A Quick Look: Memorable Nintendo Songs, Part 1

The following post is done with the collaborations of Kevin Canavan in mind, and other individuals who have offered insight.

“A sold out house my first night back.  Do you have any idea what kinda pressure that is?  I could have been at home in my warm bed, playing Nintendo.”

-Richard Pryor

Ahh, the comforts of a video game system.  They’re always there for us: waiting for us after a long day at work, consoling us after a tough week at school, calling to us after a tough break up with a girlfriend.  Yes, sometimes unhealthy relationships are formed…..but its impossible to deny that video games are an intrical part of our lives in this day and age (particularly for males, ages 12-35).

I was reading Chuck Klosterman in Esquire a little while ago, and he was asking himself (or the readers, actually) why there weren’t any video game critics out there.  It was a good question.  I, myself, do not consider myself to be qualified to be a video game critic.  For one, I have never actually been good at video games (save for a few exceptions, like the Maddens [I was good, not great], and a few PC games).  But I still feel that they have molded my growing up years to an extent….and that in recent years, I have found a new found enjoyment in playing classic video games.  Its nostalgic…..they tend to take me down memory lane.

I think the seeds for this post were really posted three summers ago, when I was living in Vermont immediately following my graduation.  The house where I was living was an absolute dump, and people were in and out of there all summer, but the really important thing was that among all the clutter and random crap that had accumulated in that pigsty, there were two original Nintendo systems, and a handful of games.

There were three games that were primarily played that summer:  Paperboy (with my roomate), Bubble Bobble (with my friend who didn’t live there), and Dr. Mario (with my second roomate and her friends).  While I played these a little bit as a kid (I never actually had a Nintendo, so I never played that often), any time I play them now they remind me of that summer.  That’s a good thing, because that summer kicked ass.  But more importantly….I think its signifigant that video games, and particularly the songs associated with them, are now officially objects of nostalgia for a generation that continues to grow old, hold jobs, get married, and have kids.

So, without further ado, I present:

The Most Memorable Nintendo Songs that I Can Think of, in no particular order, Part 1:

This is Part 1 for the following reason:  I would love to sit here all night and type away, but I have a very busy day (and week) at work tommorrow, and my eyes have been playing serious tricks on me lately….but I still want to get this bitch started, so I’m not waiting around.

They will be organized into seperate catorgories, created by myself.  If you don’t like what I write…..write me a comment.

1)  Songs that are very good……but which simply don’t get the air time they deserve:

Ahh yes, we know these ones.  Usually they’re sports games…..because once these games start, the music is gone, and its simply sound effects.  A few of these come immediately to mind:

Blades of Steel:

Everyone knows and loves the music from the Sega version of Blades…..but the Nintendo one sort of gets lost in the shuffle.  Ofcourse the music is only played as the players skate around on the ice before playing….buts it a pretty upbeat little tune.  I like it.

Excite Bike:

This is a literally a little jingle that lasts for 8 seconds before the game starts….but its great.  Its a little on the goofy side even…..gets me in the mood to race bikes.  This is game is from 1984, which means the games and music hadn’t really evolved yet.  But its distinctive….and thats something you look for in Nintendo songs.  Another important aspect is that the game is tremendous……the better the game, the more memorable the music will be.  I think that’s one reason why people remember this 8 second long song.

And finally, what everyone’s been waiting for:

RC Pro-Am Racing:

A really good game……but one of the most fantastic Nintendo songs of all time.  It literally might be the only Nintendo game out there that I can say honestly pumps me up.  The only problem?  Its stuck in the intro, and is gone as soon as the game starts.  (But then….it was really never meant to be game play music).

This was one tough to find a good clip because the people posting the videos seemed to care more about the actual gameplay than the song (c’mon!!).

While this is great, it actually gets a little cut-off, so here’s a re-mix some dude made; its actually not too bad.  While its not the traditional Nintendo style, its the entire song, note for note.

These are three great Nintendo songs (one LEGENDARY) which really get screwed by not being gameplay music.  But, like I said earlier, they’re really not meant to be played to…so maybe its for the best.

I’ll be back with Part 2 soon.

Until Next Time,

Greg

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Being an Inflatable Dog/Attending VIP Parties

“My career should adapt to me. Fame is like a VIP pass wherever you want to go.”

Leonardo DeCaprio

On May 26, 2007, Boston radio station WBOS was hosting Earthfest at the Esplanade, located on the banks of the Charles River in Boston, adjacent to the notoriusly curvy Storrow Drive. Such headliners as Guster and Vega 5 were present: there were three different stages, and thousands of people. The sun was shining bright: it was about 86 degrees F. Great weather for an outdoor concert.

If you were to stand in front of the main stage, and make your way to the left, down the asphalt walking path, away from the smell of the food vendors, you passed numerous trash piles and port-o-potties. And walking further along, and veering to the right, you would come to a second, much smaller stage, with numerous tents set up to form a rectangular viewing area.

This was the Kid’s Area. Rebellious looking high school kids were replaced by five year olds and parents in this area: to say the least, it was a different crowd. On a related note, I’d much rather hang out with parents and their kids then a bunch of dweeb high schoolers from the suburbs at this point (I feel I have much more in common with young parents with a little kids….and somehow, this doesn’t bother me.).

And that’s exactly what I was doing….hanging out with little kids and their parents, and other numerous people. Half of the time I was dressed as myself, talking about my employer (I was there for work). The other half of the time….I was dressed as a dog.

I won’t go into specifics as to who the dog is, or who my employer is, but I will give a brief description of what its like to dress up as a dog who little kids are familiar with.

First, the specifics of the suit and situation: I had a trailer to change in, which was shared with all of the artists performing on this stage. I needed a handler at all times (I was actually supposed to have two handlers, but since a few volunteers didn’t show up, we had to make due with one). Handlers help with crowd control, ect.. After going into the trailer, the handler had to help me change (this was a little weird at first). There were four major components to the suit: pants, feet, power pack, and body suit.

The first thing to go on was a power pack, which went over my shoulders like a backpack and weighed about 30 pounds or so (good thing I go to the gym). Once the power pack was on, I took off my sneaks and hid them under a table. Next it was time to put on the pants: bright orange furry pants. A little on the warm side, but whatever. After the pants were all set, I had to put on the feet: this was probably the most awkward part. I’ve never worn clown shoes before, so I didn’t really know what it was going to be like to have feet eight times the size of my normal feet. To say the least: I was a little clumsey at first.

Once all this stuff was on, it was time to put on the body suit. Now this particular dog was fat: to keep him fat, the suit blew up like a balloon. A fan was needed to keep the suit inflated. Hence the power pack on my back. Our method was to leave the trailer door before I was blown up: once outside, I would connect the plugs, and blow up like a balloon. Unfortunately, I there was a broken strap inside, so it was a constant struggle to keep air from escaping: but once I figured out to keep the suit synched by holding the string in my teeth, I was all-set.

And there I was: a big inflatable dog surrounded by thousands of kids.

I have to say: I didn’t know what to expect. I figured kids would like me, but I didn’t know how much. Following my handler, we turned the corner to where everyone was….and thats when the real fun started. Kids came flying at me from every corner. Parents held up kids to give me a kiss (very, very weird from my end). I did my best to shake kids hands and give thumbs up….it was really all I could think to do. Once in awhile I tried to dance for them….they were sort of indifferent.

And it was fun….eventually the air started running out since the batteries weren’t fully charged (damn!), but even when the dog started to delfate, and I had to hold up my head with my left arm and swelter in 110 degree heat without a fan, it was still satisfying. It really was….I guess I really didn’t know how enthralled kids are by this stuff.

Walking out of my trailer after it was all done in my t-shirt and shorts, I couldn’t help but feel a little unwanted as I crossed the field filled with kids….and no one looked my way.

Ahhhh…..the life of an inflatable dog.

—-

Ofcourse, being an inflatable dog has its benefits…..mainly, that I was invited to attend an all-access VIP party hosted by WBOS at the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston. Hey….twist my arm.

The funny thing is that I almost didn’t go. I was only in the dog suit for about an hour: the rest of the day I was running around doing random stuff. For the last two hours, we had to figure out how move all of our stuff (a logistical nightmare considering that we to load it into a car, and Storrow Drive is the only accessible way in, and a lane was closed, and so on, and so on). Well…..we finally got the stuff loaded into the car. By that time, I was the only one left from my group: I figured I’d catch a little Guster since I didn’t know much about them.

But after hanging out with the crowd for about five minutes (High School Central), I realized I didn’t really care about the music, and I was exhausted (its a good thing I left….the T was a mess enough getting out of there, and that was an hour before Guster ended). So I headed home….VIP placard around my neck, red wristband around my wrist.

The wristband was what was important…it provided access the VIP party which was going on later. But at the time, I was a little sour on everything. Here was my situation:

1) I was exhausted. Not only did I have to spend about an hour in a dog suit, but about five minutes were in a totally fanless, deflated suit in about 110 degree after we discovered the second battery was totally dead. Ofcourse, I was already outside, and kids were hugging my deflated legs. Not only was it weird…..it was excruciatingly tiring. I think those five minutes alone wore me out.

2) There were all sorts of logistical problems throughout the day. First, the sign we were supposed to have at our tent was mysteriously not there: this caused some headaches. But later, when it was time to get lunch, the real headaches started.

BOS was nice enough to give everyone working the event free meal cards from a food vendor: some Stone Hearth Pizza place, where we were supposed to get a free personal pizza and soda. The only problem: the event was so huge, we had no idea where the vendor was. Giving that we were short volunteers, only one person could go looking at a time. When the first person came back fruitless, I decided to give it a go (and was pretty sure I’d be successful). Well, as fate would have it….I wasn’t. The real frustration came from the fact that no one working the event knew where the vendor was. This was because most people working there (from BOS) were treated to a bar-b-q pit behind the main stage, so they didn’t need to know where this place was. The aggravation level rose when I would ask where the place was, be told to go somewhere, and when I would get there, I would be told to go somewhere totally different. To add to the stress:

a) It was hot

b) I had just spent about 40 minutes in a dog suit, and had to be back in it in about an hour.

c) People were waiting for me, and I had been gone for about 25 minutes without finding anything

d) No one I asked really seemed to care, or have the slighest clue (except for the girl working the kids stage with us, she was really great….unfortunately I didn’t get to give her a blog business card).

After searching for the vendor among the numerous food places and people, I gave up. Since I had a VIP necklace, and a VIP party wristband, I figured I could just go get some bar-b-q, to save time (our volunteer had gotten some food there earlier without a problem).

So I went to the gate, showed my card, got in, asked where the food was….and almost got thrown out on my ass. The guy at the gate started getting in my face, thinking I was pulling a fast one, and told me to “get lost!!” (The problem here: I needed another wristband, for food: I just figured my necklace would work). Well, it didn’t…..and at this point I lost it. I usually don’t lose it, but as you can see from my above situation, it was well deserved here. They found out from my tone that I wasn’t just some punk who had borrowed a necklace. Despite all this….I couldn’t get any food here.
It all worked out….I was able to eat the layout Whole Foods had left in the trailer for us (us being artists, friends of artist, and people like me). But as I sat on the bench at the T stop at the end of the day…its easy to see how I was considering not going to the party.

(A big note on this: as you’ll read on, BOS ended up being absolutely great in the end. Anytime an event this big is going on, its very easy [almost invevitable] that things like this happen. No matter how organized an event is beforehand……once thousands and thousands of people show up, things just get a little hectic. I just wanted to emphasize all this to show how worn out I was.)

With all of this in mind, there was also the fact that I only worked with four people, and it seemed pretty inevitable that I would be the only person there that I knew. So sitting among hundreds of people in 80 degree heat, worn out and waiting for the T, you can see why I was considering not going to the party.

The important part of that last sentance: considering. And to be truthful: I was never really considering. Any time I get invited to an All-Access VIP Party (which is pretty much: never), I attend. I don’t care if I was fresh out of a coma, with slight brain damage and a bad case of the post-coma sickness: I’d still attend, and sit in a corner, just to see what it was like. So there was no way I wasn’t going: I just didn’t know if I’d enjoy it.

Later on, after I had gotten home and showered, I got the phone call that I would indeed be flying solo: my co-worker was bailing out. So I headed out, armed with a bottle of water, some Tic-Tacs, and a few blog cards. I got back on the T….and headed back into the city. A sign that the night might be good: it was one of those beautiful spring nights, that you treasure when they’re around (usually only late May and early June).

And I got to the Hard Rock, wristband still on from the morning, and all of the sudden, I knew I had made the right decision: the second I was in, some Hard Rock employee was treating me like a VIP. It was my first VIP experience. He didn’t even say anything: just looked my way with a mix of envy and intrigue, like, “Who the Hell is this guy, and why is he important?” And despite the look, he was very nice to me. I have to say….I felt really, really freaking cool.

I immediately picked up a free Heinenken Light, and headed over towards the stage (live performances at the party: Toby Lightman, Vega 4, Gran Bel Fisher, and Tim Finn.) It wasn’t long before I was meeting a lot people who worked in the radio business in one way or another. Everyone seemed especially friendly, probably because we all had worked at the same event earlier in the day. Some highlights from the party:

1) I had my first martini. A pomgranate one. It was pretty good.

2) As most people know, I’m always into free food. Among the many different types of food, was a pasta primavera section, where you picked out whatever you wanted on your pasta plate, and then watched it get cooked up. Reminded me of being in my college cafeteria on Thursday nights. But hey…can you really beat Pasta Primavera?

There were also tables spread out with all types of cheeses, fruits, veggies and dips, ect….the real highlight was the deserts. Good Lordy.

When I first came in, I smelled a familiar chocolate smell, and realized that there chocolate fondue pots laying around. Later on in the night, I approached the desert table with some people, and found the following spread: a huge bowl of Blow Pops, a huge bowl of Jolly Ranchers, a huge bowl of Tootsie Rolls, a huge bowl of the little Reeses’s Peanut Butter cups, and most impressive, little cubes of Rice Crispie treats that you stab with sticks. It was my first time eating Rice Crispie treats off of sticks. Quite good.

There was also an area to make S’mores, with all the required ingredients. In all seriousness….it was stuff like this that made me momentarily feel like a rock star. I mean, we’ve all heard of the Van Halen story: back in the 80s, they were on tour, and while at a certain hotel, requested that they had bowls of M&Ms laid out for them, with all the brown ones extracted. Well, they got back from their show, and found the bowls set up perfectly, except that the brown ones were still there. They were so enraged totally insane that they destroyed the suite they were staying in, causing more than $10,000 damage. The point to bringing up this story: a huge bowl of Blow Pops is one of those things you can only imagine rock stars requesting. Which is why I felt like a rock star as I took a couple and stuffed them in my pocket.

To put it plainly: this party rocked, and I am very glad I attended. Like I said before….there was no way I wasn’t going to attend. But after having a stressful day…..the night more than made up for it. BOS really laid themselves out to set up this party for everyone. The real funny part….in the last two days, I’ve been listening to a lot more 92.9.

After drinking and eating for free until around 12:30, handing out a few cards, and talking to a member of Guster like a drunk fool for a couple of minutes, I was back on the T, my VIP status quickly becoming a thing of the past. No more free drinks; no more looks of envy/apprecation. Nope….just the good old Redline, taking me home to Harvard Square. But one things for sure: if I ever get the chance to dress up like a dog again, in order to attain VIP status….I surely will.

Driving to a graduation party yesterday, I happened to have WBOS on in the car. And after the song ended, the guy on the radio started talking about Earthfest, and went on to say something like “And last night at the Hard Rock, all those staffers who worked hard at Earthfest played hard at the Hard Rock….and now I’m sure they’re all sleeping hard.” A big smile came over my face……hey, if nothing else, my experience on Saturday, May 26, gave me a moment of feeling really cool while driving in my car. In all honesty…..I’ll take that.

Until Next Time,

Greg

A Quick Review: The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Hi, as some of you know, I worked at Earthfest yesterday and attended an All-Access VIP party afterword (hell yah!). I plan on writing about that tommorrow….hopefully.

In the meantime, here is a quick review of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

About a month ago, someone walked into the office where I work and said that we had free tickets to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater show, would anyone like to go? The tickets usually went for about $70. I took two, and tried to find someone else to go with, but after a few phone calls, found out I was flying solo.

The show was at the Wang Center in Boston’s Theatre District; its one of the nicest venues in town. I showed up a little late, but the show was still great (I had to watch the first set through the windows since I was late; I’m not used to the theatre, I thought it was like a movie where you could walk right in.).

To describe the show: The dance company was formed in Harlem in the late 1950s: most performances consist of different dance routines to certain composers. The show I saw was broken down into three different performances: An eight song set done entirely to music composed by Duke Ellington, called “The River.” It was absolutely breathtaking to watch: I had never really seen jazz dancing before, and it had me mesmorized, even if I was stuck behind the windows in the back. The first performance was set apart by vivid colors on the sets, and upbeat music that reminded me of spring and summer.

The second set, which I could watch from my seat, was called ‘The Golden Section,” and was one twenty minute piece composed by David Byrne. It was amazing in that it was entirely different: this was rock dancing, and was equally mesmorizing to watch. The colors from the first set were gone: the set was entirely gold.

The third and final set was “Revelations,” one of the groups oldest routines, first performed in the early 1960s. It was about six sets of traditional gospel music: of all the routines, it held me the most. It was beautiful to watch. The colors involved consisted of dull browns and pastels, creating a peaceful atmosphere.

After the show, they performed a pretty romping encore. The crowd was rocking. All in all, I am very glad to have been able to see this show, and someday, I don’t know when, I will see them again.

Until Next Time,

Greg

A Quick Review (The Finished Version): Riders on the Storm

Note:  to those of you who have viewed this previously, this is the finished version.

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”

“Death makes angels of us and gives us wings where we had shoulders, smooth as ravens claws.”

-Jim Morrison

“Riders on the Storm,

Riders on the Storm,

Into this house we’re born,

Into this world we’re thrown,

Like a dog without a bone,

An actor out on loan,

Riders on the Storm,

Theres a killer on the road,

His brain is squirming like toad,

Take day long holidays,

Let your children play,

If you give this man a ride,

Sweet memory will die,

Killer on the road, yeah.

Girl you gotta love your man,

Girl you gotta lover your man,

Take him by the hand,

Make him understand,

The world on you depends,

Our life will never end,

Gotta love your man, yeah.

Riders on the Storm.”

Riders on the Storm

The Doors

Hi ya’ll,

Ahh, The Doors. They only happen to be my favorite band of all-time. I could go on for hours and hours talking about The Doors and their music. But I won’t….for now. I’ll spare ya.

But I will talk about a certain concert I saw the other night. You see, it went like this: I was at work, heard my email box go ‘ding!’ (that’s really what it does…..every twenty minutes), and there it was, in big, bold letters:

“FREE TICKETS TO SEE ‘RIDERS ON THE STORM’ THIS THURSDAY AT THE AVALON…..FEATURING RAY MANZAREK AND ROBBIE KRIEGER OF ‘THE DOORS.’

Wow……that one almost floored me. Good thing it was almost the end of the day and I didn’t have much work to do….I needed some time to come to grips with things. After a couple minutes, I ensured that I had a ticket for myself, and then I started asking around to see who else might want to go. In the end: a temp that I work with, her friend, and my buddy Jay were to be my guests.

Anyway…back to the point. Like I said earlier, The Doors are my favorite band of all time. I grew up listening to them on beat up cassette tapes while driving with my parents on road trips. By high school, if I had my headphones on, it was usually The Doors. At this point, I can recite most of the songs by heart. I consider myself a diehard: if there was a way to phrase it like Deadheads (diehard Grateful Dead fans), well, I guess I’d be one of them.

To give a brief history of the band:

Members:

Jim Morrison-vocals

Ray Manzarek-keyboards

Robbie Krieger-guitar

John Densmore-drums

Band history: After meeting at UCLA in 1965, Jim and Ray decided to form a band (Ray was a graduate student studying film; Jim was getting his Bachelor’s Degree. Contrary to popular belief, caused entirely by compulsive liar/filmmaker Oliver Stone, Jim did graduate with his Bachelor’s Degree. Takes a little away from his bad ass image I guess…..but whatever.). Jim wrote the lyrics to their first song, “Moonlight Drive,” and after hooking up with Robbie and John, they were a band.

From the start they were controversial: Perhaps their most mystifying song, from their first album (titled “The Doors”), was “The End.” In it, Jim described killing his father and having sex with his mother. To say the least….this didn’t go over very well with a lot of people in the late 60s, and they were banned from more than a couple recording studios.

But their music stood out. As their music gained popularity, so did they: they became pop starts, featured in teeny bop magazines. Their next few albums would be criticized as being commercial by many, but despite what critics said, they always managed come up with underground type songs that weren’t played on the radio.

They started getting into trouble around 1970. They were already known for bumping heads with authorities (an absolutely great story is from when they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967. Ed Sullivan wanted absolutely no drug/sex related themes being played on his airwaves [remember: this is the show that filmed Elvis from the stomach up so the audience couldn’t see him shake his hips], but, for obvious reasons, he wanted popular rock and roll bands on his show. In 1966 or 67, The Rolling Stones were on his show, singing “Let’s Spend the Night Together.” Well….we all know what that can come to mean. So the lyrics were switched to “Let’s Spend Some Time Together.” Its hilarious to watch the footage of this, and see the band members visibly roll their eyes as the song is played. Well….the same situation came up with The Doors. Their big hit at the time was “Light My Fire.” The version being played on the radio at the time was not the seven minute version we’ve come to know and love; it was a three minute version with all the music chopped out. But the problem was with a line that Jim was to sing: it went like this: “You know that I would be untrue/You know that I would be a liar/If I was to say to you/Girl, we couldn’t get much higher.” Well, there’s some obvious drug talk there. So ofcourse the show’s crew approached The Doors beforehand to make sure it was changed. I’ve heard different versions of what the line was supposed to be: on a TV show I was watching a few years back, I remember Ray saying that someone came into the dressing room a half an hour before show time, told them to change it to anything, and left, prompting Jim to saying, “We’re not changing anything.” On Wikipedia, it says that the line was changed to “Girl we couldn’t get much better.” Whatever the case…nothing was changed, and Jim sang the original line: Ed Sullivan was so furious he refused to shake their hands. According to Ray, after the show the same crew member from before barged into the dressing room and shouted, “You’ll never do The Ed Sullivan Show again!!!!” To which Jim responded: “Man…..we just did The Ed Sullivan Show.” But whatever…..this was before they really started to get in trouble.), but things would get worse. Jim was having more run-ins with police and security at concerts, being maced for alledgedly making-out with a fifteen year old at one concert. He was frequently showing up drunk at concerts. And then in Miami, 1970…the shit hit the fan. Alledgedly (a big alledgedy….no photo has ever been provided), Jim exposed himself. Suddenly, their U.S. and European tours were cancelled, and The Doors started their downward spiral. They did manage to produce one more great album (Morrison Hotel, 1970), but things really started to fall apart. By 1971…Jim was dead in a bathtub in Paris due to an alleged heart attack (there were a lot of conspiracy theories that we was alive for awhile, which I pretty much see the same nonsense surrounding Elvis’s death and Tupac’s death. Not sure what this phenomena should be called.). Anyway….that’s The Doors in a nutshell.

Now…..where was I.  Ohh yah….I was writing a music review.

Well, the show was playing at the Avalon: for those of you not from the area (Boston), that’s right near Fenway Park.  And it just so happened that there was a game starting about an hour before the doors opened.  This meant that there was literally thousands of people crawling the streets with Red Sox shit on:  it also meant that I could get a sausage from Chi Chi’s (good times!).  There was a slight logistical problem: the friend I was meeting shares a cellphone with his wife, and he was taking the T in from Somerville, and anyone that knows Boston knows that taking the T on a night the Sox are playing can make you want to commit suicide (seriously…..I’ve been on trains crammed with like four hundred people, as we sit motionless for 5 minutes, and the thought has crossed my mind [Dude…I should just end it now.  The Green Line sucks] before Red Sox games).  But whatever….I got to people watch while I waited for my cellphone-less friend.  When he finally showed up, he was sprinting down Brookline Ave, wearing a sport coat, jeans, and sunglasses.  I flagged him down but he couldn’t see me, cause, you know, he was wearing sunglasses.  Finally I got him.

“Wow, you really got deckd out, huh?”

“Hey man, I’m seeing The Doors…..I had to dress like a rock star.”

Hey….atleast there was logic involved.

Anyway, our next stop was Boston Beer Works, where we drank some very good house made beer and met up with my co-worker and her friend.  After hangin for about an hour, it was show time.

Now….we already knew that we were gonna have a good seat due to the fact that only 400 tickets were sold: they were expecting to sell 1,900.  So we headed in, grabbed a couple Heinekens, and waited for the dude with the crazy white guy afro and acoustic guitar to finish up his act (this guy wasn’t bad….but he wasn’t great.  He kept putting everyone to sleep, and then he’d scream, “You know what I mean, Mutherf**ker!!” and everyone would wake up.).  Finally, his set ended.

And finally…..the show started.  Riders on the Storm consists of the following Riders:

Ray Manzarek-keyboards

Robbie Krieger-guitar

Brett Scallions-vocals (formerly of Fuel)
My apologies, I can’t find the name anywhere…..drums

My apologies, I can’t find the name anywhere, but I know he’s from Jamaica….bass

They played the following set:  Love Me Two Times/Break on Through/Peace Frog/Blue Sunday/Strange Days/When The Music’s Over/Moonlight Drive/Wild Child/Spanish Caravan/5 to 1/Texas Radio and the Big Beat/Touch Me/L.A. Woman/Encore: Light My Fire.

As best as I can, I will give a song by song analysis:

Love Me Two Times/Break on Through:  This was a good way to start the show: bring out some old classics that everyone knows.  And more importantly, they knew what we were looking for:  the emphasis was the music of Ray and Robbie.  Both had fantastic solos in these first two songs.  Drums, bass, even vocals, were simply there to support the wizards.

Peace Frog/Blue Sunday:  I’m really glad they broke these two out.  As many Doors fans know, this was a favorite duo of the band to play at concerts.  First you have the joyful, bouyant beat of Peace Frog, and then, the sweet melody of Blue Sunday.  No, no one can croon that song like Jim could….but it was still good to hear.

Strange Days:  Good pick!  I was anticipating some songs that are not as well known or appreciated.  Sure, Strange Days is on the Greatest Hits double disc, buts its usually overshadowed by its more famous cousin, People Are Strange.  I was very glad to hear this song, but much more glad to hear….

When The Music’s Over:  Absolutely my favorite Doors song of all-time, which is saying a lot since they’re my favorite band of all-time.  This song is simply a masterpiece that is meant to be played live:  I have about 8 live versions on my iPod.  And the version they played was as loud, wild, and unpredictable as any I’ve ever heard.  Sure, its not the same without Jim belting out the mesmorizing words, but the musical aspect was phenomenal.

Moonlight Drive:  An old classic that they almost couldn’t not bring out.  I mean, c’mon….it was the first Doors song ever!  No its not my favorite song….but it allows Robbie to that really creepy sound come out of his guitar.  Pretty cool.

Wild Child:  Another one I didn’t really expect to hear.  A good one….and a loud one.

Spanish Caravan:  Without a question in my mind, the highlight of this show.  Everyone left the stage except Robbie, and he played the flamenco guitar for about 3-4 minutes before everyone came back out, at which point they started playing ‘Caravan.’  It was really a treat.

Five to One:  Well, everyone who kept screaming it out all night got their wish.  And it was a great version….they did a great job.  I did think it came a little early in the set, however; its more of a finale song.

Texas Radio and the Big Beat:  Totally unexpected on my part…I didn’t think they’d play this one.  Its a good one, real bluesy.  Its never been one of my favorites, but some Doors fans swear by this song.

Touch Me:  A very good version of a song which I’ve never really liked that much.  Maybe because there were no horns I liked it more.  Whatever the case my be….I liked this one.

L.A. Woman:  You just knew this one was coming.  Not only is it one of the Top Five Greatest Highway Driving Songs of all-time, it was never played live by The Doors (Jim passed away too soon).  So you knew it was coming.  The only problem:  we also knew it was the end of the show.

Encore: Light My Fire:  What can you say.  One of the most music heavy songs of their entire collection.  You just knew it was going to come.  Robbie and Ray didn’t disapoint.  Ray actually played the organ with his foot.  It was fantastic.  But still….I was saddened that there wasn’t more.

Now, there were some noticable songs left out.  They were:

Alabama Song/Back Door Man:  I bring up these two because afterwords the roadies were handing out setlists, and they were on the list but crossed out with pencil.  Also, I know that at other stops on this tour, these songs were played.  As much as I liked the set we saw…I would have killed to see either of these, especially Back Door Man.  I mean, it doesn’t get much more vintage live Doors than that.  I would have gotten rid of Wild Child or ‘Texas Beat’ in a heart beat for either of these two.

The End:  My friend asked me beforehand if I thought they would finish the show with The End.  I told him I didn’t think so, and I sure hoped not.  Yes, The End is perhaps the most iconic of all Doors songs, but its also way to Jim-heavy to perform today.  Jim made that song what it was.  To play it would have been blasphemy…trust me.  It also probably would have fallen flat, and left everyone feeling depressed.  But I wasn’t really worried…I was next to positive they weren’t going to play it (other Jim heavy songs I sort of wanted to hear, but not really [for the above reason], were The Crystal Ship and I Can’t See Your Face in my Mind).

Riders on the Storm:  This was the big one.  I mean, the name of their band is Riders on the Storm.  It would just seem right to play it.  Although some may say its Jim-heavy like the The End, I disagree: I think the music would have really carried this one.  I didn’t even notice until after I had left, actually.  My friend and I discussed it, and both came to the same conclusion:  the crowd sucked.  I’ll get back to this in a second.  First, I want to talk quickly about the band itself and I thought of them:

Robbie:  Absolutely ELECTRIC.  ON FIRE.  SUPERB.  I don’t even know how else to describe the guy.  He was simply amazing.  I can’t imagine seeing these guys in their prime…..not only was Jim perhaps the most charismatic performers of all time, but his guitarist must have been incredible to see.

Ray:  The same as Robbie.  These guys were so on their money it was scary.  I mentioned earlier that Ray was playing the keyboard with his foot at the end, and it still sounded good.  They were both phenomenal.

Brett Scallions:  I knew this position (vocalist) would be key to the way the entire show played out, and was a little aprehensive.  I told my friend before the show:  “All he has to do is not f**k it up.  Don’t try to be Jim, but be enough like Jim that it seems real.”  In retrospect, what I was expecting was pretty damn hard.

I mean, can you even imagine taking on this job.  There’s only way to approach it:  know that you can’t be Jim, and try your hardest to be Jim, without crossing the line.

In all honesty….I thought he did a very good job.  He had fun with it.  Dressed in some leather pants, danced around the stage….kept the party moving.  I liked it.  His voice obviously couldn’t get it done: but I still think he did what he was supposed to.  Like I said….he didn’t f**k it up.  He moved out of the way for Robbie and Ray when he needed to, but acted a little like Jim when it was expected.  If he had f**ked it up….well, we all would have known, and probabaly wouldn’t be none to happy.

Bass…..he kept a good base line.

Drums:  honestly, I think this was the one real weak spot.  The drummer never really got it done for me.  My co-worker mentioned the same thing the next day.  I know it seems easy to just get any old drummer…but I can’t seem to stop thinking about how much better if John (Densmore) had been the drummer.

In John’s defense:  he’s the one member of the band that people seem to forget, but he shouldn’t be.  In my opinion, he is one of the most theatrical drummers of all-time.  He and Jim mastered the theatrics at concerts:  Ray and Robbie took care of the music.  It was more noticable at times that we wasn’t there than Jim.

Ofcourse, like so many great bands from back in the day (Pink Floyd, anyone?), the band is feuding.  Ray and John have been feuding over certain issues for the past few years.  I believe lawsuits are in order.  If I may, can I just say a word here:  would all of the great bands from the sixties and seventies just stop feuding already?  Just stop it.  Us Generation X-ers never got a chance to see you in concert, and now we want to.  Stop being grumpy old men.

But to get back to the point….I wish the drummer was better.  But in actuality, maybe it was the shoes of John, and not Jim, there weren’t supposed to be filled (not saying Jim’s shows were filled).

Anyway….thats what I thought of the band.

Now, the one major weak point of the night, and the real reason Riders on the Storm wasn’t played:  the crowd.  Can you say WEAK?  Granted, there were only 400 of us…..but it still didn’t cut it.

At first, the crowd was wild.  For about the first 5 songs, it was mayhem.  And then, I’m not sure what happened, but after When The Music’s Over, the crowd mellowed.  It was like we had been worn out.  I wasn’t…..I kept shouting the whole time.  But it was noticable.

Well, the show kept going, and then the unthinkable happened:  L.A. Woman finished, the band left the stage, and, well…..I heard the worst attempt at an encore cheer I have ever heard.  It was like everyone was too tired and wanted to go home or something.  I was screaming my head off, but it was almost a sickly silence.  There was not one lighter up…..maybe they’re banned or something, but c’mon.  I would have said something, but didn’t want to be a hypocrite since I didn’t have one myself (I knew some folks had atleast one, because a certain smell was in the air throughout the show).   After about two minutes, they came back out (some guy had to actually come out from backstage and tell us to cheer for more music…..I was appalled).  I was so embarrassed, I can’t put it into words.

Well, after about two minutes, they came back out (because they had to), and they played a great version of Light My Fire, and that was it.  Done.  Lights on.  And we didn’t get to hear Riders on the Storm, as played by Riders on the Storm.  Because the crowd was filled with pansies.

Some more notes on the crowd:

1)    People were throwing cups of beer into the crowd and onto the stage during the stage.  C’mon….is this the point we’re at.  First peace and love….then riots….then more violent riots….and now we’re throwing beer cups.  Jesus….they probably were standing on stage thinking, “Man, this generation sucks…give me the Sixties back.”

2)    I noticed that throughout the show, Scallions did a lot of spitting.  Whatever……when you’re performing, you do this stuff sometimes.  But I heard from people that were up front that he wasn’t always hitting the stage: sometimes he hit the people.  Sorry, Scallions….maybe Jim Morrison could have gotten away this, but there is no way you should be spitting on people.

3)    It was an  interesting crowd, to say nothing better.  There were a lot of folks in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, and then there were a lot of kids no older than 15.  I didn’t mind the older folks…..there was a 50-something couple making out hard core next to me (the woman was wearing a bitching leather jacket), but thats to be expected.  The high school kids, however, I could have done without.  One kid approached us totally out of control, crawling around on the floor and mubbling strange things.  When we asked his friend how many drugs he was on, we found out he was only drunk.  He spent about 15 minutes trying to get us to buy him beer.

But thats not what pissed me off about the high school kids: it was the cellphones.  Filming during the show….texting during the show…..just looking bored and playing on the phone during the show.  I mean, c’mon…..what would Jim Morrison say?  He must be rolling in the grave.

I felt like shouting, “Hey, you little punks, when I was in high school, we weren’t allowed to have phones in class!”  Then I realized I felt like I was a 75 year old man.  Damn….I can’t wait to see how much I hate the youth when I’m 45 instead of 24.

Well, I feel as if I’ve covered this subject far enough.  To sum it up:  it was a good show, I just wish the crowd could have done some more.  Here’s some fun Doors stuff:

Fun fact #1:  The Doors were one of the few bands not to have a bassist, yet on many of their songs, there is a noticable bass line.  How did they do it?

Well, when playing live, Ray would play a special organ, which was state of the art at the time, that allowed him to play both keyboard and bass.  To me, this is unfathomable.  The man was playing to entirely different pieces of music with each hand.  PURE WIZZARDRY.

In the studio, however, they would usually hire a bass player to play: they played with many different bassists.  For this reason, the organ sounds fuller on studio songs:  Ray was using two hands instead of one, so he could really explore.

Fun Fact #2:  While it is commonly believed by many that Jim wrote nearly all of The Doors lyrics, many songs were written by other band members, notibably Robbie.  Three of his songs:  Light My Fire, Love Her Madly, and Love Me Two Times.  I read in Rolling Stone once that these three songs sound more like Jim Morrison than Jim Morrison:  its really the only way to put it.

Fun Fact #3:  Jim’s dad was a Rear Admiral in the Navy: he was one of the top people involved with nuclear studies in the military.

A related link:  If you want to hear the guys over at The Weight weigh in on this same concert in New York (where they played Riders on the Storm, as well as Albama Song & Back Door Man), check this out:

And now, since its only right, some cool footage:

An interview on PBS with The Doors after their 1970 freefall.  Interestingly, after their crisis, PBS was one of the only ways for them to promote their albums.  It gets cut off, but its still pretty good.

While Jim was travelling around as a child, he got to experience a lot of stuff, like starring in promotional videos for Florida Universities.  Check it out:

And finally…..the reason why The Doors were so great.  This is a twelve minute version of When The Music’s Over which is fantastic.  Try not to be bothered if the timings off by a few seconds.  Enjoy.

Until Next Time,

Greg

Jobs That Suck, Volume 2: The Sierra Club

Quote of the Day, 5/13/07:

“No matter what the circumstances of their lives may be, she never allows them to go dirty or ragged. The mole, living always in the dark and in the dirt, is yet as clean as the otter or the wave washed seal.”

-John Muir
The above is the quote from John Muir. Although in the following column I kinda rip the Sierra Club, I’ve always respected John Muir and what he standed for.

Anyway….

Since I had so much fun writing about a job that sucked the other night, I’ve decided to tackle part two in this three part series. As some of you may know, I was employed by the Sierra Club shortly during the summer of 2003. I didn’t have the same job I had from the previous summers, and since I hadn’t really thought about where I was going to work, I didn’t really have any options.

Sitting in my parents kitchen one morning and flipping through the paper, I came across an ad that went something like this:

“Do you want to help the environment, and make money while doing it? Then The Sierra Club is for you! Please report to our office in Newton Centre to apply.”

Now…I’m not a dummy. I knew that there were strings attached….but honestly, the premise was simple and harmless enough: make money and help the environment. Sweet.

After attending an interview where I was hired on the spot (first time ever….and probably last), I was ready to help the environment and make money. The only problem: this job sucked, even worse than watching sidewalk. Let me explain:

First, a little history about the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club was founded in San Fransisco on May 28, 1892 by John Muir. They’ve had some notable board members since, including photographer Ansel Adams. The main purpose is to help maintain pristine areas of the environment throughtout the country as much as they possibly can. They do this through lobbying, to Congress and other legislative groups. In order to raise money for the lobbyists, people across the country go from door to door asking for donations.

Now…..I have nothing against the Sierra Club and their cause. I think its very admirable, in fact. But lets get something straight….going door to door to raise money is one of the most awful, least admirable jobs ever created. That’s where I come in.

Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t getting sent to the D.C. area to help out the lobbyists. I was getting shipped out to the suburbs of the Boston area, where I was to walk around the neigbhorhoods and make as much money as possible for the Sierra Club. Hey….you gotta start somewhere.

A couple things about how this worked: everyone was herded into a big room before we started, probably around noon. There were five or six team leaders: these were people who had been there for a little while, and took people out to their specific areas.

After the meeting, we would all go with our groups, grab some lunch, and head out to the burbs. We usually arrived in a neighborhood by around 2:30pm; and until about 7pm, we spent our time walking around in circles trying to raise money. Each person was given an area, usually consisting of about 40 houses, to work with.

Now, before I get to the bad, there were some good things about doing some “field work” for the Siera Club.

1) Its nice to be able to walk instead of stand. I mentioned in my earlier post about watching sidewalk that it sucks to stand in one place for awhile: well, with the Sierra Club, or any job of this nature, you’re constantly walking, which is nice.

2) Its just you, and theres no one to bug you. Honestly, its good alone time walking around in the burbs. Its usually very nice neighborhoods, the weather was usually nice, and you never had to worry about your boss chasing you down and telling you to get to work. You get to lay down in fields and hang out with the squirrels. Maybe thats why I got fired.

3) You tend to find cool things once in awhile while walking around. One time I found a really cool historic house in Lexington. Another time I found a cool looking rock. Hey, its not for everyone…but I thought it was pretty cool.

Honestly, the Sierra Club was sort of the opposite of watching sidewalk. It was the little things that made sidewalk watching suck; the little things is what made the Sierra Club bearable.

But lets not sugar coat it: soliciting for the Sierra Club sucked, for the following reasons:

1) Rap sheets. As I mentioned earlier, I was hired on the spot. The way it works is: everyone gets hired, unless its obvious that you’re some sort sort of inept pychopath. This isn’t to say psychopaths weren’t hired…..they definitely were. They just tried to weed them out beforehand. Well, because it was assumed (correctly) that some employees would be stupid, a rap sheet was created for everyone to use. I’d tell you more about it, but I’ve blocked it from my memory. Seriously.

The rap sheet was what the Sierra Club wanted us to say at every door…word for word. No variations. Nothing to spice it up. Just, “Hello, my name is Greg, I work for the Sierra Club……blah blah, blahblahblah, blah. We’d appreciate a donation.” Now I don’t know about you….but I like to improvise. I like to use my brain when I’m talking to people. Hey, sometimes I liked to put on a little show on the front porch. This is probably another reason I was fired…but to sum up what I’m getting at……I never used the rap. Ever.

Here’s some specific things about I didn’t like about the rap:

a) You had to carry it around. I hate carrying stuff around.

b) It was overly political. The rap pretty much made you say, “I hate George Bush; I am a warrior for the animals” while standing on someone’s front porch. Umm, I don’t know, I’m not the most political guy….but if I am gonna talk politics, I’m gonna say my own thoughts, and not what some rap sheet tells me. And further more, I’m not gonna discuss politics with a total stranger while wearing a green Sierra Club t-shirt and standing on someone’s front porch. That’s just me.

c) The rap sheet’s a little dishonest. Its recommended to get a membership at $50, but you can be a member at $35; and you can get the magazine at $20, which is really all anyone really wants. I usually talked people out of giving $50 so I didn’t feel like a jerk. Another reason I was fired.

d) They called it a rap sheet. That just sucks.

Getting back to the main list:

2) Feeling like an asshole.

There are many ways to feel like an asshole when going door to door. One time I pulled up to front porch, unaware of what was going on, and I heard an angry voice shout: “No, get the Hell out of here, we’re eating dinner!!” Some people would maybe get angry after being yelled at….I just felt like an asshole.

For pretty much all of my time, I felt like an asshole while working for the Sierra Club. One time two people were having a conversation on a porch, and as I approached them, I heard: “Oh really….can you just leave us alone!! Can you please just leave us alone!! Get a life!!”

I take back what I said above…..sometimes I did get angry. I distinctly remember thinking there was no reason she should have chewed me out like that….so I was a little pissed….but that didn’t mean I didn’t feel like an asshole. I did.

The list goes on….one time a dad told me he just got home from work, so can he please enjoy a pizza in peace with his son, and so on, and so on, and so on.

3) People love to thrash out against political solicitors:

As I mentioned before, the Sierra Club is somewhat political. So when someone opens a door and sees a young kid with a big smile on his face, and he starts talking about the environment, its a green light for anyone who has a political agenda against the organization in question. Ofcourse, what these people don’t realize is that much of the time, its just some poor kid like myself trying to make some cash; they’d be better off writing a letter to the organization’s President’s office. But, ofcourse, this doesn’t cross their mind as they’re opening the door to some total stranger asking for money.

4) When you work at the Sierra Club, everyone tries to be buddy-buddy with you, but its totally fake. This drives me nuts. Honestly, for a summer job, I like putting in my eight hours, and going home to hang out with friends. When you work at the Sierra Club: there are no other friends.

I remember getting back to the office late after wandering around some neighborhood asking people for their money. Back at the office in Newton, one of the people in charge casually asked me if I was coming in at 10 the next morning to hang up signs. First, I almost choked on the water I was drinking. Then, with a look that was part amusement/bewilderment, I responded: “No…..am I supposed to?”

“Well, we’d like to see you here. It’s going to be fun….we’re getting pizza. Blake and Jimmy like to have sign-hanging competition….you should come.”

Me: “Umm, do I get paid?”

Boss: “Well, no, but its a good way to learn about the organization.”

Me: (blank look), “Whaaaa?”

Suffice to say, I didn’t come in early. But they’d give you the guilt trip the rest of the day, and talk about how fun it was.

After work it was no different.

Boss person: “Hey Greg, we’re going to get wings, you should come.”

Me: “Umm, I was gonna hang out with my friends…..”

Entire group, in unison: “C’MON GREG……IT WILL BE FUN. JOIN US. WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS.”

Yah….at this point, it started feeling like a cult.

But seriously…….when you work at places like this, they want to transform you into a pet. I am telling right now….RESIST. DON’T FALL INTO THE TRAP. RESIST WITH YOUR LIFE.

Yah, so I wasn’t cool with that whole deal.

5) You look like a loser.

Especially when you’re in groups, and everyone is high-fiving and yelling things like “Way to go Greg, you just made quota!” I’m shivering right now….bad memories.

6) Honestly, I don’t like people telling me how to think. And that’s pretty much what it was. Plus, I was never 100% behind the cause. So honestly…..it was a pretty bad fit for me.

Some highlights among lowlights:

1) I met local hip-hop artist Amadeus, who is hilarious and talented. I’d go into more….but this is another post for another time.

2) I met a lot of characters. One time a bunch of guys right off the street came in to work (these guys never lasted longer than a day). Anyway, they pretty much hung out in the corner during the meeting and intimidated everyone.

There just happened to be a very attractive girl who attended Brown that worked there, and was one of the leaders (her boyfriend, who attended Columbia, also worked there, was like the number one seller each week, and was a total douche bag).

Anyway, I don’t remember now, but I think she was of Vietnamese descent, with other various heritages thrown in. As we headed out to go to work, the alpha dog walked right behind her, blatantly staring at her ass. Then he asked her: “Yo girl, what are you? Spanish? Asian? Italian?”

In a completely prissy voice, she answered: “Well, my mom’s Vietnamese, my Dad’s blah blah blah, blah blah….”

Guy: (still staring directly at ass): “Well, your parents were doing something right.”

Yah….that was a highlight.

3) Spending forty minutes climbing to some mansion on top of a massive hill, only to be told by a maid that the owner suffered from dementia. There were gargoyles and fountains everywhere. It was a pretty damn sweet pad.

4) Getting fired. I didn’t know whether to rejoice, or to be pissed that I wasn’t getting paid anymore. My boss, who was hippy, actually told me to “Call it quits, buddy.” It was another one of those stunning quotes….I didn’t know hippies had the word “buddy” in their vocabulary.

Okay…..I am officially done ranting about the Sierra Club. I think this post has gone on way to long….hopefully I didn’t bore you. Now if you don’t mind…..I have to run some errands.

Until Next Time,

Greg

Neutered Basketball Association

Okay, this isn’t the blog I’ve been writing all week (not spending that much time on it….I’ve just been short on time).

Nope, with all the maddening suspensions that have been going on in NBA since the other night, I figured I had to chime in.  By chime in I mean post some links.  But before I post, I’d just like to say that the whole situation saddens me (for those who don’t know: in a wildly physical series between the Suns and Spurs that I wrote about a couple posts ago (on Mother’s Day), the heat finally rose to the point that the Suns star point guard Steve Nash was hip-checked by Robert Horry, leading to two Suns players taking about three steps off the bench, realizing what they had done, and quickly retreating.  Those two players happened to be a superstar and a very good role player.  The Spurs lost Horry for two games.

Honestly, I can’t even be angered by this……the NBA is simply neutered.  And there’s no way around it.  It can’t be fixed.  Period.  Men have testosterone, and from time to time, in basketball games, pushes become shoves, ect….I’ve been in more than a few pick-up games where swears and fights have been the norm.  Its exhilirating.  Maybe not fun at the time….but exhilirating.

Well, the NBA has no testosterone…..its neutered.  This is one of the million reasons why the NBA, beneath its glossy cover, is a total failure.  During one of the most exciting playoffs in years (this has totally kicked the NCAA Tourney’s ass), the NBA found a way to shoot themselves in the foot.  Badly.

Anyway, I’ll stop talking, and post relevant links.  Even if you don’t follow the NBA, and I know many of you don’t, these are good posts that are really more about sport than anything.  If you don’t like basketball in general….I hope to post this entry that I can’t seem to post within 3 hours.

From the Sports Guy, Bill Simmons:  He always gets it right.

From Deadspin this afternoon:

From Deadspin this morning:

A funny one from before the suspensions:

Okay…I’ll be back with something of my own soon.  Absolutely promise.

See ya.

Until Next Time,

Greg

Happy Mother’s Day

Hey Everyone,

I’m in the middle of writing a post right now, but it doesn’t look like its gonna get finished in the near future, so I wanted to say a few things.

For anyone who was given a business card and is new to the site:

Most blogs have an archives section, where you can view things by what month they were posted, which is good.  Unfortunately, I originally had this blog on a different URL, and decided to cut and paste everything over here instead of creating a link.  Because of this, the archives look wierd:  it only goes back  to March, and March is empty, because I let this site sit around for a month before I posted anything.  Since I cut and pasted everything over a span of two days in April, everything that I’ve written since January is stuck in the month of April (I’ve dated everything).  I might still add the Archives section, just wanted to let you know why I haven’t put it out there.

Also:  Don’t know if your all sports fans, I recommend watching two series in the NBA Playoffs right now:  The Golden State Warriors vs. The Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns vs. The San Antonio Spurs.

Golden State have been the stars of these playoffs….making it in by only one game as the eighth seed, and then preceeding to knock out the number one ranked Dallas Mavericks (this series was phenomenal) .  One reason this series has been great is the Golden State fans (Oakland) are unreal.  Its one of the only times watching a game that you don’t feel like everything is corporate central.  Tonight they are playing in Oakland….expect a spectacular game.

Tommorrow night, the Suns are playing the Spurs in San Antonio.  This is series is shaping up to be even better.  Its been chippy beyond belief so far, and only three games have been played.  We already have had a black eye, a nose that was split open, and numerous collisions, cheap shots, and trash talking.  These are also the two best teams left (excepting Detroit).  Watching it last night with some friends last night, we all predicted that there will be atleast one fist fight before its over.  So if you like to watch basketball how it should be played (or how it was played in the 80s and 90s), then check out this game tommorrow night.  Weeknight games are on TNT……weekend games are on ESPN or ABC.

One last thing……I have a lot of posts, and just wanted to posted put some links to posts that got a lot of hits on the old site:

If you want to about a lot of random stuff that happened to me back in February:  Blog of the Week

If you want to hear me bitch about nightlife in Boston from February:  Boogie Down Boston, Part 2

If you want to hear me make up a random story about something that I missed out on:  Sometimes Peanutes, Sometimes Shells.

If you don’t know anything about Stickball.  A Complete History of Stickball.

Okay….I’m done pimping myself out.  Sorry about that.  I just don’t like the way the Archives are organized right now, so trying to make it easier for everybody.   Okay…I’ve gotta run….I’m late for something.

I’ll try to get the post I’m working on posted tonight, but I’m going to distracted (Mother’s Day dinner, softball game, basketball on TV) so I’m not making any promises.

But as soon as I can, I’ll get it up.

Until Next Time,

Greg