Dear Ticket Scalpers…

FUCK YOU ALL.  I’m kind…I try not to be profane on my sites, especially since I want to write professionally about music.  I had a college professor once tell my class, “Profanity is not bad, it is the excessive use of it that makes the word meaningless.”  So, I vow to only leave my opener profane.  My living room heard enough of the profane, hilarious sentiments just moments ago…

I’d attach a screen shot of eBay to explain what I’m talking about, but why?  Tickets that have NOT even gone ON SALE yet are being sold for upwards of $1.199…some as much as $3,447/pair.  I have an idea, why don’t I open my chest up with a butter knife and FedEx my still-beating heart to you, you modern-day, human-sized, soul-sucking parasites.

Have you ever loved a band so much that your heart ached?  So much that hearing them gave you wrinkles on your eyes and nose from hearing the sounds?  Has it ever been so visceral to you that your whole body responds to the living energy in your speakers?  That is magnified at a concert, nosebleed seats or otherwise.

Well, there won’t be any nosebleeds for me.  Unfortunately, this was a once in a lifetime concert event.  I never thought it could happen.  I never thought I’d see the day.  It was highly unlikely, in all circumstances.  My twelve-year-old self said, “Man, I’d sell my soul to see that happen.”  Well, it’s happening without me, in select cities around the world.

The achingly beautiful tribute to Andy Wood, frontman to Mother Love Bone, womb to Pearl Jam…gorgeous melding of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden…Temple of the Dog is touring in select cities around the U.S.  Some lucky fan club members (of which the fan club I am a part, not so much the former adjective) were drawn in a ticket lottery.  The rest of us waited eagerly to realize that even before we had the chance, credit card poised in hand, day taken off from work–desperately praying and counting down to that moment…the chance was never there to be discussed.  Tickets were not on sale, no.  There wasn’t even an opportunity for them.

Nor is there now, unless we bow to your disgusting fees, preying on our life savings, our student loan money, the very essence of our souls…as a Unitarian Universalist, I believe in the inherent worth and dignity of all human (and animal) life.  You are a challenge to that, my foes.  How can I respect someone who preys of the hopes and dreams of the music-obsessed?  Would you sell cancer medicine on the black market, too?

That same professor continued, “You see, the beauty in using profanity is that when you use it passionately and sparingly, that’s when it really means something.”  I really mean it.

Blessings to all the ones who have been let down.  Keep on rockin’ even in a corporate greedy whore society,



Cigarettes, Lipstick, and Cobain

My wonderful friend and writing colleague Amye Archer captures life and music and style…you would enjoy reading her…

The Fat Girl Blog

I fell in love with you on a kitchen floor after my junior prom. You wore a loose tie with your red chucks. I wore a size 12 black and white dress that hour-glassed my expanding body into something more desirable. You couldn’t keep your hands off of me. That night became the night against which my beauty would always be measured. Remember how beautiful you looked in that dress on that night? You would ask me when you remembered it. It was as if that version of me-young, beautiful, thin, and sexy-was an island I could never again reach, not by swim, by boat, by rocketship.

We went with another couple, rented a limousine, sat at a table, ate a meal, and danced, just like we were supposed to. We had been dating only three months at that point, and if you were panicked or anxious, you didn’t show…

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The Core of Things in the Countdown

Stone Temple Pilot’s Core

STP’s debut album Core is an incredible-dance-in-your-living-room-fest album filled with contemplative lyrics, oddities and a lot of incredible music.  It is a must have.  I cannot speak for “new” STP from whence Scott Weiland was ousted from his own band (and maybe rightly so, but again, we don’t know the real story).  Either way, do yourself a favor and revisit this gem.

The opener, “Dead and Bloated” starts with a raspy lyric that explodes into crawling full-blown rock with definitive drum taps and driving bass.  This is perhaps one of their most dynamic tracks, going into a lilting chorus with “whooooa yeah-eh-yeahs.”  What exactly does Weiland mean?  Well, this is one time where I let the music take over.  This particular track has incited a dialogue with my husband and me.  We always speak to one another in lyrics anyway, and I always get these particular lyrics wrong.

Some of my favorites:



“Wicked Garden”

In a little under one hour, this album drives a consistent beat throughout.  I recommend it for a road trip album more than definitely so.

Opening the lid on Jar of Flies

Alice in Chains Jar of Flies

Weighing in at only 30 m 52 s, this cup of instrumental genius is filled to the brim with…no, not with flies…but with dark and melodic nuances, and Staley’s unique voice.  The lyrics at times are melancholy but never lack the authenticity with which you will always find in this band.  “We chase misprinted lies…we face the path of time…”  “if I can’t be my own, I’d be better dead.”  A haunting sentiment from a singer who battled with addiction until it overtook him–into a different beyond.

As usual, Cantrell’s pointed and clean guitar playing and harmonic background vocals give this four-piece set a mellow and haunting feel.  It’s not a minor thing, though…when the band explodes into this uplifting, hopeful chords, it can bring tears to a listener’s eyes.  After two solemn openers, we are greeted with a lilting, uplifting howl from Staley that emits hope from the deep recesses of depression in which we have retreated to to be with this album.

My particular favorites from this album are “Whale & Wasp” and “No Excuses.”  “Whale…” is an instrumental piece with strings that might make you feel like Vivaldi married an acoustic electric guitar.  “No Excuses” is a power-packed, snare drum heavy celebration of music.

All in all, Jar of Flies is a must-have for those of us, especially those, who are authentic Alternative rock fans.  Open the lid.

Be well and rock on,


Counting Down in Sunny Day…Real Estate

Sunny Day Real Estate Diary

Yes, they’re a band from Seattle at a time when “grunge” and “alternative” were terms as widely spread as the flannel shirts in your closet…well, maybe not your closet, but most people’s.  Sunny Day Real Estate, however, doesn’t seem to adhere to any genre of music I’ve heard of other than AMAZING.  I understand that I write this, knowing that they won’t be everyone’s cup of tea–but if you drink of the same mug as me then you should give them a listen.

One time, an eleven-year-old aspiring musician said to her mother, “I’m a musician without a band.  I’m just a poet.  How is this ever going to work?”

This girl’s mom replied, “Isn’t a song poetry put to music?”

This is exactly how I feel about Diary.  This album reads like a chapbook in your favorite advanced poetry class in high school.  But I don’t understand what he’s saying when I just listen.  That’s fine.  My mom often teases me about Eddie’s lack of annunciation in his singing…and, truth be told, Enigk’s melodic professions aren’t always that clear–but if you understand the words below the vocal emissions, you will get goosebumps, guaranteed.

To this day, “In Circles” is one of my favorite tracks, musically…especially when driving, “Well I go in circles…RUNNING DOWN!”  or in “Seven”‘s “You’ll taste it!  You’ll taste it!  In time…”  you will find me parked at a railroad stoplight, pounding on the steering wheel to the bassist’s beat.  I know, I don’t do it justice.  You’re going to have to listen to the entire album.  And after that, listen to The Rising Tide.  Both of these selections were listened to as I walked to my advanced poetry class in 2005–mind you, listened to in my 1985 cassette Walkman.

Both were enigk-matic.  So, if you aren’t friends with SDRE yet, you’ll thank me for the introduction later.

Rock and roll on,


“Today” it’s the 7th of the Top Ten Albums from 90s Alternative Rock

Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream

Contary to the Halloween prank, the band chose their name in a more F. Scott Fitzgerald way:


impressive or wonderful:

a smashing display.
Many people think this was their debut, but they forget about Gish and Lull, which are equally brilliant in their own ways.  “Today” is what broke them into the mainline of 90s Alternative Rock.  For people like me, this means “really amazing, meaningful music.”  Many mistake the happy guitar tones and seemingly cheerful lyrics for a tribute to joy–yet Billy admitted he was sampling thoughts of suicide and that the song was supposed to be a paradoxical play, with biting, sardonic sentiments below.

While I like to keep songs and videos as separate art forms, I can’t help but adore the marriage of musical, artistic concepts that this video brings.  Billy acts as a frustrated, youthful ice cream truck driver who abadons his route to find—what?  Freedom?  Escape?  What he finds is wayward artists in a field which grows into an artistic painting fest outside a barn on a gorgeously sunny day.  Though the song is about jaded thoughts of suicide, the viewer/listener cannot help but feel the warm sun and light from the artistic expression this track brings.

I could write all day about the gems on Dream but I will tell you that, if for some reason your ears have never been graced with the following bits of genius, grace them today:
“Sweet, Sweet.”
I profess being an “old skool” Pumpkins fan.  I did buy all the albums after Machina but I wasn’t so crazy about any newer Pumpkins until lately.  I just picked up their latest Monuments to an Elegy and I’ll have to report back on my thoughts and feelings on it.  There were gems on the over-the-top double disc Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness but my heart remains in a Lull for Dream.
Be well and rock on,

Break out the Tool box for Day 6 of Ten of the Best Albums of the 90s…

And now, for something completely different:

Tool Aenima

I first have to say yes, it is, just say it with me, people: enema.  That is the way you say it.  I’ve heard some Tool fans try to dispute this, but, please, listen to the lyrics to my favorite title track.  It’s about flushing it all away.  He’s talking about a renewal.  Flushing out all the crap in the world and starting anew.  Tool has an interesting fan base.  They’re heavy; they have in-your-face messages that some people find too blatant or profane; oh, and they’re absolutely PHENOMENAL.  I have always called Tool “the thinker’s band.”  Each musician is so insanely talented that when you put them all together it’s like a musical coma.  I mean nothing bad by this–it’s simply that they are so inebriating to the mind that all else tends to dissappear and you, yourself, get lost in sound and emotion. At least, that is what Tool has always been for me.  This album, their sophomore to Undertow (another insanely amazing first), is what hooked me.  Though you might be in a Tool-induced coma, that doesn’t mean that you won’t move–in fact, I’ve often proclaimed you must be without a pulse if some part of your body doesn’t girate to this power-packed, bass-heavy beat.  Add to that, Maynard’s incredibly dynamic voice and Adam’s angry riffs–and you’ve got bliss.  Put in the oven at 350…sorry…sounded like a recipe forming.  So what tracks inflame me with Toolopia?  “46 & 2” because I’m a bassist, and because of all the aforementioned reasons.  “Stinkfist” because of the spitting anger that helps emotional management.  On the surface, one might be repelled by the verbal images this illicits, however, it is about Maynard’s frustration with the military (he served.)  It’s a good one, either way, for a bad day.  “Eulogy” and, of course, “Aenima.”  There’s something incredible about the musicality of “Aemina” that astounds me.  The build, the lyrics, the dynamics in the climax–it can’t really be fully appreciated in words, so do yourself a favor:  get some headphones, eliminate distraction–and go listen.  One final thing (though I could rant about a billion more) I’d like to say about this album is that so many people mistake “Die Eier von Satan” as being anti-semitic.  No.  It’s a Jewish recipe recited like an anti-semitic speech, as in, to make the point of hatred being wrong.  Tool: 1,000,000 squared, the universe, well, we don’t lose, do we, because we have the former.