Sunday, December 13, 2009

Something, Something, Something Dark Side

Just thought I'd see if this works. Who knows since it's my first time trying to embed something. Anyway, I love The Family Guy and I love Star Wars so it stands to reason that I would like their take on it. I hope this works.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Been a long time.......

Well, I haven't done much posting at all for a myriad of reasons but it's high time I got back on the horse and started writing again. So with a (hopefully) renewed vigor here goes. Last night my friends band Rant played again at the Dragons Lair in Tulsa. What made it different this time was that there was a guy there doing a webcast of the show. Head on over to this link’s-Lair-11-21-09/ and you'll see what it was like. There were 3 bands and Rant played first and were on for over an hour. Skip ahead to about 12:20 and they start playing. The show was filled with technical difficulties (like a broken bass string if you can imagine) but they soldiered on and had fun. See if you can pick out the few cover songs that they did. The next band was screamo and nothing against them but it's just not my cup of tea. The music was good but I just can't handle those vocals. I didn't stick around for the 3rd band since I had to get up and teach Sunday School the next day but you can see for yourself what they were like. A word of warning, there is some adult language used by the singer/guitarist in his stage patter. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

And now for Journey

Now here's some shots of Journey, I wasn't very close, the zoom on my camera is just really good! I went with my wife and met 4 people that I work with and then afterwards saw my best friends wife and daughter. His wife said Arnel is even better this year than he was last year since he's more confidant and sure of himself and this rock star stuff isn't brand new to him anymore either.

Journey and Night Ranger 8/5/09

Journey and opening act Night Ranger rocked the BOK Center last night in Tulsa. This marked the 3rd time I have seen Journey (and the 3rd singer I've seen them with to boot) and the 2nd time I've seen Night Ranger. It was a treat to hear Arnel Pineda singing and to watch the show he put on. He was a whirling dervish of energy throughout the night. Here's 5 shots from Night Ranger:

Friday, July 17, 2009

Why the long delay?

It's been a long time but I do have some good reasons for not posting. Of course I won't say right now what they are but perhaps later I'll be able to explain why I haven't been around. Too much drama and not enough time in my life is the easy way to get around it for now.

I'll be going to see Journey and Night Ranger next month and will have a concert review and if I'm lucky I'll also get to see Billy Squier the following night. I've skipped some shows that I really wanted to see but in the end I feel it's for the best. Since it's after 4AM I'm heading off to bed for now.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Music happenings in Tulsa

Wow, I can't believe how much time has passed since I last posted. I've started several stories but just haven't felt satisfied with them and I need to go back and re-do them. The problem is finding the time to do so. Since I have a few minutes I thought I'd post a few musical happenings.

First up is my friends band Rant. They are playing their 3rd show this Saturday at the Dragons Lair which is on 11th street between Sheridan and Harvard. You might say they are in their musical residency there. Once they've done a few more shows (and recorded a demo) perhaps they can start getting a few more gigs in other clubs. If you're in the area you should check them out. They flat out rock and there isn't any other band around that I know of that sounds like them. That's a good thing.

In March I had posted about a street punk band called Street Dogs whom I like very much that were going to be playing in Oklahoma City. Well the day before the show I got a speeding ticket and the day of I felt like crap and ended up not making the drive. I felt pretty crummy about missing the chance to see them and The Righs who were opening up but such goes life. Well now I've been given a reprieve. Street Dogs are playing at The Marquee in Tulsa on Thursday May 21st and I will be at this show. Expect some good old street punk music with a Celtic angle and expect to have a good time. I know I will.

July brings us Dfest (diversity) and they've got some great bands lined up. It's held July 24th-25th and this year the headliner will be The Black Crows. Some of the other groups playing will we Ozomatli, Gogel Bordello, Dub Trio, Citizen Cope, Blue October and a ton more. Go to for more info. There'll be a lot of local bands there and I'm thinking ahead to next year to see if Rant can get on the bill. The group I most want to see and never thought would come to Tulsa is Ozomatli. In their own words their music is "a notorious urban-Latino-and-beyond collision of hip hop and salsa, dancehall and cumbia, samba and funk, merengue and comparsa, East LA R&B and New Orleans second line, Jamaican ragga and Indian raga-- has long followed a key mantra: it will take you around the world by taking you around L.A." All I know is I like them a lot and will be there and so should you.

Aerosmith and ZZ Top will be at the BOK in July as well but I've seen both of them in their prime so I won't be going to this one.

In August it seems like it's the busy month to be especially if you like 80s music. I'm hearing that on August 5th Journey will be playing at the BOK. No word on an opening act but really, does it matter? I've seen them with Steve Perry and Steve Augieri singing and now I get to hear them with Arnel Pineda. The very next day Billy Squier will be at the River Spirit casino and I have to find a way to see both of these shows. It must happen. Rod Stewart is playing at the BOK, The Steve Miller band will be at the The SpiritBank Event Center just south of Tulsa in the suburb of Bixby. Def Leppard, Poison and Cheap Trick will be at the BOK closer to the end of the month.

I'm sure there will be more good music coming our way, I've heard that Slaid Cleaves is coming in December and that Blue Oyster Cult will be at the Tulsa State Fair so I've got that to look forward to. Don't know anything about any of the bands I've mentioned? Just leave a comment or look them up on the web. Maybe we'll see each other at some of these shows. Now if only the Judas Priest/Whitesnake and the Blondie/Pat Benatar tours would stop in town as well. Then there's always Devo and.......I could keep going on for hours about this but since i have to get up tomorrow and cut the grass I guess I'll just go to bed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Top 10 Hair Metal Tracks from Stuck In The 80s

Sean and Steve from over at the Stuck In The 80s podcast just did a hair metal show which really seemed like it would never happen. You see Steve is known for not liking very much hair metal at all but he finally succumbed to overwhelming fan pressure (and maybe Sean's hover dance) and gave us what we want. I thought I'd comment on their choices but I want to let it be known that I understand that these are their personal choices and that mine might differ. Being different doesn't make it wrong. So here we go.

First off I need to say that their definition of what they were looking at for hair metal and some of what they chose were a bit contradictory. They wanted the L.A. Sunset Strip, West Hollywood vibe which means that Poison, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, AC/DC and Metallica do not fit in their category. Now I never considered Bon Jovi to be hair metal myself. They were close but not quite there musically. I'd put them down as a hard rock/melodic band. Ac/DC and Metallica really don't need any comments as there is no way you can consider either of them to be hair metal. Metallica was thrash and AC/DC is/was hard rock bordering on metal, but not hair metal at all. Def Leppard are very close but have changed styles many times over the years. When tehy started out I would say that they were metal but then morphed into a hard rock band and then into a slick, poppy rock band. Lastly we have Poison. To me they are the epitome of hair metal however many people state that they were not a true Sunset Sunset Strip kind of band so I guess I can see their point. You'll see what I mean as we go along.

First we have Sean's top 5:

1. Motley Crue "Same Old Situation" This is not even close to my favorite but then again it's not my list is it? Motley are clearly in the criteria listed above and are one of the most well known bands from the era.

2. Twisted Sister "I Wanna Rock" No problems with the song but Twisted Sister are definately not a Sunset Strip sounding band.

3. Skid Row "Youth Gone Wild" Another East Coast band that doesn't seem to match the criteria but it is a great song. Sebastian Bach can really whail but he's become almost as much of a reality show whore as Bret Michaels.

4. Cinderella "Don't Know What You've Got (Til' It's Gone)" Another band that didn't have the prerequisite sound, theirs was more of a bluesy metal type. They were from Philly but in order to get their dream the label made them get rid of their drummer and guitarist. IN recent years vocalist Tom Kiefer has had numerous throat problems which has held the band back from touring.

5. Ratt "Lay It Down" Great song from a great L.A. band. I saw them at Rocklahoma 2007 and vocalist Steven Pearcy sounded horrible but supposedly he sounds better now. The band sounded amazing.

Now we have Steve's top 5:

1. Motley Crue "Home Sweet Home" No complaints here. One of the best hair metal ballads out there.

2. Vixen "Edge Of A Broken Heart" I liked this song at the time it came out. The idea of attractive females who could really play their instruments was an exciting one. Hey, I was young and horny, forgive me. The band of course imploded and now has regrouped with one original member.

3. Whitesnake "Here I Go Again" A British band that doesn't seem to meet the criteria but really they were the definition of hair metal in the mid to late 80s. It was mentioned on the podcast that there was a different version of this song on their greatest hits release. It was horrible to say the least. Most of the guitar was taken out and replaced by even more cheesy synthesizers. I recommend you stay away from it.

4. Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford "If I Close My Eyes Forever" This ballad partially meets the criteria and was a huge hit for this unique pair. Ozzy did go kind of glam in the 80s and Lita definintely was hair metal. She came out of retirement last year for Rocklahoma and is now toruing again. Ozzy recently put out a very good cd titled "Black Rain" but his tv career has severely hurt his legacy.

5. Kiss "Lick It Up" I completely agree with the inclusion of this song. I was never much of a fan of Kiss but after they took off the makeup (and put on a different kind) they went hair metal in a big way. I can remember getting this cassette and then driving to a regional fraternity meeting (think Animal House in Oklahoma) in Oklahoma City with 3 of my pledge class brothers. We played this song almost the entire way down there. I'm actually surprised we didn't break the rewind button.

Sean also mentioned on the podcast that so-called country artist Carrie Underwood likes to do cover versions of hair metal songs. Now I've heard several of them and while she isn't as bad as Celine Dion I have to say I don't care for her cover attempts at all. It's her Pat Boone like vocal cleansing in her delivery that just turns me off musically. I can only hope and pray that she'll stop soon. There was also a discussion about female metal and Steve posed the question of whether Joan Jett could be included as hair metal and I have to emphatically say NO to that! In my opinion Joan Jett's music is more of a bar rock but it isn't metallic at all, not even light metal. So there is my review and added comments. Take them for what you will and remember it's just my opinion. Don't get worked up over it.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Where's the summer concert listings?

So far this year I've noticed an alarming trend. There have been virtually no concert listings for the summer for either Tulsa or Oklahoma City. I mean sure there are a few for the BOK Center but overall it's been extremely dry. I have been going to websites of venues on a daily basis but unfortunately have been coming up empty and disappointed. At this time last year venues like the Zoo Ampitheater, Frontier City (both outdoor venues), Cains Ballroom and a few others had enough listed to make it possible to check out your options and have a plan of action. Of course there will always be shows added at a later date as tours come around and bands want to pick up some extra cash on a side day. Zoo Ampitheater just put on a teaser on their site about 2 days ago which wasn't much of a teaser at all since both bands (REO Speedwagon and Styx) had already announced the show on their websites. Frontier City has 5 very lame shows announced about a week ago which equal an absolute zero on my concert going scale. Cains Ballroom has 7 shows listed for May and 1 for June and absolutely nothing after that. What about the (overpriced) Brady Theater you say? There's nobody listed past May 4th and lately they've had more comedians than music groups. There is a new venue in Tulsa called The Flytrap Music Hall that offers lower level groups for a pretty good price but they only have 2 listed for May and 3 for June.

Last year at this time I had already seen several shows and was making plans for others (which almost all fell through for a myriad of reasons) throughout the summer but this year it's just not there. One thing holding me back is that I am very picky on who I will spend my money on. As tickets prices keep escalating at an alarming pace I find that I am not willing to spend money, that I usually have to work overtime to get, on a group I am only slightly interested in. I made a deal with my wife that if I go to a show I won't take money away from the house, bills, etc but will instead work extra hours for it. Since we also have an (almost) 2 year old that also limits us in traveling very far for a show. We don't have any family out here that we could leave our son with overnight to travel to Dallas or Kansas City so that limits us even more. There are some good friends that we trust but he'd have to be willing to stay with them and I don't see that happening right now. So within my limitations I try to plan for a few good shows for the year. So far I've only seen AC/DC and should be going to OKC to see Street Dogs on the 20th but after that I really don't know when the next show will be. Devo is playing a one off show in Dallas next week but it's too far and too short of notice for that to happen. That's too bad because they are at the top of my concert wish list. It's been rather bleak so far but I can only hope for better things as the year goes on. Perhaps the casinos will get some good shows or who knows, maybe Rocklahoma won't suck as bad as last year and I can go to a day or 2. Stranger things have happened.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What happened to the time?

Wow, another month has gone and all I got done was 2 whole posts. I have started several others but I just never seem to have the time I need to work on them properly. My 22 month old son takes up most of my time during the day and then it's off to work. Occasionally I can work on a story during my break time but lately those opportunities seem to be drying up as I am constantly bombarded with questions from our newer employees. That's what you get when you're a supervisor though, it comes with the territory. I just need to make a better effort and concentrate more no matter how easy it is to lose focus and believe me, I can lose focus like a world champion. One thing I have decided to do is to make a serious effort to learn to play the guitar. My son seems very musically inclined and I want him to grow up in an atmosphere where music is being played so that it will be normal and natural for him if he wants to pursue it. An added benefit will be that perhaps in year or so I will have the ability to come up with some rough melodies or licks that I can framework some of the lyrics that I write for my friends band when I feel they don't exactly fit their style of music. Then I can see better where the song needs to go. Anyway, big dreams but the only way to do it is to just do it and see what happens, otherwise you'll only look back and wish that you'd done something and I've done that enough in my life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Metallica: The Untold Story or My Version of the Story

The time has finally come to talk about the megaforce that is Metallica. This is a topic that I’ve thought a great deal about and now am ready to share with the world, okay my friends, okay really nobody is reading this but it’s alright. Let’s just say I’m sharing it with myself and call it even okay? Last year Metallica released their album “Death Magnetic” and to be honest I was skeptic about it before even hearing it. For a very long period of time I was unable to listen to any of their songs which was tough when you consider that the local “rock” station where I was living had a Mandatory Metallica bit on Tuesdays and generally played them about every 15 minutes.

I won’t pretend that I was a super fan from the very beginning, quite the opposite actually. I didn’t have anything against them but when they were young (and at their best) I just didn’t have much interest in thrash metal. No, my musical interests lay elsewhere although an occasional thrash song by the likes of Anthrax or Testament found its way into my music collection but that was the exception rather than the norm. However I was aware of them and their music and understood that their music was changing slightly as each album went by. Most people will note that on 1988 when “And Justice For All” came out that there was a larger shift in Metallica’s music mainly due to the song “One.” Three years later came the so called “Black Album” which shifted things even farther into the mainstream by going extremely radio friendly. The big sellout however didn’t come about until 1996 when they cut off their hair, started wearing designer clothes and released the album “Load.”

Don’t get me wrong, it was and is their right to do whatever they wish and to go into any musical direction that they deem to be appropriate and the last thing I would expect them to do is to still be playing the same style of music and wearing their black t-shirts and jeans when they were 50. But the honest truth is that the Metallica from 10 years previous would have beaten the crap out of this version of the band. “Load” was a total commercial sellout and the band responded with vigor by doing things they never would have done in the past. Their videos were constantly played on TRL and the band appeared on as many talk shows as they could. When that new attitude is coupled with the haircuts and designer clothes how can anyone say it wasn’t a conscious effort to soften the music and reach as many people as possible? The sad truth is that if they had just continued on with their gradual changes I think they still would have reached unbelievable levels of success without having had to resort to making the music suffer.

After this I think as they continued to try to write in this more commercial vein it became harder and harder for them to write relevant lyrics. They had already changed their lyrical style once which was an attempt to compensate for the fact that James Hetfield could no longer write from the same place anymore as the band had reached a comfort level professionally. Gone were the songs with political opinions and social observations and now the writing became more personal and fueled by anger. By the time the dreadful “Reload” album came out it was clear that writing was becoming exceedingly difficult. The songs on the album were written during the “Load” sessions but were deemed to be average by the band so instead they worked on them and polished them up as much as possible before releasing the album. After that they re-released previous music and did a cover album and their symphonic release which was older material performed with an orchestra.

To me this points towards the fact that they were having difficulty coming up with songs period. If you were a young and hungry band (both physically and musically) and now you’re in a situation where you have some success and things are comfortable you just can’t write from the same place anymore. Most fans wouldn’t believe you when you try to write the same things when they know you don’t have it rough anymore. So they changed their style. Then when you have the commercial sellout that occurred and you have so much money that you’ll never have to worry about anything in your life ever again how do you write with anger? How do you make your fans believe the words you write come truly from your emotions once you have everything you want? How can you still be angry?

It is my contention that they no longer could write music that way and were left wondering how could they move forward and continue as performers and still remain viable. I think they struggled with that and treaded water for as long as they could by re-hashing their old stuff. Finally in 2003 they released the huge steaming dump that was “St Anger” and billed it as a return to their old ways. A return of course that featured no guitar solos and horrible production sound which only proved that they were still struggling for a gimmick. It wasn’t until they released “Death Magnetic” in 2008 that the band really did return to their old ways by having a musical resurgence and put out music that not only sounded good but also sounded true. Coincidentally for this album they had switched from their long time producer Bob Rock and gone with Rick Rubin who injected some fresh blood into their sound.

It’s true that you can’t please everybody and there are still people griping about “Death Magnetic” most likely because some people want to complain no matter what. They complained because the band sold out and when they returned to what they loved and enjoyed these so called critics complained about that too. Truthfully you can never please those people and honestly you should never try. Metallica only needs to try to please themselves with their music and the rest will come automatically. At this point in their careers they don’t need to do anything else if they don’t feel like it. They’ve got the money and the awards and now I hope they have some happiness as well. As for me, I own a copy of “Death Magnetic” and look forward to their continued return to good music.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

More Random Thoughts

Well this is the first opportunity I've had to write anything for over a week now. Let's jsut say theere hasn't been a whole lot sleep coming my way and if my son is around when I get onto the computer he tries to take over.

First up is my take on UFC 94. I predicted 2 out of 4 winners but aS i said the most hyped fights generally do not live up to the hype and BJ Penn vs GSP was no different. GSP won albeit not without some controversy. GSP dominated BJ in a way no one has ever done before. Penn's vaunted jiu-jitsu skills seemed to disapear which was most unusual. Afterwards it was revealed that GSP's cornerman was seen rubbing and tapping his back and chest area after having put vaseline on his face before several rounds. This is a big violation as being greased down prohibits your opponent from being able to grab ahold of you. The biggest question is how much vaseline was used. Right now an appeal will be filed but I doubt anything will come of it other than perhaps another fight between these two warriors down the road.

It's looking like the only concert I'll make in the upcoming months is the Street Dogs in March unless I decide to break down and start listening to local radio in an attempt to win tickets or some other shows are announced for Tulsa.

I'm currently reading a book about Guns n' Roses called "Watch You Bleed: The Saga of Guns n' Roses." There have been a few errors or things mentioned as fact when they are the authors personal opinion but overall it's been a pretty good read. There's lots of info on the early days of the band and it shows how Axl Rose came to be the control freak that he is. More on this later.

That's all for now, I've got to get to bed so I can get up for church early in the morning and then it'll be off to work.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Random Thoughts

Well there is a really big sporting event this weekend and I'm not talking about the Super Bowl. No I'm talking about UFC 94 which has a main event of lightweight champ BJ Penn vs welterweight champ George St Pierre. In case you have no idea of what I'm talking about the UFC is the Ultimate Fighting Championships and is the premier mixed martial arts league in the states. Want more info than that? Try looking it up on the internet sluggo! Anyway, superfights routinely do not live up to the hype, it's just the nature of the beast and this one has been hyped up to maximum levels. However in this case I think it will live up to it. You have two athletes that when they are prepared and are on look unbeatable. On paper it appears to be a monstrous clash of champions and come tomorrow night we'll see if it transfers over to the actual fight. I'll go out on a limb and predict that BJ Penn will submit GSP in the 3rd round. As for some of the other fights, I see Lyoto Machida getting a decision over Thiago Silva, Nate Diaz submitting Clay Guida (Diaz always seems to find a way to win no matter what) and Jon Fitch over Akihiro Gono by TKO. Unfortunately I doubt I'll be able to watch the fights unless my dear beloved wife allows me to go visiting.

Upcoming concerts in Oklahoma:

1/31 Clinton - Ratt, Dokken and Warrant (too far away from me)

2/21 Red Rock - Flock of Seagulls (this is a maybe)

2/27 Newkirk - Rick Springfield & Mickey Thomas from Starship (doubtful)

3/20 OKC - Street Dogs - (definately will be going)

4/7 Tulsa - Bruce Springsteen (only if I work a lot of overtime for ticket money)

It's kind of strange that at this point of the year there haven't been many concerts announced for the next few uncoming months. Well, at least concerts I want to go to. Several places that do summer concerts haven't released any news for their schedules yet. Usually we already know who some of the first ones will be but so far no word. I will keep a diligant watch though.

I've heard rumors that Mexican rock group Mana ( will be coming to Dallas in June or July and I will be watching for news on this one as well. The wife wants to go in the worst way and since she's been so nice to let me go to concerts it's only right I reciprocate and take her to one she want's to see.
That's all for now folks.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Street Dogs - Real Boston Punk Rock

Recently I’ve been feeling like listening to some good street punk music. I started looking for my copy of "Do Or Die!" by the Dropkick Murphys but couldn’t find it so I jumped on the internet and started looking around. To my surprise I found that the original singer Mike McColgan was now in a band called Street Dogs and that they had put out several cds. I decided to give them a try and immediately started enjoying their music as soon I heard the first song and I've even been able to turn a few people on to to them. It was a surprise because Mike had left Dropkick Murphys after they released their first cd. He had always wanted to be like his uncle and become a Boston firefighter and the band knew this in advance. His number came up and he walked away with no regrets and the DMs recruited Al Barr from The Bruisers. For me though it just wasn’t the same without Mike and I drifted away from their music although history has shown that the band has had great success. After a few years though the music bug bit McColgan again and he started playing with Johnny Rioux and eventually they formed the band Street Dogs. He now no longer is with the Boston Fire Department and is giving music his full attention.

While researching about the band I was able to read a short interview that Mike had done and he was asked about his military service. Like me he had served in the first Gulf War. I have always had a habit of downplaying my role in the military and the war since I never saw combat nor had to fire my weapon however I was in Saudi Arabia for over six months and it did end up costing me something personal. In the interview Mike talked about his role in general and how just being there changed people. He never stated if he had seen combat or had to fire his weapon or just what his role was but it didn’t matter to me. He spoke the truth about how life changing it was and that resonated deeply with me to the point that I quickly banged out some lyrics for a new song about my own experiences in the war. Now I’ve been writing lyrics with my best friend Tom for a while and have had a hand in most of the lyrics for his band in some form or another but I’m unsure if they will ever do anything with this one. My mind was definitely occupied with punk music when I wrote the lyrics and that’s how I see this one coming out once music is married to the words and the thing is that Tom’s band is not punk. I'm unsure if their sound is what i want for these particular lyrics. Time will tell of course just what will happen with the song so i'll just be patient.

On a side note I went to Street Dogs website ( and through their links have found several other bands whose music I like such as Everybody Out!, TAT, Against Me and Death and Taxes. Even better, Street Dogs will be playing in Oklahoma City on March 20th at the Conservatory which is only about an hour and a half away and it only costs 10 bucks to get in! The wife has already been alerted and given her approval so I’ll be there more than likely solo barring any weird circumstances that pop up in the meantime. I’m certain to be one of the oldest people there but that’s okay as long as the music is loud and good which I know it will be. Just don’t expect me to get into the pit, I’ll only end up hurting or even worse embarrassing myself. Many thanks to Street Dogs for their music and in particular Mike McColgan for providing the impetus to make me rethink my role in the war and (hopefully) write some good lyrics about it. Hope to see you guys at the show in March.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Have you ever felt like you were Stuck In The 80s?

If you’re like me and you like knowing anything and everything about the 80s, then head over to which is the wonderful, immortal, stupendous, memory provoking home of my favorite blog and podcast, Stuck In The 80s. There you will find all things 80s. Steve Spears is the mastermind of this most enjoyable blog and Sean Daly is his co-host (and dare I say muse) for their (mostly) weekly podcast. They cover your (okay their) favorite 80s movies, music, actors, musicians, hangers on and so forth through their intrepid use of trivia and overall personal knowledge. They’ll tell you about the stuff you remember, the stuff you think you remember and the stuff you managed to block out for one reason or another. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to a podcast and heard them mention a song, musician or movie and had that little memory light bulb go off as I say out loud “Oh yeah” and then slip into flashback mode as I remember the lost treasures of my youth.
The podcast features the Mystery Movie Moment where you listen to a clip from an 80s movie and have to name the movie, as well as Name That 80s tune where you listen to a song clip from the 80s and you have to name the song and the artist. You used to be able to win fabulous gifts and prizes but now mostly you get to hear your name mentioned on the podcast, although they do keep threatening to send the winners autographed bags of Munchos. The podcast normally has the air of a great sausage hang but they do try to even it out with the occasional female guest host. Does this mean there are no male guest hosts? Don’t even dream it! While there are many great contributors both male and female I’ll go out on a limb and name Jeff in Cuba as my favorite so far. He’s got a ton of 80s knowledge, he’s in the military serving in Guantanamo Bay and he’s right because he’s Jeff In Cuba.
So head on over and hear Sean gripe about The Smiths, hear Steve get lost in thought as he thinks of The Vegas Girlfriend or hear both as they get Stuck In The 80s.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

AC/DC Tulsa Jan 26th, 2009 BOK Center

As it turned out the weather was not a factor tonight for AC/DC or their fans. While the weather was not great it seems like the worst of it missed the BOK Center and in all honesty the only way the show would not have gone on is if there had been a total blackout. Then again, with as much energy as the group and crowd provided that wouldn't have been much of a problem.

It was my first time seeing AC/DC in concert and I was not disapointed. One thing that stood out to me is how much Brian Johnson enjoys singing in front of a crowd. He put on a great show and showed that while the group might be getting up there in years they still have what it takes to perform at a high level.
All of the greatest hits were played as well as about 5 tracks off of their latest cd, Black Ice. While some might complain about so many new songs being played I salute the band for doing so. Far too many bands get stuck in the rut of playing perhaps one single new song and then all of their classic hits and at the expense of new music. Often songs can grow and change over a period of time but if they are never played live there is no chance for this growth. It also guarantees that very few fans will have a chance to connect with the new music.

In somewhat of an odd happening opening act The Answer only played for about 30 minutes however with some very good stage patter from singer Cormac Neeson and some blistering guitar work they managed to win over some new fans for themselves. It's too bad they didn't play longer but it was nice to seem them and hopefully bigger and better things are in store for them.

We'll see later today just how bad the weather will get but right now it doesn't matter one bit. I've managed to remove two bands that I wanted to see from my concert wish list and more importantly the number 1 band. It was a great concert and a joy to see it with my wife Connie and my best friend Tom and his wife Laura. It also brought some memories from back in the day when Tom, Laura and I would see concerts. Well worth the extremely expensive price if you ask me.

Monday, January 26, 2009

AC/DC tonight in Tulsa!

AC/DC is the number one band that I have never seen on my concert wish list however with some luck from the weather that will change tonight. They are scheduled to play at the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa along with opening act The Answer in what promises to be an exciting and LOUD concert. I 've had my very over-priced tickets for months now. The weather is a little bad but by all appearances will get worse as the evening goes on. The big question is if it will rival the big ice storm from December 2007. That was a devastating storm that had the power out all over the city and parts of the state and personally at my house it was out for 6 days. It's unclear if the worst of the storm will miss us but if it doesn't hopefully nothing bad will happen until after the show. I know that sounds a bit trite but hey, I've been waiting a long time to see AC/DC and I'm almost as excited to see The Answer, a fine Irish rock band that has it's roots in 70s and 80s hard rock. The best case scenario is that the weather dunderheads get it wrong (again) and the storm is nowhere close to being as bad as they say it can be. We'll find out in a few hours either way. As for now it's time to get cleaned up and then off to the library. More on this later...................

Monday, January 19, 2009

Random Thoughts

The Stone Gods Rock!

Right now I’m rocking out here at work to the Stone Gods “Silver Spoons & Broken Bones” cd and I do mean rocking out! There are some killer riffs and hooks on this cd. In case you asking yourself just who this band is it’s basically The Darkness without singer Justin Hawkins who quit to form the strangely moniquered band Hot Legs. They don’t miss him and his falsetto a bit and have gone to a heavier and rougher sound that suites them quite well. The only negative thing I can say at this time is the over-indulgence in cursing but in my experience that does seem to be a given with youngish rock bands from the U.K. All in all it’s a fine debut album that I look forward to listening to in greater detail soon.


Last night I watched a very good movie that I checked out from the library called “Outsourced.” Todd Anderson manages a customer call center in Seattle and is told that his company is outsourcing all of their calls to India. They send him there to train his replacement and he struggles with the culture shock and feelings of betrayal until he takes some friendly advice and learns about India and stops trying to do things the American way. By doing so he learns a lot about himself and even finds some romance along the way. Everything about this movie was well done. My wife thought this would be a full on “Bollywood” movie and was disappointed when she learned it wasn’t so she went to bed. Too bad for her because she missed a wonderfully written, directed and acted movie.

Blood In The Cage; Mixed Martial Arts, Pat Militich, and the Furious Rise of The UFC by L. Jon Wertheim

Let me tell you, I love mixed martial arts in general and submission grappling in particular so every chance I get to read about them I grab as quickly as possible. I believe I was the first person to request this book at my library and it’s been a fairly quick read. A lot of the information contained in the book about the history of mixed martial arts and the UFC I pretty much already knew. However what I didn’t really know about was the history of Pat Militich. I knew that he had fought in the earlier UFC events and had been the welterweight champion but I had no idea about his past and what made him into the man he is today. This part of the book was fascinating and inspirational to me. He went from a rough background, suffered through personal setbacks that many others would allow them to give up on life, yet still turned himself from an extremely poor, angry street fighter into a martial artist, an elite fighter, a champion and a trainer of champions. Pat Militich is to be commended for showing that sheer perseverance in the face of life’s difficulties can not only help to overcome them but can destroy them. Sure there are some nit-picky discrepancies about a few details bit overall this was a great read. I recommend it if you want to find out more information on mixed martial arts, The UFC and most definitely Pat Militich.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Heaven Help Us

This past Saturday I went into Big Lots to buy some cd sleeves and of course I had to stop at their little DVD section. For some reason I have no control over this, I always try to check it as quick as I can even though I know it’s extremely unlikely I will find anything I’m interested in. However on this day I was incredibly lucky. I found a little gem from 1985 called Heaven Help Us. Sure it featured Donald Sutherland and John Heard but the movie really focused on 80s favorites Andrew McCarthy, Mary Stuart Masterson and Kevin Dillon. In smaller roles are Patrick Dempsey, Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson), Dana Barron and Stephen Geoffreys. McCarthy, Masterson, Dillon, Dempsey and Smith all went on to bigger and better things and Barron has had a full career and still acts to this day. The most interesting person is Geoffreys. He seemed destined to have a brilliant career and had even been voted as one of the most promising young actors of 1985 (I believe). This was his first film released however in the same year he was in Fraternity Vacation and most notably Fright Night as Evil Ed. After this strong year he didn’t do very much for the rest of the decade and apparently started doing gay porn in the 90s. Only recently has he started acting in regular movies again. There has been some internet chatter that he never did porn but instead it was a brother that looks very similar to him who has done it. If so neither has ever tried to get this information corrected on , which is an in-depth database for movie, tv, etc.
information, or any other website for that matter. Personally, I have no interest in checking out any of these movies out to discover for myself if it is him. I’ll leave that to someone braver than me.

Back to the movie. It’s a coming of age story set in Brooklyn in 1965. McCarthy is a new student at a Catholic school whose grandmother has high hopes for him to be not only a priest but also eventually becoming the pope. Problem is he has no interest whatsoever in becoming a priest. Instead he’s figuring out what life is al about as he falls for Masterson’s character, a tough girl on the outside who drops out of school and is taking care of the soda shop while her father sinks farther into depression. She ends up being turned into city officials by the priests due to her protecting the students from being caught smoking and hanging out in the shop and is taken away by Children’s Services. Dillon is a wisecracking, somewhat dimwitted cool guy who talks a lot. He shows his true intelligence in his own areas of expertise by advising the other students on how to adjust their confessions so that they won’t get into more trouble. Gradually Dillon and McCarthy become friends with Dempsey, Geoffreys and Malcolm Danare who plays the intellectual Caesar. There is a side plot about a sadistic priest who dishes out corporal punishment in extremely brutal fashion that sets up the ending of the movie nicely. He pushes the boys to the breaking point and in turn gets punched by McCarthy (if you can believe that) and in a moment of polite justice gets transferred out of the school by Sutherland. The boys are suspended from school for 2 weeks much to their joy for their role in the beheading of a statue that led up to the physical confrontation and all is right with the world just like it always is in Hollywood.

Honestly this is not an award winning film but I found it quite enjoyable when I first saw it and still do today. It has held up well and the coming of age subject matter is always relevant no matter when you were born. Feel free to disagree but I for one like this movie a great deal and hey, it only cost three bucks. You can’t beat that in my book.