Thursday, October 30, 2008


So tomorrow is the last day of October, and guess what?

The novel is still not done yet.

I've been working like a dog on it though (most of the time). This week has been bad--I've only been able to work on it Monday and tonight. Yesterday was Leah's birthday, and Tuesday was spent making her cake/shopping for her presents.

So, like I've done so many times, I'm pushing back the due-date on my book. I'm shooting for end of November. Currently I sit at 251 pages (66,000+ words) which is respectable. I thought, a month ago, that 250 would be enough, but now I see that 300-350 pages are needed to properly finish off the narrative.

I can't even believe I've crafted a story that could take so many pages. I remember just a few years ago I though 40 pages was massive (and very difficult to reach). How funny. I've been a bit concerned that if what I was working on was crap--I'd have wasted a year of my life (yes, next month will be the one year anniversary). But I can see how, even if the book sucks (which it won't, at least not completely) I've still learned SO much and gained SO much experience. It really is true what they say--practice makes perfect. While I can't say that my writing is better per say, I can see how my ability to sustain a story has greatly increased.

It's one thing to hatch an idea--but to execute it, in novel length, is difficult.

What's more, while I only have a vague idea of what my next book will be about (yes, I've already decided to write another), I find that I have fewer fears about starting/writing it. Whereas before I was horrified at the daunting prospect of writing a novel-length narrative, I find that I'm actually looking forward to it.

For the first time I feel like I know my characters. Unlike short-stories, where characters aren't allowed time and space to develop (they are instead, quick-grown in a few fast sketches) in a novel (a good one, at least) characters are allowed to develop themselves. I'm not saying you'll be astounded by my amazing, life-like characters...I'm nowhere near that level...just that they are more than the cardboard cut-outs of my short fiction. They also sound more like individuals. I write something and I think "He/she wouldn't say that." I'm actually able to look at dialogue and judge that, whereas in my short-fiction it's kinda hard to say that.

I'm talking a big-game, so I'm gonna stop right there...before you people (all three of you) start thinking too much about my little project (after all, it is a first novel). Anyway, the work continues. 2008 will be the year I finish my first novel, but October will not be the month it's done.

"All You Need Is ROCK BAND"

Leah pointed out that today in USA Today it was reported that MTV Games/Harmonix are partnering with Apple Corp. on a new Beatles-music game.

Yes, that's right--my two great loves are getting married!

ROCK BAND+The Beatles=My money is about to fly out of my pockets.

The game will be a stand-alone game (not a ROCK BAND expansion, like the upcoming AC/DC track-pack--which I'm also buying) and will come out X-Mas 2009. Apparently George Martin's son is helping to produce the game. Awesome.

My only wish is that I can one day drunkenly sing "I Am the Walrus." Oh, and I can't wait to play the solo on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

News of the World

It's Saturday...time again for another long nerd-essay about a great album from the past!!! Last week, I got sexy with the Stones and SOME GIRLS...but this week it's only F-ING ROYALTY for me!!!

At home in the concert hall, the beer hall, the soccer feilds, and anywhere good rock still ROCKS, Queen crafted their best record in 1977 when they recorded NEWS OF THE WORLD, a materpiece of sound and rock-glory. So sit back and enjoy another installment of Classic Albums Revisited:

Queen is an amazing band. Period. Freddie Mercury is, in my opinion one of rock's greatest front-men. What I like about Queen how conflicted they are--masculine AND feminine, deadly serious AND fucking hilarious, heavy metal AND operatic, gay AND straight. Queen's fourth album, A DAY AT THE RACES (which has the band's most famous piece, "Bohemian Rhapsody") is generally regarded as the band's best record--but I just gotta disagree.

For me, it's NEWS OF THE WORLD. The band's sixth album, but second to be completely produced entirely by the band, NEWS OF THE WORLD is damn near a perfect record.

Recorded in July of 1977, the album was recorded in two months--but still sends shock waves that reverberate through the known (rockin') universe. Have you ever been to a *fill-in-the-blank-public-sporting-event*? If you have, then I guarantee that you've heard one song of this album. I speak, of course, of the album's lead single "We Are the Champions." Written by Freddie Mercury, specifically about football (the British kind), this song is a staple of every sports team everywhere. Ironic, since Mercury was not really the football-ing type (if ya get my drift). Still, the song perfectly captures the visceral feeling of winning, and has attitude to spare ("No time for losers/'cos we are the champions/of the world" not really aiming for anything other than the very tip top there).

The record company famously suggested that the song be linked/paired/married to the band's other famous single from NEWS OF THE WORLD, "We Will Rock You." Unlike "We Are the Champions," "We Will Rock You" was written by guitarist Brian May, who consciously wanted to write a song that would allow for audience participation--hence the simple "stomp/stomp/clap" repeated in basic 4/4 metere. It's been often said "keep it simple stupid," which is probably why this song is so famous--it's impossibly simple and yet, highly charged with the same visceral stuff of "We Are the Champions." Normally I hate it when people other than the band monkey around with songs, but I think the label was right here--these songs were made to go together. Even to this day, radio stations cannot play one without playing the other (an instant Queen two-fer!).

Those two genius songs are enough to make NEWS OF THE WORLD great, but believe it or not, the deep cuts are just as good as those singles.

The funky "Fight From the Inside" is more balls-to-the-walls machismo mixed with soaring "oohs" and "ahhs" and features drummer Roger Taylor on vocals (which explains it's killer percussions). Then there's the psychedelic, sexy "Get Down, Make Love" which is both hot and weird (the song has a brilliant, almost Asian flavor).

Like last week's Classic Album, NEWS OF THE WORLD was written during the 70's and you can hear punk's influence on the band. Notably on "Sheer Heart Attack," an extremely down-and-dirty, earache of a song that seems to almost be a parody of band's like The Sex Pistols (who crashed NEWS OF THE WORLD's recording sessions) who had a lot of conviction...but not much in the way of musical chops. Leah once heard this song's outro and asked me to shut it off. The song fucking rocks that hard. It's interesting that a band that could record a song like "Bohemian Rhapsody" (which is literally musical heaven) COULD ALSO record a song like "Sheer Heart Attack" (which is clearly supposed to be musical hell). Quick and aggressive, it's my favorite song on the record.

Ballads are also a Queen staple, and NEWS OF THE WORLD has a couple of killer ballads. The best is "Spread Your Wings," a story-song about a guy stuck in a shitty job--one that he's too good for (spoiler: the inspirational ending is he quits). This song is notable as it's the first Queen song to feature on vocal harmony. It's a fantastic, uplifting song. The next time you're fired or quit a shitty job, give it a listen--you'll feel better.

On the other end of the emotional spectrum is Brian May's "All Dead, All Dead." This song's stomping, steady drum-beat is toe-tapping awesome--though the subject material (losing pretty much all your dreams and loves) is sad. I absolutely love the synthesizer near the end of the song. Mercury's piano playing is also effortless and sad (people forget he was a fantastic musician as well as an amazing singer).

Can you believe that Queen recorded a blues song? About Eric Clapton? Yeah. Me neither, but that's what "Sleepin' on the Sidewalk" is. A blues song by Queen. Legend has it that the song was recorded while the band was just jamming--without them knowing they were being recorded. That's supposedly why the track is so different than the rest of the record (i.e. not as good). This is the albums' weakest track, but it's Queen PLAYING THE BLUES it ROCKS. Brian May does a pretty good American accent, too.

The album's most "epic" moment is the song "It's Late." This song is everything that Queen came to eventually represent--soaring vocals, sweet (almost choir-like) harmonies, awesome guitar-solos, and epic length (6:23). While not as epic as "Bohemian Rhapsody," I think (prepare for blasphemy) that this song is BETTER. Listen to the crunchy ass guitar solo at 3:50 into the song. That's brillant, makes-angels-cry rock.

I've listened to a lot of Queen, and I think they have many fine albums--but none as 100% perfect as NEWS OF THE WORLD. The only bad part about it is listening to it makes you miss Freddie all the more.


Forged in the deepest, darkest pits of hell...programed by the Mad Scientists at FRITO-LAY...comes...the dreaded...


He knows your deepest-darkest secrets! He knows your fears!

He smells like onion!!!


P.S. Once again, only Amber will get this...

Where Have I Been?

I keep writing blog entries, but not posting them. I'm not sure why, but I can't think of anything interesting to write about.

Oh, stuff is happening...just nothing "blog-worthy."

I've been working on the novel. I've been freezing my ass off in my apartment/place of work...and that's about it.

I am worried, because yesterday we got cable. For the past year and a half, I've lived TV free. Besides not having the money, Leah and I were too busy finishing up school. The bad thing is, even thought TV is's been so long since I've seen it that it facsinates me (have you SEEN The Hills?). I feel like a cave-man that's been shown a blender--I don't know what to do with it, but it's awesome.

Last weekend, I went and saw "W" which was pretty good. I'm not really a huge Oliver Stone fan, but I am into train-wrecks, and Bush is the biggest train-wreck EVER. Despite how I feel about him politically, I like Bush. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that Dubbya is probably one of the greatest inspirational figures in American history. He proves that ANYONE can overcome their own shortcomings to achieve ANYTHING. If you can be a total fuck-up AND STILL reach the highest office in the land--then this truly is the greatest country on Earth.

Anyway, it's a decent film that you should RENT but not pay to see in the theatre.

What else? I need to write a "Classic Albums Revisited" column for this week...but I'm having trouble picking a record. I've asked a few people for help chosing records, but so far I haven't gotten much help. If you have an idea please let me know.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Thoughts of a Limemonkey" Version 0.1

So I did some shit today, and I was going to blog about it...but instead this caught my eye today:

What the hell is it? It's a journal that I bought (for real cheap, as I recall) and used in a capacity very similar to this blog. I even had pictures! Most of those were just things that I cut out of magazines.

It's makes for a very interesting read--there's album reviews, crappy poetry, even a few satirical Biblical stories about Jesus (actual, they don't make fun of much as they make fun of my own limited knowledge of The Bible). BUT, the single greatest thing that's contained in this little black book WASN'T written by me at all...

It's a copy of the roast that my sister Amber wrote about me while she was in High School (apparently for Speech class). This thing is hilarious, Amber I hope you don't mind--here is the speech she gave (unedited, this is EXACTLY as she wrote it six years ago):

The Roast of Jason

by Amber
Imagine a six-foot one, nine-teen year old college sophmore who still lives in his mom's basement. His hair has not been cut in one year and he is just starting to be able to put his hair into a ponytail. And His favorite past time is playing on his Xbox. He also enjoys watching the Adult Swim on Cartoon Network every Sunday night instead of doing his homework. He is very sarcastic and most of the time acts like a complete jerk. He takes afternoon classes at Longview so he can sleep in and walk around in his underwear.

He's so rude that one time while taking me home from school one day he saw a woman on the side of the road and instead of leaving her alone like every other normal human being of course he had to say something. He proceeded to honk his horn at her all while yelling your fat! The woman just looked at us in horror as we drove by and I felt so bad while on the other hand my brother was laughing so hard he started to cry. And then there was the time he went out with my bestfriend and decided he wanted to break up with her so he did it while I was in the car. And of course neither one of them told me they were going out so you can imagine what kind of car ride that was.

And then there was the time he was working at Walgreen's and he accidentally locked himself in the freezer and he had to crawl through a vent on the floor and when he got out there was a customer just standing there looking at him. There are a million other incidents that I could tell you about if only they were school approriate. So that is all I have to say about the strange creature that is my brother Jason.

After re-reading this, I've decided that I want that etched onto my tombstone. Please, it says it all. Thank you Amber for getting me. Thank you...ah...I'm a horrible person.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Some Girls

It's Saturday...time again for another long nerd-essay about a great album from the past!!! Last week, I took a look at The Byrd's MR. TAMBOURINE MAN--this week I'm talking about the greatest record ever released (in my opinion) by The Rolling Stones.

Though they have many great albums, and are still making music to this day--the Stones really knocked it out of the park on 1978's SOME GIRLS. So sit back and enjoy another installment of Classic Albums Revisited:

There are two kinds of Stones fans--ones that think 1972's EXILE ON MAINSTREET is the band's greatest album...and those who differ to 1978's SOME GIRLS. I fall into the latter category. I think EXILE is a fine album, but SOME GIRLS is more fun. The album came out in a very strange time for music, both punk and disco were in full-swing--and rock acts from the 1960's were beginning to be pegged as "dinosaurs."

Yes, that's right--the Stones were being branded dinosaurs all the way back in 1978. Were those boys ever NOT teased in this manner? But I digress. Mick Jagger and company put out a hell of a record in response to the growing criticism that rock'n roll was dead. SOME GIRLS takes what was best about the era (the dance-ablity of disco, and the raw/primal aggression of early punk) and merges it with the Stones classic blues-rock sensibilities.

The band recorded the album over a period of several tense months in 1977. While most of the world was enjoying STAR WARS, guitarist Keith Richards was sweating a possession of heroin charge (he was busted up in Canada). Suddenly, with the prospect of losing their lead guitarist for several YEARS--the Stones got serious and recorded 50+ songs. It was during this time that Jagger, with Richards distracted, took up the bulk of the song writing duties. SOME GIRLS was a product of his frantic writing/recording period.

The album opens with "Miss You," a bluesy-disco tinged song that became the band's final #1 song in the USA. Unlike a lot of music from this era, the song remains catchy and cool as hell--despite the disco influences. I think the reason for this is simply, the Stones didn't do a full disco song. The rest of SOME GIRLS is an interesting mix of punk and country (believe it or not). "Far Away Eyes" being an extreme, almost country parody and on the other end "Lies" tips closer to blind aggression of the early punk scene. Somewhere in the middle falls the rest of the album. It's this middle where the magic is.

I have three favorite songs on this record, which in itself says a lot about its overall greatness. They are as follows (in no particular order):

1. "Beast of Burden"
2. "Before They Make Me Run"
3. "Shattered"

"Beast of Burden" with its crazy-ass falsetto and rolling guitar licks is a masterpiece. I've read that some of the lyrics were improvised by Jagger on the fly...I'm not sure I buy that, but part of the song's greatness is how laid-back/casual it seems to flow. On the other end of the spectrum, is the precision and edginess of "Shattered." Jagger's practically spitting the verses at you, while the guitar chugs along in the backroom...before BAM! Awesome fucking solo (with hand-claps, which is always important).

There's a theory that the reason this record sounds so good is because the band finally got a third guitarist--SOME GIRLS marks the first appearance of Jagger the guitar player. Not sure how much water that theory holds, but the music side of things does seem more complex than earlier Stones records.

And while he's not the world's greatest singer, I do love the Keith Richards "Before They Make Me Run." Of course it has an amazing, holy-grail-like guitar lick. The song, though not sung my Jagger, is probably (in my opinion) the best example of a "Rolling Stones Song." All the elements are there: killer guitar, hooky-but simple lyrics, a bluesy-country's awesome. It makes me wish Richards had given up smoking cigarettes (his voice sounds like crap now, way too raspy). He might have even turned into a hell of a vocalist--we'll never know. I think its funny how confident Richards playing is, but how almost quiet the vocals are. You can tell he knew he wasn't a very good singer--I've noticed this on a lot of the early Clapton solo records, too. I took Clapton a long time to get the nerve to belt out "Layla."

SOME GIRLS is a classic album, and arguably the last great record from one of the world's greatest rock bands. Most people have actually heard 65-70% of this record via classic rock radio (which plays damn near everything on it). The damn thing is practically a GREATEST HITS for their 70's period. This one is definitely on my "Desert Island" List of great records. Go check it out--or if you have it (like me) go give it a re-listen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Oh Snap! Better Open Hailing Frequencies...

So they've started releasing pics from the new J.J. Abrams STAR TREK movie. You know, the one that's going to take place in the 60's era TREK-verse.

Kirk with no Shats seems like a mistake to me...BUT look at this pic and tell me that don't look like STAR TREK:

Of course, they also post a few pictures that looked terrible. There's a really bad picture of the new bridge set over at does it look bad. Too shiny and blue/white. It looks, honestly, like a fucking Apple Store. I wasn't too worried about the sets, the production team said they wanted a "functional Enterprise bridge." Meaning everything would look cool--but ALSO have a "real" purpose. Not sure if they stuck to that philosophy.

I'm a closet TREK geek. My mother and my Uncle David got me into the show back when THE NEXT GENERATION Season 1 was one TV. I was hooked. I've always like classic TREK, but after watching a few episodes (including one the night before I got married, in a bar no less) I must say--it's probably a good thing they're not staying too close to the original series in terms of designs. That said, the old cardboard bridge was cooler than the shit I've seen thus far.

I'm really hoping that J.J. and Company pull off the impossible (frankly) and make a decent STAR TREK movie. For me, when it's done right--STAR TREK is wonderful glimpse at the possibility of man. These are dark times, and Roddenberry's hopeful look at our future (namely, one in which we all still exist/get along) is sorely needed.

So tell me, fellow STAR TREK geeks--what do you think?

A Fistful of Great Videos

Check-check-check it out! Some videos, by some bands, that me and Leah saw @ The Kooks show:

"Returning to the Fold" By The Thermals (look! a girl on bass!):

The super-sexy MGMT song "Electric Feel" performed by Rock-A-Fire Explosion (warning! very creepy!):

"Mushaboom" by Feist (seems like something me mum would like):

New AC/DC, "Rock 'N Roll Train":

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weeding out my Friends

I just axed 75% of my "friends" on FACEBOOK.

I do this, every now and then. For some reason I go through periods where I think having a ton of friends on FACEBOOK means I ACTUALLY have a ton of friends (like...for reals).

This is not one of those periods.

I ended fake digital friendships with old girlfriends, people I vaguely new in High School, and that girl I almost banged back in 2005 (pre-Leah). I feel better having a small, compact list of people I actually LIKE.

I really would like to opt out of FACEBOOK (again), but alas--this website is the only thing keeping me in contact with some of my old college chums. To give it up would mean I'd only know Leah and Rusty out here in STL-land. And that would be too sad.

F-ing X-Mas in October

I really wanted/hoped Leah would blog about this--because this actually happened to her this weekend...but I can tell it's not going to happen, so here goes:


I'll let you stop and consider what I've just written. Today is October 14. Think about it. Has your brain exploded yet? Apparently this station, which usually switches to an all "holiday" (read:Christmas) format around Thanksgiving, is about to change formats (from FM crap-rock to Sports Talk) in 2009--and the big-wigs decided "what the hell? Why not just fire everyone and start playing Christmas music early?"

This is why I will never be a success in any way--I could not, EVER, come up with a plan that retarded. So I guess that's why I'll never make the big bucks.

So now we have 75 degree weather--and "Jingle Bells." I am speechless. There are no more scared cows people. There is nothing corporate America will not do, in a lot of ways it's funny (well, actually it's funny-sad--that special kind of funny where you laugh as tears of sorrow roll gently down your cheeks).

Am I ranting about this? You're damn right I am.

"Life Is What Happens When You're Busy Making Other Plans."

So said John Lennon.

Don't tell anyone, lest the word get out to the wrong people...but despite everything--I'm pretty happy right now. I know that there are storm clouds on the horizon, but I'm ignoring that big-scary thing called "the future" and focusing on the here and now (for once). I'm taking things by the hour (sometimes even the minute) and I'm a better person for it.

That last post, the one about how my book was nearly done? Yeah. You should probably ignore that. I'm looking at another 100 pages minimum (a little over 80,000 words) as my new projected target. At the rate I'm currently going--I'll have that in about a month. But we all know how fickle life can be. So for now, I don't know when I'll get it done.

MY CAR IS PAID OFF!!! Yes, that' s right, I officially own Orange Julius (my Chevy Cavalier). Thank God, too because in about 2 months I gotta start paying my (delayed) student loans *shudder*. What else is going on? I have a little money right now, so that's good. Leah and I are still enjoying marriage (one more week and it'll be a whole MONTH).

Today we mailed a BUNCH of stuff off, so some of you--my parents and Tennessee kin, can expect packages, letters, photos, and CD's. The rest of you, bad news: Leah seems to think giving the pictures as framed gifts for the holidays is better than just giving you the pictures you may have a little bit of a wait. Sorry, not my call.

This weekend I am going to the movies. Leah wants to see NICK AND NORAH'S INFINITE PLAYLIST and I want to see Oliver Stone's Bush movie W. Anyone wishing to go with us knows how to reach me.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Novel Nearly Done

I'm close folks. Closer than I guess I've ever been...

When I stopped last December, I was at 192 pages. After "shearing the sheep" if you will about a month ago, I re-started at page 112. I've been working pretty regularly on finishing the damn thing (except for the wedding weekend).

I got a lot of work done yesterday, and I'm in the middle of a lot of work today. Currently I sit at 184 pages--48,707 words. I started what I believe is the second to last chapter (chapter 11) today. I have a few pages of notes (both on paper, and in my heart) about how this thing will play out--but I'm not sure on the exact ending. Bleak or happy?

These are hard times, and yet I find that despite everything--I'm leaning towards a more "happy" ending. I know most people would describe me as a pessimist, but that's only because I present myself this way--almost to comical proportions, so as not to get my heart broken...because deep down I am an optimist. I believe in the overall goodness of humanity, and the strength of the human spirit.

Completing this novel is good proof of this. God knows that there were nights when I laid awake, angry and sad that it was never going to be completed. For almost a year I did no work on it--I'd given up. I bet there is something you've given up on, too. I bet there is something you think is impossible....well I'll risk the heart-break and say that there is no such thing as impossible. If you need proof, I'll be happy to let you read it in about a month.

"I don't believe it."--Luke

"That is why you fail."

UPDATE: I just finished writing for the day, and the official word count is at 51,170 total (194 pages). Needless to say, I'm very pleased.

AC/DC Tickets

For half and arm (and most of a leg) I bought tickets for AC/DC. Sometimes I think it's cheaper to like CRACK COCAINE than concerts. Seriously, this shit is not easy on the "YE OLDE POCKETBOOK." Luckily for me, money is merely a means to an end--thus, I cry only a little bit when a pack of sweaty Australians politely come to town and pick my pocket.

I justify the $200+ I spent on tickets this way:

1. AC/DC rock
2. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see them
3. Probably the last tour (see #2)
3. AC/DC rock
4. I paid off my car recently, so I figure the money I would have WASTED on the payment can just go to funding this show.

In other concert related news, someone...somewhere, posted the set-list OASIS is using for there current USA tour. Amber, look away unless you want to spoil the surprise:

F**king In The Bushes
Rock N Roll Star
The Shock Of The Lightning
Cigarettes And Alcohol
Meaning Of Soul
To Be Where There's Life
Waiting For The Rapture
The Masterplan
Slide Away
Morning Glory
Ain't Got Nothing
The Importance Of Being Idle
I'm Outta Time

Don't Look Back In Anger (Acoustic)
Falling Down
Champagne Supernova
I Am The Walrus

"The Masterplan" live? Yes please! I think I just crapped my pants. I can't WAIT for this freakin' show. I've got the new album DIG OUT YOUR SOUL and am debating whether or not to review it (it's Oasis, all I'm going to do is gush).

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mr. Tambourine Man

It's Saturday...time again for another long nerd-essay about a great album from the past!!! Last week, I took a look at Joe Walsh's "BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS..."--this week I'm talking about a watershed record from the 1960's.

A brilliant fusion of folk and rock, The Byrds impressed everyone--including a certain Robert Zimmerman, when they hit the scene in the mid-60s. Their first album challenged the definition of "folk," AND made folk cool (no easy task). So sit back and enjoy another installment of Classic Albums Revisited:

I feel bad, but I'm afraid there is no way to discuss The Byrds--especially early Byrds--without talking about Bob Dylan. I just don't think it can be done. So, before I get into the Dylan-ness of this record, let me talk about The Byrds themselves as a band. The Byrds formed in 1964 in sunny California. At that time the British Invasion was in full swing. What made The Byrds so interesting is that they combined the British rock sound with American folk music. In doing so, they pretty much paved the way for what we consider modern folk music--Joni Mitchell, Gordon Lightfoot, and Neil Young (along with pretty much all the singer-songwriter types from the 1970s "folk boom") owe The Byrds a huge debt. That said, without The Byrds, there would be no Tom Petty.

And that's what's so interesting about The Byrds--what they did, and all the various changes they made throughout their short existence (going from the folk-rock, electric Dylan covers to "Eight Miles High" THE first psychedelic rock song) influenced a wide swath of rock musicians.

The secret to their success was Bob Dylan. The band's first commercial hit was a cover of Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." Dylan is a super-gifted songwriter, but unfortunately sounds exactly like a Muppet. This "Muppet-sound" tends to turn off a lot of people. But beyond merely having a better, more commercially palatable vocal arrangement--the band also had a knack for interpreting Dylan’s songs, NOT just covering them. I believe there is a difference. A "cover" is just that, one artist playing another's song--usually note-for-note.

The Byrds didn't do this; instead they took a great fucking song, "Mr. Tambourine Man" and made it electric (with shiny, bouncy electric tones). They added layers of harmony. Listen to Dylan’s version and The Byrds, one right after the other...and it's seems like barely the same song. Both are good (some will always prefer the author's version because it's the most "pure" or whatever, me I've out-grown such pretension) and both have the same level of merit--a sure sign that you've got a good, artistically executed interpretation on your hands.

With the success of "Mr. Tambourine Man" came an album--MR. TAMBOURINE MAN. With the "if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it" mentality, the band released an album that's mostly covers. Besides the title track, the band also covers Dylan's "Spanish Harlem Incident," "All I Really Want To Do," and "Chimes of Freedom." Other notable covers on MR. TAMBOURINE MAN include "We'll Meet Again" (remember that song? It was used ironically at the end of the Peter Seller's comedy/farce DR. STRANGELOVE) and "The Bells of Rhymney."

The Dylan covers are all brilliant. I especially love "All I Really Want To Do," a track the band injects with a much needed does of levity. Dylan's version is so damn bare-bones, and Dylan’s yodel-wail is a little bit...much (almost to the point of self-parody). The Byrds give a more energetic version. Dylan's midnight-dark satire on a failing marriage goes down much smoother with The Byrds (hell, it almost sounds like a love song).

What surprised me most about MR. TAMBOURINE MAN was how strong the band's original compositions are. Gene Clark's "I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better" is my personal favorite track--of the whole record (Dylan covers included). The band's songwriting, while still in it's early stages, was strong enough to compete with such a legendary song-smith. "You Won't Have To Cry" and "It's No Use" are likewise able to hold their own with Dylan's songs.

Though MR. TAMBOURINE MAN has only hints of the work the band's later (some might argue greater) work, I find this record to be thoroughly enjoyable and uncluttered with the excess of the later, "trippier" recordings. Unlike a lot of bands from this period, work The Byrds did on this album stands the test of time.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Ugh. I'm so lame.

More pictures from the wedding. Can you spot the "baby"???

(hint: look in the middle)

Leah Gossage123

Leah Gossage125

And because I know you all secretly want more of me:

Leah Gossage171

Even though this "garter toss" pic should embarrass doesn't:

Leah Gossage402

Engagement Photos

Today Leah and I got our wedding and engagement photos. Leah handled the whole "wedding photos" thing quite well. She didn't spend thousands of dollars for a few dozen prints...instead she bought the RIGHTS to the photos and had the place give up the photos digitally.

We can print them, burn them, email them--as WE see fit.

Smart girl, my wife.

Anyway, when she paid for the wedding we got an "engagement session" for free. So on September 12, 2008--I ditched work and we had our session. Here is a sampling of the (grizzly) results:




Everybody Breathe...

I'm not going to blame the economy OR the election--but it seems like a lot of people I know are freaking out. I don't care what the cause, the solution is what I'm going to focus on.

And here it is: breathe people.

Everything is going to be alright. But don't just take my word for it:

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"Always Where I Need To Be" by The Kooks

Those Krazy Kooks

Last night me and Leah went down to the Loop and saw The Kooks. The night began with us going to Vintage Vinyl where both The Kooks and The Whigs (their opening act) were supposed to play a free in-store.

While Leah waited, with bated breath I might add, for the band's to show up (yeah, we were early)--I went and hunted up the Oasis album DIG OUT YOUR SOUL. It was sad how hard it was to find (not on the "new releases" shelf, nor was it on the sound-scan headphone rack, and it wasn't on the "Staff Recommends" area either). Eventually I located one of store's measly 4 copies (located in the Rock section, under "O"). I can't believe how dismissive people are of Oasis. Oh well, whatever.

Now I've been to many free I know how it goes. Nine times out of ten the band is a no-show (after all, they're not being paid to do it, and they usually occur right before the paying show--so ANY hiccup throws these things out the window). Which is why I wasn't surprised when they announced that The Kooks were coming, but were not playing after all.

We bailed and went down the street for ice cream (Leah had a "chunk-mail" buy-one-get-one free coupon because this month is her birthday) at Ben and Jerry's. Then we headed over to The Pageant to wait for the show to start.

There we ran into a friend/acquaintance of Leah's--from the technology department at UMSL. It was good seeing him again. Apparently he knows the owner of The Pageant and for a while we thought he was going to hook us up with backstage passes--but it didn't happen (though he did get to meet The Kooks. He said they had bad breath and said "Fookin" instead of "Fucking").

The Whigs opened and were great. They're a bit more "rock" and less "pop." I'd heard them only once before at Best Buy (over the loudspeaker). They were good because they had A LOT of energy. Then The Kooks came on--and they were awesome!

I liked their two albums (the first one INSIDE IN, INSIDE OUT more so than the second, most recent KONK) but man, I was not expecting them to be very good live. They were louder, harder, more "rock" live. They had a pretty good stage presence, but the lead singer is the star of that show. An annoying part of being a "girl" band--only the good looking crooner really gets to stand out. Oh, and Leah's friend totally called it, the bassist looks like a young George Michael. Seriously, he does.

Though the band had cancelled like three shows before ours because of illness, the band was on fire. They played most of songs on the two records, and everything I wanted to hear: "Ooh La," "She Moves in Her Own Way," "Jackie Big Tits," "Mr. Maker," "Shine On." I think my favorite song though was "Stormy Weather." Leah loves The Kooks, whereas I am only a casual fan--but she hates this song. Me? I love it because of the killer bass-groove. I couldn't tell you want that song is about, or how the lyrics go...but I hear that bass and I perk the fuck up. I can spot it a mile away. Damn good song. They played the hell outta that one.

Leah was very much in "1960's screaming girl mode." I'd never really seen her like that before, it was scary--seeing someone as tall as her lose her shit. She had the strength of a 100 Leahs (scary). But I'm glad she had a good time, though I do wish she'd be as enthusiastic at ALL of the concerts I take her to. Oh well. Maybe if AC/DC were cute boys from England she'd want to go with me.

It was a good concert. Leah said it was "the best concert I've been to all year." I wouldn't go that far, but if you ever get a chance to see them--do it. The Kooks are a solid band on record, but an amazing live act.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Domo-Kun Rules!!!

I love this little guy.

Check this out:

My favorite bit--when he stays up late watching TV and sleeps during the day. DOMO-KUN Rules!!!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Lock-in Tonight

Once this post is made, I am officially going into "lock-in" mode. I'm not doing anything but writing--until my ass passes out.

Me? I'd rather sit back, drink beer and play video games. But it's no longer my choice.

Shit is getting serious** here:

**The dreaded "Nick Fury Embargo" is an old joke from my dorm days...but this LOCK-IN isn't. Wish me luck kids!

This piece of news has me "Ringing Hells Bells!"


"AC/DC fans in Florida finally have reason to rejoice: The band’s Black Ice tour has been extended into the New Year, with the band coming to the Sunshine State, the Sooner State, the Cornhusker State and a bunch more additional markets the band skipped over during the first leg of their tour."

It goes on to say:

"AC/DC Black Ice Tour
December 20 - Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Bank Atlantic Center
December 21 - Tampa, FL @ St. Pete Times Forum
January 5 - Cleveland, OH @ Quicken Loans Arena
January 7 - Pittsburgh, PA@ Mellon Arena
January 9 - Toronto, ONT @ Rogers Centre
January 11 - Cincinnati, OH @ U.S. Bank Arena
January 13 - St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Center
January 15 - Omaha, NE @ Qwest Center Omaha
January 17 - Fargo, ND @ Fargodome
January 19 - Minneapolis, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
January 21 - Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center
January 23 - Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Center
January 26 - Tulsa, OK @ BOK Center
January 28 - Little Rock, AR @ ALLTELL Arena
January 30 - Memphis, TN @ FedEx Forum
January 31 - Nashville, TN @ Sommet Center"

Now I just gotta decided which show I'm going to. At first I though "St. Louis all the way baby," but then I thought "hey, I haven't been to that new Sprint Center in KC." Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Tickets go on sale THIS SATURDAY!!!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sunday Recap

Well it's Sunday, which means that it's the birth of another week. Today my wife and I slept in till 11:00AM. Felt great.

Then I woke up and got to work on the novel. I don't want to be one of these douche-bags that's always talking about his "novel" but I want to make sure people know that I've not given up on this thing. After taking it easy for most of the morning, Leah decided to take a walk. So the three of us (yes, Rusty went too) walked to the Delmar Loop. They did pretty good--neither of them complained too loudly, but they were really tuckered out. Rusty, in fact, has yet to recover fully from the ordeal. I think it's the most he's been out for a long while. We're going to do it again real soon (I hope).

My uncle called, which was cool. I don't really ever hear from my family very much (other than my parents and Amber).

Just finished watching THE SIMPSONS and FAMILY GUY--which constitutes all the TV I watch anymore. Speaking of which, Leah broke down and got us cable. We're doing AT&T's "U-Verse" which is high-speed Internet and cable. Part of me is happy/excited about this (it's going to be connected at the end of the month), and part of me is worried. I'm worried about having yet ANOTHER distraction and, of course another monthly bill. Anyway, we'll see if we keep it or not.

That's about it. Leah and I are excited, this Tuesday is our Kooks concert. Stay tunned for that!

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Tonight me and Leah are going down to the Tivoli to see Hayao Miyazaki's (the "Japanese Walt Disney) 1988 film classic MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO.

I've been fascinated by Miyazaki every since I went to a lecture about him a few years ago with my friend Andy (who is really into Japanese stuff). So far, all I've seen is SPIRITED AWAY (which is fantastic) but tonight that's going to change.

The comparisons to Dinsey are really only superficial (in that the films are animated, and highly successful). For the most part, Miyazaki's work seems more thought out and thought-provokings (i.e. it doesn't hit you over the head with a cutesy message). SPIRITED AWAY was very imaginative, and a little dark (for a kids movie).

I am glad tonight's film is dubbed in English, because I'm a lazy American. Well...actually, I don't mind reading subtitles, but at 12:00AM my brain does get a bit fuzzy.

I think that dubbing is lame when done for live-action films (where it is woefully obvious and mroe than a bit ridculous looking). For animation, however, I see nothing wrong with a little dubbing--especially when the target audience is children, who cannot always read (or ready very fast). Anyway, I highly...HIGHLY recommend SPIRITED AWAY. I'll let you know about TOTORO.

"But Seriously Folks..."

It's Saturday...time again for another long nerd-essay about a great album from the past!!! Last week, I took a look at The Dukes of Stratosphere's CHIPS FROM THE CHOCOLATE FIREBALL--this week I'm talking about a solo record from an often overlooked guitarist.

While he flew highest with The Eagles, I've always enjoyed Joe Walsh with fewer...feathers..
.which is why I'm writing about "BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS..." Mr. Walsh's 1978 solo-LP. So sit back and enjoy another installment of Classic Albums Revisited:
I won't argue that HOTEL CALIFORNIA isn't a great record. It is. But just because I'm able to recognize that HOTEL CALIFORNIA is great, doesn't mean I want to sit and listen to it over and over. It's great in that way that those thicker Dickens books are great. Bloated and little too serious for my liking.

No, I don't care how many times it makes critical Top 100 lists...HOTEL CALIFORNIA would never wind up on my Deserted Island music playlist. Ironic because guitarists overlooked, and some might argue--forgotten, fourth solo record would most certainly make it to a my CAST AWAY/LOST/ROBINSON CRUSOE-playlist.

Unlike the bulk of The Eagles recordings I've heard, Joe Walsh's "BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS..." comes off as laid-back, thoughtful/introspective, and full of humor. The first time I heard this record I instantly thought of Jimmy Buffet, because Walsh and his style is very reminiscent of Buffet. They both have a laid-back, "everyman" persona. But while Buffet seems more interested in getting drunk, drinking, and the ocean--Walsh takes the time to craft memorable, heartfelt songs about the way things used to be ("Indian Summer"), failed relationships ("Second Hand Store"), and the general confusion of life ("At the Station").

That these songs are also musically interesting and varied only adds another distinction from Buffet (check out the outro-solo for "At the Station" it's both simple and amazing). For further proof, check out the gorgeous instrumental "Theme From Boat Weirdos." It's amazing stuff, that I frankly would have enjoyed extended out into a full-length album (this coming from someone who rarely enjoys instrumentals on his rock records).

Walsh's humor adds another dimension to the album's proceedings. Sometimes he's sly, like on the procrastination-anthem "Tomorrow" (which is about all the things he has to do, but isn't). Other times he's practically hitting you over the head with it (see the hidden track "A Flock of Wah-Wahs" in which the listener is subjected to an agony of Donald Duck impersonators). Usually, though Walsh's sense of humor (and more importantly, his sense of himself) falls somewhere in the middle. It's this middle-ground that endears you to him.

The best example of this middle ground?

That would "Life's Been Good." Without this song, I'm sure I'd have no idea who Joe Walsh was (except as the guitarist of The Eagles). "Life's Been Good" is Walsh's epic masterpiece. It's his Sinstine Chapel. It's his David. It's his MOBY DICK. Other than perhaps "At the Staion," it's the only song from this record (or period by Walsh as a solo artist) that you'll still hear on FM-Classic Rock Radio.

Clocking in at slightly less than nine minutes long (8:57 to be exact), "Life's Been Good" is both a joke-song and a slightly serious examination of rock 'n roll (and hell, fame itself). The song begins with a rousing (and immediatly recognizable) guitar lick, then descends into a jangly acustic guitar, ala The Who's "Pinball Wizard." The lyrics speak for themselves:

"Life's Been Good"

I have a mansion
Forget the price
Ain't never been there

They tell me it's nice

I live in hotels

Tear out the walls

I have accountants

Pay for it all

They say I'm crazy
but I have a good time

I'm just looking for clues at the scene of the crime
Life's been good to me so far

My Maserati
Does one eighty-five
I lost my license

Now I don't drive

I have a limo

Ride in the back

I lock the doors

In case I'm attacked

I'm making records

My fans they can't wait
They write me letters

Tell me I'm great

So I got me an office

Gold records on the wall
just leave a message
Maybe I'll call

Lucky I'm sane after all I've been through

(Everybody sing) I'm cool (He's cool)

I can't complain but sometimes I still do
Life's been good to me so far

I go to parties

Sometimes until four

It's hard to leave

When you can't find the door

It's tough to handle
This fortune and fame

Everybody's so different I haven't changed

They say I'm lazy but it takes all my time

(Everybody sing) Oh yeah (Oh yeah)
I keep on going guess I'll never know why

Life's been good to me so far baby,
inside the Sad Cafe.

The lengthy guitar solo in the middle half of the song and at the very end is outstanding--and probably unheard by the general public. Until I tracked down a copy of the album on CD I'd never heard it all completely because of the all the "radio-edits." If they can play "Stairway To Heaven" un-cut on the radio, why...oh why, can't this song be played as it was recorded on-air? After hearing the actual, complete song, I find the version played on the radio both offensive and listenable. The song's theme of rock excess is underscored by the ridiculous musical interludes that divide the song. Parring down these solos/interludes/noodling does nothing but neuter the song.

This, my friends, is why I'm not allowed to work in radio.

If there's any fault to be found with "BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS..." it's that famous track that was left off. Walsh originally recorded "In the City" for the album but ultimately ended up releasing it on The Eagles (rather sub-par) THE LONG RUN--which it should be noted features a reference to "Life's Been Good" (which refers to the 'Sad cafe' which is the final track of that album). I'm not sure why it pisses me off that the only decent song on THE LONG RUN was originally slated for this record, but it does.

Joe Walsh is an amazing talent, and "BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS..." does nothing but prove it. Like many famous guitarist who were overshadowed by more famous front-men (Townsend, Harrison, etc) Walsh was only able to fully shine on his own. I think that had he fully left The Eagles his legacy might be greater than it currently stands.

As a side note, this album is (unfortunately) slightly difficult to come by these days. Though Walsh is represented on iTUNES, for some reason "BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS..." is absent. Further, the greatest hits compillations for Walsh are listed as "partial albums" because the material from "BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS..." is absent. What's going on is probably a money/copyright issue, and I'm too lazy to actually look into it. I purchased my copy used at (of all places) a store specializing in used video games. If you happen upon it, do youself a favor and pick it up...or do the easy (read: boring) thing and pick it up on less than $6.00 brand new!!!

Friday, October 03, 2008



So I was in the grocery store, when Amber called me. She was spazzing out, asking me where Rosemont Illinois was. I told her I didn't know.

Then she told me that Oasis was playing there on December 12, 2008--and I said "Chicago."

Hell yes. Oasis is playing in Chicago. They have a new album coming out on Tuesday (which I was aware of) but this tour sneaked up on me. I am totally caught with my pants down. Luckily a strange series of events led Amber to today...and now we're going to the Windy City in December to see Oasis.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Yes! I DID watch IRON MAN instead of the Debate...

I wish people would get over these debates.

Scratch that--I wish people would get over this election. It's not their fault, I understand completely where they're coming from...I used to be stupid too. I used to actually think that by voting we had a choice in the direction this country was taking. Not so long ago, I even *gulp* voted. But now I realize that it's all a bunch of shit.

That's right, I'm not voting.

I'm not even going to register. You see, I'm tried of playing this little game--of lying to myself, that I matter. I don't.

I realized this the last time I was on an airplane. I must be the luckiest person when it comes to getting the window seat. I'm always getting it. Leah doesn't suffer from "stare out the window syndrome" like I do, so she lets me have it. Anyway, staring down from 40,000 feet above, you tend to see things the way they really are. Human beings, it turns out, are nothing. We're not even ants. Oh sure, put a bunch of us together and we're impressive enough--but for the most part one person (hell make it 1,000 people) don't amount to a hill of beans in this world (thank you Bogey).

As I listened to my (now dead) iPod desperately compete with the terrible whine of the twin engines, I made peace with the fact that in the grand scheme of things I am an insignificant speck. What does the opinion of one little boy matter to the universe? They didn't ask me about Iraq. They didn't ask me out this lame-ass bail-out. Why do they care now?

ANSWER: They don't care.

Are you really that stupid? Have you read the fucking Constitution? I ask, not in a rhetorical smart-ass-debating kind of way...I'm asking for real. I have. I own a slim little volume that contains the Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation (our Nation's first attempt at government), and the Constitution (with the Bill of Rights included). Now, it's been a few years since I read this thing...but I distinctly remember this one part, it was pretty important (but rarely mentioned by the jack-offs that go around preaching "Ya Gotta Vote!" mantra)...I speak of the Electoral College.

Ah yes, because you see, they don't actually care what you want or what you think. The generic, boogeymen "they" have already picked the next President. He's the one with the most fat-cats in his pocket. I don't know which one it is, but I do know that if you vote for the other guy you're throwin your vote away. Don't believe me? GO TALK TO THE PEOPLE OF FLORIDA (see the 2000 election. Then go and see the elections in 1876 and 1888 if you are confused as to what I'm talking about).

No, go forget Florida--go talk to the majority of this country that DIDN'T VOTE FOR BUSH THE FIRST TIME. What do I need to do, draw you a fucking picture??? I don't matter, you don't matter--this whole damn thing is a joke, and I'm not playing along anymore.

I like a good joke, every now and then...but does it always have to be at my expense?

Everyone I know babbles about how they don't feel "qualified" to vote. I tell them that' s they way you're supposed to feel. Politicians and their cronies put out misleading, confusing ads/messages that leave you thinking up is down and right is left. Why? Could it be that they know that if a few more of us woke up and realized what utter bullshit the political world has become, that we'd start picking up pitch-forks? And torches?

Yes, of course that's it.

I'm choosing to abstain (for once in my life, I DO choose abstinace) from the whole thing. It's ugly, vuglar, stupid, fill-in-the-blank____________. Next year we will either have an old white guy (and a lady) in the White House OR we will have a young black-ish dude (and a guy who cries like a lady) in the White House. Nothing will change either way. People are all up in arms against Bush--I'm not. Sure, he's made some mistakes, but Congress has LET HIM DO most of them. The President is an impotent figurehead, at the mercy of foreign and coporate influence. There is no more boat rocking in Washington.

The only way I'll ever be interested in politics is if we institute a mandatory "toliet flush" every few years. I propose that every elected official be "flushed" out (super-short term limits, married with "you can't be in government anymore" slips for career politicians).

So, to recap:

1. Enough with the debates already, I didn't watch it.
2. I'm not voting (or even registered).
3. Your vote is worthless--even if the election WAS decided by you (it's not), both candidates are the same and will do little-to-nothing overall.
4. Nothing will ever change in this country without a massive political bloodletting**.
5. We are all tiny, insignificant little ant-people from 40,000 feet.

**I mean this in the most innocent/metaphorical sense possible. Dear FBI/CIA/Homer-Land Security--I AM NOT saying to hurt anyone.

"Two Kings"

Only Amber will get this:

Two Kings

EDIT: Another TOM GOES TO THE MAYOR-esque picture...for Amber--by request:


Portrait of the Artist (at work)

Last night, makin' magic...and drinking LOTS of coffee:

The Limemonkey Writing

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My Brother.

I have two siblings--sisters in to be precise. I love them both, Amber was my best friend growing up...and Lindsey is the one who will still play with me (video games!). But secretly, I've always wanted a brother.

Even though I know we probably wouldn't get along. Even though I know we'd be in a constant state of competition. I still always wanted a brother. This is probably the thing that will make me yield to Leah about having multiple kids (I want one, she wants at least two).

In many ways Amber was my brother, we were so alike growing up. But then puberty happened, and we kinda starting becoming different. Our dynamic became different. It's no one's fault, it just the way it is.

Then I went to Longview (Community College) for orientation night--and my world changed. My cousin Spencer was there! We didn't plan it, but we both ended up there at the same time. Growing up, Spencer and I hung out a little, but nothing beyond holidays and family get-togethers. Clinging to each other (metaphorically, if not literally), we plotted our schedules together.

Having similar academic goals (we didn't know what we wanted to do), we took all of our classes together. For the next two years or so, my cousin Spencer and I saw each other a LOT. It was great, Spencer and I would take classes together. We studied together. We hung out in the cafeteria with the same psychos together. Sure, it wasn't all wine and roses...towards the end we got on each other's nerves a bit. I didn't try as hard in school as he did, but got about the same grade (which pissed him off I think). He got a little sick of my loopy, and sometimes gloomy outlook.

But he became my brother.

After he graduated from Longview, he went off to UMKC and I (eventually) moved to St. Louis to attend UMSL. We've drifted apart over the years since. Even as I write this, I want to pick up my phone and call him...but I can't. I don't know why. I guess I feel bad about all those New Year's Parties I canceled on. Or all the times I went to KC and didn't go visit him.

When I finally decided to get married, I had a tough choice for Best Man. I don't have many least, one's that I know for a fact I'll still know 5-10 years from now. Spencer was the only person who fit the bill.

He gave a really good speech at my wedding, about how alike we are. It's true, even though we weren't raised together--we somehow came out very similar. In fact, it seems like I can't call him up without discovering some new oddity we both share. The most recent example being our love of baths. I returned his call a few weeks ago, only to be told by his wife that "Spencer can't come to the phone right now, he's in the bath." Not only was he in the tub, he was reading (something I love to do).

Not so coincidental if you're a 13 year-old girl with a BFF named Heather...but if you're a 25 year-old man it's pretty damn strange.

One of my new goals is to keep in-touch with him better than I have. He's a great guy and he means a lot to me...oh crap, let me just say it:

I fuckin' LOVE you Spencer.

Alright. I feel better.

"Little Razorblade" by The Pink Spiders

From the old album, a sickeningly sweet music video:

P.S. That guy wasn't as cute in "real life."

Pink Spiders @ Vintage Vinyl

Last night Me, Leah, and Becky all went down to Vintage Vinyl (great, great record store) and caught a free in-store performance by the Pink Spiders. It was a 6:00pm/just-before-the-real-gig thing. It was us and a couple of geeky kids (one girl had a "fan club only" T-shirt on).

Basically I was the coolest person there (and I AM NOT a cool person).

The Pink Spiders are a pretty good pop-rock band. Becky seems to think they sounded a bit like Jason Maraz, but that's just because they were semi-unplugged. I think they're a pretty good band, but they're "chick rock." Nothing wrong with that, mind you. They played a couple of songs off their last record TEENAGE GRAFFITI, and some songs from the new one SWEAT IT OUT. I've always been a fan, but Leah loves them (our copy of TEENAGE GRAFFITI was actually purchased by her--which is rare, because Leah doesn't buy CD's).

Of course they were shilling their new record, and even though I was able to resist...Leah was not. It's okay, though, because they were giving away a bunch of swag with every purchase. We got...

A really cool poster (for the event):

A pair of "pink" sunglasses:

And Official Pink Spiders condoms:

It was a free show, so it was a little "rough," with all the usual forgotten lyrics and "I need water, someone get it for me moments." But overall they were pretty good. The best part was at the end when they did a cover of Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny About) Peace Love and Understanding?" I was probably the only person there, among those children, who knew who the original artist was...but I didn't care. Such is the life of a geek like me.

Leah really wanted to go to the "Real" show, but it was at a place called The Bluebird (apparently on Olive) that we'd never heard of/didn't know where it was. No one apparently knew where this place was (a joke the band made during their set, more than once). Money is tight, so we didn't get to go (but baby, I DID buy you that CD). They were pretty good though, and had I had the extra money, I would have gone in a heartbeat.