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Monday, 17 December 2012

The Power of Music

Wouldn't you fucking love to be the fly the wall of your favorite rock star?  Oh hell!  Wouldn't you love to be the fly on the wall of ANY rock star?!  Imagine the stories we never hear.  Well, I got one rock star to open up a little and let me tell his story.  It's a story of pain and perseverance, of love and hope and of course.... of music.  The rock star is Johnny AK from The AK Band and this is his story....
Johnny AK was a budding musician starting to see success with his band, The AK Band in the 1980's.  The AK band consisted of Johnny AK on guitar, Nev on vocals and bass and Maz on drums.  They were signed with RCA and had played with well knowns such as The Kinks and Joe Cocker.  Their style, a self described Rock/Reggae was categorized as Power Punk....a very popular sound in the 80's.


Then fucking disaster struck....Johnny suffered a horrific accident and was crushed underneath heavy objects, sending him to the hospital near death.  After weeks of being touch and go, with the aid of intense medical therapy Johnny came out of the danger zone and started to slowly recover.  Now I tend to believe we all have those people in our lives that serve as angels when we need them.  God knows I've had mine.  As it turns out, Johnny had one at that critical time too.
A significant other in Johnny's life at that time also happened to be a general and psychiatric nurse...who worked using music therapy to help heal mind and body.  Could you fucking possible think of anything that Johnny might have needed more at this time?  Neither can I.  In any case, Johnny was released from the hospital and into her care.  After several months of intense medical treatment, Johnny's angel started Johnny on musical therapy, slowly bringing him back to what he loved with small sessions.
As his therapy intensified, Johnny used the tools that were available to him...in this case, recording equipment, and started the Fat Bastard Sound Therapy recordings.  As Johnny was quite removed from the music business at this point, family members were recruited to join in the recordings to back him up and to sing.


For 10 years Johnny lived his own fucking personal hell of pain and suffering.  Through the power of love and music, Johnny was able to recover, to take back his life and make music once again.  He calls Portugal home and in the years since 1999, he has played to audiences in Turkey, The Balkins, The Caribbean and others.  Along with the Fat Bastard Sound Therapy recordings there is a demo album of tracks entitled Beyond Devastation as well as the pre-production Tequila Sunset in which Johnny had worked on with The AK Band.  Johnny continues to write songs including one entitled Hope in which he describes as being a sum up of his life.
We can all learn a lesson from Johnny and his devastating experience.  Music lifts us and heals us, hope lives within us and we can rise above anything with a little help from our friends....... ; )

To keep up with Johnny and his music you can subscribe to his youtube channel at www.youtube.com/user/FatBastardSound follow him on twitter at twitter.com/AkBandThe or friend him on facebook at www.facebook.com/The.Ak.Band

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Three Streets to the Wind


What goes around comes around…. at least that’s what they say. I think it’s true.  Take Folk music, a genre that had a great following in the 1960’s.  There seems to be a resurrection of folk music as of late -   only this time around it has a rockin' new edge and attitude.   Bands such as Mumford and Sons, The Dropkick Murphys and Of Monsters and Men are gaining popularity and recognition and deservedly so!  They’ve opened our minds to listening to Alternative Folk and as a result I'm very much enjoying the tunes coming from Canada’s own ultimate table pounding, drinking, sing along at the top of your fucking lungs, partying Alternative Folk/Rock band, Streets of Hastings.

Canada has very strong Celtic roots and let’s face it… we know how to fucking party!  After all, we learned from the best… the Newfies!  They’ve been pounding back beers as hard as they pound on their tables at kitchen parties for ages, listening to Celtic Folk music.  Streets of Hastings have definitely got that party vibe down.  They're a self described drinking band with a rock n roll problem.  Not to mention they do have their own token Newfoundlander.

Streets of Hastings is made up of Phil Alexander on lead vocals and guitar, originally from North Bay Ontario;  Jason Bedard (Trucker),  a Rockland Ontario original on bass guitar and vocals; and Larry Peyton (Peyts), keeper of the beat on drums  and vocals.  Yes…you guess it, Peyts is originally from St. John’s Newfoundland.  Their current home is Rockland Ontario and I’m thinking there’s gotta be party wherever they go!  Let’s all move to Rockland!

These guys are fucking funny!  I love their sense of humor and their love of life and fun shows through in their music, especially in their songs such as 1812 (Proud Canadians), Sea Bag and Kelly Ann.   But that doesn’t mean they can’t be serious and sensitive.  Songs like Comfort No More, Don’t Go Away, and 31(I Ain’t Gonna Make It) show the deeper side of these guys.  Now I've said that they have a that table pounding Celtic sound and that’s true…just listen to Kelly Ann,  Drinkin Like it’s Free and Slainte, but keep listening to Three Streets to the Wind and you’ll discover many music styles including a retro punk sound – Rupture and Faceless being  perfect examples.  And well, they just fucking rock when they cover House of The Rising Sun!

Go ahead, preview their music below....



Not only do I like the music of Streets of Hastings, I like the men that make up this band.  I highly recommend you visit their website at www.streetsofhastings.com and while you're there definitely check out their personal and band bios!  I guarantee you'll laugh your ass off!  Then, while you're in a really good mood, support this rockin band and buy some of their tunes............. ; )


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

A Couple of My Favorite Things....

Hey everyone... I've been so fucking busy lately but I've come up with a new time management plan and I should be posting regularly again!  It requires getting up at 4:30 am, but at least this way I'll have time to write.  Good thing I'm a morning person!  Anyway, I've been itching to talk about two of my very favorite Indie music artists.  I've written blogs/reviews for both these groups in the past but this summer and fall I was fucking lucky enough to see them both perform live!

I'll start with C-Leb and The Kettle Black because I caught them live first in August at the Summer Meltdown festival in Darrington Washington.  Yeah...that's how much I love these guys - took the ferry over to the mainland, crossed the border, drove 3 hours there and back in one day to catch these rockers blow up the fucking stage!  And of course they didn't disappoint!

Let me refresh your memory, C-Leb and The Kettle Black are an urban blues band from Seattle Washington.  The first time I heard one of their songs, I fucking couldn't run fast enough to buy their album.  Between C-Leb and Jesse's writing talents, C-Leb's strong vocals, Jesse's slide guitar, Sandy's bass lines and Jazz keeping the beat on his skins, these guys have got it fucking goin on!!  Not to mention they are all fucking sexy as hell!  

The boys weren't headlining the festival and being Indie artists they are still making a name for themselves.  I watched them start out performing to a fairly small crowd, but as their set progressed I wasn't surprised to turn and see the crowd had substantially grown and were calling out for more!  And more is what C-Leb and the Kettle Black gave to us!  They surprised us by performing a new song for their encore - Flat Black will be on their next album....(rumor has it, they're working on it now!  I can't fucking wait!!)  Holy fucking shit!  I thought I couldn't love these boys more but this song blew me the fuck away!  Needless to say, I was very happy I made the trip!

The boys were great too!  Though they were busy with putting away their equipment, and they had their families there, they were still kind enough to take a few minutes to talk to me... and oh yeah, I got hugs too - score!  Every one of their songs is a favorite of mine, so it's hard to pick and choose one to share... I'm gonna share Guilty with you, but be sure to head over to their website at c-lebsounds.com to check out more!  You won't be fucking disappointed!



The second band that I had the opportunity to check out was Cupla!  I couldn't wait to ferry over to catch their show in September in Vancouver at the Princeton Pub.  And again, I was not disappointed!  Like C-Leb and The Kettle Black, I've been a fan of Cupla from the first time I heard them.  Everybody who knows me, knows I love all music but my heart lives in hard rock and blues.  Another thing that attracts me is originality... well, Cupla has originality all wrapped up with a fucking bow and their blues riffs drive me wild!

I was curious to see how Cupla would sound live.... Tricia McAloney has that sultry low voice and I wondered if the music would overpower her in a live show.  Turns out that I had nothing to be fucking concerned about.  They sounded even better live than on their CD (which I love, by the way).  And this was in a small pub with not so great acoustics.  What I wouldn't fucking give to hear them perform in a Theater Arts center, such as the Esplanade in Medicine Hat.  I bet they would blow that fucking place up!

Not only do I love Cupla's music... I love Cupla.  Bobby and Billy McAloney could possibly be two of my favorite people alive.  These are a couple of the sweetest guys I've ever met and considering the life these two young men have lived so far, it is surprising.  Just another argument for how expressing yourself through music is healing and therapeutic.  Tricia is beautiful and cool, Brando is a sweetheart and Andrew is sexy time!

Another thing to love about Cupla is how they are willing to stand up to bullies!  My Stand, the song they wrote and performed to shine a light an age old problem that has been tormenting our children for as long as I can remember is touching, beautiful and relevant.  It means more to me than they can possibly know.  I moved around a lot as a kid and almost every year I was the new kid.  The new kid gets bullied a lot, believe me!  If you haven't heard it, please check it out now...


To get more information and links to all their music, please visit Cupla at www.supernova.com/cupla1.  Not only are they my heroes, they are a hell of a lot of fun to do Tequila shots with too!  I can't wait for the next time.........; )




Saturday, 13 October 2012

Good Reading....

Hey everyone!! I know I haven't posted a lot lately.  I started a new job!  I started dating again!  And I came down with a cold that has been fucking kicking my ass!  But don't feel sorry for me...one of the things I love to do in my down time is read.  I've read the first two books of the Shades of Grey series.  It hasn't impressed me that much but then again I'm not really one for romance novels.  I was expecting hot and dirty and I got Cinderella....oh well.  That's all I'll say on that matter as I know there are many fans of the books and I really don't want to offend anyone.
The book I'm reading right now though is fucking incredible!  I picked it up in a funky little bookstore in Seattle, Left Bank Books at the Pike Place Market. The book is Sex at Dawn - How we Mate, Why we Stray, and What it Means for Modern Relationships.  It's written by Christopher Ryan, PhD and Cacilda Jetha, MD so you can imagine it's not a novel.  I came across a passage yesterday when I was reading that I think many of you will REALLY fucking enjoy, so I just have to share!
The following is excerpted from Sex at Dawn:
Lots of upright, proper Americans were scandalized by the way Elvis moved his hips when he sang "rock and roll."  But how many realized what the phrase rock and roll meant?  Cultural historian Michael Ventura, investigating the roots of African-American music, found that rock 'n' roll was a term that originated in the juke joints of the South.  Long in use by the time Elvis appeared, Ventura explains the phrase "hadn't meant the name of a music, it meant 'to fuck.'  'Rock' by itself, had pretty much meant that, in those circles, since the twenties at least."  By the mid-1950's, when the phrase was becoming widely used in mainstream culture, Ventura says the disc jockeys "either didn't know what they were saying or were too sly to admit what they knew." 
Though crusty old Ed Sullivan would have been scandalized to realize what he was saying when he announced this new "rock and roll all the kids are crazy about," examples of barely concealed sexual reference lurking just below the surface of common American English don't stop there.  Robert Farris Thompson, America's most prominent historian of African art, says that funky is derived from the Ki-Kongo lu-fuki, meaning "positive sweat" of the sort you get from dancing or having sex, but not working.  One's mojo, which has to be "working" to attract a lover is Ki-Kongo for "soul." Boogie comes from mbugi, meaning "devilishishly good."  And both jazz and jism, likely derive from dinza the Ki-Kongo word for "to ejaculate."
Hahahaha! Isn't that fucking great?  Can you understand why I fucking LOVE this book?  This excerpt gives a whole new meaning to sex, drugs and rock n roll..... sex, drugs and more fucking sex!  No wonder I'm so turned on by the music I listen to!  So in closing, I hope you all go out (or stay in) this weekend and fucking "rock and roll"......... ; )

Monday, 17 September 2012

Seattle Rocks and so does Legion Within

I recently travelled to Seattle, just because I could.  I fell in love with this artsy and creative city immediately. I did fall out of love with my GPS while I was there, but once I figured out where I was going it was all good.  I met a friend there and we took in some shopping on Pike Street, just a bit further uptown than the Pike Place Market (though I had to check that out too).  There were tons of funky little boutiques and when we saw Edge of the Circle Books, this crazy little occult bookstore, we had to check it out.

Edge of the Circle books also provides tarot card readings.  My friend, who is a musician decided to get a reading done.  The reading uncovered the core of what was blocking his success in his music.  It opened his eyes to new possibilities and what he needed to do to move forward.  His tarot card reader, Raven as it turned out is a musician as well.  She is the bass player for Seattle Goth band Legion Within.

Don't you just fucking love it when you don't expect to find new music and you do?  I sure as hell do.  I of course picked up one of their CDs and was blown away by how talented this group is.  Being new to Gothic music, I don't have much of a base to compare to, but I fucking know what I like and I do like Legion Within.

Their 2009 album Mouth of Madness features haunting vocals and is accentuated by a darkwave industrial rock sound.  What is it about fucking Seattle that inspires so much originality?  Music is constantly being re-invented there and I fucking love it!! Legion Within is no exception.  Oh hell, check em out for yourself...here's the title track from the album I bought, Mouth of Madness...



So now you see what I mean.  This band appeals to more than just goth fans, though I'm sure that's where their biggest fan base is.  You can check out more Legion Within at the links below and I've added the link for Edge of the Circle books too.  I have a couple of witch friends who would LOVE it!!

Legion Within on Reverbnation
Legion Within on myspace
Legion Within on facebook
Buy Mouth of Madness on cdbaby

Edge of The Circle Books - Seattle's resource for Paganism and the Occult


Thursday, 6 September 2012

To Be or Not To Be

Hey everyone!  I've heard some more great music this week and I can't wait to tell you about Legion Within!  I met the bass player, Raven in this funky occult bookshop and picked up their album!  It's pretty fucking awesome stuff.  But first I have to share something else I learned in Seattle....

I met someone there who's music I enjoy very much.  I knew he had read my blogs in the past so I asked his opinion.  I love getting feedback on the blogs....it's my own art and I guess I like to know who I appeal to, how I can make improvements, etc.   Anyway, in talking about Cat's Litter Box, he felt it was redundant.  Hmmmmm, that's unusual feedback.... in what way is the Litter Box redundant?  He said it was too positive... if I only had good things to say why would anyone want or trust my opinion.

Well, I don't know if you can imagine, but that got my back up a little bit.... okay scratch that, it fucking got my back up a lot.  This forum is for me to share the music I enjoy and in doing so, to support the artists I enjoy.  I feel there is enough fucking negativity in this world and I don't want to be a part of adding to it.  Sure, there is music in this world (not a lot) that I would rather not listen to.  You won't hear about that music or the artists from me.

I love music.  It been with me through my happiest moments and my worst ones.  When I felt I was all alone, I would hear a song that spoke to the very feelings I was having and I knew someone out there understood me.  Whether I like something or not, there is someone out there that appreciates and relates to it.  So I sure as hell am not going to bash it.

So, I just want to express one thing.  To those of you who don't like this blog because it's too positive...here's some negativity for you.... Fuck off and go read something else.  I'll be back soon to talk about Legion Within and it will be positive because I like the way they fucking play.......... ; )

Monday, 6 August 2012

Wishes Do Come True

Ever since the brutal disappointment of not seeing a shirtless Sully Erna last fall at the Godsmack concert in Calgary, I have been wishing on the early star every night for a shirtless rocker.  That may sound a little sexist slutty of me, but fuck it, I don't care.....we all need a little flesh.
I've been to many rock shows since Godsmack last fall, and have had a great time at every fucking one of them.  And my wish has come true twice!  I didn't have to wait long for the first time... October 27,  Taylor Hawkins, the Foo Fighters gorgeous sexy drummer, stripped off his to expose rippling strong biceps and smooth pects at the Scotia Saddledome in Calgary AB... omg that was good!!
But as good as that was, a shirtless Taylor Hawkins on the Big Screen in Calgary cannot compare to the spectacle I beheld in the intimate setting of the Medicine Hat Esplanade and Heritage Arts Centre on July 19th!  First let me tell you about the Esplanade in Medicine Hat... it is an intimate theatre that doesn't quite hold 800 spectators (that's right 800 is not a typo).  The acoustics are beyond great and the small intimate venue is starting to attract some very big names... as a matter of fact, Chris Cornell recorded at least one (maybe two) of his songs from his live Songbook album at the Esplanade.  Big names such as City and Colour (I was at that show... see my blog post Dallas is Worth the Green for more), Alice Cooper and Snoop Dogg, but never in a million years would I have guessed that Slash would play such a small venue!  Well, he did!  And even though the tickets to his show sold out in a couple of minutes (if that) I was one of the lucky ones to score a pair!  Fuckin A doesn't even begin to describe how I felt about that accomplishment!!
For those of you who are not familiar with Slash... first, where the fuck have you been? ...he is the guitar fucking god formerly of Guns N Roses and Velvet Revolver as well as having a very successful solo career performing with many artists including Myles Kennedy of  Alter Bridge.  It was with Myles Kennedy and a very hot band - The Conspirators - that he played with at the Esplanade.  I was in the balcony and to put it into perspective for you, it was comparable to 5th row floor seats at any other venue!  It was fucking unreal... even though I couldn't reach out and touch them, I almost felt as if I could, they were that close!
The show opened up with Canadian rockers, Monster Truck and they blew us away with their hard rock/alternative style.  These guys are making quite a name for themselves here in Canada and I have no doubt they will be driving their sound into the hearts of fans around the globe before too long... here take a listen!



After a short intermission Slash, Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators took the stage... talk about hot fucking rockers!! I was practically panting!  Hell, who am I kidding, I wasn't practically panting... I was literally panting!  I have mentioned music and musicians turn me on, right?  But don't take my word for it... check it out for yourself!


It was an incredible show!  Myles is as an amazing singer as Slash is on guitar.  When they performed Velvet Revolver's Slither I couldn't stop myself from headbanging and the crowd went fucking crazy when they performed Guns N Roses songs Sweet Child O Mine and Paradise City.  It was Slash himself though, that made my night when for their encore he came out on stage shirtless!  He was fucking beautiful bare-chested in his jeans and tophat! Sigh... it still gets my panties and mouth wet when I think back on it!  The Esplanade is way to small and intimate for anything like pyrotechnics but the show was ended with cannons bursting and blowing tons of silver and black confetti into the air!  It was the most fucking awesome spectacle I had ever seen.  And THAT, boys and girls, is what rock n roll is fucking all about...............; )

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Chris Masters remix ~ Amazing Eyes



Yep... this is it!  I really, really fucking LOVE this remix of Good Old War's Amazing Eyes!!  I believe it deserves all the support it can get.  So please, after you take a listen and totally agree with me (I'm very confident you will) click the vote link beside the song and vote for my friend Chris Masters.

Thank you, you really do rock!!

Visit Chris on his website here www.cmastersbass.com ....he also writes a great blog and takes killer photographs!  Check out his other remixes while you're there!

Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Pulse of Finger Eleven and Gob

Wow! I've been busy!  I've been to a number of really good shows lately....I took in Them Beatles ~ Beatlemania on Tour at the Yates in Lethbridge.  Lethbridge Seniors rocked the block and I of course was there to take in some great local talent...The Chevelles (not to confused with Chevelle); Rex (fuckin A! Can't wait for your album boys); Double Jack (Hot rockers! Congrat's boys on your successful application to open for CCR in July!); Texas Flood (Southern Rock and good ol' boys - one of my favorite combinations) and Hippodrome (9 piece band complete with horns, a hell of a lot of soul and my good friend and one of my favorite men ~ Juran Greene)!  And I have to tell you all about these shows in much more detail but I need to start with the most recent show I took in....Finger Eleven and Gob at Pulse Nightclub and Pub on June 28th!

Nine years ago, I took my twins to their first concert ever. The Roadhouse Bar and Grill turned it's beer taps off so Gob could perform an all ages show.  My boys were nine years old at the time so not only was it their first concert but their first time in the bar!  We were right up front and the guys were great to them!  I remember Theo Goutzinakis being particularly cool, posing for pics and giving the boys guitar picks and stickers.  The Roadhouse Bar and Grill closed and was replaced by Pulse Nightclub and Pub, so when they announced Gob would be playing I had to be there!  Finding out that Finger Eleven would be joining them was like... well it was like winning a TV then finding out it's a 52" plasma with home entertainment center complete with surround sound!  Fucking awesome!

One of the twins, Marco was working late on this night but the other, Moe, joined me for the show.  This show was not an all ages show and beer taps were flowing steadily.  Another amazing coincidence, that Gob would come back to the same venue the year the boys turned 18 and could legally attend the show in the bar!  Gob consists of Tom Thacker (you may know Tom from a little band called Sum 41) Theo Goutzinakis, Gabe Mantle and Steve Fairweather.  They started the show to a packed house and had the joint jumping from their first song to the last!  You may remember this Gob song from the American Wedding soundtrack.....



After a brief break to take down and set up again, Finger Eleven took the stage and I decided to get a closer look from sidestage.   Finger Eleven have released 6 albums and are a very popular rock band in Canada as well as seeing success in the US, placing twice on the US Hot 100 music charts.  They are made up of Scott Anderson, James Black, Rick Jackett, Sean Anderson and Rich Beddoe.  The energy level that was already high from the awesome show that Gob put on jumped up a level as Finger Eleven took to the stage.  They didn't disappoint the audience, playing all their hits Livin in a Dream, Whatever doesn't Kill Me, Paralyzer, One Thing and another one of my favorites Falling On....



It was a great show all around!  I did get a chance to chat with James Black and Sean Anderson of Finger Eleven after the show.  They are currently working on new songs... I have it on good authority that they have about 4 laid down already...and continuing to tour here and there.  If  they happen to come to your town and you get a chance to take in one of their shows...FUCK, GO!!!  You won't be disappointed!

I'd also like to give a big fucking shout out to Pulse Nightclub and Pub for bringing such an awesome show to our backwater town.  Your staff are unbelievably nice and professional.  And also to Rock 106 and Wing King for helping to sponsor said awesome show!! Rock on!  By the way, Moe has told me he will not be accompanying me to any more shows...apparently too many hot chicks were asking him if I was his date, hahahahahaha............ ; )


Monday, 18 June 2012

A Stopover in TrevorTown

Hold on boys and girls... I'm bringing a fresh country scent into the Litter Box this week.  I haven't written about country music before in my blogs and I'm happy that my first is going to be about local boy Trevor Panczak.  Trevor was recently the honored Guest Speaker at my twin sons' graduation commencement ceremonies at Foremost School.  He is also such a sweet, polite and nice young man that I'm inspired to try and write this one without my usual trucker tongue...
Now I have to tell you about small country high school graduation commencement ceremonies.  The graduating class is small.  The Foremost School 2012 Graduation Class had 16 students graduating and two of them were mine.  The nice thing about a very small graduating class is the students have the time to showcase their school days to the friends and family that pack the school's gymnasium.  Most of these students came up through the small school together from ECS (Early Childhood Services) - another more governmental name for Kindergarten (? I don't know....) - all the way to grade 12.
We as parents and members of the same small community know each other and have watched our babies grow into young men and women together.  This makes for a very intimate celebration.  You don't sit through all the boring stuff about everyone you don't know before they get to your child...every moment of the ceremonies is a treasured moment.
It would only make sense that the guest speaker chosen to motivate these young adults with words of wisdom would be someone who comes from a very similar place.  The fact that the guest speaker was also a musician was a bonus as the two young men that belonged to me in this class are musicians themselves.
Trevor Panczak was farm raised just outside of Magrath Alberta...about an hour's drive from where we are located.  He's been playing music for more than half his life and for the last 10 years with his band Rough Stock.  Trevor's music is quite popular across Alberta and he plays more than 100 shows a year... I myself have seen him play a number of times.
I loved that Trevor spoke to our graduates.  He's the perfect example of one who refuses to give up on their dreams.  The music business in Canada is a tough nut to crack and many popular musicians have to work day jobs to put food on the table.  Trevor is no exception.  For years we saw him behind the counter at UFA (United Farmers Association is a chain of co-op stores for farm supplies in Alberta and Saskatchewan) and now he's part of the the sales team at North Lethbridge Dodge.  Regardless, Trevor is still recording and performing his smooth country stylings for fans in Alberta Canada and beyond.  I hope my sons take his example and continue to express themselves through their own music, regardless of the measure of  success they receive from the industry.



Even though the above video is of Trevor covering a Merle Haggard tune and not one of his originals I did want to share it because not only does it showcase Trevor's amazing musical talent but his easygoing sense of humor and charm as well!  Thank you, Trevor for your words at our grad ceremonies and for the example you set for young musicians.  Thank you, Marco and Moe for growing up so bright and good... I'm very proud of you and I look forward to your accomplishments as you make your mark on this world.......... ; )

Be sure to drop by Trevor's official website:

Monday, 21 May 2012

The Queen's Knight

Recently I was very lucky to be in the audience that took in Sir Elton John!  My first bit of luck was being local to Lethbridge Alberta.  On this trip, Sir Elton only performed 3 Canadian dates... and no it wasn't Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver... he played Lethbridge Alberta, Red Deer Alberta and Grand Prairie Alberta.  That's right... skipped right over Calgary and Edmonton as well.  My second bit of luck came in the form of getting tickets... you can imagine how quickly Elton John tickets for small venues sell... hell, they sell quickly for large venues!  The third bit of luck was that I was able to enjoy it with my musicians sons... They're only 18 but they have a great appreciation for music legends such as Elton John.  And my fourth bit of luck was getting floor seats... great floor seats (13th row) - no scratch that... that wasn't luck... that was due to intelligence.
We're not quite sure why Elton decided to only play the three small venues in Alberta.  I have heard through the grapevine that his husband does have family in Alberta... perhaps they were here for a wedding or something... who knows?  But I would have never guessed in a million years that I would take in an Elton John show at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge Alberta.  The Enmax with standing room and festival seating doesn't quite hold 8,000 people.  Tickets sold out in less than an hour... not a big surprise that a lot of fans were disappointed at not getting seats.  I did not get tickets due to standing in line over night (does anybody do that anymore?) or by having quick typing hands and dialling fingers.  In fact I bought my tickets the day before tickets went on sale!  You might think it's because I'm a world renown blogger and get special privileges... if you think this...firstly, awwww thank you!! and secondly, I'm very sorry, that's not even close.
No... I got my tickets the day before they went on sale by joining Elton John's fan club, the rocket club.  I know... it's genius... but I can't take all the credit.  A friend of mine got killer seats to the Chris Cornell show when he came through by jumping on the pre-order option for fan club members, so... when it was announced Elton John was coming to town (and I knew tickets would go fast!) I went online to see if he had a fan club with member benefits... sure enough!  For $40 I got a year long membership in the Rocket Club...along with this I was able to pre-order Rocket Club tickets (best seats in the house - well second to VIP tickets, which can also be pre-ordered through the Rocket Club) for less than the ticket price...let's just say I got my $40 back in savings.  I was also sent an Elton John DVD... bonus!!
The one thing about the Rocket Club is you can only pre-order two tickets and there were three of us that wanted to go.  As it turned out, one more ticket became available the morning of the concert and was auctioned off by a local radio station... $425 later, my other kid was able to attend as well. So much for savings! By the way, the proceeds of that auctioned ticket went to an animal shelter so it was all good.
The show itself was absolutely incredible!  Just Sir Elton and his piano.  No pyro, no big light show... just a digital curtain behind him, flashing scenes relevant to the songs he was performing.  When I saw it was only going to be him and his piano, I knew he would play hits like Nikita, I Guess that's Why They Call It The Blues and Candle in The Wind...these are favourites of mine and he did not disappoint, but more than that he still fucking rocked!  He also performed Crocodile Rock, Philadelphia Freedom and Bennie and The Jets and no sissy ballady versions either... I repeat, he fucking rocked!
Sir Elton himself just seems like the sweetest guy ever... I wanted to take him home with me, so I could pull him out any time at my convenience for a cuddle.  He was so cute.  After every song he stood and gave the audience a standing ovation and the audience was only too eager to return the favour!  He signed autographs for people in the first row and I had a twinge of regret that I hadn't sprung for the VIP tickets.
The highlight for me was when he performed my all time favourite Elton John tune, Tiny Dancer.  I bawled.  Before that moment I never understood why girls screamed and fainted during Beatles and Elvis Presley shows back in the 60's.  I was so moved by the fact that I was there hearing my favourite being performed by the legend himself.  I couldn't hold back the emotion that built up inside me and I cried... and cried.  I'm such a chick!
I'm very happy I didn't let the opportunity to catch this show slip by me.  Thank you Sir Elton for decades of great music and an incredible intimate show in Lethbridge Alberta.  God knows you didn't do it for the money, and this fan is very grateful that you're not too big to come to the back country and perform for fans who might not otherwise have a chance to get to a big city to see your show!  Rock on baby...... ; )



Sunday, 13 May 2012

Hard to Get

It's kinda funny how the universe gives us subtle hints about the choices we should make.  If we would only pick up on those hints and heed the universe, how much easier would our lives be?  Now, I know there are some of you out there that love a challenge, love to prove the universe wrong and no matter how difficult the task is or how many obstacles are put in your way, you will plow through it, all the time saying, if it's worth anything it's worth working for... and some of the time you're actually successful and you kick its ass!
It's been my experience though that the universe is usually right... Let me use my very best friend as an example.  The day she applied for a job she went to print her resume and the printer jammed.  After spending many precious minutes she didn't have unjamming the machine, she finally got it printed.  With resume in hand, she set off across her yard to apply for the job (it's a very small town...the workplace is right next door to her home).  Resume in hand that is until the wind (we get a lot of strong winds here) ripped it out of her hand sending the pages scattering across the vast parking lot.  She successfully scrambled around and retrieved her cover page and resume.  Wind whipped and out of breath, slightly damp and crumpled resume in her hand she rushed into the building to apply for the job with a nagging feeling in her mind that somebody was trying to tell her something.
She got the job.... then spent the next 2 years on workers comp because of injuries she suffered on the job.  The last one being a vehicular accident (a really bad one, she actually died in the hospital momentarily) leaving her with limited mobility in her shoulder (the accident had pushed her shoulder into the middle of her back.... yeah ouch) and hips (broke her pelvis in several places).  She of course suffers from chronic pain as well.  Granted this is an extreme example but it kinda makes you think that maybe the universe knows what it's talking about, doesn't it?
Now I didn't listen to the subtle hints the universe sent me before I married both my husbands, which may be why I divorced both.... in those cases the universe kicked my ass.  And now the universe is sending me hints about my next love... yes that's right... the universe is warning me against Sully Erna!
I first started falling for Sully (sexy front man for Godsmack) the first time I heard Godsmack.  When Godsmack first came out I was living here in rural Alberta... unfortunately hard rock did not appeal to the main demographic - farmers, and back then they were never played on the local radio stations.  As for TV we had an antennae which brought in 5 fuzzy stations, not including MTV or MuchMusic.   I didn't hear them until we put in satellite TV and I started listening to music on satellite.  Voodoo was the song and Sully's vocals paired with the sexiness of the bongo drums heated my blood...got my juices flowing so to speak.


Oh yeah, that was the start...loving Godsmack for the entity it was... not individualizing Sully at that time.  I could relate to a lot of their songs and I really got off on that.
Now, some of you who may know me now and also know Godsmack music might say, "Oh no Cat... you are way to sweet to relate to the darkness and negativity in the hard rock of Godsmack."  I grew up in an unstable and abusive home... my first marriage was abusive... I have been surrounded by alcoholics and drug abusers for a lot of my life.  I'm sweet because I choose to be, not because my experiences made me that way... I can very much relate to the negativity of Godsmack songs... they just express those darker feelings for me.
Then came the DVD... The album Good Times, Bad Times included a DVD and I laid eyes on Sully for the first time... did it just get hot in here? No? It's just me?  Lust at first sight to say the least!  It was filmed in an intimate setting and there was opportunity for the audience to ask questions.  I listened as Sully easily and jovially answered his fans and that was it for me... I was in LOVE.  By the end of the DVD I was joking with my kids, who are also Godsmack fans that Sully was going to be their Stepdad at some point in the future.  
But now I'm really starting to wonder if it's meant to be... I think the universe might be trying to tell me something.  You may have read in an earlier blog of mine, click here >  Summer of Rock .... that I attended a Godsmack show last fall.  Now I don't know if it was too cold or what, but Sully never once took off his shirt!  Apparently the show they did in Dawson Creek, BC later that month that my niece was at, he never had his shirt on! < Sign from the universe #1.  I was also backstage at that show and didn't get to give Sully a blowjob...uh, I mean a kiss... I never even got to give him a kiss! < Sign from the universe #2.
My kid had told me about a book Sully had written.  Of course already being in love with the man, I figured I should get to know him better... I looked for it in Canada... book stores and online to save international shipping fees but it wasn't available anywhere in the country! < Sign from the universe #3.  By the way, I did order that book from the states... I wrote a blog about that too , click here to check it out > Will This Cat Cross His Path?
Now I'm excited again because on May 15, Godsmack is releasing their live album Live and Inspired and I'll be able to re-live the concert experience over and over!  A majority of the album was recorded at their Detroit Rock City show...and I'm bettin that Sully had his shirt off for that one too...with some tunes taken from their Boston show.  No doubt both of these shows were killer!  I read in their newsletter (which you can sign up for on their website) that they were selling pre-sale packages, that included all kinds of music and merchandise.  I tried to order a t-shirt and CD but I kept getting an error message on my order and my order was never placed! < Sign from the universe #4.  Being a quick thinker and very resourceful, I did pre-order without incident on iTunes... no t-shirt though....oh well.... it'll give me something to purchase the next time they come around.
So...do I listen to the universe, who is obviously telling me that Sully isn't the right man for me?  Do I take my experiences and learn from them, ultimately saving myself from heartbreak and misery?  I probably should...ah fuck it...Sully, if it ever comes down to it...the answer is yes, of course I'll marry you baby....... ; )

For concert dates, news and merch check out their website:
Godsmack official website

Sunday, 6 May 2012

A Step into The Darkness

I know I've said it many times.  I love to hear new music.  So why has it taken me so fucking long to check out Gothic music?  It makes no sense considering when I read for pleasure I tend to turn to the macabre...you know Stephen King, Ann Rice etc.  And yes, I read the Twilight series as well even though I prefer my vampires to be a little more fucking evil.  And though I don't profess to be a gamer, my kids will tell you my favorite video games are the Silent Hill games.  So again, I must ask myself... why not Gothic music? ....it would seem to fit with my interests.
The only explanation I can think of is that I was waiting for an artist like Josh Stone to make himself known to me.  I guess you could say I came close before with David Bowie's Cat People album.  I fucking love that album and when I heard Josh Stone for the first time - Gunmetal Black Dress - I was reminded somewhat of that album.


I started to think of other rock artists, like Bowie who thought outside the box...artists I was finding comparable to Josh as I continued to listen to his album The Darkness.  These included Frank Zappa, The Talking Heads, U2, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and yes even a bit of  Korn and Disturbed too.  It didn't surprise me at all to find out that Josh himself lists some of these artists as influences and/or comparable music.
Josh sets himself apart with his use of sound...rain, creaking doors, metal against metal clashes....in essence creating an experience, a soundtrack to his poetry.  From the start of The Darkness... a light piano start might give you the lighthearted promise of happiness and sunshine on a fine summer day but then the heavy breath of someone (perhaps running for their fucking life) interrupts and the music takes on a far darker mood.
You can listen from one song to the next and follow the story of a young woman's despair and rebirth into something numb, cold and dark. Her attempt to pull another into her depths and how he manages to hold onto a piece of the light...


....or at least that's my interpretation.  Or you can listen to each song on it's own and let it present it's piece of the story, a story in itself.
If you're into goth you will most likely relate this album to the birth of a vampire and the destruction that ensues as a result.  If that isn't your thing you might relate these songs to the darker feelings and experiences of life - for instance, how difficult is it for a woman to feel love after being abused mentally, physically or sexually?  Does one not come back from that feeling fucking numb and cold?   Either way, Josh Stone brings this darkness to light, or rather, he takes you by the hand and leads you into the darkness for you to see and experience for yourself.  Go on, take a listen....then sweet dreams my lovelies buwahahahahahahahahahaha.......; )

Josh Stone links:
Josh Stone on Reverbnation 
Josh Stone on twitter
Josh Stone on facebook 

Preview and buy Josh Stone Music:
Josh Stone on iTunes
 

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Callin The Kettle Black

Don't you just fucking love it when you hear a song for the first time and you connect with it immediately?  You can't help but move something, whether you gotta tap your foot, your hand, bob your head or do what I do ...all of the above, plus shake my ass and clap my hands.  That's the reaction I had when I heard C-Leb and The Kettle Black for the first time!  The song was Can't Get That Low and it fucking rocks.  You gotta take a listen....


I tend to get a little excited when I hear new music that I like.  I buy at least one album a month, sometimes more.  I have to limit myself though...a limited income plus the fact that like everybody else I have other shit to buy too... you know, like concert tickets and tee shirts and such.  But when I come across a band like C-Leb and The Kettle Black it doesn't matter how many albums, tickets or tee shirts I've purchased that month...I will buy their album immediately after hearing that one song.

And holy fuck baby, I am so glad I did.  The Kettle Black only took one listen to become one of my all time favorite albums.  It definitely ranks up there with The Black Crows ~ Shake your Money Maker, Dire Straits ~ Brothers In Arms, Lynyrd Skynyrd ~ Pronounced 'Leh-'nerd 'Skin-'nerd...these were also albums I only had to listen to once to fucking love them.  To be ranked as one of my favorite albums means that I will listen to this album over and over again until it is emblazoned in my mind.  I'm well on my way to having The Kettle Black synced onto my brain's internal mp3 player.  That way if my plane ever goes down and I end up stranded on that deserted island, with no power to plug in my devices, I will be able to listen to their album in it's entirety in my head.  In my opinion it never hurts to be prepared.  Take a listen to some more tracks below, you'll see what I mean...this whole album is fucking awesome!


C-Leb and The Kettle Black consist of C-Leb - amazing vocals and mouth harp, he's so fucking cool; Jazz Turnbow - keeper of the beat and very fucking sexy, I'm gonna ask Santa to bring me Jazz this year for Christmas; and Jesse Strasbaugh - killer slide guitarist, I love Jesse, Jesse has serious playing and writing skills!

C-Leb and The Kettle Black hail from Seattle and like so many Seattle bands and musicians before them (Jimi Hendrix, Heart, Nirvana, Pearl Jam just to name a few) they have reinvented music to make it their own, only this time in the form of Urban Blues.  Their soulful sound gets into your bloodstream pumping adrenaline throughout your entire body, taking you over and filling you with energy and excitement.  The lyrics are smart and honest and speak of the everyday difficulties of trying to get fucking by or in the case of Hott Mess of just trying to get fucked (sorry, couldn't help myself *giggles*).

I am so glad I got to hear these guys early... and the chance to connect with a couple of the members personally.  These guys are currently unsigned and taking the Indie route.  I don't think that's gonna be the case for long.  Somebody has got to recognize the huge talent these guys present and offer them major dollars to make their music.  I am going to name drop like crazy when these guys are huge... and oh yes, they will be huge.......... ; )

Visit C-Leb and The Kettle Black on their official website and catch all their links here ----> http://c-lebsounds.com/




Sunday, 1 April 2012

The Slice is a Slice!

March 29, my kids talked me into going to see a show with them at The Slice Bar and Grill in Lethbridge AB.  Now, don't get me wrong....I love to go see live shows and normally do not have to be talked into attending but it was the end of the month, I was broke and I hadn't heard a lot from these bands.  In fact I had only heard a few tracks from the headliners, Murder By Death.  You might be wondering why 18 year old boys wanted their mother to escort them to the bar to see a show....well that's easy.  They're even broker than I am and they needed a financier.  Also, music is the area that my boys and I have always connected.  To this day they still bring me their laptops and say, "Mom, listen to this!"  In fact, I first heard about Murder by Death through them so I think they would have wanted me to go regardless....at least that's what I tell myself.  Anyway, they talked me into attending and am I ever glad they did!  What a fucking great show!!
Surprisingly enough it was the first time I had been to The Slice.  I was a little surprised at how intimate it was considering almost every band that comes through Lethbridge at one time or another plays at The Slice.  I know this because almost every show I went to in Lethbridge this year, the band announced, "The last time we were in Lethbridge, we played The Slice."  The Slice Bar and Grill has live music almost nightly and an open mike night on Tuesdays for locals to stretch their live performance muscles.  And that's on top of great pizza and beer!
Black Mastiff opened the show.  This three piece band from Edmonton Alberta is made up of Vasilios (Bob) Yiannakoulias – guitar and lead vocals, Allan Harding – drums and vocals and Clay Shea – bass and vocals.  They have a powerful soulful sound reminiscent of Jimmy Morrison and The Doors that I instantly fell in love with.  Their show and their sound were tight and they really got the hipster crowd swaying and paying attention.



Big John Bates was next and they had me out of my seat and jumping.  This Vancouver based dynamic duo of Big John Bates and Brandy Bones surprised the hell out of me.  Fuck, I'm trying to put a genre on it but I hear blues, rockabilly, burlesque, punk, metal, hard rock (yeah, I hear a bit of Alice Cooper in there)...and probably more....so I'm not quite sure how to define them.  Brandy is an upright bassist and pure fucking metal.  Yet her vocals are unbelievably versatile, ranging through all the different styles of  Big John Bates' songs.  Their performance blew my mind and I have to say their show is a must see!


Then the headliners....the one's my boys had wanted to see, Murder by Death.  These guys bring new meaning to cool.  If their music hasn't been in a fucking Quentin Tarantino film, it must be because Quentin hasn't checked them out yet.  Oh wait....the song "Comin' Home" from Red of Tooth and Claw was featured in a trailer for Quentin Tarantino's award-winning film Inglorious Basterds. And it's featured on Sons of Anarchy Season 4 soundtrack as well!


Haha...told you they were fucking cool!  I am so glad my boys talked me into checking out this show.  Not only did I get to patronize one of Lethbridge's biggest Indie music supporters, The Slice Bar and Grill but I was witness to 3 amazing talents in their own right, live in an intimate setting.  Thanks guys! Life fucking rocks..... ; )

Check out these great bands further by clicking on the links below
Black Mastiff on myspace
Big John Bates official website
Murder By Death official website

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Sing Your Heart Out

I've always believed that singing frees the soul. Ever since I was a little girl I would sing along to the radio, 8 track, album...whatever...if it was playing, I was singing along.  I remember a school field trip...grade 8...we were heading out of town to a dude ranch to do some riding.  The trip was a couple of hours on the bus and to make the time go easier with a bunch of fucking adolescents, the bus driver had the tunes on....of course I was singing along.  A classmate looked over at me and asked, "Do you know the words to every song?"I realized in that moment, not everybody knew all the words to all the songs.  I felt pretty fucking special.
I was waitressing years ago...in the kitchen doing dishes, singing along with the radio...of course...when my boss, who also loves music asked me, "How do you understand the lyrics in every song?"  I simply answered, "I listen to the song and I hear them."  He couldn't quite fathom how I did it, and when we worked together he would often ask as the music played, "What does he say there?"  I would laugh and feed him the lyric.  We had a very good working relationship.
It was a little later in life that I learned through a tutor training class that although its pretty easy for me to learn through all learning methods - visual, kinetic and auditory - that auditory is my strongest learning method...huh, go figure.  No wonder music appeals to me so much and why it seems so easy for me to pick up the lyrics.
One of my most favorite Canadian bands has the kind of music and lyrics I love to sing along to.  The band is The Trews.  These are down home boys that know how to have a good time.  Even their songs about heartbreak,  I Cant Stop Laughing for example, makes you want to party.  I think it must be because this is what most men do when they go through a break - up.  Women get together with their friends...eat, drink and cry.  Men go out with their friends eat, drink and laugh.  Oh just listen to the song....



Another song by The Trews I can really relate to is I'm Not Ready to Go.  This is because I hate to leave the party while it's still swinging.  My husband was not the same way.  He'd get tired and want to leave...I wasn't ready to go...take a listen.


I have been lucky enough to catch The Trews live 3 times now.  The last time just recently at Average Joe's Sports Bar in Lethbridge Alberta.  They did not disappoint .... as usual.  These guys had the packed joint rockin!  I got so caught up in the excitement that I forgot to take my usual place at the back and ended up right up in front of the stage, clapping and singing along!  Man, it was fucking hot...the music, the band and the temperature! 
They played all my favorites including Sing Your Heart Out, She's So Leaving, Paranoid Freak, Poor Ol' Broken Hearted Me, and many more including the two songs above and this one...my very favorite...Fleeting Trust.


The Lethbridge Fire Department Pipes and Drums joined The Trews for their song Highway of Heroes.  A heartfelt tribute to our fallen Canadian soldiers.  This song brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it...how could it not?  I'm going to share it as well below, because I think in this day and age, where war is prominent in almost every nation, we can all relate to it.


And I must admit the Lethbridge Fire Department Pipes and Drums really know how to rock!  They proved it when the joined The Trews once more to rock AC/DC's It's a Long Way To the Top if You Wanna Rock N Roll!!  It was fucking awesome....and The Trews lead singer Colin MacDonald nailed it so well that I now can't listen to AC/DC without thinking of The Trews!  It was a fucking great show, a great time and I can't wait for them to come back so I can check them out for the fourth time...... ; ) 

Check out more of The Trews and catch their links here http://www.thetrewsmusic.com/

The Poor Young Things from Toronto opened for The Trews and they know how to fucking rock too...I hope to showcase them in a blog soon.  In the meantime you can check them out here http://www.pooryoungthings.com/ 


Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Name's Johnny...just Johnny

For those of you who don't know yet...though, how could you possibly not know?....I have a wicked crush on Godsmack's sexy lead singer Sully Erna.  Well just let me say this, never before have I been so glad to be a Gemini!  You see, one of the personality traits of a Gemini is that they can actually love more than one person at a time.  This is a good thing for me, because if I now had to choose who to love....Sully Erna or Johnny JustJohnny...I would seriously be really fucking stuck.

Yes, that's right.  There's a new kid in town and he goes by the name Johnny....yeah, Johnny JustJohnny.  Johnny only has a couple of songs recorded but they turn me on so fucking much that every time I listen to them, I want to get naked with somebody....well okay, I want to get naked with him.  Not only does he have a classic hard rock sound that very much appeals to the rocker chick in me, but I find I really relate to the lyrics.  It's like Johnny has been living in my head and found the perfect method in which to express my thoughts.

His song The Way it Goes pretty much describes the kind of shit I'm going through personally right now. Here, click on the link and take a listen.....
The Way it Goes
That's right, I'm going through a divorce....my second.  So yeah, it kinda feels like I didn't learn my lesson the first time.  When Johnny says "Have you ever given thought to just staying down, before it happens again?"  Yeah Johnny, that's pretty much where I'm at now. Staying down doesn't have to be a bad thing...let him win, I'm tired of the fight....I think I might try smiling for awhile.  I've seriously been thinking of not getting back up on the horse....whoa, wait a minute, that's not right....I still have every intention of continuing to "ride bronc" if you know what I mean.  I guess I just don't want to own the horse any longer....I'll still take the wild ride, just let someone else water and feed it. 

Smiling sure sounds good but some days though, that is still difficult.  You see, my husband and I agreed to stay together until the kids (twin boys) graduated high school....that happens in June of this year.  So....here we are living in the same house but no longer wanting to be with one another.  Besides the obvious discomfort of living with someone who looks completely different from the person you fell in love with there is a greater discomfort.  That's right, no sex....for about a year.  Now because we are still living together and still have some semblance of respect for each other there have also been no extra marital affairs.   Now, I'm a very sensual woman and I appreciate the pleasures that sex brings.  Let me be blunt (like I even know what subtlety is),  what that means for me is well, a lot of masturbation.

That brings me to Johnny's second song.  Listen to Good Time.....
Good Time
I almost don't have to touch myself when I hear this song....it gets me that fucking hot!  And yes Johnny is definitely the one that's "on my mind."  But sadly, masturbation only goes so far....every time I listen I want to reach out, grab a hold of him, rip off his clothes and....well that's a story for the other blog I write.

Speaking of writing blogs....Johnny does that too.  And like the way he makes music, he does it very well.  He manages to turn what must have been his mothers worst nightmare into a hilarious lighthearted look at his childhood antics.....yeah, little Johnny Knuckles may have been the devil himself.  The link to this blog is below....you gotta check it out!

It's amazing how music comes to us right when we need it. Johnny's came to me at just the perfect moment in my life.  His songs validate the way I feel, giving me control at a time when things seem to be spinning away.  His sexy style turns me on and I wonder if he really is good at everything he does.  I can't get enough of Johnny JustJohnny, which definitely brings to mind a Bad Company song ~ Can't Get Enough.
Well I take whatever I want, and baby I want you
you give me something I need, now tell me I got something for you
That's right Johnny, I'm singing to you.  This summer this wannabe cowgirl is going to need a bronc to break...literally....come here, baby....... ; )

Check out Johnny's blog as well his other links.
johnnyjustjohnny.com
Johnny JustJohnny on facebook
Johnny JustJohnny on twitter

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Kottonmouth Kings

I have a bone to pick with the Kottonmouth Kings.  It has nothing to do with their music.  That fucking rocks.  It's not because many.....okay a fucking lot.....okay all....of their lyrics have to do with legalizing or smoking weed.  Roll up motherfuckers.  It's not because I have anything personally against any of the members of the band.  You don't get any fucking cooler than D -Loc, Daddy X, Johnny Richter, The Dirtball, Lou Dog, DJ Bobby B, and Tax Man. No, the bone I have to pick with the Kottonmouth Kings has to do with $102.72 (CAD), a head of burnt hair and grave disappointment.
The Kottonmouth Kings are a perfect example of how an Independent band can see real success.  They have been making music for more than 15 years.  In that time they have sold more than 2 million albums and have had more than 50 million views on Youtube.  And they did it without the help of the music industry. In fact they created their own music industry.  They’re completely self-empowered, overseeing every aspect of their career from production, videos, Web sites, and merchandise.  Daddy X and Kings manager Kevin Zinger have built a highly successful independent label, Suburban Noize Records, to market and distribute their music, as well as promoting and distributing other artists such as HED PE, Kingsspades, Big b, Saigon, La Coka Nostra.
Their music, as I stated previously seems to have a theme....the legalization and the freedom to smoke marijuana.  And though I'm in agreement with them on that particular point it isn't the only reason I listen.  I continue to listen to the Kottonmouth Kings because there is a social wisdom in their words.  In fact, I have decided that in my next residence one of the design factors in one of my rooms....probably the living room...will have Kottonmouth King lyrics written on the wall.  The song is Think for Yourself ft the Insane Clown Posse and the lyric is:

Think for yourself, man...don't do like they do
It's a sick world....you just gotta stay true
Stay true and everything will be cool
You gotta blaze your own trails and make your own rules

 I mean, how fucking brilliant is that?  (Check out the full video at the end of this blog)  If our schools taught our children how to think instead of how to conform, think of how many great leaders would be churned out for us every fucking year.  But here I am getting political when this blog isn't supposed to be about politics.  I just can't fucking help it...The Kings certainly incite political thinking and start a fire within me that is sometimes hard to contain.  But let's get back to why I am pissed at this band.
A couple of months ago  I was in the process of coloring my hair...I am a natural blonde but as I get older I find the vibrancy of the color of my hair needs a little help.  Anyway, I was coloring my hair when my sons came out of basement to announce to me that the Kottonmouth Kings were coming to Lethbridge.  My answer was "bullshit."  Why would the Kings come to Lethbridge?  "No mom, really!  We saw it on the sign for The Stone!"  The Stone is a small nightclub in Lethbridge.  Now I really didn't believe them. "So you're trying to tell me the Kottonmouth Kings are not only coming to Lethbridge, but they are playing The Stone?  Not possible.  You saw something wrong....what were you smoking?"
They insisted so out comes the laptop to look it up and no shit...there it is, the Kottonmouth Kings scheduled to play The Stone at the end of January.  Holy Fuck!  The dye in my hair and the timer forgotten, I am now on the computer buying tickets to go see the Kottonmouth Kings.  Three tickets for a total of $102.72 (CAD) including fees and taxes, not bad at all.  I had my tickets!!  Then I realized I still had the dye in my hair....needless to say, a full head of hair fried!  I didn't care....well I did but was too happy to be sad about the hair at this point.  The concert was scheduled 2 weeks before my twins birthday.  The birthday that would make them legal to walk into the bar, so they went to work on their phoney ID's.  Yeah that's right...my kids think for themselves too and before you judge my parenting skills, keep in mind the show was two fucking weeks before their birthday and they didn't already have phoney ID's!  Then a couple of weeks before the show we discover the sign is changed outside The Stone.  The Kottonmouth Kings name is removed....back to the computer.  The Kottonmouth Kings have an apology that at this time they will not be able to make their Canadian dates (only 2 by the way) but tickets will be honored to see their replacements.  I won't say the name of the replacement band because though I am a big fan of supporting Indie music, I had bought tickets to the Kottonmouth Kings and I was not interested in seeing anyone else.  I went to the site I had purchased my tickets and saw very clearly...all sales final, no refunds.  Okay, now I'm pissed...my hair is fried, I'm out $102.72 and the kids efforts to make phoney ID's is wasted time!  So yeah...I got a bone to pick with the Kottonmouth Kings if they ever do cross my path.  Hmmm, I wonder how that would go down......
this is the dream sequence part of the blog...squiggly lines and weird slide whistle noises.....

I am home and hear a knock on the door.  I open the door and discover the Kottonmouth Kings standing at the door.
Daddy X:  Hey Cat, we want to talk about you hatin on us in your blog.
D-Loc: Yeah!
Rest of Kottonmouth King backing up with grumbles of agreement.
Me: Oh yeah?  Well I got a bone to pick with you too.  Please come in and have a seat. (I'm still Canadian...I'm gonna be polite, no matter what).

In walks Daddy X, D-Loc, Johnny Richter, The Dirtball, Lou Dog, DJ Bobby B, and Tax Man, taking seats on the sectional and the various chairs around the room.  Tax Man is shooting me evil looks and though he is very intimidating, I am strong and stare him back down.  Before we get to business I take out my bag and start to roll a fatty....it's the fucking Kottonmouth Kings...you gotta know I'm gonna smoke one with them!  Once the "ceremonial piece pipe" has been passed around...several times...and the room is filled with aromatic smoke we get to business.

 Daddy  X: We're sorry we couldn't make the show in January, Cat.  It was due to forces beyond our control.
Me: Yeah, I understand...I was just so disappointed because I was so excited I would see a Kottonmouth Kings show.  I'm a big fan.  You know, I'm gonna write your lyrics on my wall!
Daddy X: Yeah, we read that in your blog....excellent blog by the way...you're a really great writer!
Me: Thank you!!  I love writing about music and you guys really have great music!
D-Loc: Thanks! That's so sweet of you to say!  And we're sorry about your hair too...you're really rockin the bald look though.
The Dirtball: Yeah, you have a very.....unusual shaped head.
I run my hand over the surface that used to be a full head of healthy long blonde hair
Me: Aw thanks guys. And no worries...it's only hair...it'll grow back.
Tax Man is now laughing, evil eye is gone, replaced by bloodshot slits.  I realize I really like Tax Man and laugh along with him.  I'm not sure what we are laughing at but I don't care.
Johnny Richter: And because of the financial loss you suffered we want to give you a private show for you and all your friends! - Okay I might be getting a little carried away here....scratch that and lets try again.
Johnny Richter: And because of the financial loss you suffered we have 3 tickets for you and your boys for our show tonight!
Me: Fucking A, boys! I fucking love you guys!
Kottonmouth Kings in unison: We fucking love you too, Cat!

As I said earlier....this is a dream sequence...but who fucking knows...could happen, right?  If you haven't heard the Kottonmouth Kings, I've placed a couple of my favorites below and don't forget to check their website at http://www.kottonmouthkings.com/ ..............; )

 







Saturday, 25 February 2012

Baby, You Can Ring My Bell

I like to flirt.  It's fun. It makes me laugh and it gets me hot.  I especially like to flirt with sweet men who are clever, have a sense of humor and a dirty mind.  The best is when you don't actually come right out and say anything naughty, just imply it through innuendo.  I found I can play this fun filled game online with a number of sweet, humorous, dirty minded men. It's fun, it's harmless and the greatest part about playing online is, if there happens to be a Mrs. SweetCleverFunnyMan I can honestly say, "I never fucking touched him."
One of my favorites to play this game with is Paul Quigley. To twitter followers he is known as @HellsBelles_UK and is the front man for the band HellsBelles.  At this very moment I can hear stoners all across North America saying, "No way man, that chick's a dude?"  No I am not talking about the all chick AC/DC cover band.  I'm speaking of the Hell's Belles that rocked the United Kingdom in the 80's and was resurrected by Paul as HellsBelles in 2004. So, not only is he sweet, clever and humorous, he's a musician as well!  And anybody who knows anything about me knows that's only fuel for the fire! ....hehehe.
Now I could go on and talk about how fun Paul is to match wits with online but I want to let you know all about his band.  Hell's Belles was known as a cutting edge and powerful metal band in 1986, singles from their only album making it onto many rock compilation albums.  The band originally consisted of
  • Paul Quigley - vocals
  • Peter "Pooch" Purtill - guitar
  • Garry Maloney - drums
  • Gareth Holder - bass
At the time their sound was very new, mixing heavy metal with punk...their punk influence coming from Pooch and Garry Maloney, both former members of British hardcore punk band Discharge.  This genre would shortly thereafter expand to include heavy hitters such as Metallica.  Garry Maloney was replaced shortly after the bands inception by drummer Anthony 'Spiv' Smith, opting to return to his former band.  Although Hell's Belles were seeing some success, the band dissolved in 1987.
Paul missed rock n roll but didn't miss the fucking bullshit that comes with dealing with record labels.  When he decided to bring the band back to life, he also decided he would forgo the bullshit and promote their music himself.  Working as an independent the new HellsBelles has spent the last 5 years writing, recording and promoting themselves online through social media such as youtube, facebook and twitter.  The new HellsBelles, once again led by Paul consists of
  • Paul Quigley - vocals, guitars, keyboards
  • Ste Steadman - bass, cello, guitar
  • Barry Titler - drums, percussion
Using the same formula as the original band, in fact using the original rock n roll music formula of there aren't any fucking rules in rock n roll, anything goes, the new HellsBelles blend their influences together to create a new beast.  Let's face it...they have a fucking cello...how many metal/hard rock bands have a fucking cello?  You can check out the two songs HellsBelles has released for promotional promotional purposes while they continue to record their album.  (Why did they kill) Joe Hill is a perfect example of breaking the rules.  This acoustic ballad easily crosses over into easy listening and country.


Then hold on to your hats boys and girls because Abysinnian Demesne is full on hard rock, yeah baby!


The boys are in the studio now, recording and are set to release their third track Troubled Times in April 2012.  Then the ball starts rolling quickly...or the rolling stone, whichever metaphor works better for you...with the release of their EP  (3 or 4 tracks) due in May 2012 and a full album release slotted for June or July 2012!
I personally can't wait to hear what else HellsBelles has in store for us.  In the meantime though, I will continue my online discussions with Paul concerning the Keyboard Killer and Frothy Creamy Coffee and wait for their Tour Bus to show up for their North American Tour......; )

More information on HellsBelles here:
HellsBelles official website

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Gift I Want Most

The hardest blogs for me to write are the ones about the people I love the most.  No words seem sufficient enough to describe their awesomeness.  This is the second blog I've agonized over for a group of guys that I absolutely love!  Beside the fact that I have a huge crush on every fucking member of the band....I can't get enough of their music either.  The band is Gift of Destiny and the music is Metal, Punk, Hard Rock and now Funk....hell yeah, that's right baby, Gift of Destiny got da Funk!! 
I first heard of Gift of Destiny late last summer....I was creeping their website, and discovered a free download of Raise Some Hell - a single off their first album Throttle...hey wait....I wrote all this before...if you don't know Gift of Destiny or how much I fucking loved their first album please refer to my earlier blog  Oh My G.O.D. 
Gift of Destiny consists of Los - Vocals, Mikey - Guitars, Keyboards and Backing Vocals, B-Low - Bass and Jake - Drums and Backing Vocals.  I have nothing but the utmost admiration and respect for these guys musically!  They fucking rocked my world with their first album and now hmmm mmmm, they have released the Wednesday Sessions, 3 new songs that turn me on just as much!
Gift of Destiny is the kind of band that can appeal to almost everybody.  As mentioned above, they blend a number of different styles into a sound that is uniquely their own.  They are always going to be surrounded by women.  From my own point of view, they have an exciting sound that touches the most primal senses in me.  And I don't mean that tweenie "I wish he would kiss me" kinda feeling....seriously, every time I listen to them, I want to fuck someone.   I'm not talkin "Oooo baby, make love to me" either...I mean "Fuck baby, strip me down, pin me against the wall and take me!"
The hard driving rock of CIA is a perfect example of that....those beats, Jake...damn darlin, such energy! and in perfect rhythm!  Makes me wonder if that talent extends into other uh, more interactive activities!  Sing to me, Carlos, hmm mmm, I love the way your voice feels as it moves over me!  Very hot baby!  Oh, and then there's the guitar....oh my G.O.D!  Mikey, please baby...for just one night I want you to pretend I'm your guitar....ahem.....okay, maybe I shouldn't be listening as I write.  I don't know what it is about politically charged songs that turn me on so much....
Their sound will also appeal to young men.  Carlos has possession of rough heavy growling vocals that are  right in line with today's heavy metal style.  The Punk/Metal of This Is The Time is perfect for the mosh pit!  And the lyrics are just the right combination of angry and depressing to be appreciated by young males aged 15 - 30.  Having sons with whom this style of music does appeal to, I've developed an appreciation for it myself.  Good job, Gift of Destiny!
Well, I said they appeal to all kinds of rock and metal fans, so let's not leave out those who prefer the classics.  And yeah, I fall into that group as well.  I can't tell you how fucking excited I get when I hear these guys put their spin on Play that Funky Music.  Staying true to the original sound and rhythm....yeah, they kept the funk!!.....yet putting that metal Gift of Destiny stamp on it that makes it their song.  I seriously can't listen to this song and write at the same time.  When I hear it, I have to get up and dance...or boogie.....either way, I gotta move!
The boys are releasing these small sets of songs as they go...another one of the difficulties of being a small independent artist...recording time costs money.  So help them make more music by purchasing the music they have out there.  I urge you to buy Throttle and these 3 Wednesday Sessions songs they have just released.  Metal chicks...they'll fucking turn you on, I swear!  Metal guys...you'll love the fucking energy and vocals, really!  Rock fans...driving beats and fucking killer riffs...need I say more?  And for those to whom it doesn't appeal to at all...if you and I are on a date and you put on some Gift of Destiny, chances just increased ten fold that you are getting laid! 
Music and musicians do turn me on.  Gift of Destiny, the music and the men, do more than that for me.  They take me there...again...and again.........; )

Here's their links:
Gift of Destiny official website
Gift of Destiny on myspace
Gift of Destiny on reverbnation
Buy Throttle on cd baby
Buy Throttle and Wednesday Sessions on iTunes
Gift of Destiny on twitter
Gift of Destiny on facebook

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Support Kick Ass Music

Hi Everyone...It's Saturday, and Saturday is when I'm supposed to have a new blog post here!  Guess what?  I'm still fucking working on it!  So hopefully within a day or two I will have an awesome review done for some very good friends who happen to fucking rock my world!!
Feel free to take this opportunity to look over some of my archives....really good stuff in there.  Take your time and be sure to check out all the links I left for you throughout these articles.  Or......
Check out the review I posted at Support Kick Ass MusicCupla is a new rockin alternative rock band out of Vancouver, BC and I fucking love them! Follow the link and find out how much.  There are a lot of great articles, videos and links at Support Kick Ass Music too, so browse around, check them out!
Have fun, take care and don't forget to drop back for that fucking awesome review that I will have posted soon.......; )


Saturday, 4 February 2012

Dallas is Worth the Green

On January 24, The Low Anthem opened for City and Colour at the Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre in Medicine Hat Alberta and I was lucky enough to be there.  Lucky because not only was it a fucking incredible concert, but also because I won 2 tickets to the show.  That's right, Lethbridge's radio Rock 106.7 came through for me again.  Thanks again Vince and Rosie!  I don't care what anyone else says...you guys rock!!
This free show ended up costing $215! And it was worth every fucking penny!  Let me explain...
Way back in November it was announced that City and Colour would be playing the Esplanade in Medicine Hat.  Our local Lethbridge rock radio station Rock 106, was "beating the box-office."  I happened to be the right caller so to win tickets I had to name four colours that begin with a vowel.  Well, with a little help from DJ's Vince and Rosie I won the tickets! - the guys didn't give me the answers, just hints....hey it's hard, you try it.
I was very excited to go.  The Esplanade is a playhouse and therefore has theater seating, complete with an upper balcony.  Now, if you've been reading me for awhile, you'll know how much I hate the thought of sitting through a concert!  Not so for this concert or venue.  City and Colour is more music you sway to than dance to and the acoustics in the Esplanade are fucking incredible!  In fact I believe that one or two of the songs on Chris Cornell's Songbook album were recorded live at the Esplanade. So for an acoustic, poetic band like City and Colour this venue is perfect.
I couldn't wait to tell my friend, Rachel, that I had won tickets!  She had been at the Esplanade for Chris Cornell...front row center no less.  I also knew she loved City and Colour and she would be excited for me.  My tickets were in the 10th row on the main level.  Not that you can get bad seats at the Esplanade but I thought they were pretty damn good!
She was excited for me, then she told me she had bought over bought tickets for the same concert.  She had purchased 2 second row tickets and then discovered first row tickets were available, so she picked those up, hoping to sell her second row tickets. Considering I had won two tickets, I was planning on taking my son, Moe.  He's a huge Dallas Green fan - Dallas Green - City and Colour - get it?  It was Moe who had introduced me to Dallas Green's music - City and Colour, Alexisonfire, and The Grace, a Neverending White Lights song featuring Dallas Green.  I figured if I picked up Rachel's extra two tickets, then Moe's twin brother Marco along with his girlfriend of three years could go too.  And let's face it...I'd rather be in the second row than in the tenth! At $60 a ticket, I was now in for $120.
The next week, Rachel and I were talking again about the concert.  This time she tells me, her husband would rather not go.  So now she has an extra first row ticket!  My mind starts working...now Moe can bring a date and I can sit in the first row! There's another $60.  Still a hell of a deal.  Five of us get to go for only $180....that's almost half price! And I get the FIRST ROW!!!
When we arrive at the Esplanade, half an hour before they open the theater doors, we hit the merchandise table right away!  Dallas Green must already be rich, because he practically gives his merchandise away.  I picked up a T-shirt for $15 - I rarely see them priced below $25 or $30 at a concert - and a CD for $5 - normally around $20.  The Low Anthem are a little hungrier...their prices were a little higher...I paid $15 for their CD - still a little less than you'd normally pay at a concert. So there we are, $215 later.  Now let me tell you why it was worth every fucking penny!
I had never heard of The Low Anthem before. The band comes from Providence Rhode Island and consists of Ben Knox Miller, Jeff Prystowsky, Jocie Adams, Mike Irwin and Tyler Osborne.  I watched fascinated as they moved around the stage, each picking up and playing a multitude of different instruments throughout the show.  I was in awe!  Since hearing them, they have become one of my very favorite folk bands.  The simplicity and honesty of the music and the message in the lyrics is what captures me right away.  The songs speak of happiness and gratefulness for gifts from a spiritual or earthly plane, not the material desires that so many of us get caught up in pursuing in our day to day rat races.  It's fucking beautiful!    During the intermission I went to the lobby to use the rest room and happened upon Ben signing autographs at their merchandise table...yeah, of course I got my CD autographed.
I think if it had only been The Low Anthem I would have felt I got my moneys worth, but then City and Colour took the stage!  Dallas Green is fucking incredible.  He calls his music folk, but it's like no other folk music I've ever heard.  New genre? Modern Folk?  Who knows....all I know is it's so fucking hauntingly beautiful, it can easily bring tears to your eyes.
Apparently a lot of their songs are in different tuning because in between many of the songs the band would pause to tune their guitars.  These quiet moments gave the audience the opportunity to yell affectionate greetings to Dallas.  He responded in good humor, even when the voices proclaiming their love were deep male voices.  When a couple of women from opposite sides of the playhouse each insisted they loved him more than the other, he responded with, "It's not a competition, people."
About half way through their performance, the band took a short break and we had Dallas and his guitar to ourselves.  Before beginning his song, he asked the audience to do him one favor.  He asked that everyone put their cell phones down.  For just one song, not to worry about taking pictures or video.  He spoke about how we get so caught up in trying to record the moment to enjoy it later that we forget to enjoy it while it's happening.  So for just one song, to be present with him in the moment, for just one song to just sit back and enjoy the music.  After that we could go back to happily snapping away.  His words made so much fucking sense to me that I did him one better and put my cell phone away for the rest of the concert.  I'm glad I did.  When the band joined him on stage again, they played my very favorite song by City and Colour, Fragile Bird! Without the distraction of trying to get the perfect picture, I enjoyed him and the music that much more!  I'm going to remember his words for other concerts and events as well.  I wouldn't expect that I would learn a life lesson at a concert but there it is.  You're a wise man Dallas Green.  Thank you for the simple lesson to live in the moment as it happens........; )


Check them out for yourself
The Low Anthem
The Low Anthem official website
The Low Anthem on facebook
The Low Anthem on Twitter
The Low Anthem channel on YouTube

City and Colour
City and Colour official website
City and Colour on facebook
City and Colour on Twitter
City and Colour on myspace
City and Colour Videos channel on YouTube
City and Colour on soundcloud

Neverending White Lights
The Grace,

Alexisonfire
Alexisonfire channel on YouTube