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Every night my remedy for insomnia is to watch one one-hour show to help usher in the beauty of sleepytime. Sometimes my late night visual snack is of the more noble persuasion with something like John Adams, and other times it is of a baser delight in something like True Blood or Battlestar Galactica (modern day version of course).

Lately it has been with a show called Mad Men – a series that transports one back to 1959-1964 Manhattan in the world of big-shot advertising agencies.

Much of the show is a bit on the soap-opery side, but what it does do quite well is sink you in to the zeitgeist of that time. They make pains (sometimes too much) to portray that time and how it differs from today. [click to continue…]

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Jesus would totally use a Mac. Here’s why-

  • Macs are basically immune to viruses. Viruses are like sin. Jesus was sinless. No brainer.
  • Microsoft Vista was clearly the work of Satan. Jesus would want no part in that.
  • The apple stores are clearly the closest thing to heaven on earth.
  • Macs are so simple even a child can use them. But also so powerful an entire movie can be edited on them. Simple yet powerful. And life changing. Like the gospel.
  • Macs get to the point. Like Jesus.
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The stage versus the studio. Live versus layered. Each has its strength, each has its weakness.

Live is raw, it’s real, it’s human.

It’s flawed, it’s moody, it’s fickle. Sometimes disastrous.

The studio is focused, controlled, yet unpredictable. Creativity at its zenith.

Yet stifling, draining, repetitive and stale, oftentimes sucking the soul out of the spark that once was a great idea.

Studio albums can be cultivated into cultural monoliths fit to change the world and those who live in it. Dark side Of the Moon. Physical Graffiti. Sgt. Peppers.

Live albums can take you there – Peter Frampton, Kiss Alive, Live at Leeds. [click to continue…]

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So continuing on this Doors thing…

I basically wrote former Doors drummer John Densmore off as a bit of a wanker because of his allegiance to a dead Morrison and his stonewalling of keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger and their twin desire to play Doors songs under some variation of ‘The Doors’ name. Like ‘The Doors of the 21st Century’ or something to that effect. He sued them and won. Why did he sue? Because Jim like, would not have been cool with it man… Why did he win? Probably because the judge was a huge Doors fan and Densmore bribed him with an old pair of Morrison’s undies if the decision went his way. Or something. [click to continue…]

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I just watched the Doors documentary “When You’re Strange”.

If you know nothing of the Doors you must see this movie. If you know a little about them but don’t get what the fuss is/was about, you must see this movie. If you like them, love them or hate them you must see this movie.

I was not even a twinkle in Mr. Morrison’s eye when the Doors were born, but I was a kid when they had their first resurgence of popularity spurned by the bestselling book “No One Here Gets Out Alive” and a reissue of their greatest hits. They were everywhere in the eighties. Jim Morrison had been dead for years but stoner kids talked about Jim being in hiding and waiting for the right time for his mojo to rise. “No One Here Gets Out Alive” was a must read for any good stoner and rock fan. The largely horrific music of the eighties (Police, U2 and a few others aside, of course) and god forsaken trends like break dancing caused lonely rock lovers to retreat to the past and yearn for a new musical/cultural explosion.

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Dear Justin,

You make me:

– wanna kiss you on the cheek.

– wanna punch you in the face.

– wanna feed you growth hormones and get this thing over with already.

– wanna throw up in my mouth a little.

– wanna pet you.

– wanna protect you.

– wanna become a lawyer and represent you.

– wanna throw you to the wolves.

[click to continue…]

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It was a place called the “Discafe” in San Diego; a hip little spot where one could go and check out CD’s- as in the library type check out – and listen to them on bolted down CD players while you did your homework and drank your Café. Get it – ‘Disc-Café’.   A novel idea allowing you to listen to CD’s without the hassle of lugging those God-forsaken Walkmans around. Last long? Um, no. Quaint while it lasted though. The place later turned into the ‘Zanzibar’ and then a bank or something uncool.

So my band (dryve) got asked to play a gig opening for some lone singer dude named Jeff Buckley. Supposedly he was  a national act that had some buzz going on. So we were hip to that –always were to any artist that was doing more than playing their local scene. [click to continue…]

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OMG peeps you gotta see this.

It’s like, I wanna believe, but…

It’s like, no, I’m not laughing at you. Actually, yes…I’m laughing at you.

It’s like, please stop. I mean, keep going. I mean, I don’t know…I’m so confused.

It’s like, how can I feel so violated yet strangely liberated at the same time?

 

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“Why the Marines?” I asked my uncle as I sized him up in his funky maroon jumpsuit he always wore.

“Because they were the toughest”.

“Hmmph”. I didn’t get it. I didn’t get much actually. I was eleven. My uncle was seventy-something. And a war hero. Who fought on Iwo Jima. And Guadalcanal.  And Okinawa. And little did I know, fought for my ability to happily fight my way to the next level of Donkey Kong without a care in the world.

I had no idea.

For some reason I can’t quite remember, I felt compelled to drill my uncle about his military background that day. It was probably just an impulse to stave off the intense boredom that usually surrounded a weekend at my grandparent’s house.

“Did you ever shoot anybody”?

“Oh yeah”.

Oh yeah? That’s it? Like, “Did you ever drive a Mustang?” Or, “Have you ever had the flu?” How could you be so matter of fact about shooting somebody?

“Really? Didn’t you feel bad about it?”

“No!!”  He said with laughter at my naiveté. “They were trying to shoot me!!”

Simple. Profound. And frightfully true. It was either him or the other guy.  Us or them. And they started it. Thank God there were people like my uncle around who helped  finish it.

Happy Memorial Day.

For a glimpse into the nightmare my uncle endured check out ‘The Pacific” on HBO. (Or bittorrent. Or ninjavideo.net –but I didn’t tell you that).

For my list of Top Ten War Movies you must see click here.

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Hard to believe the person who is arguably the most influential figure in the last hundred years of Western pop culture is a decent guy.

This is an account written by songwriter/baseball fanatic/leftist turned smartist Seth Swirsky ‘running’ into his childhood (and adulthood) idol Paul McCartney. The post is from the website outlandosmusic.com but I thought I’d repost it here to cut down your click-through fatigue.

I hope McCartney writes a book called “How I didn’t turn into a freak, drug addict or alcoholic even though I was a Beatle” before he dies.

Really a good read. [click to continue…]

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