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Entries in music (10)


Bono's Back Botched My Birthday 

A couple months ago the wife bought me U2 tickets for their July 6th show at Soldier Field in Chicago. It was a very very early birthday present (July 3 for those who want to chopper-in some money to me as a present or what not).

I’ve never seen them live, but have wanted to for years!

To make it even better, my best friend and his wife in North Carolina bought tickets and plane flights to come rock-out with us.

I was stoked.

Then, this past week we learned Bono had back surgery and has since cancelled a huge number of U2’s tour venues through mid July while he recuperates. According to their website, they’ve been postponed to “2011 and more information will be provided soon.”

I learned of this through a text I got from my wife who had heard it through another text from a friend who had learned it from the interweb machine thingy. Two minutes later I got an email from Ticketrapster.

I respect the fact these guys have successfully revolutionized music the way they have for as long as they have.

But for shit sake…don’t you think Bono knew his fucking back hurt a teensy bit before he planned a world-wide tour? Didn’t you think he was all “oohh…owwwyy..umm….geezze..guys….I hate to rain on the parade here, but back kinda tweeks a bit yeah? Maybe I should see a doctor then we should plan our world tour eh?”

Celebrities do it all the time and bands are the worst. I understand they’re humans just like us. Bacteria pounds their immune system just as it does ours.

But we drain bank accounts, get boss approvals, and create elaborate babysitting rituals surrounding one single night of musical bliss! Essentially as parents we make the earth move to spend an evening seeing a band we love. And most times that can’t be replicated.

And so here we stand, skirt blown up, pantiless, embarrassed, and wondering what’s next?

I’d give anything to be able to live that like. I’d be all:

“Hey honey…listen…I ummm…my left pinky doesn’t seem to lift like it should when I drink from my wine glass, so I’m gonna need to go ahead and cancel all the bed time reading, baseball games, cooking, cleaning, grass mowing, and listening to stories from you for the next two months mmmmkaaay?

“I’ve rescheduled all those activities for 2011. Keep checking for an updated list of when I’ll be available to re-engage in those activities.

“But we can still have sex!! Right? Sweetie? Right?....”



Burn Bieber Burn!!! The Wife & I Discuss Justin Bieber

So yesterday I was minding my own business…trying to come up with a new “fantasy slam” for my Twitter bud @IeatMyKizSnack when all of a sudden I read a tweet from her saying she’s become a fan of Justin Bieber’s bullshit, musical foulness.

I’d laughed so many times at her anti-Bieber tweets -- her bashing of the young, innocent buck in his juvenile journey through stardom. And now, a mere 48 hours after one shit-stained performance on SNL and the lady I looked-up to as a refreshing rogue Twitter-gal had turned into a Bieber-lover. I was heartbroken.

I came home, slammed the door shut, threw my stuff on the ground like a spoiled teenage brat and said to the wife, “This Bieber shit’s gone too far!!”

Wife: “What the hell is a ‘Bieber’?”

Me:Justin Bieber!!! That two-bit hack of a human who’s this year’s poster-child for how incredibly horrific the music industry has become!”

Wife: “OK there geek music boy. Slow down, let me get you some beer and start over.”

Me: “No seriously, this prepubescent shit rolls up, makes some really horrific music on YouTube, wears his hat tilted to the left just so, and BAM! he’s got Simon Cowell wearing knee-pads and writing home to “mummy” about how he feels something “all tingly in me bits-n-pieces at night!”

Wife: “Wow…Oh shit, American Idol’s on right now. Hand me the remote!”

Me: “SEE!!! OK look, you know I love music more than anything, right?! Well…I mean, second to you…oh, and the kids…”

Wife: “Dear lord just finish…”

Me: “Just promise me you’ll never…NEVER play Justin Bieber or anything remotely shitty to our children without first running it by me? His lyrics are written for him, his ‘look’ is managed by an agent, his beats are produced by focus groups, and MTV probably owns 98% of everything he is. He represents everything that is wrong with music today!!”

Wife: “You really need to funnel your musical passion into something a bit more constructive!”

Me: “Just promise you’ll never play Justin Bieber or any other pop-bullshit to our children!”

Wife: “Your children may or may not have heard La Bouche the other day while I was taking them to school… I’m just sayin’!”

Me: “A piece of me just died.”

Wife: “I just want you to ‘Be My Lover.’”

Me: “I have to go see my therapist now. Just know that I’ll be talking about you.”

Wife: “OK honey. I’ll be asleep…so when you get home…have ‘Sweet Dreams!’”

Me: “Jackass…”



Why I'd Suck as a Figure Skater

Last night I turned the Olympics on and would you believe it—a couple dressed like my worst 80’s nightmare were throwing themselves around a circular sheet of ice to some of the world’s most awful music. I thought for a second the Russian Mafia had taken over American airways, but then I remembered – oh yeah, it’s prime time…of course NBC will play NOTHING but Winter Olympic figure skating.

Being the good American I am, I noticed I’d put the remote control down on my lap and immediately thought, “uuugh…it’s all the way down there. I don’t have the energy to reach way down there and pick up the remote to change the channel.” So I watched a couple of these talented, young, scary, boarder-line psychedelic athletes in their sport and was pretty damn amazed.

That shit takes talent. It takes years of practice, skill, balance, endurance, and a keen eye for horrific costumes. So then I thought…I could do that…until I saw the first twirling, leaping, landing of the skaters on ice. Then I thought – no…no I couldn’t.

And here are the top 10 reasons why I’d totally suck as a figure skater:

1) If you ever want to see me eat dirt or pavement faster than Octomom can find endorsements for birthing a country, just yell “ice” and I’ll hit the ground in a heartbeat.

2) Have you seen the crap these skaters wear? My partner would HATE me. We would be two minutes from having to perform and no one would be able to find me because I’d still be in front of a mirror making sure my “package” looked just right in tights for network TV.

3) The whole time they’re skating people are snapping pictures left and right. My ADD would kick-in something fierce and by the time I’d chased down just one of those shiny bright objects my partner would be a broken, bloody mess on ice.

4) I’ll admit it…I haven’t bought new clothes in quite a while. The wifey and our friends laugh at me because 90% of my clothes have at least one hole in them. But for shit-sake, I can still dress better than those bastards. Did you see the guy in the American couple? He looked like a mix between a pirate and Greg Brady. I rest my case.

5) I hate things on my feet. It’s taken me years to just master running, but skating? When I was 19 I went rollerblading with the wifey and being the stud-muffin I am, I only wore shorts…no shirt, pads, nothing. Within two minutes I was covered in blood, grass stains, mud, and shame. Twenty minutes later I was at Wal-Mart demanding a refund.

6) It would take me a year just to pick that one song…that perfect song for our skating performance. And I just know my partner would pick Wham! And then I’d have to call in a favor with Tonya Harding and the whole American figure skating world would be scarred yet again…

7) I’d try to be the NASCAR skater of the Olympics. I’d roll out on the ice with stickers all over me for sponsors that read: Jagermeister. Guinness. Legalize marijuana. Ford, cause our cars stop. Vegetarainism, cause beer is technically a meal.

8) I couldn’t for the life of me, meet a group of dudes, have them ask, “hey man, what do you do for a living?” and say, “Oh, I’m a figure skater! So…uh…how about the Bears this season huh?!”

9) My tourettes would totally fuck me up. I’d have to spend millions hiring a choreographer who could work head twitches, blinks, and other obscure body flailing into a routine that actually looked like something other than a fish out of water dying.

10) When I’d be sitting there on the bench, waiting for our score, after our performance, they’d never put a live camera on me…I’d be all, “that was fucking awesome. Holy shit we rocked that. Someone beer me!! Seriously – throw me a beer and tell the other teams to suck it cause they just got owned. Fuckin’ owned!!”

I’ll stick to running and trying to make sure I don’t bust my ass in the process.


It's All About the Music

Music has always played a huge part of my life.

I’ve always been jealous of people who could just instantaneously look back at life and remember specific moments.

My life has been defined by music. Every moment I store in my memory could not be recalled if it weren’t tied to a specific song. I could go years without hearing one song—then it plays, and I’m eight years old again, in a horrific blue van, with my mother and brother, on my way to swim practice, and I’m watching the world pass by outside, and all I can think about is I hope my dad is there to see me.

And now, one minute, I’ll be laughing with the family in the car, while compulsively hitting the “seek” button on the radio and on comes Aerosmith, “Angel,” and my entire body tingles remembering how that was the wifey and our “song” back in the day.

Or Violent Femmes “Blister in the Sun” will hit and I’ll instantly be 17 and laughing, laying in the wifey’s trampoline out-back of her mom’s house, teaching her the lyrics while chuckling inside knowing it’s a song about masturbation.

I’ll always remember how fucking rad I thought my Uncle was when he gave me Iron Maiden “Piece of Mind” for Christmas one year.

The walls in my room during my high school days were covered in 60s & 70s posters. Janis Joplin, The Beatles, The Who, Cat Stevens, and Bob Dylan.

When I was 11, our family had driven to New York City to be with my father’s family. My cousin, a few years older, handed me his Walkman. I’m pretty sure my ears came at least five times that day as I was introduced to Led Zeppelin for the very first time of my life. That night my god-father died and we drove from New York to South Carolina non-stop, while I listened to Led Zeppelin I, II, III, & IV which my cousin gave me cause he felt bad we were on our way to bury my mother’s brother.

The very first CD I owned was the double album Led Zeppelin “Song Remains the Same Live.” John Bonham will always, in my mind, go down in history as the best drummer ever.

The introduction of Led Zeppelin was an incredible breakthrough musically for me. One I’ll never forget. And, the only thing comparable, was in 1992. I’ll never forget, sitting at the kitchen table alone, watching MTV (back when they fucking played music) and Pearl Jam “Alive” came on. The spoon fell from my hand. I was mesmerized. I later said to my good friend at the time “it’s the sound I’ve been dying to hear!” I wrote “Pearl Jam Ten” on a sheet of paper after watching the video, and owned the cassette by the end of the day.

Pearl Jam is Pearl Jam these days, but for me…it knocked down the wall to my musical boundaries and I never looked back. I even grew my hair out to live the part!

I obsess over lyrics. I can hear the drum line of every song and see it like Rain Man counting tooth picks. I remember:

The girl I dreamt about in middle school finally noticed me and we started dating. And Phil Collins “Groovy Kind of Love” was our song.

I got laid off from my job and I blared Rage Against the Machine “Wake Up” on my headphones and walked a straight line down the Chicago sidewalk daring anyone to bump my arm, look at me wrong, or even smile.

On the way home to grab some stuff from our house after our son was born, I’ll never forget playing John Lennon “Beautiful Boy,” despite the fact I blame Yoko for everything evil on this planet.

The Beatles “Don’t Let Me Down”Cold War Kids “We Used To Vacation”Iron & Wine “Trapeze Swinger”Dave Matthews Band “Say Goodbye”Bare Naked Ladies “Blame It On Me”Train “Drops of Jupiter”Temple of the Dog “Hunger Strike”Van Morrison “And It Stoned Me” (which this link is to the Great Jerry Garcia, because I could find a damn original Van Morrison version and who better to cover than Jerry!)

I could do this for hours.

I play music as much as I can for the kids. I name the bands. I try to explain the lyrics. I pound out the drum line on my steering wheel, knee, couch….in the hopes they get an understanding. I play my guitar, I long to own a piano again, and the boy and I are nagging the wifey to let us own a drum kit.

For me – the easiest answer to, “so tell me about yourself,” will always be to hand that person a CD and slowly walk out.


Straddling the Line

It’s been just over a week since I lost my job.

I’ve woken up in the morning, helped get the kids ready for school and out the door. I’ve written blog posts. I’ve cranked-up my obsession with working out to a level to where I’m sure I’ll get injured soon.

I’ve been pissed as shit. I’ve been depressed. I’ve spent my time feeling helpless, letting distractions rule me, and occasionally fed-off bursts of incredible support and energy.

Yeah…right now, I feel like a victim and I’m not scared to say that. But it’s been nine days…and now I straddle that line.

On one side I can continue to slip…turn a blind-eye, wake up months from now with still nothing.

On the other, I can move on, flip my chin to what’s left behind, all while leaving small motivational bits and stories in my wake.

The way my son looks at me after everything he does makes me feel like a rock star. The way my daughter snuggles closer to me in the mornings when I crawl into bed with her to wake her makes my heart break. My family is my motivation. But pride, as a man, is my downfall. And my pride’s just been buried six-feet down and a tombstone reading “you were fired” has been slapped down forever marking my time on this orbiting rock.

But I won’t dwell. I won’t be gotten the best of.

I’ll never forget laying in bed with my wife in college, then after we first moved in, then after we had kids….and a million other times where I’ve said…. “I’m gonna make $1 million before I turn 30.” I’m 34 now.

But with time comes lessons, some learned harder than others. Risks – bring on a whole new meaning. Love – we could all write books about love. Family – it’s what defines you, and later, you find the pen in your hand with a wife and children eagerly looking at you to begin writing their chapters. Jobs – they’re the essential component in the glue holding everything together but it DOES NOT make you the person you are.

The loss of my job does not define me. It’s humbled me. It’s made stop dead. It’s made the musical soundtrack of my life adjust yet one more time. It’s made my vision of life, family, love, profession….change…..again.

When I was a kid I told myself I’d never be like my father. When I was 10, I told my brother the same. When I was a teenager, I told my future wife the same tale. When I was in college I wrote endlessly about it. When my first born entered our lives I journaled this continued promise vowing this transformation would never happen.

My current situation has me closer to being my father than I could have ever imagined I’d experience.

So I’m putting the gloves back on. The mouthpiece is back in. And I just glanced over my shoulder to see if my family showed up for their front row seats. And I can see them all lined up, leaning forward, looking at each other for reassurance, but throwing fake confidence my way. And I’m loving it…cause I’m about to cross back the fuck over and move on..far….far away from that dividing line…and fulfill a promise made long ago….to more than provide…but BE someone.

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