New Music for Old Rockers – Michael McDermott channeling Billy Joel

Maybe you like that old Billy Joel song “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” I’m not a huge fan since it didn’t really say anything. It was just a song with a list of headlines from his life as lyrics. Still, it was a huge hit, and it was clever how he wove all the people and events into the lyrics.

I get a similar vibe from this new Michael McDermott song, except McDermott definitely has something to say. What’s that? Who is Michael McDermott? He’s a Chicago guy making music with an Irish-tinged sound. He’s not my favorite musical artist, but how can a Flanigan not like a McDermott from Chicago.

There’s no doubt on which side of the political landscape that McDermott has chosen to stand. Take a listen …

Despite only being released 3 weeks ago, I hate to admit the lyrics are already a bit dated. McDermott sings, “Dark days coming for the USA.” Sorry, Michael, they are already here.

This video is only averaging 1000 views a week. Please share it. It’s a cautionary tale worth a listen and watch by many more people.

 

RIP John Prine

I’m not feeling very funny today with the passing of folk-country-rock legend (at least round these parts he is) John Prine due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. He was a mailman from the Chicago suburbs and may very well have delivered mail to my house when I was a kid. Let’s go with that story. He did. I feel better with that connection.

I only saw him in concert once. That was the first of many concerts my wife and I have seen together, but only once to see John Prine. That’s okay. It makes it very special. He was a cancer survivor – twice. His body and voice suffered a bit in recent years from the results of the cancer as well as the cure, but he continued to write good music. He was the best lyricist I have ever known. Bob Dylan wrote wonderful lyrics about sprawling stories like “Hurricane” and “Tangled up in Blue.” John Prine wrote personal, intimate lyrics about people that touch your heart and soul.

So, here comes my John Prine tribute post. Click to read more about this amazing musician.

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New Music for Old Rockers – Quarantine Edition

Many musical artists are releasing live versions of some of their songs during this coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a twist. Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day just released this cover of a Tommy James & the Shondells hit. I like the vibe. Take a listen.

I think we’re alone now, indeed. He recorded this in his bedroom, a place where a lot of us are spending more time. At least we have some new music to keep us company. Thanks, Billie Joe.

When & Where Are They Performing?

I saw this news article yesterday.

Pablo escobar cocaine hippos

Click HERE for full story.

My initial thought upon reading that there are such things as Pablo Escobar’s Cocaine Hippos … GREAT NAME FOR A BAND! Can you imagine that PELIGRO text with the hippo on the bass drum? I want to see that band … NOW!

What is somewhat overshadowed in the title and story is that there were once giant llamas. Not as good a name for a band, but I want to see them, too. Not the band, the real thing.

New Music for Old Rockers – Acronym Edition

I’ve never been much of a Radiohead fan. I like some of their stuff and respect them as artists, but their music has never been fun enough for me. God, that makes me sound so shallow, so I guess it’s fairly accurate. Along comes Radiohead’s guitarist Ed O’Brien with a new EOB album called Earth to be released in April, and I’m having some musical fun with this EOB single just released this month. Take a listen …

I love the slow layering of tracks over the first 2 minutes of the song. Then the tune heats up, cools off, heats up, cools off, heats up, and finishes as layered tracks get stripped away to nothing. It’s not exactly a sing-along song, but this blogger’s toe was a-tappin’.

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My Non-Tide Pod Facebook Challenge, Part 2

After yesterday’s Part 1 post, I am sure that most readers would have preferred if I had taken the Tide Pod challenge to eliminate any possibility of a Part 2. Sorry, but here it is. Let’s get right into another 6 albums that shaped my musical landscape.

royal scam

Before Steely Dan fans stone me, I know this is not their best album. But it was the Dan album that caught my attention with the funk of “Kid Charlemagne” and opened my eyes and ears to their whole catalog. No regrets. Listening to Steely Dan has helped refine my musical sensibilities.

I regret I never saw them in concert. Walter Becker has now passed away, but Donald Fagen is still touring as Steely Dan. I don’t feel good about that. I think he should tour as Donald Fagen or Steely or Dan, but not Steely Dan. RIP Walter.

Now this next guy looks out of place on this album cover …

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My Non-Tide Pod Facebook Challenge, Part 1

Finally, I received a Facebook challenge that didn’t require me to eat a Tide Pod or dump a bucket of ice over my head or eat ice or dump a bucket of Tide Pods over my head. One of my nieces who will remain nameless to protect her anonymity challenged me to name 10 albums that influenced my musical tastes. Thanks a lot, Karen. I am supposed to offer 1 album a day over 10 days, but I fear that between my short attention span and memory loss, I won’t make it past 2 days. So, I am going to offer 6 albums a day for 2 days. I know what you’re thinking. Math? 6 x 2 = 12, not 10. Consider it coloring outside the lines and refusing to make hard decisions. Oh, I am also not supposed to comment on them. Well, that’s not happening. So, here are the first 6 in no particular order with full commentary.

London Calling

Okay, so I lied. London Calling is the most influential album for me, hands down. The sprawling musical genres and styles contained within this masterful double album greatly expanded my musical horizon. It’s an album that still sounds fresh and timeless to me when I listen to it today. I regret I never saw The Clash in concert, but one of my bosses went to see them (I’m recalling at the Aragon Brawlroom maybe?) and was thrilled when they spat upon him. Good times.

Okay, now the rest will be in totally random order …

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New Music for Old Rockers – Prime Real Estate

My business travel plans were to take me back to St. Louis next in mid-April, where just coincidentally I planned to see Real Estate in concert. If you are not familiar with that band, I was introduced to them through this song a few years back.

That song breaks a major rule of songwriting about introducing lyrics within the first 8 seconds of a song, and the one about not having a horse contribute to your music video. Regardless, I fell in love with their soft, indie, jangly, pop-rock sound. My oldest daughter advised me to stay away from the band because one of the band members was too sexual assaulty. They bounced his abusive ass from the band, replaced him with a new lead guitarist, and have a new album to be released within days called The Main Thing. Here’s a single released from the new album called “Paper Cup” that I highly recommend.

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New Music for Old Rockers – Pearl Jammin’ Edition

I’ve never been much of a Pearl Jam fan. I like some of their music, but it really never moved me much. Pearl Jam is officially 30 years old this year, and their last album was released in 2013 to modest reviews, so I figured they had packed it in as a band. Oops, was I wrong. Welcome, Gigaton, due to be released in March. If the rest of the album is like the first 2 songs made available, then watch out.

“Dance of the Clairvoyants” was the first song released and it definitely cooks with propane. Take a listen.

Love the bass line and drumming that drive this song forward with a vengance. And just when I thought the song was ready to end as a tight 3 minute tune, the song morphs into a dreamy jam for a tasty ending.

WARNING: Dad joke ahead. Proceed at your own risk.

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A Disconcerting Effort to Start the Year

2019 was a great concert year for me. I went to 11 concerts, maybe more but my memory fails me on additional ones. Here they are ranked from worst to first.

11) Glenn Hughes of Deep Purple – Imagine playing only Deep Purple songs from the time when you were in the band and the group was no longer making memorable music. I walked out.

10) Black Keys/Modest Mouse – Disappointing.

9) Mt. Joy – Fun.

8) War – Free concert in the park performed with enthusiastic joy.

7) Car Seat Headrest – An pleasant evening with my oldest son listening to music by a band I was unfamiliar with on Chicago’s beautiful lakefront.

6) Smithereens with Marshall Crenshaw on lead vocals – Surprisingly good blending of talents.

5) Beatles White Album Tribute – Todd Rundgren, Mickey Dolenz, Christopher Cross, Joey Molland of Badfinger, and some guy formerly with the group Chicago performing all songs from the Beatles White Album with fun and style.

4) Heart/Sheryl Crow – Crow > Heart.

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My Brain May Be Melting

We don’t subscribe to movie channels with our cable subscription. Every once in a while when the stars align properly, we get free HBO for a few days. I record a bunch of movies, and we watch some of them until the next time we get free HBO. It’s a perfect system, except so many of the movies suck. I use the Rotten Tomatoes website to sort the viewable from the unwatchable.

I recorded Rock the Kasbah from 2015 starring Bill Murray because, well, I love Bill Murray and most everything he has ever done. I didn’t see the movie when it was released, because I heard it was terrible. And this did not look at all promising per Rotten Tomatoes …

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New Music for Old Rockers – New Yorn Yule Yarn

Christmas can be a fun time, but also a very stressful time. There are gifts to buy, MAGA relatives to rub shoulders with, and decorations to put up outside often in less than ideal conditions. But Pete Yorn is back with some sage advice for this season.

Where’s Yorn been since he captivated us musically a decade ago with lyrical tales of his “Strange Condition?” Well, he’s been making music, but just not super memorable. This new tune from his 7th album may not be memorable, but it excellent advice to just calm the hell down.

If you aren’t calm after listening to that tune, then there’s something seriously wrong. Calm down. The gifts will get wrapped. The tree will be trimmed. You’ll get to go a-Wassailing, whatever that is. Ask Uncle George in his MAGA hat about his health. He won’t have time to talk about Trump. He’ll be too busy talking about his gout and the root canal he needs and the fried foods he can’t eat anymore because his cholesterol is too high and … well, you get the idea. When he’s done, just tell him to calm down because he looks great. Okay, that’s probably a lie. What is that spot on his head? But, what the hell, it’s the holidays. Maybe that Christmas lie will help him enjoy a Merry Christmas, like all of us will if we just calm down.

 

New Music for Old Rockers – Special Old Music Edition

So this show came to town last night …

WhiteAlbum_600x600.jpg

Again. It was here a couple months ago and sold out. Last night it sold out thanks to me and a couple friends being in the crowd. We were intrigued by the concept, but were glad our seats were by the emergency exit, just in case the show was a train wreck, and we did think that was a distinct possibility. I was especially skeptical of the inclusion of Jason Scheff who provided bass and vocals for Chicago in the 1980s when Chicago was cranking out sappy love songs.

Boy, was I wrong.

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Mite Be Funny #144 (with backstory)

Mite Be Funny #144 Children

I was inspired to create this cartoon after watching our middle daughter dance at her university yesterday. She did a fine job. On the way home, somehow the discussion between my wife, middle daughter, youngest daughter, and I drifted to who is our favorite child. I believe our middle daughter “drifted” the conversation that way. My wife and I really don’t have favorites, although none of our five children will ever believe that. We are proud of each of them for their achievements, and do our best to support their attempts to achieve. Our youngest daughter is currently intent on achieving becoming taller than our middle daughter. She’s well on her way.

Yesterday, we were proud of our middle daughter’s performance along with hearing that she will start her professional dance career in Milwaukee this summer where she’s accepted a paid position in a dance company for one month. It’s a start. She’ll return for a 5th year at the university in 2020 to finish up double majors and minors.

If you are interested, here’s a short snippet of a longer dance from last year’s fall dance concert at her university. Our daughter enters the stage first.

 

New Music for Old Rockers – Less is Not More Beck Hyperspace Edition

I have grown to really like and appreciate Beck’s music as time has passed, enough to actually go see him put on a great live show this summer. I was anxious for his new album Hyperspace to be released after hearing the first song from the album, “Saw Lightning” that dropped over the summer. That song is a collaboration with Pharrell Williams, and it took a while, but it grew on me. I like songs that grab me and pull me toward the speaker or are so melodic that they cause me to sing along. My family prefers I get pulled to the speaker rather than the latter.

I started my listening relationship tentatively with “Saw Lightning.” At first, I took some baby steps toward the speaker, but eventually ran to it. But not so much with his second release from the album “Uneventful Days.” It’s a dreamy and ethereal tune, floating from the speaker to lull me into wanting to be in an elevator heading up to the 17th floor of a nondescript office building on Main Street in Anytown, USA. It doesn’t pull me to the speaker or make me want to sing along. It’s not a bad song, just … uneventful. And I find the music video to be a bit depressing.

The whole album is more minimalist than Beck’s 2017 release Colors which just roars from the speakers with layered perfection. Hyperspace has some decent tunes like “Star” and “Die Waiting,” but none that make me want to turn up the volume and shush whoever I’m with.  I’m just not sure if I can stay awake between the moderately decent tracks to get to them. It’s not like it’s a bad album. Beck breaks new ground with his new sound once again. Illinois legalizes recreational pot on January 1st. I think I may enjoy this album a lot more after a few edibles on New Year’s Day.

I feel bad about not sharing some cool new song, so I’ll close by offering up Sturgill Simpson’s new country rocker called “Sing Along,” complete with wild cartoon video.

Makes me want to get in the car, roll down the windows (brrr!), crank this tune, and speed just enough that the cops allow it without pulling me over.

Challenge Yourself

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw that Trump was running a new MAGA Challenge.

Maga Challenge

What do you get if you lose? 2 visits to the White House to meet that moron?

My mind spun (as always) with the possibilities of what Trump might be challeging us to do. Here’s a partial list of what I came up with …

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My Most Embarrassing Favorite Song

I was surprised when someone I have known since high school turned up his nose at “Brandy” by the Looking Glass as a fine song. Yeah, it is a mere wisp of a song, but I love it. And if it’s good enough for a  Guardians of the Galaxy movie soundtrack, it should be good enough for all of us.

I’m a sucker for catchy pop songs. “Brandy” is one of those. I filled my 2019 summer playlist with light, breezy, fun, and wistful songs. Although summer has ended, I find myself going back to that playlist for certain songs when I’m down and need cheering up or when I am already cheerful, so basically all the time. Some of those select songs include …

  • Happy Hour by Weezer
  • 24 Frames by Jason Isbell
  • King of a One Horse Town by Dan Auerbach (of the Black Keys)
  • Up All Night by Beck
  • Renegades by X Ambassadors
  • Spirits by the Strumbellas

And then there’s one more older song that I can’t stop listening to, but I should. I need an intervention. Stop me before I listen to this song again …

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Unhappy Halloween

How did I miss it? I was so excited when I saw the sign announcing the upcoming celebrity appearance. It’s not that we are not used to celebrities in our town. Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys used to live here, despite our lack of beaches. Prominent anti-vaxxer, actress, and former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy lives here now, along with her husband Donnie Wahlberg, actor and former New Kid on the Block. So proud. We have minor (and occasionally major) musical and comedic acts coming through town every week to play our local theater. And a former professional football player, and son of an NFL Hall of Famer, calls our town home. My wife works at the school where his son attends. So we know how to handle celebrities. We ignore them.

Except for students who see my wife. I get a kick out of seeing the reaction on student’s faces when my wife runs into them out in public. You would think my wife was a Hollywood A-list celebrity. Well, she is in my book.

In a similar manner, I was all agog when I saw this upcoming celebrity appearance advertised …

Munster Monday

Would Butch remember me? Yes, we met before. It seems like only yesterday …

wayne's world dream sequence

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New Music for Old Rockers – Quantity > Quality Edition

There is just so much good new music recently that I decided that rather than taking a deep dive into one song, I would wade into the shallows of multiple songs. Let’s get started!

I don’t like rap music. The closest I could ever cozy up to rap music was enjoying the hip hop of the Beastie Boys. How can anyone not like the pure camp of the BB? But the Beastie Boys are definitely not rap. Earlier this year when I was considering if I should go to an Anderson East concert, my oldest son advised me that the only good musical artist named Anderson was a rapper named Anderson.Paak. That is definitely not true. Besides Anderson East, there is the Anderson Council and their psychedelic sounds. Groovy.

So, who’s Anderson.Paak and what’s up with the period between his names? I never investigated either. But than I saw him recently on Jimmy Kimmel singing this excellent song with the great Smokey Robinson.

Now that’s a good tune and a nice homage to Smokey’s sound. I tried to explore more of .Paak’s (do I include the period with his first or last name?) music, and I found him to be too sweary for my taste. But he did prove with this song that as far as his music goes, he can definitely make it better.

1 down. Ready for 3 more? Let’s go.

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New Music for Old Rockers – Summer Bummer Concert Edition

I’ve enjoyed a most excellent concert year and spent most of my summer doing this …

headbanging_waynes_world

Which I have to admit was sort of weird when I went to the symphony.

I tempted fate and tried to sneak in one more concert last week before summer ended. It was a deal I couldn’t refuse. I was in St. Louis “on business” again. My evening was my own. Once again, a major music act was not selling concert tickets for their stop in St. Louis. That is not unusual. I received an email with good seats being offered at much lower prices than the cheap, nosebleed seats I had been eyeing. I also had a couple Ticketmaster vouchers worth a few bucks. In the end, I think this is the only time I have ever seen this on my ticket receipt …

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New Music for Old Rockers – Staying High with Brittany Howard

It’s 1966. It’s the height of Motown. The AM airwaves are filled with hits from female Motown artists like Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, Diana Ross & the Supremes, the Marvelettes, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and of course … Brittany Howard with this great tune called “Stay High.”

That is one super-sweet video that tugs at your heartstrings until it pulls them right out of your body, leaving you heartstringless. Except, isn’t that Terry Crews from America’s Got Talent singing it? He wasn’t born yet in 1966. And how could Brittany Howard record this? She was born decades after 1966. And they look nothing alike.

brittany Howard terry crews

Brittany Howard is on the left and Terry Crews is on the right. Definitely NOT the same person. Neither alive in 1966. There is a simple explanation.

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A Concerted Sales Effort

I saw an online notice of tickets still available for sale at our local concert venue. I was very surprised seeing this one. I would have lost a “Dead or Alive?” bet on Paul Anka.

Arcada d

That’s a lot of cash for a ticket to see an old guy I thought may be deceased. Of course, he may think the same about me. I have doubts some days myself.

I know these guys aren’t dead. I saw them give an excellent free outdoor show a few years back. But now they are just about selling out (just 2 seats left) with tickets for $180 each? What?

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New Music for Old Rockers – Rage Against Age Concert Edition

I’m old. However, somehow I have put together my best concert year ever in 2019, although with some concessions to age. I missed driving 3+ hours to see the Smithereens perform recently at Abe Fest …

Smithereens Springfield

Thank God. Although I love those 80’s/90’s rockers and have wanted to see them for years now, I didn’t want to see them enough to drive to Springfield to freakin’ Abe Fest. Regardless, I waited a bit too long, and their lead vocalist passed away a couple years ago. Enter 80’s power popper Marshall Crenshaw to take over vocal duties. I thought it was an odd combination of upbeat vocals from Crenshaw for brooding Smithereen songs like “Blood and Roses.” I had to find out for myself.

I saw that the Smithereens were playing an outdoor festival gig just outside Chicago last Friday. Would the wife approve of my going? Yes! But under one condition. She didn’t want me to drag her to Skokie to see them. It’s a deal! I was flying solo.

The Smithereens/Crenshaw amalgam looked and sounded great in suburban Chicago …

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New Music for Old Rockers – Covering Covers Edition

Can someone please tell me the point of song covers that sound like the original? I don’t get it. When I first heard Weezer’s cover of Toto’s “Africa” last summer, I had to check first to see if it was a cover and not just a remix of the original. What is the point? I did get to hear that excellent song on the radio again, but I would have been happy to have heard the original played more frequently last summer.

It is true that I nominated Lana Del Rey’s cover of Sublime’s “Doin’ Time” as this year’s Song of the Summer. It is significantly different from the original. And that voice of hers … just divine. But then I was driving with my oldest daughter who is a huge Kate Bush fan, when Bush’s song “Running Up That Hill” came on the radio. My daughter was initially happy to hear it until we identified it being sung by a Kate Bush impersonator named Meg Myers with an identical-sounding version. Why? I will admit the video is kind of cool, but Kate Bush’s voice > Meg Myer’s voice. Sorry, Meg.

And now we get this news …

Hasselhoff

Full story and music video follows. The music video is creepily worth the price of clicking to read on.

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New Music for Old Rockers – Song of the Summer Edition Vindication

I announced my 2019 Song of the Summer on this blog recently to much fanfare.

Bill nye.gif

That’s right Science Guy Bill Nye, celebrate that “Go” by the Black Keys is my pick for 2019 Song of the Summer. But my 2 oldest children told me I was way off. They claim that a song called “Old Town Road” is the song of the summer. They tell me that kids stop whatever they’re doing and go crazy when that song comes on.

Dance on chair.gif

Hmmm, I wonder why? Take a look and listen …

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New Music for Old Rockers – Special Edition of Best Concert Ever?

The opportunity while on a business trip to see Spoon, Cage the Elephant, and Beck in one concert on their Night Running Tour was too tempting for me to resist. This is arguably the best concert tour of the summer. I paid more than I like to usually pay for my concerts, which is zero. But the opportunity to see 4 excellent acts in one concert was like going to a mini-music festival. That’s right, 4 acts. Wild Belle opened the show. I passed on Wild Belle and took a nap and swim at my La Quinta hotel within walking distance of the concert venue. By the way, La Quinta is Spanish for The Quinta. You’re welcome for the translation.

As I walked to the outdoor venue, I could hear Spoon starting their set. I could have pulled up a chair outside and heard the show for free. This blog feature is about new music, and Spoon was playing their new single “No Bullets Spent” from their Greatest Hits album just released. Ugh. Why do bands insist on adding bad songs to their greatest hit compilations? I refuse to include a link to this sub-standard new Spoon song. Instead, if you are unfamiliar with Spoon, enjoy “The Underdog” which got me hooked on Spooning.

Spoon’s stage was spartan and looked like it was missing a knife and fork.

Spoon 1.JPG

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New Music for Old Rockers – July Concertpalooza Edition – Part 2

My July Concertpalooza rolls on with another FREE show, the third freebie in a row. I received free concert tickets from the world’s greatest radio station, 93.1 WXRT in Chicago, to see Heart and Sheryl Crow play Chicago this past week. Neither act is very musically-relevant anymore except in a historical context (Heart definitely being rock ground-breakers as the first hugely successful female-fronted band), but both acts are still making new music, hence this tour.

But before Sheryl Crow took the stage, there was a young opening act. I think she started playing right before we parked the car, and then finished before we took our seats. It was a very long walk from where we parked.

Ours were decent $69 seats (thanks ‘XRT!), but we did have to sit a couple rows behind the guy who likes Five Finger Death Punch AND Heart. That’s quite a range of musical tastes. Crow1

His wife had sunglasses on the whole show, even after dark, and looked a lot like one of the party-goers in this pic from the Rocky Horror Picture Show …

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New Music for Old Rockers – July Concertpalooza Edition – Part 1

In my quest to make this my best concert year ever, the month of July will play a key role. I am scheduled to attend 4 concerts this month, and the first 2 are in the books, no thanks to the Democratic National Committee. I had planned on seeing husband & wife duo Flora Cash at a free Millennium Park concert in Chicago.

Flora Cash.png

They look exciting. However, the Flora Cash show directly conflicted with the second Democratic candidate debate. Thanks, Obama. Well, that’s probably okay as Flora Cash tends to be a bit mellow. I mean, her eyes are closed in the pic. Some would say a bit too subdued on this popular track of theirs … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVdPh2cBTN0. I wouldn’t want to fall asleep in the park and miss my train home.

My oldest son suggested Car Seat Headrest in the same park this past week. Although I had no idea who Car Seat Headrest is, I couldn’t refuse a free concert with my son in the beautiful Jay Pritzker Pavillion on Chicago’s glorious lakefront on a beautiful night.

pritzker pavillion

Now, who is Car Seat Headrest you ask?

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New Music for Old Rockers – Oh, Canada Edition

In all my rushing around for business travel and then vacation travel, I didn’t want to overlook a review of one of my favorite concerts of all time that I attended last week. I was in St. Louis again last week, ready for some live music, so I hit the Ready Room.

Ready Room

It is an intimate venue that holds 750 general admission concert-goers. But surely Canada’s own Strumbellas would easily sell out a 750 capacity venue. Not so fast. I’m not sure they even wanted to be performing that night. There was a competing event that night that would thin the crowd and shrink ticket prices. With hints like Canada and St. Louis, can you guess the event?

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New Music for Old Rockers – Concert Preview Decision Edition

There has been lots of good new music recently, getting me ready for my planned summer concerts. Here’s a look at recent releases as I try and catch up a bit.

This first song is actually an old song sporting a new piano arrangement, and features a duet with a dead legend.

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New Music for Old Rockers – Foals Concert Edition

I like the UK band Foals, and I love this song of theirs …

But that is not new music. That is a song from their excellent 2015 release called “What Went Down.” Foals happened to be in concert in St. Louis this week when I happened to be visiting for business, or perhaps it was that I planned a business trip to St. Louis when Foals was in concert. You see, if I try to see them in Chicago, this is what happens …

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New Music For Old Rockers – Go With The Flo Edition

I normally try and find newer or more obscure new music for this recurring feature. This song by Florence and the Machine has been around since late January, and Florence Welch has been making great music with her Machine for well over a decade. I expect good new music out of them. While I have enjoyed this new single titled Moderation,  I just noticed something very unusual about this song. Take a listen and see if you can hear it, too.

Good song, but did you hear how unusual it is?

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New Music for Old Rockers – Smith & Thell Edition

There has been a lot of good new music released recently. I just haven’t been captivated by any of it to write about it. For example, I was excited to hear that the Lumineers dropped a new song called Gloria a couple days ago. Take a listen.

I like it, but … it sounds exactly like I would expect a new Lumineers song should sound. That’s not a bad thing. It makes my toes tap. It just doesn’t excite me. Does that make any sense?

Instead, I went all the way to Sweden to be able to introduce you to Maria Jane Smith and Victor Thell, who coincidentally are in a band called Smith & Thell. What are the odds? Take a listen to their song called Forgive Me Friend that got my musical antennae waving.

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Concert Concerns

Lollapalooza is one of the great annual music festivals in the world, taking place over 4 days on Chicago’s beautiful lakefront over the summer. Lolla Tip: Don’t wear flip-flops. It can get swampy even if it is not raining at that specific time.

Lollapalooza swampy.jpg

That may not be all rainwater. And if it does rain, well then, just go with the flow …

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New Music for Old Rockers – Special Mt. Joy Concert Edition

The odds were against it happening. I was in my hotel room after dinner, slightly undressed (I know, ew), laying in bed, with Rachel Maddow coming on TV in minutes. There was maybe a 2% chance that I would get dressed and go by myself to see indie rockers Mt. Joy in concert. I know, you will not believe it if I tell you I beat the odds, but I did. I have proof.

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New Music for Old Rockers – Black Keys Edition

Five years. I guess it could have been worse. It took Vampire Weekend six years to release new music. That’s right, this is the first new song from the Black Keys in five years. How did the Beatles crank out so many memorable albums in the span of just a few years? They were releasing albums less than one year apart. Good examples:

  • Rubber Soul – December, 1965
  • Revolver – August, 1966
  • Sgt. Pepper – June, 1967

That’s kind of crazy. They may have been just a bit more talented than Vampire Weekend and Black Keys combined. I know, the Vampires and Keys were busy with other stuff. Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys put out some very nice solo music. I can see that a solo album might take a year. But c’mon folks, make with the new music already. Are they so busy and tired because they have second jobs at night working the drive-thru at McDonald’s to make ends meet?

I guess times have changed and musicians don’t make their money off selling records with new songs like they used to. Now they make their money from touring. There is less incentive to make new music when you can tour and make mega-bucks playing old songs. Welcome to the digital age of music.

Speaking of the digital age of music, the new Black Keys tune Lo/Hi is available on YouTube …

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Mite Be Funny – RIP Peter Tork Edition

This special Mite Be Funny will not be funny, although that could be said for most all the Mite Be Funny cartoons. I am saddened at the passing of Peter Tork of the Monkees. I actually shed a tear or two typing this homage.

I was a bit too young to have been swept up in the original Monkeemania, but as I grew older, I came to appreciate the Monkees for what they were – a fun band. Peter Tork played the ‘dumb’ Monkee on their TV show, but he was a brilliant musician, certainly the most musically-gifted and trained of the four.

Peter tork

Don’t mention it, Pete. He got the role in the Monkees after his buddy, Stephen Stills, was rejected. If Stephen Stills had been chosen to be a Monkee, might we have gotten Crosby, Tork & Nash?

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New Music for Old Rockers – Welcome Back Edition

My NMFOR posts have so far focused on newer musical talents. Not in this post. These are established talents that are finally providing us some welcome new music.

First up is Vampire Weekend. Six years since their last record. How does it take so long to make a record album? C’mon, you’re musicians. Make more music.

Father of the Bride is their upcoming release this Spring, and Harmony Hall is a single released from that album. I’m not sure that Harmony Hall is worth a six year wait, but it is a great tune. Take a listen.

Welcome back Vampires. Harmony Hall definitely doesn’t suck.

What does is the new single called Salvation from the Strumbellas.

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New Music for Old Rockers – Morgxn Edition

No, I didn’t ignore spellcheck. The new music artist in this post is actually Morgan Karr, but he goes professionally by the name Morgxn or morgxn. He’s not actually a young guy as he’s on the wrong side of 30, but he’s pretty new to the music biz. He went from his home in Nashville to NY to act, and then out to LA to be a musician. He just put out his first album in the middle of 2018. It did as well as his acting career. It didn’t chart. But this single Home featuring Walk The Moon has charted and is fabulous. Take a listen. Skip to the 1 minute mark if you want to skip the weird video intro to get right to the weird music video. Continue reading

Write On!

This post is dedicated to all the aspiring bloggers and writers that may read this. No pics, gifs or ‘continue reading’ links to click.

I have officially finished a piece of writing outside of this blog that brings me great satisfaction. My book? Well, maybe not so much. It is about two-thirds complete, but I don’t like it as much as I had hoped. If I don’t like it, how can I expect the general public to like it? Of course, Trump was elected, so I guess quality product is not that important to the general public after all. Further proof of that is that many people consider The Big Bang Theory to be a funny television show. Spoiler alert … it’s not. Anyway, my book is not abandoned, just shelved for a while as I have delved into short story fiction.

When I started writing this blog 3+ years ago to get some writing practice in an attempt to become a better writer, I could not write fiction. Yes, I had tried it in the past, and the attempts were cringe-inducing. I kept one of those attempts to inspire me to do better. Now I have a fictional short story that I really like … A LOT! Wow, I sound almost Trumpian there in praise of my efforts.

But my point in this post is to encourage YOU to keep writing. Take chances. Take risks. Write something different. Write for yourself. You never know where it may lead you. It is taking me down an unexpected fictional path. Well, the path is not fictional, but the resulting stories are. When our internet was out this past week, that was reason enough for me not to work, and I pounded out a first draft of a new story that I also very much like.

I have seen fellow bloggers try to take new paths before with disastrous (my opinion only) results, abandon the project, and go back to doing what they do best. That’s okay. Not all new projects are successes. Case in point … the My Fave Faves feature on this blog. I publicly abandoned ship on the second post of that feature because I realized that even I didn’t care about it. But I like writing about music, so my new feature called New Music for Old Rockers will likely hang around for a bit. It’s a new path for me that pleases me, at least for now. It’s less about me, and more about the music. I’m not interesting, but the music is. I have seen others bloggers branch out in new and interesting (again, my opinion) ways, finding a new path for their writing. Write On!

I would also encourage you to get an editor. I am fortunate to have a cousin who is also my godmother, but who I consider more as an older sister (sounds like a Tennessee family tree) that is also a professional editor and published author. She was the one who had been encouraging me to write for years now. You can blame her for this blog. While she liked my first fictional story, she red-lined it up pretty good in her editing process. I let it sit for six months, partly due to my 2018 mid-term election activity and partly due to wounded pride. After the election, I picked it back up, finally understanding that my cousin, the professional editor, has more skills and experience than I, the hack blogger, will ever have. She was trying to make my story better, and she did. I accepted the edits and it is no less my story, but with a professional edit. So get a second set of eyes on your creations. It can be a blow to your pride, but well worth the experience.

Where will I go from here with my short-story fiction? I guess if I write enough of them, that could be a book. I’m not sure, but that’s the path I’m headed down now. I will not be publishing them here. I feel comfortable in saying that if you are reading this blog, then I can’t trust you or your judgement. You will have to be content with another Mite Be Funny cartoon tomorrow. I know, I know. I announced a hiatus for Mite Be Funny, and there was much rejoicing. I even attended several ‘Mite Be Funny Ends!’ parties. I started Mite Be Funny with the unrealistic goal of 100 cartoons. Tomorrow will be #102. I can’t stop. It pleases me. That’s my point in this post. Write what pleases you. Write On!

RESIST

I wear my RESIST button everywhere on my coat.

resist button

It hangs from a tag on my coat, so I am able to turn it face down to avoid any confrontation with a Trumpster. I have a very low tolerance level for stupidity, and am just not interested in engaging a Trumpster.

It was very cold yesterday morning when I stumbled into the oral surgeon’s office for a scheduled root canal procedure. And then I realized I may have made a mistake …

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New Music for Old Rockers – Kurt Vile Edition

I have a decision to make. Not about this Kurt Vile song called Loading Zones. No decision here. It’s great. Enjoy.

I find the guitar work to be sanguine, enchanting, and utterly beguiling. Vile’s vocals are smooth as usual, but I really like the chanted refrain of ‘I park for free’ adding some punch and edge to the song. It reminds me of days gone bye when I would drive around for 30 minutes looking for a parking spot in Chicago because … I park for free! Times have changed. I use Spot Hero now and pay for convenient parking. Call me a sell out. I’ll own it.

Kurt Vile has been around the music biz for a while, and has garnered a following, but not much airplay outside of Pretty Pimpin’ from a few years back. Loading Zones has put Vile back in the spotlight with what I consider to be a far superior song to a very good tune in Pretty Pimpin’. If you like the Vile sound and want to listen to a concert by Kurt Vile & The Violators (just a great band name), check out this 50 minute video concert.

My upcoming decision does concern Kurt Vile. My two oldest kids cast their votes for Kurt Vile. I’m torn. I’ll explain.

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New Music for Old Rockers – Bob Moses Edition

I changed the name of this recurring music review feature after the first one from Auralicious to New Music for Old Rockers. Auralicious sounds too salacious and too slurpy for my taste. I think the new title is more descriptive of what I want to offer up, and is easier for me to spell and pronounce.

Just because rockers get old, we shouldn’t live in the past and listen to nothing but old music. We should continue to find new music to enjoy because there’s a lot of it out there. In some cases, we can find echoes of the past in the new music. Such is the case with this post’s featured artists.

So who is Bob Moses?

bob moses

Q: Which one is Bob? Which one is Moses?

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New Music for Old Rockers – Matt Maeson Edition

I warned you. In a recent music-related post, I teased a possible recurring feature for this blog. You did not heed the warning. You are back and reading about who or what I am listening to this week that I find to be auralicious.

That is new artist Matt Maeson with his song ‘Cringe’ off of his Who Killed Matt Maeson debut EP from 2017 that is getting airplay now. The music biz sure takes its sweet time to reveal talent. Take a listen.

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Radio > Streaming

My oldest son thinks I’m crazy, but not for the many legitimate reasons that exist that can be used to make a solid case to question my sanity. He thinks I’m crazy because he can’t understand why I enjoy radio more than just streaming songs off a playlist. This post is for him (and maybe a set-up for a new recurring blog feature in 2019), so I hope you will enjoy it, too. We have lots of words and clickable links to come.

I love music. It has been an important part of my life since I was little. I’m not sure how that happened. I have almost zero musical talent and I swear my guitar winces whenever I pick it up. As for my voice, I regretfully admit that I have a voice made for pantomime. Regardless, I have written and arranged songs over the decades. These days I wisely stick to writing lyrics, although I always seem to have opinions about the arrangements. Here’s a favorite song of mine that I released with friends in 2017, and more info about our music is available at www.sunsetsrising.com. Looks like we’ll be releasing some new songs in 2019.

I think streaming is fine. When my son gets into my car, he’ll plug his phone in and stream new music for me that he thinks I may like. Sometimes he’s correct, and I do my best to forgive his grievous breach of automobile etiquette that clearly decrees that whoever drives controls the radio. It is the law.

I streamed (music, in case you were wondering) when we had a houseful of guests for Christmas Eve. I like my quirky Christmas songs, so I made sure my playlist had these holiday classics:

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Watch Your P’s & Q’s

But especially those Q’s! The QAnon people (known as Q’s) are a subset of Trump supporters. They get their inside info from an anonymous source they call Q. Q tells them that the Deep State is actively working to subvert Trump, but Trump will triumph on … get ready for this … December 5th. Ta-da! Oh wait, it’s already December 6th. This is the point in the show where the magician can’t seem to find the rabbit that was supposed to get pulled from his hat.

hatb

hata

hatd

Yep, the Q followers should be em-bear-assed for all the ‘lion’ that Q does.

hate

It’s a shame that all their memes will go to waste. Like this mysterious, scary one …

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Rudolph, The Lame-Ass Lawyer

Rudy Giuliani was born as Rudolph Giuliani. Yesterday’s holiday-themed post featured a Giuliani tweet, and it got me thinking of a festive holiday parody song featuring him. No, not White Power Christmas, Arrest Ye Guilty Gentlemen, or even O Flip All Ye Guilty. I’m talking about …

Wait, what? You know already? Oh right, the damn title of this blog post. So much for suspense, and the same goes for Mike Pence. Sorry, been doing too much rhyming. Without further ado, here is Rudolph, The Lame-Ass Lawyer.

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My Fave Faves – Condensed Album Edition

I killed the blog series I called My Fave Faves as quickly as I started it once I realized that even I didn’t care about what I was writing. But thanks to my oldest son, it is back for a curtain call in a slightly different form. My son is part of creating a music podcast called Ear Buds.

Ear Buds

I was featured on the 4th episode with my review of a Dan Auerbach (of the Black Keys) song called King of a One Horse Town. Spoiler Alert: Loved it! If you have iTunes, you can access that podcast through this LINK. Choose podcast #31 (which is really #4) called My Dad Is Not A Twitter Bot and you can access my song review at the 8:10 mark, which also happens to be my son’s name. Mark, not 8:10, although Mark 8:10 sounds very New Testamenty and religious. If you listen to the podcast, you will hear that my reviews were supposed to be a recurring feature. At my son’s request, I did write one more for a Greta Van Fleet song. Never aired. They lied. I’m as upset about that as an old man ordering salad at a restaurant that serves chunkless, runny blue cheese salad dressing. Gross. Gotta’ have chunks.

Recently, my son asked me for 3 to 5 of my favorite all-time albums, and not greatest hits collections. That was not going to be possible. I could not help him out. Why?

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Trumpatized 2.0

FREE download of Trumpatized at https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/antwoneedwards. Great arrangement and recording by St Louis rapper Twon Ali of an anti-Trump rap poem I wrote. I am very hopeful that this is the last day that this song has any relevance as Democrats take back Congress tomorrow. Download FREE and enjoy or stream on Spotify.

 

The Day the Music Died – Part 2, Sunday

Despite missing out on concert nirvana on Saturday, I awoke Sunday morning knowing that I would be at a concert that night, for free, accompanied by my lovely wife and complaining 10 year old daughter. When we dragged our youngest to a Cheap Trick concert, the only part she enjoyed was the raccoon working the trash can.

 

I knew that traffic would be negligible and parking would be free since the show would be in our local concert hall. I had received the good news on Saturday.

Rising Tix

Now what the heck is The Rising? It sounds a bit like a Stephen King movie.

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The Day the Music Died – Part 1, Saturday

There is a line in Don McLean’s song, American Pie, about “the day the music died.” For me, it should have been “the days the music died” which perfectly described this past weekend for me. My 2018 concert summer experience was just showing signs of life with September concerts by Cheap Trick and Rare Earth. This past Saturday, I had a chance to make 2018 a memorable concert summer.

Chicago is a city chock full o’ of summer music festivals, and Riot Fest came to town this past weekend. No, it is not a celebration of the 1968 Democratic National Convention held in Chicago between riots. It’s an incredible 3-day music festival. I could have seen Weezer headline Friday night, and I thought it would be cool on Sunday to see Debbie Harry bring Blondie to Riot Fest to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of their great album Parallel Lines. But I couldn’t believe the line-up of artists I could see on Saturday. I could spend about 7 hours there in music heaven wandering from stage to stage to see favorites. Take a look at this line-up …

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I Just Want to Celebrate a Rare Earth Occurrence

While not quite as dramatic as Lazarus being raised from the dead, my 2018 summer concert experience twitched imperceptibly and showed a faint pulse this past weekend after I left it for dead in this blog post. Why did I end the post with a tease like I did? Did I know that Rare Earth defibrillator paddles would jolt my 2018 summer concert experience back from the dead?

By Rare Earth, I am not referring to a rare earth element like the 15 lanthanides, or even perhaps scandium or yttrium. I am referring to this Rare Earth …

Rare Earth

However, I think the really hairy dude in the center is named Joe Scandium. Regardless, I am talking about the band Rare Earth that opened up the California Jam music festival in 1974 in front of 300,000 people …

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My Pathetic Musicless Summer Ends

There is no discussion about whether my 2018 summer concert experience sucked or not. It did. I could see it coming for a variety of reasons that I don’t have the time, space, or desire to explain here. My 2018 summer music experience consisted of 3 consecutive nights of music detailed in this blog post and this one. Pretty sad since I live close enough to Chicago to attend the Lollapalooza and Pitchfork music festivals, and Summerfest in Milwaukee is just a couple hour drive away.

But that was where my 2018 concert experience was at when we got an invite from neighbors to see Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick over the Labor Day weekend at Naperville’s Last Fling Festival. The invitation came as a complete surprise since most people make it a point to spend less time rather than more time with me. I had always wanted to see Cheap Trick, so I didn’t mention their invitation error as we accepted and made plans.

By the day of the concert, our Chicago area weather had turned from warm, still days of summer to the unpredictability of fall. Hot and sunny one minute. Cool and wet the next. The day of the concert was just such a day. Storms were predicted that hot and muggy night after the concert should be over, but it was already sprinkling as we backed out of the driveway on our way to the show. Sigh! But on we went. I regretted not accepting our neighbor’s offer to buy the tickets for us just in case it got rained out. I was in an Eeyore mood and just not looking forward to parking a half mile away, sitting on a blanket in a wet, grassy area and getting drenched.

After parking, we walked towards the music, and I asked one of the festival people in a courtesy cart for the most direct way to an entrance. We were invited to hop aboard for a ride over. I asked her if we looked so old that we needed a ride. She politely didn’t really answer my question, but she told me that if I wanted to see old, just wait until we see Cheap Trick.

And speaking of looking old, as I waited in line with my ID in hand to get a wristband so I could buy overpriced beer, I noticed that IDs were being carefully checked. I extended my hand holding my ID, and a band was immediately attached to my wrist, ID unchecked. After that, I knew I was ready to give Cheap Trick a run for their money when it came to looking old.

As we waited for Cheap Trick, we sat through an opening act called Lucky Boys Confusion. I took a pic of them onstage for this blog post because the dark storm clouds were rapidly heading our way.

Cheap Trick Lucky Boys

I figured if I posted a blurry pic, I could pass them off as Cheap Trick in this blog in case of a rainout. But I didn’t need to engage in any blog trickery. Before we knew it, Lucky Boys Confusion had finished their entertaining set, and the stage was being readied for Cheap Trick. But before that, we were treated to a show by an artist known to some as The Trash Panda. Pics follow.

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Musical Musings

As I hit the road tonight for a business trip, the important question on my mind was how to amuse myself for almost 4 hours in a car by myself. Crocheting was not an option as I was out of yarn. I also don’t know how to crochet. I decided to pay attention to rush hour traffic and listen to local radio for a while until I was out of the range of Chicago stations. That got to me almost to The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC which I am able to listen to thanks to Sirius XM satellite radio. Listening is as good as watching since she wears the same damn black blazer every night. As always, she was a good listen/watch.

Rachel’s show eventually disappeared into the ether. Day had become night and as my car hurtled through the darkness, I needed to keep occupied for the next 90 minutes or so. I cast my lot with music and began searching for a song to transition my drive from yak about votes to songs with notes. I stumbled upon this inconsequential, yet catchy number …

That immediately got me thinking of the Top 10 reasons NOT to meet me in The Middle. And here they are …

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Music is a Cruel Mistress

You may have seen some of my music posts, whether it be a concert review or a new song release in which I had a hand writing lyrics. I love music, but music is a very cruel mistress. She hasn’t yet been too cruel to me, probably because I keep music at arm’s length. I have even come away with a song I wrote that I want played at my funeral. That song release did not make for a popular blog post, but I don’t really care because I just love that song. But I know not to push the musical gods too much. They will chew me up and spit me out.

Just take a look at this poster for the North Coast Music Festival that is coming up over Labor Day weekend in Chicago.

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I’ll Get Back to You

As I explained in a recent blog post, the live performance debut of Do It, a song I co-wrote, did not go well. I had taken video, and I wanted the band to hear it for themselves so that it would never be played live that way again.

The video is an mp4 and a very large file size, so I decided to use DropBox to share the file with the band. Here’s a screenshot of the upload.

Dropbox

So the band will have some feedback and the video by next June. Sound good?

 

A Concerted Effort

Little did I know 3 days ago that after a summer of zero concerts, I would have 3 under my belt in 3 days. I already regaled you with tales of seeing the legendary Dave Mason, albeit briefly, in concert. Feel free to pass the story, soon to be legend, down to your grandchildren. With no budget for concert tix left in 2018, who could I possibly see perform for free?

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An Inside Look at Hamilton

It may be hard to believe a cheapskate like me paid to see Hamilton, but I did this past weekend. Too bad I didn’t get a ticket for my wife. She would have enjoyed the show.

Just kidding. I got us both tickets, and excellent seats. Here’s our view from the first row of the mezzanine …

Hamilton Stage

I would definitely sit there again. But as I sat there, I became obsessed with the seats in this section …

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We Interrupt This Blog …

I hate to bring you the bad news, but the regularly scheduled blog post featuring information about my toenails has been bumped again to tomorrow. I can understand and support your decision to never read this blog again if you are that upset by these scheduling changes or are simply sick of this blog. There are days that I never want to post again. The reason for this schedule change is special. It is an opportunity to pull back the curtain and get to know me a little too well in a way that we will both feel very uncomfortable. I’m featured on a YouTube video …

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I’ve Been Stood Up

Once Trumpatized 2018 v2.0 was released, I was pretty sure I was just a few million downloads away from easy street, fame and fortune. How was I going to get a few million downloads? I figured I’d start with one million and work my way up from there. I wasn’t so sure about how to do that, except I was certain that all of you reading this would not be a huge help. Geez, it’s like pulling teeth to just get a “Like” on some of these posts, probably because reading some of my posts is like getting a tooth pulled. I had to find a way to get that song to go viral, although I was willing to settle for bacterial.

I decided on promotion. I have heard that there is no such thing as bad publicity, so I considered a really random act of stupidity that would get national attention, but the office of President is already filled. What? It’s working for him.

I tried more traditional methods and shopped the song around to some progressive media outlets. The response was incredible. No wait, I typed that wrong. The response was inaudible, except for these guys …

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Trumpatized 2018 v2.0

About a month ago, I introduced you to the rap song that I thought would send me to the Grammy Awards to pick up some hardware for Best New Artist or Whitest New Artist, one of those two. Feel free to take a listen again to Trumpatized 2018 v1.0. Heck, I even picked out a rap name to use.

That has not worked out as planned. Nobody is interested and my wife refuses to call me by my rap name of J-Saggy. And then it (or my wife, I’m really not sure which) hit me. If v1.0 failed, it couldn’t be because of the content and brilliant lyrics. The reason had to be because a Canadian recorded it. This country is so intent on making America great again that new music coming from Canada will likely be ignored. There was only one solution …

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Bush – Cusack – Wonder – Garfunkel – Cetera

RIP Barbara Bush. When I hear liberals and conservatives alike celebrating her life and mourning her passing, I am certain she was a wonderful person. As First Lady and thereafter, she worked tirelessly to promote family literacy. Although there is some irony that the person living in the White House today doesn’t read anything, Barbara Bush and her Foundation for Family Literacy has helped millions.

I wanted to follow some of the news coverage last night including the news of Mrs. Bush’s passing, but there was this movie …

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Do It

It has been a while since the musical supergroup project I am part of called Sunsets Rising dropped a new song on this unsuspecting world. First, there was my head injury if you remember that blog post that also contained unabashed plugs and links for more music from Sunsets Rising. Three months later, and I still have vision issues and numbness in my face. Go ahead, make a joke about me likely having numbness in my whole head based on the quality of my blog posts the last three months.

The head injury gave way to the holidays and those gave way to one of my collaborators working on some solo music about losing a running race to a guy in a Gumby costume. He calls it Running Gumby.

gumby

Yep, that Gumby, and he did a nice job with the song. Once he was done with that song, he started work on a very vanilla rock song with a semi-catchy hook that I had written called Do It. Finishing Do It should have taken no time at all, except my songwriting collaborator decided that Do It needed to contain …

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Making Music Already Made

My wife sang an original song lyric that immediately stuck in my head. It wasn’t anything earth-shaking, but it sure was a catchy melody. I started singing it, over and over, looking for the next line to come to me. I’m always writing songs, most of which I never finish, but I do like to explore new song lyrics to see where they go.

My daughter and I were on the move and we hopped into the car. I continued singing. I don’t sing well, and I was struggling with finding the next line. I thought it would be cool to get my daughter involved. I asked my daughter what she thought the second line should be. She had the perfect answer.

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Where is my participant medal?

I never expected to win. Oh sure, there were wild thoughts of maybe being a semi-finalist, or at least getting some positive feedback of some sort. Instead, I leave the competition without so much as even a participant medal.

Blank gold medal with tricolor ribbon - 3d render

I did try, dammit! In case you have forgotten (or have tried to forget), here’s what I tried …

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My Fave Faves – Truncated Weezer Edition and Hiatus

At one time I was so excited about sharing my favorite song from my favorite musical artists every Saturday. Then reality set in as I debuted with my Rolling Stones edition that was greeted by my readers with a huge yawn and one “like.” Thanks Trev. I figured I could forge ahead and force feed this feature to my readers weekly until they reluctantly read and even more reluctantly click the “like” icon. That reminds me, don’t forget there will be a new Mite Be Funny cartoon this Sunday morning like every Sunday.

But my first My Fave Faves was tough to write and even tougher was choosing a favorite song. This was hard work, and when the going gets tough, I take a hiatus. But before I do, I will fulfill my contractual obligation and reveal my favorite Weezer song which is …

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Don’t Have a Black Cow, Man

I’m trying not to have a cow, but am struggling. Since this issue has to do with Steely Dan, I threw into the Bart Simpsonish title the Black Cow reference to their great song of the same name. I know, really clever. Another day, another clever title. But I am upset about what I see advertised for Steely Dan this summer …

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My Fave Faves #1 – Rolling Stones Edition

Well, here we go with a new weekly feature nobody requested, my favorite song from favorite musical artists. I’m eager to get started, but wonder if I will make it all the way through this year with a weekly post. I’m almost through a full year doing weekly mite-based cartoons, so I guess anything is possible. So without further ado, I offer you my favorite Rolling Stones song …

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58

I want to give all my readers a short break from splitting their sides after reading another hilarious, but likely plagiarized blog post from me. This post is new and it’s very special.

The 2017 Jim Flanigan Looks at the World Follower of the Year (or JFLATWFOTY for short) just released this important new song about the recent Las Vegas massacre called “58.” Listen. Read. Enjoy. Contemplate. Act.

 

My Fave Songs – Introduction

Welcome to a new feature this year on Jim Flanigan Looks at the World. I love music, so I asked myself why I wasn’t writing more about music. I didn’t get a reply since I wasn’t speaking to myself at the time, but I didn’t wait until I was speaking to myself again after having make-up sex with myself. I moved forward with this bold concept. Each week I plan to reveal my favorite song from my favorite musical artists, and along the way provide some insight as to why that song is my favorite. It may not be the best song ever done by the artist profiled according to critics, or the best-selling song, but the song I like the best. You are welcome to disagree and offer your own fave song. There is no wrong answer (is what I always wanted to hear my teachers say, but never did).

Some weeks this may be easy. For example …

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Squeezed

I recently saw the UK band Squeeze in concert at the Vic Theatre in Chicago, one of many classic older concert venues in one of the greatest cities in the world. You can always tell it’s a classy place when they spell theater as theatre. Oh, so classy.

When people ask me who I saw in concert at the Vic, rather than Squeeze, I always add “UK band” as a preface to Squeeze. That way, even though they may have no idea who Squeeze is, they know it is a UK band which always sounds a lot hipper and adds some instant credibility.

Truth be told, the concert was about 10 days ago. I know, I know, concert reviews are expected immediately after the show. But why? It’s not like my review would have convinced you to buy a ticket for their next show date in Michigan. So get over it and if you must, pretend I saw them last night. Now, on to the review.

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Another Item Off My Bucket List

I have a Bucket List of things I would like to do before I check out of life as I live it today and enter what I expect to be a phase of my life with an emphasis on people wiping drool from my chin. One of the items on my Bucket List was to have one of my songs performed by professional musicians. That magic happened last night …

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Jesus Christ vs Warren Zevon

I’m not a overly religious guy. I belong to a church, but really don’t trust any church that would have me as a member. Props to Groucho for that joke. And I am not too picky about what church I attend. You can label me more spiritual than religious. I see God everywhere and nowhere, if that makes any sense. The one place I see God nowhere these days is …

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My Concert Season is Complete

We don’t get out much. 5 kids here if I haven’t mentioned it before. We always thought the older kids would take care of the younger kids and my wife and I would continue to have an active social life. That never worked out too well. When my oldest daughter (child #1) took care of kids 3 & 4, my youngest son (child #3) would routinely reduce her to tears. My middle daughter (child #4) is all grown up and would gladly watch our 9 year old daughter (child #5), but oops, she’s off to college, sorry. And so we rely on babysitters, which is not only expensive, but these days it is difficult to find a teen around here that isn’t busy on the weekends with an active social life that dwarfs ours. It can be an expensive chore to find a babysitter.

But this was a concert opportunity not to be missed. Seeing this concert would make my 2017 concert season complete. I knew I would never forgive myself if I didn’t take this opportunity to see …

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Another Musical Interlude

Sit back, take a break, and enjoy the latest tune from our musical collaboration (some say “supergroup”) called Sunsets Rising. It’s a song called “I Don’t Know Where The Sunset Goes,” and I wrote it during one of my frequent trips between Chicago and St Louis while watching the sun set. Not much else to do on that drive, although I am dying to stop at …

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Once again, my family saved me from being a big, pathetic loser

I should revise that title to “Once again, my family saved me from appearing to be a big, pathetic loser.” I don’t want to underestimate my ability to actually be a big, pathetic loser, but at least last night I did not appear to be one thanks to my family.

I had planned to see another concert last night.

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When is a Yes Just a Maybe?

No, this post is not about a serious subject like sexual assault. It’s another concert review. I attended the Yestival last night.

yestival poster

 

Am I a Yesticle if I attended the Yestival? I don’t know about a “full festival experience” per the pic, because I didn’t see much of the concert behind the 6 foot high privacy fence.

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How I Spent My Summer Vacation & Other Musings Upon My Wife’s Return

My wife and youngest daughter just spent a week in Denver visiting family and hiking in the mountains as a summer vacation. I spent a week home alone with my 2 college-age children and 2 geriatric dogs as my summer vacation. Guess who drew the short straw on that one? But I tried to make the best of it, and although I am not sure if I made the “best” of it, I think I at least made the “better” of it. Here’s how …

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Sunsets Rising

I’m taking a short vacation, so I’ve put my blogging on auto-pilot for a couple days. I know, you can’t tell the difference. In some prior blog post I promised not to foist my recently rediscovered musical career and songwriting onto my blog audience. I lied. I am pleased to present to you our website with our first song. You can stream our first song for free, or you can purchase it for $0.99, or you can invest that $0.99 in something worthwhile like 1/2 of 1% of a share of Apple stock or a crappy plastic whatchamacallit from the Dollar Store. I don’t expect anyone to purchase it, but I also didn’t expect anyone to read this blog nonsense. Anyone who does purchase the song gets automatic consideration for Follower Of The Year. Without further ado, experience the musical magic of Sunsets Rising …

http://www.sunsetsrising.com/

Don’t Seek The Music; Be The Music

Let me just start out by saying that the title of this blog makes no sense except that this post is about music and my quest to become one with music. You will only find out at the very end if I reached that lofty goal. I workshopped many alternate blog post titles, and they all sucked as much as this one, so what’s the point of even trying? It’s good enough (maybe too good?) for the likes of us.

Moving on, this is my longest blog post ever, and perhaps the longest ever in the history of blogging. I have no interest in checking, so let’s just take my vague hunch as gospel truth that this is a record-setting post. It is chock full of nonsensical words in a seemingly random order that would rival a Sean Spicer press conference, links to older posts (in a pathetic attempt to increase views), pictures, animated gifs and video links. If you are not up for a herculean, visually-stimulating blog post, bail out now. Warning, do not click the “Continue reading.”

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Music Review #1

My oldest son and his friend offer a music discussion podcast on iTunes these days called Ear Buds.  You may enjoy checking out their Ear Buds podcast called “My Dad is not a Twitter Bot.” I think that is a reference to me tweeting all this blog nonsense out. If you do check out Ear Buds, I make a cameo appearance on Ear Buds podcast #3 with a “dad” review of what they consider a song that may appeal to their dads. I wasn’t sure if they wanted me to play it straight or provide a rant about music today not really being music. Well, I really liked the song, so I provided an honest review.

Here’s the song “King of a One Horse Town” from Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys …

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