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Thursday, June 30, 2005


I've mentioned Jackson Browne a few times on this blog. Unconciously I have become a fan. One of the songs that worked this spell on me is 'The Load Out' from the Running On Empty album. The past two evenings I worked a load-in and a load-out for a outdoor concert. I am bone tired, sore as all get out, and proud. I kept singing 'The Load Out' to myself as I was working:

"They're the first to come and last to leave
Working for that minimum wage
They'll set it up in another town"

Now, don't let Jackson fool you, stage hands get paid a fair sum better than minimum, I'd venture to say even in 77.

It's hard work, physically. Even the veterans get weary by 5 AM. Why? Why do people do this? The hours suck, home and family become vague notions, the food is bad, and obioulsly mother nature hates you, but yet certain people are drawn to this life.

"Tonight the people were so fine
They waited there in line
And when they got up on their feet they made the show
And that was sweet--
But I can hear the sound
Of slamming doors and folding chairs
And that's a sound they'll never know

Now roll them cases out and lift them amps
Haul them trusses down and get'em up them ramps
'Cause when it comes to moving me
You know You guys are the champs"

Damn straight. You will meet the greatest people on a raod crew, and some of them are the greatest assholes you'll ever meet, but they are champs. When you're flying 3,000 pounds of monitors on each side of the stage, there isn't any room for error, it's gotta be right, every night.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


The mainstay of my vinyl collection, the focus, the beef, has always been seventies hard rock. I started collecting records in the seventies. My brother bought me Abbey Road, and it was off to the races. The next year I discovered Kiss, and thus began the fascination with guitar driven bands. In reviewing my collection, as far as the major seventies hard rock acts go, I have everything I want. Except Black Sabbath 'Vol. 4' in it's original cover. I have the vinyl disc, but it's stuffed into an old 'Master of Reality' cover. I need the complete package. Okay, so maybe I should have 'Coda' and 'In Through The Out Door' for the sake of posterity, or maybe to sample 'Fool In The Rain'. And yes there are a couple of Skynyrd records I don't have, so I got that to keep me going. But overall it's getting hard to come by a record from that era/genre that I don't have. Aerosmith, AC/DC, Blue Oyster Cult, Nazareth, Ted Nugent, the Scorpions, Judas Preist, Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, UFO, Kiss, Van Halen, Cheap Trick, I got it covered. I even have a complete Journey and Styx collection. Oh Shit - ZZ Top; I don't think I have 'Rio Grande Mud', 'First Album', 'Deguello', or 'El Loco'. Ah, something to look for. I feel much better now, thank you for your time.


My brother got me a 'More Cowbell' T-shirt. I love it. It refers to a Saturday Night Live skit in which Will Farrel plays cowbell for Blue Oyster Cult. Now, there is cowbell on 'Don't Fear The Reaper', but it's fairly deep in the mix. It's certainly no 'We're An American Band' by Grand Funk, but I guess the various members of the SNL cast looked funnier as B.O.C., I don't know, and it doesn't really matter. Certainly not to B.O.C., post Spinal Tap, I think they have relatively thick skins by now. Much like any band that has managed to stay afloat for more than ten years, Blue Oyster Cult had it's day in the sun, and it's more troubled passages. Many of their records are uneven, some really great songs surrounded by not so great songs. You can't really call it filler, becuase they worked just as hard on the not so great songs as they did the really good ones, unlike, say, Sabbath, who can be accused of phoning in preformances from time to time. B.O.C. never did that, well not until the late eighties. Every song on 'Spectres', for example, sounds great. It's just some of those songs just aren't good songs. That is a disease of the culture, not the band. When you spend two thirds of a year touring, and are expected to have a new product ready every year, well not every song is going to be great. That's why the only bands who can claim superior consistancy - The Stones, Floyd, U2 - broke the mold, and said 'You'll get an album when we're ready to give you one.' That's great if you have the clout, but if you're B.O.C., well you need a few more 'Reapers' to make it into that club. It's too bad that they aren't given the credit they could have deserved. If you take every two B.O.C records, shake out the weak tracks, and combine them into one, well then you have a truly great band. I haven't ever seen a really good greatest hits package from them either, There's one I've seen, and it's as uneven as one of their records. If I was to make a B.O.C. compilation it would be a two dic set, and it would contain the following:

Disc One:
Transmaniacon MC
Then Came The Last Days Of May
Stairway To The Stars
Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll
The Red And The Black
7 Screaming Dizbusters
Career Of Evil
Flaming Telepaths
ME 262 (Live)
Born To Be Wild (Live)

Disc Two:
This Ain't The Summer Of Love
Don't Fear The Reaper
Golden Age Of Leather
Kick Out The Jams (Live)
Dr. Music
Black Blade
Fire Of An Unknown Origin
Burnin' For You
Vetreran Of Psychic Wars
Heavy Metal: The Black And Silver
Joan Crawford
E.T.I. (Live)

I know very few care. Rod, any comments?


I turn 40 in late October. My brothers decided to throw me a party. I decided to invite some bands to play. Chris, Paul, and I decided it would be fun to put the old band back together for the show. I am pleased to announce that all members of Happy Boy have been located, and have agreed to participate. The only questions that remain are the same ones we've always had. Will Paul qiut the band again? Will he do his track on Saturday? Do we rehearse on Rob's night? How does Chris' solo record fit in? Does anyone know the songs? Will the set list be arranged around Rob's guitar switch? Will I quit the band to move to California? Will we break up at 6 pm, or at 5:45? Who will buy the beer? Stay tuned for the answers to these questions, and much more.

Monday, June 27, 2005


How come nobody told me about this? On 12th between Braodway and 4th lies another vinyl haven, overflowing bins of double sided black grooved glory. You might be wondering what I bought:

David Gilmour - About Face (2nd, and more commercial solo effort from God)
Three Dog Night - Greatest Hits (I believe I have this already, but if that's the case I'll give it to somebody)
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours & Fleetwood Mac (the essentials, I must have at least one of these as well, I'm gonna have to make an excell document to keep up with what I have)
B-52's - Whammy (Song For A Future Generation rules)
Talking Heads - Little Creatures (I still think 'Saty Up All Night' is about the penis)
Kate Bush - Never For Ever (The female Floyd)
Led Zepplin - Physical Graffiti (so what, I don't have Coda or In Through the Out Door either, I never cared too much)
Fast Times At Rigemont High - Music From The Motion Picture (I bought this for the Joe Walsh song, 'Waffle Stomp', but it's got some other decent stuff on it, well actually there's the Jackson Browne tune, and a bunch of crap, but 'Waffle Stomp' is reason enough "Do the watusi, watch I love Lucy....")
Willie Nelson - Stardust (produced by Booker T. Jones, a classic)
Willie Nelson and Leon Russell - One For The Road (Two disc set, one live, one studio)
Jackson Browne - The Pretnder (I always turn Jackson up when he comes on the radio, so I guess I like his stuff)
John Lennon - Mind Games (I don't really need to qualify this one, do I?)
Donal Fagen - The Nightfy (In response to the commenter on Fred's blog)
Dylan - New Morning (Gotta have 'The Man In Me' on vinyl)
T. Bone Burnett - The Talking Animal (There's some great players on this record, I'll let you know, cuz I ain't never heard nothin' about it)
Lynyrd Skynyrd - One More From The Road (I KNOW I have this one, and so does Tony, I guess that leaves Fred, Chris or Ken to adopt this classic)

Sometimes I see a great record at a great price in great condition that I'm fairly certain that I own, I am always tempted to buy it anyway, if it's in better shape than the one I have, I keep it, either way I find a home for an orphan.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


I was going to leave this alone. Actually I was going to leave it to Hue (huezine.blogspot.com), but it just got me so angry. The whole 'I'm very not gay' vibe is bad enough, the over-exposed media blitz 'romance' with Katie 'cry for help' Holmes - I was going to leave it where it belongs, which is mainly not on my blog, but now he's gone and actually made me mad. I'm no big fan of Matt Lauer either, let's get that straight. In fact anybody who ever anchored the Today Show loses points with me. Let's call it AM TV in general. The Morning Schmaltz. Can't take it. Anyway, Matt Fucking Lauer grew nads all a sudden, and since he likes his job he couldn't go straight for the 'Tom, aren't you gay?' line, so, crafty man, he blindsides Tom with this apparent Brooke Sheilds slight, by Tom, over taking anti-depressants. Bad Scientologist! Burn her! Egads. Well Tom turns on his type not gay personality and fights back. With this:

"Cruise: I've never agreed with psychiatry, ever.  Before I was a Scientologist I never agreed with psychiatry. And when I started studying the history of psychiatry, I understood more and more why I didn't believe in psychology. And as far as the Brooke Shields thing, look, you got to understand, I really care about Brooke Shields. I think, here's a wonderful and talented woman.  And I want to see her do well.  And I know that psychiatry is a pseudo science.

Lauer: But Tom, if she said that this particular thing helped her feel better, whether it was the antidepressants or going to a counselor or psychiatrist, isn't that enough?

Cruise: Matt, you have to understand this.  Here we are today, where I talk out against drugs and psychiatric abuses of electric shocking people, okay, against their will, of drugging children with them not knowing the effects of these drugs.  Do you know what Aderol is?  Do you know Ritalin?  Do you know now that Ritalin is a street drug?  Do you understand that?

Lauer: The difference is —

Cruise: No, no, Matt.

Lauer: This wasn't against her will, though.

Cruise: Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt —

Lauer: But this wasn't against her will.

Cruise: Matt, I'm asking you a question.

Lauer: I understand there's abuse of all of these things.

Cruise: No, you see.  Here's the problem.  You don't know the history of psychiatry.  I do." - MSNBC

Tom 'Mr. I Gotta Fucking PHD In Psychiatry' Cruise. More like a history OF it. There's more:

"Lauer: Aren't there examples, and might not Brooke Shields be an example, of someone who benefited from one of those drugs?

Cruise: All it does is mask the problem, Matt.  And if you understand the history of it, it masks the problem.  That's what it does.  That's all it does.  You're not getting to the reason why.  There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance.

Lauer: So, postpartum depression to you is kind of a little psychological gobbledygook —

Cruise: No.  I did not say that.

Lauer: I'm just asking what you, what would you call it?

Cruise: No.  No.  Abso— Matt, now you're talking about two different things.

Lauer: But that's what she went on the antidepressant for.

Cruise: But what happens, the antidepressant, all it does is mask the problem.  There's ways, [with] vitamins and through exercise and various things...  I'm not saying that that isn't real.  That's not what I'm saying.  That's an alteration of what I'm saying.  I'm saying that drugs aren't the answer, these drugs are very dangerous. They're mind-altering, antipsychotic drugs.  And there are ways of doing it without that so that we don't end up in a brave new world. The thing that I'm saying about Brooke is that there's misinformation, okay.  And she doesn't understand the history of psychiatry.  She doesn't understand in the same way that you don't understand it, Matt."

So who does understand it Tom, other than you? Is this not irresponsible? For a man of such incredible public stature (sad or not), to claim on a national broadcast of a program watched by, like, a gazillion people every single fucking day, in front of ALL THOSE PEOPLE, to claim that anti-depressants are bogus. Where are your credentials Tom. Shouldn't doctors decide what's best for their patients? I know that antidepressants save lives. Let's get them straight first Tom, then you can take 'em for jog 'round to the health food store, in the meantime, we have lives to live.

It is evident from his remarks that Tom Cruise wants you to commit suicide. From that I can only gather that Scientology is about getting the rest of the world to do themselves in. I saw 'Be Cool' (John Travolta - known Scientologist), and without serious medication, and thankful I am for it, I could easily have offed myself for having viewed such crap. And I chose to watch it. See, it's working. I might have caught on sooner, but I avoid Tom's movies in earnest.

Tom, you'd sue me if I had, like, another reader, but I'm gonna say it. Tom Cruise is gay.

Matt, nice with the 'gobbledygook'.

Friday, June 24, 2005


I went vinyl shopping again. I figured that it had been a while since I hit Generation Records, maybe their bins have been replenished. Here's what I got:

Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds Of Fire (Tony, you wanna talk chords you can't play and numbers you don't undertand?)
Mahavishnu W/ Carlos Santana - Love, Devotion, Surrender (the cover looks very peaceful....John M and Carlos are all dressed in white with Sri Chinmoy buttons)
Monty Python - Another Monty Python Record (replaces the one I lost, great record....'Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore...')
Cop Shoot Cop - Ask Questions Later (seminal industrial band)
Phil Lynott - The Phillip Lynott Album (his last solo effort featuring Mark Knopfler among other featured guests)
Missing Persons - Spring Session M (Indeed nobody does walk in LA)
Raven - Live (I had to, I'm sorry, I have a problem, I know)
The Red Hot Chili Peppers - The Red Hot Chili Peppers (so classic)
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells (one must own it, it's the law)
Poco - Live (I had to solve the whole 'where did Tomothy B. Schmitt come from' issue)
The Monkees - Headquarters (this was their last LP, where they wrote the songs and did it 'their' way, couldn't resist)
Randy Newman - Little Criminals (Short People was the first song I knew all the words to)
Stevie Nicks - Belladonna (Tom Petty, Waddy Wachtel, enough of a reason)
Ry Cooder - Paradise And Lunch - (On Fred's recommendation)
Cheech And Chong - Cheech And Chong (Cheech and Chong made great records before they got lost in Hollywood)

I noticed a lot of new vinyl, reissues, in the racks. A bunch of Dylan, Kinks, the Boss. The average price of used vinyl has risen about 20% in the past three years. That's actually very good news.

TAMALE (Mole Con Puerco)

Mmmmmmm. As Jan Hooks said in Pee Pee's Big Adventure; 'there are over a thousand uses for maze (corn).' I am currently on a quest to check them all out. Thanks Pedro and Inez, good luck with the adobe.
If you are in Williamsburg (that's Brooklyn folks) walk down Bedford between N5 and N6, and you'll see a Mexican restaurant called Veracruz. They have very good food, a nice bar, and outdoor seating. If your going out for a meal, that's a good a spot as any, but skip it. Go next door to the little Mexican bodega, walk to the back, and you'll find two nice ladies who excell at comidas. Try the Tacos Carnitas, and make damn sure you get a tamale. That's the real deal.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


File management is not my bag. It's not that I don't like the work, I am just lame at it. In an effort to clean and repair some internal hard drives, I accidently installed an older version of OSX, and cost Chris and myself a night of rebuilding. Problem: I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I never touched a computer until the mid nineties. Computer courses were being introduced at my high school just as I was leaving, and it was a good while before I actually persued higher education. By that time, I was forced to learn the basics of word processing, but left it that for another good spell of time. It's not in my blood. The same with video games, it never took with me. I certainly have peers who have been able to embrace the new technology, I just lack the neccessary curiosity in gadgetry. It's hard for a guy like me to keep up in the Better Stronger Faster Society, I'm still working on yesterdays new thingy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


In my 'the last time I was jazzed about new music blog' of however many weeks ago, I left out a stupendous band that really kicked off the whole 'alternative' scene in the late eighties and early nineties that culminated with Nirvana and some folks selling some shirts and long underwear. Before there was grunge, before indeed anybody even cared about Seattle, there was Jane's Addiction. It is because of Jane's Addiction that we had the first Lollapalooza, and it was at that event, all summer, kids were passing around, amongst Pixies and Cure records, Nirvana's Bleach, so that by the time that Nevermind came out the kids were primed. In fact I think it's safe to say Perry Ferrel killed Kurt Cobain, so hey, there's something. Seriously though, 'Nothing's Shocking' kicked my ass, yes I should just admit it (that's funny see, cuz, well you know). It was, in fact, again, Mrs. Tony Alva who busted out that number last week, along with Paul's Boutique, and forced me to realize my glaring omisssion from the previous post.

Wish I was ocean size
They cannot move you
No one tries
No one pulls you
Out from your hole
Like a tooth aching a jawbone...

I was made with a heart of stone
To be broken
With one hard blow
I've seen the ocean
Break on the shore
Come together with no harm done...

It ain't easy living...

I want to be
As deep
As the ocean
Mother ocean

Some people tell me
Home is in the sky
In the sky lives a spy
I want to be more like the ocean
No talking
All action...
No talking
All action...


From the official Pink Floyd website:

"It has been confirmed that Roger Waters will join Pink Floyd to perform at the Live8 concert in Hyde Park on 2nd July."

David Gilmour made the following statement:
“Like most people I want to do everything I can to persuade the G8 leaders to make huge commitments to the relief of poverty and increased aid to the third world. It’s crazy that America gives such a paltry percentage of its GNP to the starving nations. Any squabbles Roger and the band have had in the past are so petty in this context, and if re-forming for this concert will help focus attention then it’s got to be worthwhile.”

So it's confirmed; up is down, black is white, and dogs and cats are sleeping together.


Earlier this year Cider realeased their 'They Are The Enemy' EP, which was recoreded in our studio, and mixed by Chris. This was the first actaul release (on Painkiller Records) that Chris or I had anyhing to do with (mostly Chris, I was there for some of the action). Look for a forthcoming release from the Darvocets (www.noncommercialrecords.com) which was recorded here as well. Check out the merchandising section of their site if for no other reason than the chick modeling the Darvocets t-shirts.
Just last week, New Creation released their debut 'I Surrender All' independantly, but have sold thousands of copies through their christian rock network. We recorded that one at Tony Alva's Grey Cat Sound outside Atlanta, and then mixed it here at Smoke and Mirrors.
Currently we are working on a record with Acquiesce, a New York based hard rock band. Three of the songs will be mixed at Electric Lady studios for release in time to support their headlining spot at Bowery Ballroom on July 7. We will continue to record and mix the album proper, which will include the same three songs, plus nine more. This record will be picked up by a Finnish label, and the band plans to leverage it's success into a deal with an American label soon.
After years of hard work, it's nice to see some payoff. My name on a CD insert sold in stores is the biggest payoff yet, but I'll take the money as well.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Our little crew went out on the town last night. As I mentioned previously we started the night with dinner at Six Feet Under, a cool kitchy seafood place. We had to wait for seating on the upstairs patio, so the six of us sat at the bar and had drinks and appetizers - alligator bites, u peel 'em shrimp, and six feet under oysters (stuffed with ham and cheese, breaded and baked). It's called Six Feet Under because it's across the street from a cemetery, and that was the view from the upstairs patio where we had our main course. Catfish was the order of the day, two people ordered the georgia fried catfish, and one person had it blackened. One person had shrimp and grits, another the Alaska king crab (which I sampled), and I went with the fried combo basket (shrimp, scallops, oysters, hush puppies). Fried okra and greens were ordered for the table. For desert we asked our waitress to bring us one of everything to share; chocolate mousse, key lime pie, mixed berry pie, apple pie. I highly reccomend Six Feet Under, not only for the food, the atmosphere, and the easy on the eyes staff, but for the beer selection as well. I was on the Spaten, but they had a great selection of other draughts as well. Don't forget to check out the massive magnolia tree across the street, we were fortunate in that it happened to be in bloom. During the cab ride back to the hotel somebody mentioned the Claremont Lounge. Unsure, but speculating that it was a drag club, half our party asked to be dropped off at the hotel, while the more adventurous half continued on to the Claremont. Well it ain't no drag club, in fact it's just not very easy to classify. Biker chick titty bar would come close, but still not exactly right. Imagine combing trailer parks for talent, and putting the cute ones behind the bar, and the larger ones on the stage. If, like me, you rate your club experiences by the vomit in the urinal, well then the Claremont is exceptional. One of our party was beside himself, actually appaled is more like it, but the other two of us (including your depraved servant Jackson) found it to be fascinating in an amusement park/train wreck sort of way. I enjoyed the Claremont, and found the staff and the clientel to be affable. If your looking for the wild side of Atlanta, the somewhat expansive underbelly if you will, then the Claremont Longe is for you. I know I'll be back.
There was an abortive attempt to go swimming back at the hotel, we were kindly informed by the hotel security that the pool was closed. We knew that, we just didn't care.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


So I decided to answer my own question about the whereabouts of Stan Lynch, former drummer for the Heartbreakers (Tom not Johnny). It seems he is not currently residing in the where are they now file, he's in Nashville writing songs and producing records. After leaving Tom, he spent a couple years touring with Dylan.

"If you think you’re ever going to try to be songwriter, go work with guys like that. Even if you’re just going to shine Bob’s shoes you’d learn something.”

After that he hooked up with Don Henley and started writing songs, which in turn led him to Nashville. Well, good luck Stan, you'll need it in that dirty filthy town.

“The music in Nashville now is more like rock and roll. The Rolling Stones’ ‘Honky Tonk Woman’ would have been a hit country song today. It wouldn’t even get played on rock stations."

Tru dat.


Whenever I come down south I can't wait to eat. I love southern cooking. Sure, there's some things you just can't get - Pizza, Bagels - New York stuff, but man, let's talk biscuits. You can't get good biscuits in New York, and what's more is you can't find either of my two favorite southern classics. Waffle House and Chick-fil-A. What's the deal with that? A Waffle House in midtown would do killer business. I'm having the standard Chick-fil-A lunch right now, chicken sandwich, waffle fries, cole slaw, and a Coke. I can feel you out there saying; "Jackson, are you kidding?" No, I'm dead serious, I love this stuff. Here's something fun to try when you're in Atlanta - ask for a Pepsi - be insistent, say your doctor won't let you drink Coke. They flip out. Of course come dinner time I'll want something a little more complex, more serious. Chan and I are gonna go looking for catfish. I'm hoping I'll find some crawfish as well. I think we'll be able to manage. I'd say the best meal I ever had that I did not prepare (yes, you read that right, I rule!) was at a Houston's on St. Charles St. In the Garden District of New Orleans. It was the second meal I had there, and I had the most awesome barbeque shrimp ever known. It blew the doors off of Emeril's, where I spent a gazillion dollars on an okay meal served by a battalion of waiters. I believe that you get what you pay for, and at Emeril's you pay for the staff to fawn upon you. I'd rather save the cash for the bar tab, thank you. Another great thing about the south is fresh produce, we think in New York that when we go to Citarella or Whole Foods that we're getting the best nature has to offer - wrong. The good stuff is down here, they send us the mid-grade stuff. I had a chance to go to Harry's (owned by Whole Foods now) to get the fixins for a dinner I made for the Alvas last Thursday. I wanted to move in. I was bowled over by the produce. They have vegetables I have never seen before. I ended up roasting a pork loin stuffed with carrots, shallots, garlic, mushroom, and mango (sautee everything first, except the mango), garlic mashies, and a vegetable medley of french green beans and yellow squash steamed on a bed of sauteed onions and garlic. Yes folks, garlic in everything. The Gotham Gal doesn't use garlic in her cooking, and is an amazing cook, but I just don't have the nads to make that leap. Garlic is my crutch, and for now I'm sticking with it. As Tony so aptly put it; "Sautee dog shit in butter and garlic and I'm all over it." You and me both Tony.
This just in, we found place in Virginia Highlands called Six Feet Under that we're going to try tonight. They feature catfish - lightly battered, and hush puppies. God was in a good mood when he invented the hush puppy.

Monday, June 13, 2005


So now it's out that Phillip Cooney, Chief of Staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, changed documents to downplay global warming - a very real natural occurance due to greenhouse-gas emissions that are causing global temperatures to rise. Why would he do that? Because his boss is in cahoots with the Saudis and wants to keep us oil dependant. Hmm, where else is there oil to be found in abundance......

Tony opted out of day three, but fortunately I hooked up with Chan, and we managed to cut out from work at a reasonable hour. (I'm actually in Atlanta to work, no, really) So we went to the hip-hop stage ostensibly to check out Biz Markee, but they were running behind (the stage manager was in a rage, certainly the worst stage to have to run) and we caught the end of Whodini. They kept it real, doing it up old school, and attempting to stay on the stage all day - the raging stage manager cut their sound off finally, and then it was time to go check out Joan Jett.
Joan Jett is just so damn cool. I saw her twenty-three years ago and she hasn't lost a step. She still has the same double cut away Jr, and she still looks real good in leather, and something still stirs inside me when she growls "Fuck yeah!" Chan and I agree that we'd like a chance to flip her back to the other team, but maybe her orientation is what keeps her so damn sexy. The main thing is, however, that she rocks. She opened with 'Bad Reputation', and I was fifteen again. The guitar sounds on her first two records are very much responsible for the development of my musical sensibilities. She did her racous versions of 'Crimson and Clover', 'Roadrunner' (updated and transposed from Massachusets to Manhattan, but still including the Stop and Shop), and 'Do Ya Wanna Touch Me', as well as all her hits, and a few nuggets like 'Love is Pain', and 'Victim of Circumstance'. It was hot, the beer flowed and we rocked like there's never been any rock rocking before. Did I mention how cool she is?
Def Leppard had a problem with a Def Soundman. The sound was atrociuos. I wanted to go back to the booth and take over. Not that Joe Elliott is any great singer, but you want to at least hear him, all I could hear was Bass and Kick with the extreme highs of the guitar solos cutting through the muddy thump. I will give the Leppards credit for opening with the Sweet classic 'Action', and covering a Badfinger song as well ("No matter what you do......"). Phil Collen (not to be confused with Phil Collins) and Adrain Campbell still shred, and Rick Allen has always been a solid drummer regardless of the number of arms he has. Is it me, or are Joe Elliott and Simon LeBon slowly merging into the same person? I just couldn't handle the bad sound, and the song selection, other than the covers, was not to my liking. I knew they weren't going to play anything of their first two (and superior) albums, but I figured they'd pick the better of the schlock, but hey, I suppose they got bigger fish to fry, like World Cup scores to keep up with.
Devo had none of these issues. They played the same basic show that I blogged last summer. At the risk of being superflous, they rock, have sack, and do it like no other band in the world. Mark Mothersbaugh can work a crowd easily as well as Bono or Jagger - and he does it with a flower pot on his head. Mark's wisdom probably didn't make it past the gates to the folks oustside with the big signs spouting hellfire for those who sin by going to rock concerts and dress like whores, but just in case: "God made man, but he used a monkey to do it, God made man, but a monkey was the glue". Remember spuds, de-evolution is real.
For yucks we went to check out the last half of Kid Rock's set. Damn glad we did. Holy shit. I thought the Kid had jumped the shark, but hot damn diggity dawg - the Kid is on fucking fire. Loads of folks have mixed up rap and rock with varying degrees of success, but the Kid throws country in the mix, and it's whole different ball game. "I like Johhny Cash, and Grand Master Flash" claims Mr. Rock, and it's evident that he does. Kid Rock pulls out all the stops, slutty dancers, pyro; he played guitar (electric and acoustic) synth, piano, banjo, and he got behind the kit for a bit as well. His band kicks ass, and he ended the show, bringing the house down, with a little number called 'You Don't Have To Call Me Darlin, Darlin'. I will not doubt you again Mr. Kid Rock. Now, I mentioned the flashing before, but it was during Kid's set that I not only saw the most of it, and at a better vantage (a foot and a half), but something all together new happened - ass flashing, that's right, bustin' out the booty! Thank you Mr. Kid Rock, I truly thank you from the deepest depth of my depraved soul.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Did I mention the rain? No? That's because it had no bearing on the events at all for me. We got to day two about six pm, and headed over to the country stage for Darryl Worley. Good but not great, very trad musicianship - big fat guy with a tele, pedal steel, mondo, dobro... I could have lived without the 9/11 song. It's so easy for these guys to jump on the patriotism wagon and talk tough about kicking Bin Laden's ass, but nobody looks past that sort of gut reaction to look at the development of the diseased mind of terrorism, there's a reason why we were attacked, it wasn't for shits and giggles. Misguided maybe, but nonetheless.
Next we took in the Robert Randolph and Family Band. Holy Smokes! Rod - you are so the man! Imagine Hendrix meets Sly Stone with Pedal Steel being the focus/lead instrument. Simply jaw dropping amazing.
John Fogerty was next up, and I had sort of been ambivalent about seeing him, but man o man o schevitz! Not only does he still have his great voice and awsesome guitar chops, he seems to have come around to a happy place - enjoying palying the old tunes, and there are just so many. I relized something about half way in - during 'Looking out My Back Door'. It's really all about the groove, he could have been singing complete non-sense - practically was (Tambourines and Elephants....) - but when the crunk a chunk a chunk a hits, man that's the shit right there. I was seriously worried about Tom Fucking Petty's ability to follow Fogerty. I should not have been worried.
Tom Fucking Petty not only lived up to the over-hype I had built up, he surpassed my expectations, and he didn't play 'Breakdown' or 'The Waiting'. He didn't have to. Tom, like John Fogerty, has amassed such a vast catalog of hits that he can do what ever he wants at this point. He closed with 'Rainy Day Women' (fitting in so many ways), 'Carol', and 'Bo Didley Is A Gunslinger' - it was Bo's 80th birthday. One of the reasons Tom is so fucking cool is the fact that he has maintained the second greatest rock band of all time for over a quarter of a century. Mike Campbell gets singled out for a ton of well deserved credit, but hardly anybody ever mentions Benmont Tench. Bouncing from piano to organ to rhodes with ease, Benmont lends true american sounds to the Heartbreakers with help from the most unsung of the HBs, Scott Thurston. Scott joined in 91, and plays keys, guitar, harmonica, and sings amazing harmonies as well as filling in the Roy Orbison bits on the Wilburys stuff they do. The aqusition of Steve Ferrone on drums, replacing the near irreplaceble Stan Lynch, is a seriously major coup. Steve made his name playing for the likes of Stevie Wonder, Chaka Kahn, Clapton, and the Average White Band. Steve's kick is where it needs to be every single time, and Tom proclaimed himself to be 'extremely fortunate' to have him aboard. Yes, Tom you are. Where is Stan anyway?
We got wet, we got drunk, and though everybody did not get stoned - I did, I had to - for Tom. It is certainly something to hear thousands of people singing 'Get to the point, let's roll another joint' at the top of their lungs. All for Tom.

Some stuff I forgot.....Robert Randolph was wearing a Shockey jersey, that's the New York Fucking Giants baby!
Chicks on boyfriend's shoulders who are flashing tits are welcome, and will not feel the rain of debris fall upon them. It is, after all, a show.

Saturday, June 11, 2005


We didn't get down to the show until after eight, but we caught Lou Reed, who actually seemed to be in a good mood. I think I even saw him smile, though it could have been construed as a smirk, but for Lou, a smirk is as good as a smile I guess. He played a smattering of tunes spanning his carreer including 'White Light White Heat', 'Sweet Jane', 'Blue Mask', and the recent 'Ecstacy' during which his amp blew up. So he starts ad libbing along with the song; "Lou Reed blew up his amp in Atlanta....", very funny moment. His roadie brought out some vintage amp to replace the blown one, I have no Idea what it was, except it was old and kinda looked like my Dad's Telefunken console. Then he says; "It's a good thing I'm a big rock star and have a spare amp, I'd be fucked if all I had was my Twin." I was dying, I was not expecting Lou to do standup. His band was good, fearuring Rob Wasserman on stand-up bass, a cello chick - Tony and I are convinced there's only one cello chick who makes the rounds between rock bands - a kicking drummer named Tony something, and a rhythm guitar player - Lou did all the solos.
After Lou, we headed over to see Keith Urban. I was with a group of people, and they sat through Lou with me, so I gave Mr. Urban a chance instead of the Counting Crows or the White Stripes. I was not disapointed. Make no mistake, Keith Urban rocks - yeah it's country, and new pop country to boot, but the dude is a ripping guitar player. The highlite, for me, was his cover of Tom Fucking Petty's 'Free Falling', mostly I guess because it was a song I knew. We also had a great time humming bottles and cans at the stupid 'climb on my boyfriend's back' bitches. Dirty sluts, they got no respect, so it's beer cans upside the head for them.
All in all, it was a great night. I only hope I get to see more than two acts tomorrow, and get to bean more bitches with beer cans.

Friday, June 10, 2005


I'm in Ga, visiting with Tony Alva and Family. Today we went to Best Buy (oxymoron) so Tony could buy a turntable (they offer one model, a Sony for $129.00) because he wanted to digitize some vinyl, most notably a Sonny Terry album, during which one of his Jack Dempseys began to lay eggs.

You may ask what all this means, and I'm still working on that.

Tony just found his long lost copy of Uriah Heep 'Abominog', still unconvinced it was a good purchase.

Fish lay a lot of eggs, seriously, like hundreds.

Now we're listening to Cocksucker Blues......


Thanks to Tony Alva and his lovely wife, I found Eat More Records in Lawrenceville Ga, and consequently bought the requisite 8 LPs that put my vinyl collection at an even grand. The latest entries:
Joe Ely - Mustanottagottalotta
Joe Ely - Down On The Drag
Buddy Holly - 20 Golden Greats
Lou Reed - Live (the second batch of songs from the Rock And Roll Animal tour)
Lou Reed - New Sensations
Blind Willie McTell - Trying To Get Home (1949)
10cc - Greatest Hits

I wanted my one thousandth album to be special, and though all these records are special, the winner is:

Television - Marquee Moon (Rhino re-isue on 180 gram vinyl)

A record I could not find in NYC for less that thirty dollars, bought brand new in Ga, for 16.99. Score.


Rolling Stone magazine call the White Stripes the best band in the world. What? A band consists of more than one musician. Neil Young is an artist, DEVO is a band - are we clear? The White Stripes is an artist that pretends to be a band. Even if Meg had any talent or input, and she most certainly does not, they would then be an act, not a band or group. Two people is still not a band (or group). The Everly Brothers were not a band. Simon and Garfunkel were not a band. Jeez. Oh yeah, and the Rolling Stones are the greatest band in the world - STILL.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Here's a quick list of bands that I'll be checkin' out this weekend in Atlanta:

Cross Canadian Ragweed
Lou Reed
(Conundrum # 1) Counting Crows or White Stripes
Loius XIV
(Conundrum # 2) The Killers or John Fogerty
Tom Fucking Petty (hell fucking yeah)
The Pixies (if they are still playing when Tom's done)
Joan Jett
Def Leppard (it's like a train wreck, you gotta look)
DEVO (Oh Yeah)


Check the link, if there's something I'm not hip to, hip me to it.


Ok, so I don't live on the west side - I'm out in Brooklyn, but I gotta say I'm a bit sad about the decision. I would have loved to take the subway to see the Jets, and I was actually hoping to attend an Olympic event before I die. Too bad for me. The reality is it would mean some seriously messy sundays for the folks who live there, but man, The Jets! So let's find another spot. How about we get rid of one of the two too many baseball statiums we have, I mean baseball sucks anyway.

Monday, June 06, 2005


And the debate continues. Chris said something to me the other day, and I believe he hit the nail on the head. People seem to more into the gadgetry of music than the music itself. It's all about what you can do with a file, and not about the content of the file. Most of the talk I hear on blogs is about the functionality of podcasts, rhapsody, rss feeds, tagging, and the like. Are people more into the gampeices than the game? Are we losing the forest for the trees? And what about all the time spent routing the file here and there? My point is made by the title of one of Fred's recent blogs - This Is Cool. Yes it is cool, but I feel that the coolness of the gadgets are overshadowing the main point - The Music. It seems to me that we're willing victims in the great commercial folly of mankind. We gotta have the new cool thingy, and we can't wait for version 2.0 to come out. How many cell phones have you been through in the past five years?

Sunday, June 05, 2005


The last time I can remember being jazzed about a new release was about fifteen years ago. I know, so don't start - yes there are great new bands, and if you want to hear about them, check out Fred's blog.
In 1988 my friend Brian suggested I get a copy of the Dead Milkmen's "Beelzabubba", man was he right. 'Stuart' alone makes this a worthwhile purchase, but it's just chock full of gems like 'Bad Party', 'Drinkin' Bleach', 'Sri Lanka Sex Hotel', 'RC's Mom', and of course the hit 'Punk Rock Girl' which contains the sage advice to record stores everywhere: "If you don't know Mojo Nixon, then your store could use some fixin". The great Mojo Nixon/Skid Roper Lp 'Root Hog or Die' had just been released as well, which contains 'Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two Headed Love Child', but that's another post. I just love this record (Beelzabubba). Their previous release, 'Bucky Fellini' is worthy as well, but 'Beelzabubba' is their Ace card for sure.
In 1989 the world changed forever with the release of 'Paul's Boutique'. I cannot understate the significance of this record, and if you don't own it you suck - period. I've often called 'Paul's Boutique' the Sgt. Pepper of my generation, and I stick by it. On this record the Beastie Boys grew from a novelty status/future one hit wonder act, to full fleged artists creating something timeless and monstrously influential. If I didn't own this record, I'd shoot myself for being such a suck-head.
The pastiche, the tapestry, that is 'Paul's Boutique' is only rivaled by 1990's They Might Be Giants record 'Flood'. "A brand new record for 1990......" And that's what it was. Totally fuckin'new. The album flows like a well thought out series of vignettes. Highlights include 'Birdhouse In Your Soul', 'Istanbul (Not Constantinople)', 'Dead' ("I returned a bag of groceries accidentally taken off the shelf Before the expiration date. I came back as a bag of groceries accidentally taken off the shelf Before the date stamped on myself"), 'Your Racist friend', 'Particle Man'(hates triangle man...), 'Letterbox', and 'Road Movie To Berlin'. Much like 'Paul's Boutique', 'Flood' belongs with 'Dark Side Of The Moon' in the category of records best not interrupted. I believe the same year brought us the first Black Crowes LP, REM's 'Automatic For The People', and the last time I recall being jazzed about new music.

Friday, June 03, 2005


Over the years Alice Cooper has put on a great many faces. I divide his career into six parts. Part one is the LA based Alice Cooper Band, part two is the Warner years with the Alice Cooper Band, three - the ballad filled late seventies drunken solo Alice, part four brings us the newly sober Alice greeting the new decade (the eighties) playing with punk/new wave, and relapsing. Five is the shameful 'hairbandwagon' years (the mid to late eighties), and lastly part six - the constant touring (golf and Rock) aggrometal present day Alice. I'm a fan of all the periods except Five, I just couldn't get behind that 'rambo' guitar player and those awful pseudo metal songs (Poison), but I'm partial to four.
In 1980 Alice Cooper did quite an unexpected thing, he broke from the crooning Alice of the late seventies, and came out with a punk inspired album called 'Flush The Fashion'. This LP would easily find it's way onto my top fifty. 'Clones (We're All)' was the featured single, and it holds up well twenty five years on, but my favorite tracks are 'Pain', 'Aspirin Damage', and 'Leather Boots'. My favorite lyric on the record is from 'Model Citizen':

I'm a martyr
I'm a sadist
I might be the Saviour here to save us
I'm a friend of Sammy Davis, casually

In 1981 Alice gave us another volume in this quirky chapter in his career. 'Special Forces' is a weaker album than it's predecessor or it's follow up, but it does have it's moments, most notably his cover of Arthur Lee's 'Seven and Seven Is' and his cop in drag number - 'Prettiest Cop On The Block'. In 1982 he dropped the fantastically titled 'Zipper Catches Skin', which starts off with a three song vignette which culminates in one of the best songs he ever wrote - 'Remarkably Insincere'. Alice concludes this foray into new wave with 1984's 'DaDa', which is overall disappointing with the exception of 'Former Lee Warner', 'Is Dis Love or Is Dislexia', and the killer 'I Love America':

I love that mountain with those four big heads
I love Velveeta slapped on Wonder Bread
I love a commie... if'n he's good and dead, yup
I love America

I believe both 'Special Forces' and 'Zipper Catches Skin' are out of print, but you should still be able to find 'Flush The Fashion' and that's the best of the lot anyway.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Hue brought up the whole Alt Country thing on a previous post, and it got me thinking. I'm no expert, but I know it begins with Graham Parsons, John Fogerty, and The Byrds 'Sweetheart To The Rodeo'. Later Chris Hillman hooks up with J.D. Souther who in turn pals around with Henley and Frey, and the whole So Cal country rock thing exploded, while at the same time Willie and Waylon put together the "Wanted! The Outlaws' record which pushed country toward rock as much as the others were pushing rock into country. But then what? Between then and now, I can only come up with one name - Joe Ely. I suggest to anyone who likes the Jayhawks or Uncle Tupelo (or the spawn thereof) to rush out and buy themselves some Joe Ely. I started with Live Shots, recorded while on tour in England with The Clash, and if that doesn't hook you, well then you're all fad and no trad.


Okay, so you can drop all the right names, discuss all the techniques, and keep time with a click. Great, now shut up and do your job. Youth in conjunction with talent can be a big problem. Don't show off, serve the song. This is Rock music sonny, I want a kick on EVERY downbeat, and settle down on the hi-hat as well. Rock without a pocket has no place to keep it's valuables.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


In 1986 The Georgia Sattelites released thier eponymous debut featuring a little song called 'Keep Your Hands To Yourself'. The song was so successful, it crossed over to novelty status, and before they even had a second record, they were labelled 'one hit wonders'. Now Dan is cool with it, that song has opened doors for him, he's producing records, and playing guitar, and he's happy, but I'm not. I want more Dan Baird product, but the recording industry isn't as interested in Dan as I am. Hell Dan isn't as interested in himself as I am. After three great records the Sattelites broke up, and Dan released his first solo record in 1989. You may remember 'I love You Period' which was a minor hit, but man does that record smoke. Love Songs For The Hearing Impared is one of my all time favorites, and is arguably better that the first Sattelites record. He followed that record with Buffalo Nickel, and then......well very little. Dan! I need a new record from you!


I was just at Mandler's Sausage Co. getting my lunch - awesome Bockwurst - and some lady ordered Bratwurst with Saurkraut and (uggghhh) ketchup! Can you believe that shit - ketchup on a sausage? Ketchup belongs nowhwere near sausage, mustard is the only accepted sausage condiment. Then on my way back to the office I caught a whiff of a clove cigarette. Merciful lord get that shit away from me. Go smoke your pretentious, wannabe bohemian, nauseating, foul smelling, noxious smoke somewhere else.

Are we clear?

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