Thursday, September 22, 2011

the end of R.E.M. as we know it

R.E.M posted on their website yesterday that they were calling it quits.  R.E.M is one of the primary indie band that introduced the world to the new alternative sound.  The band formed in 1980 - born from the renown Athen's music scene, also known as the Liverpool of the South.  R.E.M.'s music is still fresh and potent even after three decades.

“To call R.E.M. one of the greatest bands in contemporary music is an understatement, They leave behind a body of work whose breadth, honesty, creativity and power has not only inspired millions of fans around the world, but also has influenced — and will continue to influence — generations of songwriters and performers for years to come.” 
-Rob Cavallo
Warner Brothers Records

Cavallo's quote above rang true for me.  As a songwriter, I too have been influenced by R.E.M.'s music.  I remember being impressed with the simplicity and power of the song 'Stand'.  Soon afterward I penned a song by the same name.  It had a different meaning, but I tried to capture with my song, a little of their upbeat energy.  I ended my 'Stand' with a vocal mimic of Michael Stip as an homage. 

“A wise man once said, ‘The skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave, ”  -Michael Stip

It might be the end of the band, but the songs will play on.  Thanks for the music guys.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

...not just any nut

"I'm a nut, but not just any nut."
It's Bill Murray's 61st birthday today.  Here's an enigmatic funnyman for you, introduced to the world via Second City & Saturday Night Live.  We thought he couldn't have gotten any quirkier or funnier than the lounge singer act on SNL.  But we were wrong.  Bill climbed from of the small screen onto the big screen with great success.  He's made some real comedy masterpieces.

Caddy Shack, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Groundhogs Day, Scrooged, What About Bob, The Life Aquatic, The Man Who Knew Too Little, Kingpin, Ed Wood.
He's made some that
I didn't care for:  Broken Flowers, Lost In Translation, or Rushmore.  But hey, you can't please everyone all the time.

Did you see his cameos in ZombieLand or Little Shop of Horrors.  The guy is hilarious and can work without a net.  It's always a treat to see Bill Murray barge into a scene from out of nowhere.  This guy makes me laugh.

Bill Murray can crash my karaoke party anytime!

(Today's post was inspired by Scott Croley's Facebook post.  Thanks Scott!)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

dear john

John stormed into the seventies a killer bee and a samurai.  We never knew what to expect from this guy.  He was a funny man who had a hard time remembering his lines.  No one ever noticed because he carried himself with so much confidence and spunk.  We all loved him.  Belushi was an original.

I still miss John.  I really admired his talent.
I felt he robbed us with his death, with a mixture of heroine and cocaine.

Shortly after his death, I had a dream about meeting him on the hill in my backyard.  He had just finished digging a deep hole.  He left the shovel lay behind him.  I went outside and climbed up the hill to see who he was and what he was up to.  It was John Belushi, but he wasn't like the John Belushi I had seen on both little and big screen.

I asked him if in fact he was John Belushi.  He blew smoke from his last cigarette he was smoking.  He didn't say anything, but did look up to acknowledge my presence and answered with a nod.  I sat down next to him, but didn't feel he wanted a conversation.  He didn't seem to mind me keeping him quiet company.  I realized in my dream that he had died, I just didn't know why he was sitting on the hill in my backyard.  As I sat down, he paid me no mind, just looking straight forward, taking in that smoke.

It was a very somber-melancholy dream. This Belushi I encountered was in a very sad and hopeless place. I had a thousand questions and thoughts, but the only words that I could find was, "I'm sorry".   He looked over at me.  We briefly made eye contact. His eyes and set expression told me exactly what he was thinking.  "I blew it".

He was smoking his last, and after it, he stood up, looked around for a moment, and then climbed down into the hole that he had dug.  I stood there and watched helplessly over his slow steady descent - until he disappeared from my sight.

I know it was just a dream, but it was very real one to me.  I can't think of him without remembering that dream.

Friday, September 16, 2011

free love

Youthful idiots from the Summer of Love embraced and flaunted 'free love'.  It was a term we heard a lot back in the day.  By the time the eighties got here, the HIV virus put nails into the coffin of that sexual liberating concept.  There suddenly became a fright filled silence as free loving boomers realized that they might have already had intercourse with death.  The disease could remain latent for up to ten years.  Young people in their sexual prime began dropping like flower petals in the wind.  Who was going to be next?

All of a sudden the world realized that free love had a high price.  Those previously promiscuous boomers got real nervous as they were forced to endure free love's consequence.  They started seeing the benefits in abstinence and monogamy.  Embracing naked strangers quickly turned to distrusting willing strangers.  The season of free love finally changed.  Summer was over - and every one started feeling the chill.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Orange Push-Ups taste like Summer.  It's a simple pleasure that's still around and that has never changed.  I'm glad there's still some things of yesterday around today.