Friday, November 30, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
On the day after Thanksgiving, I pondered and mulled over why this time of year doesn't electrify feelings of love and happiness. I hear the excitement around me... outdoor lights illuminate the neighborhood... Christmas Carols infiltrate... many a happy chap express the joy and warmth they experience from "the holidays."
So I thought and thought and thunk "What is wrong with me?!" (Oooooh where do we begin? Specifically I mean why don't I like the holidays).
Something must be done. I have two Yahoos that need holiday joy. And if I don't do something about it they will undoubtedly blame my lack of holiday cheer for their not getting into Harvard.
I discovered this morning that it's time to act and the KT (as in KT Tunstall) Christmas album is out. What better way to get in the spirit of Christmas than to listen to a Scottish girl play gee-tar and sing Melekelekimaka! If that doesn't de-scrooge-inize me, nothing will! I loaded up Yahoo #2 and we drove to the Target.
While inside the blissful red bulls-eye destination, the reasoning for my holiday dismissal became pregnancy-test-blue clear.
The holidays make people rude.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Let's start with Black Flag.
Black Flag is considered by many to be the first band on the hardcore punk scene (evidently there's punk and hardcore punk). Greg Ginn founded the band in southern California in 1976 and remains the only member to stay in the band throughout it's 20 years. In all, 15 different people would participate in one way or another. The most notable and famous to date was singer Henry Rollins, whose shorts-only performances became his signature outfit (no shoes, though... how on earth do you make a signature outfit without shoes!?)
The band was named Black Flag which was used to represent anarchy. Raymond Pettibon, brother of Greg Gin and bass player for a time, stated "If a white flag means surrender, a black flag represents anarchy." I believe a bug spray of the same name had an influence as well.
Black Flag had a do-it-yourself type arrangement. The recording, PR (that's public relations, not Personal Record), advertising, tour managing, etc was all taken care of by members of the band.
Their sound is loud (too loud for most of you - let that be my warning), with screeching vocals and atonally manic guitar solos. The band had a high vocalist turn over - quite frankly the human voice cannot screech and yell for very long and each singer went horse and dropped like a fly. Most of their songs are about insanity, paranoia, alcohol/drugs, violence... great stuff for the kiddies. Here's a sampler: Nervous Breakdown, TV Party.
And then there was Black Sabbath (well, they actually came before Black Flag but you gotta end with the best).
The creation of Black Sabbath began in 1968. The band, located in Birmingham England, was first named the Polka Tulk Blues Company and later called themselves Earth. Primarily, they were a blues band but decided to add a little heavy metal to both their sound and their name.
If you think Black Sabbath is about black magic and the observance of darker religions, you are correct. Geezer Butler, the bassist, was reading a black magic novel and had a vision of a black hooded figure in his sleep one night. Butler told vocalist Ozzy Osbourne and a new name was found.
The trademark Black Sabbath sound was discovered when members of the band were sitting around (knitting I'm sure) and realized collectively that people paid money to see movies that scare them - why not make music that scares too!
Black Sabbath has a very long and complicated past and many musicians entered the band and left. In 1979, Osbourne was asked to leave. They say it was because of a drug problem and lack of commitment. My theory however, is communication, not commitment. No one could understand a dang thing he said! After Ozzy was given the boot, he went on to have a fantastic solo career eating bats on stage and later starred in his own reality TV show called the "Osbournes" - where basic mundane tasks like emptying the garbage can are now entertaining.
When Ozzy left, Black Sabbath replaced the singer with a vocalist by the name of Ronnie James Dio. The band experienced a fair amount of success and Dio invented the "mano cornuta" or "devil with horns" hand gesture that is so popular among hard rock concerts. (I wonder how the cell phone, which has since replaced the cigarette lighter will change that?!) Check out Paranoid and Iron Man and TV Crimes (with Dio).
Happy Black Friday
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Episode 6: I wore two different shoes to school one day. They were both blue keds. One pair had white walls, the other didn't. Very embarrassing.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Whitesnake is the oldest and most classic of the White bunch. This English band was founded in 1977 by singer David Coverdale who incidentally, is a former member of Deep Purple (a colorful guy wouldn't you say? Maybe his next band will be Magenta Magnetism or Chartreuse Charade). Coverdale was the only one to stay with the band through the eighties. It was a musical chairs sort of band. Whitesnake started out with a bluesy sound but evolved into the guitar-screaming-head-banging-glam rock of the 80's. You might have heard Here I Go Again, Still of the Night, and an earlier hit Slow and Easy.
White Lion, another White Hair Band, was founded in New York City by Danish born singer Mike Tramp and guitarist Vito Bratta (also Danish). The year was 1982 and pants were so tight it made voices and guitars an octave higher. White Lion is remembered most for their crooning Power Ballads that served as a mating call for girls in short leather skirts and lacy nothing blouses. Oh yeah and pumps. Gotta have pumps. Take a moment to remember When The Children Cry, Love Don't Come Easy (unless you're a male from Denmark and you wear makeup and you have long hair), Cry For Freedom, and Little Fighter (Rise Again Man!)
And finally there's Great White (please excuse the tiny picture). This band was founded by singer Jack Russell (Terrier?!) and guitarist Mark Kendell. They released their first album Once Bitten... Twice Shy in 1983. Their sound is typical 80's glam metal (as opposed to just 80's metal) and the vocals of Jack Russell (love saying that name!) are similar to that of the epic wonder Robert Plant. Great White had a decent run through the 80s with hits like Save All Your Love, Once Bitten... Twice Shy, and Rock Me. Sadly, Great White is remembered most for their fatal 2003 pyrotechnics show at a night club in Rhode Island. More information can be found Here.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I've named this confession "Episode 4" in honor of the George Lucian method of story telling - you know where you release a story (we'll call this first story Meteor Battle) then a sequel (Federation Seizes Again), then another sequel (Comeback of the Space Guerrilla) and realize you are making a whole you-know-what-load of cash. Maybe you can fabricate a 1-2-3 beginning to your three little stories. To complicate matters, the new stories occur before the three you've told already. We've used up all of our creativity naming the first three stories, so lets release the new ones with something lame like Episode 1, Episode 2 and Episode 3. (I'm going to release Episode 4, 5 & 6, wait many a bit then release Episodes 1, 2 & 3.
Have I meandered from my original plan? I believe I have. Let's start the confession: I turned the same paper into the same teacher TWO TIMES - and got away with it.
It was History. The teacher was Miss Kelly (Keller?) The paper was titled The Apartheid. The fact that I got away with it means two things: My writing is horribly forgettable OR she didn't read the paper.
What spawned this memory? I ran into this teacher a few weeks ago. Spouse, Yahoos and I were dining at our favorite Noisy Tex Mex Joint when a strange (strange unfamiliar, not strange weird) child started a conversation with Yahoo #1. It turns out the child was reserving a table (against the Noisy Tex Mex Joint rules) while the mom was in line. So when the mom sits down, it all came back to me in a blustering tidal wave whoosh. YOU were a teacher in my high school! YOU were a volleyball coach! YOU like girls (at least that's the rumor)! YOU were my history teacher twice(10th & 12th grade)! YOU GAVE ME CREDIT FOR THE SAME PAPER TWICE!
My first thought was to thank her for it but then I realized the Statute of Limitations might be a problem and she'd pull my diploma. I said nothing.
Later at home, I found the paper. It's a snoozer. And as usual, half of it was pulled out of you-know-where. Who am I kidding?! Ninety Percent of it!
Friday, November 09, 2007
Have you noticed that I have a thing for trios?
The Love and Rockets story begins with a little punk band called Bauhaus. The singer, a gent named Peter Murphy, decided he was too talented for the rest and started a solo career. The other three - Daniel Ash (guitars, saxophone, vocals), David J (bass, vocals) and Kevin Haskins (drums, synthesizers) - were left high and maybe not so dry. To shorten the long-snoozing-bar-hopping-what-are-we-going-to-do-now story, the three formed a band and named it Love and Rockets after a comic of the same name. Love and Rockets released seven albums between 1985 and 1998. In 2003, a live compilation album was released.
All band members started their careers creating dark and heavy music. With Love and Rockets, the members freed themselves from the confines of the dark and dismal to produce something a little more light and revitalizing (like that One-a-Day for Women that I take daily). Their sound is inspired from the psychedelia of the 60s and 70s. Kind of a T-Rex meets the Dandy Warhols... only the Dandy Warhols weren't around yet. So, would that mean the Dandy Warhols are T-Rex meets Love and Rockets? Whoa!
Have yourself a merry little listen.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Blog + Tagged = BLAGGED
(or maybe it should be Togged?)
I have been asked to display 7 random rabidrunner facts via my blog. And then I suppose I'm required to blag others after I'm finished. In the midst of this blagging, I didn't see any instructions, so the number and manner in which I do so is not important. I'm rather disappointed however, that I wasn't promised a dollar for everyone I blag or the phone to ring magically or 8 days of good luck.
Due to the randomness of my genetic makeup, it will be difficult to isolate these random facts and report only 7. So here goes.
Random Fact Number One:
I enjoy making up songs and singing them off tune to people via their answering machines. I sing at the top of my voice. I hang up. I have a good laugh. And the yahoos look at me as if I've swallowed a monster truck tire whole. Most of the time, the songs are made up because I'm trying to sing a tune and I know only 25% of the words. My latest fabrication however, was genius. It's entitled "Come to Dinner" and is sung to the tune of "Come Together" by the Beatles or Aerosmith (you can choose which one you prefer):
Here come ol' rabid, she's been cookin' up something, she's got fett-u-cine and some turkey meatballs, shes got hair.... down.... in... the food. Want you to come over 'cause we're so in the mood. Come to dinner! Right now.... over here.
Running Brother Bruce got that one. And the reason he was so lucky? It came to me at 7:48am one morning and they were the only ones I could guarantee wouldn't be home. It can be very awkward if you phone someone charged and ready to perform, only to have a live person answer. Then you have to stumble over your words and ask to borrow some sugar or WD40.
Random Fact Number Two:
I like looking at rivers on maps. It's fascinating to see where rivers start and end. Spouse jokes often about my being a "Riverologist." Is there such a thing?
Random Fact Number Three:
At the prime age of 16, I was employed as one of those annoying phone solicitation salespersons (during the dawn of the politically correct era). I sold credit card protection services and the American Airlines Advantage Visa Card, where you earn one mile towards your American Airlines Advantage Frequent Flyer program for every dollar you charge on the card. Imagine that! One mile for every dollar you spend!
One day, we were hired by the Bush campaign (Bush Sr) to remind people to "go out and vote for George Bush." That was an exciting day.
Random Fact Number Four:
My brother, 9 years my senior, was left to "care" for me one night. He and his friends told me to "run down the hall" and after I did run down the hall, he shot me in the arse with his bb gun. Left a giant quarter-sized welt on my tiny 5-year-old bottom. Several parental conversations took place before I understood why I couldn't show-n-tell the welt the following day.
Random Fact Number Five:
I want eight children. Not of my own. I just want eight children.
Random Fact Number Six:
I used to go to aerobics classes wearing tights and a thong leotard. (This is turning into a confession of sorts.)
Random Fact Number Seven:
I can type really fast. See how fast I typed that? Scary Fast.
Now it's my turn to do the blagging. How about The Winder, Vera, The Petulant Ninny, Brooklet, Biker Babe, Phishtako, and you! (No invitation necessary, please share.)
Friday, November 02, 2007
Emerson, Lake & Palmer were created when Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (guitars, bass guitar, vocals) and Carl Palmer (drums, percussion - not that simply irresistible Robert Palmer), whom all of which were currently in other bands, found that the three of them jammed together better and with more pizazz than the bands they were currently playing with. In the year 1970, the three of them said adios to their current bands and formed the cleverly named Emerson, Lake & Palmer. You'd think that with all that talent, they could come up with a better name.
Anyway, the English band Emerson, Lake & Palmer was categorized as Progressive Rock or Symphonic Rock. Their sound is random, with rampant jazzy tempos and smooth, poetic, classically inspired melodies. Piano and keyboards are always in the limelight and their creativity has no bounds.
In the early 70s, a fellow by the name of Jimi Hendrix (you've probably heard of him), had plans to join the trio and become yet another cleverly named band, Emerson, Lake, Palmer & Hendrix. But due to conflicting schedules and Hendrix's death (among the saddest days in rock history), it never happened.
Listen to/watch Still... You Turn Me On or my favorite Karn Evil 9: First Impression Part 2. Oh, and you've probably heard Lucky Man.