It’s Early

It’s early. Very early for me. 5:06am. Couldn’t sleep, so I’ll try blogging. My head space for writing (if you could even call this writing) is the daydream zone. That’s where I was for awhile in bed a few minutes ago. Mulling over dreams I just dreamt until real life spoiled the fun, and I was replaying the clusterfuckery at work yesterday. So, I decided to move from bed to couch, and attempt to maintain whatever magical mental state of grace that I have assigned blogging time to.

The dream I had was odd and random. The Lady and I were in Coney Island ready to ride the famous Cyclone roller coaster, but decided to stop for drinks first. The nice gamer girl bartender brings our drinks, and says “$15.50”. I throw down $20 and she says “Oh, that was for just the one”. $15.50 for one drink!? Well we were just aghast. Aghast I tell you! That was it for the dream. Never made it to the Cyclone.

It’s quiet here sans the Indie music channel playing softly. Someone named Jamie xx is singing a trippy electronica based song called Loud Spaces. Ironic because it’s helping to create a relaxed and quiet space. Despite the title it’s very easy listening. Not my preferred genre, but it’s good to look outside the box sometimes. 

So, I can’t sleep now, but with the trippy music, and my comfy couch I’ll be sure to nod off 5 minutes before I have to get up for work. Happens all the time when I can’t sleep. I get restless in bed, come down to the couch, and screw around with WordPress or watch Sportscenter until my brain powers down right when it needs to power up. I do okay on limited sleep tho. Maybe an extra cup of coffee, and I’m good to go.

I like having the quiet early hours to myself once in awhile. It’s rare because I love to sleep until the last possible second before I need to get ready. But, when that’s not possible I take the occasional insomniatic morning as unexpected free time, and usually I feel pretty good about it despite the lack of sleep.

I feel ok now. I’ll be asleep soon, and I’ll be awake again soon. And I’ll have lots of coffee….. Soon.


The Slackers

We were awesome, pathetic, brilliant, stupid, and insane; a small group of like minded 18-22 year old slackers with empty pockets, shitty cars, and middle fingers raised. We fed off each other’s sarcasm, bathroom humor, and a healthy taste for alcohol and mild drugs. In small apartments that reeked of cheap beer and weed, we debated the prowess of Floyd and Zeppelin, and bemoaned our underpaying jobs, and self inflicted circumstances. We wished we were from the sixties, dressed like Kurt Cobain, and hid from life like Holden Cauffield. It was heaven.

Marc Maron and The Ziplock Purse

I really like the Marc Maron WTF podcast, and last Christmas The Lady gave me Maron’s book, Attempting Normal. Per usual I read the first chapter as soon as I got it, liked it, then for no reason I let it sit there collecting dust for the next few months. 

Last week though I needed a distraction while having to wait in a sterile, official and intimidating setting, so I blew the dust off the paperback cover, tucked it under my arm, and proceeded to my place of obligation. When I arrived I followed the official “GO HERE FOR SUCH AND SUCH” signs, and found a seat. Feeling anxious about the ensuing proceedings, I opened my book, and tried to figure out where I left off since I never use a bookmark for some reason. 

I skimmed past the chapter entitled Two Prostitutes while being interrupted by a pleasant, but obviously crazy young lady who was confused about the start time. How did I know she was crazy? Well, she definitely had the prerequisite wide eyed hyper focused stare, and although she was dressed relatively clean and appropriately, her purse was a ziplock freezer bag through which I could see all of its contents (makeup, bills and Marlboro Menthols). For some reason the translucent purse equaled insanity to me. This probably says more about me than her. Anyway, ziplock girl went away, and I went back to my book. 

I found the chapter entitled Guitar which I vaguely remembered, and decided that must have been where I left off. Feeling annoyed and anxious I tried to ignore the old couple arguing about where to sit, and tried to read. Maron talked about discovering music for the first time in his dad’s station wagon, and how Buddy Holly was a spooky hero that spoke from the grave. I immediately felt a little less anxious, and smiled thinking about a long ride with my dad when he played his Beatles tape the whole way, and music grabbed ahold of me for the first time. 

My happiness was fleeting as a big heavy wooden door opened, and we were ushered into a larger room where my obligation would ultimately be fulfilled. Unfortunately before that could happen there would more waiting. So, again I found a seat, and was careful to be inconspicuous with my coffee, hence the official “NO FOOD OR DRINK” sign. I was so annoyed. Just in a bad mood.  I had been there an hour, and proceedings did not seem to be moving along. Conversation around me of which I did not participate was too loud to resume reading, and centered around complaints and misery related to our shared occupied space. Eventually the noise tapered off and I resumed reading. 

Maron continued to wax poetic about his early experiences with music, and when I got to the part about Chuck Berry my stupid annoying day was completely changed, and a smile came across my face that would stay there the rest of the day. He was talking about how a guy at school had showed him how to play the opening riff to Roll Over Beethoven… 

“I went home and tried it, it worked, and the entire world changed. I had it, the key to music. I was ecstatic. I was probably the only fifteen year old kid in the world in 1977 who was beside himself because he could play a Chuck Berry lick.” 

And I smiled, and closed my book. I understood 100% what he was talking about. I didn’t need to read another word. I was completely at ease, and full of positivity. A fellow traveler had shared an experience that was so relatable and similar to mine, and it gave me a great sense of validation, and connectivity. I was entirely grateful, and my perspective was completely changed for the better. I was even inspired to start blogging again, and did so that very night. 

That’s something good writing, or really any other form of art can do, and I’ll take it as a lesson for this blog going forward. To be able to take people somewhere emotionally where they otherwise would not be is what it’s all about. Thanks to Marc Maron. Attempting Normal is a great read so far.

Wish I was There
Led Zeppelin, Denmark, 1969, How Many More Times. This is definitely an “I wish I was there” moment for me. This was one of their very first performances, and I love this snapshot of the band. It’s barebones. Just them, their instruments and a sparse crowd who has no idea what to do with them. They really have to work for it here, and that adds so much excitement. And, yes I do love the black and white. Very fitting for the haunting nature of the first (my favorite) album.

Next may be a big left turn for some, but I came across this Cyndi Lauper video a couple of months ago, and I think it’s great. For most of my life I thought of her as just another pop star from the eighties. What I’ve come to find out is that she wrote very personal songs with a great degree of earnesty, and passion. Here she was a true rock star who let it all out there, embracing her own unusualness. It might not be for everyone, but if you’re not into the song at least FF to 4:40 and watch from there. Money Changes Everything:

Save Me by Queen, Live in Montreal. Ignore the tight white pants and creepy mustache and enjoy one of the great vocal performances in rock history. Geez, this guy was good. And, it’s just him and the band, no assistance necessary. Notice Brian May starts off on piano then switches seamlessly with Freddie when it’s time to shred a little. Musicianship, can you still get that nowadays?

Music can be powerfully affective on oneself. Throughout my life it has continued to be a great source of awe and inspiration. Tonight I came across three such pieces of inspiration I wanted to share. As always I hope you enjoyed your time here, and I graciously welcome your return.

Until next time,

Un-related Random Thoughts

It’s your lucky day Press Bots! Today you get a full post of Un-related Random Thoughts. I know, it’s too much, and now you have to think of a new Christmas present to ask Santa for, but I am a giver, and that is my cross. Like Jesus turned water to wine, I turn letters to words and words to posts and posts to things you quickly scroll passed in your reader in search for much more interesting and important things to read. So, yeah I’m basically Jesus. Enjoy!

Un-related Random Thoughts

*I never quite understood the legendary statuses of Eric Clapton or Bob Dylan. They’re both reasonably good musicians with some catchy songs. That’s it. Nothing special. It’s these kind of opinions that get me in trouble at social gatherings.

*Do not get pastrami from a chain sub shop. Trust me, It will not be good.

*The friggin Oxford comma vs. the other one is a debate that rages in my head every time I write. Do I use a comma here, not here and not here? Or, do I use a comma here, here, and not here? Ya know what, fuck commas!

*If John F. Kennedy lived, the world might have been a better place…. Maybe. Maybe not. Hey, he woulda been “The President Who Lived”. Wait, that’s all of them… well not ALL of them. K fine, forget it.

*What makes everyone think that they’re Einsten and not capable of making a mistake. I come across these idiots every day. Truth is half of them have no clue, and when you call them out for fucking up they always have an excuse why an outside entity is to blame. Look inward, proofread, double check, triple check. Fix your mistakes before I have to, and have some humility about it damn it. Unless your fuck ups involve commas. Then we’re cool.

* is right. Fuck Christopher Columbus.

*Special shout out to Huey Lewis and the News for being the only musical act so bad that I feel personally offended when I hear them. Really, when I hear them I get so angry that someone made that, and then didn’t have the decency to think, “Hey, for the good of mankind I’ll keep that shit to myself.” No, instead at least once a year I find myself in a supermarket or some other soul crushing place being forced to listen to I Need a New Drug or Hip To Be Square. It’s really totally, completely and utterly bad, amirite?

The preceding were the most thoughtful thoughts I could come up with today. Consider yourself #blessed. Until next time, don’t eat bad pastrami or make shitty Huey Lewis music.

I Give Good Tube

Today I thought I’d share a few of my favorite music/you tube moments because why not. Hint- If your on an ipad or possibly other mobiles tap the bottom left corner of the display instead of the big red play icon. Why? Because Word Press. Anyway, have fun.

First up, What Can I Do by The Black Belles. They look like the unholy spawn of Morticia Adams and Courtney Love, but are really a bless-ed discovery of Jack White. The song is is just as cool as the accompanying video. Plus it’s black and white retro, so naturally I approve. Enjoy:

Keeping with the the campy retro theme, Roxy Roller by Suzi Quatro is up next. Just a great toe tapper, and soooooo seventies. Awkward alert tho. Check out the hair on that one guy. Also, I’m pretty sure the original was sung by a guy named Nick Glider, but his voice is so over the top feminine that it freaks me out. Anyway, I like this version, and all it’s awkwardness much better:

A few years ago Tenacious D did a killer cover of Squeeze Box at a tribute show for The Who. Jack Black is so good here, but remember, this is not the greatest song in the world. This is just a tribute:

I hope everyone enjoys these just as much as I do. How about you? Are you hoarding away any precious you tube gems? Well, quit being so greedy m’fer, and share with the rest of us.

Until we blog again,

What Dreams May Come- Starring Robin Williams as Billy Joel

note: The video may not play off the reader, but does play off my site. Links are on the bottom of this post. Oh, Word Press.

I’ve heard that dreams are the brain’s way of figuring out conflicts, questions or random unresolved thoughts. Well, early this morning I was lucky enough to have a dream figure something out that has recently been dancing around in my cerebellum…. Or is it cerebrum? Doesn’t matter.

Anyway, in my dream I’m at a Billy Joel concert in the front row. Billy’s one of my favorite artists, so that’s not weird at all. It’s the end of the show, and he’s cleaning up the stage which is definitely weird. What’s even weirder is that it’s not Billy Joel. It’s Robin Williams (the late comedian/actor), but my dream self is recognizing him as Billy Joel. The crowd has thinned out, and it’s quiet enough that I’m having a conversation with him, asking for one more song. He asks which one. I have one in mind, but I can’t remember the title exactly. I speed sing it trying to remember. I get to the chorus, and I go “Oh! Everybody Loves You Now!” At that Robin/Billy nods, walks away, and I wake up.

Such a quick interaction, but so significant to me. While I’ve always been a huge Billy Joel fan, I’ve only just mildly appreciated Robin Williams’s talent. It’s only after his death that it’s been brought to my attention how amazing he really was. So, I think what my dream was trying to do was show me Robin Williams in the same esteemed place that I see Billy Joel in. And also, the song “Everybody Loves You Now ” kind of sums up one of the strange things that can happen to famous people. And, for me in the dream, the song also represented how peoples’ attitudes towards you are always kinder after you die. That’s the real sad part. How Robin Williams was depressed to the point of suicide, and did he have any inkling how much he was loved and revered? Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t. Maybe it wasn’t enough.

I also think the significance of the song has to do with the similar talent and realness of both men. The album that I know “Everybody Loves You Now” from is called “Songs in the Attic”. It’s a live album with some of Billy Joel’s most personal and well crafted songs expertly performed with the idea of serving only the song and it’s art. Similarly, at his best Robin Williams was also serving only his art and craft. His characters in Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, and Good Will Hunting are the embodiment of this. So, I think the dream’s purpose was to help me recognize how amazing he was because somehow I had forgotten. Pretty cool, but pretty sad as well.

I hope you liked the you tube clip. I think it’s the exact performance from the album. Sorry about the ad at the beginning, but I couldn’t find one without it. Also, it doesn’t have the other songs it lists at the beginning, but if you like the first one, just get the album. It’s really great music, and obviously has had a lasting impression on me. As much as I love music, not much of it really gets to me emotionally like “Songs n the Attic”.

So, dream on, and thanks for stopping by.
Everybody Loves You Now – You Tube