“Previously on Smashing Happy…” My last post was about how I have this little dream of changing the world. Not like I’m an overachiever or anything haha In all seriousness, it has been my goal for a long time to help inspire people through music. I shall blog about it later, but there was a “let there be light” moment in my life that I can directly attribute to music. I ‘m not going as far as to say that music saved my life, but it had such a profound impact on my world that I happily felt obligated to do what I could to recreate that moment for as many people as possible. It was slow at first. :: inserts comment as to how Rome wasn’t built in a day here :: There was broadcasting school and then commercial radio… and then the point where I realized that commercial radio had no room/potential to achieve my goals. Long story short, I have spent the last fourteen years of my life in the trenches, passing out/mailing/posting flyers, writing news articles, hosting a local college radio show, booking bands, oh yea and I may have kinda-sorta made a several thousand band t-shirts at some point in there. So as I’m looking at my resume last week I started to think that I might actually be “livin’ the dream” right now. I started thinking about all those bands that I helped out in college, how some went on to play all over the world, and how some bands I have worked with over the last seven years have gotten to play huge-multi thousand seat venues. But as I write this now I sit here and contemplate on whether I even have the right to be thinking that I had an impact on any of that at all. I start trying to quantify my “help” in comparison to the ass-kicking, hard-work, the blood, the sweat, and the tears that all those bands had to put in just to make it to where they are (or where they were if they have broke up by now) Well. think I have an answer. I came to the conclusion that to give myself credit for something like the Rationales playing The Pavillion, simply because I made shirts for them over the years is well, to say the least, “absolutely absurd”. I dunno, I guess I just have to look all the different things I have done and understand that they all have different levels of impact. Sure, I have made shirts for a multi-platinum selling artist (and on a side note The President of the United States as well), but I’d be sure as hell to bet (that as minuscule of an impact on their careers it was) that the shirts I made for The Rationales had way more of a relative impact than the much larger runs I did for Paula Cole. Or to be a little more realistic, booking bands like Harris and Aloud in the Fox Common at UMASS Lowell back when they were just getting started had a bigger impact on their careers than tons of of other things I’ve done. I guess there is no real way to tell when, or if anything I have ever done, has been big enough to have had an impact…but I sure as hell am giving this world a run for its money! I was going to end this post with that last line , but I just want to say thanks to every band I have ever worked with/for over these years. From Will Brierly and the Roller Holsters and Will Dailey, to Life Electric and elusive Evil Us’s. I actually pay myself sometimes to do this, and I couldn’t have done it without them…and yes even the crappy “something-big-has-come-up-so-we’ll-tell-you-when-our-set-is-going-to-be-and-how-long-we-play” type bands. I guess after reflecting on this I can say I am half living the dream… I mean I’ll never really be able to tell if I’ve had any serious impact on much, but I feel great knowing I’m trying to do my part, and that I’m closer every day to the point where all that effort is paying for itself. Thanks for reading this… talk soon! I think I’m going to tackle one of the 8 virtues I hold to heart….either Honesty or Humility… if I get any request in the comments I’ll just do whatever gets the most comments will be the one I do. Till then… Buenos Nachos!
Just call me “Mr. Obvious” with this one…. but it leads into another post, seemed to fit and well :: pauses :: you’ll take it and like it!
There are things that are just part of who we are as individuals. Everything from the accents that we have to style of music that we like. But there are also traits and things that just about everyone carries are the same no matter who you are…. think bruising, the desire to shave, we yawn when other people yawn (don’t you dare yawn….or else! haha).
There are some traits however, that you have that you think everyone has…but they don’t. Those are the ones that really make you who you are. It’s just sometimes they are just the hardest ones to find.
I realized this phenomenon for the first time when I after I was at least 10 years old. Although this doesn’t really define me as a person, it is something that really surprised me to find out. See I have a ringing in my ears all the time. But it took me over 10 years to realize that that the rest of the world doesn’t have a ringing in their ears 24/7. So I just never knew…
Well I dream of changing the world for the better… and I think I’m starting to realize that not everyone really cares to do so? Am I wrong here? I sure hope I am. Damn it!
The One Sure Bet
The countdown’s on
For the one sure bet
That Ace in my pocket
The one that you dreamt
The one that will pierce
Through the armors of kings
The one that will steal your diamonds and rings
It’ll leave you raw
No matter the cost
No matter the caste
Or the dirt on your soul
As we lay them all out
The eyebrows they raise doubt
Just like the size
of my stack seen on the floor
One day we’ll get two seven
And pay it all right back
This kid can only hope
His luck don’t change again
Will Chapin sing “The Cradle”
As we stand up from the table?
Will we just break even?
Or will I leave a mark?
1. Easy – Faith no More: The moment when Mike Patton made some strange ewww sound…
I’m not quite sure what to think about this one…did he really just “drop a deuce” on the audience?… cause there, right before the solo starts good ole MP just busts out a big ‘ole nasty, right out of an Ernest Movie, “ewww” was he just disgusted that he had to sing as wussy as he did in this one? That The Commodores actually broke up in the first place? Maybe it was that he wished he got stuck with better looking crossdressers in his video… oh wait? Did I just see Dee Snyder in there?
Whatever it is, does anyone else find it odd that when he sings it that he looks like he’s actually taking a crap on the audience? Oh GG Allin would be rolling around in his grave if he ever saw this one!
If you don’t want to watch the whole video click here for this pretty much cued up More Than Averagely Awkward Moment… although I will say that this cover is pretty fantastic and worth the listen!
2. Johh Hiatt and Matthew Sweet – Girlfriend: John makes it obvious that he really has no clue as to what he is singing
Ever have that moment when you’re talking at a show and all of the sudden you sound like the biggest idiot cause the music stopped and whatever you were saying was obviously taken out of context (NSFW).
Well this was John Hiatt’s (and Matthew Sweet’s) moment when they were “covering” Sweet’s “Girlfriend” as a duet. Just like on the record the tempo slows for the last vocalization of the song’s title word. Hiatt tries to slow down, but only after it is awkwardly too late…. he’s left hanging on a prime-time mid 90′s VH1 special, and Matthew was left to share a laugh between he and his drummer at John’s expense.
The whole song is below, but to go right to the scene of this More Than Averagely Awkward Moment just click here
So What More than Averagely Awkward Moments in Cover Song History make your list? Any Ideas of other bastard lists like this one? If you do just put them in the comments!
Thanks for checking this out enjoy…you guys Rock!
So for the next 10ish days, for under a dollar, you can get the game that is taking the FPS genre to a whole ‘nother level, of fast paced, in your face, blazing action and….w-wait?
You heard it right, Soda Drinker Pro has been dubbed the most fluid First Person Soda to grace the screens, and quench the thirst of players world-wide.
It all started one night, and creator Will Brierly got up and was really thirsty for a soda. He had none in the house and it being around 4AM he wasn’t really able to get his own….so he did what any sound minded game developer would do and he made one! After a bunch of hours, soda, and coding like a madman the first five levels of Soda Drinker Pro was born.
And then it happened. Will got asked to do a presentation about the game at local drinking convention that the Providence Soda Club (yes it’s real) was putting on. Well that was SDP’s “tipping point”. Within a week, the game hit the front page of mashable and the video game landscape as we know it would be forever changed.
Since that day, Will has played his cards right, done the conventions, connected with fans, and other small things like making the game fully compatible with the Oculus Rift virtual reality hardware, and making 95 more levels of 100% pure soda drinking simulation. He did things so right in fact, that within a year, everyone from Indie Impressions to CNN was talking about this game, he announced that the game was coming out for the Xbox One later this year, and was popular enough to have even had some cosplay “bonus sodas” stop by his booth.
Now I totally :: pauses :: “get this”. It is just some random “I can’t believe someone made this” type of thing like the Perfect Strangers game or Christmas Vacation 2. Actually, it’s different that that…the people that made those things actually thought they were good. It’s more like John Cage’s 4’33″ or those people that move their bed into an art gallery and just sleep while people watch… is it art or are we just standing around like idiots wearing the “Emperor’s New Clothes”? Whatever the case, Will has done an amazing job of finding that fine line and drinking an entire cup of soda while he walks it!
:: pauses ::
Well in that case check this out… if you stand next to a rock on level 2 of SDP for a minute or so, you get engulfed by this ominous cloud and randomly end up in an entirely different full game called Vivian Clark [old footage]. I’ve played it, and can say that although this too walks the line :: coughstarwithafacewearingahatandrollerskatesoncollectingwatermelonscough :: the way more than fun gameplay just makes it that much sweeter when “stumble” upon a level and all of the sudden you’re a snake in a hot air balloon watering plants.
Thanks again for reading guys… and for $0.99 you’d be silly not to check this game out! (www.sodadrinkerpro.com)
Note: Vivian Clark is in the process of being remade and it looks awesome! I put the old footage in this post as it is a more of a proper “trailer”. I’m not sure if you still get access to that version but you will at least get the better one once it is released.
I write for lots of reasons, and one of them is for me. Now I know that starting off posts with a long(ish) sidestory isn’t the best way to get people to read to the main topic, but I honestly wrote this post that way because I personally think it rocks! If you wanna skip down you can…you make the call haha!
So I know this guy, (my friend’s dad actually), who lives a structured life. He’s the guy that will put his bowl, spoon, napkin and cereal box out the night before, lay out his clothes, the whole nine. I’m talking his car tires cross the train tracks and first drop of water from the shower hitting his body at the exact same time every day kind of structured! He was a marine and it shows.
Well get this, he even planned his child conception. Three kids, five years apart. The reason? For years of college and one year to save! I suppose I should mention that they all were born within 2 weeks of each other (starting on Halloween)! Believe it or not there was a reason for that too. See when you’re a parent looking to get your kids in school, if they are born at that time you can get them in a year earlier than everyone else, giving them a jump start on their entire life!
I can only imagine it, “Ok honey, are you ready? T-minus 37:00 hours and 16.7 Seconds!”
Well his son can be just as organized, always preparing for things and making sure all his bases are covered. He’s got water and trash bags in his car for emergency hangover relief/containment, does his due diligence to acclimate himself to the altitude when skiing when the risk of danger is reasonably low. Hell, we were in Florida during a hurricane, he slept in his shoes, away from shelves just in case of an freak tornado. A little different from his dad, this kid loves the extreme, he’ll ski the tallest peaks…in a blizzard, and will pretty much scale whatever mountain you challenge him to.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being organized, but sometimes it is just funny. Well a few years back I found this video of a guy unpacking his “41 lb suitcase”, and he had my friend matched to a T! Right down to the room selection being on the first floor (closest to the conference room) and extra laptop charger, to his “tighter than a frog’s butt” waterproof laptop case and elastic waisted jeans that would expand and contract based on the quality of food. This is just a funny video.
This guy cracks me up so below that I posted another video about this guys amazing business card and why (your and everyone else’s business card is crap) haha too funny.
While this first video is way more funnier to my friends and I. Here are some general highlights if you’re just skimming through it:
- 0:50 Watertight like a frogs butt neoprene laptop case
- 2:56 Elastic waisted jeans
- 8:16 Mary Poppins
- 8:30 Jacket with 55 pockets, that hold 35lbs of gear, including a “4/4.5lb laptop”, isolated hood, and removable arms to turn it into a vest…and even a “high tech” pocket,… “cause…travel is an art form”
- 11:04 “Juvo” a food with more vitamins and nutrients that you receive in a year of what you usually eat.
- 12:20 Speech to us about how thanking the camera guy, assures us that although said cameraman may go through life thinking his job and how he is spending his life is pointless/mundane that he actually “is” valuable.
- 15:56 Travel sleeping mask and neck brace/bag buffer
Here are the highlights of the second video I tried having it start 1 minute in, but it wouldn’t let me… either way it’s pretty funny:
- 1:09 business card that took 25 years to make
- 1:50 and yes friends it’s a pop-up book….
“…and hey it doesn’t fit in a Rolodex because it doesn’t belong there!”
Man, all I know is that if it doesn’t fit in the place where you normally would keep a business card like a wallet or Rolodex, someone is either going to throw it away or lose the damn thing.
I’m all about foil, embossing, color, whatever you gotta do to get your message across, and stand out from a stack of other cards. Hell if I could find a way to make an affordable neon sign business card I sure as hell would do it, but to me a business card just HAS to have 2 qualities…. it’s gotta fit in a wallet so people won’t lose it/remember where it is, and you have to be able to write some info on it somewhere so it is more personal and/or the person getting it will have or see more of a personal connection to it.
But hey that’s just me!
Alright I’m off! Thanks again for reading!
…if it were just sitting on the side of the road?
So thi guy Stu I know has a very , “if I’m hungry why wouldn’t I eat it” attitude. He is the type of kid who (if hungry), would only see one problem with eating the unfinished plate of pancakes at the now empty table nearby at his local Bickford’s…..”not knowing where it stops”
Meaning that he realizes that it’s a bold thing to do, but what is stopping him from just grabbing a steak off of some guys plate as he walks by. I mean, aside from the person potentially getting upset enough to smack him around, (which I’m doubting would be a common response) what would anyone really do about it?
So a few years back he was on tour with my friend Will. Things were tough, they were sleeping in the limo (yes Will bought a limo for the tour), and they pretty much had no money. The tour was a book it as you go kind of thing that coincided with the Warp Tour. They kew a band on the tour and were able to get in to any show. The idea was to just sell cd’s, play whenever they could, and if they got lucky maybe even play a date or three on the tour.
Well the legend has it, that one day they were broke as all hell, hot, and hungry and at some point during the day while they were out and about Stu sees this perfectly wrapped cheeseburger, and without a thought just ate the damn thing.
What would you do?
Autumn. Great Salt Lakes
The reflections in our eyes
Leaves fossils lie still
So this one is going to be a twofer? What’s a twofer you ask? Why for counting silly… wah wah waaaaaaa
So this post is going to be about a poetry form, a band, and the place they both snuck off to when the teachers weren’t looking.
So boom… the band is called Fossil, and back in the mid 90′s this powerpop/pop/rock quartet put out an EP then LP on Madonna’s fledgling (offshoot of Warner) Maverick Records, annnnnd were never heard from again.
I first saw them on an episode of 120 Minutes that Matthew Sweet was hosting. The song was Moon, and video is made out to be like some old sci-fi “rescue the damsel in distress from the aliens” story. Although it had some lo-budget aspects to it overall it was a pretty solid video. Solid enough to make me buy their album. Well, when i was listening to it, I heard something that you don’t hear very often with really awesome tunes…. awesome poetry!
Sure there are tons of bands that have great lyrics and music… but there aren’t many bands that turn those dials to eleven and really pull off this elusive combo (if you know of any please share). Ed Sheeran comes close but he has a pretty “thin” style sometimes. It works great for a song like Wake Me Up and All of the Stars (such good songs), but the thinner the tunes, the closer they become to just plain ole poetry.
Anyway, back to Fossil!
The tunes had “meat” to them, were dynamically soft and loud when they needed to be, and overall are songs that I still find myself going back to today. What can I say I’m a sucker for a pop tune… yet as poetic as they are i didn’t really notice it until I heard their song Fall and then Ocean the second time through.
Ocean is a tale about a lost love, and the ocean. On the surface it is about a man’s dying wish to be buried in the ocean when “his body breaves him”, and although there are lyrics relating to lost love, try and peel these ones back and tell me what you see:
Now the sea is my kingdom
My benevolent wisdom
Stretches over the globe,
embraces every coast
I move with greater conviction
than I ever did living
My remains are in motion
Bury me in the ocean
As mediocre as I think I am as a poetry anaylizer, I’m going to take a stab at this one. I see so much more than a the last wish of an unrequited lover, I see so much more than what is even written on the page. Either it’s a moment indescribable freedom, or one trying to fool themselves in to thinking they are free, yet no matter how many times the singer attempts to describe the feeling you never feel like he gets there…you feel like he’s still searching.
Moon also kind of does this, just in a different way. The first line is “How can I presume to sing about the moon?” and the next 3/4 of the song is about how the singer is beside himself with feelings of woe about not having the right words to convey the conviction of his feelings towards the moon..
Fall on the other hand, ties into the haiku theme of this post. I hadn’t heard the song in a while, and although I was familiar with the lyrics, I never made the connection, until yesterday. For some reason I decided that I wanted to write a haiku, so after brushing up on my Haiku “rules” I started getting into a 5 syllable “zone” and as I was thinking about nature and leaves this song just came to mind. All of the lines are 5 syllables ending with the lines.
“It’s so logical – death is beautiful”
And while the traditional Haiku has a 575 meter, these poetic lines not only reference nature, they are specifically about a season, and they also have a clear “kireji”.
A kireji is defined literally as a cutting point and it is considered to be the most important part of a haiku. Think of it as a pause between two independent ideas that brings emotion to the reader, in a way that sort of connects the two phrases.
So yea, I just learned all that, it is really fascinating.
With that, take a listen, and see how this band handles the balance of the lyric and the music:
Thanks again for reading…. This post was waaay on the serious side and was almost even a little… dare I say “intellectual“. Alright that settles it… the next post is going to be about bar brawls or something haha
Talk soon everyone!
So I was about to share the “Maury Finkle, on meeting Casey Kasem” article on my Facebook timeline and it got me thinking about how music can inspire people…well my little blurb about the post just kept getting bigger so I just brought it over here. Hope you like it! (the first part was the description of the original Finkle article link I was sharing)
Maury Finkle, on meeting Casey, and of course showing some of that stylish Finkle respect! Read it…seriously do it! haha
Sure it would rock if you read this,[The Finkle article] but in all seriousness that Casey was indeed a cornerstone in American Pop music for decades. And while with the pop, you’re bound to get a whole lotta MMMM Bop! (and even more sweet Nickleback tunes). Pop Music was, and is the inspiration that has gotten, me and tons of people I know to want to make music some sort of career, or at least a big part of their lives.
Although the following story was a little before Kasem’s time, I’ll never forget the time I overheard my first Music Business teacher (and singer in that 80′s/90′s Boston band Knots and Crosses) talk about what got him hooked/inspired to do music for a living.
If I remember it right, he was talking to a colleague at a conference I was at about how he kept finding, that in addition to himself, lots of other people at that conference got the itch for music after hearing the exact same chord at….the exact same time.
:: pauses ::
Right after a “Griffin Liquid Wax Shoe Polish” commercial. haha
The chord was F#m, and it was just after 8PM on Feburary 9th, 1964. It was then the Beatles took the stage of the Ed Sullivan Show, and the hearts of this nation. Sure the 700 screaming girls in the audience might have had something to do with it, but either way, there were more than just a few people at that conference that bought their first guitar/drum set after that night…and well you know the rest.
As with Casey, Ed brought the music to our ears, and although Sullivan had video, The Beatles premier, and about a year longer as the host of his main show than Casey did. Casey had him beat with an all music show that broadcast to a wider audience, and is still running strong after an almost continuous 45 year run!
I know this, there is no doubt in my mind that Casey Kasem’s time as host of AT40 (and the voice of Shaggy from Scooby Doo) had something to do with the the three minutes and forty seconds that inspired me to do what I do….and well I guess this is sort of my way of saying thanks.
Did any of you have a “moment” like that? If so, comment about it!
I’m leaving my answer for another day, as it deserves a whole post, and, well face it, I just want to keep you coming back for more
Thanks again for reading!
Casey was a great entertainer… he really knew how to count ‘em down. You gotta respect the man brought the music to the people the way he did.
N-n-no seriously, do it, c’mon lemme hear you show the man some respect.
I mean seriously, my wedding? The DJ pretty much played though that weeks top 40….and man I gotta tell ya; there’s nothing like Bread’s “Make it with you”, to get those hot chickens in the mood!
Watch this shot of the time I met him at my wife’s favorite restaurant….do it!
N-n-no, do it. Seriously… do it! Press the play button it’ll Blow You Away!
C’mon, you gotta love it…and I can honestly say that as much as I know how you loved how he served up those # 1 hits over the years… You were totally blown away at how he served up those specials. Am I right or what? Simply amazing! Blew my wife away I tell ya!
:: raises his glass of Johnny ::
Here’s a long distance dedication to you Casey
:: pauses ::
You’re amazing….N-n-no seriously I get you. The whole reach for the stars thing and that groovy theme music thing…Amazing!
Last we saw our hero sitting in his bosses office about to get exactly what he had coming to him…..
an Employee of the Month Award.
Was he serious?!?
The irony, is that part of the reason I got the award was because I thought I sucked. I personally think it takes me longer to grasp a new job, and since I felt I wasn’t getting it, I just tried harder. Well, I went on to do some pretty cool things with that company with regards to retail, some corporate office work, managed millions of dollars of inventory, and in general just kicked ass and took names for a part of my time there.
The thing that was this…later in life when I went on to build my music business resume, just as at that other job, I didn’t have the self confidence to make it happen. It was like in 6th grade… there was no way I was going to talk to that girl Liz, until someone told her that I liked her. What made me really think that someone was going to pay me when I was already working for free and didn’t have the cojones to even step up to the plate?
Well, this happened all through college, with my only real pay coming from my retail job at the shoe store (and this one time I sold knives… but we won’t talk about that). I graduate, took a little pay cut and got a better position at another sneaker place, and then eventually got a couple of $15 or so an hour jobs to get me started with this whole “real world thing”…well those didn’t work out. One was a temp job with a giant software company doing database integrity work, my boss didn’t like me, and I didn’t really like the work. After that I was a merchansider at a beer manufacturer, where I did merchandising with a crew that I totally didn’t fit in with. (as an example one guy had a sweet little nickname for his girlfriend…”Slutface”… yea real mature), either way I could have been faster and on the last day of my initial probation period I was let go.
Well the whole time I was working at those jobs, I was still working retail on the weekends, I then went back to full time, and with the flexible schedule decided to hook up with my friends who designed t-shirts and Audio Cotton was born. AC started off a little rocky in the finance department, but in an effort to “push it over the cliff to eleven” so I could Finally be able to spend less time on the operational stuff and more time doing what I love I decided to bump back down to being a part time retail associate.
Well my friends, only working a part time job, and running a business that pays for itself only most of the time and pays you a hell of a lot less of the time can only go on for so long. So I have decided that it’s time that… I “get a real job”. Having realized that things need to change with AC have made me really work towards tweaking things, but the new concepts I have in the works aren’t coming soon enough.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m back at the first shoe place part time, and it is great, but it does not really pay my bills. So I’ve decided to make the sacrifice and instead of having my dream oh so amazing super bad-ass job, I’m looking to do something that I think is just a regular bad-ass job. So far I am going to at least apply to work back at the corporate offices in footwear. Not sure how it’s going to work out…we’ll see.
It’s kind of funny, I started this in post part to put off having to write my cover letter, I’m pretty damn nervous. But I have to get over the mental block/lack of self confidence, that tells me that I don’t have the skills to succeed…. because if that stops me from applying then I just made my worst fears come true…and failed!
I guess my new mindset should be one of not wanting to fail so badly that “I would do anything for a job (but I won’t do that)”, haha! What I mean is that I should just have to feel like I need to prove to the world that I can dominate the scene.
So with that, I am off to finish said cover letter, and “dominate said scene”.
Oh, and if you actually read all of this.. you are so ah-mazing. I ended up finishing that cover letter and have spent some time tweaking my resume to be more general. I plan of making two kind of general ones depending on the job. Either way, I kind of feel like this was just me rambling, so thanks!
These are going into the “Things I said Today” area, I put posts there that are just about me personally (among other things), and this is one of those. But for all those that did read this… even if it is just 1 person, I appreciate it more than you could imagine!
And if you haven’t voted on “Get a Haricut“….” Do it! Seriously, do it…vote on that puppy we’ll blow it away” haha
Talk soon everyone and thanks again!