Friday, April 30, 2010

Riding the Tide

Every now and then I write songs/poems. Usually it's when I have something inspired to write about. I haven't written anything since My Girl From California last year. This is my latest piece. It starts off mellow to a climax, the last verse bringing it down. Enjoy!

Riding the Tide

Softly the winds blow-breaking the stride
Our love is still there-way deep inside
Love and the passion-we could not hide
Set sail on the sea-love on our minds

We are together-it feels so right
The sun is shining-the rays so bright
Our love is the anchor-onward we might
The sails are open-ship's taking flight

Hollow fateful day-words broken truth
Was churning the sea-that was so smooth
The darkness may fall-bringing the gloom
Blinded by the dark-to see it through

The winds from the west-bringing the rain
The harsh words that sting-bringing the pain
The sails are breaking-nothing's the same
Was everything-broken in vain?

Broken and betrayed-twisted inside
Tossing and turning-riding the tide
Yearning for our love-hurting inside
Waiting for the ebbs-to flow and reside

The sea is raging...
The sea is raging...
And storm blows through the night

Way deep down inside-you were so right
Even the darkness-even the night
Can we find a way-to make it right?
That's because our love-still burns inside....

Sunday, April 25, 2010

How the World Sees the U.S.

When I saw this, I couldn't resist posting this. Hope it gives you a good laugh....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I Got Tickets!

Wooohooo! I've got tickets to go see Rush for the third time! I'm totally stoked for this show! With so many concerts to see this summer and Summerfest has a hell of great line-up this year, I was forced to limit myself to whom I should see. So Rush pretty much came out on top. (Thanks to a special friend ;) in helping me to decide)

This tour should be a great one! From I've read from various blogs, the band plans to play the entire Moving Pictures album, some new and unreleased material, and an old classic "Jacob's Ladder". That's just a small part of a three hour show with two sets and no back up band!

The tickets I've got are decent. I've been to the Marcus Ampitheater quite a few times. There really isn't a bad seat in the house. My seats are in the rear reserved (yellow), section 4, aisle P, seats 32 and 33. The prices weren't too shabby. About $70 a piece.

I plan on having a great time. I hope to see some friends there. (Some whom you may know) I will be blogging about this show...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Top 25 albums from1984 to 1989

So here it is folks! My top twenty 25 albums from 1984 to 1989. What a crazy time of my life it was! I had just graduated from high school and out into the real world. PARTY! And THAT'S what I did. When I wasn't attending classes in college or working as a waiter, I was out there in the bars and nightclubs partying the nights away. I could you tales of downing shots of Jack Daniel's in barber chairs and waking up in the middle of a field, but that will have to wait for another blog. Those days are long over, now that I am a single dad. No sense in reliving them...

Anyways, the music scene was changing then. New Wave and heavy metal arrived at full force. MTV rotated the same mindless videos repeatedly and endlessly. The leather, the big hair, the makeup and the neon clothes were at full bloom. The music started to sound corporate and plastic. At was all bright lights and glitter, but no real talent and soul. Yet underneath all this corporate bullshit, there was some GREAT stuff. Let's check it out!

U2 The Joshua Tree-1987 Hands down, THE best album from the '8o's! Bono and the boys take musical inspiration to new heights with this album. The Edge's jangling guitar and Bono's soulful lyrics leaves me breathless to this day. A timeless classic!

Guns n' Roses Appetite for Destruction-1987 I was totally blown away the raw and furious energy of this album! The rage! It like I could feel their pain and anger. It is the perfect fuck you adieu to the world. On top of that, these guys are talented musicians!

Def Leppard Hysteria-1987 How can any band outdo their previous album like Pyromania? Def Leppard managed to do so. Just as catchy as Pyromania, but more carefully crafted. Yes, with a one armed drummer.

Metallica Master of Puppets-1987 Nobody can rock harder and faster than Metallica! These guys from San Francisco are a driving force that pummel you with scorching rhythms that will rivet into your brain!

Bon Jovi Slippery When Wet-1986 I know, I know everybody must of heard something from this album a million of times! What can I say? It's a classic! These rockers from New Jersey, not only created a hell of a catchy album, but lyrically created storyline like tunes that people can relate to.

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Born in the USA-1984 I absolutely love the homeliness of this record! Its was more upbeat and more pop oriented than his previous work. It's kinda like a record that makes you feel good inside. Having the title track sort of like the national anthem helps.

Deep Purple Perfect Strangers-1984 The long awaited reunion of the famous Mark 2 lineup returns! Ritchie Blackmore and the boys put out a perfect album! The best stuff since 1972's Machine Head. A must get for any Purple fan!

Pink Floyd A Momentary Lapse of Reason-1987 Argue if you want if this is David Gilmour solo album or this is an actual Pink Floyd album, I don't care. It's the first one without bassist Roger Waters. With or without him, I thought this album was brilliant! I really loved "Sorrow".

Robert Plant Now and Zen-1988 After scratching my head over the Honeydrippers project and his "Shaken and Stirred" album, I began to wonder about Plant. What is he doing? Instead of running away from the Zeppelin legacy, he now embraces it-bringing in mysticism and mystery into the fold. Recruiting his ex-band mate Jimmy Page helps.

REM Document-1987 I didn't get into REM until the '90's. By then, I backtracked to get their earlier stuff. I thought Document was the best out that bunch. I really liked "The One I Love" and "Finest Worksong".

Aerosmith Pump-1989 Their 1987's release Permanent Vacation was one hell of great comeback for Aerosmith! Pump turned it up a few notches, making it their most hardest rocking, best damn album they released since 1976's Rocks!

Iron Maiden Powerslave-1984 The 13 minute epic "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" was alone worth the price of this album! The rest of the album also rocks! Even the instrumental "Losfer Words" left me headbanging for years.

Van Halen 1984-1984 This is exactly the album that Van Halen needed to break away from the dismal Diver Down album. Adding keyboards was a brave and bold idea-and a brilliant one.

Tom Petty Full Moon Fever-1989 Tom Petty's first solo album away from the Heartbreakers proved beneficial for Petty. Pulling off timeless classics like "I Won't Back Down", "Running Down a Dream" and "Free Fallin'" certainly helped Petty' career out of a rut and got the Heartbreakers re-energized.

Grateful Dead In the Dark-1987 The Grateful Dead's first studio album in 17 years. The Dead had been playing most of the album for years before recording it. MTV's rotation of "Touch of Gray" helped the band's popularity to new heights

Prince & the Revolution Purple Rain-1984 I admit it, I like Prince! I just love the way he snatches up rock and roll, r & b, funk, reggae and everthing else under the sun and puts into a mixing bowl and makes it work! It takes talent to do that! Yeah, I thought the movie sucked.

Marillion Misplaced Childhood-1985 By about this point, prog rock just about dead. Asia was starting to fall, Yes was starting to suck, and Genesis was getting wimpy. Somehow Marillion carried the torch. Having a killer tune like "Kayleigh" helps.

Van Halen 5150-1986 After the departure of singer David Lee Roth, brothers Eddie and Alex brought Sammy Hagar into the fold. Argue if you want, if that was a good idea. I believe the arrival Hagar added the more artistic approach to the band. With great results!

Rush Power Windows-1985 Rush embraced the '80's with the synthesizer sound. Some people liked it, some didn't. I loved it, maybe not as much as the 70's stuff. Anyways, the album showed band's strengths as they evolved.

The Cars Heartbeat City-1984 I never was really into the Cars until I got this album. Aside from their first album, I thought this one was their best. I absolutely loved the tune "Drive"

Dire Straits Brother in Arms-1985 Anybody remember the "Money for Nothing" video? I do! That one was a classic! Not only that tune was awesome, the rest of the album was good.

Soundgarden Louder than Love-1989 This album could quite well be the birthplace of grunge. Mix punk with Zeppelin/Sabbath and you will get this! To top it off, Chris Cornell's voice just blows me away!

The Firm Mean Business-1986 I like the Firm, but I expected more from the former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. Nonetheless, this album is still pretty good. I thought Paul Rogers was exceptional in this album.

Bruce Hornsby & the Range Scenes from the Southside-1988 A very mellow album with a loose and easy feeling to it. Perfect for a quiet evening with your partner.

Neil Young Freedom-1989 Neil Young's comeback album after a string of lousy ones. Contains the tune "Rocking in the Free World"

There you have it folks! My top 25 from 1984-1989. Took me two days to write this...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Four Wheel Drive

Last week, a good friend of mine, whom I had not seen in 25 years called me and invited me to see a band last Saturday night. The band, Four Wheel Drive is one of Milwaukee's favorite local bands. Well known for their play of of classic rock tunes from the '60's, '70's, and '80's, band the does a great job of performing them. They roared into their opening song, "I Just Want to Make Love to You" sounding very close to Foghat's version without the slide. Drummer Tim Wolf held a solid beat through out the night. Keyboardist Duane O' Reilly tickled the ivories, pulling off some vibrant sounds on tunes like "Riders on the Storm" and " LA Woman". Rhythm master Andrew Lee has a flair for showmanship, often stepping into the crowd to play the bass. The band's centerpiece David Ellman, showed off his impressive guitar work- working man's style. He sang with a great voice as belted out the classics.

The dance floor was packed with revelers as the group plowed through numbers from the Romantics, Sweet, and John Mellencamp. My highlights were their version of "Rock and Roll all Nite" and "Surrender" Good and solid fun rock!

I did get a chance to meet the band during breaks between sets. They seem to be down to earth rockers. They spoke pleasantly with the audience and chatting away with friends, bringing a good vibe that filled the place.

All in all, I had a good time. The band played well. If ever want go out and have a good time, and hear some good classic rock this is the band to see! Thanks for the invite B! I appreciate it

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Son!

I know my son doesn't look too happy in this picture, he doesn't like his picture taken. Who could blame him? He's just turned 13 today! He's that age... My little boy is growing up! I'm so proud of him! My son is an amazing artist and has got a great heart. I just love his spirit for happiness and way he looks around the world with joy. I could ramble on about him, but he's got a huge list of things to to today and I can't keep him waiting!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Beatles in 3000

I know that I haven't written anything about rock and roll lately. Right now, I'm working on a project-my top 25 favorite albums from '84 to '89. So while I do some research, here is a video of the Beatles "discovered" in the year of 3000. Check it out! You may find it clever and funny. I did!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Live Love Laugh

I've heard this saying many times before. In the light of our over exhausting world, we seem to be failing to slow down and really see the world around us. I go to work each day with demands of more production and more responsibilities than the day before. Then I come home to a world of cell phones, computers, cable TV and the responsibility of taking care of a thirteen year old boy. Sometimes the rushing never stops.

We seem to live in a world of bigger, better, faster and more. High speed technology was taken us to the furthermost corners of the globe in a heartbeat. We have microwaves that can zap our meals in seconds. We have digital cable that can receive hundreds of TV shows that we never watch. There more options out there than ever. More things to buy. More music to choose from. All off the internet! Decisions, decisions!

In the end, are we really satisfied? Has all this technology and pushing ourselves over the limit brought us happiness? Have they really made our lives easier? Not always. Sometimes things get a little more complicated.

There are many times I'd just rather sit down with a cup of coffee and watch the sunrise. Go down to the lake and watch the waves go by. Take a walk in the woods and feel the breeze. I want to live better with myself. Have the love that I want. Laugh a little the silly stuff.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Twists and Turns

Sorry, that I haven't been blogging so much these days. A lot has been on my mind. Most of it is about my family, my close friends and relationships. Too personal to blog about it openly. Anyways, I 've thinking about the twists and turns in road of life. Like can they lead right back to where you started? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? It's day by day thing. One day, a twist in the road can bring you happiness and then the next day, bad news and tragedy. Sometimes, I'm not so sure about this road. It may be pretty, but the blind curves are the worst.

Sometimes, I prefer the straight and narrow road. This way, I can see the horizon. See what's ahead of me, instead of a murky view. I know it may sound boring, at least I know where I'm going....

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bad Boy

Last night, I stumbled across a video from one mine favorite local bands, Bad Boy. It's rare that a band from Wisconsin had ever made it big. Off of the top of my head, I could only think of two. The Violent Femmes and the Bo Deans. Three if you include Cheap Trick. (They are from Rockford, Illinois-just south of the border) Anyways, these guys enjoyed moderate success in the late 70's and early 80's supporting bands like Cheap Trick, Survivor, Ted Nugent, .38 Special, Kansas, Paul Rodgers, Angel and Night Ranger. Not only that they headlined to sold out shows across the Midwest.

Signed on the United Artists label in 1977, founding members Steve Grimm (guitar, keys, vocals), John Marcelli (bass), Joey LaVie (guitar, vocals) and Lars Hanson (drums) released two albums-"The Band Milwaukee Made Famous" and "Back to Back" Both albums reached the top 100 nationwide.

Xeno (vocals, guitar) joined the band after his departure from Cheap Trick in the early 80's. That present lineup released their most successful effert to date-"Electric Eyes". Tunes like "Cheat on Me" and "Thunder and Lightning" received radio airplay. The fans were just flocking to their shows.

It wasn't long before the band faded into obscurity. I heard nothing from them in LONG time. I thought they had broken up. And yes, they did. That was a shame! I had enjoyed seeing them play time after time.

They did reform in 1998 with new members. Bringing in Craig Evans on bass and Scott Bernendt on drums, the band was energized! They released a album of new material called "We Should be Dead by Now" in 2002. They continue to play at clubs and festivals across the Midwest. The last time I saw them was two years at a festival nearby my place. THEY ROCKED!

Are there any local bands you want to rave about?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday Morning at the Lake

This morning my son and I decided to have brunch at Chartroom Charlie's, a local restaurant where the Root River empties into the waters of Lake Michigan. It was one of those cold, rainy and dreary mornings where the heart feels cold. We were seated down by windows that overlooked the river. What a great view I thought. My son said to me, "Racine is sure ugly." I didn't think so. I just see it in a different light.

As we were looking out the rain splattered windows, we were watching fishermen in their small boats drifting by. "These fishermen are a die hard breed" ,I thought. Wondering if they caught anything. Salmon, trout or walleye? I'll never know. We watched Mallard ducks bobbing in the river. Canadian geese and seagulls were flying by. It reminded me of the time that we saw a muskrat swimming in the river.

As I was sipping a warm cup of coffee, my mind drifted off to the places I've been to. Like the cottage on the lake Up North. It was the warm feeling I had before-sipping coffee and looking out of window. I remembered the smell of bacon and fresh cinnamon rolls while my mom was cooking breakfast. The fishermen were out there trying to catch their sunfish and bluegills. The indigo buntings, goldfinches, nuthatches, blue jays and downy woodpeckers were getting their morning fill at the bird feeder. The loons were diving deep in the water to catch their morning fish, only to reappear elsewhere. I remembered the bald eagles and the osprey diving for fish and scaring the heck out of the loons.

My mind drifted off to more recent days of visiting the warm and sunny Dana Point, California. It was a whole new world for me. The smell the salt in the air and the warm breezes off of ocean are still in my memory. The palm trees, tall and majestic against the glow of the sun, were just glorious in my eyes. The yellow rocky bluffs behind me looked forbidding, yet grand. I wondered why people would build houses on the edge of the cliffs. The wildlife was different there too. We saw pelicans, cattle egrets and white herons out there looking for a catch of fish. There was this sea lion swimming in the harbor, catching the attention of tourists. Those were some of the happier days in my life.

My point being of this blog, is every where you go, there is beauty to be seen and observed. Just got to look for it. The lunch was delicious and the service was great. As I walked out the restaurant, the rain had stopped and the sun started to shine...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mural, Mural on the Wall (part 2)

Howdy folks! I have blogged about my son's art project at school before. Here's on update on it so far. It's finally on the wall! They just started painting it today. Doesn't it look awesome so far? I should be done in two weeks. I'm stoked about it....