I don't think there's room in this town for but one Smiley.
My allegiances are squarely . . . uh . . . well . . . mixed.
(OK, look, I'm fully aware that she has over 600 "friends" and that I've never met her and that she's probably never heard of my restaurant other than to click "accept friend request" and that she's more than a couple of years younger than me. So save your little comments for another day.)
My dream band would be a "that other guy" band, and it would be John Oates, Andrew Ridgley, Big Kenny and that Montgomery guy that walks around twirling his microphone stand while that Gentry guy plays guitar and sings.
CLC tagged me to list six weird things about me. It's Thanksgiving. My kid is in Alabama. I'm just sitting here watching football. Nothing is open. Including where I work. So why not.
1. I can turn my head all the way around, like an owl. Not quite 360 degrees, but close enough.
2. I'm a cannibal. I once came across a dead family whilst hiking in Alaska. I would like to say that I ate them because I was starving, but I had a pack full of food and I was just two hours out of Ketchikan. I field dressed them and slow-smoked them over a hickory fire. (I had brought my own hickory from Tennessee, just in case.) Deeeeeeeeelicious. I have killed and eaten several people since then. The trick is picking people whose absence won't be noticed, like non-english speaking illegal immigrants and politicians. That thing about tasting like chicken -- that's a myth. Humans taste more like a cross between baby seal and bald eagle.
3. I'm allergic to bats.
4. I was born with an extra testicle. My parents were forward-thinking enough to remove it when I was three. My dad and I split a bottle of Jack, and he took it out with his pocket knife. After years of sitting in a jar on my dresser, I finally had it shellacked and mounted on a faux gold chain, which I gave to my first true love, Jodie Foster. Not long after, my best friend at the time, who was insanely jealous of the epic love between me and Jodie, shot the president. Jodie was so impressed with this so-called "friend" that she left me to pursue a relationship with him, taking my testicle necklace with her. They never got together. Hey Jodie, if you're idly Googling yourself this Thanksgiving and you read this -- I want my ball back!
5. I wrote all the lyrics to every song Prince put out for the first 15 years of his career. I never took a dime. I just did it as a favor to the little fella.
6. I once had a torrid affair with Tipper Gore. While she was spending her days standing in front of Congress trying to get censorship labels put on Prince records, she was spending her nights getting her major freak on with me and whatever cheap tramp she might bring bring home from the college bars in Georgetown. We once had a threesome with Ruth Bader Ginsberg. They were both turned on by my fully rotating head and the scar from my amatuerish testicle removal procedure. Newt Gingrich tipped Albert off about our shenanigans, and he confronted me. At first, he didn't want to accept it. I told him that he could call me a liar all he wanted to but it was, in fact, an inconvenient truth. It was around that time that I had invented the internet. I sold him the patent for one dollar in order to avoid what Al called, "inconvenient consequences."
When I was a kid, we had to walk in the snow, uphill, to gather twigs and acorns which we used to fashion crude, yet delightfully entertaining, pinball machines. Then Pong came out. I had a friend who was so spoiled that his parents bought him Pong. His dad was a radiologist. They could afford it. We played Pong for hours.
In High School, I got a job bussing tables at a place that had Asteroids. That was a major breakthrough in gaming. I would walk to work, uphill in the snow, hours early and stay hours after I got off work before walking home, uphill in the snow, just to pump quarter after quarter into the asteroids machine.
But I've never had a home game system. So I was a bit puzzled this morning, when I was walking into Sam's and there were some guys sitting outside the door, not selling anything. Then I saw that one of them had a sign made from cardboard. "Sam's is now letting panhandlers sit outside their door?" I thought to myself. But wait. The sign, obviously written by the first guy by the door, said, "PS2 line starts here."
Inside, I was chatting with the manager about it. Sam's gets exactly two of the new Playstaions tomorrow. There were already three people in line. He said he talked to number three. The guy is going to hold out to see if number one or number two gives it up.
Did I mention it is cold and rainy?
Did I mention that these were grown men?
So, I wonder if the guys in line have standard Sam's memberships. Because I have a business memebership, which means I get to enjoy their low prices and crappy service and free coffee three hours before the teeming masses. Maybe I can buy both Playstations tomorrow at 9:59.
While I was in line to vote, I overheard a conversation behind me. It was a black couple, probably in their fifties, talking about their love of jazz and their disappointment over the fact that the woman was going to miss a birthday party this weekend. I wasn't evesdropping, but they were right behind me, and over the course of the 45 minute wait to vote, I came to the conclusion that they were lovely people.
We got to the machines, and the worker asked the man if he needed help and he said, "I just want to make sure I get the marriage thing right. I hope they didn't word it like a trick question. It's not a trick question, is it?"
Considering the results of the election, I'm pretty sure I know which way he voted.
I guess I'm not surprised by the result. This is what I am surprised about. The pure venom that is coming from some of the other 20%. There are some powerful words being thrown around about the people who voted yes. "Apalling." "Bigotry." "Hatred." "Self-Righteousness" and, most puzzling, "Embarrassing."
I don't think the man behind me was full of "hatred, ignorance, spitefulness, or self-righteousness." The amendment set to define the word marriage as it pertains to the state. Define it as being between a man and a woman. And the people of the state want it to be that way. It has been that way for centuries, and the people want it to stay that way.
And as far as the people who are "embarrassed." Who are you embarrassed to? Sweeden? New Hampshire? The people of San Fransisco? The only state that had it where it didn't pass was Arizona. Are you ashamed to tell an Arizonian you're from Tennessee now because of this amendment?
This is a democracy, and if there were ever a mandate by the people, this one is it. 80%. That isn't the work of a couple of inbred, mullet-sporting wife-smacking rednecks with three kids all named Peyton. That is 80% of registered voters who actually went out to vote. That is definitely a majority. That is what the people of this state want.
Before you jump on me, I voted against it. I thought it was stupid. Either way,I don't know why gays want to get married anyway. Listn up, gay folks. I've been married. Twice. It ain't all it's cracked up to be. Try this, instead of going through the whole marriage thing, just cut to the end. Find somebody you hate and buy him a house.
First off, Mr. CMA, you need to fire the sound man. Or at least the audio producer. Or at least whoever it was that thought it was a good idea to run the vocals stright off the board into my TV with no effects or ambient sound. Sometime I couldn't even hear the bands. The only time it sounded really good was when someone was singing to tracks (Faith, Sara). I guess you can't really count on your drummer memorizing those tracks exactly for national TV, now can you?
Anyway, forget about Faith's "What?" heard 'round the world. The funniest moment of the night was when Ronnie Dunn was introducing Montgomery Gentry to present an award, and Ronnie said, obviously off script, "here they are, loaded for bear, Montgomery Gentry!"
The look on Troy Gentry's face as he muttered under his breath and shot ol' Ronnie some icy sidelong glances while walking out to the microphone was priceless. He remained flustered through the whole thing.
You know what, there Mr. Big Game Hunter? You need to be publicly humiliated over that little "incident" as often as possible for the rest of your life.
As a recovering professional musician, I have been exposed to lots of different music in my life of every variety you can think of. There is always some kind of song going on in my brain, and a word or phrase, either spoken or thought, can trigger a song I haven't heard in years. Oftentimes, I have no idea why a particular song was triggered, and that song my get on heavy rotation for days or even weeks.
Then there are the mashups, where my brain combines a couple of songs in odd or interesting ways. There have been two interesting mashups going on the past few days. One is Corey Hart's "Sunglasses at Night" combining with Madonna's "Papa Don't Preach." I wear my sunglasses at night So, I can, So I can, 'Cause I'm keepin' my baby.
Imagine that infinite loop in your head for hours, only to be replaced with that classic ode to a rat "Ben" by a very young Michael Jackson, but with the words to "Green Acres."
If you know the melody to "Ben", you'll see how nicely Green Acres is the place to be, Farm Living is the life for me fits.
I generally try to stay away from negative musical criticism here, because, as a musician, I know how hard it is just to get heard. And musical taste vary widely and are based on personal opinion. (I mentioned the other day that I didn't like the Doors, which caused a bit of a ruckus. Truth is, I think "Love Me Two Times" is a great song, and I like "Roadhouse Blues" and "L. A. Woman" so they don't really have a blanket suckitude from me.)
There was a concert special the other night featuring RUSH. I couldn't look away. It was like watching a bad car wreck. They, in my opinion, have blanket suckitude. Here's why: They've spent 40 years showing off. To me, it sounds like they write songs by stringing together a bunch of different riffs that are (somewhat) physically challenging to play. They don't ever lay down a groove. They jump from 4 to 5 to 4 to seven to reggae and back again. (Three Canadians have the audacity to put a reggae interlude in that song where Getty Lee screeches "Concert Halls!!!" and "of salesmen, of salesmen, of salesMEN!!!!") And kids who have only been playing for two years can't figure out how to play their stuff and then they quit taking lessons and from then on they think that Neal Peart is the greatest drummer of all time. He's a fine drummer, but he's in a band of Canadians who play art rock with a singer that sounds like a shreiking girl.
I've never been a fan of the art rock with the singer that sounds like a shreiking girl.
Let's examine one song that is the polar opposite of everything RUSH has ever done. That is "Mannish Boy" by McKinley Morganfield, a.k.a. Muddy Waters. Guitar, Bass, Keys, Harmonica and Drums playing the same five-note riff in unison for five minutes. Nobody plays one single extra note. I could teach you how to play that song in two minutes. But it would take a lifetime for you to play it like that. For my money, there is more grease and soul and groove and musicality in that five minutes than there is in forty combined years of RUSH.
So let's review
RUSH: "Todays Tom Sawyer, Mean mean pride."
Muddy Waters: "I can make love to you woman, in five minutes time. Ain't that a man!"