Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hey, check out this great compilation of foods and herbs/spices that all have strong cancer-fighting properties:

I wish I had more time to fluch out this post - I'll just try to highlight a few events from recent days:
1. Yay! I'm at work. Why am I happy? Because I have a goddamned job and it ain't so bad.
2. the kids have been cracking me up lately, although Henry has been waging an all-out war against the Christmas tree and train. I think I've used more superglue in the last week than I have all of 2010.
3. I used superglue to fix my torn thumbnail - torn from hastily ripping open a package of Christmas cookies. Bad? Good? Will the superglue give me cancer? I hope not, but I read somewhere that the medical product known as Second Skin, for burns, is basically superglue, so I'm at least happy to not have a chunk of the center of my thumbnail missing.
4. It's my Friday and I'll leave work early if I want to! Because I can.
5. No gigs or practice this weekend, but I'm looking forward to singing a secret song at the Guilty Pleasures event hosted by Dave Snider at Sam Bond's on January 8th. I can't tell you which song I'm doing, but you are going to flip when you hear it. Straight outa 1970's classic easy-rock hit radio, you are going to love my rendition of ________________ by ___ __________!
Okay, enough is enough. I must log out now and go live life. May the force be with you until next time.


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Here's a pic of me and the boys playing at Sam Bond's last Friday as the closing act for Hot Drama's cd release. We had a great time, although our set was a little on the sloppy side - I guess that's what happens when you have to wait all night until your slot comes up, killing time by drinking too many beers (at least that was my case.) I think I've finally figured out at this stage of my life that music, for me, is not about wowing the fans with perfection but rather the joy of playing music, period. I try to always have fun at any show I'm lucky enough to be a part of because life is too short to worry about miserable shit, like missed notes or dropped breaks or sorry-ass solos that don't really go anywhere. Every night is different, just like going to work - every day is different with the same old shit, so why not enjoy?
I guess the converse side of that mode of thinking is that if you are too comfortable with life and several layers of your illusions have been stripped away from decades of living, you kind of lose that youthful ambition and drive that propels so many musicians and artists. What would Iggy pop have turned out like if he never became popular? Can you imagine him working in an office or selling you a used car? Or Jim Morrison, what if he'd gone through AA and became a volunteer at his local church pancake breakfast and drove his kids to school in a mini van? That's the story that no one wants to read - people much prefer our heroes to have sordid ups and downs, both in life and in the sack. Drugs, sex, violence, drunken misbehavior - these things contribute to our cultural mythology. Growing up, having the family and behaving nicely never seem to make it into the encyclopedia of rock, but I think there are a lot of us in that camp - maybe tens of thousands more of us than any occurrence of a Jim Morrison or an Iggy Pop or a Rick James. I guess that is why legends are legends - because a legend is a story that doesn't seem to happen in everyday life.
But life is so damn good, who's complaining? Fuck politics, war and negative thinking - up with coffee, family, vans, guitars, sex, wine, food, music and friends. That is the stuff I live for ;)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Start this post with a little shot of some of my favorite NY R n R - Dick Manitoba's Wild Kingdom featuring Dick and Ross the Boss from the Dictators. Shitty quality, I know, but at least the guitar cuts through.
Nothing to complain about in my sphere. I've been doing the regular life-thing - working as little as possible (too much for my taste but grateful to be employed), spending time with the kids, who are super-cute at this stage ( 11 mos, 3 years and 18 years), missing tina as she has been working a ton at her new job, bartending at Cafe Lucky Noodle and, of course, playing gigs with the Underlings, though at a somewhat slowed rate compared to our previous 3 years. In fact, we're playing at Sam Bond's Garage on Friday night with Tom Heinl and Hot Drama, so come down and kcik it with us for a beer or two if you have the guts to do so.
The holidays are upon us and I'm looking forward to taking a few days off near the end of the month. I'm always too broke to spoil the kids the way my parents spoilt me - does anyone else here remember remember waking up to massive piles of amazing presents and goodies, just joyful Christmas-anarchy-orgy-style? I can't for the life of me imagine throwing down enough money during the month of December to pull that off. Maybe I just have a habit of not thinking on a large scale, but I think mainly my family had more money when I was a kid and then they must have spent if all on Christmas because I think all the family money is gone now. Oh well, I have enough to buy some beer, champagne, some free-range wildebeast and at least get some pretty good stuff for the young'ns . P.S. Santa if you are reading I could really use a cool 1970's Chevy van with a Playboy Bunny bubble window and shag carpet inside, thank you very much, even though I probably haven't been good enough to deserve it.
I'm looking forward to possibly seeing my bro, Boner this weekend when he and his throat come through Eugene/Springfield. Otherwise, I will write at you all later. Happy end of the year to you all.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Too many inputs. Too much stimulation. When I log on to my computer and take in my view of the world on a computer screen, I forget that I am neglecting a real, physical world that is just outside my office door. People are real, friends are real, even if they live in another time. I spend a considerable amount of time with my friends from the past, re-living moments that happened then but still feel current to me. Does anyone else feel this way?
When I write, “too many inputs“, I mean there is just too much information passing into my eyes and ears. I’m sure that anyone who has lived awhile has the perception that in the past, i.e., “the good old days “, things were simpler as well as more wholesome and meaningful. Letters came in paper form and contained thoughts or conversation between friends. Punctuation was used. Music was something that you had to seek out – it didn’t pound you into submission at every click – and when you found music that you could relate to, it was like making another friend, an ally in the world against the injustice of mediocre, over-packaged art forms. Movies were an experience that entailed going to a theater and mixing with the rest of the local population. Now, we have the means to watch a movie anywhere on a 2”X 3” screen and we act like this is a good thing. All I can think of is: poor kids these days. They’re getting it all but at what cost?

Prepare for grumpy old man rant! I guess I’ve just been thinking lately about mortality and the meaning of life (or the lack thereof). It is easy to get into the bubble of your own little world and think everything is fine, plans are being laid, things to do, places to see, but all it takes is the passing away of a friend or two to remind you that this here life situation isn’t a permanent state of affairs. You know the quote, “Live every day like it’s your last and one day you’ll be right”? I guess this guy said it. I try to remember to take it light and rejoice in my family, friends and the people I like and maybe think a little less about politics, war, murder and bullshit and people and things that make me ill. I still have visions that one day, I will be able to force my version of Utopia upon humanity, but until then, I’ll just continue to practice being a better hedonist.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Well, damn it, another friend has died. Joe Brooks, a friend to many, a well-respected man in these parts, has died, leaving behind a grieving family and many saddened friends. Joe was like family in a way, since he was married to my former wife, Spirit and he was the step-father of my son Cosmo. His death has hit his family hardest of all, and my thoughts go out to Spirit, Cosmo and Joe’s daughter Fiona. He died suddenly while running a 5k footrace in Elijah Bristow Park, not far from where the Brooks family lived in Dexter. The death has been ruled as being a massive heart attack. This really sucks.
I first met Joe in 1995, when I auditioned for his band Billy Jack – he was the drummer for those who don’t know, and he was also the driving force behind the band, booking shows and doing most of the managerial duties. He was a committed bandmate and a great guy, a true hard worker in the local music scene in the 80’s and 90’s. Billy Jack was a fun experience for me, even the part where I was kicked out of the band – another valuable life lesson. Joe and I remained friends. Spirit and I had dinner with him and Vanessa when they were still a couple. Eventually, things went the way things go, Spirit and I broke up and then she later got together with Joe. They made a great couple and we got along well for the most part. I always had the highest respect for Joe and was ultimately grateful that it was him that ended up being the step-dad of Cosmo. I knew he was a good guy with his head on straight and a good work ethic – not to mention a big heart. I knew he would be a good role model for my kid as well as his own, and he indeed was. I don’t think we will truly know the loss of Joe for quite awhile – he affected so many people in a positive way and was a pillar for his family. This really sucks, but thank you Joe Brooks, just for being here on planet earth with us for the time you were. Your memory and deeds will live on.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Okay, this is my first post in a few months. It’s kind of funny to have an old (nearly dead) blog. I’ve been doing most of my internet-sharing on facebook and I still lurk on myspace a little bit, but I like checking in to my few friend’s blogs to see if they are still active. Dan Jones of course always stays relatively busy and posts a lot of his comings and goings on his blog. Justin Hrabe, the hub blog of many of my old-time friends, always has a good combination of music and musings on world affairs and Central-North -American living.
Me, I’ve been living the good life, mostly in Eugene, but I did manage to get out of town a couple times this summer + I got to go to the river at least twice during our all-too-brief sunny days. Back in August, I made a list of things I wanted to blog about . It read like this:
1. Louis has been harvesting green beans
2. Carl has (leg) cancer
3. We’re going to the (county) fair
4. Summer Vaca – we went to LA
5. Went back to work
6. I turned 40 and had a big party at Sam Bond’s
7. Boner had a throat lump (removed, successfully)
Boner – or Brian – I’ll start with a shout out to you. You are the one friend that reminds me to update this blog and we always have entertaining exchanges on Justin’s blog comments; I’ve got to say, I’m glad you survived your throat lump removal and follow-up treatment. Now, just go buy yourself a new bass and start practicing for the 2012 Garden Weasel reunion tour.
This year, I’ve had a few friends stricken with the dread cancer. 3 out of 4 have a pretty good prognosis – good odds of recovery with treatment and lifestyle adjustment. Brian, Slayer Carl and Robin, you are the lucky ones. One friend wasn’t so lucky and passed more quickly than any of us expected – talking here now about my old Humboldt buddy Tom McConnel, a great guy and a serious music fan whom I worked with at cafĂ© marina in Eureka back in 1990/1991. Tom and I used to shoot the shit while working behind the scenes with grumpy cooks and harried waitresses , me washing dishes and him up on the cooking line. His manner was ultimately NorCal – a slight surfer inflection in his speech, a cynical sense of humor that shielded his sensitive, poets-heart from the barrage of insensitivity and bullshit that he had to endure on a daily basis. Tom loved Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Johnny Cash and the Descendents and we always had a laugh about Henry Rollins and GG Allin, two people that we admired as well as loathed at the time. Tom liked to drink and it was most certainly a necessity in his life just to endure. He used to shake so bad in the mornings that I do believe he was one of those that needed a beer before his coffee on certain days. Harsh, but for all I dish about my late friend’s habits, he was a lovable imp.
Years after I had moved from Humboldt county, Tom would call me up at all hours of the night, drunk off his ass, and berate me for being such a straight little wiener-boy, or for being married, or for having bad taste in music or whatever; I would almost always pick up the call and just banter with him, even if I would have been better off sleeping. He was just funny as hell and I loved it.
In more recent years, we still kept in touch via email and then facebook, but I learned that he had stopped drinking years ago due to a bad liver diagnosis. He was still the same, cynical cat. Most recently, I defaced an old Flipside magazine I had by cutting out a picture of GG Allin’s head and pasting it into a Christmas card for Tom with the words, “ Merry Fuckin’ Christmas you Scumfuc.” ( a term of endearment ). I hope he enjoyed it.
It seemed like soon after that, he started to have major problems with his guts – something about cysts and operations and procedures. Tom was in touch less and less and horribly, after enduring 3 or 4 operations and prolonged healing sessions, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was pissed, I think because he was just about to get a clean bill of health and here had an even worse diagnosis. The cancer was already advanced and doctors gave him a year to live. I expected him to last that long and hoped that I could visit him at least once before the end of all things but he ended up dying earlier than expected – about 3 weeks ago. I feel most for his parents, who took care of him until the end. According to some of my facebook friends, he didn’t want a funeral or service. Tom died quietly and now he has disappeared from our lives. Sucks, don’t it? I miss ya Tom, and even though we hadn’t seen each other for years, you were one of my favorite personalities. I’ve worked with a lot of folks, but your combination of sweetness and cynicism was unique to you, and I’m glad I knew ya.
The rest of my scheduled topics will continue next week. Have a nice day, stay healthy and party ‘til the world obeys,


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Thursday, April 01, 2010

I only tend to blog when I have something to write about, which I suppose is better than going on and on about nothing. I enjoy the fact that the blog world seems a little more anonymous in this day and age, due to the popularity of the social network interacting that most internetizens are doing these days. It's nice to know that the pressure is off of bloggers - almost no one gives a shit and that is almost freeing in a way, 'cause writers like me don't have to be as concerned about our grammar or spelling anymore.
One blog I check in with at least once a week is, of course, Mustard Relics. I dig the way my friend Justin peels back the layers of his psyche like an onion and then throws in some choice, usually unheard-of music to boot. Check it out if you're game.
I decided to check out two bands I knew nothing about last night - Dead Meadow and Imaad Wasif. I've heard a few different friends mention Dead Meadow over the last couple of years and I knew they were heavy, Sabbath-esque psychedelic rock. I mainly just wanted to see something out of normal attention-range. I ended up digging Imaad Wasif more - a very slight and skinny dude with big hair, he reminded me of the guitarist from Mars Volta - very able-bodied, almost multi-cultural hard rock guitar. He finger-picked a lot, which provided some nice textures within the heavy psyche-rock mysticism of his songwriting style. He had an ace rhythm section of a bassist and drummer that looked hairy and sounded solid. I might listen to Imaad Wasif in the future. Dead Meadow I could tell had a strong vibe and were a very solid-sounding band, long and heavy song arrangements with sometimes Sabbathy riffs. Too many guitar solos, but I could tell that the kids at the WOW hall were diggin' it hardcore. I'm not really a patient enough music fan - I tend to value short, concise songs with interesting structures more than long, drawn-out drone rawk. After 1/2 and hour, I was ready to go home, but I took some pictures to share with you all:

Imaad Wasif and band

Dead Meadow, rockin' it at WOW hall

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Underlings' record release party went off without a hitch on Saturday. I have to say, I was blown away by the amount of cool friends, old and new, who showed up to support us. Yoyodyne from Portland and Dan Jones' new band, the Golden Motors, rocked the house and provided a great rock 'n pop soundbed for the evening of fun. My friend Eric took the above pic, which pretty much sums up the night - it was a whirl and over all-too-quickly. We sold all the records that we brought to the show that night - about 30, give or take. Once in awhile, Rock and Roll wins over apathy.