Just Sailin’ Across the Breeze

I really enjoy seeing snippets from the morning news broadcasts displaying people enjoying the beach, lickin’ sno-cones, smacking golf balls into unfindable territory and sailboats giving a sense of scope to an otherwise endless blue horizon.

Speaking of the latter, my Dad owned a small (10 feet at best) Sunfish sailboat during the 1970’s leading to my teenage siblings and my sub-teenage self to think it’d be a swell idea to take the Sunfish out to various local lakes and sail away the day.  Conceptually, this struck the unsuspecting eight year old me as a great adventure and just the thing to do.

Having unsafely strapped the hull of our noble vessel to the top of my Dad’s station wagon and storing the various other needed accoutrements (mast, sail, rudder, etc…) in the rear of the vehicle, we set off. Arriving at the lake with all equipment intact and incurring no injuries to the general public thus far we felt emboldened to put ourselves and our assumedly seaworthy ship in the water. (I like how my Dad figured this expedition dangerous to the point where he was willing to let me go out there but only under the condition that I wore a life vest.)  Being too young to understand that the vest shoulda set off warning flags in my head we headed off onto the lake in a sailboat that The Three Stooges would’ve considered overloaded.

At first everything was progressing famously what with the slight breeze, open water and Admiral Tom competently manning the sail ropes while steering us to a triumphant trip upon an unimpeachably pleasant cruise.  That’s when the weather came up.

When the first high winds of the oncoming thunderstorm hit the sail of the Sunfish, we capsized with what I would call “authority”.  A mighty struggle ensued involving the crew flipping our now upside-down (and only means of transportation) back to it’s original state minus the mast and sail. (They’re probably still sitting at the bottom of the lake.)

Alertly sensing danger, Mom and Dad vehemently encouraged us to hang on to a vessel I now refer to as the “Andrea Doria” then swim back to shore in spite of sudden and strong lightning strikes.  Therefore, I made a few decisions about one or two aspects of my future life…

  1. Being violently thrown overboard from a vessel of any size has a high uncoolness factor.
  2. I gained a sudden preference for motor-driven vessels when it comes to water-involved means of transportation.
  3. Never trust any member of my family again when they say stuff like “It’ll be fine” or “What could possibly go wrong?”

Anyway, I stumbled upon a few videos from the blues/country categories strangely based on themes for a TV show. If that’s what it takes to keep The Blues going then count me in…

Here’s a tremendous band called the Forest Rangers doing a number called “John the Revelator” followed by an equally impressive number dubbed “Forever Young” each featuring a different lead vocalist.

See u on down the road…

Jimmy

 

 

 

Back in the High Life Again

OK. Back again after my yearly bout with anemia and willing, even eager to write about the usual goofy stuff I usually, umm, goofily write about. Let’s start with the usual s#%t with the morning news wherein we’re kept up to date as to the weather, the current political atmosphere, who got murdered or otherwise mauled last night and personal interest stories about celebrities getting outta control and fake doctors who somehow manage to put themselves in a postion to conduct “inappropriate breast exams”.

The fake doctor thing got me thinking.  What, exactly, do you need to do to pass yourself off as a physician without having any qualifications whatsover? Television commercials are helpful here as they seem to imply that all you need is a white lab coat, a stethoscope and a concerned demeanor. Additionally, you’ll be needing a sterile office environment complete with an unwitting administative assistant, bogus diplomas and posters displaying the more subtle points of the human anatomy (intimidating patients with an actual skeleton hanging from a metal rack’ll will really sell the effect here.  It sure works on me.)

All in all, I never appreciated what it takes to be a molesting doctor before.  These guys have really put in the effort here. Good luck in prison block B!

Next, will the next rock n’ roll icon please start developing a drug habit? Seriously, outside of Ted Nugent, Angus Young and Gene Simmons I couldn’t name ya any rock stars from the 70’s that were sober. I always considered that era the time of innovation, progress, setting higher standards and getting as f^&$ed up as possible. Currently, this era seems hell bent on staying as milquetoast, unpioneering  and uninteresting as can be, valuing a technically proficient hand superior to an inspired one.

I’ll take the Ramones blasting the hell outta their garage any day of the week.

Jimmy

 

 

 

 

 

They Called Him Flipper

I saw a story this morning about a wounded dolphin that was rescued and nursed back to health under high scrutiny by his/her handlers.  This is what humanity likes about itself insomuch as one dolphin can be saved while 5,000 are caught and die in fishing nets each year seeing as they’re suddenly denied the privilege of surfacing for air. What’s the term for that again? I think it’s called “collateral damage” where the dolphins are considered expendable for the sake of our seafood dining.

But I digress. The wounded dolphin was immediately dubbed “Flipper”. I for one think this reflects poorly on our species in as much as we can’t improve on the badly overused, stereotypical moniker already employed by the old TV show and the Miami Dolphins mascot.  I wonder what the actual wild, free-roaming porpoises think about this every time one is caught. (BTW-Are dolphins the same thing as porpoises?) Imagine this conversation:

Amy the Friendly Dolphin (halting her frolicking for a moment): “Omigod, This is a disaster! Gus just caught by the humans! What’re we gonna do?”

Stan the Dolphin: “Damn straight it’s a disaster. He owes me fifty bucks.  Well, I guess he’s ‘Flipper’ from now on.”

I’m writing this while semi-watching the Golden Globe awards wherein it seems that suddenly famous people who built their careers based on taking chances are so averse to doing so now. Just a thought, but Bill Murray, Dave Chapelle and Daniel Tosh r still out there folks. Whoa! Hold the proverbial phone here but not only one yet two award recipients (the second being Christian Bale) just got bleeped (was the first Ben Stiller?) in an unexpected development.  I was mostly expecting preachy, self-serving speeches (one so far) about various issues that I coulda made fun of but won’t cuz I’m admittedly starting to change my tune so as to fall in with our brainwashed Hollywood elite. (Being seen not applauding during a celebrity’s self-righteous, indignant speech can really bring trouble to the uncooperative actor.) Not falling for that trap, my friends!

Turning to another point, I’m getting a little sick of my local news channel suddenly interrupting your “regular programming” with “breaking news” that ultimately winds up being a big pile of nuthin’. I don’t mind waiting ’til five o’clock to hear this stuff, man.

If you haven’t already noticed this is a placeholder column until (proud to say our third writer) Kate’s music column is up and ready to go. On this site, anything goes. (Anybody a cartoonist? I’d love to have one man, even if other people think u stink.)

Stay tuned.

Jimmy

 

 

Bohemian Rhapsody-Redux

Chuck came up with some great commentary on the Queen/Freddy Mercury movie in response to the film and my own recent review.  Check it out.

Jimmy

Here’s Chuck’s slant…

I haven’t had a chance to write up a full review for the blog, but my take on it was that it was decent. Not great, but not horrible. On the plus side, Rami Malek was fantastic as Freddie Mercury. He elevated the entire film. He didn’t so much “play” Mercury. He became him. It was a marvel to watch. Another huge plus was the dead on recreation of their set at Live Aid. Everything about that scene was so authentic. My favorite part of the film. And of course, the music was stellar. Some of the greatest stuff ever recorded.

On the down side, the dialogue was hackey in places. The pace was too slow in some places. The timeline of their music was off in some places. (IE. Fat Bottomed Girls didn’t come out until 3 years after their first American tour).  They got a ton of facts wrong. ( IE. He didn’t tell them he was HIV positive until 2 years after Live Aid).  The other actors were bland. (Which, maybe, was the point in comparison to Freddie’s personality). The guy playing Roger Taylor drove me crazy. Taylor has a very (very!) high pitched speaking voice. This guy, um, did not. I cringed every time he spoke. Mike Myers was a little unnecessary. (We get that he used Bohemian Rhapsody in Wayne’s World).

I do get your point about them not focusing on May and Taylor and Deacon more. You and I are rock music nerds and would have loved to have seen a deeper dive into the 3 of them. But most of the movie ticket buying populace aren’t rock music nerds. No way this film makes half a billion dollars if it dove deeply into the life of Brian May. (It likely doesn’t even get made). Freddie is who people wanted to see.

Overall, in terms of stars, I’m right there with you, but for different reasons. 2 ½ out of 4.

Chuck

 

Bohemian Rhapsody-A Movie Review

Queen.  (The band, not the monarch.) Tailors of the triumphantly sonic rock sound stemming from their inception in the early seventies that so many of the second-stringers coming behind them found to be a band not only uncopiable but still mythical in many ways.  Subtle yet dynamic, alternatively humble and bold, honest but still occasionally playful in their sound they used their jazz/blues/classical and God knows whatever other musical roots to bring rock to it’s theatrical zenith.

But this isn’t an assessment of the band but rather the recent movie so let’s go…

I was initially stunned by the resemblance between the actors and the original Queen members (Hey! That guy looks just like Brian May!) for instance. This really helped supply the effect that I was now immersed in Queen-World but the movie as a whole has an annoying tendency to skip this initial platform of credibility and throw away a beautiful opportunity to establish and recognize the tightness the members of the group used to establish themselves as one thing, irreversible and continuous.

When I plunked myself in my seat I was happily expecting a flick about Queen but it quickly became apparent that I was watching a biopic centered around lead singer Freddie Mercury with only occasional references to why we listened to Queen in the first place.

Here’s where I started losing interest.

If your interested in Freddy Mercury himself then your in business. This film dives into his personal life highlighting his personal, conflicted relationships eventually leading to the near destruction of the thing he loved most, writing songs and performing them with the guys who took him in as a brother and stood by Freddy even when his ego got the better of him. While this movie runs two hours and fifteen minutes, plenty of time to give you a sense of Queen’s overall talent, little of that time was used to establish the most critical portion of Freddy’s life.  While I admit that Elvis Presley would have been a famous talent without the benefit of the innovative guitarist Scotty Moore, it sure didn’t hurt to have him around. Would Freddy’s superb talent ever been known if it wasn’t for the utterly unique sound of Brian May’s laser-like guitar, Roger Taylor’s huge pioneering drum effect and Fred Deacon’s whizbang bass (as well as songwriting from these three)?

That’s what I was expecting and got nothing but a few glimpses as to why Queen worked at all. Where I was expecting light, I got darkness, I don’t mean that metaphorically though. It seemed that half this venture was deliberately filmed in dimly lit locations like an Orson Welles picture.

The final scene of the movie actually delivers the sound and power that Queen is famous for but why did I have to wait two hours for delivery? Given that the musical advisors were original members Roger Taylor and Brian May, it’s mystifying they’d let this great music be tamped down, volumeless where volume was needed and unspectactular when spectactulerness was so easily within grasp. When I mentioned this to my daughter she agreed speculating that putting Queen’s stunning sound out there at the movie’s early points would’ve lessened the effect at the end. She’s probably right but she’s also seventeen years old and wasn’t available to hear this group in it’s proper time.

I was. We both gave Bohemian Rhapsody 2 1/2 stars out of four. Here’s two original promo videos that Queen provided in the seventies.  I’ll ask you to please watch so you can see what I’m driving at here and don’t forget to hit on MAMEMAGAZINE.COM for more music-oriented content and as always, thanks for reading…

Jimmy

 

 

 

 

All the News That’s Unfit to Print

Hey, hey and Ho, Ho Dear readers! Lotsa stuff to get to today so let’s dispense with the niceities and proceed right to the usual buffoonery…

I saw in the news recently where there was a lady who had the power go out in her house and sensibly fumbled her way into the cellar to find and subsequently light a candle in order to gain some light thus enabling her to see where she was going and generally provide light to her now very small world.  Sound thinking, right? Well, these apparently simple tasks sometimes come with an unforeseen downside as we all know and this case is especially noteworthy as the “candle” she was trying to light was in reality a stick of dynamite.

Don’t get me wrong here, as a fellow citizen who also tucks my candles into the same type of drawers and in the same normally sensible proximity to dynamite I see this is as a triumph of the American Will. I ask you my fellow Americans, in what other country is it OK to accidently risk blowing your block to kingdom come while inciting references to Bugs Bunny and The Three Stooges?  No country that I wanna live in and that’s for damn sure.  (To our friends at the NSA who’re obviously reading this now that I used the word “dynamite”, I’m just goofin’ around here man)

Speaking of The Three Stooges, I normally refrain from commenting on people’s personal appearance because I’m a fine one to talk but I recently came across a guy who’s toupee reminded me of Moe Howard’s hairdo (“Hey Moe! It’s a tarantula!!)

Next up, why do people who had a sufficient amount of dozing say that they “slept like a baby”?  What’re u trying to tell me, that you woke up screaming every three hours?

Having seen the two previous posts, my daughter is trying to straighten me out on the state of modern music in apparent hopes that I’ll embrace some of the newer bands. If u consider her as Lisa Simpson and me as Homer you’ll get the idea that she’s usually right about alotta stuff and this time I want in on the ground floor. In this, the first case she confronted me with will be a band called “Cage the Elephant”. Having listened to their “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked”, they appear to me to be a cross between Run DMC and Paul Revere and the Raiders but form your own impressions with the video supplied below…

Jimmy  

American Vacation

Summer!! Yep, time to fly kites, explore beaches, mountains, enjoy concerts and over- order at local seaside restaurants to the point where Donald Trump would have to go scrambling through his pockets to pay the bill. ‘Tis the season where shark attacks, excessive mosquito activity, trying to mentally nullify fireworks while dead asleep at 3 o’clock in the morning and daydreaming that yer kid’s ballgame doesn’t go into overtime before your eyes melt in their sockets.

As u can tell, I can be a bit of a pessimist from time to time so let’s here a Jersey report from the sunnier, more optimistic Chuck who loves summer and would never do anything to traumatize his kids…

Jimmy

“On one of the days of our recent vacation, I took the family out for a nice breakfast.  After breakfast, we all got back to the house and my three daughters (ages 19, 13 and 7) all piled out of the back of our minivan. As the last one got out and closed the sliding door on the van, I looked at Diane, smiled, and punched the gas as hard as I could. Diane and I go, tires spinning, ripping away from the house like we were fleeing a bank robbery. The sight of the completely stunned girls getting smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror was, well, let’s just say it was pretty great. And before anyone calls Child Services on us, we just went around the block and went right back to the house where they were all still standing. And laughing.”

Chuck

I hadda complimentary response to Chuck’s fine tale all ready to go and that I was gonna post until I saw an item in the mail today from a place called “AA”.  Thinking quickly (as I naturally assumed that Alcoholics Anonymous had finally caught up to me all these decades later), I packed my bags and got ready to “get the hell outta Dodge” so to speak. As it turns out, “AA” in this case means the “AA-Vehicle Notification Department” out of Plano, TX who kindly advised me (and I quote) “Our records indicate that you have not contacted us to have the vehicle service contract for your vehicle uploaded”.  Further, “Your file on this vehicle will be deleted and you may no longer be eligible for this offer regarding service coverage after 8/20/18.”

Which raises a few questions…

How can these characters go around using the term “AA”? I thought it was copyrighted by the aforementioned Alcoholics Anonymous. Is this a subliminal message to all the perceived miscreants on planet to sign up for this buffoonery? (If it is then I want in on this racket cuz there’s a miscreant born every minute.)

Even tho I’ve been strictly warned that my “coverage” MAY expire on 8/20/18 their willing to be a big-hearted buncha guys and swindle me outta my money at a later date, if need be.

The part that pisses me off most is that if their willing to send a piece of mail (not an e-mail or text, mind you) then they’ve gotta be trolling for older folks who might actually take this s@&t seriously.

I didn’t intend to follow up a Lynyrd Skynyrd (at what point will that band name not require a spell check?) number with another but I was bummed to hear that Ed King had died in the last day or two. An astonishingly good guitarist most noted for coming up with the opening riff on “Sweet Home Alabama” and it’s subsequent and outstanding lead guitar techniques, he not only changed rock and roll but an entire state’s perception of itself.

Try topping that. The guy was f&%$@ing brilliant. Here’s a video featuring Ed King in some early, raw footage and thanks for readin’.

(Ed’s the heavier-set fella in the white shirt who plays the intro and sings as well)

Jimmy