Firefly Pointer Fiberglass Jacket

Saturday, September 16, 2017

An overdue live show in Berkeley with Fastball

 This last Thursday I finally made it out to see a live show after several months. Recently I've started working with Wolves In Argyle, Steve Moriarty of The Gits' new band. So far very few shows have been hard to attend due to distance and public transportation. In this case everything worked out in my favor - the show was nearby, I had the evening off and they happened to be opening for Fastball!

 Being a long time music junkie I was totally familiar with Fastball but could only think of their main hit "The Way." I thought they were one hit wonders, and maybe even "one trick ponies" so to speak. But boy was I wrong!

 But before I get to Fastball, let me start from the very beginning.  

 I arrived early and it happened to be sound check for Wolves In Argyle. The venue was a trip for me since I used to go there several years ago on a regular basis. Except it was a completely different place, a nautical themed bar with pool tables, a juke box and a pool room. The pool room is now the venue area with the stage and a separate entrance. Walking into the main bar entryway I would have never recognized the place. It was incredibly busy and I felt like I stuck out compared to the clientele that now patronizes this bar. Once I made my way to the actual venue part I felt more at home with the lighting and tattooed people. 

 WIA was doing a great sound check and I quickly realized that as good as their recorded work is they are the best to experience live. Once they finished I said hello, got a gin and tonic and found my spot and sat and talked to other music fans (which I absolutely love doing). As the room filled up the music got louder and louder and the lights got dimmer and dimmer. WIA opened their set with some new songs from upcoming "Northern Lies." LP.

 Pretty quickly after their set came Fastball. Sometimes I find myself with unexpected expectations about the kind of show I am going to see. Truth is I knew next to nothing about their body of music, and now that I have a better idea, I think these guys are an underappreciated presence in music. Not only did they have multiple hits I forgot about ("Out of my mind", "You're an ocean", "Sooner or later"). There was even one song ("Fire Escape") I thought for the longest time (up until that night) was the Foo Fighters. You can't see me right now but I'm hanging my head in shame for this misunderstanding. LOL *Sigh* 

 Bands like The Black Keys and The Arctic Monkeys both owe credit to bands like Fastball. The songs from their newest album "Step into light" sounded great and really like a return to form but with even more talent to bring. 

Show pictures can be found below!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Songs I skip, and why

 Recently while digging through old cds and putting them on my mp3 player I came across a plethora of music. As I played many of the files I noticed there were songs I was skipping. I never thought about it before, so I decided to see how far spreading it actually is for me.

 I clicked through Bowie albums, Ramones albums, Queen albums are figured out pretty quickly. It boiled down to simply songs I want to hear or ones I was burned out on. Songs that I haven't heard in a while or a long time were the most alluring, while the songs that were the most commercially popular I was tired of and overexposed to.

Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
The Ramones - I wanna be sedated
David Bowie - Changes
The Rolling Stones - Satisfaction
Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven
The Beatles - She loves you
The Monkees -  Last train to Clarkesville
The Who - My Generation
Elton John - Tiny dancer
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free bird
R.E.M. - Losing my religion
Van Morrison - Brown eyed girl

The weird thing is, I feel guilty for passing over these songs. Most of them are great and even legendary, but I've realized I've simply been overexposed due to commercials. Although my eyes only roll when I hear The Who in a car commercial or Blondie in a household product advertisement; it would be refreshing to hear their lessor played and more interesting songs.

Do you skip certain songs and why?

Monday, August 21, 2017

(SECRETS) Music I'm embarrassed to admit I like

 For years I've been hiding dark secrets that I've been keeping even from my closest friends. As a teenager I was so hardcore into classic rock I had a stubborn attitude that any other music was simply inferior. I went around practically preaching that individuals need to be themselves and to not care what other people think.

 My adult life has already taught me so many things; one of them being that I have been lying to myself about myself for all my life. I'm not going to get too deep here so allow me to peel away a layer of who I really am and what I really like.

 Some of this music I actually feel shame for enjoying. If any of this music started playing in mixed company I would pretend to not care when they change it. But inside I'm going "Awwwwwwe" because I like that song but feel too embarrassed to say so. Oddly enough I've kept some of my music preferences a secret.

The list goes from music I am least embarrassed to admit I like at the top and the most at the bottom. 

8 musicians and albums I'm embarrassed to admit I like

The album Third Eye Blind by Third Eye Blind 
This band is so much more than "Semi-Charmed Life"; their biggest hit --which is also on this album. Third Eye Blind's self titled album start off with an eerie electric guitar in "Losing a whole year." The whole album is packed with quality songs that are not only catchy but have heart. When this came out in 1997 it made a big splash and seemed to capture the era and the angst. "Narcoplepsy" might be my favorite song on the whole thing. This particular album is really solid and an under-appreciated gem of the time. 

The music of Sting
Of all the music on this list, this is the one I have gotten the most crap for. I'm a big fan of the Police's music ... and Sting's music is pretty damn good too. Some of my personal favorites are: "If I ever lose my faith in you", "Fields of Gold", "If you love somebody set them free" and probably more. I do start to giggle when I hear (but still enjoy) "Desert Rose" and "Brand new day." I have been informed that because I like the music of Sting and Phil Collins this means I like "dad rock." 

noun: dad rock
  1. rock music that appeals to an older generation, or that is heavily influenced by that of an earlier era.

    "some reviewers deride his current style as dadrock—music that shouldn't appeal to self-respecting teenagers"

The music of Seal
I enjoy his smokey voice and his song was probably my favorite thing about the Batman Forever movie. I find his voice and music to be enjoyable and not "sappy" as others think. Some songs I enjoy: "Crazy", "Waiting for you", "Kiss from a rose", "Love's Divine", and "Don't cry."

The music of Phil Collins
I love Genesis, which is why I also love the music of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins. I enjoy a lot of his music including: "In the air tonight", "Mama", his cover songs and even his music from Disney's "Tarzan." Phil has gotten a lot of  harsh criticism in recent years for reasons I can't quite comprehend. There were people running petitions for him to end his music career despite him announcing his retirement due to doing partially deaf. 

The music of The Alan Parson's Project 
I really enjoy songs like "Eye in the sky", "Games people play", and "The Raven" I have a bunch of their albums and they are a great band to listen to on record. I've had friends call their music incredibly boring but I find it serene and thought provoking. 

The albums "Spice" and "Spice World" by The Spice Girls
I think the Spice Girls released some pretty great pop music back when they were big. The Spice Girls expressed self-awareness in their movie "Spice World" poking fun at their lives in the tabloids and on the road. Their music is fun and it teleports me to the pleasant times in 90's. However, I did not care for later Spice Girls music which turned into hip hop. Some of my favorite songs are: "Stop", "More Over (Generation Next)", "Too Much", and "Who do you think you are". "Spice" and "Spice World" are in my opinion their best work.

The music of Linkin Park
In 2007 when "Minutes to Midnight" was released I found myself not hating what I was listening to. Some songs I enjoy are: "Numb", "Faint" (music video directed by Mark Romanek my favorite music video director!), and "Waiting for the end". With the death of the lead singer (Chester Bennington) recently I decided I come clean about my secret enjoyment of his music. I don't mean to jump on some sort of band wagon but I do want to give credit where credit is due. My heart genuinely goes out to him knowing that he dealt with depression and ended up taking his own life.

The music of Coldplay
I enjoy a lot of their music. Ok, I said it. Some songs I like by them are: "The Scientist", "Lost", "Yellow,", "Fix you", and "Speed of sound."

What music do you like that you are embarrassed about but willing to admit? I challenge you to think about it - I believe we all have them. Write down the music, bands and albums that you have been keeping a secret. 
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