Friday, May 31, 2013

Don't get sucked into a vacuum! Feed yr brain.

Photo by ... me!
Creativity begets creativity.

If you ever find yourself so strapped for time you can no longer take in inspirational things—and believe me when I say that can happen if you're not careful—step out of that mess and MAKE time. I'm happiest when my brain is nace and fat and full of other people's great ideas since that's the surest way to come up with some of my own.

If you're forced into a vacuum you can expect your creativity to get sucked out with the rest of the air. So don't let it.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

When headlines reveal too much!

The subhead of this may as well say, "you have no idea who our cover model is, do you?" The funny thing is that image could've been totally erased had someone just tried to be a teensy bit creative with the blurb!

For instance, "Secrets from Shay Mitchell: This Pretty Little Liar dishes the truth on how she stays fit!" C'mon!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Monosyllabic posts.

Granted, the title itself just made a liar out of how I was trying to tag this post, but in a string of anemic entries a wan attempt to get meta is still at least an attempt. Right?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


That is what I wish today had been, but it wasn't. So much for relaxing!

Friday, May 24, 2013

How long does it take you?

When you take a vacation, even if it's a few days, you know it takes a little for you to be able to ease into it. How long does it usually take you?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Happy accident.

I snagged this screenshot from the ever shifting header on my Instagram page. I love how the two photos look like they're part of a single scene despite being two different shots mashed together.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013


The vacation starts now. It's a staycation, technically, but I'm gonna take full advantage of it to do nothing at all.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Happy dancin'.

Today was one of those days where tons and tons of work by a large number of folks with sharp minds  paid off.

What's that quote? I love it when a plan comes together? Because I do!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Whirlwind week.

It's a weird timeframe. I was working on and off all weekend and have vacation at the end of the week, so my perception of time is all out of whack!

Happy Monday!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Yay yay rock and /or roll!

The Thermals at Lincoln Hall, May 16. Photo by me!
When you're at a show and the crowd is singing along so loudly you can clearly hear them over a band that is charging ahead at full volume and full energy, you know you're probably at a good show. When the band keeps jumping into the crowd to dance with them, and not surf over them or be fawned over by them, you know you're probably at a good show. When the pit gets bigger and bigger as the night goes on and no one on the perimeter seems to mind that one bit, you're probably at a good show. When there is not a single weak song in the set and the band starts off with it's more famous stuff first without worrying about ever running out of steam, you're probably at a god show.

If all of that is happening at the same time then you're definitely at a Thermals show.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

You can DO it!

Inset motivational list of quote that won't seem trite and will actually lead one to refresh mind, body and  spirit here.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013


After weeks of missed connections and busy schedules Keep and I actually got in the practice space together tonight! It was sorely needed. It''s funny too, we maybe said two or three sentences to each other over the hour or so, but could figure out where each was just going when noodling with new stuff. It was a nice warm-up to get back in the groove. We even came up with this kind of monster psychedelic yet noisy indie rock super busy drumming but super powerful guitar groove at one point that I hope Keep had the 4-track running during. It's a bit different from what we have been doing; short, catchy, powerful rawk.

And again, SO sorely needed by me. It felt good.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Timeless questions.

Sometimes I wonder...

Would the cats be happier if I got another dog just so I'd start leaving them alone?


Friday, May 10, 2013

When Friday feels like Monday. Eeeeeeek!

Usually the end of the week, even if it's surrounded by a flurry of activity, holds within it the promise of at least a few days respite. You can go-go into Saturday knowing that you at least have 48 hours to chill, right? Unless of course things go crazy on Friday in such a way that you know your mind will be preoccupied all weekend long whether you actually decide to physically work or not. This Friday is one of those Fridays setting up the weekend in such a way.


Luckily, this is more a rare event than a regularly occurring one at this point, so I do try and look on the bright side of things and enjoy that!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Ever consider just how weird Faith No More was / is?

Such dapper fellows.
Sorry about the headline that can't make up it's mind on tense when it comes to Faith No More, but I honestly don't know if they consider themselves broken up again or if they're just on another long sabbatical.* Either way, have you ever really thought about just how unlikely their success was?

Think of it; Faith No More started off as a Bay Area artsy-ish metal / funk multi-racial combo who might've gone down as a one-hit wonder for "We Care A Lot." But they ditched their original singer and brought in a new longhaired pretty boy with an elastic voice who brought them larger fame via a video (and song) where most people accidentally assumed he was a little brother to any one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The rest of that album, The Real Thing, was built on reasonably catchy pop / funk / metal, setting the band up as a group to follow if you were looking for some edgy rock you could both hum along and dance too, depending on your mood.

I remember buying the follow up album, Angel Dust, putting it on the stereo and going, huh. The group had taken a decidedly darker turn and while there were still melodies in there the proceedings were far more abrasive and seemed unwilling to adhere to any single genre. This didn't toally shock me, since I had long ago picked up the first Mr. Bungle album just to get some more of Mike Patton's vocals only to discover a band that REALLY liked thrash metal and free jazz ... and cheerleader anthems and disco and whatever else the fuck they could shove into a song. But imagine the rest of the public, expecting something as catchy as "Epic" and instead seeing the band's new idea of a single was "Midlife Crisis." I bet it confused a few. But you know what? MTV embraced it anyway and the band remained popular! Despite confounding expectations and taking chances people still liked them.

This show was on my birthday!
In Russia though. Boo.
After that came the underrated King For A Day Fool For A Life Time, and I think this is where the band lost their following as they veered ALL OVER THE PLACE including what can only be described as a song sung by Tom Jones as his feet are tickled by the licking flames of hell. I bought this on vinyl before I bought it on CD. I think it was because the LP came out first? Or maybe the Tower by my house forgot to order CDs? Either way it sounded great to me. And while it lost the band followers I'm not sure why since there is literally something for everyone on this album. Literally. It is THAT all over the place. Which, I guess, to most people is probably pretty fucking weird. O.K., King For A Day Fool For A Life Time is super weird.

Its follow up, Album Of The Year, is probably the most straightforward and therefore most boring release in te band's history. It's pretty much just a straightforward rock album. Yawn. But its existence bookends the Mike Patton years to display a band that proved it could write mainstream hit and then went on instead to write hits that would only appeal to people in a parallel and slightly bizzaro dimension.

Pretty weird. But I liked it.

* I suspect they are DUNZO dunzo, which bums me out since despite my being a fan of the band since almost the very beginning I never, ever got a chance to see them play live. I did once book a show with their original singer at a club in Chicago though! So I got to see one of them live.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Technology made the long player grow fat.

I was listening to Quadrophenia this morning and was struck that while it's running time exceeds that of a single CD it never feels overly long. Then I thought about recent albums from any number of bands that decided to employ every second of space afforded by a CD (or, even beyond into the digital realm that literally has no time imitations). Those, almost without fail, actually make you grow annoyed with the band as they overstay their welcome. In a day and age where every album seems to require a "deluxe edition" with another 15-30 minutes worth of material.

But what if something like this had been available back when Quadrophenia was recorded? Would I view a band like The Who differently? Would they have taken advantage of it?

I think the answer is yes they would have and yes I would have.

The album before Quadrophenia, the now universally viewed as a classic Who's Next, began as a concept album that would have been titled Lifehouse. The story line was incredibly convoluted, and eerily prescient of technology and modes of social interaction that was still decades away, and despite his best efforts Pete Townshend could not shape the tale into submission. Instead he took a few of the best songs, augmented them with a few others, and put together the succinct statement that was Who's Next. In a way, the triumph conveyed by those nine songs far exceeded anything another rock opera would have. Subsequently, I believe that caused Townshend to focus his efforts when it came to Quadrophenia and focus on telling a cohesive story buoyed by a collection of musical themes that stands up and sounds as fresh today as I bet they did in 1973. I wish I could say this definitively but I was only one at the time, so my critical facilities were still being formed.

Now what if in 1971 Townshend could have just released a "deluxe edition" of Who's Next including all the Lifehouse tracks? What then? Considering a decade later he began releasing his Scoop series that collected demos and half-formed songs because, hey, everything he did was fucking art, man! So I think he would have happily unloaded all of Lifehouse, that existed at the time, on the public had he the chance. Hell, a little over a decade ago he did, with the release of The Lifehouse Chronicles! And while that is certainly an interesting addendum to be enjoyed by fas of the band, had it been out out at the same time as Who's Next I don't think the transcendent economy of that album would have shone so brightly. And that would have been a real shame.

So I think the lesson here is that while it's tempting to wow fans with the enormity of your creative outputand let's just put the assumption that additional material released relatively soon after the initial release of an album is also a greedy money grab and just focus on what measure of the artist's inflated sense of self is at play herenothing makes your star shine so brightly as the good sense to edit out the flab and focus on the strongest material.

It seems like such a simple lesson, but as barriers and limits continue to fall it's a lesson that grows harder for band to learn. Too bad.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

THIS is how you make an entrance!

The only thing that could beat this is if Steve Martin AND Bill Murray were to enter a late night talk show together.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Monday, Monday.

I think I've got Spring Fever. I fell asleep on the couch a while ago, woke up and saw the clock read 10 p.m., and thought it was already Friday night.

Wishful thinking.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Repairing the circuitry before turning the juice back on.

So I've been on the wagon for the last few weeks, and it's been interesting. It has literally been too many years since I went this long withut a drop of booze. In fact the last time I did, by the end I was judgmental of everyone who was still drinking around me and swore I'd never be all stupid and shit like them again! That lasted a week. This time around I found myself absent any judgement and able to just focus on realigning myself without feeling anxious or angry about it. I must be getting older!

Anyway, the reasons for this little break were many, and the results have been fabulous. After so many years we fall into bad habits, and given my years in rock and / or roll and the service industry and blah blah blah I honestly started to wonder just how much of my personality the mythology of drinking truly was in the eyes of other people. Well, over the last few weeks I've chilled out, improved my relationship  and proven that I can enjoy a band playing in a club without a beer in my hand.* In fact my overall anxiety level is way down, and in the past I would have a beer or a glass of wine when I got home to relax and now I'm realizing it was probably having the opposite effect. Who knew?!

So I'm feeling pretty good. And I'm pretty confident this little break has allowed me to flip an internal reset that is ultimately going to be really good for me.

I think of it this way: I've tripped a circuit breaker and cut off the juice long enough to fix the internal circuitry so now I can safely turn the power back on without worrying its going to flood the system and burn out all the wiring.

*If I may have a word about the band in a club thing? Thanks. The thing I found most difficult to deal with in that setting while completely sober was the fact I was too finely attuned to everything going on around me. Obviously booze dulls the senses but I never realized how much of the hustle and bustle of a bar it helped me turn into so much background noise that was easily processed by my usually overactive brain. Once I got a handle on the overstimulation everything was cool though. And the bands sounded fabulous!

Kanye wins the internet today.


Thursday, May 02, 2013

I was craving a burger earlier.

I've had a hankering for a hamburger for over a week now, and I have yet to satisfy that desire, for a number of reasons.

Just thought I'd let you know!