July 24, 2011

Random Audio and Visuals.

Boy am I tired.  On top of what has been an unusually busy month for me, this several-day heat wave has come nothing short of killing me.  I actually felt woozy and disoriented the other day, despite constantly hydrating myself and staying indoors as much as possible.  The cumulative effect of living in oven-like temps is not to be ignored.  It's weird how it all works.  I need a break before I turn into a raging bitch, so luckily for the world around me I understand this is coming to an end within 24 hours.  When you abhor summer yet find yourself excited that the high will only be 93, you know it's been too goddamn hot.

In the meantime, things are finally slowing down a bit here at KATN, effective today.  Now that they have, I've been uploading and sorting through all the pics and videos I've been taking.  Which has been rather fun, because it's allowed me to slow down the past month and remember all the people I've seen, fun things I did, etc.  Here are a few favorite pics I discovered:

Taken in L.A. Oh, how I miss the weather there.

Mötley Crüe, June 2011

I've seen several live shows recently.  Mötley Crüe being one of them.  Going into it, I opted to take my usual pessimistic stance and assume they might not sound as good as the last time I saw them, in 1987 on the Theatre of Pain tour (which Loudness opened up for, as I've mentioned here before).  No matter how hard those guys have lived, I have no question that Nikki, Mick, and Tommy are going to bring it musically every damn time.  That is a given.  Even on the Theatre of Pain tour, when their addictions were at their peak, they fucking brought it.  The wild card, of course, is always Vince Neil.  So, I hoped for the best but didn't necessarily expect it.  Vince didn't sound great, and he tried way too hard and way too often to hit some high notes that he has no business trying to hit, but overall he sounded decent and better than expected, so the show was surprisingly good.  And I can't go without mentioning Tommy Lee's drum solo.  My god I love that guy.  I want to hang out and have vodka cocktails with that fun-loving nut.  There's no way that wouldn't be fun.  Here's video of essentially the same thing that I saw. Not your typical drum solo, but it reminded me of the rave days of my youth, so that was cool.

Changing things up a bit, I also caught Bel Biv DeVoe live.  I love me some BBD, and this was a free outdoor show so why would one not go, if for no other reason than to hear Poison and Do Me?  Well, it ends up they rather sucked.  They just didn't sound good, and when it came to playing their aforementioned two big hits, they pulled stupid shit and extended the song out way too long, interjecting it with bullcrap like bringing people in the audience up on stage, yapping about who-knows-what, and basically ruining the song.  They would stray so long, that once they picked the song back up you almost forgot that's what they had been playing in the first place.  People don't want to hear that.  People want to hear Poison as it was recorded and as they know it, which means in one fluid piece, not all broken up so that as soon as you get excited and into the groove, they shatter your hopes by basically stopping mid-song.  I call bullshit on you, BBD.  Good thing I didn't pay for that or we would have trouble.

A special guest came to town to celebrate my birthday.  Perhaps you've heard of Ted Nugent?  I hadn't seen this guy since '86 or '87, so it had been a while.  I figured it was worth going just for nostalgia purposes alone.  Ted sounded great on guitar, but his vocals have certainly gone downhill a bit over the years.  It was a good show, but not a great show.  He could've scored some points if he would've come out in a loin cloth like the good ol' days, but he didn't.  To my pleasant surprise, he did not yap about the Tea Party at all.  He did, however, talk about hunting a lot.  Sometimes he referred to it as "killing meat" or "getting meat".  After the encore, the band came back out to say their goodbyes in classic Nugent style, waving American flags and machine guns.  Or maybe they're rifles.  Or Uzis.  Forgive me, I don't know my firearms.  Here's a brief, bad quality video of it:

I also got to see my old high school friends play again this past week.  These are the guys I reconnected with last Fall and they are in a kick-ass instrumental metal band.  I said instrumental metal.  And they pull it off.  These guys are tighter than a fish's bumhole.  Since this night was part of the official birthday celebrating, I was able to force several people to go who are not necessarily metal heads like myself.  And just as I suspected and hoped, they loved it.  Here's a video sample below.  Stick it out and listen through all the change ups.  It's obvious they practice A LOT.  I don't know how they don't lose their place in the song.  I couldn't record the whole song because all of their songs are super long and my arms were getting tired.   

Before I go, I have one more thing completely unrelated to anything I've just talked about.  I got an email recently from American Airlines with my mileage statement.  My thoughts about the free trip in my future were a bit overshadowed by the rather intriguing mileage expiration date. 

Note to self:  redeem mileage before End of World

That is all for this episode of Random Audio and Visuals.  I thank ye for coming.

July 16, 2011

Happy Holidays to Me.

The anniversary of my birth is quickly approaching, and a few days ago I received my first official birthday card in the mail.  The rest of my family/friends have their work cut out for them, because it's going to be hard to beat this absolute gem of a greeting.  Definitely one of the best cards ever.

Despite the efforts of my parents, religion and I do not get along.  However, I'm intrigued by the various oddball patron saints that are out there.  There is a saint for just about anything one might want to pray for/to.  If you grew up with a mother like mine, then you are well aware that when you lose something you are supposed to pray to St. Anthony to help you find it.  Apparently he is on Facebook and is also the patron saint of bacon.  I didn't realize I should be praying for bacon.  And here all this time I've been going to the store to get it.  Did you know that St. Clare of Assisi is the patron saint of television?  You wouldn't think the world would need such a thing, but apparently it does.  Now this one makes more sense:  St. Arnold of Soissons, patron saint of hop pickers and brewers.  Gotsta praise and protect those people.  It's so weird, all these patron saints of ridiculous things.  I just don't get it.  But I appreciate the oddity of it.

I don't know much about this St. Bitch the Fierce, but I think her and I might get along just fine.

The birthday celebrating has already commenced, and will continue for at least the next 6 days based on the plans I have thus far.  I have mentioned a few of my favorite holidays here before:  MLB Opening Day, Derby Day.  But my #1 favorite holiday of all time has always been, and will always be my birthday.  I like to celebrate it over a period of many days, because....well....I think a person should celebrate him/herself.  Everyone should look at their birthday as their own personal holiday.  And I don't just love my birthday, I love other peoples' birthdays too, because if they are important to me, I want to acknowledge that day and celebrate who they are and the fact that they are in my life.  I embrace turning another year older, using it as a reason to surround myself with my favorite people, and doing things that I love because I can.  Because it's my birthday and that's the law in the world of KATN.  So, that's my stance on birthdays.  Here are a few things I love that have been/will be incorporated into this multi-day celebration:  a band from the 80's, a rocker from the 70's, my friends' kick-ass metal band, tennis, champagne, vodka cocktails, an extra day off work, two visitors from out of town, and hopefully cake.  Sometimes I love cake more than life itself.  Please let there be cake.

If I were the prayin' type, there's probably a good chance this thing would be put to use:

Unfortunately, a week-long heat wave with temps around 100 is also in the cards.  Why, universe, must you always fuck with a good thing?  Try as you might, I shall emerge victorious.  Somebody find me a patron saint of Winter, STAT.

July 3, 2011

Packed Full of Goodness. High in Fiber.

I was at a bar last night that had karaoke.  In looking through the humongously thick song book, I was shocked by what it lacked (only 6 Beastie Boys songs), and even more surprised by some of the songs it did have.  Including the following:

WHOA THERE.  Is that Chocolate Salty Balls I see?!?  I might've sang it if I would've had more liquid courage in me.  I distinctly remember watching South Park the first time this episode aired.  I had to look it up, but that was back in 1998.  I had a roommate at the time, and we were stoned and had just had a conversation about these highly delicious chocolate/peanut butter candy/cookie-type things that I make every year at Christmas.  They are rather famous amongst my friends and family, and for years I never had an official name for them.  I called them "chocolate peanut butter balls" for lack of a better one, but for years I knew it didn't feel right and I kept pondering the proper moniker.  Well, lo and behold we watch South Park that night in 1998, and Chef busts out with the now infamous Chocolate Salty Balls song.  Suddenly, there was a cartoonish lightbulb hanging over my head and the name for my delicious treats was born.  Here's a photo of them, along with some Argentinian-style alfajores cookies (another Xmas standard at KATN).

Stick 'em in your mouth and suck 'em!
They truly are Chocolate Salty Balls.  Look closely and you will notice the sea salt sprinkled on top. 

And now, I encourage you to indulge in the supreme funkiness of Isaac Hayes (RIP).  Who cares if the guy was a Scientologist that couldn't take a joke?  He could bring the goddamn funk like there was no tomorrow.  I love Mr. Hanky's keys solo in this song.