Monday, May 26, 2008

David Bowie 'Station To Station'

It’s Memorial Day Weekend here in Greensboro, North Carolina… Part of the lower 48 where the weather is perfect. The Coca-Cola 600 raced under the stars with temps that started off very mild and ended with jackets. It’s like our local forecasters all came together to form a group of super-villainy to overthrow the fickle gods of weather and brought us a delicious weekend.

Good work guys!

Since I haven’t had a vacation in years, I decided to get into a vacation frame of mind.

First of all… I decided that I should try to drink beverages out of cans.

Haven’t you ever noticed that you drink a lot more canned beverages when you’re on vacation?

So I broke out an old friend of mine to help with me with the vacation mind frame… My Dick Trickle can hugger!

Saturday afternoon, I sat outside in the sun with no shoes or socks. I am NOT a barefoot kind of guy… I found myself cursing under my breath with just about every step. When I stepped on a small stick… A profanity. When I stepped on a small rock… A LOUD vulgarity. When I stepped on some grass… I was moving around like one of those little toys that you push up from the bottom that makes the figure collapse and move around in weird poses. I am a tenderfoot in the most purist sense of the word.

On Sunday, I broke out my New Balance running shoes and wore them with my new ankle socks. I need to get some more sun on those pasty-white tootsies of mine and turn them to a golden melanoma shade of brown. It was the first time sporting them outside the confines of home. The folks at Food Lion didn’t seem to care.

The family met at the Hefner household for an afternoon cookout complete with little kids running around like it was field day at Dorothea Dix Hospital . Personally, I like it when kids are running around like little crazed mofos… That is until one of them gets hurt and starts crying like Lucy Ricardo.

I found something interesting in the kid’s bathroom… A bottle of Hot Wheels brand of foaming hand soap. It was Berry scented.

Now being that I was once a little boy some time ago… I couldn’t help thinking about better scents for the Hot Wheels brand of foaming hand soap.

-Axle Grease
-Burning Rubber
-Pepperoni Pizza

The last one would be a great way to get little kids to wash their hands. They would wash constantly and sit around sniffing their hands all day while keeping out of trouble. Not a bad idea, really.

Show me a kid that doesn’t like Pepperoni pizza and I’ll show you an unholy alliance of egg and sperm that created a demon in junior form.

--At the moment of writing this… It’s Memorial Day morning shy of 10 O’clock. I’m thinking about breaking out the Zune MP3 player, getting out a good book, and sitting in direct sunlight.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Benj-O-Matic 'Hi-Test Vol. 1: The Infinite Amplification Of Silence'

I joined Weather Dave, Jaclyn, and Doug McKnight at Natty Greene’s for a couple of holiday cold ones on Friday afternoon. I had time for one Old Town Brown at the bar upstairs until Jaclyn talked us into sitting on the patio. I liked this idea. That’s rather unusual for me because I’m not one for chilling outdoors. But yesterday, the weather was speaking my language. There was a light breeze. I also liked that the sunlight was warming up my tired and cold blood.

Eric Chilton and the WFMY News 2 crowd showed up to broadcast from Natty Greene’s patio during the 5 and 6pm reports. They chose the spot right next to us.

Being the “boys” that we are… We thought it would be kind of funny to place a Guilford Golden right in front of Eric during his broadcast. Jaclyn chilled us out on that idea, so Doug decided to sit it there when Chilton wasn’t on camera. It caused him to crack up a little as he reported the 7 day outlook to the television viewers.

After the first broadcast, we all chatted and that’s when I found out that Eric owns a scooter. I told him about the models that I’m looking to purchase and he told me that once I have it, I should visit the club meeting.


Was “club meeting” his way of saying “gang”?

There’s a scooter gang out there?

Chilton told me that they all meet at a certain place on the 3rd Wednesday of the month.

I was slightly intrigued by this.

It’s great that scooter owners are thinking about saving money and resources, but it’s even better that they’re thinking about organized crime! I’ve got a picture in my mind of a joint where scooters are all lined up outside… Loud music, the scent of Jim Beam, and raucous laughing fills the air… Road-hardened ladies with very little clothing spread their infectious love all over the men… It’s a dream come true!

I asked Eric about their extortion polices and the elected officials they have under their environmentally green thumbs. He looked somewhat confused. I then inquired about the narcotics and prostitution division. I simply cannot join a scooter gang without those respectable criminal elements. It’s like Kentucky Fried Chicken with only 4 secret herbs and spices.

He laughed.

That gave me the reassurance I needed to join the same gang that he’s in!

Now I’m wondering what kind of initiation rituals they have… Shedding my own blood? Perhaps there’ll be a good old-fashioned knife fight? The kind where I’ll be tied wrist to wrist to another potential member and trying to stab him with my free hand. Maybe some unrestrained mayhem and vandalism spread through a quiet town like hellfire? That could definitely ensure my membership!

I really don’t know. And that’s why I’m putting The Wild Bunch on my Netflix queue! That’ll give me some scooter gang tips and ideas about what to expect as I venture into the world of organized crime, leather coats, and pomade.

I wonder what the gang calls themselves… I’m hoping and praying for the name of Hell’s Cherubs. That would be cool!

--And by the way... Today's musical choice is the new one from Greensboro's own Benjomatic. It's a mighty damn fine record! I urge you to buy it and play it loud!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Anthrax 'State Of Euphoria'

Here’s another hit and run update… Thanks for returning every so often to look for updates. It’s been a busy week for me… I’ve been working with the 2GNC show and saw more of Goat Boy’s crack than even his own girlfriend wants to see. I also worked with Rock 92’s sister station, 1075KZL, with the Gavin DeGraw Courtyard Concert.

During the last four days, I’ve managed to get about 20 hours of sleep. I’m tired and cranky. I haven’t been thinking all that straight and from time to time, I can’t remember what day it is. All in all, it’s been a fun time. Especially when I got to meet Gavin DeGraw before anyone else knew he was in our building.

You see… I believe in signs. I believe that seeing those signs are more than just coincidence. Let me explain…

I sat down and watched an episode from the second season of Dead Like Me. I was on the last disc of the series when George went to reap the soul of a street musician that was being played by Gavin DeGraw.

I like weird little signs like that and I believe those things are put there to point something out to us. To inform us… To point out possibilities.

When I ran into Gavin, Josie introduced us and I said, “I enjoyed your performance on that episode of Dead Like Me.”

DeGraw’s face lit up and we started talking about his acting debut on that show. He was incredibly nice and took the time to chat with me. I explained the oddness of seeing him on that episode just before his Courtyard Concert appearance. I like those little odd types of things and likened it to that philosophy about a “plate of shrimp” from the film Repo Man.

Gavin DeGraw was a class act and made a lot of memories for the lucky 1075KZL listeners that won their way into the show.

--That’s all for today. I’m thinking about having a few more shots of Jim Beam and hitting the hay. Check back tomorrow when I’m well rested.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Van Halen 'Balance'

Again… If you’re just coming into this, you may want to start with Saturday’s entry. Just scroll down and there it is. Then you can work your way back up to this one to get caught up on the subject of mix tapes.

--I’ve always dreamed of putting together a soundtrack for a film. Not one of those crappy soundtracks designed to churn out hits like Top Gun, Dirty Dancing, or Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo. I wanted to use dialogue from the films. I wanted to kind of recreate the storyline through the soundtrack. An added bonus for fans of the films… OR… Fans of the music would get turned on to the film.

Take for instance the soundtrack for Natural Born Killers . That joker blew me away. It was doing exactly what I wanted to create in my dreams of soundtrack compilations. It was the perfect soundtrack!

Since it was only a dream… I decided to recreate a film’s soundtrack. I did it the way I envisioned it. The first film up was one of my favorites… Reality Bites.

I stocked in a full case of beer. I made no plans for three days (other than spending time with my ex-fiancée). It took me a full day to watch the film, lift off the lines, and choose the songs. It took me about 2 hours to record the mix onto a cassette tape. I used a turntable, 2 CD players, and a mixer to make it flow almost seamlessly.

While I was in the process of recording it, Susan (the ex-fiancée) called me. She was feeling neglected while I was doing my “stupid” little project. I could hear her voice on the answering machine through my headphones, so I picked up the phone.

I told her that I’d call her as soon as I could take a break because the recording process didn’t and couldn’t stop. Any breaks during the process meant that I had to start over again. I wanted seamless, dammit!

After I was done with it… I listened to her message. It was very humorous and I decided to use it as a tag on the end of the mix. Stamp it, so to speak.

The machine used micro cassettes, but the speed on my micro player couldn’t match how it was recorded. It made her sound like one of the Chipmunks. It made the message even funnier. I can’t remember for sure, but it went something like this…

"Eugene… This is your precious girlfriend… Pick up the phone… I know you’re doing something stupid and it won’t amount to a hill of beans… So pick up the phone… Go ahead… Pick it up… (silence for a few seconds)… PICK IT UP!”

And then I pick up the phone and said, “What are you saying?”

I had her tag the others in the series, but they were staged. Still funny though.

I had my dearly departed friend Rick Talbert create a caricature of me sitting in my recliner with a remote and a bottle of beer in my hands that I used as the cover. He loved the mixes as much as I liked making them. He was the only one that thoroughly enjoyed the Zero Hour edition.

I took the master tape to Dave Barker to burn them to compact discs. I used those to make copies on cassette. Cassette to cassette dubbing would reduce the sound quality and I simply couldn’t have that.

I must have given out 30 copies of that joker to folks all across the country at my own expense. The kudos that I received kept me interested in doing more… I even had one them voted as the “Mix Of The Week” on the Art Of The Mix website.

I still have the master cassettes and the compact discs if you’d like a copy. Just email me…

--And finally! Finally! I have pimped my MySpace page!

I wasn’t impressed with the KISS layouts. I couldn’t find a Cheap Trick or Green Acres layout… So I went with something else representing my personality. Be sure to drop by and let me know what you think.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Various Artists '2 Nasty 4 Radio'

In case you missed the entry that I posted on Saturday, you may want to read it before you read any further…

The first mix tape that ever wowed me and showed me the “art” of it all was created by a guy in Knoxville. Doug Edsel was a friend of Melanie, my girlfriend at the time. I remember her being excited about getting a mix tape from her friend Doug or “DUG!” as she called him. I just thought it was a little wacky until I heard the art of Doug’s mix tape.

Doug used sound clips from movies, television, and comedy routines to keep the mix rolling without breaks. His creations were 90 minutes of non-stop art (except when you had to flip the tape over from the A side to the B side). I listened and I listened good. I was turned onto things that I would normally wouldn’t listen to. My young mind was opening up and I saw the cassette tape as a canvas for the things that I can create.

I started swapping tapes with Brad Kesler (a Peaches Music & Video coworker) and made them for my own amusement. Brad continued my education with a mix that seemed like a musical novel in 90 minutes. The songs weren’t listed. He instead listed brief chapter titles giving you the idea of how the song was being used to perpetuate the storyline. I thought it was genius and very creative.

I tried and failed to match anything close to his creation. I gave up on it and just kept making odd & sod mixes that were made more or less for folks to “relax” with.

When I was watching the television movie called Helter Skelter that I had taped off of TNT or TBS or something… I felt inspiration. I grabbed a notebook, a bottle of beer, a pen, and the VCR remote. I started lifting dialogue out of Helter Skelter and started through my music collection looking for songs about murder and mayhem along with selected tunes from The Beatles ‘White Album’.

I called it ‘Mansonism’ and I made a few copies for folks like Chip Kinney (a mix art guy his damn self) and a HUGE Beatles fan named Randy. They loved it!

What put it over the top was how I mixed the dialogue from Tex Watson’s conversation about Manson’s use of Revelations Chapter 9 over the recording of “Revolution #9” from The Beatles. The timing worked almost perfectly and made Manson’s crazed interpretation of the Bible verse even more spooky.

I have that master tape sitting on my entertainment center right now. I’ve been meaning to convert it digitally to a 2 CD set, but I haven’t. I suppose now I can save it as an MP3.

Here’s the track listing from ‘Mansonism’:

Side A

Real Solution #9 - White Zombie
Piggies - The Beatles
Look At Your Game - Charles Manson
Lithium - Nirvana
Used To Love Her - Guns N’ Roses
Helter Skelter - The Beatles
Garbage Dump - Charles Manson
Living With The Law - Chris Whitley
Buenos Noches From A Lonely Room (She Wore Red Dresses) - Dwight Yoakam
Happiness Is A Warm Gun - The Beatles
Millie & Billie - Alice Cooper

Side B

Sick City - Charles Manson
Sexy Sadie - The Beatles
I Am Legend - White Zombie
Sex Is Violent - Jane’s Addiction
Killers - Iron Maiden
Night Crawler - Starz
Revolution #9 - The Beatles
Gas Chamber - L7
Hey Joe - Jimi Hendrix
Is That A Streetlight Or The Moon? - Starz

If you’re interested in a copy of this mix, don’t hesitate to let me know. That’ll light a fire under my ass to convert it to CD’s and MP3’s.

That one 90 minute mix eventually led to my series called “A Slacker’s Day Off”… More on that later.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

3 Doors Down '3 Doors Down'

I got an email from Jaclyn this week. She sent me an article about how mix tapes are making a comeback. Hmmmm…

I wasn’t so surprised.

We’re in the infancy of the truly digital age. The digital technology marketplace is turbulent and cannibalistic. Blu-Ray beat out the HD-DVD. The public is ripping off musical artists and their hard work without so much as tossing them a single dime. The record labels are dying… Not only because they’re getting ripped off, but the artist is getting smarter in this digital age and striking out on their own. It’s a dog eat dog world in the digital domain and the causalities are mounting as things right themselves.

The digital domain still sees a ghost from time to time… The vinyl record hoisted its dusty little bones out of long forgotten grave and now they’re merely used for decoration. The album covers may be kept in frames upon the wall. They may be shelved with a record player near by. The hipsters accumulate and present a collection for coolness sake. It doesn’t represent a whole life’s worth of dedication for their passion. It’s just something to talk about and play for others to disguise the fact they’re actually not all that interesting.

I’ve never really given up on the LP. I still have 5,000 or so in my collection, but I have long since stopped adding more. I’m tired of moving them around. Those jokers are heavy and it’s much easier to manage digital files on a device about the size of a deck of cards.

Yeah… I can put a BUNCH of my collection on my Zune and I’m good. I love my old vinyl records, but dammit… I love the convenience of this MP3 digital technology. I love setting that mofo on random and seeing what kind of mix my Zune player will make. And while I’m writing this update… Its making a damn good mix! The songs have great flow and there’s a theme moving underneath its surface that may not be heard by the casual listener.

That’s the mark of any damn good mix tape.

It is an art.

So in a sense, you can call me an artist in the same way that Mrs. Hand down the street is good with watercolors.

I’ve always loved making mix tapes. I took it to a different level back in the 90’s with a quarterly mix given out to my friends. I also posted them on a website called The Art Of The Mix .

I would take a movie and rip out the main storyline from the film by lifting the pertinent dialogue. Between the bits of dialogue, music was used to fill the holes and continue the storyline with lyrical content or the mood of an instrumental. I called the series “A Slacker’s Day Off” and there are six of them.

I sent those tapes all over the country at my expense. I got tapes in exchange from my artistic friends and other members of The Art Of The Mix. I enjoyed picking a movie apart and creating an alternate soundtrack to it.

The films that I chose to recreate sonically were Reality Bites, The Conqueror (one of the worst films ever made), Zero Hour (a labor of love that not many folks liked), Bride Of Chucky, Great Expectations, and Leaving Las Vegas. The last one is my favorite in the series, but I think The Conqueror mix is the most entertaining.

I will continue my art tomorrow… I must have a glass of brandy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Eagles 'Hotel California'

I want to write about the Zappa boys. Ahmet and Dweezil Zappa. And if you didn’t know, that is their real names. They have a sister named Moon Unit. They are the offspring of rocker/classical composer Frank Zappa.

‘Nuff said.

Personally… I’ve always felt that these boys are nothing more than a Goldmine of comedy. An oil well of never ending “yucks”. Playing an eternal home stand at the Rodney Dangerfield of dreams.

I can remember every single time that I’ve seen the Zappa brothers on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Just the thought of their past antics cause me to giggle out loud… Hell! I’m doing it right now as I write this.

Conan once had an ostrich (a man dressed in an costume) called “To-mar-ee” (I don’t know how it’s spelled) that laid eggs with the names of tomorrow’s guests inside of them. When laying the eggs, the ostrich made sounds comparable to those of a man birthing a bowling ball.

When the Zappa boys visited Conan… They were interviewed and requested to do a song with the Late Night Ostrich “To-mar-ee” along with the Max Weinberg 7. They performed a blistering cover of Rick Springfield’s “Jesse’s Girl” complete with Dweezil’s guitar pyrotechnics, Ahmet’s more than capable voice, and “To-mar-ee” dancing around while squawking his ass off.

By far… One of the strangest things that I have ever seen on Network television.

Until I saw them on again during the Holidays.

Ahmet told a story about his first encounter with Jolly Saint Nick. The story ended with Ahmet waking up to find his anus bleeding and Santa with his pants down. The word “anus” was bleeped out. The studio audience reported with mixed emotions… I laughed myself into tears as Ahmet sold the joke as a truly traumatic and life altering event. Sick? Yes. And then again, that’s my kind of humor.

I’m sure that they were on the show more times than I know about. But I have video from the glorious site known a YouTube! They’re only a few seconds long, but you will get the idea of why they make up some of the strangest things that I’ve ever seen on Network television.

Here’s the video setup ladies and gentleman…

The Zappa brothers are booked on the same show as John Tesh… Television host, entertainment reporter, actor, and new age music producing keyboardist. A well respected personality that seemed too reserved to step out of his public perception…

Dweezil on guitar, Ahmet singing and dancing like a crazed, string-less marionette, along with John Tesh on keyboards jamming out a cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” with the Max Weinberg 7.

In case you are unaware… “War Pigs” is a strong and serious statement about what was going on in Vietnam during the late 60’s. The song also bites into your eardrums… After all, it’s Black Sabbath.

It was just odd seeing the overly tall and lanky John Tesh jam out in positions reserved only for guys 20 times cooler. AND to a Black Sabbath song!

Throw in Ahmet dancing like poultry on a boneless chicken ranch…

Pure comic diamonds that cause me to smile and laugh every time I think about it.

Them boys are geniuses!

I hated when their Happy Hour karaoke game show was canceled and taken off the USA Network. That sh*t was funny!

Anyway… Here’s a few Zappa boys experience snippets with John Tesh:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Warren DeMartini 'Crazy Enough To Sing To You'

I’m not trying to sound like a braggart or anything like that… I’m a concert veteran. Although I’ve lost many of my ticket stubs over the last few decades, I have been to at least a thousand concerts. I know my way around the majority of the concert venues in this area. I can usually tell you what is going to happen onstage just by watching and observing. And I generally have a good idea about the type of crowd attending the concert. In short, I have seen it all.

But I was not prepared for what I saw last Friday night at the Greensboro Coliseum.

The Rowdy Frynds tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd & Hank Williams Jr. pulled into town. The word “rowdy” never really tipped me off. I thought they were just using the word to boost ticket sales and make a play on the song by Hank Jr. I had NO idea that people actually lived the “rowdy” lifestyle until the other night.

I escorted two ladies that had warned me in advance about getting their “neck on”. I was fine with that… I mean after all… I did get an eyeful when one of the ladies flashed her breasts to the other rowdy frynds in the building.

We were sitting upstairs near the top of the building… A place that I have never sat before during a concert. Or any event for that matter. But from what I saw… Folks in the nosebleeds are the craziest mofos that I’ve ever seen!

I saw things that not only astonished me, but made me cringe.

First of all… Sitting in front of us was a girl dancing all over the place. She was squirming to every beat that Lynyrd Skynyrd were amplifying into our eardrums. She was twisting like a fly strip in the wind. She was wearing some sort of bustier that appeared to be made of leather or recycled cardboard. Her boobs were practically spilling out over the thing. She was making out with her rowdy frynd that appeared to be female for the most part. A few minutes later, I got confirmation of her girlness when she exposed her small breasts to the entire upper quarter of the Greensboro Coliseum. That’s when the wiggle chick decided to join in and exposed her breasts as well. Unlike her friend that had perky and lovely breasts… Ms. Bustier’s areolas were long and drawn out like road kill smears on the highway. I didn’t care that those two were kissing and fondling each other with their tops off… I had been slightly grossed out.

Here’s a picture of the wiggle chick:

I wish that I had at least one percent of the alcohol sales the other night because 2 out of 3 people upstairs were stumbling like a roomful of toddlers. I watched people toss their AA coins towards the stage just before pouring a beer down their throat.

I was watching with great anticipation of seeing a magnificent nose dive as one woman tried to make her way down the stairs. Fortunately for her, she made it without tasting a good bit of concrete. People were drinking as if all the laws of the land were repealed for just one night. Folks were dancing everywhere they could find space. They were high-fiving each other. They were having sex in the aisles. The smell of marijuana filled the rafters of the Greensboro Coliseum.

It was insane!

Towards the end of Hank Jr.’s set… A certain individual was pointed out to me. He was obviously drunk and friendless. He was sitting on the steps with his pants and underwear around his ankles… The highest fashion statement that any Hank Jr. fan can make.

He sat with his naked ass on the concrete, his arms resting on his knees, slightly swaying, and trying to fight the urge to pass out. With no provocation or opening of his eyes, he suddenly stood up and showed the world his little “rowdy frynd”. He then pulled up his pants and we could see why he wanted to get shed of them… He had pissed himself! The pants were wet from the crotch down as if the Three Stooges had given him a panted seltzer water colonic.

He never opened his eyes as he moved across a row of seats before getting picked up by the security guards. The ladies with me thought it was sad… I looked at as entertainment. I was a voyeur in a world that I have never seen.

Here’s a picture that I snapped while he sat on the steps:

A couple of songs later, a fight broke out in front of me that looked bigger and better than any theatrical fight scene. There were at least 8 guys in a free-for-all brawl! Guys were sent over the handrails, rolled down steps, stomped, punched, eye gouged, and kicked. It was AWESOME! I was as giddy as a Japanese school girl as a dude 3 rows in front of me was being stomped and kicked in the head. The sheer brutality of this small violent, hurricane group of individuals was beautiful to observe. And that’s exactly what I did… Like the nature films… The observer should never get involved.

The night was wild. The night was lawless. The night was filled with wanton abandon and I cannot wait for Skynyrd and Hank Jr. to come back!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Kix 'Kix Are For Kids' (CD compilation by Eugene B. Sims)

This is going to be a quick hit and run type of update…

I had a last minute remote today over in Walnut Cove.

Now I have nothing against the smaller towns… I just have a few observations.

Why do townies have to come to almost a complete stop when making either a right or a left turn?

The sh*t baffles me to no end. Perhaps they think that the slightest little bit of inertia will send their vehicles ass over t*ts? Or maybe they’ll spill over their spittoons?

I don’t know and it bugs me to no end. Forgive me for stereotyping, but you’d think the more rural type would want to emulate Dale Earnhardt Jr. by sliding sideways into the Food Lion.

Wake up and live the dream, people!

And what’s up with the women over the age of 45 in small towns?

It’s like they give up any sort of femininity by cutting their hair short, wearing no make up, and dressing like hardcore lesbians. No wonder all the small towns are dying… The cougars there all look like Gary Busey!

I’d surely die a widower or a confirmed bachelor if I lived in a small town.

To pick on my very own West Virginian heritage… I can totally see why some dudes would jump their nieces with ladies strutting ‘round like that! I’m not saying it’s forgivable… I’m just saying that I can understand.

Before I go… Bradford “Hinzy” Hines? If you’re reading this… Then you know that I’ve made you a best of Kix mix CD.

The title of each blog is the musical choice of the day for me. I’ve been listening to this particular collection for the past 2 days with the windows down and the Kix blaring!

Here's a video of my favorite Kix song... "Cold Shower". It's the edited version of the song referred to as the "single mix". I feel that it's lacking because I hear the edits, but it will get my point across about the elements of funk mixed with blistering hard rock. And pay attention to the bass player... Doesn't he look like a cross between Gilligan (Gilligan's Island) and Keith Richards?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Def Leppard 'Songs From The Sparkle Lounge'

The 22nd Annual Carolina Blues Festival was held in downtown Greensboro yesterday and I had a blast! I got to hang out with talented and famous blues performers backstage. I also met a lot of Rock 92 listeners… Of course, the standard question came first… “Are you Goat Boy?”

If I had a pebble for every time that I’ve been asked that question… I’d have enough to rebuild the Berlin Wall.

The rain held off and the crowd got more in a party mood once the sun went down. It’s amazing how hearing the blues will cheer up for a few thousand white folk. I guess the blues make the anti-depressant takers a little bit happier.

And for the first time this year, I got to do some stage announcing. I got to introduce and shake hands with Grammy Award winner Terrence Simien along with “The King of Slide Guitar” Lil’ Ed.

A few years ago, I was asked to do some stage announcements. I sat down to familiarize myself with the copy points. That way it’s less likely for me to get tripped up.

My boss came over and said, “Ronie’s here so you don’t have to do the announcements.” Realizing that she was higher up on the totem pole, I gave up the notes and went back to drinking Miller Lite. My feelings weren’t hurt. The big picture illustrated that less talking equals more drinking. I’m always cool with that.

This year was different because most of the air staff was out of town. So the Self Proclaimed Bad Boy was there to fill the void. I didn’t say anything “stupid” (I was banned from the 2GNC Show because I used a phrase that sounded incredibly raunchy to Deidre… “Takes the rag off the bush”) and I didn’t start a riot. John Amberg or Casey Hazelman never threatened me with violence afterwards.

Terrence Simien and The Zydeco Experience finished up their set a little early. I was asked to go out on stage to bring him back on. That’s when I noticed something… Terrence Simien had his Grammy Award right there!

I had never seen one in person and that joker was within 2 feet of me. So when I left the stage… I had to do it. The urge was incredible. I couldn’t fight it… On my way off the stage, I bent down and touched it!

I’m such a geek.

For some reason, I fully expected to be tackled by a small army of guards for my action. It didn’t happen.

I learned that Mr. Simien takes his Grammy with him everywhere. And like last night… He would let fans hold it while they had their picture taken with him. I think that’s pretty damn cool.

I guess I won’t have to be looking over my shoulder this week for suspicious cars filled with members of G.A.T. (Grammy Assault Team).

Friday, May 02, 2008

XTC 'Skylarking'

I didn’t mean to go off on my own list of hard rock notables on yesterday’s blog… When I signed onto Yahoo! to check my email, I saw an article that piqued my interest. There was no stopping my tangent.

And the great thing… Like J and Clay Howard did… Make comments of your own. You disagree with me, post a comment. You want to add something, post a comment. If I’m wrong about something, kick me in the ass and let me know.

In case you missed it, my dear friend Christine recently cussed me out in the comments forum. We’re still going to disagree when it comes to politics, but I’m willing to listen to her points even if she throws the “F word” at me like a Major League pitcher.

Who knows?

She may have a point that I never thought about before. I may seem hard-headed, but I do listen.

-- Is it wrong or crazy for me to get excited about socks?

I went out today and purchased white crew length socks, black crew length socks, and for the very first time in my 41 years of existence… White ankle socks.

I needed new shoes. I purchased another pair of athletic type of hiking shoes to replace my old ones along with a pair of white low-cut running shoes.

That’s where the ankle socks come in…

I don’t do much bare-footing. Going barefoot for me is walking around the house without socks and shoes. I generally don’t leave the house without shoes. I am a tenderfoot in the purist sense. I don’t even go barefoot on the beach!

I can walk out onto my driveway, step on the sorriest excuse of a stick, and I’m cussing like I just stepped on a shard of glass from a broken 7-Up bottle. That sh*t hurts!

One day, I was walking around the house barefoot and my sister Tina noticed something… She jokingly called me “Boots”. I had no idea what she was talking about, but it sure as hell amused her. So I asked for clarification.

My legs were tan, but my feet were pasty-white like a black cat with white feet. The kind of cat that would be affectionately named “Boots”.

So I’m planning on sitting outside to sun my pale feet and wear socks that don’t come up to my kneecaps.

That’s why I’m excited about my new socks.

But why does it seem so wrong to me?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Bob Welch 'French Kiss'

It gives me great pleasure to tell you dedicated readers that I have decided to join the 21st Century… This old dog learned a new trick today… I downloaded a complete album instead of purchasing the standard CD!

Yep! Feel free to consider me an “honorary kid” for the day. The type of kid that frequently downloads music. And dare I say it… The kind of kid that would be considered cool just by doing “cool” and “hip” things… Like downloading a complete album.

I needed to replace my copy of the self-titled debut from Kix because I have no idea what happened to my CD. I checked out the CD on a website and since it didn’t contain any bonus tracks, I decided to just go the “digital route” and download it. After all, I can always burn it to an actual compact disc to play elsewhere… I desperately needed it to make Bradford “Hinzy” Hines a Kix compilation.

Kix are undoubtedly one of the greatest and most underrated bands from the 80’s… As proven by this.

I don’t agree with everything on this guy’s list… And I definitely don’t agree with everything on his other list either… So I decided to make my own “Best Hard Rock Bands of The 80’s”. I’m limiting it to 10 and I would love for you to check them out if any form of hard rock floats your boat.

Kick Axe - Yeah, the name is kind of stupid… But these guys could write some well structured songs with intricate harmonies. And they’re Canadian! ‘Vices’ is one of the most ambitious attempts towards creating a hard rock ‘Pet Sounds’.

Raven - The bad, bad boys of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (I hate the term “heavy metal”). These guys were like The Who of harder rock. The drummer broke his arm once during a concert while trying to break their own equipment. Rob “Whacko” Hunter (drummer) even had a helmet that shot off fireworks! Crazy? Yes. They were also a great musical trio that should be rediscovered. Feel free to call them the “crazier” Iron Maiden… A thinking man’s party hard rock band. ‘Live At The Inferno’ gives you a taste of their genius and intense live shows.

Y&T - For some reason… That idiot decided to put Y&T in the “worst” category and used the atrocious ‘Ten’ album as his reason. I’ll admit it. That was a HORRIBLE album. After they made great ones like ‘Black Tiger’, ‘Open Fire’, ‘Mean Streak’, and the highly underrated ‘In Rock We Trust’. Dave Meniketti’s lead guitar style was innovative considering the type of guitar that he chose as his main axe… A Gibson Les Paul.

Ratt - I’ve talked and talked about these guys, but no one seems to listen. I love their punkish self-titled EP, but since it’s not readily available… I tip my hat towards ‘Invasion Of Your Privacy’. An album they toured the world with.

Kix - A band that my friends and I would drive to see within a 150 mile radius before they had a hit. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen these guys in the clubs before seeing them blow AC/DC off the stage as an opening act. Hell… Kim Thore and I are ready to hop a plane to see those boys reunite in their hometown of Baltimore. So ready that I have a bag packed and sitting by the door. ‘Midnight Dynamite’ is not only their favorite, but mine as well.

Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction - ‘Tattooed Beat Messiah’ is one of the greatest hard rock albums of all-time. Enough said. Find out for yourself what loud guitars and T. Rex-ish type of lyrics can achieve. The album was so good, The Cult decided to rip them off and make a damn fine album themselves… ‘Electric’.

Enuff Z’ Nuff - Cheap Trick walked that power pop / hard rock line during the 70’s only to give it up to synthesizers and keyboards in the 80’s. Luckily, Enuff Z’ Nuff came along to remind us that the same power pop / hard rock that Cheap Trick made, continued lived through them. ‘Strength’ has not only the shades of CT, but there’s a healthy does of Elvis Costello in there too! Without a doubt their best effort that went unnoticed because bands like Poison were getting all the attention.

The Knack - “My Sharona” is still a great song. But they were SO much more! Every album rocked… And their “reunion” album ‘Serious Fun’ was a treat for me in the early 90’s. The Knack were kind of like The Beatles meet Punk. The self-titled debut remains my top pick.

Accept - When you mention Germany when talking hard rock… You think of the Scorpions. I think Accept. They were a thinking man’s hard rock band with songs that dealt with non-hard rock issues… Homosexuality was prevalent in their lyrics with songs like “London Leatherboys” and “Midnight Mover”. They had songs filled with all kinds of social commentary… With an out-of-the-closet singer, you didn’t get songs about bangin’ chicks. They were very musical and treated songwriting as an art. I consider ‘Restless And Wild’ to be their best album.

Queensryche - Pretty much the same as Accept, but these guys are from Seattle. You cannot go wrong with 'Operation: Mindcrime'... A concept album that can be hard to follow if you haven't seen it performed by the band complete with all the stage theatrics. You can see it on DVD.

By all means, check these bands out. As a matter of fact, I dare you.