Slow and steady wins the race at least we've been told as much. It seems that every time someone drops that cliche its followed by a reference to the tortoise and the hare. The fact of the matter is that the tortoise and the hare couldn't be further from the truth. Yes it true that in the telling of the story the rabbit loses because he is tired subsequently taking a nap and the tortoise creeps by to the win. The poignant portion of the story wasn't the fact that the moral of the story was that the rabbit lost, or that the tortoise won, nope not even close. What?
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Chicago is a city that has had a history of riots. While the riot that is most closely associated with the Chicago occurred during the Democratic National Convention in 1968 (August 26 - 29) other riots have made their ways into its very fabric. Although my birth wouldn't happen for another few weeks I look at that riot as part of my own personal history. Sure it seems odd but there were other riots that have taken place in that city of note and I think that my personal history might fit within the history of Chicago riots. Okay?
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
In the classic movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" the Dead Collector so eloquently states "Bring out yer dead," whilst gathering the bodies of the poor unfortunate souls. That line really fits the final day of every multiple day music festival. While "warm bodies" exist, much like the Dead Collector, those that have made it the entire festival begin to look a little ragged.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
When the music festival that was Woodstock came wafting into the psyche of the drug-addled music culture of the late '60's, 1969 actually, it wasn't without its issues. While the common perception was that all that happened in the field of Max Yasgur was music, peace, love and dope there were mishaps. Without question anyone that was either sober at that time, or wasn't actively participating in the event or the events that were taking place during the event knew or could recollect that there were problems. So?
Monday, September 8, 2014
Sunny skies, warm temperatures and happy people are the things that great days are made of and when the three are are full of live music everything becomes that much better. While music festivals and their attendees are hopeful of that combination at times it isn't the case. Weather can wreak havoc on an outdoor festival making the entire experience miserable. So?
Saturday, August 23, 2014
The end of summer can be a depressing time for many. While the end of summer signals the end of vacations, and many outdoor recreational events, it also can be the start of many great things. The end of summer signals students of all ages going back to school, the start of football and the impending MLB playoffs and it also allows the opportunity to get in a "Cheap Thrill" or two in.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
The television show "Married With Children" was a microcosm of the ultimate white trash neighbors but despite that the show was known for much more than just "white trash." While the show was called vulgar, asinine, rude and stupid I would wager more than a select few would know at least one character thus describing that character would be so well done it would look like it was written for character development. Of the Bundy family few would garner more comments than good ol' Al but what does that have to do with George Thorogood?
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Music history is chock full of connotations about summer. From "In the Summertime" by Mungo Jerry, to "Summer of '69" by Bryan Adams music has championed the season. Its not hard to rationalize why that is either. Vacations, weekends at the beach and on the lake, cookouts and the simple respite from the winter make the season something special. For music lovers summer is special too and for those fans the season can be one of magic. Why?
Monday, August 4, 2014
Within the fabric of modern music it is easy to pick out female artists that have left an indelible mark upon the threads of that fabric. The tapestry of music that has formed using that fabric is massive. It is beautiful and and resilient but despite that, the fabric has flaws. Inside that tapestry can be found the threads made up by women in jazz, R&B, popular music, soul, gospel and the blues. Although those threads have solidified the fabric with its sheer volume it can be said that the earliest threads of rock music are as fine as spider web. Huh?
Saturday, August 2, 2014
The year 1989 was one of tumult for me and with that opened more than just one chapter of the book of my life. Musically we were in the midst of the "era of hair metal", so many bands formed nationally and locally that appeared to sound manufactured while in the shadows lay "college music" and its subset culture. During that year the world was confronted by a movie about baseball and a band from the southwest released its debut album "Dusted" which in a way is a bit ironic. Why?
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
All good things must come to an end or so the cliche goes. Its a simple fact that when there is a type of schedule everything does indeed come to an end. Day Three of "Halfway Jam" came to an exceptional conclusion under a backdrop that featured some incredible bands.
Saturday, July 26, 2014
The second day of anything is always easier than the first day. Jitters have lessened, a routine may have begun, and the comfort level begins to increase. That's true for the second day of kindergarten, the second day of a new job or career, even the second day of band camp is easier. Please forget the band camp reference but you get the gist. July 25th was the second day of "Halfway Jam" did it get easier?
Friday, July 25, 2014
The first day of "Halfway Jam" started like any typical first day of a music festival. With a beautiful day looming and first day jitters of the attendees a typical start was assured. What every music festival has is surprises but when the surprises make a big impact it makes everything more fun.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
The '80's were a time of a musical tsunami. When MTV sprang forth an entire world of music we may have never really heard arrived to us on a nice little "platter." We saw it all, new genres broke free from their little hiding places and bands became more than just sounds, they were out in the daylight of the world. Some of the artists we did know brought to us a spectacular point where those images were ever etched into our minds, some for the good and some for the bad. So?
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The year 1974 brought the United States of America to a crossroads that looked as if any route traveled would be one of futility and dread. Richard Nixon resigned as President. President Gerald Ford granted amnesty to deserters of the Vietnam War and Draft Dodgers. The world was in the middle of a global Recession. Syria and Israel agreed to a ceasefire for their conflict in the Golan Heights. Four young men started a band that took the world by storm.
Chainsaws, whiskey, long hair and rock and roll. Let that soak in for a moment. Using the old "one of these things is not like the other" game you might think the answer is simple so if you guessed "chainsaws" you would be wrong. The right answer is... The right answer is ALL of these things are the same when you consider Jackyl was on stage and all of the aforementioned items were there too.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
What does a sleepy little town in Minnesota and rock and roll have in common? What does a chainsaw wielding front man and lead singer capable of swooning every female patron with a simple smile have with rock and roll have in common? What other questions can I ask that compare stuff? Well...
Monday, July 14, 2014
As I mature gracefully into my little part of the mid-forties I am reminded constantly of bucket lists or at least a perceived need for one. It is with fascination that I look at the bucket lists of others, or is it with fear that I look at them? Think about the consequences of 5000 85 year old women skydiving at the same time, I shudder to think of the broken hips alone. Sure I could buy a '58 Corvette, or hike across Europe but that's too easy. My foray into that bucket list can only go through the world of music but I refuse to write anything that can be used against me. Wait what?
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Two hundred and thirty-eight years ago one of the most important documents in the history of the future United States of America was written bringing forth the great Nation and a country of people who love their freedoms. Since then the Fourth of July has become a massive celebration complete with fireworks rife with brilliant flashes and loud reports. Its fitting when you think of those fireworks and how two hundred thirty-eight years ago those flashes sounds were associated with cannon fire and muskets. Is the "birth of the Nation" and the freedom that we enjoy merely forgotten or noticed, or between the hot dogs and potato salad is there still that flame still flickering true?
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Namaste: "Is used as a respectful form of greeting, acknowledging and welcoming a relative, guest or stranger. It is used with good byes as well. It is typically spoken and simultaneously performed with palms touching gesture." Its an interesting word really, as mentioned above it has many meanings all of which lead to a spirituality that words from the English language really don't seem to have the same level of respect. Respect is of great import to cultures, clans and individuals for millennia. So?
Friday, June 20, 2014
Banjos and soirees go together like grape jelly and beef jerky scrambled eggs. Often we hear these wonderful recipes and we think "that could be interesting" but at times the concept is much greater than the finished project. Take it from a father who once had a child inspire his greatness using a chocolate chip pancake, maple flavored syrup, ketchup and whipped creme to the massive failure that was indeed the gnarliest looking concoction that ever came forth at three times the speed of sound. Come to think of it those eggs might grow on you...
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Nationwide music programs are under the proverbial chopping block with a neatly sharpened blade and the the executioner is getting bored. Education itself is on the same chopping block with decidedly terrifying focus on lessening what is taught as well as how. Music programs stimulate the mind of the children participating and therefore helping those students become even better students. Sadly with the focus of many schools not supporting music programs it is the students that suffer and at the same time allowing a justification of why that program should be cut. Living in the community in which I do it can be said that...
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Growing up in the '80's had a profound effect on my little slice of heaven. Without crawling back down Memory Lane (no seriously I did that once) or "memory lane" the time I could spend talking about sports, politics, world events, hopes, dreams, crushes and school will be reserved to the annals pf the thing I remember the most: Music. When I was a "wee lad" we didn't have MTV (no I'm not breaking into a "When I was a kid" moment) because the cable company didn't provide it to. When we would work our way to the town many of my cousins lived I was able to watch it despite the fact that the town in which they lived was smaller. That was actually very important to me, why you ask? Well...
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
The community in which I live has gone through astronomic changes in the 28 years since I graduated but I the largest changes have been in the educational system. Twenty eight years is a span that most would assume that the education of a community should change in some fashion and within my community those changes have been for the best. I'm from a community that had between 90 - 100 students graduate every year all of the way into the '90's but recently those numbers have significantly dropped. With the aforementioned drop-off in enrollment numbers it is easy to assume that many programs would have been cut and forgotten but in this case...