Friday, February 27, 2009

When Everything Got Smaller and Then Disappeared

Sad news from 2 cities in which I used to live, San Francisco and New I just pulled this off of the wire..

The slumping music industry claimed another two victims yesterday as Virgin Megastore revealed plans to close their stores in New York’s Union Square and San Francisco’s Market Street. The Union Square location will shutter at the end of May, while the Market St. store will close by April 30th, reports. As announced earlier, the Virgin Megastore in New York’s Times Square will close this April as well.

I can't tell you how many endless hours I spent in both of these stores...especially New York's Union Square Virgin Megastore. Miles of aisles and the long line of listening stations where I dissed and praised many a new band or repackaged,re-mastered back catalog. Those hours really filled my weekends as an aimless neo New Yorker. This is sad news for me. I had a funny feeling even when CDs first came out in the 80s that everything was going to get smaller and eventually disappear. We would have our music piped into our cranial circuitry via a quarter inch jack just below our ear as we reclined and sat in a virtual massage chair and were pumped full of beer or ice cream intravenously.

If any of you have seen the brilliant movie Wall-E, the cartoon-ish earthlings have essentially become that vision I had, strapped to jet powered chairs, obese with every wish and command at their finger tips in a console at their lap. Triple chinned Jane and Johnny Neumonics.

And albums became cassettes became cds became files pumped through little white ear buds....for the ease, for the compactness, for the mobility. The ipod...the trophy we all lift over our heads while dancing with a purple or green screen as background.

We all have them...even the basement stack archeologists and the DJs....soon they won't even know what a milk crate is. And soon our children's children will have to refer to history books...err scratch that, WEBSITES to see what a record store was. But they'll be doing that while sending a subliminal machine- free text to their tween friends via brainwaves while watching a 20 minute movie on the screen implanted on the backside of their will be thought of and purchased through mere consumer computers attached to our gray matter. There will be banner ads scrolling through our subconscious while we sleep... We won't leave the house...we will just float on our chairs while consuming and the waste will be sucked out of our orifices and converted to energy to run the chair.

I am to blame as well. I have an ipod. I want a bigger Ipod that DOES MORE STUFF, that CRAMS IN APPS that I'll never use. I keep downloading songs, albums, podcasts, videos to see if I can fill that thing I can say that I did, so I can have an excuse to buy a NEW one...and on and on.

The sad thing is..I can't even get through large percentages of the albums I've found,purchased, downloaded and hoarded. I don't have the time/patience/want/need anymore.....but I'm addicted to getting them and having them. Listening to them is a bother, a distraction... And as more record stores die off...I'll eventually graft myself to the couch and ferment in the empty pleasure of the ease of watching everything get smaller and eventually disappear.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Random Rock Poetry from 9/19/99

I have a new header thanks to my good friend Tim. I hope you like it. Actually, it doesn't matter if you do or not....I'm keepin' it! Thanks Tim!

Today after another round of playing Job Search and rummaging through a folder for something. I found this photocopied poem I wrote from 1999 called "Man I'm Your Man."

Upon its a decade old..not much has changed in my quest for rock excellence and fondness for the days of rock yore. Here it is in its entirety.

Man, I'm Your Man

Come Get Me
Come fucking get me
All you slacking
addicted and charted black hearted
blues angry chain stoking morally bankrupt illusions.
Heartachen blood taken transfusion conclusions.
All you bitchy conditioned
old rockers with wisdom
better sand all your claws off
to come in my kitchen.
better stick in my knife
or plug in my tongue.
Your songs laying there dying
because I haven't sung.
Come get me
regret me
bloodcurdle, bloodlet me.
belittle the system that confounds and confines you
but it ain't nothing without a voice I'll remind you.

Come get me
come fucking get me
your mudslinging roots
your punktified boots have not yet kicked my ass.
and I've taken your class. lived your past.
not your path. not your pity. not the dues you have paid.
do your heroes resent all the women they've laid
do you covet their wisdom or die drunk in their shade.
come get me
you rusted old goat of a band
stop choking on verses and grains of white sand
stop bitching in basements. obey my command
come and get me you fuckers
I'm the gun in your hand.
I'm your winning hand.
Come and see me dreamer.
Cause man, I'm your man.

I've rocked underground
with the burn in my bone.
burnt to a crisp every last microphone
hated related
bedded and dated
every one of your songs I have not yet created.
but I'm slated
to cause a disruption,distinction.
exited to be part of your old band's extinction
ecstatic, erratic and totally clean.
with a big dirty thought for every last scene.
psychotic no maybe
just angry not lazy.
I'll tongue every mother, kiss every baby.
Call her just once
but call her a lady.
And mow over every kid rock and slim shady.
Rock real with passive aggressive mad style
make love under pressure
run wild in the aisle
hit cues and trust news
of the great pop demise
come on and get me
I'm just blessing, no disguise.

well there it's dated, it's fresh....unedited and random. Thats the way I used to write in a flurry...on amphetamines with a composition book at my desk in the middle of the day. Now its a laptop and bad posture where I struggle for keys and struggle for content. But I sure enjoy it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wikipedia Names Your Band

I hear this is what the bearded kids are talking about around the local hipster water coolers as we speak. Found online is this here meme(catchphrase or content that spreads rapidly person to person via the internet)that allows you to create a random imaginary band and an album cover to go with it. Just follow the directions below and see what you get. Send them to me and I might send a prize your way for a winning entry because I like you. I really like you. Runners up will get just about nothing but a shout out. I'm all out of Turtle Wax.

Wikipedia Names Your Band

Music Buzz New meme: here's a totally random way to make your new random band's new random album cover. Post one! Go to “Wikipedia.” Hit “random” and the first article you get is the name of your band. Then go to “Random Quotations” and the last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album. Then, go to Flickr and click on “Explore the Last Seven Days” and the third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Here's Mine

Dan Spring-But The Bread Itself

For the direct link to the article I found, click here

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Get In The Van

I'm Back. My head is no longer tilted left and pasted to a bus window, my winter hat is no longer pulled over my face to repel the suns rays and I am here processing the events that went down this past weekend. Rock is good to those who wait apparently. I was offered the position after an intense but fun audition in a smoke and poster filled practice space in Boston. I was maybe 70 percent, not warmed up at all, but the voice came through and so did the desire. I had to dig deep after a long haul on two buses while entrenched in semi sickness but there was obviously a nugget or two of rocksinger lodged in my duodenum somewhere. I was able to purge it into my psyche, clench my rock fists while channeling Fred Mercury meets Joe Elliott and sing the songs of Bang Camaro. I will be one of six excellent vocalists.

I cannot say enough about the boys in the band, and there are many of them. They were hospitable, helpful and full of hell fire. They are a bunch of pros and it was a thrill to hang with them and shoot rock shit.

The details aren't anywhere near worked out yet, but a tour starts in mid march in NYC. I'll let you know.

The Oscars were a thrill, I guess. A very light in the loafers grab your Playbill and sashay sort of thrill. Apparently the musical is back, because gay men in the UK bought a shitload of tickets to Mamma Mia and because the tweens and the inbetweens (NY and LA)love them some High School Musical and Dancing With the Stars. The rest of us had to force ourselves through swishy dance numbers by Hugh Jack a Man and Beyounce....another awards show with Beyounce trotted out like the equine vocal gymnast that she is. Yet another awards show with Beyounce..we will never be spared, will we? And lets face it, it was hard seeing Wolverine doing a Tommy Tune soft shoe. I was hoping a claw would pop out and deflate one of Ms. Bootylicious' hamhocks.

I was happy to see Sean Penn win. Sean Penn pulling off a gay icon is like watching the red sea part and finding him surfing on its swell. I picked him in a slight edge over Mickey Rourke because his face doesn't look like a piece of ruddy plastic and he happens to be the best actor of our time. And I bet you'd never see him bawling over a rat dog in public. But welcome back to Mickey. I see lots of action movies in his future, simply because despite his immense talent, it's like looking at medusa with a face lift. He'll simply be a leading man with a mask or helmet on. They'll make it work. Kudos as well to Kate Winslet who won for the Reader, but really won for the mistakes the academy made by overlooking her in the past. Hell, she should have won for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind but Nazis get more press so she took it home this year. Hottest nazi I've ever seen by the way. Heil hotness!

Slumdog Millionaire was the best movie of the year in a feel good garbage- in- the streets- rags- to -riches lovey dovey sort of way and Danny Boyle was the best director and it was no surprise to see them both win their Oscars. There were ultimately no upsets at the Oscars this year unless you were upset with the inclusion of Queen Latifah any time, any where, Penelope Cruz's barely there English, or Sophia Loren looking like a 70 year old drag queen with a spray tan. Ben Stiller needs to take a break from movies as well...a good year long break where we wont be subject to his ironic frustrated guy dull comedy.

Thats my opinion. I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cool Images from the Internets

I've been doing vocal scales like a banshee in heat, imagining myself cramped in a van for several months and have been too busy preparing for the audition to take care of my loyal readers. I'll be away for a few days so here's some cool images from the internets to hold you over while my feet are on the ground and I'm reaching for the stars.

I love that store. Wherever it is, I wanna go. Even if its for a handful of picks or a capo. I will go in and test out one of those Mexican made strats with a little Smoke On The Water and clear the place out.

I'm sure this Wangcaster won't be hanging on the wall in that store anywhere. But I bet it sounds great when you're playing Big Balls(AC/DC) or Balls to the Wall by Accept...or even the Lemon Song.

Speaking of Balls...This guy has bigger ones than you.

And to finish up today...Have you ever seen a cooler bass? I've seen my share of bassists who sound completely backwards, but this young man has taken it to extremes.
He should have loaned it out to Adam Clayton or the late Sid would have fit like an unfunky glove.

Have fun,kids! Watch the Academy Awards on Sunday...and look here for a recap. Be a follower on my blog, tell a friend who just might give a shit about good rock talk. See you soon, Seano

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Audition

Ladies and gentlemen, I have an audition coming up for a rock band profiled not too long ago right here. The name of the band is Bang Camaro. Several of you were skeptical of my insane stamp of approval for this band. And you will all be sitting at home while I might be touring the United States and beyond. Bang Camaro is a rock band that needs singers who can hit high notes, be willing to tour and bring massive amounts of rock bravado and prowess to the situation.

I have been known to do that on occasion. I have worn red leather pants that I had to sweat myself out of. I have worn flannel a decade too late. I have rocked beads, rings and necklaces that I may or may not have made in art class out of silverware. I have had several smashed and semi portly cougars drooling and wrestling semi naked in front of me on stage, I have had drinks and fingers thrown at me. I have had requests for Bon Jovi slurred out in a wasted phrase in my half dead right ear. I have had orang-ish soccer moms with vodka breath and just- bought boobs fawning over me. I have taped my own lyrics to floors, to ceilings,to pianos to the back of a bass player and to the closest monitor. I have always had a sharpie on hand in case some lucky lady wants my name on their chest. I always had a song waiting for them on their way in and on their way to the exits. I have I have been laughed at and loved...I've seen a million faces and I've rocked...just over 5500 of them. I believe in rock. I believe I can still bring something to the before and afterparty. I will bring what I know.

I am going to do this. Wish me luck.

Monday, February 16, 2009

DVD Review: Zack and Miri Make a Porno

While my town was frozen over a few days back, Circle of Fits shut down operations for one afternoon, got out the popcorn and Astroglide and had a matinee viewing of Kevin Smith's latest film Zack and Miri Make a Porno. The story was simple: roommates fall on hard times and face eviction from their apartment unless they come up with some moolah to pay their overdue bills. Their paychecks aren't enough, so they hatch a plan to make a porno,get famous and sell enough copies to stay on their feet and stay where they are.
Zack(Seth Rogen) is a bumbling barista who clandestinely shoots the super low budget film in the very coffee shop in which he works after hours. Miri(Elizabeth Banks) is his granny-pantie wearin' roommate who agrees to do the film and partner up with Zach in some hardcore scenes in the stock room on a pile of coffee beans. Hilarity and vulgarity ensue from there on in. The cast includes the wonderful Craig Robinson("The Office"),Justin Long(Mac Guy),Traci Lords(just look up her EARLY work) and Smith mainstay Jason Mewes.

The film tops out pretty high on the laugh meter and surprised me with the underlying and touching love story that is uncovered through very real dialogue between two long time friends who have hidden their love for each other under years of laughter,history and cohabitation. The drama that never seemed forced, the script is tight and the story moves nicely, a welcome feat coming from the usually gab heavy mind of Kevin Smith who really allows the actors to accentuate their strengths while making a lewd and laugh out loud comedy. Mr. Rogen shines as "Seth Rogen" Zach, the guy who stumbles through life but gets the girl, because he makes her laugh with him and at him. And as the quirky object of his affection, Ms. Banks earns her place as one of true female comedic wonders for this generation.

Check this film out, you may be as surprised as I was at how much it touches you under the bombardment of boobs and balls humor.

Friday, February 13, 2009

10 MORE Commandments from The Rock Bible

As I sit home recuperating from an upper endoscopy that I had this morning(they found possible acid reflux, symptoms of Celiac's Disease,600,000 shards of lost finger nails, petrified Honey Comb cereal and MANY words that I had eaten over the years) I was able to find something to recommend to you while I ponder a future without wheat(which includes BEER and PASTA). Don't cry for me yet, I'll know more on Monday. But I plan on drinking several lifetimes worth of pale ales this weekend in honor/mourning of my drinking life. I will wake up in a puddle of hoppy tears, hungover and surrounded by half empty bowls of rigatoni and crumbs from cereal and cookies forming a sad halo around my head.

However sad my plight may/may not be, there are still worlds of rock to investigate, and rules of the rawk credo to follow. These rules are wonderfully on display in a book I discovered online quite simply called "The Rock Bible : Unholy Scripture For Fans and Bands". Here is a link to a fine article about this book that I found on the Gibson website. Click on this to go there :

The folks at Gibson list their 10 favorite commandments from the book in this article, and I'm going to add 10 more of my own.

1) Singers should never think they sound genuine when they ask the crowd "How's everybody doin' out there?" We're drinking ourselves silly after paying this much to see you, that's how we're doin'.
2) Never have a horn section AND back up singers. It's one or the other. And never more than TWO of each. We can't concentrate anymore, see #1.

3) If you are over 40, save a cow and keep the leather pants home buried deep in your wardrobe or give them to an overpriced museum. Your meat and potatoes ain't what they used to be.

4)Banjos are not rock. This goes for you, Bela Fleck. It makes me think of "Squeal like a Piggie!"

5)Drum solos are only cool for 5 minutes and from real expensive seats in front. If you are a drummer who defies this commandment, rest assured we are heading out for a urinal and or Garlic Fries. Neil Peart or no Neil Peart.

6)Crowd surfing is distracting to us. Stop it, you're going to get groped or paralyzed eventually. Lawyers are watching from the cheap seats.

7)The Boob Cam is really disturbing and hard on the chaperones of 14 year old Crue fans to govern. Nobody likes middle aged boobs..whether you're 14 or middle aged.

8)Pace Yourself in the Parking Lot. We've stepped over too many blotto-ed early birds in studded leather and puddles of vomit 3 hours before the show. We've dug through your pockets, found your tickets and scalped them so we could buy a 40 dollar T shirt. We're out there. be careful.

9)Thou Shall Not Play EVERY SONG YOU ARE ABOUT TO HEAR INSIDE AN HOUR FROM NOW on your car stereo in the parking lot.


Alrighty then. Feel free to shoot some of your own commandments my way and follow that link to the article. Or just buy the book. Yeah, that sounds good. Buy the book. You can't download it. You'll have to actually buy it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Same Four Chords

I'm going to continue with the video theme today because I'm a bit lazy, my intestine is knotted like a play- doh braid and the rock news is a bit slow in my humble opinion. The Fray have the number one album in the country and nobody knows who the hell they are or what they look like. YAWN. Trent Reznor might produce the next Jane's Addiction album. FEH. Perhaps he could institute a mandatory shirt rule while recording for Dave Navarro. The White Stripes will reunite for Conan O Brien's last show. HO HUM. Maybe Meg was taking drum lessons all this time, I never bought the anxiety bullshit.

You see, reallllll I've been lurking around and I stumbled upon this piece of brilliance today by a group called the Axis of Awesome. It goes through many of your favorite pop/rock songs and reveals how ridiculously similar they sound. It also proves that with super laziness, saccharine lyrics and a hook that reels in every mall walker between NY and too can be a superstar. Everybody's using those same 4 chords. Its fraudulent, I say!

I'd like to thank my friend and sometimes bandmate Greg Gribben for showing me this as well almost a decade ago in many basement jams and rock trivia-a thons. He has the true Circle of Fifths embedded in his cerebral cortex and caught on quick to this tomfooolery.Kudos to GG. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A New Wilco DVD is Coming

In the midst of crushing blows to our economy, and today's news that MUZAK and SIRIUS/XM will soon file for bankruptcy, it's nice to know that the business of Wilco is strong and steady. This is the trailer to their soon to be released DVD "Ashes of American Flags", which is also a title to a song from their stellar Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album(2002).

Seeing Wilco live for the first time in 2003 at Irving Plaza in NYC(now called The Fillmore!?) was one of the highlights of my life,right up there with jumping out of a hot tub and doing snow angels after 20 Piels tall boys and slaying a tough NYC crowd with a live band karaoke version of War Pigs. I remember that night with Wilco fondly and I have been devout ever since.
Jeff Tweedy is one of the most passionate,engaging lead men out there today and the band is second to none. His son Spencer has a blog way cooler than mine at Its very much worth a look. He is all of 13 years old.

Look for Wilco's DVD Ashes of American Flags in Mid April...I hope to review it right here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bob and Al's Excellent Adventure

Welcome to my day late Grammy Recap. I was nowhere near a computer yesterday, so please excuse my tardiness. My smart money bet prevailed as Raising Sand took home the Album of the Year award as well as Record of the Year for Please Read The Letter(co written by Jimmy Page!) Raising Sand won a total of 5 awards and, more importantly, kept Coldplay out of the top spot! Kudos to Bob and Al for their work. It really is a fantastic album. This leaves Allison Krauss as the recipient of the most Grammys won by a female in the history of the awards with 26. She is only 37 years old. She broke her OWN record.

I would like to agree with a comment made by Layla over at Layla's Classic Rock. Robert was so happy that night. The cheeriness in his wrinkly 60 year old cheeks left me with no doubt that we would never see him on tour with the mighty Zep again. It really hit home when he said in one of his speeches "In the old days, we would have called this selling out." This is where he wants to be..not on some grueling tour with 2 cryptkeepers and a fat bald,non -heir to the greatest drum throne of all time. We should let him go wherever his trampled under feet may take him.

Just a couple more comments and observations....Radiohead's performance with the USC marching band behind them handling all of the percussion in their brilliant song 15 Step was worth every minute of having to force myself through:

-Kid Rock getting 3 FUCKING songs chock full of AMENs and American Flags and Sir Paul and Dave Grohl getting one.
-Justin Timberlake waxing nostalgic and crooning like a girl and thinking since Dick in A Box worked, he's the funniest guy with pubes for a beard to grace us with his presence. You'll always be N-SPHINCT to me, JT.

-The Jonas Brothers jumping around like fey little pre-teens hopped up on Smarties, playing Rock Band and smothering Stevie Wonder who CAN'T SEE THEM.

-Coldplay winning BEST ROCK ALBUM(for being alone in an elevator) claiming themselves as hard as "limestone", and marching out those Sgt. POOPER uniforms again while fawning on Sir Paul. Chris stole Springsteen's crotch slide move as well during their performance of the live ipod commercial otherwise known as Viva La Vida.

-A bunch of hip hoppers jacking their tux pants up and verbally vomiting lyrics while M.I.A. pranced around all pregged-out in a stretched to the limit ladybug meets pantyhose one-sie.

Other high lights included Carrie Underwood's glossy gams and Katy Perry's banana.

All in all...I kept my composure and was glad to see In Rainbows win Best Alternative Album, and Kings Of Leon, Metallica and the Mars Volta bringing home some awards as well.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Seano's Grammy Predictions

The Grammy Awards will happen this Sunday night and I decided to write a little pre/cap prediction thing on this here blog. As the tagline says, you are all entitled to my opinion. I'm sure many of the stalwarts out there in rock circles banging on rocks don't give a rat dropping about the Grammy's. The committee is reaching for a hearing aid and completely out of touch..the live songs are parodies of real music chock full of redundant dance moves and glittered booty.The speeches are preachy pablum where God always gets a shout out and the winners are already seated in the front row.

It is usually the most angry night of the year for me. But this year we have Radiohead and Robert Plant and Allison Krauss nominated in the Album of the year category. We also have 3 other nominees which have nothing to do with greatness or art and have everything to do with album sales and product placement. Lil Wayne(whom I bring the hate for here daily), Coldplay(its almost as if everything this putrid derivative band does is deemed award worthy)and Ne Yo(who should go home empty handed, and demanding a name change more suited for anyone who doesn't have a pacifier in his/her mouth).

My smart money is on Plant/Krauss for Raising Sand. It was an album I wanted to dislike, but ended up loving. Quite simply, 2 of the greatest singers in history singing timeless,yet redefined songs for those who love both rock and bluegrass, with a contemporary gleam and a transcendent delivery. Superb production by T-Bone Burnett, who can do no wrong these days.

Who do I want to win album of the year? Radiohead...In Rainbows was an album first overshadowed by the hype of the bands brilliant idea to give it away online. But repeated it became grafted to my sonic psyche. It is a story of a band reaching higher or deeper into their songcraft cauldron to create songs that are perplexing, challenging, timeless AND MELODIC.

Best Rock Album
Viva La Vida-Coldplay
Rock and Roll Jesus-Kid Rock
Only By the Night-Kings of Leon
Death Magnetic-Metallica
Consolers of The Lonely-The Raconteurs

I'm going to give this one to Metallica. Its a great rock album with something for every Metallica fan on it. Hetfield is in top form and the songs are tinnitus worthy.

Many say Kings of Leon will win. I'm a fan of the Followills, but I wish they would stop listening to New Order and U2 in between backstage bangs, turn down the reverb and rock again. The album fell way short of a power chord for me.
Kid Rock is the poster boy for fly over rock and his songs make me want to take refuge in a trailer right before a tornado touches down. Average at best, Bud Light drinkin' music.
Coldplay--induce vomiting here. So derivitive, they got Eno to produce. It didn't help. Neither did the colored gaff tape cum Sgt. Pepper uniforms.
The Raconteurs put out an album that made many forget about Meg White's cans, which is bittersweet, but these great songs only show me that it's time for Jack to stay where he is..soaring above an adequate back beat. But they still won't win.

Best Alternative Album
In Rainbows-Radiohead
Modern Guilt-Beck
Narrow Stairs- Death Cab For Cutie
Evil Urges-My Morning Jacket
The Odd Couple- Gnarls Barkley

I will again pick Radiohead. I think they will take this instead of Album of the Year. The industry (who they gladly turned away from)has finally taken notice, but I'm sure there are some members of the academy tied to Capitol Records in some way who do not want them to win a thing. Either way, Thom Yorke couldn't care less.

Death Cab For Cutie-Ben Gibbard's bi-focal rock is picking up steam with the critique- if- you- can't- do set, but it won't be enough this year. Quiet is the new loud but empty will be their new arms.
Modern Guilt was a fascinating mix of new wave,space folk,disco beats and production by Danger Mouse.Beck still came up short in the SONG dept. here, however. I've had trouble loving anything since Sea Change.
The Odd Couple-never heard it, so I have no opinion.
Evil Urges was an album that was the epitome of a critic or devout fan love/hate response this year. The title track is a cringe worthy falsetto flub This is a bad that tried to pack a little too much into an already expanding genre repertoire.

The last category I want to discuss is Best Rock Song. Nominees include:
Girls In Their Summer Clothes-Bruce Springsteen
House of Cards-Radiohead
I Will Possess Your Heart-Death Cab For Cutie
Sex On Fire- Kings Of Leon
Violet Hill- Coldplay

I am, on a daily basis, refining/demolishing/redesigning my definition of "Rock". Five years ago, House of Cards would not even be on my radar as a "rock" song. This year, in my opinion, it is not only the best rock song of the year. It is the best song of the year. My romance with Radiohead could very well have reached AD NAUSEUM heights here at Circle of Fits, but I have truly been possessed by this song. I liken it to an alien visitation, where Mr. E.T. fills the part of my brain that controls, relaxation,perspective and gooseflesh(by way of an intrusive sonic probe)with this song as background or means for subliminal control.

As for live performances...The show is actually worth turning in for these this year with appearances by Paul McCartney, Radiohead, U2 and Plant/Krauss. I'll be watching, even if you won't, and you can listen to me complain on Monday, right here at Circle of Fits.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A New U2 Video

Well, video, yes...New...sure... it's NEVER been on this site I say new. And it definitely is, the song anyway. Let's cut the bullhonky and allow me to tell you that this is my very first band "The Bogus Toads"...performing In God's Country at a balls out Graduation party in 1988! This is a deep cut from U2's 1987 Joshua Tree album..and that 125 pound rocker with the Farrah hair and the tucked in t-shirt is me. Look at that stage presence, that instant charm! Hell, if I wasn't holding that mic, I'd pass right out. But the vocals are pretty hot if I don't say so myself...and I just did. 21 years later...I still got it. Nobody HEARS it, but I still got it. I don't have the midriff or the blow dryer but I've got the pipes. Hopefully, the bass player doesn't still have that faux tuxedo shirt. There should be a law against those....he's a lawyer now. He should sue himself for having worn it.
That was some party too....there were English teachers from our high school doing Labatt beer bongs, and parents from the neighborhood doing shotguns while mingling with about 200 recent high school graduates in high hair and Jams shorts. Later on, the drummer took his set off of the hot tub and many made erotic chicken soup out of that thing.

This blog title was merely a cheap way to get you here, and hold you over until a REAL new U2 video will arrive in a few weeks, which will surely show Bono wearing glasses he doesn't need and showcase a different color skullcap for The Edge. Thank you for holding my hand in nostalgic bliss today. Now go on with your busy business.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Winter Songs

We got buried last night. 8 inches of pretty powder here and the city is shut down. Its the most accumulation I've seen since we've moved here. I cleared the walk and the driveway with a red plastic kiddie shovel that my Dad bought for my son. It was quite a contorted feat and I'm sure I will never walk completely upright again. If I do find steady work, my body is now perfectly aligned for picking low strawberries or sweeping empty warehouses.
As I was hyperventilating and on the cusp of a major cardiac event, I had close to an out of body experience, where "Let's Get Physical" was playing in my head and I was surfing a wave of post avalanche snow out to the horizon line. There was no hot chocolate waiting for me when I snapped out of it. There WAS the couch and a weird hot flash of a scantily clad chiropractor to accompany my post snowmatic stress disorder.

I was upset. I was mildly troubled because when I was a kid, we had a driveway that was a quarter mile long and I had to shovel that a few times until my father pulled me out of a snowdrift and then reluctantly sprung for a plow. We lived in the snowbelt back then and surely I could handle this puny little light dusting.. But what troubled me more during this morning's recovery is the fact that my WINTER exit song could have been "Let's Get Physical". No disrespect to Ms. Newton John(although she might be a tough broad..her own husband faked his death and jumped off a boat to escape her), but that song doesn't ROCK. If I'm goin' out...while shoveling..the song has to rock or at least be related to winter.

So I came up with another list of ROCK songs that remind me of Winter, Snow, Cold and possibly being snuffed out by snowfall. Here they are...

1) Winter Time- Steve Miller Band (Steve's obviously from CA...only leaves are mentioned,no snow)
2) Winter- The Rolling Stones(from Goats Head Soup)"Sometimes I wanna wrap my coat around Ya"
3) Wintertime Love-The Doors(Waiting For the Sun) "Come with me dance, my dear..winter's so cold this year" I hope Jim's leather had a liner.
4) Backdrifts-Radiohead(Hail To The Thief)-blips and drifts of snow fill my brain while Thom sings this song about a honeymoon being really,truly over.
5) Winterlong-Neil Young and Crazy Horse-"I waited for you winterlong, you seem to be where I belong". Get the LIVE VERSION.
6) Too Cold in the Winter-Cry Of Love- An awesome song from the ridiculously under appreciated first album by this short lived southern/rock/blues band. The guitarist Audley Freed is NO MERE MORTAL and went on to join the Black Crowes where Rich Robinson wouldn't let him do any solos so he quit.
7) Stone Cold Fever-Humble Pie-from one of the greatest live albums of all time: Rockin' The Fillmore
8) Stone Cold Crazy-Queen(Sheer Heart Attack)-the most fabulous blast of 2:17 minutes of rock I have ever heard.
9) Stone Cold- Rainbow(Straight Between the Eyes)- Gotta love Joe Lynn Turner..."I thought I knew you so well, can't break away from your spell...You PUT ME IN A DEEP FREEZE!"
10) Cold Metal-Iggy Pop-"Cold metal when I start my band, cold metal in my garbage can."
11) Cold As Ice-Foreigner -I don't care what you say. Foreigner is not yacht rock. Foreigner is aircraft carrier rock. A highly under rated band who just happened to have a lot of hits.
12) Cold Bitch-Soundgarden(Flower EP) Some of the most bonecrushingly beautiful screams ever put to tape by the golden grunge god Mr. Cornell. "But In your heart, I freeze!"
13) Ice Cold Man-Probot(Dave Grohl)- Better than any FOO FIGHTER you can throw my way, this song is sung by Lee Dorrian, lead singer of Napalm Death.
14) She Shook Me Cold-David Bowie
15) Cold Day In Hell- The Atomic Bitchwax
16) Snowblind-Black Sabbath- saving the best for near last. It has the word "snow" in the title...but this is the only powder that makes shoveling go a lot faster. "What you get is what you see, things just don't come easily!"

Other songs that make me think winter without some cute winterlike word in the title

Riding the Nightingale- Mark Lanegan.."Think I dug too deep a hole"
River-Joni Mitchell- "I wish I had a river, I could skate away on"
Drowning Man,Surrender- U2...Actually the entire War album makes me think of cold cold winters in upstate NY...was it because they had a video where they were trudging through the snow with their instruments? War for winter, Unforgettable Fire for autumn.

Sure there are many more...and you will suggest some for me right here in the comments!...until then, kick back with VH1 classic or the yule log on your TV, and some whisky in your cocoa. Stay warm and stay cool.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Brushes With Greatness

I was watching the Superbowl pre-game programs on NBC yesterday and there was a segment with Nightly News anchor Brian Williams where he tells a tale of his "brush with greatness. For all of his stoic talking head-isms and anchor like vocal timbre, "Bri" seems like a cool guy. His brush with greatness happened to be with Bruce Springsteen, who was next to him at a gas pump on the Jersey Shore somewhere in the late 70s. No words were spoken,and only a passing glance was shared.

Now that's a LIGHT brush. Of course, this got me thinking of my own brushes with greatness with MUSICIANS first and foremost, and what would be considered a "brush" in my mind. A brush, by my definition would be words exchanged between said hero/famous person and whoever you are. They could be as banal as "May I take your coat,sir?..Yeah, but be careful, it's very rare albino chinchilla." or " A bird just shit on your shoulder!-Oh,thats hella uncool." or even " Your last album blew tremendously.. Oh yeah, well fuck you very much.!" Those all qualify. And then there's the word "greatness". What's greatness to me may not be to you. My golden slipper might be your 6 day old corrosive sweat sock. Your tiara-my turd. With that said....

Here are mine.

In 1989 I met Kim Thayil and Chris Cornell from Soundgarden while on their northeast tour for the Louder Than Love album. My sister was working security(all 5 foot 1 of her) for a late great rock club in Rochester, NY called Backstreets. She showed me to their green room before the show where I hung out for about 20 minutes being a grunge drenched hanger on. There was nobody in there except the band and me. I was leaning against the catering table next to Kim Thayil(guitarist)
Words Exchanged: Me to Kim: "So what do you think about that Grammy Nomination?(Soundgarden had been nominated for Best Metal Performance for their album Ultramega OK)..Kim to me: "It's pretty cool. We're not really metal though. We'll see." They lost to Metallica. Me to Mr. Cornell: "I'd just like to say thanks, I'm a huge fan...looking forward to the show." Mr. Cornell to me while shaking hands "Thanks man. Here's a sticker" . He then handed me a sticker and asked if I wanted a beer. I had a Heineken, and stuck around long enough for my tighty whities to dry and left.

In 1990 at the same club, I was able to meet Noel Redding(Hendrix Experience bass player) for an autograph and a brief chat.Noel was sitting on a stool at the bar when I approached... My BRUSH was as follows : "Noel, Great to meet you. Are you playing any Fat Mattress tonight?" (Fat Mattress was a Hendrix side project with all of his songs and him playing guitar,nerd-tacular that I know that.) Noel to me: "You know Fat Mattress? Nobody knows Fat Mattress. Yeah we'll play some tonight." I couldn't tell you one Fat Mattress song, I only knew the name of his long ago band and crowbarred it in for a word with him. He signed a napkin or flyer for me and I was sent on my way.

In 2002 I went to see my cousin Lydia Lunch do some of her incredible spoken word at a club in Brooklyn. Thurston Moore from Sonic Youth opened the show with a feedback symphony and some poetry. I was introduced to him by Lydia before the performance. My brush was as follows: Thurston to Sean: "Hey there, nice to meet you." Seano looks way up into Thurston's eyes(he's 6 foot 5) and says "Hello. Love your work, especially Daydream Nation." Thurston: "Thanks,man." How poignant,right? Put a lot of thought into that one.

I've also met Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph, Warren Haynes, talked to Cyndi Lauper on the phone, been criticized by Chris Robinson for wearing a shoulder bag,shared an elevator with James Hetfield, been handed a guitar pick by Dicky Betts, wished Joe Perry a Happy Birthday and held the camera while Steven Tyler interviewed my sister for almost an hour.
I also answered one of Heidi Klum's carpentry questions,moved something out of the way for Georgio Armani and stalked Jennifer Connelly in Union Square,Manhattan while she pushed a stroller. These are not brushes...they are whiffs, whispers...filaments, residue and sniffing the fumes of greatness? You may beg to differ..thats OK.

The point is...there is no point. They were all great, and I wasn't. I swung for the fence and missed all three times...fumbling through fanboy anxious jibberish and spitting out the most least common denominator statement/tidbit/gracious offering I could find. Be prepared when you meet your heroes. Or maybe picture them on the toilet next to you to bring 'em down to your level. That way you can think of something better than "Thanks" in your one and only brush with greatness.

Do you have any stories to tell out there? Send them to my staff here at Circle of Fits and I'll be sure to post them.....