22 Apr

I’ve always been dubious on what is luck, or the result of effort and/or circumstance. But by every measure, I’m a pretty lucky.

Podcast Alert!

16 Apr

The Weapon of Self Distraction Podcast is coming soon…


Where Would I Be Without You Tube?

24 Dec

Merry Christmas to ME, upon finding THIS on You Tube, an absolutely SMOKING Winery Dogs show from Japan. And this was only their SECOND show.  Faves on here include opener “Elevate” the positively monstrous “Six Feet Deeper” (which goes into Portnoy’s epic drum solo), “I’m No Angel” the cool cover of Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” and Richie’s “Desire”..shoot, the whole show is amazing.

I was never a Dream Theatre fan, really, but always knew Mike Portnoy had few peers on the drums

Billy Sheehan I’ve been a fan of for years, since he blew my mind on David Lee Roth’s debut solo album. I don’t know how he can bend strings like that. Lot’s o’ folks say he overplays; in a trio format, he’s like a rhythm and lead guitarist as well as a bass player – he fills up space and the bottom end is always adventurous.

I’ve previously gone overboard without a life raft in regards to Richie Kotzen’s prodigious talent, but to sum up: the guy can do it all. You’d be hard pressed to find a lead guitarist who can sing like that – and vice versa.


Please Stand By

4 Dec

Trying to find the time to find the time!  Alas, for now:


About a Lyric…

12 Sep

“You’ve got to learn to live with what you can’t rise above”

Ever hear a lyric in a song, or even sing it aloud, so many times, and not really think about what it means?  That’s what happens to me…and occasionally, I’ll suddenly get it, get what it means in the context of that song.  Rarely though, does a lyric hit me and be so relevant to what’s going on in my life.

“You’ve got to learn to live with what you can’t rise above”

That lyric from Bruce Springsteen’s song, “Tunnel of Love” hit me today.  I’ve been working on myself for years…to better myself, to get rid of nearly a lifetime of mental baggage, the sum total of years of doubt, regret, and worry.  And yet…this week, all of that, and how still not being able to deal with it properly, once again cost me greatly.

Can someone learn to live with the things that they can’t improve about themselves?  And, relevant to this week’s mess, can someone’s significant other learn to live with those things?  Perhaps that lyric refers to compromising.  But is compromising – again, and again – fair to them?  Or is compromising, finding a middle ground, what a partnership is all about (suddenly, another song and its lyric popped into my head: cue Bill Withers’ “Lean On Me”)?  That it can’t be totally incumbent on one person to only change and improve themselves?  Perhaps…but if one person’s baggage is far greater than the other’s that’s too much to ask.

Is learning to live with what you lack in interpersonal relationships just a way to quit, to give up the work and the learning?  There’s moments I feel like I’m resigned to the status quo. To just “own it” because this is who I am. Because, despite the work, and despite what was on the line…the same behaviors occurred as did the outcome. Again.

But with apologies to Bruce, I can’t stay with the status quo. Not when I  am a father.  Not when it’s cost me so damn much. I’ve been living with these things for far too long and I’m exhausted from it.  With what its wrought.  The work is not finished.

Underrated Cheap Trick Songs, Part 1

10 Sep

With so many songs in a 40-year career, and so many great songs, including the big hits, there’s many Cheap Trick songs that deserve to be heard…more.

“Everything Works (If You Let It)”  Because its always apropos, especially right now.

Originally appearing on the soundtrack to the movie “Roadie,” this ode to the power of positive thinking was also included as a 45 with the All Shook Up album.  Produced as well by George Martin, this should have been part of the ASU album.  Regardless, the chorus just soars and can’t help but put you in at least a somewhat better mood.  Rick has said the riff is the riff from “On Top Of The World” only backwards.


“Daddy Should Have Stayed In High School”  Was it the first song off the debut eponymous album?*

Tom Petersson’s 12-string intros Rick’s swirling riffs, Bun E. is pounding away  with Robin spitting the perverted lyrics.  This is a rock n’ roll song.  Sing many of the lyrics out loud and folks will look at you askew: “I’m thirty but I feel like sixteen, I might even be your daddy.” Rarely played live, it kicked ass when played during those epic first three album shows/three night stands in 1998.

*Depends on which side of the first album you played first.


“How About You”  “Tonight Its You” wasn’t the only reason this album was regarded so highly in 1985

This gem from the underrated “Standing On the Edge” album is less than three minutes long but the hookiness of  the verses alone will grab you in the first 30 seconds.  There’s a bit of a Yardbirds feel in this upbeat rave-up.  Crunchy guitars and a guitar/harmonica (I think?  Or is that just the guitar effect?) solo and Robin’s shouting, fun vocals make this one hell of a fun song.  You can’t help but just feel UP when you’re singing along belting lyrics like “I said goodbye to bad luck, I’m gonna stay up/I know I’ll be back, didn’t fall off the side of the earth…” Like all of on “SOTE” the mix is loud, brash and noisy (which was what the band needed after the understated sound of Next Position Please)







LOL for a Friday Morning

5 Sep

…one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies, Wedding Crashers.  From 2:15: I love how Vince Vaughn goes from completely pissed to fascinated in barely a second…and then back to pissed again.  “You motorboating son of a bitch!  You old sailor, you!”  Just brilliant. Classic.

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