Tuesday, July 17, 2007

FROM SA ROCKS - Band Review - Alter Ego with Brett - Soho - July 13th

Friday the 13th must be my lucky day. I was heading up to Soho to FINALLY see Alter Ego with Brett (formerly of Deja Vu) singing with them.

On the way, I stopped to get gas and this guy comes over and insists on pumping the gas for me. Said I shouldn’t have to pump my own gas. (I know, I thought it was pretty weird, too, and a little scary, but kind of nice.)

Then, when I got to Soho, I was met at the door by bassist Steve Elliott. I was like, ooh, quality service...greeting me at the door! (Ok, really he was coincidentally going out when I was coming in, but I can pretend it’s because I’m special, right?)

Then the whole Soho experience. There are two things I normally don’t like about Soho.

1) I never know anyone there. But, this time I DID! Robert and Tony (Tony, right? I’m so bad with names. Correct me if I’m wrong) from Deja Vu were there, so I actually had people to hang out with and talk to! Actually Jason from Deja Vu was also there, doing sound for Alter Ego, so the whole gang was there. It was like...well, deja vu.

2) The echo. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but in case you missed it and have never been to Soho (or, previously, Lucky’s), the stage backs up to a big wall with mirrors on it and it faces (what, 20 feet away?) a big blank wall. It’s a freaking echo chamber. It can really wreak havoc on a band’s sound. But this time there was no echo! It sounded great. They accomplished this miracle by (hope I’m not giving away a trade secret or anything) precisely calibrating the angle of the sound waves to the surface of the...ah hell, they turned the speakers away from the wall, outward, diagonally. Hey, it worked.

Just to rant on this echo thing a little longer...skip this paragraph if I’m boring you...but what kind of nimrod decided that between two big walls was a good place for a stage? (Nimrod, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry I called you a nimrod, but c’mon, seriously.) The place is L-shaped. Wouldn’t down at the end of the long line of the “L” be a better spot for a stage than right in the middle of it? Couldn’t the pool tables go upstairs? (I don’t even know what’s upstairs. I’ve never been up there.) At least take down the mirrors, put some fabric or other sound-absorbing substance on the walls.

Ok, I’m done. For now.Ok, where was I?

Gas pumped, met at the door, people to hang with, no echo. Lucky day. Ok, enough of that. On to the band.

First of all, they had this whole Friday the 13th theme going on, with Brett and Jason dressed up in “Camp Soho” shirts and Steve dressed up like Jason from “Friday the 13th.” So that was fun.
And they sound great with Brett on lead vocals. I’ve seen Alter Ego a couple times with Bruce singing, and Bruce was good, but Brett has more range and he is more of an entertainer. He’s more animated, goofing around, dancing, pantomiming the songs. He’s lots of fun to watch.
I also enjoyed him with Deja Vu, but I really like his voice for rock music, whereas Deja Vu was more 80's dance/pop. Alter Ego does a lot more rock. I think Brett and Alter Ego are a great combination.

Good song lineup. Starting with some Bush, Seven Mary Three, Everclear, Blink-182, Stone Temple Pilots, Robert Palmer, Presidents of the United States of America, Ramones, White Stripes, Sublime, Radiohead and Green Day.

Second set: Nirvana (does anyone else do Nirvana? I can’t remember another band playing any Nirvana. Good job.), The Cult, Cracker, Weezer, Audioslave, Social Distortion, Blur, 3 Doors Down, Lit, more Ramones.

Then finishing up with more STP, Foo Fighters, Violent Femmes, more Sublime and The Cult, Buckcherry, Wild Cherry, The Toadies, Tool, Collective Soul, Local H, Puddle of Mudd...I’m sure I’m missing a few, but that’s most of it.

Now, for some reason, the response from the crowd was sort of weak - not much dancing, etc. - and that bothers me, because I can’t figure out why. I know Brett was obsessing over the sound, but honestly, it sounded really good! And with Brett’s antics and Steve running around with his bass and his Jason mask, they kept my attention.

Like I said, the choice of songs was good...a good mix. Seriously, I don’t think it was anything the band did wrong or badly or whatever. I think it was just a mellow crowd. Whenever I looked around, I saw people watching the band, singing along and all that.

They just weren’t rowdy.There was a funny moment when someone yelled out “FREEBIRD!” and Brett gave him the bird, for free!

I had fun...good music + good people + good beer = FUN NIGHT!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Crazy Busy ... it's a good thing!

After being off for almost five weeks, it has been a CRAZY BUSY month for the band with a total of TEN gigs in 28 days! It's been soooo cool to be back, however, that we've hardly noticed.
The gigs this past weekend were really two very unique ones. On Saturday, we were back at Pat O'Brien's on the Riverwalk, one of our favorite places to play. While this is a major pain to load in and out of, and downtown parking is pricey, I would never give up this gig. Scott and the management take SUCH good care of us, spotting us a bar tab, and giving us a bonus this time around. They were kind enough to feature the band in the TV commercial they have, and that is the kind of publicity you can't buy!
The show was INCREDIBLE ... easily the best and most crowded one we have had down there. The people were just so cool all night and really got into it, which, in turn, fires us up to play better! I can always tell when it is a good night when it seems to fly by, and this night certainly did. I felt like I could have played 4 more hours! Everyone was really on top of ther game and the PA sounded great.
Scott was, once again, very cool to us and gave us a bonus along with a bar tab, so it was a great situation all around. Now I have heard certain bands in SA bitch and whine that why should they play for what others tell them, rather than what they want ... these are bands that cancel at the last minute with no explanation to take another gig and leave Pat O'Brien's management hanging ... all I have to say is: KARMA ... what goes around comes around. When a local cover band starts to think it is just the shit, and can act like divas, that band isn't going to be around for long, as their reputation will suffer and their gigs will dry up. The egos in those band will eventually explode and take everyone down with them. That is why I stress for everyone in AE to be humble .. we are truly lucky to be in demand, and to be able to play these great gigs, and to have a good reputation with bar owners, but that can be undone in seconds. When someone comes up to one of us during a break or after a gig and tells us how much they liked us, then say thank you, and please come again. Put on your best show no mattrer how many people are out there ... they deserve it and you are cheating no one but yourself if you do any less.
On Sunday, we played about an hour set at the Slinging Ink Tattoo Expo at the Airport Convention Center. We've done a lot of shows with Nikita Productions, and while I enjoy them, they need to gfet their stage and sound issues taken care of. We received excellent publicity from this show, which was good because we did the show for free! It was fun to play on the big stage with a huge sound system!
Seeing more than 100 tattoo artists was pretty cool as well, but I decided not to get any more ink this time around. One thing I had to laugh about was how the appearance of several porn stars was played up. First you have Ron Jeremy ... the Hedgehog. This guy had his heyday a looong time ago, and now just looks like a disgusting fat slob. With his gut, I don't think he's SEEN his famous schlong for a long time! And then in the VIP tent, I see the guy sticking his finger in different food items to taste them. I mean, who knows where that finger has been .. actually, most people probably do know..it's all on video!
And the female porn stars ... I don't know ... they looked pretty skankalanking to me. I mean, there were girls walking around that were ten times hotter than any one of these so-called porn stars. I'm no expert in adult entertainment, but c'mon, they could have done better than these three tired-looking, spaced-out women!
Lots of gigs coming up for March as well, and we're working on learning a lot of new material.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

The future's so bright ....

.... I gotta wear shades! Things have been going incredibly well, and it's only our seventh gig wit the new lineup! Case in point, last night at the Revolution Room, our first show there. Pretty much, bands are background music there, while people head to one of the other four bars in the vclub. But we had people coming in, staying to watch the band, or coming back after they cruised the rest of the place!
The Rev Room has some pretty impressive eye candy coming and going in there, and where the girls go, the guys will follow! And we had plenty of both hanging out in the bad area, and the band responded to the great crowd. Brett did a phenomenal job getting the crowd into it, and I though we sounded great. Everyone was "on" musically, and the PA sounded great. With some tweaking of the sound system, it'll only get better!
We should be getting back into the Rev Room, but they are pretty booked through June, so it might take a while. The was a "foot in the door" gig, and I think we pretty firmly established our credentials! This will be a NICE place to add to our rotation!
I've said it before and I'll say it again ... it is FUN t play in this band again! Thanks to Brett, Paul and Tony for doing such a great job, and BIG THANKS to our families, friends, and fans for supporting us so much in the past, present and future!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Glad to be back!

We've completed our first two gigs with the new and improved ALTER EGO lineup, and WOW... what an incredible change for the better! With Brett Alton, we finally have a frontman with energy, with charisma, with unbridled talent and enthusiasm, with a voice that has to be heard to be believed, and that has made playing in this band FUN again!

For anyone reading this, sorry if you think I'm ragging on the former lead singer, but tough shit, I am! I have heard so many people tell us that he looked bored on stage, and that he was talking major shit about the rest of the band to other people, and even called Paul to make personal attacks on me. Well, I hope he's happy with his new setup (which he never told anyone about) , because we have made a MAJOR upgrade in talent with Brett. THis is what I always wanted ALTER EGO to be .. fun, full of energy, and a badass band!

We're all having more fun than ever, and for the first time I can remember, I heard Paul say he was having fun! Tony is smiling the entire night, and I am no longer having to stress about whether the singer is going to show up or not, and what kind of pissy mood he's going to be in!

So out with the old, and in with the new! ALTER EGO is FUN again!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Some great advice for people in bands

I didn't write this, but it is brilliant!!

The Musicians' Ten Commandments
This is chapter 10 from the book Swimming with Sharks a real-world guide to success (and failure) in the business of music by Bernadette Giacomazzo & Melissa Deskovic.
In writing this book, we’ve done extensive research. We’ve read books, magazines, and Internet articles until our fingers were laden with paper cuts and our eyes were sore with fatigue. We’ve chased down and spoken to rock stars, musicians, executives, lawyers, doctors, and everyone in between. We’ve questioned the answers and answered the questions, until this whole Swimming with Sharks concept became the equivalent of a graduate level philosophy class, taking a cue from the likes of Sarte, Nietzche, and Plato (if you don’t know who any of these people are, put this book down, go look them up, and don’t come back until you know the basics of what they taught!).
Regardless of who we’ve talked to, what we’ve read, what we’ve learned, or when it all happened, there were ten common themes that everyone said in some form or another. Not that we went to a mountaintop to get the information – or that we got the information from any Divine Source (unless, in the words of that old graffitum proclamation, you still think Eric Clapton is God) – but stone tablas and the parting of various bodies of water aside, here are the Musician’s Ten Commandments.

The short-term benefits are great, but the long-term consequences are disastrous. We’re not here to tell consenting adults what to do with their own bodies – we’ll leave that to the politicians in positions of power, and we don’t approve of that either – but we are here to say that if famous musicians (who probably know better than anyone else) are warning you away from excessive sex and drugs, it’s probably for a good reason.
Too many drugs – regardless of your poison of choice, whether it is legal like alcohol, prescribed like Vicodin, or illegal like cocaine – will hamper your ability to play music, get you fired from your job, cause inexpressible pain to your loved ones, jeopardize your freedom (as many states have enacted No Tolerance laws on drugs), and turn you into a blazing asshole. This is to say nothing of the disastrous effects it will have on your physical health – if you don’t think drugs make you look triple your age, we have four words for you: photo of Keith Richards.
(FYI, we love Keith, and The Rolling Stones, dearly – hell, his statement inspired the title of this book – and we’d sell our mothers into slavery for a chance to meet them, but let’s be fair: Keith Richards looks like he’s seen the Ninth Ring of Hell, and only barely lived to tell about it. Mick Jagger looks damn good, but Keith, not so much…)
If you, or a band member, are addicted to any sort of substance, and it has started to negatively impact your life (whether you already know it, or someone else has advised you of it), get help immediately. It is NOT cool to be a drunk/high blithering idiot; it is NOT cool to be so drunk/high that you cannot play onstage with your band, and it is DEFINITELY not cool to be a dead rock star (wannabe or otherwise). Yes, it may help your immediate record sales, but in the end, it would be infinitely cooler to have Elvis, Brian, Jimi, Janis, Jim, Andy, Kurt, and Layne back to play even one more song. Know your limits and abide by them, and if you are unable or unwilling do so, again, get help immediately. There are a series of help outlets available with just a little Google research, or contact your local chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.
Likewise, too much sex – especially of the unprotected, promiscuous kind – will lead to a series of nasty infections and viruses, to say nothing of the emotional cavalcade that inevitably follows in its wake. In the end, you can sleep with whomever you want to, whenever you want to (and far be it from us to tell you otherwise, or speculate on the morality – if any – of such matters), but remember the following very important rules: always use protection (this is true whether or not you are monogamous, unless you’re trying to have a child – and most musicians aren’t – so use two or three forms of protection, if need be) and never have sex with a minor, someone who does not give consent, or someone who is incapacitated (i.e., too drunk, too high) and therefore incapable of giving proper consent. Also, though it isn’t required, it’s probably a good idea to avoid sexual contact with animals of another species.*
If your sexual behavior results in a pregnancy, it is your duty – whether you like it or not – to see to it that responsible measures are taken, whether that responsibility entails keeping the child, giving it up for adoption, or having an abortion. It’s not up to us to tell you what’s in your best interests – each case is unique – but if you do choose to keep the child, it is your duty to be absolutely sure that it is well cared for, both emotionally and financially (yes, this is possible even if you are a touring musician), and that the child’s best interests are always kept in mind.

We’ve gone over this so many times, but it bears repeating: either hire a lawyer with your best interests in mind, or risk losing everything you’ve ever worked for by signing a series of bad contracts and deals. If you don’t get it by now, you will never get it, and you deserve whatever comes to you as a result.

Extreme extenuating circumstances aside, your band should not be getting the reputation of being flaky, especially early on in your career. If someone in your family dies, or you crash the van on the way to the show and all the members are in the hospital, that’s excusable. If your lead singer woke up with his armpit hairs in a twist and is “emotionally traumatized,” or the guitarist has a fight with his girlfriend and she throws his clothes in the dumpster, that’s not excusable (shave your armpits and borrow clothes from the bassist, respectively).
Canceling an already-booked gig is bad business overall; besides, you never know who the club owner knows, and how fast you will be relegated to the bottom of the barrel. Double-booking a date also shows that you’re irresponsible – if you can’t keep track of your entire band’s dates, invest in a PDA (such as a PalmPilot©) and a traditional bound calendar/ledger (in case the PDA breaks or is stolen), and write down everything. Triple-check all of your dates and times before committing to any gig of any kind. If there’s even a potential conflict, don’t book the date.

If you’ve got it, invest it wisely. Don’t buy stupid stuff like Aston Martins and multi-million dollar homes with Olympic swimming pools and 24 karat gold gates (those things come with mortgages…very high mortgages with ridiculous interest rates, at that). Forget everything you’ve seen on MTV Cribs – that’s nothing but hype. Most of the stars you see on that show will eventually end up on MTV Foreclosures (now there’s a real “reality show”) when the funds start drying up but the extravagant spending habits continue unfettered by anything remotely resembling common sense.
Also, don’t start paying for “entourages” – if you have to pay people to be your friends, it goes without saying that they won’t be your friends when the funds start drying up. Tell your “friends” to buy their own beer, because they cannot drink on the band’s tab. Trust us – your true friends won’t mind.

Nothing sucks more than a musician who is self-centered, egotistical, and an overall jerk (whether naturally, or as a result of substance abuse and/or believing their own press). If you’ve got a band member with his head so far up his own ass that he can’t see anything past the end of his colon, give him a few reality checks. Humble him into reality – take him to a hospital and show him around the sick children’s ward, take him to a wildlife preserve and show him the injured animals, or take him to an open field and show him the vastness of the universe and how insignificant he really is in the grand scope of it all (because, really, when you consider the vastness of the universe, if you have a half-brain, you realize how insignificant you really are…and this is not a bad thing).
If word gets out that your band member (and, by extension, your band) is an egotistical jerk, your fan base will start to wither significantly. Yes, some people are willing to put up with insensitive behavior and overall assholery just for a good time and maybe a good lay, but those people have emotional problems that far exceed the scope of this book…as you will, inevitably, find out on your own if you don’t keep your ego in check.
Bernadette’s mother used to say, “Show me your friends, and I will tell you who you are,” and time has proven her right: if you surround yourself with assholes, whores, morons, psychotics, drug addicts, gold-diggers, and snobs, chances are you are not a “Little Prince” (no pun intended) among men.

Those are the people who remember you when you were just a skinny, pathetic little loser in your purple velvet pants and badly-bleached Caesar cut, handing out leaflets of your band in the pouring rain and blinding snow to people who threw them out in the garbage pail at the end of the block…and loved you anyway. Walter Winchell once wisely noted, “Be nice to the people you meet on the way up. You will meet them again on the way down.”
Nothing lasts forever – especially local rock stardom – and if you mistreat the people who cared for you most when you were down and out, or who helped advance your career without expecting or receiving anything in return (except a duodenal ulcer and a migraine headache), don’t expect them to come to your rescue when the groupies stop screaming your name and the label kicks you back to the curb from which you came. What goes around comes around – even if your faith (if you have any) doesn’t subscribe to the concept of Karma and/or Divine Retribution, be aware that you will only receive what you give; if you give out grief, expect nothing less in return.

One might argue that early hip-hop/rap music was based on “beef,” but the reality is, the “beef” was largely for entertainment purposes only. It was a friendly competition, and nothing more. Of course, things escalated to a critical point rather quickly once gangster rap became the new status quo, but it’s safe to say that the hip-hop community as a whole realized the negative effects of unnecessary feuds once The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur were unceremoniously murdered in a hail of gunfire.
Now, if the hip-hop/rap community caught onto this concept – and this community, by all accounts, is relatively new and young compared to the rock’n’roll community – why the hell can’t the rock’n’roll community catch on? In every genre of every generation, someone’s got to have a problem with someone else for no logical reason whatsoever. Some sandbox bullshit – some petty high school drama – has to happen, just to keep things interesting. Why? Even the emo bands – whom you would think wouldn’t have the energy, after whining about their parents and their girlfriends all day, to insult each other – have feuds with one another; recently, The Killers and The Bravery engaged in verbal barbs in the ever-watchful eye of the press (the results were humorous, to say the least – nothing quite beats seeing a bunch of guys in eyeliner and badly-dyed black hair engage in a verbal catfight that looks like something out of All My Children. Of course, let’s conveniently ignore the fact that both bands are on the same label, and were discovered by the same A&R representative…).
The bottom line is this: a level critique of another musician’s art (i.e., “perhaps they would be better if they tried this…”) is acceptable. Telling a musician, “Your music is not my cup of tea, but it was really nice playing with you – I enjoyed meeting you and I hope we can be friends,” is polite and kind, and inviting similar compliments in response. But getting onstage and announcing to your audience that the musicians you just played with are “pains in the ass” – or anything else of a similar insulting nature – is unprofessional, arrogant, rude, and just plain childish. It also won’t earn you the respect and support of that band’s fans, especially if they’re in greater numbers than your own fans.
If a fellow musician or band insults you, let it go. Don’t retort with an insult, no matter how richly they deserve it; let the insulting band wallow in their own chaos and misery. Eventually, one of two things will happen: either they will get over themselves and things can go back to normal, or they will start losing fans that won’t put up with their childish crap (face it – normal people cannot put up with any form of psychosis for an extended period of time) and they will break up.

This goes back to the whole “Karma/Divine Retribution” thing. Besides, doing things of this nature leaves you feeling crappy, overall, and this feeling will eventually bleed over into your music…and not in a good way.
We know a drummer who had a horribly failing marriage (he has since, thankfully, divorced) and took it out on everyone…and if that person had some level of affection towards him, his viciousness became even more pronounced (arguably, you can only hurt the people you love, but that’s hardly the point). This lousy attitude eventually bled over into his band’s live performance (not that his band -- for the record – was ever the epitome of kindness and grace, but when the most exuberant onstage member becomes the most reticent, everything else falls like a house of cards). All of the “before” and “after” pictures spoke volumes: the “before” shots showed him vaulting into the air, knocking over drum kits and amplifiers, with head wounds and other battle scars to prove it. The “after” shots – which is when the so-called ‘loving wife’ upped the ante from “bitch” to “blazing battleaxe gold-digger of a bitch” – showed him at a virtual standstill (Michelangelo’s David moved more than he did), old before his time, with his face twisted in a permanent scowl. Quite simply, it was the most heartbreaking thing anyone could possibly lay eyes on.
Yes, people suck sometimes – okay, they suck more often than not, especially in the music business – but though it’s easier said than done, try not to let them get to you. It doesn’t serve you or your band any good.

When the great Gods of Fame, Fortune, and Rock Stardom finally smile down upon us, it’s too easy to get caught up in all the trappings – all the beautiful women, all the VIP tables, and all the free drugs and booze and sex and paparazzi spreads. This is especially true if you’ve had to work your collective ass off to make a dent in the world, as we know it (and no, goddamnit, you don’t feel fine, thank you very much Mr. Stipe!). Remember, though, that the Gods giveth, and the Gods taketh away – what could be laid at your feet right now could be ripped away from you, without warning, tomorrow. It pays to have a healthy perspective on things – complete with a sense of humor – and to keep your priorities straight at all times. If “cocaine” takes higher priority over “child,” for example, your priorities are seriously out of order.

And the final Commandment, but by no means the least important one, is…

Remember in high school, when you had a crush on the most popular girl in school, but she wouldn’t give you the time of day because you wore thick glasses and a pocket protector? Then, one day, puberty kicked you in the ass, and suddenly you were Adonis Incarnate, and every girl in the school wanted to date and/or fuck you…including the popular chick who wouldn’t give you the time of day the year before. Giving you the benefit of hindsight, and the (perhaps erroneous) assumption that you’ve since moved on from the high school drama – did you think, for even half a minute, that the most popular girl (who was probably “popular” because she was willing to go further on the first date than any other girl in the class) was suddenly interested in you because she appreciated your mind?
Fast forward to today – you’re a musician now, and your band is trying to “make it.” Whether you want to believe it or not, the rules are the same as they were in high school…except this time, there’s no hall monitor to break up the fights, and no parents to slap you back into reality.
Consider this your Reality Slap – there are some people out there (and you will know who they are, in time, just by looking at them) who are only out to flatter you…and that flattery comes with a price. We went over this in The Boiling Bunny chapter, but let’s revisit this topic for a brief moment longer.
As best defined by the Urban Dictionary, a starfucker is someone who believes that a brief sexual encounter with someone who is famous (or has the potential to be famous) makes him or her equal to – or in greater standing than – the person with whom they’ve encountered. We’re not talking about the “supergroupies” that have made a name for themselves outside the realm of the musicians they once schtupped -- people like Bebe, Pamela, and Cynthia Plaster Caster are nearly non-existent today. This is a Brave New World, complete with the Internet, the gossip columns, and the Metal Sludge Gossip Board – in instant gratification times, starfuckers (who, if nothing else, are only out for instant gratification) shine like a diamond, which conveniently masks the soulless lumps of coal that they really are.
You know those stories of “I Had a One Night Stand With Harrison Ford” that currently litter your supermarket’s check-out aisle – the kind of stories that trashy tabloid magazines pay upwards of $10,000 to use? 99.9 times out of 100, those stories are written by starfuckers, and they always have some element of over-obsessive fawning within their paragraphs (and why is it, in each of these stories, the celebrity in question is always a virile, multi-orgasmic lover, capable of having marathon lovemaking sessions…even though a. Age, b. Excessive Drug Use, and/or C. Both indicate that to be an unlikelihood? Of course, it would be nice to think that Harrison Ford – just as an example – is a virile, multi-orgasmic lover…but since neither of us has had a bagel and schmear with Calista Flockhart lately, we’ll never find out the truth…).
You will meet a lot of these kinds of bottom-feeding vermin on your way to the top – make every effort to avoid them, because while it may seem “rock’n’roll” to be featured in one of the tabloid rags, you will begin to look at life a lot differently when your naked ass is plastered across a magazine with the caption, “Did He, Or Didn’t He Have Plastic Surgery?” And, if your seed should happen to generate offspring, you will begin to protect your privacy like the National Guard protects weapons-grade plutonium.
If you’re reading this book and you fall into the “starfucker” category, take note…there is a huge difference between your kind, and the true professionals in the business (i.e., the executives, the CEO’s, the women writing this book). Please do not think, for even half a second, that because our kind shows gentle deference to you (and your decoy friends), we somehow believe that you are of equal and/or greater caliber to us. In fact, quite the opposite – we know that you wouldn’t be there if the musicians in question weren’t reasonably attractive, reasonably wealthy, and reasonably famous – you are quite beneath us, and we are not afraid to make our opinions known if you push our buttons. Don’t even try to usurp our power, lest you be at the receiving end of one mighty hefty bitch-slap, either literal or metaphorical (as some have learned all too well, in recent times – the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, and a couple of us have been known to line our writing instruments with lethal neurotoxins from time to time).
By contrast, a sycophant is infinitely more dangerous. Unlike a starfucker – whose sole purpose is to sleep with the famous (or potentially famous) person in order to gain brief recognition – a sycophant often uses excessive flattery, clinginess, and toadyism to gain power. However, because musicians, by nature, tend to be fragile creatures with easily wounded egos, someone such as a sycophant can easily earn a position of power with the young and inexperienced musicians simply by always telling him what a wonderful band he has (even if the band has otherwise totally tanked).
Sycophants serve no other purpose except to inflate an already-inflated ego, and usurp power from the hands of the people in which it truly belongs. We wish we could tell you that every performance you ever have will be stadium-quality, but the truth of the matter is, you know – just as well as we do – that there are times that you are just going to suck. If you know your performance was less-than-stellar, yet you still have someone in your camp that perpetually tells you how great everything was/is, you have a sycophant on your hands. Get rid of him/her – immediately.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The ultimate "You Know You're from Texas if ...." list!

  1. You see more Texan flags than American flags.
  2. You know someone who ate the 72 oz steak and got it for free.
  3. You attend a formal event in your best clothes, your finest jewelry, and your Cowboy Boots.
  4. You can write a check at Dairy Queen for 2 Hungr-Busters and fries.
  5. You prefer Whataburger to McDonalds.
  6. You dress up to go shopping at the mall.
  7. You've hung ornaments and tinsel on a tumbleweed and used it as a Christmas tree.
  8. You're disappointed when a food doesn't come in spicy flavor.
  9. You know from experience that rattlesnake meat tastes like chicken.
  10. You can tell a rock from an armadillo at 300 yards.
  11. You know what a 'Cowboy Cadillac' is.
  12. You have both a dog and a brother-in-law named Bud
  13. Your local grocery store sells cactus in the Fresh Produce department
  14. You watch the movie Urban Cowboy and laugh at the phony Texan accents
  15. You choose a brand of Mexican salsa with the same care that another might use to select a bottle of fine wine
  16. You think that the 4 basic food groups are nachos, bar-b-que, fajitas, and Copenhagen.
  17. You refer to the Dallas Cowboys as "God's favorite football team"
  18. You know whether another Texan is from South, West, East, North, or Central Texas as soon as they open their mouth.
  19. You don't consider people from Austin to be real Texans.
  20. Your Pastor wears boots.
  21. There is no such thing as a "secret" sin.
  22. The Blue Book value on your truck goes up and down depending on how much gas it has in it.
  23. Armadillos sleep in the middle of the road with their feet in the air.
  24. Roadrunners dont say Beep Beep
  25. There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 live in Texas.
  26. There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 live in Texas, plus a couple no ones seen before.
  27. Possums will eat anything.
  28. Raccoons will test your crop of melons and let you know when they are ripe.
  29. If it grows, it sticks. If it crawls, it bites.
  30. Nothing will kill a mesquite tree.
  31. There are valid reasons some people put concertina wire around their house.
  32. You cannot find a country road without a curve from corner to corner.
  33. A tractor is NOT an all-terrain vehicle, they do get stuck.
  34. The wind blows at 90 MPH from Oct. 2 until June 25, then it stops totally until Oct 2.
  35. Onced and Twiced are good words.
  36. It is not a shopping cart it is a buggy.
  37. Fire ants consider your flesh as a picnic.
  38. Graduating 1st in your class means you left in the 8th grade.
  39. Coldbeer actually is one word.
  40. People really grow and eat okra.
  41. Green grass DOES burn.
  42. When you live in the country, you dont have to buy a dog. City people drop them off at your gate in the middle of the night.
  43. When a buzzard sits on the fence and stares at you, its time to go to the doctor.
  44. Fixinto is one word.
  45. The word dinner is confusing. Theres only lunch and then theres supper.
  46. Backards and forards means I know everything about you.
  47. Jeeet? is actually a phrase meaning Did you eat?
  48. You work until youre done or its too dark to see.
  49. You measure distance in minutes.
  50. Youve had to switch from heat to A/C in the same day.
  51. Stores dont have bags; they have sacks.
  52. You know what cow tipping and snipe hunting is.
  53. You only own four spices: salt, pepper, ketchup, and Picante.
  54. You think sexy lingerie is a tee shirt and boxer shorts.
  55. You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.
  56. You know which leaves make good toilet paper.
  57. You know all four seasons: Almost summer, summer, Still summer, and Christmas.
  58. There is a Dairy Queen in every town with a population over 1000.
  59. Going to Walmart is a favorite past-time known as goin wal-martin or off to Wally World.
  60. You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good chili weather.
  61. A carbonated soft drink isnt a soda, cola, or pop .. its a Coke, regardless of brand or flavor.
  62. You no longer associate bridges (or rivers) with water...
  63. You can say 110 degrees without fainting...
  64. You eat hot chilies to cool your mouth off...
  65. You can make instant sun tea...
  66. You learn that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron...
  67. The temperature drops below 95, you feel a bit chilly...
  68. You discover that in July, it takes only 2 fingers to drive your car...
  69. You discover that you can get a sunburn through your car window...
  70. You notice the best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance...
  71. Hot water now comes out of both taps...
  72. It's noon in July, kids are on summer vacation, and not one person is out on the streets...
  73. You actually burn your hand opening the car door...
  74. You break a sweat the instant you step outside... at 7:30 a.m. before work...
  75. No one would dream of putting vinyl upholstery in a car or not having air conditioning...
  76. Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, "What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death"?...
  77. You realize that asphalt has a liquid state...
  78. Its illegal to have a tattoo until youre 18, but children of all ages can play with guns
  79. You dont think its weird to drink a beer at anytime of day, even the morning
  80. You think its weird not to drink a beer
  81. You can drive all day and not leave the state
  82. The confederate flag is flown at your high school, the team is even named after it
  83. You shop at HEB
  84. The town you live in is bigger than Rhode island
  85. You see more trucks on your daily commute than youll see in the state of New Jersey
  86. Your high school football stadium is equal to, or better, than most professional stadiums
  87. You know there are more longhorn, cattle and steer than there people in the state
  88. We dont have an ocean; we have a gulf
  89. You know someone who is named Pedro or Martin
  90. Their last name is Gonzales, Martinez or Rodriguez
  91. You eat tacos for breakfast
  92. You think Dr. Pepper is the best damn coke in the world
  93. The extensions of the index and pinky make for the best hand gesture in the world besides the shocker
  94. The best parties are on at least two acres of land
  95. You can go anywhere with a gun on your truck and no one thinks twice about it
  96. You know someone with a gun related injury
  97. Getting stuck in the mud is a challenge, not an avoidance
  98. We panic when there is an inch of snow on the ground
  99. Air conditioning is standard on every car sold here
  100. You've said I've never met a Jewish person before
  101. You design your Halloween costume to fit over Wranglers and cowboy boots.
  102. The mosquitoes have landing lights.
  103. You have more miles on your tractor than your car.
  104. You have 10 favorite recipes for deer meat.
  105. You've taken your kids trick-or-treating when it was 90 degrees outside.
  106. The preacher says, "I'd like to ask Bubba to help take up the offering." and five guys stand up.
  107. A member of the church requests to be buried in his 4-wheel-drive truck because "It ain't never been in a hole it couldn't get out of."
  108. When it rains, everyone is smiling.
  109. The choir group is known as the "OK Chorale."
  110. Four generations of the same family sit together in worship.
  111. There is no such thing as a "secret" sin.
  112. Baptism is referred to as "branding."
  113. Finding and returning lost sheep isn't just a parable.
  114. High notes on the organ can set the dogs to howling.
  115. People wonder, when Jesus fed 5,000, whether the two fish were bass or catfish.
  116. The final words of the benediction are, "Ya'll come back now, ya hear?"
  117. It's a common misconception that everything is twice as big in Texas, really, everything is 1.965 times bigger, but we round up.
  118. It's a common misconception that the women have big hair. In fact this was outlawed in July 1977. There is a task force and they are doing their best to reach every last woman. Bear with us.
  119. A visitor to Texas once asked, "Does it ever rain out here?" A rancher quickly answered "Yes, it does. Do you remember that part in the Bible where it rained for 40 days and 40 nights?"The visitor replied, "Yes, I'm familiar with Noah's flood." "Well," the rancher puffed up, we got 'bout two and a half inches of that."
  120. A sad Texan once prayed, "I wish it would rain - not so much for me, cuz I've seen it - but for my 7-year-old."
  121. Sunscreen is sold year round, kept at the front of the checkout counter . . .
  122. A formula less than 30 SPF is a joke and you only wear that to go to the corner store . . .
  123. You can properly pronounce Corsicana, Ennis, Waxahachie, Palestine, Decatur, Wichita Falls, San Antonio, Mexia, Waco, and Amarillo.
  124. A tornado warning siren is your signal to go out in the yard and look for a funnel.
  125. You think everyone from a bigger city has an accent.
  126. You listen to the weather forecast before picking out an outfit.
  127. Someone you know has used a football schedule to plan their wedding date.
  128. You have known someone who has had one belt buckle bigger than your fist.
  129. You arent surprised to find movie rental, ammunition, and bait all in the same store.
  130. A Mercedes Benz is not a status symbol. A Chevy 3500 4Ã4 is.
  131. You know everything goes better with Ranch.
  132. You go to the river/lake because you think it is like going to the ocean.
  133. You go to the gas station and there is a sign in the window that reads, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service!
  134. Your family pet is the stray dog with one leg that came limping up to your door.
  135. Pull your droopy pants up. You look like an idiot.
  136. Let's get this straight; it's called a "gravel road."
  137. I drive a pickup truck because I want to.
  138. No matter how slow you drive, you're going to get dust on your Lexus. Drive it or get out of the way.
  139. They are cattle & oil wells. That's what they smell like to you. They smell like money to us. Get over it. Don't like it? I-20 and I-10 go east and west, I-35 goes north and south. Pick one.
  140. So you have a $60,000 car. We're impressed. We have $250,000 cotton strippers that are driven only 3 weeks a year.
  141. So every person in every pickup waves. It's called being friendly. Try to understand the concept.
  142. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of doves are coming in, we WILL shoot it out of your hand. You better hope you don't have it up to your ear at the time.
  143. Yeah, we eat catfish & crawfish. You really want sushi & caviar? It's available at the corner bait shop.
  144. We open doors for women. That is applied to all women, regardless of age.
  145. No, there's no "vegetarian special" on the menu. Order steak. Or you can order the Chef's Salad and pick off the 2 pounds of ham & turkey.
  146. You bring "coke" into my house, it better be brown, wet, and served over ice.
  147. You bring "Mary Jane" into my house, she better be cute, know how to shoot, drive a truck, and have long hair.
  148. College and High School Football is as important here as the Lakers and the Knicks, and a dang site more fun to watch.
  149. Yeah, we have golf courses. But don't hit the water hazards -- it spooks the fish.
  150. Colleges? Try Texas Tech, Texas A&M, University of Texas or Texas State. Kids come outta there with an education plus a love for God and country, and they still wave at passing pickups when they come for the holidays.
  151. We have more folks in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, than any other state
  152. Always remember what our great governor Sam Houston once said:"Texas can make it without the United States, but the United States can't make it without Texas!"

Stop Blaming MYSPACE!

This is something that has been going around the bulletins and blogs. I didn't write it, but I definitely agree!

After you read it...think about this - Do You Accept Responsibility for Yourself and Your Kids? Do you teach your kids to accept responsibility for themselves?Before you read this I posted something a few day's ago on this subject & this shit has been going on for years.On Yahoo,AIM,MSN,HI5,Face the Jury,Face Pic.......the list goes on and on...WTF they gonna do shut the whole internet down.Come parent's your where are you when you kid's are on the computer?Stop blaming everybody else and start blaming yourself's.Who let's your kid's dress this.You do!!

Anybody happen to catch Nightline last night on ABC? In case you didn't, one of the hot topics discussed was MySpace. It is no secret to anyone who reads the newspaper or watches the 6 o'clock news that MySpace has been in the limelight because of "sexual predators" trying to "abduct and corrupt" the youth of the world.

To this I say bullshit! I see dozens of profiles a day showing 14 year old girls dressed like sluts, wearing four inches of make up and 32 layers of eyeliner, displaying their age as 18 years old and profile lines stating "Oh, I'm So Sexy" or "Hey There, Wanna Check Up On It?" Come the fuck on!

The youth of today's world are already corrupt enough due to the undying need to be "older" than they really are. I seriously doubt there are tons of people on MySpace stalking "innocent young girls" who just happen to have tramped up profiles and ages 4 years greater than their own.

On Nightline, there was a story of a 12 year old girl who was a drug-addict and attributed it all to MySpace. She claims that MySPace allowed her to easily fing drug dealers in her area, as well as older men to have sex with her. Now, at the age of 14, she has been checked into a drug-rehabilitation clinic and has been away from her family for 5 months.

Her parents would rather place the blame squarely on the shoulders of MySpace instead of their daughter, who even admitted that at the age of 12, had already tried weed, crack, X, and had slept with numerous guys older than herself...but of course, it wasn't her fault, it was all because of MySpace.

Once again, COME THE FUCK ON!

When are parents and children going to stop passing the blame and grow up enough to take responsibility for their actions and the actions of their children.. Parent;s, monitor your children online, take some responsibility for YOUR children.

Children, if a profile name sounds like something that comes out of a cheap horror movie, like "DARK ANGEL OF DEATH WHO EATS THE BRAINS OF GIRLS"...chances are you DO NOT WANT TO ADD THEM AS A FRIEND.

Apparently there is new legislation in Congress now to block MySpace in all public schools and public libraries across the United States. All because little girls want to act grown and don't want to accept the consequences and parents don't want to accept the fact that their "innocent little girls" are posing as 18 year old crack whores trying to buy drugs.

Eventually, if this continues, MySpace could be totally outlawed from the Internet. Restrictions will be put in place in order to make MySpace "safer". I don't know about you, but I use MySpace to keep in touch with my family and friends, use it for messages, and just to have a space that is my own. Just because some children want to act grown, does that mean I may have to eventually give up my MySpace?

If you feel the same way I do, please, repost this in your blogs or bulletins, or both as "STOP BLAMING MYSPACE". If enough people post this and spread the word, maybe people will get the picture and stop blaming MySpace for every little thing that their children do wrong. As user of MySpace, we should all repost this and take some sort of action.

This is not a chain letter, and nothing will happen to you if you don't repost this in 321654987 seconds. However, of all bulletins you will read today, I am sure that this one is the only one that actually has a point to it. So please, have some common sense, and repost this. Thanks.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

A sad state of affairs

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting