior to dawn on Saturday morning = Not awesome.

Not having to go to work after the Supersuckers show last Friday = Awesome.
Being pretty much total junk all day on Saturday due lack of sleep and seriously wondering if I'm getting too old to go to these rock shows = Not awesome.

The Patriots beating the Jets in Jersey on Sunday after football 'fans' in nyc celebrated Tom Brady's season ending knee injury and crowned themselves the presumptive AFC East Champs the week before = Awesome.

The Red Sox tying The Rayz for first place in the A.L. East on Monday = Awesome.
The Red Sox falling a game back again after The Rayz walk off win last night = Not awesome.

Finding earlier today = Awesome. (I like to end the post on an 'Awesome')

(H/T to the The DSC Drop for the lolinator link. Also, my is feeling lonely..)


Friday, Friday, Fri-Day… yay!
September 12, 2008, 12:32 pm
Filed under: Music,The Pats,Weblogs

What's up you all? Happy Friday. Reward Friday, as we like to say around here.

I've got some good plans for this evening as I'll be heading into Boston (ok, technically Allston, but, close enough) to see The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World, The Supersuckers, at Harpers Ferry. Should be happy times.

The plan is to head into towne after work, grab a bite and some liquid refreshment at T's Pub and then.. well I don't know what I'll do, but it'll involve killing time till the show starts around 8:30 or 9 PM. I actually brought a book to read, but I don't know how much reading I'll be able to do in T's Pub on a Friday night… I'll probably wind up watching the Sox / Jays game.

When showtime comes around I'll walk down to Harpers Ferry and then participate in the rock and roll experience that will be taking place within. I've got my black t-shirt on today, so I'm prepped and good to go..

If you've got some bandwidth to spare and some extra cycles to kill, get some traction on and head over to check out today's edition of The Great Debates over at MVN's NFL Outsiders site. Today's burning question: Is 2008 a lost season for The Patriots?

The story features some different opinions on this topic from around Patriots Nation and in an amazing display of gutsy courage by the folks at MVN, I was asked to lend my opinion to the post as well. Amazing!

Have a good weekend. Rock. Stay out of trouble. GO PATS

In contempt of Jimmy Page
September 5, 2008, 1:11 pm
Filed under: Fat Control,Life in General,Music,The Pats

Hey what’s up everybody! It’s Friday. Yay. I don’t really have anything big to post about but I’m trying to keep the site updated more often now so here’s a few miscellaneous tidbits..

I have not mentioned this but over the last few weeks I have been working to drop some weight. I noticed that I had been steadily gaining weight, a pound here, a pound there.. no big deal, right? Then the next thing I know, I’ve put on 15 pounds! Ack! Not acceptable (note: I have somewhat of a personal weight obsession). So when Patriots training camp was getting started I decided to use the Patriots’ preparation for the regular season as a kind of motivator to get myself in shape along with the team. I dubbed it The Training Camp Challenge and my goal was to lose as much as I could before the first regular season game, which is this weekend.

I lost approximately 6 pounds, which, honestly, is kind of disappointing, as I was hoping to do better, but my Wife pointed out that that is a pound a week, which really is not that bad.. So even though I’m not happy with where I am, I feel like I did ok.

I’m going to continue my challenge into the regular season. My new goal: 8 wins, 8 pounds. I want to drop a minimum of 8 pounds by the time the Pats get to 8 wins. I’m hoping The Pats make me work for it and go 8-0.


I recently found several old friends from college and high school that I have not heard from in many years on Facebook and MySpace. That is pretty cool. I was pretty tight with some of these folks back in the day but when school ended we just kind of fell out of touch. That’s how it goes.

When I first signed up on Facebook / MySpace, I was kinda lost. I really had no idea how it worked or what the whole point of either site was but I have to say, it has been a great way to find people. I am psyched to have re-connected with some old friends.

I was thinking of adding this wacky site to my Facebook and MySpace pages so my friends could read it, but I’m still kinda paranoid about the whole ‘someone from work accidentally stumbling across my blawg’ thing.. So I don’t know. I’m thinking about it.. Any thoughts?


Last night during garage band rehearsal we were horsing around on some song and I was informed by one of the band members that I was ‘in contempt of Jimmy Page’. Genius. I found this comment to be hilarious and being the wise-ass that I am, immediately launched into a really bad and poorly played Led Zep medley (sans Stairway, of course).

I may have to try and wedge some Clutch into our repertoire because I’ve been listening to ‘Walking In the Great Shining Path of Monster Trucks’ like, non f-ing stop. I can’t stop myself.


At this point I have nothing else to add. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

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Birth: Check, School: Check..
September 3, 2008, 8:00 pm
Filed under: Life in General,Music

My kids' first day of school was today. They are in first grade and have officially begun their indoctrination.. I can't believe they're in grade school now. I hope they kick the real world's ass. I have complete and total confidence in their abilities to do so.. :-)

Got my tix to the Supersuckers show in the mail yesterday. I am psyched. Looks like I may be going to see The Reverent Horton Heat in November as well. The bass player in the garage band is friends of somebody's friend and apparently we may be on the guest list. Sweet. I'm going to try and get out and see a few local bands in Worcester as well (Gold Star Campaign, The Howl..) over the next few weeks. I'm figuring I can rock my face off in a dim setting outside of the home about once a month this Fall.. should be happy times. Wa-we-wa-woo..

(Hey, don't forget about my Drop me something, dammit!)

New Hank III video..
August 28, 2008, 4:57 pm
Filed under: Music

Check out the video for Hank III’s new song, ‘Long Hauls and Close Calls’. You can watch it here.

Personally I think the video’s a little weird, but then, III’s kinda out there himself.. and that’s what I like about him! The new song kicks ass though. I am fully stoked for his new album, Damn Right Rebel Proud, to come out in October.

Other albums I’m looking forward to:

The Supersuckers: Get It Together - Supposedly coming out ‘soon’, whenever that is. They played some of the new songs the last time I saw them back in February and they were really good and a-rockin’, as I would expect from the greatest rock and roll band in the world.

Social D / Mike Ness: They were originally supposed to come out with something in ’08, now they’re saying to look for something from Social D or Mike in ’09, so I expect to see something by one or the other the end of 2010. Feels weird saying 2010. It’s like living in the future, or something. Shouldn’t we all be wearing shiny silver suits and exploring Jupiter around then?

Metallica: Death Magnetic - Yes. Ok, yes. I like Metallica, still, even though they suck without Cliff and Lars is a dick and Jaymz doesn’t play the white explorer.. yadda yadda yadda..  I’ve heard it all, and I’m looking forward to the new one just the same. From what I’ve heard it’s sounding pretty good.

Also, Sept 12th look to find me at the following location:

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A Fire in the Ska-ye
July 4, 2008, 8:30 am
Filed under: Life in General,Music

Enjoy this kickass mashup and don’t blow your fingers off this weekend! (rules): simple private sharing

Have a great 4th of July!

See ya!

(h/t Adam @ The Daily Sourcecode)