Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Flashback - The Go-Go's Call It A Day................

I had originally planned on showcasing a different band today but on Wednesday the news was out that the Go-Go's were going to break up for good this time and are planning a farewell tour called "Happily Ever After - The Farewell Tour." This is sad news for me as I have always liked their music for a long time but at least I was able to see them in 2000 in Cincinnati along with The Psychedelic Furs and The B-52s. The band formed in 1978 as a punk band who couldn't really play very well before morphing into a new wave/power pop sound once their lineup had settled. The rest is history. Hey, they used to know X so that's saying something.
Let's look back at a few of their songs.

We Got The Beat (Live) (from the album Beauty and the Beat in 1981) A top 40 song and a video that was in constant rotation on MTV.

Our Lips Are Sealed (from the album Beauty and the Beat in 1981) This song reached top 20 status in the U.S. and helped the album reach #2.

The Go-Go's - Our Lips Are Sealed
Uploaded by EMI_Music. - Explore more music videos.

Vacation (From the album Vacation in 1982) The album may have been rushed and a mixed result came from it but this song was top 10.

Head Over Heals (From the album Talk Show in 1984) A top 40 hit as was Turn To You but the band was becoming more pop and less power plus there were creative differences, personality conflicts and even drug problems which caused them to break up in 1985 after Jane Weidlin had left the group in October 1984.

Classic lineup:
Belinda Carlisle - vocals
Charlotte Caffey - guitar, keyboards
Jane Weidlin - guitar
Kathy Valentine - bass
Gina Schock - drums

Turn To You (From the album Talk Show in 1984)

Speeding (From the album Vacation in 1982) This was a b side off of Vacation but was featured in the movie Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

Unforgiven (From the album God Bless The Go-Go's in 2001) The only official video from this album.

The farewell tour features a scant 14 shows which is a bit underwhelming. I would have thought that they would do a longer tour since it's their last. Who know, maybe they'll get over whatever problems they are having in a few years and get back together yet again. They're coming as close to Dallas to me but it's doubtful I'll be able to make that trip. At least I can say that I have seen them.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Browns Rookie Free Agents....Will They Ever Confirm Them?

The Cleveland Browns are notorious for taking a long time to release the names of the rookie free agents that they have signed. They are also notorious for seemingly taking their time instead of targeting who they want and going after them immediately. Anyway, once they announce who they've "officially" signed I'll put up another post which will probably be my last on the team until at least the preseason starts. For now I am copying the following info from an article by Jeff Schudel from The Morning Journal somewhere in Northern Ohio. So if it's wrong blame him, not me. The players confirmed are:

Eryk Anders, a 6-1, 242-pound outside linebacker from Alabama.

He has some pass rushing ability, according to

Casey Bender, an offensive lineman from South Dakota State;

Chris Chancellor, a 5-9, 177-pound cornerback from Clemson who has been timed at 4.38 in the 40-yard dash. He ran a 4.49 at the Combine.

He started 44 games at corner, more than any other cornerback in Clemson history. He had nine career interceptions.

Jon Dempsey, a 6-1, 238-pound inside linebacker from Louisville, described as “the rock of the Louisville defense ... could get a look by an NFL team because of his tackling ability,” according the

Auston English, a 6-3, 252-pound defensive end from Oklahoma who projects to an outside linebacker in the NFL.

He was not invited to the scouting combine.

He posted a 35-inch vertical jump and a 4.76-40 yard dash at his pro day.

Daniel Howard, 6-2, 244-pound a defensive end from Texas Tech who also would be an outside linebacker in the NFL.

Joel Reinders, an offensive lineman from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario.

Troy Wagner, a 6-6, 260-pound tight end from Indiana with “good hands and a high motor,” according to the scouting report. He caught six passes for 76 yards and a touchdown as a senior.

Willie Walker, a 6-3, 252-pound defensive end from California (Pa.) was a first-team Little All-American.

Okay, so I've already corrected two errors about these players. What do you expect for free?

Monday, April 26, 2010

12 Inch Singles - The Replacements "Kiss Me On The Bus"

This is the next in the series of 12 inch singles that I bought on that fateful day in 1986. The Replacements are one of those underground bands that never reached massive popularity yet had a powerful influence on other people forming their own bands and putting out original music. "Kiss Me On The Bus" was on the album Tim that came out in 1985 and was the bands first major label release. It also was the last time that the original lineup was to record together as guitarist Bob Stinson was kicked out of the band shortly after the albums release. It received critical acclaim but had at best moderate commercial success. The band officially broke up in 1991 but by then Chris Mars and Bob Stinson were already out of the band.

Okay as a bonus here's the song from the same album that still gets played on college radio today, "Left Of The Dial." Just for fun because it's a great song.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Book Review - Men Who Stare At Goats by Jon Ronson

I am an avid reader. Normally before I even finish the book I'm reading I have at least another ready for to start on. Occasionally though I have difficulty getting into a book for one reason or another and that was the case with this one. Although I had seen the trailer for the movie based on the book I have to say that I didn't really know a great deal about it. When I started reading it I only managed about thirty pages in two days which isn't saying much since it's not a very large book at all. Whenever this happens I've learned to read the signs and deal with them accordingly. So I set it aside and didn't read anything for about four or five days. That shouldn't be read as an indictment about the quality of the writing in this book though. Sometimes I just need a break from reading whether it's to think about something that's been occupying my mind or to just shut off that part of my brain for a few days so that I can recharge my batteries. In this case I believe it was the latter.

For some reason I had pegged this book as a parody or satire on the subject of the U.S. Intelligence community using psychics to hopefully bring forth a new breed of soldiers called the First Earth Battalion that could make themselves invisible, walk through walls and even.....kill goats by staring at them. On the surface it just seems to be so ridiculous. The more I read though the more I had the nagging feeling that this was not a satire at all. So I jumped online and started Googling names that were mentioned and found that all of them were not only real but so was the story. This is a tale of how far out there a government is willing to go in order to get an edge on their adversaries as well as their friends. What at first seems to be a bunch of kooks and crazies is shown rather quickly to be people in powerful positions that are quite real and quite serious.

Overall it was a fast read (once I got into it) and for me was a fascinating look into behind the scenes moves by our government in attempts to gain that ever so slim edge on all others. Not only do they consider what we think of as rational alternatives to gathering information, they also are willing to go to the opposite end of the spectrum and investigate all manner of mind altering techniques to get what they want. Kinda scary when you think about it.

Last Day Of The Draft.....Wait 'Til Next Year!!!!

The NFL Draft ended earlier today and the Cleveland Browns made their final three picks. In the 5th round they took Larry Asante, a safety from Nebraska who many thought would go in the 2nd or 3rd round. In the next round was wide receiver Carlton Mitchell from South Florida who had projected to go much higher as well. Finally Clinton Geathers, a large defensive end out of South Carolina was taken. While Asante and Mitchell will have the chance to contribute early, Geathers is a project that will take some coaching to reach his potential. That gives the Browns eight new players (at least until rookie free agents are signed) for fans to think about and wonder what impact they can have on the team and how much improvement the team will show. The team certainly improved their defensive secondary and added depth in other areas but as of right now I don't see too many players who stand a chance to start right away. They may earn backup spots and help the team two or three years from now but not for the time being. Of course this is all conjecture and for all I know they may all make the team and help propel them to the playoffs. But probably not this year...

NFL Draft Rounds 2 & 3

Browns Round 2 picks:

TJ Ward FS

Montario Hardesty RB

Round 3 picks:

Colt McCoy QB

Shawn Lauvao G

Every year I eagerly look forward to the NFL Draft with hope that my team will draft extremely well and every year I leave it confused and trying to convince myself that the team knows a great deal more than I do and that there must be a reason they made the selections that they did. This year is no different even though the draft isn’t even half over. I must say that I do not like the new format that the NFL is using. It drags it out far too much. I mean you sit and wait and usually at most your team gets one player in the first round, now you sit through two rounds the following night and then we have to wait on the third day to get the final four rounds over with. It’s too much. Next year I’ll just check on it after it’s over with each day.

Well as I predicted the Browns took a safety in the 2nd round and their QB of the future in the 3rd. What I didn’t predict however was which safety they would take. I don’t even know anything about Ward other than that he has an injury history. Hopefully that’s all behind him but will he play strong safety or free safety is my big question. The Browns need a strong safety that can hit a guy coming across the middle and make him hesitate the next time he comes across again. They traded up into the 2nd round to get a big, powerful running back which is exactly what they needed to compliment Jerome Harrison to insure that he can last the whole season as a feature back. Then came QB of the future Colt McCoy whom many thought that the Browns would take with their original pick in the 2nd round, and then were convinced the Browns were taking him again when they traded back into the 2nd round. The team gambled that he would be there in the 3rd round and he was. I’m not sold on him but the staff says this is the perfect offense for him so I’ll have to take their word for it. After that they selected Lauvao who played many offensive line positions and ended up at tackle in college however it appears that the team sees him as a guard.

We’ll see what the final picks will do for the Browns. They now have three picks left, one in the fifth round and two in the sixth. So far they’ve addressed four of their positions in most need of upgrading as well as the offensive line which I considered important as well so perhaps next year we can look back at this first half of the draft as having been a great success. It could happen. I’m sure of it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Flashback - Twisted Sister

Twisted Sister will be in Oklahoma City headlining on Friday July 23rd date of the Rock N America festival and in honor of that I thought I would make them the subjects of my Friday Flashback. The band was originally formed all the way back in 1972 and had their highest level of fame in 1984 with the release of their 3rd album Stay Hungry. Our first two videos came from that album and shot them to stardom mainly due to their humor coupled with their anti-authority messages (what teen boy didn't want to rebel back then?) and their heavy sound.

Current members
Dee Snider – lead vocals (1976–1987, 1997–present)
Eddie Ojeda – lead guitars (1975–1987, 1997–present)
Jay Jay French – lead guitars, backing vocals (1972–1987, 1997–present)
Mark Mendoza – bass, backing vocals (1978–1987, 1997–present)
A. J. Pero – drums, percussion (1982–1986, 1997–present)

The band broke up from 1987 to 1997 and then re-formed to perform various gigs over the years. They were at the inaugural Rocklahoma festival in 2007 performing in full makeup in the Oklahoma summer heat but I couldn't see them because they played on Sunday and I was only able to go to the Friday edition of the lineup. Hey, my son wasn't even 2 months old then and some things are more important in life. They returned the following year but in my opinion the festival had already started going downhill and I never went back due to what I considered overall poor daily lineups. Now I don't know if I'll be able to see them this year either because my main focus is seeing the Scorpions on their goodbye tour and it's doubtful I'll be able to afford to go to more than one day of the festival. Times are hard and money is in short supply. Maybe one of the local radio stations (they do still exist) will have some tickets to give away. If not we'll just have to see what can be done.

And The Cleveland Browns 1st Round Pick Is........

Over a month ago most draftniks predicted that the Browns would end up taking CB Joe Haden with their first round pick. As we got closer to the draft that changed, especially after the team made a trade with Philadelphia for Sheldon Brown. Despite their best hopes S Eric Berry did not drop to the Browns and was instead taken by Kansas City with pick # 5. Speculation was rampant that the Browns would take either S Earl Thomas, RB CJ Spiller or QB Jimmy Clausen (a horrible prediction in my opinion) but when the time came however, the Browns did the unexpected and selected the guy that most “experts” originally said that they would, Joe Haden. For me it isn’t very hard to understand this move. For one thing, Sheldon Brown might be moved to safety. If they choose to keep him at CB then the Browns have made a weak position into a very strong one. Most likely Brown will be a starter with Eric Wright and Haden will be the nickel back for them and that makes CB an extremely solid position.

Of course there were some surprises as is usual with any NFL draft. The Raiders (is it just me or does it always seem that they do something odd?) selected LB Rolando McClain at # 8. The Bills took RB CJ Spiller next even though they have a bad offensive line, lots of RBs and there were numerous linemen that they could have picked. At # 10 the Jaguars shocked everyone by taking DT Tyson Alualu extremely higher than is pre-draft grade supported. One of the biggest surprises however was made later in the round by the Broncos. They traded down twice and then back up to select QB Tim Tebow even though they traded for QB Brady Quinn (from my very own Browns team) in the off season and have Kyle Orton as the returning started. Most draft gurus feel that Tebow hasn't developed the QB skills needed for the NFL and didn’t warrant a first round pick.

When it comes down to it though it doesn’t matter what any of us think about which team selected which player. These teams make their selections and move on from there. Tonight the 2nd and 3rd rounds will be held and on Saturday rounds 4-7 will finish out the draft. After that the free agent frenzy for undrafted players will begin so it’s hard to say what the team rosters will look like come training camp. All I can do is hope that the Browns will have improved their talent level and that it will show up on the field.

Some players I think that may interest the Browns in the 2nd round are safeties Taylor Mays, Nate Allen and Chad Jones as well as QB Colt Mccoy and a slew of WRs (too many to name them all). Stay tuned for more…………………..

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cleveland Browns And The NFL Draft

Well, It's technically Thursday and that means that the NFL Draft is finally upon us. I have been a Cleveland Browns fan (fortunately or unfortunately) since about the 5th grade and that means for over 30 years give or take. Tonight and the following two days will probably involve some cheering, some head scratching and quite possibly some hair pulling (what little I have left) all done on my part. Every year the draft gives us hope for the future, that is until they actually start naming the picks. The Browns have had some hit and miss picks but with their new regime in the front office I'm hoping that finally they'll hit on more than they miss. Don't get me wrong, the Browns have made some great picks like Joe Thomas in recent years but in reality all you have to do is look at their current roster to see how many former picks are no longer with the club to know that it doesn't bode well when considering they want their club to attempt at longevity at the top of the league. With their first few picks they desperately need some players that will at least gain some playing time if not becoming outright starters in their rookie seasons.

Many self-presumed draft analysts have submitted their mock drafts to the viewing public and have made their cases for who the Browns should pick and why. I won't even begin to bore you with my pathetic attempt but I will say that if by some chance Eric Berry is there at number seven they have to pull the trigger and take him. Unless of course they want their fans to riot. Will this be the draft class that finally pulls the Browns out of their doldrums and leads them back to the top? Only time will tell. I'll be at work so I'll have to check in periodically as best I can to see what's happened. I can always dream and hope that the Browns wow and amaze all of the prognosticators with their drafting prowess and if not, well, there's always next year.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Native Roots, Native American Reggae

Okay, I'm gonna be honest here. A virus hit my computer yesterday and after fighting it off I couldn't connect to the internet. My connection was there and it was good however I couldn't access any webpages. I got it fixed eventually but now it's late at night, I'm tired and I have to cut the grass in the morning (if it doesn't rain again), take care of my son AND go to work in the afternoon so this is gonna be short and sweet. Native Roots, I first heard of this Native American reggae band around 1999 or so and have had their cd "Place I Call Home" in my collection ever since. To some people the idea of Native Americans playing reggae seems odd or out of place but if you watch the last video you'll get an explanation of sorts about the connection which is larger than you may ever know.

I lifted this straight from their website and it says it much better than I ever could: Native Roots was formed in 1997 by musician John L. Williams (Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux) and lyricist/vocalist Emmett "Shkeme" Garcia (Santa Ana Pueblo) to reach out with a message of pride, unity, and respect among all nations, through the universal language of music. This dynamic and award winning combination has produced three CD's that have propelled Native Roots into the Native American and Reggae music scene as the premier Native American Reggae band whose music is 100% Native American written, produced, and performed.

Native Roots contributes their solid reggae foundation to the influence it has had on Native American communities. Native Roots is a natural extension of growing up, living and loving reggae music. John Williams' extensive musical background in working with different styles of music has allowed him to incorporate various elements into the music without compromising the essential reggae feel. In addition, "Shkeme's" singing style reflects not only a variety of reggae styles, but also reflects years of experience singing both traditional pueblo and pow wow music. The blending Native influences such as traditional drums, rattles, chants, language and flute, with a variety of reggae styles including ragamuffin, one drop, rockers, and dancehall, makes Native Roots music unique. Lyrical themes include the importance of traditional languages and culture, spirituality, respect for our elders, the sacredness of our youth, and love.

This last video is from a TV station where they performed live on a morning show.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Strikeforce And CBS Get A Black Eye

As I watched the Strikeforce card on CBS that was held in Nashville last night (hey it's after midnight) I was forming ideas for this post. All of that went out the window after the fights were over and a melee erupted in the cage. Jake Shields had just defeated the legendary Dan Henderson and before he had a chance to revel in his glory Jason "Mayhem" Miller somehow got into the cage and got into Shield's face asking for a re-match. Shields got angry and shoved him and that touched off a near riot as Shields camp who were there celebrating with him jumped on Miller and several of them were punching and kicking him. It was settled down but all of it was caught live by CBS who never attempted to cut away to a commercial until after it was all over. You see, Shields was the underdog even though he was the middleweight champ. Henderson had been brought in specifically to fight Shields in his first title defense and virtually nobody thought that Shields could win. It had been speculated that Strikeforce was trying to get rid of him because he only had one fight left on his contract and thought that they didn't want to pay him what a champion should be paid. So he was looking into his options and was considering signing with another organization such as the UFC.

With all of that going on it looked like his title run was over about twenty seconds into the fight when Henderson clocked him with one of his overhand rights that appeared to flash KO Shields. He hit the ground head first but woke up enough to weather a beating that Henderson put on him for the rest of the round. However in the second round Shields turned the tables on Henderson and made him fight his fight. He took him down, mounted him every round after, controlled him and maintained position and basically dominated him for the rest of the fight although he did have to work hard for it. It's easy to understand that after overcoming all of that and winning that Shields let his emotions get the best of him but it's no excuse for his camp to lose their control like they did. I have a feeling that there are going to be many suspensions and fines forthcoming. One thing I'd like to know is how Miller even got into the cage and worked his way up to Shields. None of this would have happened if a little security had been properly applied.

In case you didn't know it there were two other title fights that were aired. The first was a boring, lackluster fight between 205 pound champ Gegard Mousasi and challenger Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal. Even though he won Lawal showed just how far he has to go before becoming a complete fighter. He gassed after the first round and appeared to have no answer for Mousasi's guard. Unfortunately for Mousasi he never showed any urgency in the fight and I feel that he gassed himself shortly after Lawal did. His plan was to take Lawal into the later rounds however after the second round he looked slow and awkward and had virtually no takedown defense at all. While gassed Lawal did what most fighters do in that situation and fell back on his instincts, what he knew best, and that was wrestling. He was able to take down Mousasi almost at will and hold him down until he got his second wind and do just enough to win which wasn't too hard since Mousasi didn't do much on his own. This was a very disappointing fight. I don't think that Lawal will hold his belt long if he has to fight many well rounded fighters.

The middle fight pitted Japanese submission ace Shinya Aoki against 155 pound champ (and Jake Shields teammate) Gilbert Melendez. Many pundits put Aoki as potentially the number one 155 pounder in the world after BJ Penn lost last week, pending the outcome of this fight. Where Lawal was able to takedown Mousasi almost at will Aoki however was unable to get the fight to the ground for very long and couldn't get any takedowns going his way. Melendez used a "sprawl and brawl" game plan to keep the fight standing for the most part until the later rounds where he grew more comfortable and would go into Aoki's guard briefly to deal out more punishment. Melendez dominated Aoki in a way that not many people thought he could.

Since all three championship fights went the distance none of the undercard fights were shown which is a shame since several of them appear to have been very exciting and were finished in the first round. Perhaps they'll be available for viewing at a later date. Here's hoping that the poor sportsmanship shown will not affect the growing sport of MMA too badly and that CBS will not decide to drop their coverage. That would be a travesty.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mirabal - Hope & The Dance

Ever since I had posted some other American Indian music I had been trying to think of who this particular musical artist was and couldn't find his songs anywhere so I ended up digging through my cd collection just so I could feature these 2 songs. It turns out I had been confusing him with another artist and that's why I couldn't find anything. Robert Mirabal is from the Taos Pueblo in New Mexico and had started his musical career as a flute player whose music could be described as traditional Indian flute music. In 1997 he put out a cd simply titled Mirabal that featured a new direction for him. It fused traditional Indian, rock, funk and other forms of modern music.

The album featured bassist Mark Andes who was known for his playing in the groups Spirit and Heart as well as traditional drummer Reynaldo Lujan and John Mellencamp band members guitarist Andy York and drummer Kenny Aronoff. It was a sharp contrast to what fans had been used to and represented a new, daring musical direction full of unknown possibilities.

I've also decided to include this video that appeared on PBS with his backing band Rare Tribal Mob as well as dancers in full regalia.

Thoughts On UFC 112 Anderson Silva vs Demian Maia

I finally got around to watching the Anderson Silva vs Demian Maia fight held out UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi on April 10th. It appeared to me that Anderson Silva wanted to show that Maia wasn't a worthy opponent and he was right. Maia couldn't get the fight to the ground where he could use his BJJ black belt skills and was extremely outclassed on the feet. Silva toyed with him letting his emotion get the better of him as he clowned and basically dared Maia to come in and hit him. Maia played it conservatively, most likely not wanting to rush in and overextend which would certainly result in a knock out. Then it got really weird. In the 3rd round it appeared that Silva got tired and didn't want to risk anything unusual happening so he started circling and refusing to engage. It appeared that he wanted Maia to come after him and Maia wasn't that dumb so the fight devolved into a boring excuse for a fight. It was definitely embarrassing for the UFC and their new partners but Silva refused to accept any blame during the closing press conference which only served to alienate fans even more. Perhaps Silva doesn't care because the UFC was unable to get him a quality opponent and wanted to let everyone know what a waste of time it was. Well if so then you can say mission accomplished.

12 Inch Singles - The Unforgiven "I Hear The Call"

Well I haven't done one of these in a while so I guess I should explain what it is. Back in 1986 I returned from Basic and Advance Individual Training for the Oklahoma National Guard. At the time my father was living in Tulsa and I stayed with him until I could decide on whether I was going to return to college or not. After all, that was why I joined the National Guard in the first place, to get money for college. Ultimately I did not go back to school. Anyway, I don't want to stray too far from the story so after returning I found a flea market not too very far from my dad's place and while strolling through it I came across a booth that had a bunch of 12 inch singles, vinyl records in other words. I knew a few of the bands and bought theirs as well as others that I didn't know anything about, The Unforgiven being one of the latter. I took a chance (hey they were all pretty cheap) and wasn't disappointed by a single one. As a matter of fact I still have all of them today. Hence this series of posts.

I went to the trusty internet and found where I was able to get all of this information about the band. They were around from about 1985-1988 and released their debut album in 1986. As you can tell from the video they mixed rock and country in a way that hadn't really been heard much before and with the aid of certain others bands helped set the blueprint for what would later be called alternative country. The band was comprised of:

Steve Jones - Guitar, Lead Vocal
Johnny Hickman - Guitar, 2nd Vocal
Mike Jones - Guitar, Gang Vocal
Todd Ross - Guitar, Gang Vocal
Mike Finn - Bass, Gang Vocal
Alan Waddington - Drums, Gang Vocal

later additions:

Jay Lansford - Guitar
Larry Lee Lerma - Bass

At roverpack you can download their album by clicking on the podcast button however it has been reissued with much higher quality sound. By the way, Johnny Hickman later went on to be in the band Cracker whom I saw at the 9:30 Club when I was stationed in Washington D.C. Small world huh?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Flashback - Scorpions

Usually when I'm thinking about the Friday Flashback I have no problem coming up with a band that I want to showcase. As a matter of fact I usually have several to consider however as the days went by this week I didn't feel any inspiration about who I should choose. Then I started watching videos of some of the bands like Scorpions and Twisted Sister that will be playing at the Rock N America show that will be held in late July at the Zoo Amphitheater in Oklahoma City. The idea that came to me was to showcase those bands closer to the date of the festival. But as I thought more and more about and watched the videos I decided that there's a reason I was thinking about it now so I had better go with the feeling and use the Scorpions this week.

The band was originally started in 1965 in Germany by Rudolph Schenker however they didn't really start to gain any real ground until vocalist Klaus Meine joined in 1969 along with Rudolph's brother Michael. The band broke up when Michael left to join UFO however several members formed another band and then persuaded Klaus to join them and they ended us using the name Scorpions since it was much better known. The bands sound started to really form in the mid 70s and by the end of the decade with the release of the album Lovedrive their formula of hard driving songs mixed with melodic ballads really had taken hold.


With their 1982 release Blackout the band started gaining attention all over the world. This is when I first heard of them. I was on my schools track team and a guy named Russell Haynes was sitting behind me on the bus as we started on our way back from a track meet. He heard Rush playing on my Walkman and told me that if I liked them then I might like this band and he handed me his copy of the cassette. I was hooked immediately and I listened to it all the way back home. Somehow I got a copy of my own even though I had next to no money and I played it to death.

Can't Live Without You

In 1984 the band released Love At First Sting and became international superstars propelled by the video for the song Rock You Like A Hurricane. The album went double platinum in just a few months in the United States. On Friday April 13th, 1984 they came to the Tulsa Convention Center where I and about six other friends came to watch them. The ticket cost was a mere $13.75. We had crammed into my best friend Tom's mustang and made the drive up to Tulsa where we stood on the arms of our seats and rocked out to the band. One member of our group temporarily lost his glasses but we found them undamaged after the show. Another friend had taken them as a joke and apparently dropped them as he overdosed on PCP that was mixed in a drink and he was taken to the hospital. We never saw this happen and didn't even know where he was until his father came over the next day to let us know what had happened to him.

Rock You Like A Hurricane

Now all these years later the band that continued to tour and record has released their 17th and final album Sting In The Tail and will be touring the world for about 2 years as they say goodbye to their fans. Luckily for me they will be playing close to home an the Rock N America festival with other 80s metal groups so that makes it a nobrainer. I'll be there cheering them on and will be hoping that maybe, just maybe they'll come back one final time to Tulsa next year where this old man can rock out one more time like he did when he was young.

Raised On Rock

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Drums Are On My Mind, Neil Peart and Sepultura

Okay, I've never been a big Sepultura fan but I have always liked this song even though it's sung in Portuguese and I don't speak the language. No, I've always like it because I think the drumming is very interesting.


more about "SEPULTURA - Ratamahatta", posted with vodpod

Neil Peart of Canadian greats Rush is by far the best drummer in rock in my opinion. This is only an excerpt of one of his ever changing drum solos. The man has been doing it for so long and it's just incredible to watch him.

Here's a longer solo that he did in 2004 in Frankfurt, Germany. The man is just amazing and as soon as tickets become available I will be buying them to see Rush in concert in Tulsa on September 21st!

Neil Peart Crazy Drum Solo - Click here for more blooper videos

Pawnee Celebration, Buffaloes, Horses and more

I've taken a few days off but wanted to write a little about this past Saturday. My wife, son and I were invited by a tribal member of the Kitkehahki Band of The Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma to a Spring ceremony that they are trying to get activated again. We drove from Tulsa to Pawnee which is about an hours drive away from here. The ceremony was held in a park and started off with a meal that reminded me of Peruvian Pachamanca. The meat was very tender like roast beef, there were potatoes, a corn based soup and of course frybread. If you've never had frybread you have no idea just what you're missing. I chose to eat my lunch the traditional way by doing away with utensils and used my fingers instead. There was enough food for seconds and thirds however I saved mine to take home for dinner. Afterwards a dance ceremony was held but since it was a ceremony no pictures or video were allowed to be taken or else I would have certainly included some here. My son who is only a few weeks away from his third birthday was entranced by the dancing and drumming. He was nodding his head and moving his feat to the drums. I almost thought he was to ready to go join in the dancing.

We were only able to stay through half of the dancing before we had to leave so that we could visit the Pawnee Bill Ranch and Museum. Pawnee Bill was a showman who merged his show with the one ran by Wild Bill Hickok. There is a museum, his mansion as well as a playground and a Wild West Show area. Additionally, there is a small pasture area that you can drive through that has bison and draft horses grazing. We left the pasture to go over to the small lake and after a brief disagreement my wife and I made up and played with our son on the playground before making our way back to the car. We never did tour the mansion but that was okay, it was better to be outside enjoying the day.

Afterwards we started our drive back home during which my son fell deeply asleep as soon as we hit the highway and was followed shortly thereafter by my wife. My rest would have to wait until the journey was complete and we were safely home. At that point I joined my still slumbering son in a lengthy and much needed nap. Not a bad way to end such a busy day.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Native Music Rocks - Casper Lomayesva

While looking for a particular song by Casper Lomayesva I came across this video. For some reason there isn't much out there on the internet about Casper which is a shame. He's a very talented musician. The Native Music Rocks program is designed to showcase native peoples music, to let everyone know that there is a vast amount of native music out there, and it rocks!

NMR Promo

Indian Music and I don't mean traditional

Last week I started reminiscing about some American Indian music that I used to listen to and of course that led me to Youtube where I found some videos of those songs. This doesn't mean I'm talking about traditional native music with drumming and flutes and so forth. No I mean music like rock and reggae that is performed by native musicians. I must say however that I find music that combines modern with traditional sounds to be the best of both worlds.

Red Thunder (Robby Romero)- Heartbeat

Keith Secola - NDN Cars

added bonus, live version of NDN Cars

Friday, April 9, 2010

Madeinusa - Peruvian Film


This is the last film that my wife and I watched this past weekend. I had bought the dvd on Ebay since it is set in Peru, the director is Peruvian, the star is Peruvian and my wife is as well. At first I didn't think she would like it but it turns out that she very much did. One thing I didn't consider was that Sunday was Easter and the film is set in Holy Week so that turned out to be an interesting coincidence.

The film follows a young woman named Madeinusa (pronounced Mah-day-en-oos-sah) who desires to leave her small town as her mother did before her. The people there are from Indian stock and speak Quechua (a native language) as well as Spanish. The town doesn't have a telephone or much else in the way of modern conveininces. Her father is the mayor and has an unhealthy obsession with her. Her younger sister is extremely jealous and doesn't understand why she would want to leave. A stranger comes to town during their Holy Week celebration which doesn't sit well with the townspeople. They have an unusual belief that during the period of Good Friday to Easter morning (from when Jesus Christ died and was resurrected that God is dead and there is no sin. Anything is allowed from theft, to sex to incest with no punishment or guilt. Madeinusa is enthralled with the stranger and wants him to take her with him when he leaves town. I won't ruin it and say how the movie ends but I will say that I didn't see the ending coming.

Overall is was a very good film that showed a direct look at what some small towns are like in the Peruvian provinces. It's a completely different way of life that really doesn't exist much in this country anymore. I recommend this film for those who like to experience new things in life. It's hard to believe that this was Magaly Solier's (Madeinusa) first time acting, she does a wonderful job.

Friday Flashback - Rush

Edit, After I finished this post I went to sleep and when I got up it was all messed up. Red Barchetta was where Tom Sawyer was supposed to be. Then there was no video where Red Barchetta was supposed to be. I know the videos were in the correct places so I have no idea what happened. Perhaps I've been hacked. It was very difficult to fix but as of right now it is fixed. We'll see later. It's a good thing I check on these things.

In honor of the news that Rush will be playing in Tulsa on September 21st AND will be performing their 1981 classic album Moving Pictures in it's entirety I have decided to name them as the artists for my Friday Flashback. Rush has been together since 1968 and are still continuing to find ways to challenge each other musically and put out quality new music. They meet all requirements to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame yet inexplicably are denied entrance year after year. Of course that is a post to be dealt with at another time. Let's start off with their most well known song.....Tom Sawyer.

Just for fun...........

Tom Sawyer


YYZ is one of the greatest instrumentals I've ever heard. It has thrilling bass runs as well as intricate drum fills and some impressive guitar work as well. The song rocks out and makes me spasticly switch from air guitar to bass to drums and back again. If I could play an instrument this song would drive me crazy because when I hear it I want to play all of the instruments at the same time. It's that damn good.

The band is:

Geddy Lee – bass, lead vocals, keyboards, mellotron, bass and synthesizer pedals, electric and acoustic rhythm guitar (September 1968 – present)
Alex Lifeson – six and twelve-string acoustic and electric guitars, classical guitar, mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, backing vocals, bass and synthesizer pedals (August 1968 – present)
Neil Peart – drums, electronic and acoustic percussion (July 1974 – present)

Former members:

John Rutsey – drums, percussion, backing vocals (August 1968 – July 1974)
Jeff Jones – bass, lead vocals (August 1968 – September 1968)

Red Barchetta

I'm stoked that Rush will be coming to Tulsa as this is the first place that I ever saw them live in concert. I'll see you at the BOK Center in September.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rush - Time Machine Tour 2010

As mentioned in an earlier post Rush will be touring this year and I just found out that not only are they playing a few places that are about a 4-5 hour drive from here they are also playing in Tulsa at the BOK Center on September 21st! Now all I have to do is drive about 5 miles and I'll be there to see them for the 7th time! According to their website they will be playing their 1981 album Moving Pictures (extra points if you guess where my blog got it's name from) in it's entirety as well as the new songs that they've recorded. Their plan is to tour and then go back into the studio to finish a new album with another tour next year to follow. Listed below are the tour dates:

Tue 06/29/10 Albuquerque, NM The Pavilion
Thu 07/01/10 Kansas City, MO Starlight Theatre
Appearing at "Summerfest"
Fri 07/02/10 Milwaukee, WI Marcus Amphitheater
Mon 07/05/10 Chicago, IL Charter One Pavilion @ Northerly Island
Appearing at "Sarnia Bayfest"
Fri 07/09/10 Sarnia, ON Centennial Park
Tue 07/13/10 Toronto, ON Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
Appearing at "Festival D'ete de Quebec"
Thu 07/15/10 Quebec City, QC Various Venues
Sat 07/17/10 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Mon 07/19/10 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
Wed 07/21/10 Camden, NJ Susquehanna Bank Center
Fri 07/23/10 Saratoga Springs, NY Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Sat 07/24/10 Wantagh, NY Nikon At Jones Beach Theater
Thu 08/05/10 Salt Lake City, UT Usana Amphitheatre
Sat 08/07/10 Auburn, WA White River Amphitheatre
Mon 08/09/10 Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre
Wed 08/11/10 Inglewood, CA The Forum
Fri 08/13/10 Irvine, CA Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Sat 08/14/10 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
Mon 08/16/10 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Fri 08/20/10 Wichita, KS INTRUST Bank Arena
Sun 08/22/10 Maryland Heights, MO Verizon Wireless Amph. St. Louis
Wed 08/25/10 Omaha, NE Qwest Center Omaha
Appearing at "Minnesota State Fair"
Fri 08/27/10 Saint Paul, MN MN State Fairgrounds
Sun 08/29/10 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
Appearing at "The Great Allentown Fair"
Tue 08/31/10 Allentown, PA Allentown Fairgrounds
Appearing at "New York State Fair"
Thu 09/02/10 Syracuse, NY New York State Fairgrounds
Fri 09/03/10 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
Tue 09/14/10 Boston, MA TD Garden
Thu 09/16/10 Pittsburgh, PA Consol Energy Center
Sat 09/18/10 Bristow, VA Jiffy Lube Live
Tue 09/21/10 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
Thu 09/23/10 San Antonio, TX AT&T Center
Sat 09/25/10 The Woodlands, TX The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Sun 09/26/10 Dallas, TX Center
Wed 09/29/10 Alpharetta, GA Verizon Wireless Amph. At Encore Park
Fri 10/01/10 Tampa, FL Ford Amphitheatre @ State Fairgrounds
Sat 10/02/10 West Palm Beach, FL Cruzan Amphitheatre

One thing I've noticed is that they appear to be hitting some places that they haven't played in a long time like Tulsa and Wichita as well as some state fairs and fests. This is probably because the larger tour next year will feature all of the "normal" big city stops. The band is known to mix things up and go where the fans are. All I can say is I'm super stoked about this and can't wait until tickets go on sale so that I can hold mine in my greedy little hands.

41 Seconds To Freedom: An Insiders Account of the Lima Hostage Crisis, 1996-97

"On December 17, 1996 members of the Peruvian guerrilla group, the Túpack Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), attacked the residence of the Japanese ambassador to Peru during his birthday party, taking hostage hundreds of guests, including Luis Giampietri, a former field commander of special operations forces that had fought the MRTA. From within the residence, Giampietri played a role in the eventual resolution of the crisis by using his pager to help state commandos locate the guerrillas inside the residence. Here is his memoir of the 126-day siege, written with the assistance of a former US Navy Seal and a Peruvian journalist."

My wife is from Peru and I never tire of finding books to read that will give me a small bit of insight into her culture and her country. I found this one at my local library and was very interested to find out just what had occurred over a decade ago when the MRTA had taken something like 600 hostages in a move to have 400 of their comrades released from prison (as well as having a hefty sum of money paid to them). This book flows well and is a pretty fast read. Of course it has a very pro-government approach to it as Mr Giampietri was in charge of Peruvian Special Ops forces and is a retired admiral. Some of the things mentioned in the book are subjective to whatever your point of view is however at the end of the book he gives an indication of just how disappointed he was in Fujimori's administration and how that led him to become the 1st Vice President under Alan Garcia. It's a very interesting subject and a good book to give out the kind of information you'd never hear about from news sources. Pick it up and give a read, I enjoyed it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Remembering The Ska Beat Show

I don't have much time because I have to get ready for work and take my son to the babysitter so I thought I'd put up some music that I used to play on my radio show. For just short of 3 full years I volunteered at WMUL (Marshall University) in the mid to late 90s and did a ska and reggae show called Ska Beat. I happened to see all of the below bands at one point or another back in the day. Ska and reggae are always good music to get you on your feet and moving, hope you enjoy.

The Toasters - Dub 56 (Chat Remix)

The Slackers - Married Girl

Let's Go Bowling - Spy Market

Skavoovie & The Epitones - Blood Red Sky

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ice Pirates - 1984

Another movie that I was able to watch over this past holiday weekend was the 1984 Sci-Fi/Adventure/Comedy/Pirate movie Ice Pirates. I think the film was clearly intended to just be a funny spoof of multiple genres. It stars Robert Urich and Mary Crosby and had a supporting cast that featured the likes of Angelica Huston, Ron Perlman, Buce Vilanch, John Matuszak and John Carradine. This is a cult classic that doesn't really hold up well over time mainly due to the special effects that were never originally even intended to be that good in the first place. Basically water is in extremely short supply and is used as currency. Ice pirates are willing to do anything to get some. It involves finding a mythological 7th planet that has plenty of water. Anyway, for me the movie brings back pleasant memories from my college days and for that fact alone it makes it enjoyable for me to watch but not extremely often. Perhaps only every few years but it was fun remembering how my friends and I would sit around ripping on movies. Good times, good times.

Monday, April 5, 2010


This past Easter weekend I had a chance to watch several movies but unfortunately wasn't able to get onto the computer much at all. For the next few days I'll be trying to catch up on movie and book reviews. On Friday I went to see Hot Tub Time Machine and later that evening my wife wanted to watch a movie so I broke out the 1992 classic Thunderheart. She had never seen it before so I explained a bit of what it was about and let her have at it.

Basically, an FBI agent (played by Val Kilmer) who is half Sioux Indian is sent to a fictional reservation for public relations motives where a possibly political murder has taken place. The agent already in place believes he has the case all but solved and all that needs to be done is to find and arrest the murderer. During these events Kilmer's character starts to uncover all sorts of problems and misdeeds seemingly done by the pro-government council with the aid of the FBI. Along with a tribal policeman (played by Graham Greene) Kilmer tries to get to the source of the murders (there are more committed) and goes to a medicine man who foresaw him coming. Kilmer starts to understand the bigger picture and get in touch with his roots and bring down the house of cards built by the FBI and the tribal council. Other notable actors in the cast are Sheila Tousey, Fred Ward, Fred Dalton Thompson, Sam Shepard, Fred Ward and John Trudell.

The movie is loosely based upon events that happened in the 70s on American Indian Reservations between pro-government "progressive" and "traditional" Indians. The traditionals were aided by the militant American Indian Movement (AIM). There were many murders committed without ever being investigated properly or not at all by the FBI. That is until 2 FBI agents were killed in a gunfight on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. I had no knowledge of these events and had indeed never read about them in any history book or learned of them in a history class. Something about this preview made me want to go see the movie and I did so on it's opening weekend. After the movie was over (which I enjoyed immensely I might add) someone yelled out "Free Leonard Peltier!" as the credits started to roll. At first I was annoyed by someone disturbing my movie experience. Then I went back to the barracks (I was in the Army stationed in Washington D.C.) and over the weekend I saw something about Leonard Peltier and AIM on PBS.

From there I started learning what I could of the events on the Pine Ridge Reservation and what I believe was the false imprisonment of Peltier. He is still in prison to this day even though the government never proved his guilt as they said they would. The government needed to have someone pay for the deaths of the agents and since two others had been acquitted of the crimes they stacked the deck against Peltier in order to get him convicted.

Perhaps one day soon I'll go into more detail on what happened in this very flawed case. For now though, I have to get ready for work so all I can advise is to watch Thunderheart and to keep an open mind. That and learn more about Leonard Peltier and make up your own mind, just be careful where you go to learn about him.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rock 'N' America July 23rd-25th Zoo Amphitheater

As I reported yesterday there is a new 80s metal festival in Oklahoma City called Rock 'N' America scheduled for July 23rd-25th and it will be headlined by the German band Scorpions. I just checked the Zoo Amp website and it has been updated with information about this event. You can go to or to for more info.

Now granted that there isn't a great deal of info yet such as what bands are playing on what days, ticket prices, etc but at least they have something up now. I expect that the bands opening for Scorpions on their world tour will all be playing on Saturday the 24th and Twisted Sister will be playing on Friday the 23rd but after that it's anyones guess as to who else is playing on what day. Interestingly enough Cinderella has the 24th listed on their website but isn't listed yet as being on the bill. The lineup has a lot of names that were on the first Rocklahoma lineup (when they shot their wad) but it looks even better. If I can see Scorpions, Ratt, Cinderella, Dokken and a few more bands all on one day I will be extremely happy! The summer is definately looking up. Stay tuned for further details.

Hot Tub Time Machine

Since today is a national holiday I had a day off but my wife unfortunately had to work. So naturally I did the proper thing and took my son to the babysitter's house so that I could enjoy a little alone time. On these rare occasions where this happens I usually go to see a movie and today was no exception. I've been wanting to see Hot Tub Time Machine ever since I first heard about it many months ago mainly because John Cusack is one of my favorite actors and this is a movie where he goes back in time to the 80s and I love 80s movies. I only expected some seriously stupid fun and I was not let down at all.

The basic premise is that 3 friends from high school (Cusack, Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson) who don't see each other much anymore are all pretty much disapointed in how their lives have ended up. One of them may or may not have had a failed suicide attempt so the other 2 (and Cusack's nephew played by Clark Duke) decide to watch over him by getting back to the ski resort that they used to go to when they were young. Unfortunately the resort, town and ski valley have all fallen on hard times. During a night of heavy drinking they pile into the hot tub, spill some russian energy drink on the controls and somehow end up traveling through time to 1986. They agree to do everything the same so that nothing in the future will change but it doesn't take them long to realize that it isn't such a good idea as they all feel that their lives suck.

I thought that there were a couple of scenes that could have used a little bit of fleshing out, nothing much mind you, just a little bit more of explanation which would have only added an extra minute or two to the film but I'm not complaining at all. The film was very enjoyable and overall I'd give it a B plus bringing it in just under Cop Out which I saw a few weeks back. There was a lot of good memories brought back thanks to the soundtrack and even though I've never been to a ski lodge in my life much less been skiing I did see everal skiing movies in the 80s. I recommend anyone who wants to have some good stupid fun to see Hot Tub Time Machine. You won't be disapointed.

Friday Flashback - BoDeans

Okay I'm working on this but have to go with the wife to buy some things but I will edit this tonight.

It's later and now I have a chance to finish this. The BoDeans are a band fronted by Kurt Neumann and Sammy Llanas that formed in Milwaukee in 1983. They have always had a unique sound that is heavily identified by Kurt and Sammy's vocal harmonizing. In 1985 they signed to Slash Records and released their first album titled Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams the following year.

Good Things

The band not only still tours to this day but is releasing a new album on April 6 entitled Mr. Sad Clown. If it's anything like the stellar 2008 release Still it will be nothing short of amazing.


Original lineup:
Kurt Neumann - vocals, guitar
Sammy Llanas - vocals, guitar
Guy Hoffman - drums
Bob Griffin - bass

Closer To Free

The band received a large amount of publicity when their song Closer To Free was chosen as the theme to the popular television show "Party Of Five" in the mid 90s. It's rare to see musical groups lasting for very long these days which makes the fact that BoDeans have been together for 27 years an astounding feat. I'm holding out hope that they will play somewhere within 4 or 5 hours of me so that I will finally be able to see them. Do yourself a favor and start buying their musical catalogue today.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rush Touring This Summer and A New 80s Metal Fest

I heard some great news today, at least for me that is. According to Rush will be touring this summer. It gets better. The band has been working on new songs and are about to go into the studio to work on 5 or 6 tracks for a new album and want to go out on about a 45 city tour that will last from June to October. The idea is to showcase some new tunes and pull some older songs out of the hat. Afterwards they will go back to the studio and finish the album and possibly release it in the spring of 2011. They will then follow it up with a more substantial tour of about 75 cities. Great news as perhaps I'll get to see them on consecutive years as long as they come within 4 or 5 hours of Tulsa. I've seen them 6 times in concert (should have been 9 but oh well) and this will be the icing on the cake.

In other news, as I mentioned in earlier posts the Scorpions are releasing their final album and will be touring the world for about 2 years before calling it quits. An article in the Tulsa World yesterday stated that the German metal band will be headlining the 3 day Rock 'n' America Festival on July 24th at the Zoo Amphitheater in Oklahoma City. That's less than a 2 hour drive for me but wait! It gets better. Headliners for the festival should also be Twisted Sister, Vince Neil (boring) and Ratt. Other bands mentioned are Warrant, Dokken, Great White, Sebastian Bach, Faster Pussycat (wish they were the old cat), Winger, Toxin(?), Bang Tango, Enuff Z'Nuff (never liked them), Firehouse, LA Guns and more.

Interestingly enough the Zoo Amphitheater website doesn't say anything about this but a friend said he had a message on his facebook page from them about this very event. Ever the cynic and aware of what today is, I decided to play detective and went to the Scorpions website and indeed they are listed as playing at this event. I also went to the webpages for Twisted Sister and Cinderella (who will be opening some dates for the Scorpions) and both bands have this event listed. So unless this is an April Fool's Day joke of immense proportions it looks like it's for real. More details to follow as they become available.

If you like 80s metal (and I do) like this then there you go. Since (C)rocklahoma sold out this year completely and booked a bunch on new rock and nu-metal bands (that all sound the same) it appeared that Oklahoma would be left out in the cold this year but now things are looking up. If you don't like this music well, do an old guy a favor and just go away and let me revel in my youth.