Scott Weiland R.I.P.

I was 14 the summer before I started high school.  At that time, I was hanging out with a lot of the older kids from my church youth group.  There was this trip we could take as a group to reservations hours away to help locals fix homes or whatever needed to be done. On trips in later years, I would fall off my first roof and ladder, but that’s another story. My girlfriend at the time wanted to go, so of course I signed up. Why does any 14 year old boy do anything?  Because a pretty girl asks them to do it.

I wasn’t nearly as cool then as I am now (that’s a joke. I’m not cool now).  And I had even less knowledge of popular music then than I currently do. Which is hard to say. But I vividly remember driving and listening to one song over and over in the car. I tried to hate it. I don’t know why, but I just wanted to hate it so badly. But no matter how hard I tried, by the end of the trip, I was in love with this song. That song was Plush by the Stone Temple Pilots.

That one song changed my whole outlook on music. What else was out there that I didn’t know about?  I needed to listen to different types of music because there was so much good music being made in the 90’s that I couldn’t soak it up fast enough.

I met a girl named Kristy a couple years later on that same trip, and because I was now open to listen to anything, she introduced me to a band called Skankin’ Pickle. They opened me up to ska and everything happening in the 3rd wave. And because of them, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are my favorite band to this day.

Then I saw the Sour Girl video. To this day I have no idea what’s going on in the video, but I remember seeing it when it came out and saying “Holy sh*t, that’s Sarah Michelle Gellar in this f*cked up STP video!!”  I thought that was just the coolest thing ever.

STP made some of the best music that came out of the 90’s alternative rock scene, and that’s saying something. With bands like Nirvana, Weezer, and Green Day all coming onto the scene during that time, it was a great time to get into that genre of music.  Scott Weiland played a huge part of shaping my high school years with his voice and his music, and I will be forever grateful.  This doesn’t even touch on how cool Velvet Revolver was.  Scott had his troubles with addiction, and and as far as I know, no cause of death has been determined. But today is a sad day.  I will always love Weiland and the Stone Temple Pilots.  Rest in peace, Scott. Your job here is done.

Happy Birthday!

To me. So this was my birthday weekend. I hate it. Let me clarify. I love celebrating my birthday. Friends getting together, having a great time, telling jokes and stories. There’s is literally nothing I love more than when I know I’m gonna see my group of friends. But I hate the fact that I am getting older. Closing in on the first number of my age being a 4. I’m not there yet, but I’m closer to 40 than I am 30.

So when my wife and I started saving for our first house, we made a rule that we could no longer spend frivolously. Not that we did it a lot, we simply don’t care to buy things.  We try to stay behind the curve technologically to save as much money as possible, also we just don’t care, and if you follow this blog at all, you’ve seen the way I dress. So you know I don’t spend any sort of money on clothes.

The other reason for this, is so we have plenty of things on our wish lists for birthdays and Christmas.  She gets mad at me every year because the only things on my list are a few CDs and more of my dumb T-shirts. Yeah, there were another dozen that I found this year.  I’m not fancy. I like my dumb shirts.  This year I got this one, this one, and it wouldn’t be my birthday if I didn’t get something Harley related.

The only problem with this is that my birthday is less than a month until Christmas. It’d be great if it was around June. Then I’d be able to get a CD twice a year instead of having to wait to get all my music in a one month period. But now that we are here, I can finally tell you how excited I was to get my hands on Kacey Musgraves Pagent Material.

Kacey’s previous album, Same Trailer Different Park is probably my favorite album of the last… 10 years?  But I fully recognize that I have reached old man get off my lawn status when it comes to popular music. I think most of it sucks.  The only problem was there was no way her new album could be anywhere near as good as her previous. And it isn’t. But when you’re comparing a CD I’ve listened to a bajillion times to one I’ve now listened to three times, it’s not a fair comparison.

Pagent Material started out with Biscuits as it’s first single, and Family is Family as the second.  Which are very similar to her singles from the first album, which is fine with me. I love them. Biscuits is the favorite song of both my daughters.  They can’t get enough of it.  Especially the video.  They love seeing Kacey dance around.  But Kacey might have been labeled a one trick pony. Her album cuts are where she becomes amazing. Dime Store Cowgirl is the best song on the CD. It’s very auto biographical. And so well written. While I think it’s the best, it’s not my favorite. That distinction goes to Someone to Love.  The song is so stripped down, and beautiful it gets to me everytime I listen to it.  It is absolutely top 3 Kacey songs for me already. Bold claim, but I do that. Like yesterday at my birthday party when I told my friend Mike that Melrose Place was a top 10 show all time. Which it is.  There’s a line in the song that says “We’re all fightin’ with our mirrors scared we’ll never find somebody to love.”  I have never been good at understanding song lyrics, but I understand it as people are constantly hoping that one day they will love who they see looking back at them in the mirror.  And if you’ve read previous posts I’ve written on the subject, you know that’s an issue I have had all my life.  I am constantly hoping that today is the day I will be happy with myself and finally love me.  So it’s a personal line for me in a really beautiful song.

I really think everyone should listen to Kacey Musgraves.  She’s incredibly talented as both a singer and songwriter. Although my sister disagrees about the singer part. I had to wait months to get my hands on this CD, and after only a handful of listens, the one thing I know is that it was absolutely worth the wait.  Now if someone in my family will just buy me some Sunny Sweeney, all will right this holiday season!

Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll

Now I’ve got your attention, don’t I?  Okay, bare with me.  Because this is going to sound ridiculous.  But, I’ve been known to make ridiculous claims before.  At our fantasy football draft, I stated that the perfect song of the 90’s was Stay by Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories.  It’s great.  There isn’t one person who grew up in the 90’s who doesn’t know ALL the words to that song.  I remember going to the bay area with 3 other guys and the song came on.  We had just gotten off the freeway, and we rolled down all the windows and started singing as loud as we could.  It is an amazing song.  Phil tried to claim it was the Friends theme song.  False.  And I love Friends.  I used this song as the wedding party dance song at my wedding.  But how many people know the second verse to the song?  How many people even know there is a second verse?

Back to the ridiculous claim for today.  Over the summer, we watched the new Denis Leary show, Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll.  Leary is a former front man for the band, The Heathens who broke up on the day their first and only album came out.  He has a drug and alcohol problem, and now, he has a daughter who he never knew about.  Elizabeth Gillies plays Gigi who has come to New York to find her father in hopes of making a name for herself a singer with his help.  But only as a songwriter.  As a bandmate, he’s a complete trainwreck.

I love anything with Denis Leary.  I was in 8th grade when No Cure for Cancer was released.  And I can vividly remember listening to it so much in high school that I could recite it line for line.  Rescue Me was a brilliant show that had a great run and I’m glad it was on as long as it was.  So this was a no brainer for me.  Then I found out it also had John Corbett.  I’m not as familiar with all of his work except for Lucky.  Which was so damn good, I can’t believe it was cancelled after only 13 episodes.  I will go to my grave saying that show was treated unfairly.  How dare you, FX.  How dare you.

The best part of the show is by far the music.  In fact, I bought the album online.  I love it so much, I think everyone should give it a listen, and consider buying it.  Part of the reason I love it so much is because I think they are really good songs.  Not the clips from the show, but the actual songs.  Better than a lot of what is put out today (That’s my get off my lawn moment for the day.  Yeah yeah, I’m old.  I get it).  And part of it, probably the bigger part is I am absolutely in love with Gillies voice.  I think she is incredible.  There are so few voices that I find distinguishable today and that can make me lose myself in a song.  She has one of those voices.

I’ve always said the two most amazing voices for me in all of music were Alison Krauss and Amy Lee.  I know, they couldn’t be any different of artists, but I would listen to them sing the phone book.  I can’t forget my favorite female singer, Kacey Musgraves.  She is a treasure to this world, and her songwriting is unmatched for me right now.  I’m not saying that Gillies is that level of a singer (my ridiculous claim isn’t THAT ridiculous), but she is very talented, and her voice is crazy amazing.

You may be thinking, it’s an album from a TV show on FXX.  How good can this possibly be?  F**KING GREAT, that’s how good it can be!!  She was the perfect person to sing these songs.  As good as I think she is as Gigi on the show, she KILLS as a vocalist.  Never in a million years would I have considered buying a song from a TV show like this, much less an album.  But after 10 episodes, I am a huge fan of Gillies and I think everyone should be as well.  Anyway, listen to this song, fall in love with Elizabeth Gillies and go watch more of her performances on YouTube.

And hey!  Good news!  The show was renewed for a second season today!!  Yay for me!!

Bro-Country

I have said before that I am a fan of country music. None of my friends are. They all make fun of me for it. And that’s without actually listening to any of the actual songs.

I had started noticing a few years ago that a lot of the songs that were super popular were just not good. But I still listened. Like Natalie Imbruglia, I was torn (If you like 90’s alternative rock, that joke is brilliant). I always listened, but it seemed like every song I was thinking, this song sucks.

As a stay home dad, I didn’t want the TV on all day, so I simply turned the radio on the country station. This accomplished a few things. Allows my daughters and me to sing and dance a lot. Gets my daughters interested in music, and country music specifically. Throughout my life I’ve listened to a but of everything but enjoy country the most. The problem with my plan is their favorite act is Florida Georgia Line who is a pox on society.

Anyway. The biggest problem with country music these days is that all the songs are the same. Or so the prevailing wisdom goes. I have two thoughts on this.

1. Yes they do.

2. On the other hand, I don’t fault singers and songwriters for putting out these songs. The competition is fierce. Get yours while you can. It’s popular and if that’s what is going to get played, I have no problem with what they are doing. If I had any talent outside of karaoke, I’d probably do the same thing.

There are artists who I will defend unapologetically. Don’t ever say a bad word about Gary Allan, Jana Kramer or Ashton Shepherd. You won’t change my mind. Other than them, we can probably talk.

I read http://www.savingcountrymusic.com (all hail savingcountrymusic.com). Well I guess not all hail. I don’t agree with everything they say, but I enjoy the differing opinion. They recently linked to a video that shows exactly HOW similar all these songs are. And it’s awesome.

All cards on the table, I like Luke Bryan. But I understand why people don’t and why he is in this video. The rest don’t really make any difference to me. Which is why I thought this was brilliant.

Jason Aldean

So I am a little late getting caught up on all my posts.  I’ve got a couple waiting to go, but this was a tough week for me.  Last weekend was a good one.  Saturday night was the soccer match with Phil, and then on Sunday night I went to the Jason Aldean concert.  There were good and bad things, and I will get to them all.

First of all, the show was Tyler Farr, Florida Georgia Line, and Jason.  This would have been my four year olds favorite concert ever.  Jason is her favorite singer, and she absolutely loves FGL.  Or as she calls them, her two boys.  No one in this house gives a crap about Tyler Farr.

FGL

FGL

FGL

FGL

I am not a fan of FGL.  For me, they are the epitome of everything that is wrong with country music today.  Now I know what you’re thinking… uh, isn’t that Jason Aldean?  And well, most people would agree with you.  I am not one of those people.  Are they very similar?  Yes.  Are they different?  Uh… somehow.  Cruise is one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard.  So that set me off.  However, their new song Dirt is by far their best song, so if their new album is songs all like that, I reserve the right to change my mind.  As I get older, I am trying to become a better person, and having an open mind is a big part of that.  No more preconceived notions!

So we dropped the girls off at my folks house an hour and a half before the show started.  They live about 15-20 minutes from the venue.  My sister was also going and she told us to go this back way that no one goes.  You have to pay for parking, but you can get in and out with no problem.  So sure, what the hell.  Well, once we got on this back road, it was 2 miles to the amphitheater.  It took us an hour to go those 2 miles.  At which point we weren’t allowed to park in the fancy parking without a pass, so they sent us to the back of the parking lot.  Litterally couldn’t have been further away.  But it was fine, all we missed was Tyler Farr.  No big loss.

Jason

Jason

Fake Kelly

Here’s why I love Jason Aldean.  And probably why most fans of country music hate him.  I used to love rock music.  Or, what at the time was considered rock music.  I guess it was more alternative rock.  90’s rock.  Today’s rock music blows.  Almost all of it.  Jason’s music gives me enough country and enough rock to satisfy both sides of me.  So it works.  It doesnt work for a lot of people, and that’s fine.  I totally understand why.

I really wish I knew how to post videos on here.  The pictures didn’t turn out as great as the videos.  But you get the gist.

The show was amazing.  It wasn’t the best concert I’ve ever seen, but it was so good.  He played all the hits, but he was only on stage for about an hour, 15.  So that was a little disappointing.  But I was pretty hoarse by the end anyway, so I couldn’t scream anymore.  I have decided that I don’t like his new song Burnin’ it Down.  But then I realized it was co written by… FGL, so there you go.  Is it going to stop me from buying his CD on Tuesday?  Of course not!  Yes, I still buy CD’s.  Occasionally.

So when we got back to our car, way out in the middle of no where, we didn’t move.  For an hour.  I went for a walk and talked to a parking attendant,  Turns out it was a perfect time for a four car pileup right at the freeway!  Remember that 20 minute trip from the venue to my folks house?  Took over 2 hours on the way home.  The next day, kinda sucked but it was worth it.

Doing it all over again in two weeks for Luke Bryan!

Tonight

I have two alerts on Ticketmaster. One is for Gary Allan, the other is for The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. So imagine my surprise when I got an email on Monday saying “Don’t miss out! The Bosstones are coming Friday!” How did I miss this? Did I not get the alert? Did I delete it, thinking it was spam? They are playing tonight in San Francisco at The Fillmore!!!

I’m pretty sure I’ve told the story about how they came to SF in ’01-’02 (ish) around my birthday and I skipped going because of work and figured they’d be back soon. Then went on hiatus.  I was crushed.  I hadn’t seen them since high school, and even that was during the Warped Tour.  So they did a quick set and were gone.  I hadn’t yet fallen in love with them as I had by the time of the hiatus.

So normally, it wouldn’t be a huge problem.  Yes, I would have to beg and beg to be gone all night with that little notice, but whatever.  I have no more pride or shame at this point.  I would drop the girls off at my wife’s office, and drive down all by myself and see the show.  Part of the joy would be all the time I would get by myself.  I hardly ever any time alone anymore.  It is one of my favorite things, but it’s so rare.  I still occasionally get out to the movies alone, but not as much as I did in my early 20’s.  Back then, I’d even get out to Kings games, or go down to Oakland for A’s games alone.  I enjoyed getting out of town and enjoying the silence and meeting the people tailgating.  Alas, those days are over.

So why am I not going?  Well of all the damn weekends!  I have fantasy football drafts both days.  I will be with Phil all Saturday afternoon, and running my parents league pretty much all day Sunday.  I couldn’t be gone all weekend.  It’s very selfish of me.  Any other weekend.  So I actually have been going back and forth on whether or not I want to skip both my drafts and go tonight.  I’ve been planning and researching for two months, and I’m going to skip them just to see a band that I’ve already seen twice?  And let Phil pick my team?  Can’t let that happen.  But it was a very serious discussion I had with myself.

I should have known something was up.  My wife busted out her Bosstones shirt last Sunday.  She never wears it.  Just casually throws it on?  The universe was trying to tell me something.  Today, I wore my “Back in Plaid” concert T from ’08 when I saw them in Clear Lake.  I wonder if the wife will notice, and what she will say.

Front

Front

Back

Back

Last year I missed Gary Allan in Reno THE DAY AFTER MY BIRTHDAY.  For those unfamiliar with the geography of Northern California, Reno is two hours one way, and San Francisco is two hours the other way.  It’s great living in Sacramento.  Gary will come back.  He always does.  The Bosstones?  I don’t know that they will.  I don’t want the last time I saw them to be the last time.  I really hope they come back and I see them again.

Hey at least they were on Jimmy Kimmel Live the other night.  Eh.  I’m sure they will be back.  But, I said that once before.  Then they stopped playing together for five years.

Weezer

I have been burglarized twice in my life. Luckily, no one was home either time and nothing of any real importance was ever taken. A TV or two, some jewelry, and both times my CD collection. For a child, to rebuild your music collection is time consuming and expensive. I only bought two CDs both times our home was broken into. One was Dookie by Green Day and the other was released 20 years ago today, Weezer’s Blue Album.

Looking back after 20 years it certainly makes my top five albums of the 90s.  Grantland.com ran a piece about the album that was brilliant as well. I highly suggest reading it for another perspective.  They took all of their writers and each one discussed a song on the album.  Pretty cool.  I’m not going to go that far, but for me, my favorite song on the album is The World has Turned and Left Me Here.  It may not be the best, or the most critically acclaimed, but there’s something about it.

When the CD came out, I was dating a girl named Andrea. She loved Buddy Holly. Loved it. All these years later, the song still makes me think of her. She was weird and goofy and while most of high school sucked for me, it’s songs like this that bring back happy memories, even though they are few and far between.  At the time, it was one of the coolest videos I had ever seen.  It’s still really amazing how they did it.  And for the mid 90s?!  Brilliant!  The Sweater Song was a song that was so crazy cool to me, and EVERYONE knew it so well, that it sort of lost some of it’s awesomeness for a while.  But there is nothing about The Blue Album that is not absolute gold.

It’s a CD that is so totally 1990s.  However, I put it on the last couple of days in the car while driving my daughters around town, and it still holds up extremely well for being 20 years old.  Weezer has done put out some great songs since then.  Beverly Hills I really enjoyed, and the album Hurley if you don’t have it, is really really good.  I highly recommend it.

So with a tip of the cap, I say well done boys.  Congrats on a great 20 years and a brilliant album.  It was and will always be a benchmark CD for me.