April 12, 2014

Band Update.

Just about one year ago on this here blog I wrote about a metal band consisting of 3 Black kids called Unlocking the Truth.  I guess somewhere I read about them or was linked to one of their videos.  All I recall is that I arrived at YouTube and couldn't believe what I saw/heard.  In a nutshell, I sang their youthful, Black, head-banging praises, and also predicted fame down the line. 

Sure enough, as I'm enjoying my usual Saturday morning coffee and leisurely internet browsing, I see this article on Metalinsider.  Holy fuck, those kids opened for goddamn Motörhead last night at Club Nokia in L.A.!  Motörhead!!  They must've been shitting their pants.  The band is also playing the main stage at Coachella today.  Fuckin-A, good for them!  I can't wait to scour the internet for videos of all this.  Also looking forward to seeing if a year has made any difference in their music and execution. 

On a side note, I'm thankful and relieved to hear that Lemmy is back in action.  He's had a lot of health problems as of late, and has had to cancel a lot of shows in recent months.  He's slowed down a bit but still lives a hard life, and I really wondered if he would ever get back on the road.  You can't die yet, Lemmy.  I have yet to run into you while visiting my favorite bar in the whole world on my annual trip to L.A. - also your home away from home.  I'll be conveniently wearing my Motörhead t-shirt whenever it happens, because I wear it every time I go there- just-in-case.  I will probably have a few drinks in me, and I will also probably fail miserably in my efforts to be engaging, because I am so nervous with excitement, and because words often fail to describe feelings.  I will apologize for making no sense and intruding on your evening, but not overly so because I don't want to be annoying, and I will then politely, but assertively ask for a picture of us together.  There is no way I will exit this moment without photo proof.  I will offer to buy you a wine, because I know that you have substituted your daily Jack Daniel's with wine for "health" purposes.  I will then say thanks, hopefully give you a hug, and leave you be to yourself at your regular spot at the bar.  And I will feel like life is a bit more complete because I finally I ran into Lemmy at the Rainbow,

March 16, 2014

Random Stuff.

  • I got a new job!  Well, sort of.  You see, there is a job I've wanted for a long time that I've been trying to score since I finished graduate school about a dozen years ago.  I wasn't targeting one certain organization, but more so a specific arena working with a specific population.  I can't begin to relay how hard I've tried to make this happen.  And I've gotten very close.  Final 2 several times, final 4 more times than that.  Even got an offer out of state at one point, only to have it taken away because that damn state had just changed their licensure laws right after I applied, which ultimately made me ineligible.  Every time I was passed over, I sought feedback.  To make matters more frustrating, the feedback was always positive and what I was told gave the other person(s) the edge was something out of my control.  So, my dream job came up again and I applied and this time didn't even get an interview.  I've applied for this same job at this same entity 4 times now, and the other three times I was a finalist.  Ends up, the job went to someone who was already there part-time, so I doubt I had a chance anyway.  Screwed again.  Except that they later contacted me about a part-time position.  I interviewed, and I got the offer.  Only problem was that they needed me 2 full days a week, and my current job, which should've been a great opportunity but turned into a complete disaster that is sucking the life out of me, is full-time.  I was finally being given my chance and I knew I had to take this offer.  It doesn't guarantee me anything, but it's a foot in the door and it's current experience in the arena I want, and I would like to think I'd at least have an edge if a full-time gig opened up.  So I approached my current employer, and to make a long story somewhat shorter, they took the bait.  I will be going part-time at my current gig, and fortunately I will be able to keep my benefits and will still earn vacation.  I will be there 3 full days a week, and at the new gig 2 days a week.  Hopefully I will love it and they will love me and this will be the start of positive path in my career life, which overall has been plagued with bad luck, bad timing, and lots of dysfunctional environments.  I also hope that having something I'm passionate about 2 days a week will make the other 3 days easier to deal with.  Cross your fingers that nothing goes wrong with this one.

  • I bought an awesome piece of vintage furniture.  To boot, it's in nearly mint condition, and I got a shockingly great deal on it.  Oh, and it was crafted by my ancestors.  Here's the back story...My great-great grandfather came from Germany and was a furniture maker.  He started a company in my hometown in the later 1800's, and at one point they were a premier furniture manufacturer in this country.  The company shut down in the late 50's, and somehow over time all of the pieces we had in my immediate family went away.  That has always sickened me, especially now that I'm older, have space for such things, and have a greater appreciation for the history of it all.  How I found this is a bit of a miracle, and it was completely by accident.  As soon as I saw it, I recognized it, because it was from the exact same line as a piece we had at my parents house growing up.  It was destiny.  I had to have it, lack of money be damned, and I contacted the seller who was very lovely and very much appreciated the familial connection.  She sold it to me at her rock bottom price as a result, and it will be delivered this week.  I am beyond excited, and I am in love with this wondrous piece of craftsmanship.  I need to do some research, but I believe this was made in the early 50's. Check it out:



  • For the first time in my life, I'm ready for winter to be over.  Mind you, that does not mean I'm ready for summer, because I loathe summer.  But some warmer weather would be welcome around these parts.  Like the majority of the country, my fine city has experienced a winter for the record books.  Non stop snow, ice, brutal winds and polar vortexes galore.  I wouldn't have minded it so much if I didn't have to go to work in it, and if I had a garage that would have spared me from cleaning my god damn car off every fucking morning without fail.  Yesterday it was a balmy 72 degrees and sunny.  Today it is cold, windy, and we are getting a "wintry mix" of snow, sleet, and possibly freezing rain.  Which means if I want groceries today, I'm cleaning my damn car off once again.  The upside of this lingering mess:  less bugs during the summer.  Here is what a typical day looked like for me this winter, minus the usual precipitation:

Yes, that says "feels like -29".

  • What in the hell is going on with that Malaysian airliner?  Beats the fuck out of me, but I said from day one that there was something fishy about it, and I maintain that stance.  How is it possible that we can track people wherever they go, but we can't find any evidence of a missing plane for over a week?  Why does the information keep changing and contradicting?  It's all very weird and it's bothering me, because I enjoy solving mysteries and this one has me stumped.  I've read all sort of stuff about this - from mainstream sites to alternative news sites to conspiracy sites, and I can't decide what makes sense.  For whatever reason, though, my gut wants me to believe that this plane landed somewhere.  Meaning, not in the ocean, but somewhere on remote land.  Whether on purpose or not, I haven't decided.  But I hope we get answers soon, because the suspense is killing me.  Not to mention I feel for the poor loved ones of all those on board. 

February 18, 2014

Devo.

I read today that Devo guitarist Bob Casale passed away at the way-too-young age of 61.  This got me thinking about Devo, who I rarely listen to these days, and that is gonna change real quick like. Devo was practically a poster child for 80's music.  They were way before their time in some ways, although not in their sound.  I was in awe of Devo back in the day.  They were new wave/punk rock weirdos with a sense of humor to boot.  After reading about Bob Casale today I quickly took to ye ole YouTube for a while at work, and it reminded me why I loved them so much. 

As I perused YouTube, I realized I had forgotten just how many awesome songs they had.  But I'd have to say that Peek-A-Boo is my favorite.  It's a great song that brings back some great memories of my punk rock days, and the video is spectacular.  Take a lookie below. 




February 16, 2014

Concert Review.

I got to relive my youth again recently when the Pixies rolled through town.  Fuckin' Pixies!!  I was first introduced to the Pixies in college, well after the release of Doolittle and the band had gone on hiatus.  Unlike some bands that I might disconnect with for one reason or another, then come back to later on, my love for the Pixies has remained constant for all these years.  I always regretted that I never saw the Pixies back in the day, but in my own defense, I don't recall having the opportunity.  We were never both in the same place in the same time, it seems.  Yeah, I saw Frank Black doing his solo thing a few times in the interim, but in as much as I enjoy his solo stuff, in no way does it compare to the Pixies (as it shouldn't, that wasn't the point).  Fast forward to 2004 when the band suddenly reunited and toured.  I was already shocked by that, and even more so when I discovered they were skipping my city but playing at a damn arena in a tiny town a few hours away.  A group of us immediately started making plans to go, but the show was smack dab in the middle of the week.  Seeing as we would've stayed overnight, I had to back out because of a work conflict.  I remember saying, "I have a feeling I'll never forgive myself for missing this show", which is exactly what I said when I opted not to fork over the money to go see the Beastie Boys in L.A. in 2007, and we see what happened after that (R.I.P. Adam Yauch, and no, I haven't forgiven myself).

When that reunion tour was announced, I joined their email listserv to keep myself in the Pixies loop, but once that tour was over, there was virtually no communication for years, minus a few random emails about stuff that didn't do me any good.  Like concert dates in Australia and Europe.  Things were very quiet on their end overall, and it seemed they were back on hiatus.  And I continued to kick myself for missing that show in 2004.  Then suddenly last year, I started getting emails.  One of the earlier ones informed me that bassist Kim Deal left the band.  I kicked myself again, thinking I was screwed and there would be no more Pixies.  But shortly thereafter, I got more emails.  Emails with new tracks, then videos, and then, lo and behold, concert dates!  And my city was on the list!  I bought tickets the exact moment they went on sale and got great seats.  This was last fall and the show seemed so damn far away.  I was chomping at the bit for some live Pixies, and it felt like I was having to wait forever.  But the day arrived!  I didn't care if there was a -20 degree wind chill that day, and the ground was a frozen tundra of ice, and I had to park a mile away because there was also a goddamn hockey game next door at the same time- my ass was gonna be there!  And it was.  And it was simply awesome and they sounded great and pretty much played everything I wanted to hear.  Black Francis has such an interesting voice.  He can go from soft melodies to ripping and tearing at the drop of a hat.  I was a tad worried about the absence of Kim Deal, and although I did miss her a bit vocally, the current replacement did a stand up job.  I heard, by the way, that the original placement was given the boot after stage-diving into the crowd at a show early in the tour.  Black Francis supposedly said to her immediately following that show (I'm sure with his usual straight, stern face), "The Pixies don't stage dive", and promptly fired her ass.  I believe that story, because for whatever reason, as much as I love him, Black Francis has always come across as a big asshole to me. 

Anywho, the show was well worth the 25 year wait, and I am thankful not to have another Beastie Boys situation weighing on me for the rest of my life.  Here are some pics I took at the show:





Joey Santiago was playing behind his back here.  And I'd like to think also eyeing me up in the balcony.

It's nice to see you smile, Black Francis.  AKA Frank Black.  AKA Charles Thompson IV.

This is my favorite.  Love this pic.

For good measure, I had to include a video.  I found this gem from 1990 on ye ole YouTube.  My god, they look like babies.  I guess I did too back then.  A baby with big hair leftover from the 80s.  Shit, I was really young, and this was about the time that I fell in love with this band.  If I had to pick a favorite song by the Pixies, this would be it. 

December 8, 2013

Musical Flashback.




Way back when in the 1990's, there lived a band called the 2 Skinnee J's.  They are described by the annoying term "nerdcore hip hop", but I like this description from their Twitter page better:  "If Public Enemy had a schoolyard fight with Devo, it would sound like 2SJ".  That's actually very fitting in a lot of ways.  I discovered them in the mid 90's when they opened up for one of my all-time favorite bands.  A band from my hometown who still has a huge following locally, but only had minor success nationally for a quick minute many years ago.  Anyway, I think it was night two of one of their annual 3-show Christmas extravaganzas that I first laid eyes and ears upon the 2SJs.  I was immediately hooked, as was my BFF who was with me at that show.  We became big fans, and over the next 4-5 years saw them live maybe 5 or 6 times.  They had a solid cult following around the country, and saw minimal mainstream success.  I believe the last time we saw them was at an all-day music festival, which was sponsored by a local radio station that our good friend was working for at the time.  He got us backstage, and we got to hang out with the Js and the rest of the band for a bit after the show.  The Js ARE skinny indeed.  Very slight and shorter than they appear on stage.  They were friendly and very non-rock star acting.  I don't remember much else, other than feeling like a giddy school girl because I was hangin' with the 2SJs!.  I think they broke up within a year of so of that show, because I recall in conversation with one of them he alluded to there being trouble in paradise.  I was bummed out when they split, and have remained bummed out since then.  Every so often I think of them for no apparent reason, and get out my SuperMercado! CD and keep it in my car for a good month or so, listening to it dozens of times before I've had my fill and it's put away again for a while.  I recite every line of every song.  Every.  Damn.  One.  If you are going to listen to one album by this band, make it this one.  Superb album. 

I just happened to enter one of those 2SJ phases in the last 24 hours, again for no apparent reason, which prompted me to do some Googling to see what they are up to.  I discovered some rumors floating around their Facebook page that they might be getting the band back together next year!  Please, oh please let this be true!  I don't want to get too excited, but I did notice in my research that they are marketing the hell out of their merchandise all the sudden, and they also played a limited number of random shows in recent years that I was unaware of.  And according to some (all) of the YouTube videos I scoured from those shows, they rocked and had the venues packed.  So, based on the facts presented I'm going to choose to believe this awesome rumor, as I'm mildly depressed because my job is making my life miserable and this gives me something to look forward to.

Here's one of the videos I found, just to share a sample.  This is my favorite song by them.  And I love belting out this line:  "A hallucinogenic, my phonetics get frenetic when I said it my hyperbole is hyper, my energy kinetic".  Yeah, try rapping that one folks.  Not as easy as it appears.  The show looks like so much fun I can barely stand to just sit in a chair and watch it.  Love the stage crashers.