Wha? Huh? Typing??? Blog? What?

Wow. I promised an update “within the next day or two” back on February 18th. Sorry. Yikes.

Let’s catch up a little with a random post… I typed this in a different program and am coping/pasting, so I hope it doesn’t end up looking weird. IF it does, my apologies, and it’ll probably make me crazy and I’ll delete it and/or fix it…but those who get e-mailed my posts will still see this. So it is… (Also, in some places this post is needlessly sweary. Sorry about that in advance.)

  1. So where the hell have I been? I don’t really have an answer. It’s just even with the phone app I found, it’s kind of a pain to blog without a functioning computer (or laptop) sitting at a functioning desk (or lap). Hoping to remedy that shortly, but where have I heard that before?
  2. Music Roundup:
    1. David Bowie – “The Next Day”
      It’s the new Bowie. I loved it, obviously. As my brother described it, it’s almost TOO Bowie. He landed on the perfect description for it… Bowie went away for 10 years, and this sounds like the best of the records he WOULD have made in that time. Like if a friend said, “I don’t have the last three records” and you made him a compilation and called it, “The Next Day.” And I dig the hell out of it.
    2. Hatebreed – “The Divinity of Purpose”
      Picked it up on a whim. Enjoyed it. Not genre defining. It’s a hardcore record by a hardcore band. And I liked that.
    3. Son Volt – “Honky Tonk”
      Let me put it this way… You know how sometimes someone paints a painting and the painting is terrible, but they put it in a really nice frame, and some art-douche comes along and says, “That painting is awful, but I love the frame?” That’s how I feel about everything Jay Farrar has done with the relaunched Son Volt. (And yes, I realize that makes ME the art-douche in that particular metaphor.) I don’t know if I just miss the old line-up or what…but I love Son Volt and really wish he’d stop putting shitty paintings in a wonderful frame. And I’m not one of those guys who hates Jay Farrar. I think “Terrier Blues” was brilliant. I loved his “Gob Iron” project. It’s just that the stuff he’s calling “Son Volt…” Isn’t.
    4. Steven Wilson – “The Raven that Refused to Sing (and other stories)”
      If you can listen to it without wanting to smoke pot, you deserve a freaking medal. And I mean that as a compliment to both the music and the listener. This record invokes Yes and Floyd and Rush and ELO and a few others I can’t call to mind, yet still manages to feel completely fresh and new. Not near as heavy as his main act (Porcupine Tree), but a definite treat that is clearly rooted in the past but maintains a present-tense urgency. Love it.
    5. Sound City – “Real to Reel”
      Dave Grohl is SO good at being Dave Grohl I just want to hug him sometimes. This is more or less a soundtrack to the documentary of the same name he put out earlier in the year. It’s great music from a buttload of great artists working together as one. (To mention a few of the names involved: Foo Fighters, Stevie Nicks, Rick Springfield, Corey Taylor, Rick Nielsen, Paul McCartney, a couple of the guys from Rage Against the Machine, Lee Ving, the surviving members of Nirvana, Josh Homme, and more…) I’m already conflicted about if it can go on my top ten list for the year due to the one-off, not really a band nature of the project…but even if it doesn’t, I’m pretty sure it BELONGS there…so it probably will be.
    6. Stone Sour – “House of Gold and Bones – Part 1” (from 2012)
      I’ve got a place in my heart for concept albums. Some of my favorite albums are concept albums. Quadrophenia. Tommy. The Wall. Operation: Mindcrime. Ziggy Stardust. Scenes from a Memory… The list goes on… Stone Sour wrote one kick-ass, heavy, gonna-get-heavier-on-part-two (coming in April!), why-haven’t-I-always-been-a-fan?, sci-fi, soon-to-be-a-comic-book (seriously!) concept album. It’s really good. Metal but not without maintaining melody. The booklet in the CD case is a must-read to get a grip on the story (sorry iTunes-suckers!), but the songs are great no matter what. I definitely want to hear part two when it comes out, and I’m a little bummed I didn’t have part 1 in consideration for my top ten last year.
    7. Anthrax – “Anthems”
      The covers-record no one asked for becomes a reality. And I am hugely disappointed that I bought in. This EP proves that the only reason to do a cover is if you can do it different or do it better…and Anthrax did NEITHER with this release. Each song stays faithful to the original…and I already have the originals. So why did I buy this? To have a slower version of Rush’s “Anthem” where the drums aren’t quite as good and the vocal sounds stilted? I mean…it’s cute and entertaining…but it’s one-and-done. Heard it once, never seeing my player again. Sorry guys. Rare miss.
    8. That was a lot of music…
  3. I’ve been struggling through one cold and then another. The one I presently have has given me pink eye, dulled my hearing, made my sinuses explode, and last week my voice sounded like I was a character on the Andy Griffith Show who just drank some of Otis’ moonshine by accident then tried to talk right away. This sucks. I feel terrible, look terrible, sound terrible, and possibly smell terrible, but I can’t actually smell anything. I bet I don’t taste so good either… Nobody lick me.
  4. (RANT:) I got a comment on an old, old post where I mentioned the “scandal” (which went–you guessed it–NOWHERE) revolving around abuse allegations at Pinehaven Ranch, which my somewhat distant cousin Bob owns. The person who posted claimed to have been a resident there who has legitimate issues with the facility, so I started out giving them the benefit of the doubt and started thinking about how to address it. Then I realized that he addressed me as “you guys” demanded that I vocally defend or reject the institution–which I was fairly clear about in the thing I wrote–then plugged…his…fucking…website.
    So…this is the only shout-out or response “he?” gets. Dude, if you’re reading… IF you were abused, I’m deeply sorry to hear it and I hope you get the help/justice you need. But take it to a fucking COP. Getting page hits from my bullshit BLOG isn’t going to help you. If you’ve got a case to make–MAKE A CASE…but it seems like the only things that have been presented in the situation are at best hearsay. If there are real allegations to be made, I’d love to hear someone make them in a court of law, rather than in my comments section. And I mean that–if anyone at Pinehaven (up to and including members of my own family–with whom I will restate here I am not in regular contact with at this time) is responsible for betraying their vow to help kids, they need to be dealt with. But my blog isn’t the place that’s going to bring them down, if there’s any evidence–especially when the accuser is just looking for me to link to his site and doesn’t bother reading what I write to begin with. So that’s the matter closed for me…until seven months from NOW when some other (or the same) person comments on THIS post…
  5. Shifting gears… I’ve been writing a LOT of new songs–although that’s slowed down while this illness has dulled my hearing. A lot of them don’t have a home and possibly won’t. But I’m looking forward to the stuff that I’m sure will make it to the band.
  6. Oh…have I mentioned the name change on the blog? Dave and I have been working as “Two Hangmen” for some time, but with our buddy Dave Knobel in the group, there are now three people and that name doesn’t make sense. We’ll probably hang onto it just for grins and for one-off EPs and such… But when there’s three (or more!) of us, you can now call the band The Social Gospel. That’s the main act and the one I’ll be pimping all over the Internet and elsewhere. The Social Gospel. It’s a thing, man.
  7. Wow…it’s been long enough that I haven’t blogged about the car-situation… Well, the claim finally got settled about a month after the accident. (Unacceptable! Shame on you, Liberty Mutual!) I am now driving around in a 2009 Mercury Mariner. I like it. It’s big and the stereo’s loud, and it’s the first V6 I’ve ever had. It’s starting to feel like “my” car now, and I’m happy with it.
  8. My St. Patrick’s Day sucked, in case anyone was wondering. I usually think of it as an ACTUAL holiday. I do everything I can to be off work to go down to the local parade and I enjoy the day and my heritage. This year, every single fucking plan I had was cancelled–and I was still getting over the tail-end of cold #1. I spent the whole day pissed off, feeling like the British were RIGHT. Still kind of feel that way actually. I feel like the holiday–MY holiday–rejected me at every turn this year, and I’m not that anxious to dance a fucking jig any time soon. We’ll see if I feel different by next March, but ever since, I haven’t even wanted a Guinness.
  9. Movies I’ve recently seen: Argo, Sound City, and the Foo Fighters Documentary. Of the three, Argo was definitely the most gripping, but I think Sound City did the most to get under my skin and make me want to get up off of my ass…and then I got a cold…
  10. I’m bummed that I missed my opportunity to use the line, “Meet the new pope…same as the old pope…”

Well…that’ll do it. I’ll try to get better at writing more. Sorry.

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