Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So changing my routine was a bad idea. Instead of waking up and going to the gym like I usually do I fell back asleep. So when I went to cut my bagel this morning, of course I cut my thumb. This sucks.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Free association

I want to write, but I don't know what the subject matter should be. instead, I'm just going to keep writing.
I went to my friend's housewarming last night and it was a trip. We went to camp and college together, but random people from my high school showed up-people I haven't seen in seven years. So there was a good amount of reminiscing. It was nice, but nothing extremely deep or meaningful, just good conversation. Like it would be anything less? I mean, you always hear how people are like "Holy shit, I ran into these guys from my life that I haven't seen in forever and everyone changed and got fat/bald/lost an eye and has 12 kids!" Yeah, none of that. Just catching up and reconnecting.
I continue to struggle with understanding flirts. When a woman makes eyes with you at the beginning of the evening and then later starts a conversation with you, but then stumbles away...what the hell does that mean? Additionally, how the hell am I supposed to know what the different looks mean? Is there a guidebook?
I got my hands on two Chuck Ragan records and holy shit, I can not stop listening to them. It's just good straight from the heart rock and roll. I know a lot of people think that it's country rock but to me it just has that rhythm and roll. I mean, sure, there's a banjo and a twang, but that does not mean it can't fucking rock.
And rock it does...harder than Rock of Love. But seriously, go listen to Chuck Ragan and revel in how fucking awesome it is.
What? You want more? Fine.
It has that punk ethos but is twinged with banjo and acoustic rhythm over electric crunch and thumping bass. Instead of woahs you get the hum of the harmonica. You get incredibly mature and poetic lyrics over simple catchy melodies. The lyrical hooks, however, are the things that really reigned me in. Simple negations of statements really work for this record and compliment Ragan's voice and introspective stance very well.
I took myself off of the auto-renew on jDate, but I'm thinking I may sign up again at a cheaper rate. I mean, it hasn't been totally useless- I'm just not very patient.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Continuing on this trend of music...when did rock and roll become safe? Well, let me rephrase that, when did rock music become safe? I mean, go back to the earliest days of rock and roll and everything about it was dangerous. It was Black at a time when the color of your skin was enough to get you thrown out of a bar; it was sexy during the family friend 50s. Look at Elvis, he was pure charisma and sex appeal. The music itself had a rhythm that was alien to the normalized ears of America. The rock was boring, it was the roll that was dangerous. I mean, my dad played the blues when I was a kid, and I loved that stuff. That was all roll right there. I grew up and wanted something faster and more aggressive. I found punk and ska, and I loved it. It had some of that same danger, but most of it was polished, clean and fun. But man, did it have rhythm. It was always hidden and obscured by sometimes awful lyrics and vocals. I matured though and I delved deeper into the more roll nature of punk and ska. Now, that glossy sheen has been tarnished a little bit, like car dragged through the mud. Don't get me wrong, I still love punk and ska, but my soul lies with rock and roll. It's that danger, the rhythm, the sheer fun of the music.
Punk embodied the danger of rock and roll. Look at a band like the Stooges or Black Flag or hell, any good punk show now a days. If the lyrics do denote some amount of urgency, then the show itself is scary. You don't know if someone is going to jump off the stage and join in the pit. Remember, I said good shows, like when you see the Flatliners or Big D and the Kids Table in some small basement where the stage is a foot high and security is your own forearm.
Ska, ska is the rhythm. You get down and move to the left and the right in some sort of controlled spasm and you just dance. There's something primal about the circle of skankers that just feels right to me.
So what band really does this for me now? It's still those dudes in the Gaslight Anthem. Their songs really speak to the underside of a safe time. Their songs speak about the other side of the happy life. The dive bars and broken down cars; backseat romance and nightlife with a switchblade. They have all the edge and rhythm of a good punk band and they sure know how to roll.
So now I've been digging on Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, picking up Tim Barry, Chuck Ragan, and Lucero. This stuff is rock and roll the way it should be. Punk, well, punk rock is something else, like the bastard child of rock and roll. What the radio plays...the radio lacks the roll, it lacks the soul.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Trading Dreams

Last night was the first show we put on here that was done with the help of the new student music programming group (better name forthcoming). It was awesome and a mini reunion for me since one member of each band- The Andrea Doria (myspace.com/theandreadoriaband) and The Homecoming Queens (myspace.com/thehomecomingqueens)- are old roommates of mine from college. It was an awesome time and we had a huge turnout for our "kick off" event. I was a little upset that there were numerous other events happening at the same time (including one or two that were scheduled after we had planned on this) but we'll just do better next time.
The students were great. For the first event that they had worked on, they did a wonderful job and seem genuinely excited with the prospect of doing this over and over again.
I was talking with Matt, bass player from the Doria, last night. he's a cool guy and we come from different backgrounds. We talked about life and he talked about the rough part about being in the band. And here I am thinking, this guy is living my dream. At the same time though, I know I am not willing to do what these guys are dong: touring constantly, living on floors, going into debt. Yeah, I say I want be a rockstar, but in reality, I just want to live my life comfortably.
Guess I'm a bit of a poser.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So story time people: a few weeks ago I took myself out to dinner at a local diner. As I'm pulling into the parking lot I notice one of my co-workers and his family. I thought I was going to have a dinner by myself listening to Pro Tour: Berlin coverage on my iPod. Instead, I get to sit down with a really nice family. Eventually, the talk turns to the fact that we're all Jewish and jDate comes up. You know, that website Jews go on so we can find other Jews and have Jewish relationships, like Woody Allen or Larry David and the women that are like, immeasurably more attractive than they are. Hey, we all can dream, can't we?
So anyway, it turns out that my co-worker met his future wife on the site. Up until then I had rarely considered actually paying for the service, but seeing it in front of my face gave me a nudge in a different direction. Of course, then I got a message from someone on there and I was sold- I signed up for a month. It did not matter that the first woman to message me looked like an animated cadaver, I wanted to see if ti could work for me.
So I've been on there for a week and have talked with a few women- it's very hit or miss. I think, though, I might have found someone to carry on a deeper conversation with. here's hoping.
Saturday is the Filmore 104 Reunion party, also known as The Homecoming Queens/The Andrea Doria playing the school at which I work. I am stoked. These guys are all my friends and I hope that this event goes well. There is a group of students who are dedicated to making the music scene thrive on campus and for their sake, I hope it does.
Also, I love rock and roll shows- who doesn't?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Life, or something similar

Okay, so I haven't posted anything substantial in a while. Sue me.
I broke down and signed up for a month of jDate to see if that could cure my little cash flow problem. Turns out it might, but it's not worth the money I've invested. Instead, I'm doing work on finding a scene up here. A scene where there's rock & roll.
I mean, what happened to the roll? Sometime around 1980 it just became rock and the rhythm was taken out of the equation. I saw Royal City Riot the other day and was like "Holy Shit, a rock and roll band!" Yeah, they're ska but they have the rhythm.
I don't know, maybe I'm on a Johnny cash kick, but I am growing my music taste slowly. First stops include rock & roll and awesome folk.
I mean, how much of the stuff on the radio can you actually dance to? I'm guessing not so much. And isn't that what music is supposed to be about? I mean, not dancing necessarily, but fun. There's no fun in hard rock radio, just misplaced power chords. Not everything I rock out to is happy and peppy, but it sure is fun. Everyone feels something and then, in the utter undulation of punk, lets it all out as one huge cathartic moment. At the same show when I saw Royal City Riot, my friend Phil played with his band The Homecoming Queens. There I was, 24 years old, dancing in the pit like I was 17 again. It was awesome. I felt vibrant and energetic.
I was having fun.
So here it goes, I will hereby listen to any music that has rhythm and makes life fun. For what it's worth, I probably won't be listening to the radio anytime soon because it still blows (except for awesome independent and college stations).
So here's to punk ,to ska, to rock and roll, to fun!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008