Friday Fives

What’s the funniest name you’ve heard someone call an object when they couldn’t remember its actual name?

Justin calls everything a ‘goddamnit’ when he can’t think of the word.  For anything.  It’s a noun as he uses it.  Looking for your beer?   A Lama?  Some guitar strings.

What is the funniest movie you have ever watched?

Going deep here, as Princess Bride and Spinal Tap are too easy.  Let’s go with Harold and Maude, and the Jimmy Stewart classic ‘Harvey’.

What is the funniest lie to tell kids?

Adults know what they are doing, and to always trust them.   Especially clowns!

What is the best/funniest recurring joke in a TV series?

There is this very odd easter egg in every episode of SNL.   Whenever they cut to backstage in the halls… for some reason, there is ALWAYS a guy dressed as Abe Lincoln holding a Lama.  It always looks like they are setting up for an upcoming skit… but it never is.  I think it took me ten years to figure this out, and I NEVER miss SNL.

They never call attention to it, either.  They are playing the long game, too.  I bet this has been going on at least 1979,c_limit/snl-eric-idle-llama.gif

What’s your funniest “I’ve made a huge mistake” moment while cooking?

Assuming you could make Paella by adding the ingredients in a Paella.  Some rice, saffron, some seafood, maybe a bunch of clams, too.  Don’t ever do this.  Turns out that making Paella is wildly complex.  It takes hours, and requires VERY specific order.



Cover your ass – songs better than the originals

editors note – this is a rare cross post from my music writing site.


I know this is a sacred topic to most music snobs. Let’s face it, plenty of times, the cover is better than the original Like ANY time that ANY band did ANY song that was a Lou Reed song. I thought about this piece as an idea on the way home. Without doing any research, I wrote down several that came to mind.

Then, and only then, did I consult the interwebs. What I found online were obvious, and so a little disappointing. What I think the internet lists generally chose were versions that were more successful. Me & Bobby McGee is the perfect example of this. Janis KILLS that song! It truly became her signature song. It is super tragic that it didn’t come out until a week after she died.

 Still, it will always be her song. Is it better? It’s not better than this bootleg version I have that I can’t find online. It’s just Kristofferson and an acoustic. It is more spoken work, and SO sparse… it really tells a more powerful tale.

I did find this excellent demo from Janis, though. No production or overdubs… just her catching where to lay the syllables against the chord changes. It’s pretty sweet.

Another song that tops the list is Hendrix’ over of ‘All Along the Watchtower’ Also, it is great. Interestingly, it was Hendrix ONLY hit. Did you know that? He didn’t break through with Foxy Lady, or Purple Haze. Sure, the freaks found him that way… but the way America discovered him was covering Dylan.

Bad Brains – Day Tripper

I defy ANYONE to tell me this version isn’t superior to the original.  So much so, that cover songs should be called ‘Bad Brains-ing it.  The last year or so, I have been heavy in to Bad Brains (again).  It is a great time to be a Bad Brains fan.  There is this documentary, which is AMAZING.  Also, they were just nominated to the Rock and Roll HOF.  Also, there is a new Bad Brains biography out, called ‘Finding Joseph i’.  It is the history of the band told anecdotally… and revolves about HR… and the many many problems HR (their singer) has caused.  Also, there is a new documentary that is done with HR as a companion to the book.  Right now, it is being shopped around by producer and excellent guy Jay Mohr.  That should be out somewhere by summer.  Bad Brains could have been one of the greatest bands of all time.  On many levels, they are.  Problem is, their singer (HR) is nuts… and has submarined every opportunity they have had.  That is another story, and I have written about them here, and here.

Still, though, this cover is fucking amazing.

Africa – Toto/Mike Masse

Local Colorado guy, plays bars and does covers (just like my stupid band). Except, this guy is incredible. Watch this video below. Dude has 8 million hits! We are actually going to see him finally play live at Lodo’s in Highlands Ranch this weekend (Sept 2016)

Btw, since we are talking about this song… this is pretty great. It’s Dax Shepard and his wicked hot and talented wife making their own video for the song. It’s dumb. Really, really dumb. But… they get it. It’s a great watch. Between these two clips (both over 8 million), Toto is cool again.

Black Magic Woman – Fleetwood Mac/Santana

 I know you don’t know this is a cover. It wasn’t a Santana song, but Fleetwood Mac. Now, we are not talking about the Fleetwood Mac you know, run by Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. No, this was WAY before then when they were a British Blues band. Here are both –

Ok… now for the version you know, the Santata cover

Fleetwood Mac (the Peter Green version) 1970


 There is nothing wrong with that version. In fact, it probably could have been the famous version except for Peter. See, Peter Green was a genius, and also nuts. Nuts. Not nuts in a romantic way… I mean nuts in a way that he literally disappeared for 30 years. The only thing to compare it to is Syd Barrett and the whole Pink Floyd mess.

Here is the Santana version (1970).  Note… the cover version came out the SAME year as the original.  Name the other time that happened?  You can’t.  In fact, in the hundreds (or thousands?) of live shows I have been to, I have only seen it happen once.  When we saw Audioslave, they covered ‘Seven Nation Army‘, while it was still getting modern rock airplay.  Just more proof how great Chris Cornell is/was.

 Oh, recognize any of these guys? You should. They all quit Santana’s band to form Journey. To me, it is superior because I feel it really found its legs in the latin inspired groove that left like it should have been there all


 Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen/Bruce Springsteen

God, I love this song. I am honestly not much of a Bruce fan. I don’t think I have a single CD of his. Yet, I regard this song as probably the best rock song ever written. Here is that song, in all of it’s 1977 glory.

Now, how can I put this on the cover list? First off, it’s not a cover. Second, the song is absolutely fucking perfect. On every level. Well, this guy Bruce Springsteen does a pretty good cover. Really, I count this version below as a cover because it is so stunningly different and beautiful. Also, I think it took balls of steel for Bruce to take his biggest hit and tear it apart. This newer version is an elegy of sorts. The original version is about being young and perfect and getting ready to breakout and have all the opportunities in the world.

This version below, though, is a resignation. Note, fast forward to the 4 minute mark. Bruce just goes full Bruce on this version. Not that ‘America is #1 ‘Bruce… but this telling is from the guy who wrote the line ‘end up like a dog that’s been kicked too much’.

Am I Evil – Diamond Head/ Metallica

To me, there just is no discussion. There is Metallica’s version. That is it. So, here is the original, and I think it mostly sucks.

While the guitar riff rocks perfectly cromulently… this singer guy is full glam. There nothing evil here at all. Below is Metallica’s take. This song couldn’t possibly be more Metallica than this.

Let me put this in the parlance that my 16 year old self would understand it. He would say the original was simply ‘gay’. Now this one, below… this is just the sound of pure fucking evil. When my parents found my Ozzy records and growing my hair out… they worried. They thought this (song above) was what I was listening to. Kinda funny how incredibly tame Ozzy compared to this. The only subversion in Ozzy’s records is serious and thoughtful Christianity. Below the full proper evil version from Metallica.

Just added – Jan 2018.  Can’t believe I forgot this.

Romeo & Juliet – Indigo Girls/Dire Straits

I have to admit, this is another one where I knew the cover for years before I found out about the original.  really, they are two completely different songs.  With Knopfler, it is his too cool for cool reading.  Almost a Lou Reed speaking job, never showing too much hand or emotion.   By contrast, the Indigo Girls version is perhaps the greatest love song ever sang.  Their passion is stunning and powerful and goose pimply.   When I finally discovered the original, I was quite disappointed.   A decade or two later, I now truly appreciate the original.  Anyhow, here is both.

First… my favorite by a mile.  the Indigo Girls.

ok, now the original.  I swear, only the words are the same.

 Rusty Cage – Johnny Cage/Soundgarden 

There is nothing wrong with the original. It’s great. However, Rick Rubin and Johnny Cage change the meaning of every single word with their new telling… yet they don’t touch a word. Here is the original. Sadly, it does not feature Chris Cornell singing. Very very few Soundgarden songs show him singing. Instead, in Soundgarden, he only screamed. anyways here, here is the original

See, told you. Why even have lyrics. It is just him screaming for 15 years in Soundgarden. YET… he can sing his dick off. Listen to this secret acoustic outtake of ‘Like Suicide’ When I heard this, I was frustrated. It was like the first time I heard him to Seasons. I thought ‘wait, he can sing? He could sing he whole time? Why the hell did he never even try until he was ‘retired’.

Sorry, back to my point. Rick Rubin (who to me deserves as much credit as Johnny Cash here) and just let’s Johnny go all Johnny Cash on it. This was towards the end of Johnny’s life. I believe June had already passed… and you can hear Johnny dying a little in every verse. Luckily for us, Cash knew his time was very limited. So, he and Rubin spent his last years together just recording at a gonzo pace. Here this. Feel this.

And if that doesn’t give you feelings… watch this video. I assume this was made post Johnnys’ passing. It is fucking beautiful and perfect on every level. This may be the beautiful and creepy and perfect video ever made. Though this has nothing to do with covers, it is a good place to leave you for the day

Friday Fives – Christmas edition

Will you be having a white Christmas?

Not likely, will be in Phx.  Sadly, odds of a white Christmas there are about the same as here in Colorado.  We just got our first snow of the year today… in late Dec.  How can anyone tell me there is no climate change when the ski resorts only have 1 run open (made with fake snow), and California is burning down?   Listen, you don’t have to agree it is man made, but you DO have to acknowledge it is happening.

I was in Vail two weeks ago, and it was 65 out in the day, no snow to be seen anywhere…. Not even in the shade.  I asked a local if he loved it, he said “no, this is terrifying.  I have lived her 45 years and never seen it like this.  Our entire economy is based on snow.  Without it, its not just the ski resorts that suffer… but EVERY business.  Now, people drive past Vail, instead of to Vail.

Now, can I tell you a silly story about a white Christmas?  My folks came from Buffalo, as I did I.  Obviously, they were DONE with the snow and the cold.  I get that, fully.  However… I guess they wanted us to still reap the benefits of said beautiful snow.   So, growing up we had a white Christmas… tree.  Just like this

Nice Ideas 9 Ft White Christmas Tree Winter Park Full Pre Lit Hayneedle

I now realize it is meant to look like a beautiful snow covered pine tree.  Growing up in Phx, though, I had NO reference for snow.  I think this is the vibe they are going for > 

I think my folks still have that tree, and we mock it mercilessly.  Yes, I know this is a first world problem to have.   I think it is clear proof my mother never loved me enough, though.  I finally did get a white Christmas, though.  I was somewhere in my teens, and we went back home to Buffalo for Christmas to see the other half of the family.  It snowed like crazy Christmas eve and it was just the best thing ever.

Best present you could get/have already received this season?

Getting to see my mom and (step) dad.  My favorite people in the whole world!   Like anyone, I try and keep my personal information private.  Mostly, so I can talk shit about people and remain anonymous.  It’s Christmas, though.  So, here is a picture of me with my mom.  This pic is probably 2 or 3 years old.  The greatest mom in history!

mom and I 2014

Since it is Christmas and all, let me share another nice story.  When I was around ten, my folks got divorced.  It was insanely common at the time, seriously.  I think Reagan may have passed a bill demanding all parents get divorced.  Every friend I had also had separated parents.  You may be going through this, yourself.   You know that parents will try and be civil to each other for the sake of the kids… at least in front of the kids.  My folks actually managed to stay friends.  It was the real deal.  My dad and his new wife would spend every Christmas and Thanksgiving together.  We always remained a very close clan, and I am insanely thankful for that.   I told ya, best mom EVER.  Dad was great and all, but he was no mom.

Egg nog or snogging under the mistletoe?

Why not both?  But, the nog has to be made by Roj (aforementioned step dad).  He does this thing with nutmeg and brandy?  On paper, it is disgusting, but in your hand… it is gold.

Is time on your side?

Yeah.  It can only get better, right?  Politics, my back, all these filthy sick bastards being outed for molesting women?  We can only go up from here.  Speaking of politics, let me mention this.  I am sure I have said it a ton, but it is important to remember.  As fucked up and corrupt as our system is, it remains the best of anywhere I have traveled.  I’ll use Bill Graham‘s legendary words regarding the Grateful Dead as an analogy.  He said of the Dead “they may not be the best at what they do, but they are the only ones who do it.”

Favorite holiday tradition

Shrimp on Christmas eve








Friday Fives – social justice edition

Have you ever written a letter to the editor of your local newspaper?

Oh yes.  Many times, but the first one was epic.  I wrote a piece in college that was pro-bicycle.  There was a low storm brewing between bikers and cars.  This was a pretty small town, Flagstaff, AZ.  It’s a town so small that a bike is sufficient.  It’s a college town, so biking also means a lot less drunk driving.  Problem was, a lot of bikers were assholes with zero regard for any of the traffic laws.

I wrote a pro-biking piece to the local paper.  A local businessman wrote this epic screed about how bad we sucked.  He could have made a LOT of great points.  Bikers were being arrogant, and dangerous, and many were just overall dickheads.   He didn’t, though.  He made this stupid screed about how we were terrible for the environment and society.

Of course, I wrote back.  Carefully negating each and every one of his points.  It was frustrating because, as I said, there are plenty of reasons to hate college bikers clogging up your streets.  This guy didn’t capture any of that, though.

It got a half page in the Sunday paper (above the fold, thank you very much!)
I still remember the headline they put over my piece “the bicycle empire strikes back!”  I didn’t write that, but I was pretty tickled.  All the sudden, people were calling me for interviews and stuff.  It was really cool.  The power of the pen, man.  You could say love of writing and blogging came out of that interaction.  Suck it, Rusty!
Have you ever called one of your elected officials to tell them your views on an issue important to you?

Oh yes, quite often.  I bother my POS senator, Cory Gardner WEEKLY.  So much so that I have him bookmarked on my browser.  Here, go ahead and bother him, too.  He is one of those Republican asshats who are ramming through the destruction of the Affordable Health Care act, and helping get that shitty tax bill passed.  It will screen you for a zip code, to prove you live here in his district.   I’ll give you the address to our firehouse, which will show you are living in his district. I use this trick to bother Mitch McConnel all the time.

46220 Coal Creek Dr, Parker, CO 80138.   Do not feel bad about reaching out to him.  You are a taxpayer, and he works for you.

or… use this great site –

Have you ever testified during the citizen speak-out portion of a local government meeting?

Oh yes.  Had a pretty fun experience with that one, too.  We had terrible roads here.  The county is broke for reasons I won’t go into, but our dirt roads no longer have any ‘road base’… which basically means a foundation of rock.  Because the roads are now just sand, and our soil is just clay… some of the roads get impassable after rain.  The neighbors and I were bitching about it and someone suggested to go down to the town council and speak up.  We did.   Somehow, I ended up being the spokesman.  I didn’t volunteer… but didn’t mind.  Well, it had some kind of effect because I turned up on cover of the local newspaper a few days later.

       I was happy to expose the road issue, but that was kinda weird.  And kinda cool.

Have you ever participated in a protest or demonstration?

Of course.  Mostly the usual stuff – anti-war rallies back in Bush days (both Bushes, actually), and several Take Back the Night Rallies.    I am a big fan of the ‘Take Back the Night’ rallies.  I think it is incredibly important that women feel safe.  That is a basic human right.  Being a straight white male, I can’t pretend to know the suffering or horrors of that kind of vulnerabilities.  All I can do, though, is say “I agree, how can I help?”

Speaking of that, we need some new rally cries.  All we have had for the last couple hundred years is ‘hey ho, hey ho, ______ has got to go’.  I remember we passed a rally in Boulder against police brutality (a few years ago, as Black Lives Matter was emerging).  it was ‘hey ho, hey ho, police brutality has got to go’.  Here is the thing, as great as it is those little trustafarians were out expressing themselves… did any cop drive by and think ‘I was going to go attack some black folk tonight for no reasons.  mostly just my underlying prejudice and social frustration… but tonight I am not going to beat anyone up.  Thank you, protesters.”

arm the monkeys!

More likely said officer might think ‘tonight, I am going to mix it up.  I am going to beat up white kid with dreadlocks.   Sorry, I am getting old and crankly.  I think protest is great.  I think the cops should go out there and protest the protesters.  How about that?  how about the coppers say “do you know you are able to do this rally because we are keeping you safe?  Everyone who shows up here goes on a 9/11 blacklist.  Don’t ever call us for help if you think we are so bad.  This is what makes America SO great.  Everyone can protest, and everyone should.  In most countries, you get shot for that stuff.

no one is all innocent, and no one is all guilty

If so, were you arrested for doing so?

Yes.  And that is all I will say about that.  What, is this ‘the Circle’?  You don’t need to know everything.  I am a sexy mystery.  Nothing ever violent, of course… just stupid young decisions.  I have to go now, lights out are in 5 minutes, and this laptop is most definitely contraband.

some good news about the scalping battle

We know about scalping.  We know it’s bad.  We know that it’s just too much trouble and too much cost to go see a nationally touring act.  I won’t talk about why, I did that here.  Ok, will sum up super quick.  90% of concert tickets NEVER go onsale.  AND… they are long gone BEFORE the public onsale happens.  That last 10% is gotten not by fans but by computer programs that resourceful scalpers use.  They can ping Ticketbastard 100 a minute, whereas your slow dialing ass can do it once.

Let’s instead look at if it can be fought, and is anyone doing anything about it.

First… can it be fought?  Yes, but only by sucky and complicated means that are NOT consumer friendly.  To stop scalping, you can

  • Require the ID or credit card of the credit card that bought the ticket. This is essentially making an entire concert will call.  This means where you used to have 5 ticket takers… JUST taking tickets… you could move 20,000 people into an arena.  Now imagine if EVERY one of those tickets has to be verified with an ID.  Imagine standing in line behind 10 drunk women fumbling through their purses looking for their ID as you hear the opening band start up.  In many venues, this IS being done.  In fact, with an AXS show… it is the upside down world.  Instead of going to a show and they take your ticket… you show up with NO ticket… and they print your ticket at the door.
  • Print people’s names on the ticket. No one is doing this, and (seriously) I came up with this idea myself.  I could be done SO goddamn easily.  This way, TM could justify their ‘convenience’ charge.

Either one of these solutions suffers because it means you can’t give away or sell tickets.  Or buy them as a gift for a friend.  Which one do I prefer, knowing everything I know?  Neither.  Shoot the scalpers in the fucking head.  Same with TM, for sanctioning and embracing, and encouraging scalpers with their own scalper site ‘’

What is the alternative?  Sadly, it is simple.  Stop going to concerts.  Stop patronizing scalpers.  Like the drug trade, this is kinda all our fault.  As long as some asshole is willing to pay $4,000 to see Adele… we ALL have to pay that.  Note, if I could afford that… I would pay it.  Adele is bitchin, and likely won’t tour again for a LONG time.  That is not faint praise, the last 4 concerts I went to… 3 of them were Iron Maiden.

Why aren’t the artists and managers and all that fighting for us?   Why would they?  As long as tickets are being sold, they are good.  It is likely better for their bottom line when ALL tickets sell out… even if a venue is only half full during the show.   Some artists are fighting back, though.  Here are their badass and commendable ideas and fights.  What is cool and interesting is every one of these bands took a different tact.  Spoiler alert… none have been effective –


So… let’s look at the good news and good dudes/dudettes who are fighting the good fight

Pearl Jam – back in the early 90s, they wanted to keep ticket prices at $10.  Not just the face value… but the total cost at the end of the day after fees and such.  Ticketmaster laughed, and they have a monopoly on the venues due to contracts.  So, PJ filed a DOJ anti trust suit, and then testified in front of fucking Congress.   The balls on those kids.  Even today, 20 years later, no band has taken such extreme measures.  Sadly, the effort fell flat.  There was supposed to be a whole slew of A-listers to show up and support them.  Their record companies and various suits warned the artists not to piss of TM… with the monopoly and all.  So… where folks like Garth Brooks pledged to show up… NO OTHER BANDS showed up.  So, you just had 5 long hair upstarts bitching at ‘the man’.  It was dismissed, sadly.

SO… Pearl Jam said ‘fine, we’ll just sell our own tickets to our own fans… and bypass TM’.   Yeah, that SUPER didn’t work.  TM ended up writing their own legislation that fan clubs can’t have more than 10% of a venues tickets… AND said all fan clubs have to charge at least $15.

Even better?  TM got sued for not even allocating that 10%.  Also, more on that here.

NSync – did I spell that right?  Well, who cares?  You know them as a soulless boy band, and launching pad for Justin Timberlake.  Well, they care, too.  They did a tour during their heyday, and found out that NONE of their floor seats ever went on sale to the public.  It’s not just a dick move.  Knowing what we know now, not even a big deal.  BUT… they also realized they would be playing for, and facing, NOT fans.  It would be suits, and the families of suits, and radio station suits, and super rich people.  They blew a gasket and busted the whole thing wide open and told everyone.  Again, 20 years ago, this was a BALLSY move.  A band like Pearl Jam knew they could keep playing.  NSync, though, was a corporate creation.  For them to stand up to the industry that incubated them was just very cool and strong.

Prince – Prince wanted to play small clubs again.  There were 2 problems with that:  they would make a tenth of the money he could make playing mega arenas.  In fact, let’s stop here and run the numbers.  He played the Ogden theater, a cool little club of 1200.  Let’s say tickets are $100.  His gross, then, is 120K.   Great take for one night’s work, right?  Normally, someone of his status would play the ____ center.  You know, the venue where your basketball and hockey team plays.  Ours is called the Pepsi Center, and it holds 20,000.   Let’s say those tickets are also $100 each.  If he plays this venue, just a few blocks away, he grosses 2 million.

but… Prince wants to play clubs.  How does he do this and make his nut.  What can he do?  He prices the tickets are fair market value.  Those Ogden show tickets were $250 each.  Am I outraged?   No!  I am turned on!  I LOVE what Prince did, and here is why – it was incredibly innovative!  See, Prince could have charged $100.  Thing is, NO fan would get those tickets.  They would get gobbled up by presales and scalpers.  THEN… those scalpers would have charged (and easily got) $250 a ticket.  If people are willing to pay $250 to see Prince in a club (instead of a soulless mega Arena)… shouldn’t that money go to Prince?  Yes it should.  PLUS > at that price point it squeezes out the scalpers.  The scalpers would have to buy each ticket for $250, and sell it for what?  $300?  Not worth their trouble.   Prince is great, because he is one of 2 people in ALL of rock and truly do (or… did) only what they believe in.  The other is Neil Young.

String Cheese Incident – also not amused by the monopoly and mark ups.  Using a loophole where tickets could be bought for face value at the venue… String Cheese went to the venue and bought up ALL the tickets.  Then… sold them to their fans at face value.  Once again, the balls on these guys.  They also fought a couple long and ugly court battles with TM over all their bullshit.  These dudes, like everyone on this list… are heroes!  More on that here, and here, and here.  Just in case it is lost on you what they did, let’s let the band explain themselves.

One Friday afternoon recently, about 50 fans and friends of the band String Cheese Incident took $20,000 in cash to the Greek Theater in Los Angeles to take a small stand against the system — in this case, Ticketmaster.

With money advanced by the band, each person had enough to buy eight tickets at $49.95 apiece for the group’s show in July. Once all tickets were in hand, almost 400 of them, they were carried back to String Cheese headquarters in Colorado and put on sale again through the group’s Web site — for $49.95.

“We’re scalping our own tickets at no service charge,” Mike Luba, one of the group’s managers, explained in an interview last week. “It’s ridiculous.”

Fucking heroes!  Don’t worry, TM sued them, too.  It’s a great story and an interesting read.  Bonus evil TM fun?  Once they finished their total monopoly by merging with Live Nation, TM closed that loophole about the box office.  It is now MORE expensive to drive to the venue and buy tickets there (vs over the phone).  I experienced this personally, and wrote about it here.

Kid Rock – tried something fun and innovative.  He did a shed tour (its’ the half seating and half lawn venue your city has) and he capped the ticket price at $20.   AFTER FEES.  Let me demonstrate how impressive that is.  About 10 years ago, Motley Crue did a shed tour, and tickets were only $5.   Before fees.  After fees?  $25 each.  You may see $25 being a great and fair price to see Motley Crue.  You would be Correct.  Until… you see that 75% of that goes to TM.  $20 of the $25 is all service fees.   So, when Kid Rock caps the very end cost at $25… everyone has to take less.  Kid Rock explained it as “I can afford it, I am rich.  If no one shows up, I can take the loss.”  What kind of loss, you wonder?  He awesomely explained that it costs $100K for him to show up.  Keep in mind, this is cost for salaries of bus drivers and cooks and roadies and hookers.  I know Kid Rock takes a ton of shit for being a Trump flunkie, and he should.  However, it doesn’t mean he isn’t a good dude.  This stunt proved it.

This method of cost control is a very close cousin of what Pearl Jam was trying.  What did Kid Rock do different that he was able to do it, where Pearl Jam could not?  He (Kid Rock) worked with TM, instead of against them.  Every artist has been working against TM for so long (and for good reason)… that no one had tried to work with them.  Oh, and the real short answer of how this business model works?  Kid Rock gets a cut of the beers sales (which he also capped at $5).  Even though his politics are wack, I still very much enjoy ‘Devil without a Cause’.  I feel the same way about Uncle Ted.  Total psycho dickweed, politically… but it’s tough to think of a cooler song than ‘Stranglehold’.  Again, I’ll let Mr Rock (nee Bobby Ritchie) explain himself

This is a model Rock says he has been working on for a long time. “It’s always going to come down to price, but I think [from the fan’s perspective] it’s more the service charges, the fees, getting in there and not knowing what beers will cost, what they’ll hit you for parking,” he says. “Every little thing they nickel and dime you, and it’s not just music, it’s sports, it’s going to the movies. Artists demand so much money, and you have to set ticket prices at [a certain level]. Everyone’s fighting the system, and it’s really been all of our faults. We’re all fortunate to make as much money as we do, and I can surely take a pay cut and help out in these hard times.”

See, this is what is great about Kid Rock, and why I can’t hate him.  Plenty of folks talk about protecting the vaunted ‘blue collar worker and poor suffering family’… but Kid Rock actually did something.  Name someone else who has?   Trick question, the answer is no one.

Adele – wanted fans to see her show.  And only fans.  Here is the unique approach she did – no ‘holdback’ tickets.  This means she put every single ticket on sale for every show.  No tickets were held back for family, friends, promoters, fan clubs, record companies, radio stations.  How is this a big deal?  I mention in the article I referenced at the very top that 90% of tickets now to go ‘holdbacks’.  What that means, specifically, is this:  Billy Bob is going to play Red Rocks this summer.  It holds 10,000 seats.  Tickets go on sale Dec 15th, 2017.   When that onsale happens, and you log in to get tickets, 90% are already gone.  Only 1,000 tickets will actually go onsale.  When that happens, you won’t even see those 1,000 tickets.  Computer programs used by resourceful scalpers get those tickets.

Sadly, industry folks say Adele’s most excellent intentions had little effect.  Her tickets still showed up instantly on the ‘secondary’ legal scalper sites.  It’s ok, though, at least she tried something no one else has.  Fucking Hero! If you don’t like Adele, as a person, you don’t like puppies!  She drinks and curses and belches and laughs… all in concert.  She is good people!

Eric Church – several artists have canceled tickets they knew were scalped.  Most famously, the Boss.  Springsteen has canceled blocks of tickets, and encouraged use of paperless tickets (where you have to show your ID at the door).  Church, though, went nuts. He just canceled 25K tickets for his tour.  Here is why that is ‘balls’;   those 25K tickets were guaranteed money that he had in pocket.  Assuming tickets were $85 each, he walked away from 2.1 million dollars.  I gotta be honest, I have no idea who he is, and I don’t dig new county that isn’t Chris Stapleton.  But, whoever the hell this guy is… he is a hero.

That is all for now, I shall keep you posted on the good fight as it occurs.  If you know of other artists taking similar initiatives, please drop me a line.  My email is ‘I am correct at gmail dot com’ (all smooshed together, no spaces)

Friday Fives – worried about the weather

How do you fall asleep in hot weather?

Not with AC, I can tell you that.  Have never had AC since we moved to Denver 20 years ago.  However, I tend to go to bed somewhere between late, and very late.  So, things have always cooled down by then.

How do you fall asleep in cold weather?

First… a fan to make it even colder.  Then, like 8,000 blankets

What is the weirdest weather you’ve ever witnessed?

Was in downtown Denver (ironically) at a Red Cross training.  I get a text we need to gather in Elbert to stand up the EOC there for flooding.  Quite odd I was pulled away from my disaster training exercises to tend to an actual disaster.  I get down to Elbert (it’s our county seat, I know you have never heard of it) and we start dealing with the flooding.  Then, 2 tornadoes hit our county.  Tornadoes are, as you know, very warm weather thingies.  Well, two hours after the tornadoes hit we got a BAD snow storm.  So bad that I ended up closing down the one and only county highway (86 – Franktown to Elizabeth to Kiowa) with some flashlights.  It was blizzard conditions, and our plows were at least an hour out from being ready.  Due to the accidents and help I had to dole out and me and another gent literally closing the road off (behind us, of course.  I still had to get home) it took me 4 hours to do the drive that normally takes 25 minutes.

What would be the most inconvenient weather report to hear in the morning?

It’s never snow.  Meaning… hearing it is snowing never makes me sad or mad or scared.  It thrills me, and my truck.  Having no AC, I guess the worst news would be heat.  There is a reason I fled Phoenix.  Extreme heat is stupid… and rather avoidable.

firenado.  it’s a very real thing.


You’re in charge of a “Sharknado” type film series, what animal and extreme weather condition is your choice?

Honey badger, with this magnificent fruity bastard handling all the narration



Friday Fives – stop feeding your congressman bacon

I don’t trust people who . . .. 

Litter.  It doesn’t just show contempt for nature, but for fellow mankind.  I have mentioned this before, but since we are here I’ll say it again.  I notice people who litter are Republicans.  Yes, I know… a sweeping generalization.  That’s my bag.  Anyhow… you don’t have to take my word for it.  Instead, I ask you this… just remember that comment/observation.  You will see that I was Correct.

I just love people who . . .

Who love and respect and honor those who are at lower stations in their lives.  Meaning… don’t be a dick to the garbage man, or the maid, or the waitress… or the bum.  There is some wisdom in this classic dating advice for women “A guy who is sweet to you, but an asshole to the waitress is an asshole”.  This speaks volumes.  Here it is said again by a mind brighter than mine – be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.” Dalai Lama

Sometimes, I just get so depressed over . . . 

How EVERYONE hates govt and Congress… yet EVERYONE re-elects their Congressfolk at a rate of over 90% every election.  Do you think your calls to Congress, and letters, and aggressive Facebook rants mean dick to your Congressperson?  Not when no matter how much you loathe them… you will still vote for them.

Another analogy (sorry, but it’s how I best communicate and think) – imagine you are training a puppy.  He gets on the counter, and you HATE that.  You tell EVERYONE how you hate that, including the dog.  You sent letters to the dog, and gleefully participate in public polls about how much you dislike your dog getting on the counter.  YET… each time he does it, you give him some bacon.  Not only are you not effectively punishing the dog.  You are rewarding him.  Your vote is bacon.  Stop feeding your Congressperson bacon, especially when they are bad dogs.

Sorry, it’s a bit of dramatic hyperbole to compare the public servants of Congress to dogs.  We can all agree dogs are much better people.  As Groucho Marx once said “outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.  Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”

It’s just not normal to . . .

for disenfranchised Americans to think a real estate developer would fight for the poor.  I FULLY get that the other choices sucked ass… and I voted for neither of them.  I also fully get that for poor and disenfranchised voters (meaning anyone who is not a white male over 40)… ANYTHING was worth trying.

I think  . . .  is the new normal.

toll roads.  Here is Denver, we have a few major highways that run through town.  They have ALL been moved to toll roads for expansion.  The new and super important and badly needed C470 run from I-25 to the foothills is getting new lanes.  they are in the widening process now.  Just googled it and found out those will be toll lanes.  So, a better to commute to work coming soon… unless you make under $10 an hour, or have kids.  the other side of the C-470 is the E-470.   Toll road, the whole thing that loops around Denver… always been a toll road and always will be.

That shitty stretch of I70 that always backs up around Idaho Springs?  Finally expanded… to toll lanes.

and just yesterday, I got a survey about widening of the I-25 from Castle Rock to Monument.  They are widening it.  Via toll lanes.  There is SO much to say about this, I could really do a post blog on this issue.  I won’t, but I will point out this – its likely our own fault.  Whenever the govt asks for money for roads (or anything)… people hear ‘taxes’ and vote no.  Always, every time.  Same reason schools are broke.

Oh, and I have written about this.  Bitching about traffic isn’t exactly groundbreaking social satire… but I see issues and I address them.  Hopefully, with a good sense of humor and some honest research on the issue as well.  Start here, then go here, then go here.  Note how nobody and no time in any of these studies recommended toll lanes.  Here is another reason why they suck (besides being elitist and unfair to the working poor) – they are still vulnerable to same traffic jams, accidents, and foul weather.   My suggestion is light rail.  Roughly the same ecological footprint (for digging and up and paving over things)… but is weather proof and traffic proof.

ok, one last dig.  When it’s done, the few who can afford it (myself included, I admit) get to zip past the poor people in traffic.  In the meantime, EVERYONE gets to live with this for 3 years… including the people who will never get to use it.