Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Tizzies and stuff happening

TWO EVENTS YESTERDAY made the news and drove people into tizzies. Wait a second .... tizzies? Let's change that up a bit and call it "The Tizzies" and announce a world tour, because a band called The Tizzies must be the bomb.

Anyway, there was a shooting at Fourth and Maine about 8 a.m. A woman from Iowa allegedly fired an alleged gun into an alleged vehicle as the vehicle allegedly tried to get away. Instantly there was police tape and flashing sirens and news crews driving 100 mph an entire block to get exclusive coverage. Then the social media outrage and rumor mill started overflowing, just like a Mississippi River town with drainage problems.

Calm down, web warriors. It's not good and I'm not saying we shouldn't wonder, but QPD made an arrest and people kept turning left onto Fourth Street from Maine. Wrong place, wrong time is my guess on what happened.

A few hours later there was a natural gas leak from a house just a few blocks from where we live. More news crews rushing up streets, more firetrucks and flashing lights and Ameren crews asking for permission to go into basements - wait, that's us at Fifth and Maine once a week, never mind. People were evacuated from homes and yes, this was serious stuff and I'm glad nobody got sick or blown up.

Five years ago, it would have meant a busy morning. Now it's just stuff that is happening and you wonder about it and move on, because selling guitars and giving lessons is every day life, and that's what matters.

Here's to hoping today is much quieter, at least outside of Fifth and Maine. Inside we have tons of guitar lessons and people getting school band instruments and the general music store mayhem.

So keep me posted on what happens in the real world.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

High hopes

THE BEAUTIFUL THING about teaching guitar is being exposed to different music. My students learn everything from Metallica to Taylor Swift. I love hearing songs from people we've never heard of, and I'm not talking about the latest pretty face or hunky beard.

I have students who come up with the most interesting groups and songs. One of them suggested a song by the band Kodaline - I learned some of their songs a while back and they are unbelievable. Why am I not listening to them more often?

Then I stumbled on this video of their song "High Hopes." Warning - it's graphic and disturbing and heart-wrenching and ultimately a story of love trumping evil. Pun intended, of course.

Fitting for our times.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

New places for gigs

PLAYING A SHOW at a new venue or new event is always a treat. This weekend I get to do it not once, but twice.

On Friday night, Cori Lyssy and I are playing in the Treehouse behind Electric Fountain Brewing as part of Grown N Gathered's event. Happy Hour is open to the public from 5:30 to 7, and dinner reservations are required after that as Chef Micheal Mitchell is creating his version of turkey, lamb and beef dishes. If you haven't eaten his creations, I wouldn't wait - he is amazing.

On Saturday the Cheeseburgers are playing in Macomb at the Flatland Summer Jam in Veterans Park. The Cheeseburgers are just a good-time party band, so for us to be part of a music festival playing with other bands and doing a 90-minute set in the afternoon is really special. We are going to pull out a few old tricks to go with our usual sing-along jam songs, and the nice thing about playing only 90 minutes is that we can pretty much go all out the whole time.

I know of some Quincy people making the 70-mile trip, and I'm hoping Emily Hart is over her Thailand jet lag so she can enjoy the show. There is no charge to enter, though I believe parking is $5 at the park. You can take a free shuttle from just a few minutes away.

The Cheeseburgers are coming off an incredible summer. Our last few gigs, starting with the Washington Park show last month, have been a blast. Last Saturday night we were at an outdoor wedding reception near Coatsburg and the party was on from the first note. A beautiful night on a nice stage with happy people means rock and roll heaven for us! Congrats to Andrew and Aimee Gunther, great people with great friends. It was an honor to play at your reception and we had more fun than should be allowed.

As always, please do your best to get out and support live and local music, no matter what the venue or event. We live to rock and roll, and we'll sleep when we are dead!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Red Wings aren't the right

THESE IDIOTS MARCHING in Virginia over the weekend are just that - idiots. A pile of dung has more integrity and brains. Sure, let's just grab Tiki torches, wooden sticks, pepper spray and shields. Let's chant Nazi slogans and drive into people that are counter protesting you. Let's then claim you are not racist. Whatever. World wars were fought to stop this kind of racism, Civil Wars were fought to stop this kind of racism. What century are we living in?

One of the things these alt right psychos (Alt Right Psychos would be a great band name) did was use the Detroit Red Wings logo and convert it into the Right Wing logo. This REALLY ticked me off. I mean, being ignorant and evil is one thing - using one of my favorite sports teams as your symbol of ignorance and evil? Geesh. Dr. Evil himself just called Mini Me and denounced you, Alt Rights.

The real and only logo.
I think the Detroit Red Wings need to sue these Alt Right idiots for copyright infringement. Tiki Torches released a statement denouncement the use of their product during the marches. Good for them. I'd sue the Alt Rights for every penny they do or do not have.

So today, I am wearing my new Detroit Red Wings shirt as a symbol of protest against the Nazi/White Supremacist "protesters." Shit heads. Why couldn't you have picked a seal or a porcupine or a sloth or something?

You Right Wings just don't get it. And you can't use my favorite logo, either.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thailand and staying home

A MONTH AGO Emily announced she was going to Thailand for a week. Just like that. "Dad, I'm going to Thailand." Why? "Because my friend is going and she invited me and it sounded like fun."

Man ... to be 25 and have the summer off and to just go wherever. Of course when she gets back she has three days to get ready for the first day of teaching at Western Illinois University.

She's young. Jet lag ain't a big deal.

Any traffic cones in Thailand?
In contrast, Sheryl and I have decided to stay in Quincy on Labor Day Weekend. I'm tempted to fly to Phoenix for the annual Hart Sibling Summit, and there's always Michigan to visit and a beach to sit on.

I can't remember the last time we had more than one day off at home. For us, by the time you fly or drive, hang out for a day or two, and come home, you are wiped out and need a vacation to recover from your vacation.

There's something about home, and something about having more than one day off at home. Rock on, world travelers. I'll toast you from the backyard both Sunday and Monday, of Labor Day Weekend and hopefully wake up Tuesday ready to rock again.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Humor up the .... well, you know

RANDY PHILLIPS IS one of the most creative and funniest people we know. His wife, Marcy, is having a colonoscopy today. So they've created an event on Facebook and posting updates.

I've never laughed so hard in my life.

The procedure has started .....
Look. A colonoscopy is nothing to laugh off or take lightly. I had one a year or so ago. The night before wasn't pleasant, but the rest was easy, and I've never had such a good nap after eating a large pizza. Once you hit 50, get checked. It's pretty simple and can save your life.

Randy and Marcy know this is serious. But why not have fun with it? Yes, this is adult humor, but there's no nasty language or people sticking middle fingers in your face. I consider it good clean fun. After the night of 1,000 waterfalls, as the prep is called, everything is good clean fun.

In a world of social media liars, grinding cable news shows and being forced to watch Tiny House Hunters, it's refreshing to look at a serious subject and have some fun with it. Nobody is getting hurt, unless you count spraining your spleen from laughing so hard.

Here is Randy's Facebook page. I'm not sure if "Marcy's Colonoscopy" is public or if you have to be Facebook friends. Check it out if you can. And get checked out if you are 50 or older.

We want you around so we can all laugh ourselves silly in a serious and insane world.