Wednesday, November 26, 2008


2008 has been the suckiest of years for my family so far...My dearest sister left us for much higher ground this past summer after a courageous but ultimately heartcrushing 2 and a half year battle. Our transition from west to east coast was plagued with seemingly neverending stress and patches of unemployment and fear. My brutal life stealing headaches had almost perfect attendance throughout the Spring and early Summer,with no real cause in sight. I have been wrapped in an airtight depression that comes and goes as it pleases.The economy,local flakes beyond the realms of flakiness and a reluctance to rely on a trade that has paid my bills for 20 years have kept me shakily employed.... Am I buggin' you...don't mean to bug you.

What comes next is the holidays...which for many families who have had a NORMAL year can be hellish, so you can imagine what we're up against. So what could I possibly be thankful for right about now?

I'm thankful for the memories of Meaghan and the light,love and warmth she brought to the table every day of her short life. I wait for it to inspire me more than it has.I wait for my psyche to allow that to happen. I hope to live in shadow of what she taught without even realizing it.

I'm thankful for the unconditional love of my wife...we have had mountains to climb this year...sometimes without the right tools..but we manage to find the space to laugh and love each other as much as we can. She is an inspiration every day.

I'm thankful for my 2 year old son Hudson who doesn't even realize what happiness he has shown me with his inquisitive spirit, his verbal prowess, his unbelievable memory and his unending charm. I love him with all of my heart and am thankful I have the purpose of being able to teach him what I know and believe in. I hope I serve him well and know that his world is normal and wondrous even if ours is not.

I'm thankful for my family, my parents especially for going above and beyond for Meaghan and her husband and kids in a year we would just as soon forget...but never will. I'm thankful for the guidance you give when I don't even seek it out. It is there like a treasure map for the shaken and grieving.

Of course I am thankful for my friends, especially my friend Tom this year..who has been like a brother to to share feelings of pain and doubt, and throw sarcasm around like nobody's business. Thank you for sharing the laughter..we need it now more than ever.

To all of my sister's friends..I am thankful to have shared so much with you..there is so much more to do....I hope you will join us.

I am also thankful I have this blog to spill out to, to recollect with, to paint opinions upon. Sometimes about music and sometimes about the life that goes on around and through my musical passions. It has been refreshing to return to my first love,writing, in the hopes that with practice(err, blogging) I will be back on course with the medium that has shaped me for all of these is important that I am always informing, entertaining, slaying with sarcasm while I write here...and if there comes a time when I am not..well maybe I'll quit while ahead and switch to macrame', rollerblading or professional speed eating....while there's still time.
Thanks to the readers I have never met and the new friends I have made on this thing called the make it fun. Its what I needed this year........

Happy Turkey Day to all who are out there...thankful for something.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In Response to Rolling Stone Magazine

Rolling Stone magazine has just released another whopper of an issue. The 100 Greatest Singers Of All Time lines the cover this month. RS is famous for their lists. I'm pretty sure they've used this gimmick over 50 times just to stay afloat for the last 10 years. All of the nerdy, hipster Pitchfork critics have deemed RS irrelevant for quite some time now. All of those non-players cum wallflowers cum critics that hide behind their spectacles and hatred for melody..and SINGERS who actually sing. Anyway, I love lists and I'm a singer so I will let you find the entire list yourself(Google) and you can play along with me as I playfully dissect this with some hit points of my own.
The voters were an ok mix of old people who write, old people who play and young people who wish they could do both as good as those old folks. James Hetfield, Patrick Stump(Fall Out Boy), Merle Haggard,Jackson Browne, Jim James(My Morning Jacket) all voted.

They have Aretha at #1. No argument there..she can sing rock, gospel, pop, blues, R and B, and opera like no other and despite her insane daily caloric overdose, is still doing it. Kudos to the queen.
Ray Charles is #2. OK the guys a legend, but I just don't see him at #2. I see Elvis at #2(not #3).Elvis could knock any genre out of the park. Even with peanut putter and banana stuck to the roof of his mouth, he sounds better than Ray Charles. lets leave Ray Charles in the top 30 somewhere so anyone over age 50 doesn't bitch and moan.

Onward...Sam Cooke is #4(awesome voice,yes) but higher than Marvin Gaye at #6? No way. A bullet cut both of their lives short...but Marvin influenced millions in his short life, Sam Cooke influenced hundreds of thousands.
John Lennon is # 5 and Bob Dylan is #7. Two of the greatest SONGWRITERS of all time. Lennon wasn't even the best singer in the Beatles in my opinion(I'm a George guy)...and Paul (#11) was more versatile and had a more impressive range than John.
But BOB the top 10!!?? Cmon now..he has the most parodied voice of any musician ever.Tom Petty made a whole career out of it. Sure it changed over time from marbles meets protest to cigarettes meets sandpaper..but its not even top 100 worthy.
Robert Plant is in the top 20 at #15, so I can rest easy, but then they have Mick Jagger(#16) trumping FREDDY MERCURY at# 18. This is blasphemy. Mick Jagger is a showman, one of a kind voice,yes. But not anywhere near the sheer power,control, grace and flawlessness of Fred Mercury.(and all done with a horrible overbite!) Fred should be in the top 10 and its obvious that the geezer vote took over portions of this list with his placement behind Dylan and Jagger. Raise your Canes!

Another strange pick is Bob Marley at #19. That's right. Just behind Mr. Mercury. Bob Marley wasn't really a singer. he kind of shouted his way through storytelling in a ganja scorched rasp..(the I Threes did the singing)...but I guess RS has to smack us with a token reggae guy..although Toots from the Maytals is at # 71.

I think Janis Joplin at #28 and Tina Turner at #17 should switch places,so sue me.There will never be another Janis. Put the right wig on Beyonce and some fool will start calling her the next Tina. Again...there will never be another Janis.

Why is Whitney Houston(#34) above Joni Mitchell? Both of them have smoked their vocal nodes down to charred black lifeless nubs..but Joni has such more character than that gospel on PCP vox of Ms. Houston. BORING.

In the "switch places,for god's sakes" department part about doing the right thing RS voters and switch Elton John(#38) with David Bowie(#23). Elton John between Honky Chateau and Captain Fantastic was the best singer on the planet..and had it not been for all of that cabana boy blow, he still would be. Bowie was a chameleon, yes, but I could easily find his voice underneath the glitter.Not really pipes you would consider top 25 worthy.

Now for some surprising commentary on three of my favorite musicians...Kurt Cobain(#45), Lou Reed (#62) and Iggy Pop(#75) belong NOWHERE on this list. All geniuses...but Lou Reed never really "sang" anything more than halfway, Kurt's vocal claim to fame was screaming in tune and Iggy was...just Iggy.

I mean... Thom Yorke at #66 is behind Lou Reed. Thom Yorke...the most incredible vocalist to come out of England in the last 20 years is behind Lou Reed? And Axl Rose(#64)?? go away for 13 more years...,BJORK!!!(#60).....please, no more praise for Bjork...window companies have made millions of of her wretched warbling....Thom Yorke is behind Christina Aguilera(#58)as well. Must be the BOOBAGE. Nice rack, but it don't make her pipes sweeter than Thom's.

How can Brian Wilson(#52)be on the list and not his brother Carl(who sang beautifully on so many BB songs)...Good Vibrations, anyone? Do any of the voters know Brian wrote the songs and Carl and Mike Love sung them?!!!

How can Art Garfunkel be on the list(#86) and no Paul Simon? I know their voices are very different(one's an angel with an afro, one had a toupee until Edie Brickel made him take it off..has nothing to do with their voices, but I thought it was funny) but just take a listen to anything off Bookends or Still Crazy After All These Years, RS and think again about Paul's omission.

Great to see a bunch of Steves make the cut Stevie Nicks(#98) Steve Perry(#76) and Steven Tyler(#99) although they all should have been higher....How can Bjork be 38 spots ahead of Stevie Nicks?????

Metal was almost completely Dio, Halford or Dickinson. Horns DOWN, gentlemen. As was Staley, Vedder or Cornell... As was punk(except for Iggy)...Johnny Rotten, Joey Ramone are no shows but Mariah Carey gets her wackjob ass and over- emoting on there(#79) and same to you Mary J. Blige at #100.

I'm also wondering why Allison Krauss didn't make the list. I came late to the Allison Krauss party but her 30 plus Grammys and one of the most beautiful voices of all time(such control,such purity)should have put her in the top 30 at LEAST. And while were on the ladies.Yay to Bonnie Raitt(#50).But no Emmylou Harris? Joan Baez? Margo Timmins(Cowboy Junkies)....but Patti Smith makes it as a VOCALIST?

I'm glad Paul Rodgers wasn't overlooked(#55)....but he's alone in the British power blues/rock singer category...Steve Marriott is sorely missed and ALWAYS passed over. And what about Brian Ferry??? Who could leave him off of any list of vocalists? Listen to the first three Roxy Music albums....nobody sounded like him then, nobody has since.

So its a hit and miss list for me...but isn't every list? That's why they print create buzz and controversy.I checked this morning with a Google search on this subject and there must have been a thousand blogs talking about it. So I'm 1001. Thats ok with me...I'll be here tomorrow bitching about Beyonce again.

Here's My top 15 (heavy on the rock tip) and where they were on RS' list.
1) Freddy Mercury (#18)
2) Robert Plant (#15)
3) Thom Yorke (#66)
4) Brad Delp goose egg
5) Chris Cornell goose egg
6) Steve Marriott goose egg
7) Ronnie James Dio goose egg
8) Paul Rodgers (#55)
9) Jeff Buckley (#39)
10)Layne Staley goose egg
11) Joni Mitchell (#42)
12) Sly Stone (#78)
13) Brian Ferry goose egg
14) Elton John (#38)
15) George Harrison goose egg

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Making My Way

Making my way
into the bitter air
there's no one out there.
Cautious I'm not for I've been in this spot before.
A train sleeps, close to awake.
Tis the one I will take
to hop a bus bound for New York.
This city I now visit
6 years I have lived it,
it still brings me warmth and surprise.
But this time its the work
that will hustle the flow
that will upend the next two days.
It is no vacation
brings no elation
to a working space down Soho way.
I'm off now, must go.
through the street pre dawn cold
toward another three day non holiday.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Things That Have Ceased Happening

It seems not so strange to me that barely any "real" media time was spent mourning/appreciating Mitch Mitchell. He was only one of the top 10 Rock Drummers of all time and spent most of his prime years playing next to arguably the best rock guitarist in history. His influence was legendary and his style was difficult to classify......we got a blip here...a blurb there...and then back to your regularly scheduled asshat bait comedy like Two and a Half Men. In this day and age of a public flogged with bottomed out economy and having no time for anything except the Biggest Loser..its just one of those things that have ceased happening. The respect of a rock giant's passing is barely touched upon...while we get to hear plenty of Kanye West proclaiming himself "The voice of our generation" with that overbite of his forcing the spittle to go arterial....or Cracky Wine-in the house spiraling in and out of lucidity again while she tries to ask for her brand of smokes from the deli on the corner.....
Anyhoo, it got me thinking about things that just don't happen anymore in the rock world and I'm all hot and bothered about it. Its what forces me to keep looking back in wonder and amazement at the decade I was just a few years too young to truly appreciate(1970-1980) Rather than give you a long list...I will present video evidence(mostly instrumental) for you to ponder the sheer brilliance, spectacle and bombast...all from the recently released DVD of collected performances on the Old Grey Whistle Test...a legendary British musical showcase/interview show...the likes of we'll never see again(thank you Simon Cowell, you twat!)

#1)Focus-Sylvia/Hocus Pocus- I know how nerdtastic this may sound...but yodelling is the SHIT! This just plain rocks and resonates off of the stone walls of a fjord somewhere....makes me wanna grow wings and make wishes with the faeries!

#2)Roxy Music-Ladytron- A sparkly green druid meets Elvis playing clarinet, a disco ball fade -in 4 YEARS BEFORE DISCO, Brian Eno,all gold gloves and leopard printed noodling on a pre MOOG synth he made in his basement and the unbelievable dulcet/vibrato on speed tones of Brian Ferry....simply awesome!

3)Edgar Winter Group-Frankenstein. Yes its one of the most popular instrumentals of the era, but having seen this vid for the first time the other night, its evident that these guys are geniuses. Lets start and end with Edgar Winter..just swaying back and forth with his portable keys..rocking out with albino abandon between a barely out of his teens Rick Derringer and Dan Hartman on bass( who later scored a huge 80s hit with "I Can Dream About You..yeah, thats him!) and Chuck Ruff on the skins...then he takes OVER on the timbale sync with Chuck, and keys swinging from his neck(WHO KNEW?) Brother Johnny gets all the praise but its evident that after his alien abduction, Edgar came back with some SERIOUS goods. just plain NERDTACULAR!

I hope that when they come for me...the men in white suits or the aliens in white light....they will eventually return me to inside the space/time continuum.. to roadie for the Edgar Winter group, or to run and get hot tea for Eno. I just need that elusive pair of metallic white overalls....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Reason To Become a Stage Dad #1:

This is my boy. The boy who could speak LONG before he could walk. The boy who could rock LONG before he could roll. Now he does both!...Can I tell you how awesomely divine it is to hear my boy ask "Daddy can you play Lust For Life on drums?" or hear a two year old with a crusted over milk moustache answer a tough question like "What is your favorite band?" with a resounding.."LED ZEPPELIN!!!"as crumbs tumble from his lips. Yeah. I'm a proud papa. Will I force him into taking guitar lessons when he turns 3.?..maybe.The earlier the barre chord, the better! Or perhaps I'll just convince him that a power chord is one of the most perfectly beautiful sounds he'll ever hear..cooler than a motorcycle or a leaf blower! Will I pepper in rock trivia between Goodnight Moon and Go,Dog,Go at bed time?...Why yes, I think I will. But I'll make it fun...maybe switch the title of that bizarre book to Goodnight KEITH Moon..something like that.
Will I be an overbearing stage Dad who pushes his son into rock avenues that he doesn't want to go down?.will I take away his Wii and push him into practice spaces, open mics and spotlights? Nawww, I'll just tell him about the pay-off. The return he'll get after the hard work, the blisters, the wood-shedding....You know..CHICKS! COLD CASH! Debauchery and deliverance from basement obscurity!!!
Hmmmmmm.....that doesn't sound right. Maybe I'll just teach him how it feels to write a song from scratch...from smudged out scribbles in a rainy day notebook..and a repetitive hum that fights a refrain of traffic noise or busted out beat on a handle bar to an actual song. One with a sturdy strummed out anthemic melody and a chorus that you think you could hear a whole stadium singing along with you if you just shut your eyes tight enough...dream hard enough. Yeah that sounds better. Thats what I'll do. That's my next lesson.

Thanks Hudson for making Daddy proud...and making Daddy feel the dreams you make(for us)

That's my boy....

Monday, November 10, 2008


The link was wrong on my first suggestion...unless you want a wedding album...some of you may never want to see one of those again. For album cover art go to Sorry about that.

Shining that Light Again

There's not much going on in the rock news world right now...or that's how I feel today anyway. I don't really care how well Gene Simmons did on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader because he's one of the most loathsome humans that I know of. Gene is a dead -squirrel haired carnival barking sheister and Kiss were the Three Doors Down of the 70s.Not much news there....I did hear of another challenging night for Billy Corgan where he invited up an audience member to the stage on the second night of their NY tour stop to ask him what he thought of the first night's set. After the young buck said "it sucked" Billy said " By the way, what was the name of that song you wrote? Take Your Dick Out of My Mouth and Stick It In My Ass? I heard it was a hit in Europe." Wow...tough times on the Pumpkins tour, I guess...somebody got a bunch of Black Necco Wafers and Almond Joys in their trick or treat bag! Bet you can You Tube that one as well...
I thought I would let you know of some really great websites that I use during times like of them is simply called . Need an album cover for Itunes/Ipod art? Or for anything else? Maybe to stare at lovingly as listenable mediums get smaller and "covers" go the way of "cassettes" or "guitar solos"? You know..Bye Bye! Enter an artist or album title. Its there. Just copy and paste it where you need it. They also have DVD covers and videos of said artist that appear in the right column adjacent to the search results.
I even found Zappa's Weasels Ripped My Flesh and Foghat there. Just because I could.

I also found a great site called Its basically a large list of hidden tracks by artists( often found at the end of a cd and usually unlisted)and what CDs you can find them on! Simple..awesome...and great for slow rock news days.

Finally in the TOTAL non music category...I STUMBLED UPON this page from Jimmy Ruska's blog called Friends Are More Dangerous Than Beer. I haven't busted a gut like that in a long time. People are so cruel..and I love them. See You Soon.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Smashed Pumpkins

Billy Corgan just cracks my ass up. He really doesn't give a poop whether the fans that came to see him in Toronto on Nov. 3 were upset that he played almost an hours worth of long rawk jams, went into snippets of "White Rabbit" from Jefferson Airplane "Tom Sawyer" and "YYZ" from Rush and then proceeded to launch into an epic version of "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" by Pink Floyd ..He did it anyway,awesomely alienating all those hit-mongers that are the blight of most concert going experiences. And during the encore he led his band through a kazoo only version of "Everything is Beautiful" and berates a fan for chanting "Cherub Rock!!" over and over...basically sends the dude to his room.
My favorite part of the video I've included is when he states.."You find me a band without BEARDS that can play 48 fucking songs over two nights! This ain't no fucking hippy shit!".....Nuff said, Billy. Good for you for leaving all those Pumpkinites Mellon Collie...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

One More Thing

For more information on what you can do to raise awareness for lung cancer research and detection and to further educate yourself on these issues visit Thank you.....sean

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November is Lung Cancer Awareness month. Lung cancer took my sister a little over two months ago. Lung Cancer took George Harrison,Bob Marley,Warren Zevon, Carl Wilson, Eddie Kendricks, Sandy West(Runaways drummer), Hilly Kristal, John Wayne, Walt Disney and Peter Jennings. I could go on and on.....

What people don't realize are the statistics. Cancer does not discriminate,so why should the media? Why..year after year do we see more and more "pink ribbons" everywhere? Sure boobs are pretty....boobs are sexy..Most women wish either wish they had bigger ones or don't want to lose the ones they have.Celebrities get cancer.Celebrities have boobs, too. Sometimes they have to have them removed!Shocker!!!Call the tabloids! And because of this, I guess the campaigns for breast cancer research are monumental.Astounding...We are bombarded with pink all of the time! Pink ribbons on frosted flakes,motor oil, perfume, fast food wrappers, fruit,tampons,rolling papers....on display at churches, gyms, voting booths, Ozzfest......My sister was perplexed...outraged! What is the difference?! Cancer is Cancer...and it could take you tomorrow...overweight Motorhead fan with the man boobs and dusty boots....Phishhead girl with the henna tattoos and the fake dreads.....Soccer mom with the blue mini van and the Toby Keith bumper sticker...uber healthy vegan boy with tan skin permanently attached to a yoga mat....!!! Get the facts...take steps for early prevention! Ask Why!

Why all of the attention on Breasts? When Lung cancer takes more people than breast, ovarian, pancreatic,testicular,lymphoma,melanoma and liver COMBINED every year.Over 160,000 will pass from lung cancer this year...20, 000 of them NON SMOKERS! And where are the other colored ribbons...the million dollar ad campaigns for lung, prostate, liver,lymphoma,melanoma......where! It reeks of being unfair.....My sister wanted a "Rainbow Ribbon" that covered all of the bases as a symbol and reminder of the need for more research and campaigns for early detection for ALL Cancers! My family will continue to build on her dream, that you can believe.

And for those with breast cancer or the loved ones that surround them,let nothing change. Fight on! But realize that there are many out there who need help, money, research and a "national" spotlight just as much as you. Awareness is Key! November is Lung Cancer awareness month. Get the facts!....and go out and VOTE today.

Now I'll put away the soapbox until the Rock and Roll Hall of fame inductions are announced..!