Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Look Ma, he can chew gum and walk at the same time... sorta

I've been trying to teach myself to sing and play the guitar at the same time. Now I'm sure to many people this is a little bit like saying, 'I'm teaching myself to walk and chew gum' but believe it or not, singing and playing is fucking hard! Well, for me anyway... but I'm getting better at it.

I have a horrible voice, and I'm certainly not going to be taking Jaymz Hetfield's place fronting Metallica, but I am now able to sing along and play some simple tunes from memory.

A couple example tunes:
Social Distortion: Prison Bound, Story of My Life
Misfits: Skulls

I usually save the 'singing' part for the tail end of practice so as not to subject the household to too much torture.

And the next time you start to rag on Metallica, ask yourself if you could play 'Master of Puppets' and sing the words at the same time.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Epic Story of Social Distortion and The Supersuckers

I left work late Monday afternoon and headed into Boston. I was heading in to see a show later that night. Social Distortion was playing in town, along with The Supersuckers and The Blackpool Lights.

I drove down RT 2 East, headed for the city. As I came over a rise in the highway, I could see the entire city of Boston and Cambridge laid out there ahead of me. It was like looking down on a model of the city. Pretty cool.

I drove past Harvard University and made my way down towards Fenway Park. The place where I was going, The Avalon, is located right across the street from Fenway. 'This time, I'm not getting lost,' I told myself. I've been to Boston many times, but it seems like every time I drive in there, I wind up getting lost somewhere along the line. Of course, as far as cities go, Boston is not really that big, so you're never really 'lost', you're just kind of turned around, perpetually turned around at times.

Thankfully it was a Monday night and traffic was pretty light this time of night. I made my way over to Fenway and parked in a lot right across the street from the ballpark. I have to say, I was pretty impressed with myself for making it over there without having to turn around or swear at anybody, not even once.

It was only about 6:30 PM and I had time to kill before the show so I walked over to the club to see if anything was going on outside. There were a few people hanging around and there were some guys loading up the storage compartments on the busses parked outside with cases of Rolling Rock beer. I kind of laughed at the sight and continued on past the club. Time to get something to eat.

I headed over to a place behind Fenway Park called The Baseball Tavern. It's a really cool bar that's kind of off the beaten path, unlike The Cask n Flagon or Boston Beer Works, which are located right across the street from Fenway. The Baseball Tavern is a few streets away. That's where you go if you're in the know, ya know?

I sat at the bar, had a whiskey and a beer and ordered a sandwich. I had plenty of time before the show so I took my time, had another beer and watched some Monday Night Football pre-game.

Around 7:30 I settled up and walked back over to the club. As you walk into The Avalon you enter a big hallway where there is a coat room, restroom entrances and of course, the t-shirt tables. The first table I was presented with was the Social Distortion table. I checked out all the Social D shirts but nothing was really jumping out at me. There was one design they had that I liked but it was on some big hoodie thing and I was not interested in that. I am not a big concert t-shirt guy anymore. I used to buy one at every show I went to, but now, eh, who needs another t-shirt..

I walked farther down the dim hallway into the club. In the corners of the hallway were these cool statues that looked like Robbie the Robot from the movie Forbidden Planet, except they were painted white and they had these neat plasma globes inside of them.

As I got to the end of the hallway, right near the entrance to the main part of the club, at a much smaller table, was the Supersuckers t-shirt guy. He had a Philadelphia 76'er's hoodie on and a Boston Red Sox ball-cap. 'That's a weird combo,' I thought, 'You're not supposed to mix sports cities like that.'

There was a clear container on the corner of the table that looked like an old plastic candy jar and there was duct tape stuck diagonally across the front of the container bearing the words 'FOR THE BAND'. I shook my head and laughed. Fucking guys.

I checked out all the Supersuckers t-shirts. Again, nothing was really saying 'buy me' but I wanted to help spread the evil of The Supersuckers so I asked the guy how much for a shirt. '15,' he said, 'and I'll throw in a CD for another $5.'

'I've already got all of those CD's' I said, smiling.

'Do you have 'Devil's Food'? I've got more of those coming out.'

'Yeah, got that one too.'

He just looked at me, grinned and shrugged like, 'Oh well'.

I told him I'd probably come back and buy a shirt after I'd had a couple drinks. 'Bring one back for me,' he said.

'Ok. That I'll do,' I told him.

I headed into the club, bought a beer and stood around near the stage barrier waiting for the first band, The Blackpool Lights. While I was waiting around, I could not help but notice some of the characters in there. There was one kid there with, I'm guessing it was his Mom, who could not have been more than 10 years old. He looked a little nervous. There was another kid who looked about 12 or 13, hair slicked back, wearing a black leather jacket with the words Social Distortion on the back. It looked like the words were hand drawn. That's pretty cool I thought.

After a short time, The Blackpool Lights, a band from Kansas City, walked out on stage. They walked onto stage to the sound of complete and total silence. Nobody clapped, cheered or yelled. Just silence. 'Alright that's the way we like to make an entrance,' the singer said, 'subdued'.

Undaunted, they launched into their set. The lead singer played a Tele and the lead guitar player had a gold top Les Paul that had the finish completely worn off where his forearm rested on the body of the guitar as he slammed the strings. Impressed? Yes I was. The drummer had on a prosthetic leg below the knee but you'd never know it from his playing.

I did not know any of their songs, but I thought The Blackpool Lights put on a great show. The band grew on the people in the crowd too and they became more animated and cheered louder at the end of each song. The band seemed to appreciate that. The singer noted that this was their first time playing Boston and they liked the response. I enjoyed The Blackpool Lights set. I liked their songs and they even mixed in a short little Tom Petty cover into their set. I'm planning to check out their latest CD very soon.

After The Blackpool Lights finished, I headed over to the bar and got a couple Sam Adams beers. One for me, one for the Supersuckers t-shirt guy. I walked back to the shirt table and he was talking to somebody about buying a shirt. I put the beer on the table and said, 'Here you go dude!'

'Hey! I was only joking before, but thanks! That's the best present I've gotten all night!'

'No problem,' I said. 'Have a good one!'

I headed back to the front of the stage and waited for The Supersuckers. I only found out about these guys a relatively short time ago after reading about them over on Faster Than the World. Shit it's only been six months since I first heard these guys? I feel like I've been listening to them all my life.

I was really looking forward to seeing The Supersuckers, ever since I had seen on their site that they were touring with Social D out on the West Coast, I had eagerly hoped that they would come East. I tried not to get my hopes up, because that line-up is almost too good. I figured it was a West Coast stint for both bands and I would not get lucky enough for them to stick together for an East Coast tour, but lo and behold, one day I checked their site and there was a big list of Social D East Coast dates and The Supersuckers were listed on the Boston date. It took me about 30 seconds to get my ticket order in, then it was time to wait.

Now the waiting was over and I was at the front of the stage, right in the middle, right next to the barrier. The Supersuckers came out to a lot of cheers from the Monday night crowd. It was hard to tell how many people there actually knew who they were, but when lead singer and bass player Eddie Spaghetti walked up to the mic and said, 'Hey everybody, we're The Supersuckers, The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World!' the cheering ensued. And with that, it was on and they proceeded to rock Boston's ass with the appropriately named song, 'Rock Your Ass'.

'I said I'm Eddie Spaghetti here to rock yo asses steady. Are you ready? Then grab a drink and chug-a-lug, have some sex and take some drugs, aright!'

The Supersuckers are all about not taking things seriously, having fun and a pair of Les Paul guitars with lots of distortion, wah-pedal fueled solos and a lot of crashing symbols. In short, a great fucking time.

The Supersuckers put on a great show and had a lot of fun with the audience. Eddie commented appreciatively on how many people were there to see the opening band on a Monday night. 'You know, even though it's a Monday, it feels almost like a really great Thursday' he joked.

Some of the other songs from the Supersuckers set included, 'Pretty Fucked Up,' 'Paid', 'Creepy Jackalope Eye', and 'The Evil Powers of Rock n Roll'. They did a whole bunch of the songs that I knew and that made it more fun.

At one point in the show Eddie let everybody in the band play his bass. Each member of the band acted thrilled and surprised at the chance to feel the power of the bass guitar. Even the drummer got into the act, hitting the strings with one drumstick while he kept the beat with the other. After everybody in the band had their turn, Eddie put the neck of the bass out over the stage barrier to let people in the crowd feel the awesome power of the bass guitar too.

It was a lot of fun. A really great time. As the band was ending the set, Eddie told the crowd that he'd be in the back of the club afterwards to meet people if they wanted to. He said they had special people waiting in the back to hold the places for everybody standing up near the front, 'so if you're in the front don't worry, your spot for Social D will still be there waiting for you when you come back...'

Wise ass. I just shook my head and laughed.

So of course, after The Supersuckers finished their set, with everyone in the band bowing in unison in a Skynyrd like fashion, I felt obliged to head back over to the shirt area and shake Eddie Spaghetti's hand. There were some people there talking to him but it was not overly crowded. I waited till he was done talking to one guy then I went up and shook his hand. I told him it was a great show and thanked him for rockin' my ass steady. 'Eddie Spaghetti! Thanks for rockin' my ass steady!' was my exact quote.

I have to say, I thought that it was extremely cool that Eddie went and hung out back there and just talked to everybody and met people after his set. You don't see that happen. Ever. Well, I've never seen that happen anyway...

After my quick brush with rock stardom I headed back to the stage, much to the chagrin of those around me. Now I'm not that big of a guy and I was not shoving anybody and I was saying 'scuse me' and what not, basically trying to make my way through the crowd as unobtrusively as possible, but a couple people got agitated that I was trying to get back to the middle of the floor. One guy was all full of attitude because I had accidentally bumped into him and his girlfriend had to move her foot.

I was not in there to cause trouble or fight with anybody but I just looked at him and calmly said, 'Do you know where you are?'

'Yeah, I do. I know where I am, do you?'

I just smiled. 'Have you ever been to one of these shows before? Because in case you don't know yet, there's a good chance that someone might bump into you here, so I think you should relax a little. Now, sorry I bumped into you on my way by.'

I turned around and kept going and somebody was grabbing my shirt. I don't know if it was him or his girlfriend, or somebody else. I don't know who was still tugging on my shirt, but I was going out of my way to be polite as I walked through the crowd, so I got tried of it. I turned around and was like, 'WHO THE FUCK IS GRABBING ON ME? WHAT THE FUCK?'

One of the guys next to me said, 'hey you wanna get by, no problem.'

'Thanks' I said. 'I think some of these people have never been to a show like this before.'

I had found my spot back near the middle of the stage. I was not standing next to the speakers again. I know what happens when you stand next to the speakers. I was going right back to where I was, or at least back to the same general area, so sorry if I bumped into you on the way by.

Ironically I noticed later that the people who were so agitated by my passage earlier wound up standing right on the edge of where the pit was. I hope they did not mind getting bumped into. Heh.

Once again, it was time to wait, but it was not long before the lights went down and Social D came out onto the stage. Mike Ness emerged bearing a dozen or so roses. He threw one or two out into the crowd and then threw out the whole bunch.

At this point the crush was on as I was pushed into the people in front of me by the people behind. The people in front pushed back and that's how it went for a few minutes, like a big wave moving back and forth until it finally broke and the pit got going.

I was right on the edge of it so I got in and jumped around for a while then jumped back out to rest and watch the show. I only went in a few times because I mainly wanted to watch Social Distortion play, but I stayed near the edge and when I got the urge I'd jump in there.

Social Distortion was great. They are such a great band live. Mike Ness is so intense on stage as he is performing and his voice has that angry quality to it, like he's just spitting out his rage and anger over all the junk in his life with every word as he lays into the strings of his gold top Les Paul. Then when a song ends, he has this funny sense of humor as he banters with the crowd.

Sociald1
(image © courtesy Jeremy Saffer)

'You know', he starts, 'I kind of have a feeling, some of you might not be making it into work tomorrow morning... then after a moment he says with a smile, 'ah fuck that fucking job man... tell your boss Mike Ness said you can have the day off.'

Some of the songs they did included 'Reach For The Sky', 'Nickels and Dimes', 'Prison Bound', 'Mommy's Little Monster', 'Ball and Chain' and 'Sometimes I Do', which also featured some guest vocals from Eddie Spaghetti.

One of the humorous moments that occurred during the show was when Mike noticed the young kid that I had described earlier, 'I noticed some of you are here with your Mothers, you guys should consider yourselves lucky...' then he saw the young kid and started laughing and said, 'look at you, how the hell did you get in here anyway?'

Social D ended the night with the Johnny Cash tune, 'Ring of Fire' and then headed off stage. The show was over.

Socialdjump
(image © courtesy Jeremy Saffer)

I hung around near the barrier as I waited for people to clear out. At one point someone from the stage crew dropped a set list down to the floor and it landed right next to me. I thought I had a cool souviner there for a second, but he told me it was for one of the very eager female fans who was leaning over the barrier. I handed it over to her and she was pretty excited. I would have liked to have had a set list, but all it is, is a printout with a list of songs on it, so no big deal.

After the crowd had thinned out I headed out the exit, past the members of The Blackpool Lights who were handing out free posters, and back into the night, happy that I had seen a great show and knowing that I did not have to go to work in the morning.

Even thought Mike Ness had said that I could take the next day off, I had thought ahead and cleared it with the boss first.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A day off...

Hey gang. How's it going? I had today off from work and did not do much except hang around the house and help my Wife move some boxes around in the basement. She is a school teacher and has boxes and boxes of books. Those fuckers are heavy, l'll tell you what. And those cabinets and shelves are almost full.

I went to see Social D and The Supersuckers last night. Black Pool Lights was there too. All of the bands were really good. It was a fucking phenomenal show and I had a great time. I will write something up about it in the next day or so.

Some highlights included:
NOT getting lost driving in Boston (this may be the first time I've ever accomplished this feat.)

Made the Supersuckers t-shirt guy happy by buying him a Sam Adams. He was trying to talk me into buying a shirt, but I did not really have money for a shirt. He said then the least I could do was buy him a beer, so I said I would come back later with a beer for him, which, of course, I did. I'm a man of my word after all. But he was still happily surprised.

Oh and I met Eddie Spaghetti and thanked him for rockin' my ass steady.

Oh and of course Social D. They were there too. Fucking awesome. That pretty much goes without saying.

AND no tweaked or bent body parts. Just lots of tiredness from staying out past bedtime.

Speaking of which... it's about that time. So look for a painfully detailed synopsis of the show, probably tomorrow or so.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Social D and the Supersuckers: TONIGHT

Social Distortion and The Supersuckers. Tonight. I've been looking forward to this show for months. Social D is my favorite band and after hearing them on Faster Than the World a while back, The Supersuckers have rapidly become another one of my favorites as well, so this is going to be good.

One of my new faves opening for my old fave.

Several months ago, I noticed that Social D was doing a bunch of West Coast shows with the Supersuckers and I imagined how great it would be if they were to both come out to do some East Coast shows too. I tried not to get too hopeful about it because I figured this was probably just a West Coast stint for both bands and the two of them staying together for an East Coast tour would be too good to be true.

None the less, every few weeks I'd check the tour schedule to see if there were any East Coast shows coming up and when I saw there was suddenly a Boston date listed, I bought my ticket that day.

Well today's the day of the show I am stoked because this is going to be great. The only downer is that it's a Monday, but I took tomorrow off. I figured these old bones will need a day to recover and now I don't have to worry about dragging my tired, potentially beat ass into work tomorrow.

How's that for thinkin' ahead?

Now it's time to head out. Maybe I'll see you there... I can't fucking wait for this thing.

Sdguitar800

(image via Social Distortion.com)

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

ROLLINS BAND

This post is an account of my night out to go see Rollins Band last Saturday. It is also being cross-posted as a guest post over at Faster Than the World. I just wanted to say thanks to Turtle and Michele for letting me post on their web page while they took a little vaycay. Turtle, Michele, if either one of you read this, I hope you both had a nice vacation!

I have never done a guest appearance on somebody else's site before. I hope people will find this story interesting!

ROLLINS BAND

I drove to The T (more commonly known as 'a subway') station just outside of Boston and made my way up the ramp, past all the dejected Red Sox fans on their way out of the city, fresh from the latest loss to the NY Yankees. I was heading in, they were heading out. I stopped at the change machine to get the $3.00 fare and found that all of the machines were out of order, most likely out of money from the throngs that had passed through earlier in the day on their way to see the Red Sox / Yankees game.

Unsure what to do, I walked over to a bench near the train boarding area, sat down and waited. I had the money for the train, just not the exact change. I figured one way or another, things would work out. Eventually a man in a T uniform walked by. I told him how I had tried to get correct change but the machines were not working, showing him my $5.00 bill for emphasis.

'Don't worry about it, my train is the next one out, I'll let you on'

Nice. Things were working out already.

I had dreaded taking the T into the city simply because of the duration of time it took to get through all the stops, but the traffic was light at this time of day, around 5:30 PM, and most of the people were coming out of the city not going in.

I arrived at the Fenway T stop a little past 6:30 PM and made my way a few blocks down the street towards Lansdowne Street, which happens to be located directly across the street from Fenway Park and is the address of The Avalon, the place where I would be seeing The Riverboat Gamblers, Rollins Band and X later that night. I could see the brick facade and the dimmed lights of Fenway reaching up into the sky ahead.

The main reason for my little solo outing into the City of Boston tonight was to see Rollins Band.

A few months back I had received an e-mail from Rollins' mailing list with the news that Rollins Band was going out on tour. Moments after getting that e-mail, I was checking the dates and buying a ticket for the Boston show. It was not until later that I found out Rollins was actually the middle band in a three band set.

No matter, I was there to see Rollins. That's what I cared about. The rest would be gravy.

I arrived at the Avalon shortly after 6:30 and was surprised to hear the muffled noise of drums and guitars that signaled that The Riverboat Gamblers had already started their set. Usually, the time on the ticket is when the doors are open, not when the show actually starts, dammit.

I was annoyed at myself for getting there late because I was looking forward to to seeing The Riverboat Gamblers. Usually the 1st band out in a three band performance is some up and coming band that most people have never heard of, but since I knew I'd be going to see them, I had downloaded the Riverboat Gamblers album, 'Something to Crow About' a few weeks ago. The album kicked ass and I had kept it on heavy rotation on my iPod ever since, so I was pretty excited to see these guys open for Rollins and X.

I got into the club just as The 'Gamblers were finishing up a song. I was not sure how many I had missed. I was not that late so it could not have been more than one or two songs. As I was walking in, they started up with the song, 'Ice Water'. Cool.

The Avalon is your pretty typical rock club. Its all black inside and dimly lit. There is an elevated area two or three steps up from the floor for people who don't want to get up close and personal with the other patrons to hang back and watch the bands and there are bars serving expensive drinks on either side of the stage.

As I walked in, the place was not that full. There was plenty of room to walk around and most people were pretty much just standing around, half paying attention to the band and bobbing their heads to the music.

I made my way over to the right hand side of the stage, right up near the stage barrier and, as I would regret later, I immediately remembered that I had forgotten my ear plugs (I'm old). I was standing pretty much right next to the front of the stage speakers. (My right hand side ear is still ringing a little as I write this two days later.)

The Riverboat Gamblers put on a great show, even though their set was relatively short. They did a couple songs from 'Something to Crow About' which was cool, since that was the record that I was familiar with. The band consisted of bass, drums, vocals, and two guitars. One of the guitarists played a Les Paul, the other was playing a Telecaster. As a guitar player myself, these are the things I tend to notice when I watch a band. I also like to watch the different styles of play as well, just out of technical interest. Is the guitar slung low or up high. Do they play up on the fret board or down near the pickups, that sort of guitar nerdery.

The singer for The Riverboat Gamblers, Mike Wiebe, is a wild-man. He is all over the place on stage, jumping up and down, twirling his mic around like Roger Daltrey and leaping from speakers. At one point he climbed over the barrier to walk around in the crowd while doing a couple songs. That was pretty entertaining. He would walk right up to people and get in their faces, dancing around and singing, while the people he was doing this in front of just kind of stood there grinning, not knowing what to do and looking frightened or embarrassed.

I could not help but think, if someone is going to come up to you like that, why not jump around with him or yell, or.. something! Don't just stand there with a silly grin on your face looking like you are afraid of what somebody might think. Anyway. I was kind of hoping he would come over near me because I would have told him to play the song, 'Cut-Cut-Cut-Cut,' but it didn't happen.

The Gamblers finished up their set with 'Last to Know,' another song off 'Something to Crow About' and then headed off the stage. I was pretty glad I got to see those guys. They had a really good set.

Now it was time to wait for Rollins. I headed over to the bar, ordered a Jack shooter and a Sam Adams. I downed the shot and put a $10 on the bar, figuring that would cover it.

'12 bucks,' said the bartender, who I could not help but notice was a very attractive blonde woman. 'Hmm. Ok,' I thought, reaching for my wallet to pull out another fiver. 'Pricey,' but I am a cheap bastard, so I think everything is pricey.

I walked around and drank my expensive beer waiting for Rollins to come out. I checked out the t-shirts, etc. Eventually I got tired of that and found my way back to my spot near the front of the stage. I stood on the elevated area, just three steps up from the floor, and watched the techs set up the stage.

I had just finished my last swig of beer when Rollins Band drummer Sim Cain casually walked onto the stage and got behind the drums. At first I thought he was just another drum tech, but moments later, out walked Henry Rollins.

I threw down my beer cup and jumped down to the floor.

Yes! Here is the man!

Henry strode out on stage, short cropped hair, no shirt, black shorts, black Vans sneakers, oh and did I mention Rollins is 45 years old and is totally fucking ripped? Well he is. Other than the gray in his hair, and the fact that he happened to be wearing sneaks instead of going barefoot, he looked just like the the pics on the back of the 'End of Silence' album. Impressive.

I should probably mention that I have always wanted to see Rollins Band perform but I have never gotten the chance, so I was pretty primed up for this.

As I got down onto the floor of the club, I was fully expecting a pit to form up so I got into the position: left leg forward, bent at the knee, right leg back a little, slightly flexed and ready to push off, left arm out in front, bent at the elbow, fist clenched. I was ready to absorb a blow, then shove back and we'd be on our way.

Rollins stood in the middle of the stage, which was all black, with no banners, signs, or decoration of any kind. Just a barren black stage, covered with cables and monitors with guitarist Chris Haskett to the right, drummer Sim Cain behind, in the center, and Melvin Gibbs on bass to the left .

Rollins stood for a moment with his back to the crowd, giving a full view of the sun tattoo on his back with the words 'Search and Destroy' tattooed across his shoulders.

Not wasting any time, the band started right in with the song, 'On My Way To The Cage'. I was very close to the stage, only a step back from the barrier and I waited in anticipation for the shoving to start, but it never did. I have to say I was quite surprised by this, but even though the floor was full of people, there was no pit. 'Ok. That's odd,' I thought. I could not believe there was not a pit during this show, and although people were pretty close together, there was none of the usual shoving or trampling that I had come to expect.

I had a great view of Rollins and the entire band from my spot on the floor. As Chris Haskett was knocking out some killer riffs on his red EPS guitar, Rollins was like pure energy in the center of the stage. He stood right on the edge, as close as he could get to the crowd, alternating between a half crouch while leaning over the end of stage towards the crowd, to a fully coiled crouch, bending his back down low while he put everything he had into every word of each song. It's hard to put into words but you could literally feel the intensity emanating from Rollins as he performed. Fucking cool.

I've seen quite a few bands but I've never seen anyone put so much focus and pure, all-out energy into each and every song like Rollins did. After only a few songs, he was sweating profusely and he had wrapped the microphone cable around his fingers several times to help him keep it in a tight grip in his hand. Melvin Gibbs' bass lines laid down an incredible, driving groove as the foundation for each song and Sim Cain's drum work was sharp and presice. The band members played extremely well together. These guys were tight, and the songs took on an energy of their own that is simply not captured on the studio recordings.

In the quick, seconds long breaks that took place between every few songs, Rollins would stride a few steps back to the drum kit stand, where several bottles of water stood, along with a couple of towels. The towels were used to wipe down the microphone, which was saturated with the moisture from Rollins' body. Henry would then take a swig of water and then emit a stream of mist from his mouth as he headed back to the edge of the stage to start in on the next song.

Rollins set included a several songs from the End of Silence, Weight and Come In and Burn albums including, Low Self Opinion, You Didn't Need, and Divine (Object of Hatred). The bantering with the crowd was minimal. The band stopped playing briefly to allow Henry to introduce the musicians and at one point in the show, Rollins also had a short monolouge:

'You know there's a lot of wars going on today. The war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on stubborn belly fat...' That got a laugh.

Rollins got serious for a moment for his introduction to the song, 'Civilized,' saying, 'it's pretty fucked up that an American would shoot another American in a 7-11 for looking at his girlfriend a little bit to long.' That was his introduction to the song 'Civilized'.

Most of the songs had no introduction. As a song ended, Henry would return to a balled-up, crouched position in the middle of the stage as if he was trying to pull together as much of his power and energy as he could before releasing it during the next song. Other songs included, Disconnect, Volume 4, and after a quick introduction that consisted of the simple statement, 'Here is a song:' Liar.

That one was pretty cool to see live, with Rollins grinning and playing up the act, '...and now you're desperate and in need of human contact, and then, you meet me...' The best part of course is the end, as he launches into the climax of the song, yelling, 'SUCKER! SUCKER!'

Rollins played for about an hour and I was wishing he was the headliner of the show so that he could continue a little longer, but he and his band packed a lot of wallop into their short time on stage.

Rollins Band put on an incredibly good show and it was a great experience to finally get to see them live. That's going to be a fond memory some day.

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday night jam

Friday night. Me and an old pal, who goes by the name, 'Les,' got together in my nearly completed basement room and kicked out a few faves...

Sometimes I Do - Social Distortion
Don't Take Me For Granted - Social Distortion
The Bars - Black Flag
Prison Bound - Social Distortion
Faithless - Social Distortion
Astro Zombies - The Misfits
Skulls - The Misfits
Death or Glory - The Clash
Touch Too Much - AC/DC
Girls Got Rhythm - AC/DC
If You Want Blood (You've Got It) - AC/DC
This Time Darlin' - Social Distortion
Piece By Piece - Slayer
Wanted Man - Johnny Cash
Every Mother's Son - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Let Me In - R.E.M.
Live Before You Die - Social Distortion
Rock 'n' Roll High School - Ramones
I Just Wanna Have Something To Do - Ramones
The KKK Took My Baby Away - Ramones

[Made a bunch of shit up that I'll never remember]

Story of My Life - Social Distortion

Goodnight.

Oh, almost forgot... GO SOX.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Weekend wrap up

Hey whats up everybody! Hope you had a nice weekend, outside of Red Sox baseball related matters anyway.

I did not get to see the Pats / Cardinals game on Saturday because I was out that night, but I caught the end of the game on the radio as I drove home. I was somewhat surprised at the outcome to be honest. I was expecting a little bit more of a challenge from the Cardinals, but I'm sure not going to complain about a game that was totally dominated by The Patriots, who won 30-3.

I'll be going in person to the next Pats game, vs. The Redskins, this upcoming weekend. That should be a lot of fun. The 3rd pre-season game is usually the final 'tune up' game for the regular season and it generally features the longest amount of playing time from the starters, so I am looking forward to that.

I went to see Rollins Band play in Boston Saturday night and had a super-fantastic time.

This was my first time seeing Rollins live and he did not disappoint. It was an incredibly good show. I'm not going to say too much about it right now as I will be posting more on that later. I was working on an incredibly over-long post all about the show last night, so look for something on that a little later in the week.

I did not see any of the Red Sox game last night since I was busy doing other things, and you know what, that is just fine. I was irritated when I got up and saw the score this morning, but, I would have been even more irritated if I had actually sat and watched that debacle.

I am not throwing in the towel on The Sox playoff hopes, but if they don't get things turned around soon, they'll be playing for pride in September.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

It's not easy figuring out the best way to have fun

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

I've been having a small inner battle with myself for the last couple days, trying to decide what my best plan of action will be for Saturday, when I will be going to see The Riverboat Gamblers, Rollins Band and X at the Avalon in Boston.

I live about 50 miles west of Boston and normally I would just drive in, find somewhere to park, get a beer at a local bar and then head into the show, but here's the thing: The Avalon is located right across the street from Fenway Park and the Red Sox just happen to be playing an afternoon game vs The Yankees Saturday. That means that area of the city is going to be absolutely packed with people tomorrow.

So, do I drive in early, maybe even try to get a ticket to the Sox game, hang out and then go to the show?

That would be fun, but, if I go in early and can't get a ticket to the game, then what do I do, hang out around Yawkey Way, The Cask n' Flagon and The Baseball Tavern for 7 hours? That plan has trouble written all over it.

Plus, if I go in early for the Red Sox / Yankees game, whether I get into the game or not, will I be wiped out for the show afterwords? I would not want to be all tired and worn out before the RG/Rollins/X show even got started. What would I do after the game ended, take a nap in my car?

Or...

Do I just wait till later in the day to drive in to Boston, hope the area around Fenway has cleared out a little and pray to find a parking place?

Maybe it would be better to take the train in?

What to do, what to do, WHAT TO DO?

It all boils down to a basic decision that needs to be made, go in early or go in later.

Right now I'm leaning towards going into the city after the baseball game is over. I mean, what are my chances of getting into the Sox game anyway? Unless I want to pay a minimum of $200 for a ticket, which I don't, getting into the game is highly unlikely. I could try to get a game day ticket, but that means standing in line for 5 hours. No thanks.

The good news: no matter what, it will be a fun day.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Looking forward to this: Rollins Band in August...

Later this month, I'll be going to see Rollins Band along with The Riverboat Gamblers and X at the Avalon club in Boston. It should be a great show and after reading this post from Henry himself, I'm looking forward to it even more.

I also read a very positive review of the show here which has me pretty excited too see this one.

The main reason I'm going to this show is to see Rollins Band but I am looking forward to seeing The Riverboat Gamblers and X as well, even though I admit, I know nothing about those two bands, other than their reputation.

I will have to download some of their tunes before the show so that I will know a few of them. I have heard some good things about the Riverboat Gamblers and, even though X is not a band I am familiar with, they have a legendary status, so I am expecting to see a really great show.

My favorite band, Social D, is coming back around to Boston in October and the tickets for that show have already arrived here at my house. And I found out today that The Supersuckers will be the opening band for this one. Yup, Social Distortion and The Supersuckers. Dude, that is such a phenomenal line up. That show going to be fucking awesome. I am really excited for that one.

I go to all these shows by myself now. In some ways it's cool. If a band comes around that I want to see, I just check with the Wife to make sure she does not have me booked for something, then I order the tickets. No chasing people around asking, 'hey you want to go see a band with me?' and getting either no response or, the excruciatingly lame, 'I'm too old'. Plus, there's no wondering where somebody has dissapeared to either before, during or after the show is over. When it's all done, there's nobody to worry about but myself. Maybe grab a beer to wind down or just jump in the car and take off for home.

At the same time though, I have to admit, sometimes it is kind of sad in a way that I go to shows by myself these days. Oh well. That is the way it is and I always have a good time so it's not really a big deal. It was weird going to shows by myself at first, but I am used to it now and actually have grown to like it, so there you go.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Cast your vote for the Best Heavy Metal Album Ever!

Cullen over at Half a Pica Distance wants to know which album people think is the Best Heavy Metal Album, ever! His readers threw their faves into a big pile and now it's time to vote for your favorite:

The one poll to unite them: The Best Heavy Metal Album Ever!

These polls are fun to do and it's all just for fun, so bang your head over to Cullen's site and cast a vote!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fun with music...

Stolen from Michele and Turtle, who stole it from Pril, who stole it from somebody else.. Either way, it's fun!

Step 1) Pick a band or singer
Step 2) Answer the questions using only song titles
Step 3) Post

Artist - Ozzy:

Are you male or female?: Mr. Crowley

Describe yourself: Believer

How do some people feel about you?: Diary of a Madman

How do you feel about yourself?: I Don't Know

Describe what you want to be.: Flying High Again

Describe your current mood: Revelation

Describe your friends.: Over The Mountain

Share a few words of wisdom.: You Can't Kill Rock and Roll

Monday, July 17, 2006

Mission Impossible: Best Metal Song, Best Punk Album, ever!

It's Monday, its incredibly nice out, at least where I am, and I am at work trying not to spend the entire day continually checking these two, insanely impossible polls:

Cullen over at Half a Pica Distance is trying to find out what song is 'The Best Metal Song Ever!' Anything and everything is being accepted, from Poison to Slayer, meaning this poll going to be completely out of control, (but fun!) so get over there and put in your suggestions.

Michele and Turtle, over at Faster Than The World, have, with the help of their readers, narrowed the best punk albums from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s down to 5 picks.  Now they are letting readers decide which one is the best of all, so be sure to go vote over and vote for your favorite.

The time-wasting potential here is endless.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Starting over...

I've done a pretty poor job of getting back on track with my daily exercise routine. I've managed to get up and get outside only one day each week since I started again, but I just kept telling myself to keep trying and to start over the next day.

Well this week I've actually managed to get my tired self out of bed to go outside and exercise for two days in a row! Woo! I'm on a roll now. This morning I even ran instead of walking! Well, I jogged. Whatever. It was faster than walking.

I'd rather just walk, because I hate running, but I need to kick things into a higher gear with this whole losing weight thing.

I'm also back on the 'looking for people to jam with' list. This is a subject that I have found difficult to get my thoughts together on. I've actually tried to write a post about this several times but my thoughts surrounding the whole series of events are kind of mixed up and jumbled.

It turns out my latest stint playing with the band I was briefly in just did not work out. I thought that things were going well but I missed a practice one week so that I could install the floor in my basement and the band leader got all pissed off about it, to the point where he could not even respond to e-mails for over a week. I thought that his reaction was a bit over the top and ridiculous, and it really annoyed me that he was so angry about my not being able to make practice that one week.

Practices were on Sunday afternoons and I had told them right from the start that there would be times when I would not be able to come if there was something going on with my family or work that needed to be done at home. Everyone in the band seemed cool with that, until it actually happened, that is.

I was going to try and just blow the whole thing off but the issue with my missing practice did not go away and I decided that it was not in the best interest of either myself of the band to continue with them. I realized that I was not going to be able to give them the kind of commitment that they were going to need to accomplish their goals and from an irrational, emotional standpoint, the fact that the band leader was so pissed off at me made me even more pissed off at him and the whole situation. I thought it was asinine and it got to the point where I just did not want to deal with it. I was in this for fun, not a hassle.

I thought about trying to keep going with the band and see if things would work out, but my gut was telling me that it was not going to happen. I was at the point where I had become so annoyed with the whole situation that I would not have been able to let it go myself, so I told them thanks, it was fun and wished them luck. I realize I was probably being a little bit irrational about the whole thing, but sometimes you just have to listen to your gut. Most of the time, your gut is right and your head is wrong.

So now I'm back hoping to someday find some people I can just jam with and not have to worry about learning songs that I don't really like as fast as I can. I'll probably put another post up on Craigslist after my basement is finished and I have a cool place of my own to do some jamming.

Every time I do this whole band thing I learn a little more. I've been playing my guitar for a while now but I have not been in a lot of bands. I'm basically a newbie at this whole thing. I did not think it would be so hard to find people in common to just hang out and jam with. I'm sure my time constraints and grown-up responsibilities do not help the process. I'll just keep at it. Next time I will be a little more strict too, NO Beatles tunes.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Get in the Pit: Rate the Best Punk Albums (by decade)

Michele and Turtle are at it again and this time they are doing the Best Punk Albums by decade.

The 100 Best Punk Songs list they did a little while ago was a lot of fun. It turned out that songs from two of my favorite bands wound up in the top three on the list, which was pretty cool to see (and no, there was no ballot stuffing done on my part).

Now they are starting to let readers pick the Best Punk Albums by Decade starting with the 70's and moving on from there. Readers will pick the best album from each decade, the 70's, 80's, 90's and 00's. Then there will be a battle royal to decided which of the four rules over all.

Hop over there and join in the fun.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Playing along with the Sox..

The band I had been playing with for the last few weeks decided they liked me and offered me the position, (or should I say, 'gig'?). I was pretty happy about that. They are a good bunch and it turns out we have a lot of stuff in common besides music, like being Patriots and Red Sox fans for one thing.

In fact, the singer in the band is a humongous Red Sox fan and she knows her shit cold when it comes to the game too. She's like a walking baseball encyclopedia. That's fucking cool.

They told me they had a couple other guys besides me come in and try out a few weeks ago, but they did not work out. I guess one guy had a weird personality, like he thought he was still living in 1985 or something, and the other guy told them that he could play, but when he showed up to the practice he could not keep up with any of the songs they were doing. (It's not like we are doing any incredibly difficult stuff either...) I guess there were some ego issues involved as well.

Hey whatever. I'm in. I'm happy to be in. That's all. I'm pretty easy going when it comes to this stuff. All I care about is that they are open minded about the songs we are playing. I'll put up with a few Beatles tunes as long as we can throw a Social D or Misfits tune in there somewhere down the line.

I worked on a few songs tonight while I had the Sox game on in the background. Beckett was in cruise mode and it was a low stress game, which the Sox eventually won, meaning I could concentrate more on the songs and not what was going on in the game. I saw Gabe the Babe's homer. Awesome.

To learn the songs, I have been looking up the lyrics and copying them into a text document. Then I fill in the chords in the right places with the lyrics. I am not trying to get the exact notes written out right now, as long as it is the right base chord. This is just for me to use as a cheat sheet to help me learn the songs faster.

It seems to be working good so far. I had been trying to download tabs off the interweb but that was not working out. Half the time they were wrong or I could not make sense out of the way they were written. I find this new method I am using is working out good.

The songs I worked on tonight were:
Already Gone - Eagles
Birthday - Beatles
Bitch - Meridith Brooks
Cochise - Audioslave
Every Breath You Take - The Police
Joey - Concrete Blonde
Rockin In the Free World - Neil Young
Don't Take Me For Granted - Social Distortion (That one was mine. Shocking.)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Ministry show...

So I saw Ministry and RevCo last night down at the Palladium in Worcester. Rolled my ankle, a-gain. That always seems to happen to me at these things! No ace bandage required afterwards (this time.) And my ears are ringing a little bit, but not too bad. I started out the night with no ear-plugs but wound up putting them in after only a few songs. I'm glad I did or I'd probably be totally deaf today. Also had a slight headache this morning because I drank one too many whiskeys. Always gotta take it a little too far...

I was telling my Wife, 'Boy, I was not paying enough attention to how much my drinks cost. They were like ten bucks each!'

'Ten bucks, what kind of drinks were you getting?'

'A shot and a beer, like always..'

'Ah, that's actually two drinks, dear.'

'Oh. Yeah I guess, technically it is...'

As for the actual show, both RevCo and Ministry put on a great show, just don't ask me what the hell the songs they played were because I have no idea. The only one I recognized was 'Stigmata' which was the last one that Ministry played at the end of the show. Other than that there was lots of double bass drums, and lots of guys singing through bull-horns. And guitars. Lots of guitars.

I thought RevCo was cool. The singer came out wearing a tuxedo and was very fun to watch. Actually the whole band was fun to watch. There was a second guy who also sang a few songs, and when he was not singing he put on some weird looking mask and what looked like a policeman's hat, and he climbed around on top of the speakers a lot. There was a woman playing the bass. Looked good, played good. Al Jourgensen played guitar. He was playing a cool semi-hollow body guitar. I could not tell what kind it was but it was not a Gibson.. I noted that Jourgensen plays real high up on the neck with his pick. Just an interesting tidbit.

At one point between shows I went to visit the men's room and I got in what I thought was the line, at least it looked like the line anyway.. I was just kind of standing there minding my own business, waiting for the line to move, and the guy in front of me is just staring right at me, with a somewhat irritated, stoney expression on his face, like I am invading his personal space or something by standing there. After about a minute of the 'line' not moving, I asked the guy, 'ahh, dude are you in line here?'

'NO' he replied in a very irritated tone.

So I said something along the lines of, 'Well what the fuck dude? Go stand somewhere else...' and with that I got into the real bathroom line.

I saw him again later as I was walking out, having a hissy fit about not being able to smoke a cigarette. Having a little nic-fit I guess..

During the Ministry show some guy fell down in the pit and I went to help him up. I grabbed him by the arm and pulled and my hand just slid right off his arm because it was so sweaty. Gross, but I tried again. Same result. It did not help that he did not seem to be making much of an attempt to get up on his own, so I yelled, 'Get the fuck up ya sweaty fuck!'

'Sorry,' he said after eventually getting up. I've never had anyone tell me 'Sorry' in the middle of a pit before. Funny. I gave him a smile and a shove.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Ministry tonight at the Palladium...

I'll be heading out to see Ministry and RevCo at the Palladium in Worcester later on tonight. It should be a good time and I am looking forward to the show. I am more familiar with Ministry's older releases, like "The Land of Rape and Honey' and 'The Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste', but I have heard their last album, 'Houses of Mole' and I thought it was pretty good.

I have not heard anything off their new album at all.

Either way, I like Ministry's music. I love the songs, 'Diety' and 'You Know What You Are', and the album they are on, 'The Land of Rape and Honey', was one of my favorite albums of the late 80's, so when I was checking the concert listings a while back and saw they were coming to Worcester, I thought, 'Why not? They would be cool to see.'

As for The Revolting Cocks, I'm sure I've played a few of their songs way back in the day on the college alt-rock station I used to work at, but I could not tell you how any of them go right now if my life depended on it.

That's ok though. Either way, it should be a fun show and that's all I care about. My Wife is out with the kids visting her folks tonight, so it works out good because otherwise I would just be sitting around at home, by myself, doing nothing. Now I've got something fun to do!

I'm planning on going over to the Irish Times, right across the street from the Palladium, for a few drinks before heading over to the show.

As a testament to my official, 'old guy at the show' status, I will be bringing some earplugs just in case it's too loud.

After I went to see Danzig a few months ago, it took about a week for my hearing to come back after the show and let me tell you, that sucked. I don't want to go through that again. I'd like to be able to hear my kids talking to me this Sunday on Father's Day, so if I start getting that 'blown out' feeling, I will feel no shame in sticking in the ear plugs.

Since I started going to shows again last year, I have felt a little wierd going into these things, like, 'am I a little too old to be doing this stuff now?' I know that it's kind of stupid to feel that way. Who cares right? I mean, it's not like I'm 70 years old or something, and I'm not out to impress anyone, but I still get those feelings anyway. Then I remember, hey, the guys playing in the band are older than me, so there ya go. 'You gotta live before you die.'

I did a quick search for some recent posts about Ministry on Technorati and Google Blog Search and I found a couple recent entries from people who had seen the show. They were all positive, so that is good, and one guy even said it was the loudest show he'd ever seen and, '...I wish I'd brough my ear-plugs!'

See? With age comes wisdom. I'd rather be the un-cool old guy wearing ear-plugs than deaf.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Time to thrash it out: The 100 Greatest Punk Rock Songs - Vote now!

With a little help from their faithful readers, Michele and Turtle over at Faster Than The World have compiled a list of the 100 Greatest Punk Rock Songs of all time, ever.

Now it's time to put them in order, 1 through 100, so get your bright blue, steel-toed boots over there and vote! (Otherwise, I'm just gonna vote for all the Social D songs on the list over and over again until they're at the top!*)


(**For anybody who is stopping by from F.T.T.W., just in case it is not obvious, I am a wise-ass and that is a joke. Somebody may be jacking up the count on those songs, but it's not me.)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Opt-In to the National Day of Slayer

Earlier this morning...

Wife sleepily opens her eyes and looks over at me as I'm getting ready for work.

'Good morning,' she says.

'Good morning,' I reply, 'did you have a good sleep?'

'Yes, you?'

'Yeah, but I had a weird dream that I blew up the Death Star while Gil Santos called it in the background, like in a Pats game...'

'Ohhh kayyy. That is a little weird,' she said.

As she is looking a little more awake, I ask her, 'Hey hun, do you know where all my old cassettes are?'

'They are somewhere in the pile of stuff in the (disaster area that is the) basement, why?'

'I need to get my 'Reign in Blood' cassette, it's the National Day of Slayer today.'

'Um, what?' she says.

'National Day of Slayer. Today is June 6, 2006. 666...'

'Yeah, I get it,' she says dryly, wondering where this is going...

She seems confused so I explain, 'You're supposed to play Slayer all day today as loudly as possible, in the car, at work, everywhere...'

She looked at me with a blank expression for a moment and then simply said, 'No thank you. Go ask your daughter, maybe she will listen to Slayer with you today.'

So it looks like my wife will be opting-out of 'Slayer Day' today. Hard to believe, but it's true.

'Good luck finding your cassettes,' she says cheerfully.

Hmf.

Despite my wife's unwillingness to help search the basement for my hidden Slayer cassette, I will still be opting-in to the unholy, godless, black, covered in bloody, putrid foulness that is The National Day of Slayer, though I might bend the rules slightly and throw in some Samhain, Sepultura, Maiden and Danzig to supplement the Slayer tunes...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Practice makes perfect... or something

It's Friday Night and my wife has taken the kids out to visit with her folks, meaning I'm all alone and I can practice my guitar without the headphones on.

I have a list of songs I need to learn for band practice so I'll be working on those while I keep an eye on the Sox game in the background and have a few Reward Friday beers...

For those who are still reading, here is the list of songs I am trying to learn at the moment:

Already Gone - The Eagles
Down On The Corner - Creedence
Heartbreaker - Pat Benatar
Rock Me Right - (unknown artist)
Secret Agent Man - Johnny Rivers (um, yeah, whatever, if I get my way this will offset with something down the road let me tell you...)
Megalomaniac - Incubus
Cochise - Audioslave
You Oughta Know - Alanis Morissette
Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac
Every Breath You Take - The Police

Also played along with, for my own enjoyment:
When She Begins - Social D
Don't Take Me For Granted - Social D (Yes I know, I listen to a lot of Social Distortion. Hey, they're my favorite band...)
The Bars- Black Flag
I Just Wanna Have Something To Do - Ramones
Astro Zombies - Misfits

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

'Long' Weekend

Hey what's up inter-frammers? I know... Site content around here has been a little sparse lately... The long weekend kicked my ass and not in a party party party way either.

Friday I took the day off from work and my wife and I brought the kids to a place called Southwick's Zoo. It was a lot of fun and the kids seemed to have a good time.

My son was running all over the place looking at all the different animals they had. We could hardly keep up with him. My wife and I ended up just kind of 'herding' him and his sister around the zoo as we took turns trying to keep up with the kids and at the same time push the baby carriage. The kids had fun and that's all that counts so it was a good day.

Saturday I pretty much spent the whole day working on my basement. Anyone sick of hearing about my basement yet? With the help of my father-in-law, I got the drop ceiling framework installed. That was huge. It feels like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel on this project now. I will be so glad when it's finished... The electrician is going to come in tomorrow to finish up the outlets [he was supposed to come today but we won't go there...] and put in the lighting and then once that's done, I'll put in the ceiling tiles.

After that, I think the next thing to do is to tackle the floor and that is going to be a task, let me tell you. I am actually going to try and take a class at Home Depot on how to install it... Have I mentioned how happy I'll be when this thing is done?

Sunday and Monday were dedicated to getting outside chores done. With all the rain we've had around here lately, my grass was very high once again. It was so tall, I had to go over some areas twice... I don't really mind mowing the lawn but it sure takes out a chunk of the day. I spent the rest of the day Sunday getting a bunch of outdoor stuff done at home and then Monday I went over to the in-laws and helped them out with their work. I'll spare you the oh-so-thrilling recap. There was a cook-out in there somewhere involving beer and brats (as in bratwurst).

Sunday night, I actually went out to meet up with some musicians that I had gotten in contact with through Craigslist. I had put in a new ad a few weeks ago looking to try and hook up with, or start up, a new band and I got a response from a band who was looking for a guitar player.

I was very up front right from the beginning that I could only do one night a week and they were cool with that. One night was all they were looking to do as well so it worked out good.

The second stipulation I had was that I did not want to get locked into doing one 'style' of music. I don't mind playing covers of songs that I'm not really into, as long as the others in the band are open to doing songs that I like to play as well.

The last band that I was in, all they wanted to do was pop songs and any suggestion of a punk or metal tune was completely out of the question as far as they were concerned. I told them I was interested in trying to do a Danzig song [Do you wear the Mark] and they looked at me like I was nuts. I did not really like that, but at the time I was just happy to be in a band so I put up with it.

This time around I decided I was not going to do that again. Like I said, I don't mind playing stuff that I'm not into, but if you're going to ask me to play a bunch of damn Beatles tunes, then you're going to play something from The Clash or Social D along with it.

The good news was that, thankfully, these guys seemed to have no problem with that. Of course, it's only been one meeting, so we'll see how it goes. I am optimistic though. At least they knew who Social Distortion was and had heard some of their songs, so that's a good start.

The really cool thing is that this band wants to do originals. They are actually more interested in the originals than the covers, which I think is great. They played me some of their songs and they were very cool. I actually liked the originals better than the covers, so that aspect of this whole thing has me pretty psyched.

I am hoping this will work out because it seems like a good situation, but they were up front with me too and told me they still had some other players that might come in and try out as well, so I was not 'in' yet. Hey you never know, the next Eddie Van Halen might show up to one of their practices, and if that happens and they tell me thanks for your time, but we've got the next Fast Eddie V here and we're going with him instead of you, that is completely understandable.

I appreciate having all this stuff brought out right in the beginning so everybody knows where people stand. I would much rather know the whole deal up front than go along a few weeks thinking I'm in and then all of a sudden, it turns out differently. That would not be fun.

For now, they liked me enough to give me some songs to learn and told me to come back next week, so I'll just take it from there. If it lasts a few weeks, I'll start to try and figure out how I can get some Misfits tunes worked into their list of covers... I gotta offset those damn Beatles tunes somehow.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Doin' burn outs and annoying the neigbors with that loud obnoxious music...

R.I.P. A Small Victory...

Long live Faster Than The World.

1-2-3-4! Go!

Monday, May 15, 2006

They come for me, Ministry...

Well, I might not have had any luck getting Patriots tickets this past weekend, but I had no problem getting tickets to see Ministry at the Worcester Palladium in June.

If you're going to the show, maybe we'll... run into each other, heh... (I know, bad joke, wakka wakka.)

In other music related items, I was reading Clutch Grabwell's site the other day and noted with extreme excitement that they will be playing at Wachusett Brewery's Spring Fling this weekend, AT THE BREWERY.

To quote Jeff at Grabwell's site:

Dude. If you know what I'm talking about, then you know what's up. If you don't, then simply call Westminster and ask them. This is it. Do not fumble around and [email protected]#$ this up, ok?

Seriously.

Lets hope it does not rain, because I'm working on lining up a baby-sitter for this one... Wachusett Brew's Spring Fling is not to be missed, not when it takes place at the legendary brewery location...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Music for Mother's Day...

Some songs for Mother's Day. Might want to save some of these till after your visit with Mom...

Danzig: Mother... Can you keep them in the dark for life? Can you hide them from the waiting world? Oh, Mother...

Cash: When I was just a baby, my Momma told me son, always be a good boy, don't ever play with guns, but I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die...

Haggard: Momma tried to raise me better, but her pleading I denied, that leaves only me to blame 'cause Momma tried...

Ed Bruce (or you can go with Waylon and Willie's version too): Momma's don't let you babies grow up to be Cowboys. Don't let em pick guitars and drive them old trucks...

Misfits: I'll bring back a souvenir for it's my Mommy's dream...

Mudhoney: Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. Look at your son. You might have loved me, but now I got a gun. You better stay out of my way. I think I've had a bad day...

Queen: Tie your Mother down, give me all your love tonight...

Social Distortion: Mommy's Little Monster shoots methadrine. Mommy's Little Monster had sex at 15...

D.A.C.: I was drunk, the day my Mom got out of prison, and I went, to pick her up, in the rain...

Aerosmith: Keep in touch with Mama kin. Tell her where you’ve gone and been...

Update:
Be sure to check out Michele's fine Mother's Day musical selection as well, and of course, Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday playlist...

Friday night and the wife's out with the kids on a pilgrimage to the mother-in-law's house. Nobody's home but me. That's a perfect excuse to play along with some loud music...

When She Begins - Social Distortion
Making Believe - Social Distortion
This Time Darlin - Social Distortion
Rough Boy - ZZ Top
Cumbersome - Seven Mary Three
Last Kiss - Pearl Jam (cover tune)
We Got the Beat - Go-Go's
Vacation - Go-Go's
Just Like Heaven - Dinosaur Jr. (originally by The Cure, but I like Dinosaur's version better)
Faithless - Social Distortion
Hatebreeders - The Misfits
Don't Take Me For Granted - Social Distortion
There Goes My Life - Kenny Chesney
Nobody's Fool - Cinderella
Skulls - The Misfits
Anything But Mine - Kenny Chesney
Footprints On My Ceiling - Social Distortion
Tell Me - Galaxie 500
Some Kinda Hate - The Misfits
Do You Wear The Mark - Danzig
The KKK Took My Baby Away - Ramones
Simple Man - Lynyrd Skynyrd
The Old Account - Johnny Cash
Death or Glory - The Clash
Ball and Chain - Social Distortion

Saturday, March 11, 2006

So much for that...

Well my brief stint as a lead guitar player has come to a quick end. It seems that the guys in the band that I have been playing with for the last few weeks are looking for a bigger time commitment than I am willing or able to give. Working a full time job and raising 3 kids cuts into practice time and I have my priorities.

I can't say that I blame them, but it is kind of a bummer, for me personally, just because it was a lot of fun to be able to jam with some other musicians. Oh well.

On a positive note, it was nice to learn that I am able to 'hold my own', so to speak, with other musicians. When all all you ever get to play along with is an iPod, you start to wonder if you are any good at what you are doing or not. I would never claim to be the greatest player, but it's nice to know that I don't totally suck.

Once my basement is done, I want to try to record some stuff using the M-Box and either Garage Band or Pro-Tools. Fuck it. Who needs other musicians? Overdubbing is the shit. I have not tried either the Garage Band or the Pro-Tools LE apps yet, so I am not sure which one might be easier to use (any opinions out there are welcome). I'm waiting till my basement is complete before I really try to delve into that.

In the meantime, I heard Mike Ness might be looking for somebody to join him for another rendition of 'Live Before You Die'. Cue it up iPod.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Assignments...

Hey what's up interwebs. I have not been writing too consistently lately. I have been spending my free time learning some songs for my new side job as a guitar player.

My assignments have been:
Foo Fighters - Times Like These
Pearl Jam - Last Kiss
7 Mary 3 - Cumbersome
Dylan - Knockin on Heavens Door
Goo Goo Dolls - Long Way Down
3 Doors Down - Kryptonite
Danzig - Do You Wear the Mark (this one was my addition to the list. I needed to balance out the Goo Goo Dolls a little... Heh.)

And I have to admit there has not been a whole lot going on in the world of sports that has inspired me to write much. The B's and C's are both on break for The Olympics and the NBA All-Star game. The Sox are starting Spring Training, which is exciting and all, but it's not enough to get me all riled up to write anything too substantial about it. I'm glad to know the boys are down in FLA, stretching out, playing some grab-ass and long toss, hitting some balls in the batting cages, working on their banter... (You know, it's a rough life those baseball players lead...) but beyond that, there's not much there for me to say about it. When Grapefruit League starts maybe I'll have more to write about...

On a completely unrelated note, my company recently moved to a new office and I'm really loving the change. My drive to get to the new place is both easier and shorter, and my desk is now located next to a window. Kick ass!! The lab even has a window in it, which is just incredibly great.

Small things like that make a big difference in improving a person's attitude towards the place where they lose spend 8 or 10 hours of their life every day...

And just to keep the theme of having completely unrelated items in one post going, this time next week I'll be a brand new Dad again. D-Day is Monday for baby number 3. I'm getting kind of nervous for the childbirth part of the whole thing. I'll be glad when that part is over and everybody is safe.

I've been telling my kids that they are going to be in charge of diaper duty. I told them I'd pay them a quarter per diaper. They just look at me like I'm crazy. (They've already got that look down. Oy.)

'Nooooo Dad, we're not changing any diapers, thats your job! We'll bring you the clean ones... '

Gee, thanks.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

WARNING: LOUD MUSIC CAN HURT YOUR EARS

From the completely asinine and ridiculous department:

Apparently, if you listen to your music too loudly, it's entirely possible that you can damage your hearing.

Somebody's going to have to pay.

If this guy has his way, that pay out will come from Apple computer, because I guess the company did not properly warn him that sticking headphones into his ears and cranking up the Mantovani can actually hurt your ears.

Fucking un-believeable.

That sad part is that this idiot probably has a good chance of winning his case. I mean, if you can sue Dunkin Donuts and win because you were not properly warned that drinking hot coffee can burn your tongue, and you can sue McDonalds and win because you were not properly warned that eating fries, burgers and shakes can make you into a fat fuck, why not sue Apple because you were not properly warned that sticking headphones inside your ears and listening to your music too loudly using your iPod could cause hearing loss.

Makes sense to me.

Personally, I just want my iPod back from the dang battery replacement service... Hey wait, Apple told me the repair job was going to take 2-3 weeks and it's been longer than that. Maybe I can sue!

Monday, January 16, 2006

It's official: I'm a grown-up

Last night I went to a concert. A friend of mine had given me a ticket to go see Lynyrd Skynyrd for Christmas.

I was not really in the mood to go out last night. I was tired from working all day and I would have been happy to have planted my ass on the couch and watched football. But I did not want the ticket to go to waste so I suited up and headed out into the night. The temp outside was about 5 degrees and it was windy, making it feel like it was below zero.

I parked the car and as I was walking to the auditorium I noticed a couple of girls running down the sidewalk. One was wearing only a halter top and the other one was wearing a t-shirt.

The first thing that popped into my head when I saw them was, "What's wrong with those girls? They must be freezing! They should be wearing a jacket."

I watched them run down the sidewalk ahead of me, squeaking about how cold it was and then I did a double take. Wait a minute. I see two chicks running down the street wearing nothing but a thin piece of cotton and the first thing that comes to my head is that they should wear a jacket? Fuck I am officially a grown-up now. When did that happen??

Then, as if that was not evidence enough of my oldness, when I was in the concert, I got up and moved my seat cause it was too close to the speakers and my ears were hurting. Oh man...

The Skynyrd concert was good, but they are certainly a strange band. There's only 2 surviving members of the original band actually left in Skynyrd and it's almost like they are more of a tribute band at this point. Johnny Van Zant sounds almost exactly like his brother Ronnie and all the other members of the band have gotten all the original solos and riffs to the old songs down perfect.

They even play the same style guitars as the deceased, a Gibson Explorer (like Allen Collins used to play) and a Fender Stratocaster (a-la Steve Gaines).

Skynyrd has some out with several new records over the past few years and a lot of the new songs are really good. Just as an example, "The Last Rebel" album, from a few years back, was a great record. There are a bunch of good songs on that album. The funny thing is, Skynyrd doesn't play any of their new songs, they only do the original classic Skynryd songs.

Last night, Skynyrd played one new song. The rest were all songs from the original band's albums from the 70's. Weird. You'd think Skynyrd would get tired of playing all those old songs night after night, and want to play their new stuff, especially the new members of the band. Who wants to play some other guy's solo every single night? I mean it's fun for one or two songs, but if that were me, I'd want to play some of the new stuff that I actually had a hand in creating.

As a final testament to my newly discovered grown-upness, when Skynyrd started into the big, epic solo at the end of 'Freebird', which is always the final song, I got up and left the show before the end of the song because I wanted to beat the traffic and go home to bed. Oy.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Van Heffer...

If you have never listened to the Wichita Rutherford podcasts you are really missing out on some very funny stuff.

You have got to check out his Van Heffer video podcasts.

I mean, if the guy with the Randy Rhoads, 'polka-dot' style mandolin does not want to make you watch this, there might be something wrong with you. Seriously.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Godsmack + Patriots...

Ok, most people probably won't find this interesting, but I saw this while looking around on Godsmack's website for news about the new record they're working on.

It seems that Sully is going to sing the National Anthem at the Pats / Fish game on January 1st. Cool.

I also see that George Strait and Skynyrd are both coming to Worcester in Jan. Cool.

Tickets for these shows are kinda pricey tho...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Danzig. Doyle. Deafness...

Yesterday I left work and I headed down to Providence R.I. to go see Danzig and "The Blackest of the Black" at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel. As I had written earlier, I was pretty primed up to see the show, since besides being a big fan of Danzig's solo stuff, I love the Misfits and Doyle was going to come out and do a Misfits set with Glenn. Very cool.

The ride down to Providence was a haul because I work up near N.H., but thankfully traffic was not too bad. No gridlock on 495, for once.

Once I got into Providence, I began my quest to find Lupo's. I had never been there before so I had to drive around lost a little bit and check out some one way streets as well as accidentally run a stop light before I actually found it. It turns out it's practically right off the highway. I wound up driving past it twice before I realized I was going right by it. There's not a big marquee or anything. It looks like any other store front, so I missed it. Once I located the club, I then had to drive around looking for parking. Thankfully there is a nice easy parking garage practically next door. The problem is, once you drive past something in this part of the city, like I did a bunch of times, you have to work your way back up all the one way streets.

It was no big deal since I got there in plenty of time. After I parked I headed over to a nearby bar for a few drinks before the show. I went into a place called Murphy's Deli and Bar. This place is literally right around the corner from the club and it is a great place to hang out. They've got all the thick beers on tap, Guinness, Murphy's, Smithwicks, Harpoon... so many to chose from. I wound up staying in there for several Smithwicks, a cup of chili, Bruins hockey, Irish Coffee and a Powerball ticket before I finally uprooted myself and went over to the show. I was feeling pretty right at home just hanging out in there but I did not want to miss too much of the show.

When I went into Lupo's they were setting up for Bohemoth, who was the 3rd band, so I had missed the first two bands. I was kinda bummed but it's my own fault. Oh well.

I thought Bohmoth was pretty good. They're kind of a speedmetal, non-stop, double-bass drum onslaught type band. They all have very long hair that they whip around a lot and all the guys wear ghoulish white makup. Ooohhh. Scary! Heh. I could not make out a word that the guy singing was saying, and he 'sang' in that gutteral, yelling thing that a lot of bands do now a days. Plus, they talked in a real German sounding accent, "Vhaaat, aaar ve tooo fast for you?" (I think they're from Poland actually.) At first I was not too impressed with them, but they grew on me a little as they played. I thought they were a good warmup band.

Next came Chimaira. I liked these guys, though the singer was another one of those gutteral, yelling guys. The guitarist had some good riffs and they got some good metal groves going. It was not just non-stop, let me see how fast I can play the e-string and hit the bass drums stuff. Which was appriciated. I thought they were better than Bohmoth, which is to be expected, being the warm up band for Danzig.

Finally, it came time for Danzig to come out.

Before I talk about Danzig, I have 2 minor complaints to get off my chest.

First, the way Lupo's is laid out, the area in front of the stage where the pit usually forms is very small and right in the middle of the area in front of the stage is a semi-circular raised section that juts out right into the pit area, cutting the pit area almost in half. This raised section is a great spot to stand if you want to be close to the stage and not be in the pit, but if you are in the pit, it kind of blows having this big thing sticking out right there. Plus, the metal rails that are part of this raised section really hurt if you wind up getting pushed into them, as I found out.

The only other complaint I had was that the audio mix had Glenn's vocals nearly drowned out by the guitars and drums. Now anybody that knows Danzig knows that the key to the whole thing is his voice, so I was kind of annoyed that it was so hard to actually hear his singing over the drums and guitars at times.

Neither of these things are the bands fault, and I don't want to make it sound like they ruined the show or anything.

By the time Danzig had come out I had moved out of the pit area to the steps just above so I could get a good view of the band and also not get hit into that stupid metal railing thing. Plus there were some guys in the pit throwing punches and shit and I was not in the mood for that. I really just wanted to see Danzig so I just stayed on the edge and took in the show. I was still plenty close to the stage.

When Glenn hit the stage the place went nuts and he launched into some of the newer tunes which I honestly was not too familiar with, since I don't have Circle of Snakes yet, (it's on the list).

Glenn still has the ultra-magnetic quality about him as he works the crowd and he reeled everybody right in. The place was going absolutely insane and everybody was making the devils horns with their hands, which he just loves to see. He would egg everybody on and the crowd would respond, which would just get him more intense. It was pretty cool. One of the things about Danzig is you can tell he seems to really appreciate the fans and goes out of his way to get close to people near the stage and clasp hands, let them sing into the mic during choruses of songs, etc.

After he did some new songs, he got into some of the older songs, starting out with "How the Gods Kill" which everybody sang along with. At a few points during the show, Glenn would just stand back with a big smile and let the crowd sing all the words perfectly. I was having a great time during all of this obviously.

After doing a few older tunes such as "Her Black Wings", there was a little pause and Glenn said, 'well the moment you've waited for and heard about is here' and he called out Doyle, from the old Misfits days.

First off, Doyle is fucking huge. He's over 6 feet tall and totally fucking ripped with white skull makeup on and a long Devilock hanging down the front of his face. Wow. This was something I thought I would never see in my life. He came stomping out playing a low E chord with every step and then he stood there not saying a word, just looking around at everybody in the audience, like a very well trained attack animal (and Glenn holding his leash). That's one very menacing dude. And there's Glenn with a big grin just watching him, saying, "Well what do you think? Watch out he's dangerous," while Doyle blows a big bubble from the bubble-gum he's chewing. Cool.

They launched into some Misfits tunes with '20 Eyes' and just when I thought the place could not go any crazier or get any louder, everybody kicked it up another notch. There were bodies flying everywhere, the lights were up so you could see everything that was going on and everybody was shouting the words at the top of their voices along with Glenn. Amazing. It's hard to put into words actually. You just had to be there.

They also did Astro-Zombies, Skulls, Mommy (can I go out and kill tonight?), ["SINGLED OUT THE KIDS WHO ARE MEAN TO ME..." I love that line], Earth AD, Last Caress, We are 138... I was in Misfits glory. (If you look at my Lastfm page, you'll see I listen to the Misfits a lot). Whooa-Ohhhhh Oh! Fuckin-A it was great. Danzig seemed to really get into doing all the Misfits tunes and was all over the place on stage.

In between every song, Doyle would go back and switch guitars because he absolutely beat the thing to death while he was playing it. The song would end, he'd go back, switch guitars, stomp back to the front, playing the E chord with every step, look over at Glenn and they'd rip into another one. Every time the same thing. So cool.

After the Misfits set, Danzig's guitarist came back out with a sweet looking, cream colored Les-Paul and they did some more Danzig tunes. They did a bunch of older tunes off earlier albums like Lucifuge and Danzig I which was very cool, then they took a walk off back-stage.

At this point the chants started for the band to come back and they started playing an air-raid siren or something. This was the point when I think my ears told me fuck you, we are done for the night. That air-raid thing actually hurt and I had to stick my thumbs in my ears.

When the band came back, Glen called Doyle to come out again and he came stomping back out and they did some more Danzig tunes like 'Mother' as well as The Misfits 'Die, Die Die My Darling' (they played it the correct way, as Glenn pointed out, poking a little fun at Metallica I think).

When the show ended, I hung around for a few min hoping to get a set list but it wasn't happening so I took off. I could barely hear a thing except for the buzzing in my head. My ears are still ringing a day later (make it stop!) In hindsight I wish I'd had some ear plugs with me, especially when those air-raid sirens were going off. I think that's what did me in.

What a great show. I told my wife I wished they would come back around again because it was kind of like going to a movie that you get so totally into, you need to go see it again and experience it twice so you can really take it all in.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Danzig and Doyle tonight...

I'm headed down to Providence R.I. tonight to see Danzig and Doyle (from The Misfits). There will be several other bands playing as well in "The Blackest of the Black" tour, but really, I'm just there for Danzig and the Doyle / Misfits 'reunion'.

I'm pretty psyched to see this show. I'm a huge fan of Glenn Danzig's music, including all his stuff from when he was in The Misfits, Samhain, and his solo band of course.

The last time I saw Danzig play was during the Danzig II: Lucifuge tour. I saw him in Boston with Soundgarden and Corrosion of Conformity. That was one of the best shows (if not the best) I have ever seen.

Danzig played in Worcester earlier this year and I missed it, so when I saw he was coming back into the area, I decided I was not going to miss it this time. If the show featured Danzig by himself, that would be enough for me to go, but add in the fact that Doyle will be joining him during the show to do a full-on, real-live, honest to goodness Misfits set, well... that's just going to be incredible.

I'm feeling pretty lucky because it was just about 2 weeks ago that I saw Social Distortion, another one of my all-time favorites, and it's really cool that now I'll be seeing Danzig so soon afterwards. Think about your two favorite bands of all time, then imagine they both come on tour to your neck of the woods less than 2 weeks apart. It could not have been timed any better.

I'll be going to this show, technically, by myself once again (I say technically because I'll be surrounded by hundreds of other Danzig / Misfits fans, I just won't know any of them. Heh.) but I don't care anymore if the people I used to hang out with back in the day don't want to go out and do things.

Going to Social D alone a few weeks ago was a liberating experience. I was by myself and I had an absolutely fantastic time. When I think of all the fun stuff I've missed out on doing because I waited around for somebody to make up their mind if they wanted to go or not, or never heard back from them or they said they didn't feel like going or whatever lame excuse it is, I just get annoyed. Fuck it. I'm not missing out anymore. If some band I want to see play comes around, I'm going. Life's too short to wait around for other people and miss out on stuff that you enjoy doing.

I'm not really planning on getting into the pit tonight. I'm thinking I'll just hang back more and just enjoy the show, but then again, that's what I said the last time and about 1 min after the music started I jumped right in there, so we'll see what happens. Either way, I'm sure it will be fun.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Friday night out...

I left work Friday and put the Red Sox playoff game on the car radio for the ride home. I was in a pretty good mood since it was officially the weekend and I was going to be seeing one of my all-time favorite bands, Social Distortion, later that night.

I drove about 5 miles down the road and ran into a horrendous traffic jam on the highway. I then spent the next 2 hours just trying to get home. It was a fucking traffic jam nightmare. I wound up getting off the highway and driving all around the back roads untill I finally made it home. By the time I arrived home I was in a terrible mood from the drive and the performance of The Red Sox did not add to it.

I walked through the door and was feeling kind of tired and cranky but my bad mood from the commute dissolved quickly now that it was over and I was finally home. My wife and kids were just finishing up some pizza so I had a couple slices and then grabbed a beer and sat down to watch the end of The Red Sox season. My kids both love Johnny Damon so when he was at bat for the final time, I made sure they watched him because he might not be back next year.

After the game ended we put the kids to bed and I headed out to see Social D, who were playing at The Palladium in Worcester that night. I got into town and had to figure out where to park. There were not any other big events going on that I was aware of so I figured it would not be a problem. There was a lot right across from the Palladium so I went to go park there untill I saw the sign that said $15.00 to park. Fuck that, so I turned around while everybody behind me watched me and probably said, 'What the  hell is this fool doing', but I didn't care. I drove 1 block down the street and there was a lot that was open for $5 bucks. Ha. Now who's the fool? I had a mind to go stand next to the 15.00 lot and tell the cars to go down 1 block and it was 5 bucks, but I decided why bother, since it was totally not worth it.

After I parked the car, I walked over to The Irish Times, which is a bar that is right across the street from The Palladium. I went in and orderd a JD shooter and a Guinness, found a good pole to lean on and watched some of the games that were on the TV. I split between watching the B's and the Anaheim / MFY game that was on. I was glad to see The Yankees getting beat, especially after The Sox got swept out of their series.

I pretty much hung out in the bar and watched the games. I was not really interested in seeing the opening acts for Social D and I figured I would hang in here where I could get a better drink (Guinness) in this bar than in The Palladium (Bud). I was not trying to get drunk or anything, just killing some time before the show. I finished my beer and then ordered an Irish Coffee, heavy on The Irish please, to perk me up a little before heading over to see the show.

When the bartender brought my drink over, the guy sitting at the bar next to me was like, "What is that?" I guess he never saw Irish Coffee before, which I thought was a litte odd, but I told him it was black coffee with Jameson whiskey in it. "Oh," he says, "Sox fan?" Even though I wasn't really drinking this over depression from The Sox, but more to wake up a little because I was feeling kinda beat after work and all, I just told him, "Yeah. Sucks the Sox lost. Oh well". Maybe he was a Yankee fan or something, and was trying to push my buttons. I don't know.

I went back to my spot and finished up my drink, then headed over to The Palladium.

The last time I had been inside the Palladium was at least 10 years ago when I saw Living Colour there. It had not changed much since then. The Palladium is actually a pretty good place to see a show. There is an upper section where you can stand and not be bothered and there is a bar there as well, and there is a lower section where the pit is. Last time I was there I got thrown out for crowd surfing and I wondered if that rule would still be in effect.

While I was waiting for the show to start, I spent the last of my money on a Jack and ice and just kinda hung out. I went over and looked at the shirts and stuff but there was nothing I was interested in so I walked over to the front of the upper section. I got a really good spot to stand and see the show. I was right at the wall for the upper section so there was nobody blocking my view or anything. In the spot where I was standing there were 4 kids sitting on the railing who looked to be no older than about 13 or something and I thought that was pretty cool but also a little odd that kids that young would be at a Social D show. I wanted to ask them how old they were but I didn't want to bother anybody either, so I just stood there and sipped my drink and watched the stage crew set up all of Social D's stuff. After awhile the kid's Dad came over with a beer so I asked him, "Hey dude, how old are these guys?" He told me they were all between the ages of 9 - 12 and they were all in a band together so he wanted them to see a real live band close up and personal (or something like that). I thought that was pretty neat. When I was that age the only music shows my parents were taking me to see was Kenny Rogers, so there you go.

Finally after a little while the lights went down and Social D came out. They started out with "Reach for the Sky" and all the people on the floor immediately started jumping around and a mosh pit formed right up. (Do they still call it 'moshing'? I am so out of touch I really would not know.) I stood there for about a min and was like, "Fuck This. What am I doing standing up here?" so I headed right down to the lower level to get into the pit and enjoy the fun.

I quickly learned that The Palladium still frowns on crowd surfing as I watched several people try it only to get pushed to the front near the stage, which is what always happens. Once they got anywhere near the stage, they would get grabbed by security and thrown out. Despite the fact that people were getting kicked out of the show, people still kept trying it, which I thought was pretty dumb, but whatever.

I moshed around to the first several songs and like a tool, I fell down once because the floor was slippery, but I got picked right up by everybody else that was in the pit. Good to know that little rule of ettiquite is still around. As all the typical pushing and shoving was going on, people were continually trying to surf and getting thrown out. It was a good time but after a little while I decided to just stand off to the side and just watch and listen to the band. Plus, at one point I tweaked my ankle and rolled it, so I decided to take a break from the pit. The old guy needed to rest and catch his breath for a min!

Social Distortion put on a great show and played a great mix of the newer stuff and their old favorites, like Prison Bound, a ripping good version or Ring of Fire and of course The Story of My Life among others. Social Distortion is truly one of my favorite bands and I personally relate to so many of their songs. It was great to see them. After the show I was trying to remember what each song they played was, but I could not remember. I found that to be a litle strange, since I sang [yelled] along with most of them.

While I was standing on the edge of the pit watching the show, people would bump into me which was no big deal, especially considering where I was, but I of course would move a little too and, not on purpose, be bumping into other people around me. For some reason, some chick kept shoving me if I even bumped her the slightest bit, so I moved away from her. I don't know what her problem was. It's not like I was doing it on purpose or trying to bump into her or anything. Besides, you're standing right on the edge of a mosh pit. What do you expect is going to happen? If you don't want to get bumped into, don't stand there. Duh.

Every now and then I would jump back into the pit and mosh around till I needed a breather again, then I'd stand on the edge and watch the band, having a great time the whole time.

After the show ended, I hung around and tried to grab a set list from some of the stage hands who were handing them out to people but they handed them all to chicks, (which came as no surprise to me).

At that point, you'd think all the excitement for the night was over. Wrong. While I was driving home, cruising down the highway, it was raining pretty steadily, as it had been all day. Out of nowhere a car, which I think was a BMW or some kind of luxo-sedan, came flying up behind me. When they went to pass me, (I was in the middle lane), they totally lost control of their car on the wet pavement and smashed into the concrete barrier on the left hand side of the road. After the car hit the barrier, it came careening across the highway. Somehow, I stayed totally calm, tapped the brake and turned the wheel so he would miss me, saying, "What the Fuck dude!" The car missed me by what seemed like inches and flew across the highway with debris going everywhere, and narrowly missed a second car. It then hit the right hand side concrete barrier and came back across the highway, right in front of me again. This car was going back and forth like a pin-ball before it finally came to a stop again on the right hand side. All this happened in a matter of about 20 seconds.

I continued down the highway, still calm, and somewhat amazed at myself that I was still calm. I wondered if I should turn around or something but the more I thought about it, the more I thought, I just want to get home. I didn't have a cell phone so I could not call anybody or really do anything anyway, so I decided to just get home before something else happened. Hopefully that car had air-bags.

The next day, I woke up and my ankle was killing me from rolling it over so I had to wrap it all up in an ace bandage and walk around all day like a gimp. Aside from that, (and nearly getting killed in a car accident,) I had myself a great Friday Night Out.

 

Friday, October 07, 2005

Reach for the Sky...

Today is going to be a good day. I can feel it in my bones.

Reasons:
It's Friday and Friday rocks the howwse.

The Sox are playing this afternoon and I believe they are going to win. There will be no White Sox celebration at Fenway tonight. No. Fucking. Way.

I'm going to see Social Distortion tonight.

{Digression:

E-mail to friends(?): 'Hi! Hey I was wondering if you guys would be interested in going to see Social D with me in October... If you'd like to go, just let me know!'

[Mr BnW then buys a single ticket, refusing to miss the show and knowing in advance what to expect from extremely lame people that he used to hang around with]

Responses: 1, "I'll think about it" (then never heard from again), 2, "Dude, I'm too old. I might break a hip. But if you get tickets to 'Sesame Street Live' let me know" and the rest did not even bother to respond.

I guess I just refuse to grow up.
{End of Digression}

So here's some Social Distortion Mojo for The Sox. I am fully expecting to go to the show in a great mood after The Sox extend the series at least one more day.

So if you please take this moment
Try if you can to make it last
Don't think about no future
And just forget about the past
And make it last

Reach for the sky cause tomorrow may never come

"Time's up, what's it gonna be, Merv?"

GO SOX

Sunday, September 11, 2005

First in...

I started re-building my music library for my iPod after I had to trash it a few days ago. The first CD's to be added back in:

The Misfits: Static Age, Walk Among Us, Earth A.D. / Wolf's Blood
Danzig: Danzig, Danzig II Lucifuge, Danzig III How the Gods Kill
Dwight Yoakam: This Time
Social Distortion: Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell
U2: How to Dismantle and Atomic Bomb

I've still got a looonng ways to go...

Monday, September 05, 2005

Mike Ness, Sox Fan...

Anyone that's read this blog more than a few times probably knows that Social Distortion is one of my all-time favorite bands, currently listed in my all-time top 5 favorite bands list* (along with Skynyrd, Johnny Cash, Danzig (incl. prev. G. Danzig bands The Misfits and Samhain, and no, I don't consider that to be cheating), and George Strait).

Earlier I was surfing Wikipedia, and I typed in Social Distortion, just to see what came up, and was happily surprised to see this:

Very cool.

*The all-time top 5 band list is always subject to change, but it does not happen very often. It's very difficult to be unseated from the All-Time Top 5. You either have to kick some incredible ass to get on there or start sucking very, very badly so that you lose your spot on the list (Sorry Metallica...)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Music memories

Michele posted this at A Small Victory and I decided to play along so here you go!

A.) Go to musicoutfitters.com
B.) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year
C.) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you hate and underline your favorite. Do nothing to the ones you don't remember (or don't care about).

1988

1. Faith, George Michael
2. Need You Tonight, INXS
3. Got My Mind Set On You, George Harrison
4. Never Gonna Give You Up, Rick Astley
5. Sweet Child O' Mine, Guns N' Roses
6. So Emotional, Whitney Houston
7. Heaven Is A Place On Earth, Belinda Carlisle
8. Could've Been, Tiffany
9. Hands To Heaven, Breathe
10. Roll With It, Steve Winwood
11. One More Try, George Michael
12. Wishing Well, Terence Trent d'Arby
13. Anything For You, Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine
14. The Flame, Cheap Trick
15. Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car, Billy Ocean
16. Seasons Change, Expose
17. Is This Love, Whitesnake
18. Wild, Wild West, Escape Club
19. Pour Some Sugar On Me, Def Leppard
20. I'll Always Love You, Taylor Dayne
21. Man In The Mirror, Michael Jackson
22. Shake Your Love, Debbie Gibson
23. Simply Irresistible, Robert Palmer
24. Hold On To The Nights, Richard Marx
25. Hungry Eyes, Eric Carnen
26. Shattered Dreams, Johnny Hates Jazz
27. Father Figure, George Michael
28. Naught Girls (Need Love Too), Samantha Fox
29. A Groovy Kind Of Love, Phil Collins
30. Love Bites, Def Leppard
31. Endless Summer Nights, Richard Marx
32. Foolish Beat, Debbie Gibson
33. Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Whitney Houston
34. Angel, Aerosmith
35. Hazy Shade Of Winter, Bangles
36. The Way You Make Me Feel, Michael Jackson
37. Don't Worry, Be Happy, Bobby McFerrin
38. Make Me Lose Control, Eric Carnen
39. Red Red Wine, UB40
40. She's Like The Wind, Patric Swayze
41. Bad Medicine, Bon Jovi
42. Kokomo, Beach Boys
43. I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That, Elton John
44. Together Forever, Rick Astley
45. Monkey, George Michael
46. Devil Inside, INXS
47. Should've Known Better, Richard Marx
48. I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love, Chicago
49. The Loco-Motion, Kylie Minogue
50. What Have I Done To Deserve This?, Pet Shop Boys and Dusty Springfield
51. Make It Real, Jets
52. What's On Your Mind, Information Society
53. Tell It To My Heart, Taylor Dayne
54. Out Of The Blue, Debbie Gibson
55. Don't You Want Me, Jody Watley
56. Desire, U2
57. I Get Weak, Belinda Carlisle
58. Sign Your Name, Terence Trent d'Arby
59. I Want To Be Your Man, Roger
60. Girlfriend, Pebbles
61. Dirty Diana, Michael Jackson
62. 1-2-3, Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
63. Mercedes Boy, Pebbles
64. Perfect World, Huey Lewis and the News
65. New Sensation, INXS
66. Catch Me (I'm Falling), Pretty Poison
67. If It Isn't Love, New Edition
68. Rocket 2 U, Jets
69. One Good Woman, Peter Cetera
70. Don't Be Cruel, Cheap Trick
71. Candle In The Wind, Elton John
72. Everything Your Heart Desires, Daryl Hall and John Oates
73. Say You Will , Foreigner
74. I Want Her, Keith Sweat
75. Pink Cadillac, Natalie Cole
76. Fast Car, Tracy Chapman
77. Electric Blue, Icehouse
78. The Valley Road, Bruce Hornsby and The Range
79. Don't Be Cruel, Bobby Brown
80. Always On My Mind, Pet Shop Boys
81. Piano In The Dark, Brenda Russell Featuring Joe Esposito
82. When It's Love, Van Halen
83. Don't Shed A Tear, Paul Carrack
84. We'll Be Together, Sting
85. I Hate Myself For Loving You, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
86. I Don't Want To Live Without You, Foreigner
87. Nite And Day, Al B. Sure
88. Don't You Know What The Night Can Do, Steve Winwood
89. One Moment In Time, Whitney Houston
90. Can't Stay Away From You, Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
91. Kissing A Fool, George Michael
92. Cherry Bomb, John Cougar Mellancamp
93. I Still Believe, Brenda K. Starr
94. I Found Someone, Cher
95. Never Tear Us Apart, INXS
96. Valerie, Steve Windwood
97. Just Like Paradise, David Lee Roth
98. Nothin' But A Good Time, Poison
99. Wait, White Lion
100. Prove Your Love, Taylor Dayne

Ok well, if you went by this list, you'd think I didn't like hardly anything back then but holy shit, look at this list! Tiffany, George Michael, Richard Marx, Debbie Gibson? The only think I liked about Debbie Gibson was the song, 'Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two Headed Love Child'. Terence Trent d'Arby? Foreigner? Patrick Swayze? Holy. Effing. Shit.

A lot of the songs I left blank because I couldn't even remember how they went, and probably for good reason. If I actually decided to put some effort into remembering half of these, most of the list would probably be crossed out.

I was not really into Top 40 at all back then. In fact I pretty much went out of my way to avoid Top 40. Looking at the list, now I remember why.

Back then I was listening to Pink Floyd, Rush, Tom Petty, Maiden, Judas Priest, Metallica, AC/DC, stuff like that. A lot of the music I liked, they didn't play on mainstream radio back then. In 1988, you would have never heard Metallica or Megadeth or Anthrax or Iron Maiden in the middle of the day on a main stream radio station. But you would have heard plenty of Bon Jovi or some other hair band like that. If you wanted to hear a real metal tune you had to stay up till 1:00 AM on Saturday night and wait for 'Metal Shop' to come on the radio.

I did not dislike all hair-bands. There was no rhyme or reason to which ones I liked or not. Some of them were ok and some of them I hated. I fucking hated Bon Jovi but I liked While Lion. Hated White Snake, liked Cinderalla.

In Sept '88 I went off to college and I started working at the college radio station, where they played Alternative Rock and it was like entering a whole new world of music. WAAF was not playing Fields of the Nephilim or Ministry or even The Ramones, for that matter. Back then, Alternative Rock really meant 'Alternative', not Mainstream Alternative or whatever it is today. I loved working at the college station. I got exposed to so many new kinds of bands and music that I had never heard before.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Don't drop your iPod...

The other day I was at the gym sweating away on an exercise machine. I got a little over exuberant and knocked my iPod on the ground 3 times. Not good. Then when I got home, I was getting out of my car and it fell out of my pocket and hit the ground again. Unbelievable!

"What the hell is wrong with you, you stupid dumb-ass?" I said to myself.

After all this iPod battering it started acting up quite a bit. It started displaying the spinning, 'disk check' graphic when I tried to update the songs on it, and it also started skipping songs and rebooting all on its own.

All this odd behavior made me worried that I had done something to it by dropping it so many times so I did a software restrore and re-loaded all the songs last night.

After the reload, it had a minor glitch when I tried to unmount it from the computer. It disconnected from the computer ok but it still said 'don't disconnect' on the iPod display. I'm hoping that was because the computer had gone to sleep with the iPod still connected and the iPod forgot where it was (or something).

Another little flakey thing that happened was, this morning when I was walking, it suddenly skipped ahead like 9 songs. I had accidentally touched the lock switch on top of the case and it got moved halfway between locked and unlocked. That litte switch can act a little funny sometimes if it's not set all the way to the left or right, so I'm hoping it was just a random event.

Since then, no problems or complaints. I'm hoping I'm out of the woods now and that my iPod is back to normal. (I can't get through the day without my iPod!)

Monday, May 23, 2005

Soundtrack of my life has lots of Social Distortion

Social Distortion is one of my favorite bands. They have the amazing and uncanny ability to write songs that I totally relate to. It seems like their songs always seem to be a perfect match to my thoughts and feelings about things that have happened to me and events going on in my life.

You can add 'Reach for the Sky' to the list of Social D songs that seem to fit me perfectly and at a perfect time too.

Jarringly switching gears, I have been listening to 'Static Age' from The Misfits almost non-stop on my iPod, so I decided to go and get another record today. (That's how you can tell I'm old, I still call albums 'records'). I went to Newbury Comics and looked around. First, I looked to see if Ministry's 'Land of Rape and Honey' was in stock. It wasn't. It never is. I wonder if it's out of print... I have it on an extremely worn out cassette and I would like to replace it. It seems like it's never in stock, because, well, it never is, so I always look to see if they have it, just in case. Since they didn't, again, I headed over to The Misfits area. I could not decide between Earth A.D. or Walk Among Us. I had some vague recollections of both of these records from back in the day when I used to be a d.j. on my college radio station. We had both of those records on vinyl, (everything was vinyl back then and they're probably collectors items now) and I used to play some songs off of them now and then. I remembered both albums but I couldn't remember which record I liked better. I went with Earth A.D. and listened to it on the way home... I have a long ride home so I listened to it twice. The 1st time I listened to it, I honestly thought about bringing it back. It's a very noisy record and I had a hard time getting into it, maybe because I was thinking it would be a lot like 'Static Age'. Earth A.D. is much different from Static Age, probably because the drummer (?) for the Earth A.D. record was from Black Flag. Anyway, by the time I had listened to it again, I decided that I liked it a lot. It grew on me quick;-) If that damn Ministry album is not in stock the next time I'm in Newbury Comix, I'll probably pick up 'Walk Among Us', then it will be time for something new again.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

My new profile pic...

You may have noticed I've changed my profile pic to an image of a guitar. That particular guitar is a Gibson Explorer.



I don't own one of these (yet) but I will someday... There are only a few 'objects' that I consider aquiring as one of my goals. This guitar is one of them.



Nigel Tufnel: The sustain, listen to it.
Marty DiBergi: I don't hear anything.
Nigel Tufnel: Well you would though, if it were playing

Thursday, March 10, 2005

R.I.P. Chris LeDoux

Just pile it on. The week from hell continues.

One of my all-time favorite singers, Chris LeDoux, has passed away from liver cancer.

I realize most people have no idea who Chris LeDoux was, but I am a huge fan of his. I have at least 10 or 15 of his tapes and cds. Most of them I bought on a trip to Montana a long time ago. You could not find anything from him around here in the Northeast but when I was out visiting The Big Sky Country, I found a bunch of his tapes in some old record store and bought pretty much every one they had.

I used to listen to 'Old Cowboy Classics' every night to fall asleep and one of my favorite albums of all time is 'Western Underground'.



Whenever I am in a bad mood I still like to put on his tapes. The stuff he sings about always seems to help me get in a better mood. His songs are always upbeat and positive and he sang a lot of songs about places I love like Montana and Wyoming.

I'm gonna miss your voice Chris.


I'm sure wherever you are there is a prarie with a river winding through it, good, strong coffee and a beautiful sunset every night.

Later Cowboy.

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