Saturday, July 29, 2006



The Last Show...

The End of an Era (and Error).

And even as I type this, the plot thickens. Tonight is the Reunion / Farewell show for my band Chris Plays Guitar. The original members are getting together for one last hurrah! Patric, the bald guy in the middle is moving to LA tomorrow. Most of the songs we play are his originals, so on his departure, we are calling it a day. I kinda left the band in February, but they never found a permanent bass player, and I still played when we had gigs. So tonight is our swan song at our favorite place to play, our giggin' home, The Hook and Ladder. We were given the freedom to perform with no restrictions, to climb on the bar, to fall off, to set ourselves on fire. We had the run of the place. A band can't ask for much more than freedom -- except free beer. We got that too! I made a power point presentation last year about the band for a class project last year. Yes. Chris IS on fire. He burned his knee that night!

CPG accomplished a lot. We recorded two albums. Toured the state. OK, that's an exaggeration. We played Chula Visa, Long Beach, Ripon, Tulare... Oh, we played at The Pines Resort at the beautiful Bass Lake. When I joined this project almost three years ago, I had by far the most band / gig experience of anyone in the band. Not hard since this was the first official band the other guys had ever been in. I got the opportunity to watch them learn and become not only fantastic musicians, but great performers as well. To Pat, Chris, Jason, and Brian - I thank you all for the fun and helping me continue to grow as a musician.

And now for the Error. For a special treat, me, Chris, and a drummer also named Mike had formed a new band and were going to play a set of Police songs. I have always wanted to do a Police cover band and here was my opportunity. Mike had joined CPG last spring after drummer Brian left to join the Peace Corps. That didn't work out for Brian. Neither did Mike for CPG. He was in the band for about nine months. His tenure ended when he got kicked out of the band by Pat for skipping out of town the week-end we had booked and advertised a gig. If Mike had a family emergency or something like that, that would have been no problem. But that was not the case. Well, just moments ago, I got a call from Pat. It seems Pat moved Mikes drums a few inches back so that he could set up his guitar rig. This pissed Mike off, and even as I type, Mike is packing up his drums and going home. So the Police cover band come to a swift and unglorious end as Mike pulls a Sting and goes solo! Hey, Wait just one second! I'm the vocalist / bass player a la Sting. I should be the one storming out and breaking up the band!!! Anyway I am not going to vent on Mike; he's young. Maybe someday he'll mature and not be so quick to leave his fellow bandmates in the lurch. But I will not work with him again. He has the chops to be a fantastic drummer, but not the discipline.

So, in honor of the Police cover band that has... er, had no name, here is my rewrite of "Born in the Fifties"

We were born, born in the Sixties
Born. Born in the Sixties

My Mother cried
when Elvis Presley died
she said it was the CIA
But I knew better

Would they dropped the bomb on us
while we drank "Sex On The Beach"
we were the class the couldn't reach
'cause we knew better

We were born, born in the Sixties
Born. Born in the Sixties

And we screamed
when the Police sang Oh
but String went solo and broke up the band
Oh we should have known better

We wore parachute pants
and we learned to break-dance
we found our faith and prayed to Tammy Fay on the TV
Oh, we should have known better

We were born, born in the Sixties
Born. Born in the Sixties

We died our hair blond, and dressed like the freaks on MTV
We stood in line for hours, to watch Jaws, Star Wars, and E.T.
Ron and Nancy said "Just Say NO!"
to cocaine and angel dust
you don't understand us
we are not the Walrus
we ruined the future 'cause we all became teachers!

We were born, born in the Sixties
Born. Born in the Sixties....

Monday, July 24, 2006

Would I calm her down by throwing stones at her!

Here is perhaps the worst song ever recorded. I have dubbed it "The A-Bomb" over at Ann Althouse's Blog.

A little background. It's my junior year in college, 1991. One of my friends, Robert, was a big believer in the Rolling Stone album review staff. For him, they were THE authority on music, good vs bad. If the album received a five star rating, Tower Records in Fresno would be sure of at least one sale, such was Rob's almost religious confidence in the RS reviews. Rob would soon learn of the consequences of blind trust in anything Rolling Stone.

In an issue released early that year, the reviewers gave a "Best Of" album a "Five Star" rating. The group was an old sixties act called "The Move". Hardly anyone stateside would know of them, but they would, with drummer Bev Bevan and later Jeff Lynne in this project, later become the creative core of ELO. Lots of good music from them, so "The Move" would have to show a spark things to come. Right? One would think.

Well, upon purchasing the album, Rob headed to his house to play this RS anointed "Great collection of fine songs". I got a call from him demanding that I must hear this album. He wouldn't tell me why, but he was laughing on the phone as he made his request. Ten minutes later we were in front of my speakers, stereo remote in hand, finger on the CD play button. I couldn't believe my ears. The music coming from the speaker cones was, by far, the worst thing I had ever had the "joy" of listening to. It was soooo bad I had to hear the whole collection. The whole of the album comes across as something of a disk that mysteriously and unfortunately managed to escape to our universe from an alternate dimension, as the band sounds like The Shaggs on a bad acid trip. In this universe, instead of joining forming Black Sabbath, Ozzie Osbourn sings for the Demented Archies instead.

There are two songs that stand out as being the most merciless bad things ever burned into a vinyl disk. One is called “Disturbance”. It starts out somewhat OK, but devolves into a screaming, grunting mess at the end, as if to prove the character being described in the is really insane. But the piece de resistance is a song called “(Here We Go Round) The LemonTree. Here is the song. Here are the lyrics. Enjoy!

There's a girl next door to me who's round the bend
But she wonders why she can't make any friends
From her garden she could see me
In her silver plaid bikini
Singing, dancing round her fruit

Here we go round the lemon tree
Mister can you hear me
Here we go round the lemon tree
Mister don't come near me

Would I calm her down by throwing stones at her
If only I could make the right approach to her
Think I'd rather tame the tiger
Turn those lemons into cider
Still I'd like to get beside her


(silly bridge with violins)

Morning came and into action went my plans
Went to meet her dressed in bright green underpants
I crept in and sang discretely
Seemed to change her mind completely
Danced together singing sweetly

Here we go round...
blah, blah, blah

Sad thing is the more I listen to it, the more I start to like it. This must be some cruel form of brainwashing!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Collateral Dammage Pisses Me Off!

Dammit! Just when I finally had forgiven the unjust, unforgiving world for THIS attrocity, I now find out about....

THIS. I am starting to really get pissed off at the peoples in the middle east, targeting innocent Subarus!!!! Where, Oh Where, Is Koffi Annon and the UN??? Amnesty Internash-G-L!!! The Red Crossmember!!! Can't someone do SOMETHING???

Friday, July 07, 2006

July 7, 2005

London Remebered.

I was angry when I wrote it, so I may not have expressed my thoughts as well as I could have in a calmer state. That said, a year later, I stand by those angry thoughts. We must continue to fight the Islamo-fascist movement where-ever and when-ever we can. Since we're already there, Iraq is as good a place as any. It still boils down to hope vs. resignation. Fight vs. flight. A chance at victory vs. certain defeat.

Life Imitates Art

This aside, from an article explaining the physics problems Superman would have if he used his powers here on Earth:

Marti points to a book called "Great Mambo Chicken," which tells of a scientific experiment in which a researcher put several chickens in a centrifuge and raised them in twice-normal gravity for months at a time. When they emerged, the chickens were stronger and had larger bones and muscles, and greater endurance. In other words, they were superchickens.


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I'm Not Moved... Except Maybe To The Fridge.....

So did you hear the one about certain Hollywoods star going on a "Rolling Hunger Strike"? What is a "Rolling Hunger Strike" you ask? I'll let the good folks at fill you in on the story. But here is the good part:

"Other supporters, including Penn, Sarandon, novelist Alice Walker and actor Danny Glover will join a 'rolling" fast, a relay in which 2,700 activists pledge to refuse food for at least 24 hours, and then hand over to a comrade."

Hollywood stars starving themselves??? Yawn....

A more startling form of protest would be if Calista Flockhart or the Twin Peaks chick would have a pig-out, and NOT purge afterward!

Hat Tip: Insta and Freeman Hunt.