Bubala, Mumi & Max

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Here Lies Mumi...

The world’s gone mad
And I’ve lost touch
I didn’t feel myself evaporating...

Finally, here it is... the end to all this madness known as blogging. In the past year, I have, despite my VERY private nature, opened a window and revealed a glimpse into my extraordinarily, pathetically boring life. (Or, whatever this blog is called.) I have tried to share how I feel about things. Pieces of my past and scraps of my present day life from time to time. At this time in my life, however, I can no longer share anything with anyone any more. I’m just going to pull the shade down, so no one can look into the window any more.

How did this happen? I don’t know. I have lost interest in much of the world around me. It all just seems like such a horrible place now. Totally fugazi, if you know what I mean.

For a while now, I have had this feeling that my soul is actually leaving my body even though I am still alive. It’s almost as if the spirit part of me was completely fed up with how evil the world around me has become, and it has decided to hightail it out of here.

It’s left me in a blur, unable to focus on anything spiritually. So, now that I have to live in this body without a soul, my body just seems so empty. Like an unfurnished apartment. It’s really boring now. The place is completely vacant. That’s why I just don’t feel like I have anything left to share. Instead, I have the feeling that I am becoming the invisible man. I feel like the color of air, and I must sleep. R.I.P.

I woke up and I had a big idea
To buy a new soul at the start of every year
I paid up and it cost me pretty dear
Here’s a hymn to those who disappear

Monday, October 30, 2006

1 More Day 'Til Halloween... Silver Shamrock

Halloween Funnies...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

2 More Days 'Til Halloween... Silver Shamrock

Pumpkin AssHalloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in).

The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future. For a people entirely dependent on the volatile natural world, these prophecies were an important source of comfort and direction during the long, dark winter.

To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.

During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes. When the celebration was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had extinguished earlier that evening, from the sacred bonfire to help protect them during the coming winter.

By A.D. 43, Romans had conquered the majority of Celtic territory. In the course of the four hundred years that they ruled the Celtic lands, two festivals of Roman origin were combined with the traditional Celtic celebration of Samhain.

The first was Feralia, a day in late October when the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. The second was a day to honor Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. The symbol of Pomona is the apple and the incorporation of this celebration into Samhain probably explains the tradition of "bobbing" for apples that is practiced today on Halloween.

By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.

Blatantly stolen from History.com... well, everything except for the picture.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

3 More Days 'Til Halloween... Silver Shamrock

A lot of the neighborhood dogs started barking last Sunday at around 9am. Max heard them and started barking too. I was awake, but Bubala had worked late the night before, so he was sleeping in.

There was a knock at the door. I quickly went to answer it as Max barked even louder. There was a woman at the door, and she was selling subscriptions to a magazine called “Have You seen The Light.” She handed me a copy of the magazine to look through. I invited her inside and let the dog outside.

We started talking as I flipped through the magazine. She asked me if I have been saved and I told her, "Oh yes. I have been saved several times." We talked about our families. I told her that real angels in my life were my two children who were still sleeping. In fact, I was just waiting for the little ones to wake up. It was just about time for them to have their breakfast.

She expressed great interest in my little ones. She told me that she also had two children, a 2 year old and a 4 year old and she asked me if she could just poke her head into the babies’ bedroom and take a peek at my little sweethearts. I told the lady that she was certainly welcome to take a look at my little babies and that she could actually help me out by waking them up since it was time for them to have their breakfast.

At about this time, Max started barking again at something outside. I told the lady that I had to go and get my barking dog to stop him from waking up the whole neighborhood, so I walked outside for just a moment.

My little darlings must have been really hungry that morning, because when I got back in with the dog, they were just finishing their breakfast.

My little angel.

My other little angel.

Friday, October 27, 2006

4 More Days 'Til Halloween... Silver Shamrock

Grave Yard
Here are the lyrics to a 20 year old song that I wrote about a reckless friend of mine that I hung with in the 1980’s. He had major substance abuse problems, among other things. The song was meant to be kind of a warning to him. He’s one of the guys I knew that didn’t die. (At least, I don’t think he did.) After his 15 year relationship ended, he started having a sexual interest in underage boys. It was at about that time I met Bubala. I decided that I didn’t want to be around my friend and his bad karma any more. So, maybe I didn’t need him as a friend after all.

The other night about 12 O’clock
I took a walk by the cemetery
The sky was dark there was a mist
The atmosphere it was quite scary

I saw your grave site it was cold and moist
And from the ground
I heard a voice
(it said) “I do not sleep so peacefully”

A figure appeared and sat on the headstone
I rubbed my eyes this did not seem right
Your ghost transparent, legs crossed and such
You smiled at me and said “Got a light”

I paused a while quite stunned but staring
And you said “By the way, have you got any coke?”
Then I started laughing I fell on the ground
Just like your life your death was a joke

(And I said)
Turn away you can not handle this
And all the while there were things that you missed
Now that you’ve escaped this far
You have to deal with this forever

I’ve talked to your lover
He’s still down but surviving
He doesn’t work as much now
Without your money conniving

I remember when you used to talk big
About your dream house, your boat, and your car
But now it’s too late for those things my friend
You’ve got a coffin, a pillow, and there’s no bar

(And you said) “So I wasn’t a perfect person”
“So I committed the ultimate sin”
“But if you say you are really my friend”
“Do you think you can sneak a bottle of Jack in”?
“I’m real bored down here”
Music & Lyrics - 7-25-86

Thursday, October 26, 2006

5 More Days ‘Til Halloween... Silver Shamrock

Oh, The Horror Of It All!

The Devil must live in New Jersey. How could they actually give those immoral, degenerate, sinful gay people the same rights as moral, law abiding, good Christian heterosexual people. It’s a nightmare I tell you! The apocalypse is surely upon us now. First, the gay people want equal rights to marry. And if we give the gays marriage rights, then you never know who will demand to be allowed to marry next...

The Happy Couple
Dr. Frank-N-Furter and The Zuni Fetish Doll cordially invite you to their Halloween “Union Of Two Souls In Love Ceremony” to be held at 666 Satan’s Sinners Road in Camden, New Jersey. There will be a swimming party/drug orgy/virgin sacrifice at the reception following the service. Finger foods (made from actual fingers) and Bloody Marys will be served.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

6 More Days 'Til Halloween... Silver Shamrock

Fire!The building that I work in is haunted. The structure has been standing for well over 50 years. Back in the 1950’s, it was a dance hall where people would gather to dance to a live band. Back then, the fire safety standards were not as strict as they are today. All the doors on the building opened in to the hall rather than opening out towards the outside. One night, a fire broke out and several people, 16 of them I think, mostly women, were trampled and burned to death while trying to escape from the burning building.

Since then, the hall has been rebuilt and is now a bingo hall. It’s up to current fire code standards. There is no trace left of the tragedy that took place there all those years ago. If you ask the cleaning crew though, they’ll tell you that there are some strange goings on in the building. They come in at around 6:00am when there is no one else is around, and they see and hear some strange things. They talk of ashtrays flying off tables at them, the smell of lavender perfume mysteriously floating through the air and of a woman singing in one of the ladies rooms when no one is in there.

I sometimes come in after the cleaning crew has left, but before anyone else has arrived and I’m alone in the building, all by myself. I must say, there are some weird things that go on in there from time to time. The ghosts, as I call them, like to get into the lights and make them flicker and I’ve also heard strange sounds that sound like voices.

666One of my jobs is to change the little light bulbs behind each number on the bingo boards when they burn out. This week, on Monday, one of the lights was out behind the number 6. So, I replaced it and moved my ladder on to the next board and changed a few bulbs there. Then, thinking I was done, I put the ladder away only to discover that the same number 6 had burned out again. So, I got the ladder back out and changed it again. The next morning, on Tuesday, the same number 6 was burned out again. Coincidence? I think not. I think the ghosts are screwing with me because it’s Halloween. Even in bingo, B-6 is still the number of the beast.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

7 More Days 'Til Halloween... Silver Shamrock

Jackie O'
Which thought is scarier to you?
  1. Being kidnapped by black bearded, hairy-chested, Islamic fundamentalist, jihadist terrorists who say they are going to cut off your head and put the video on YouTube for your mother to watch if you don’t convert to Islam and confess you devotion to Allah and your disgust with Jesus and America immediately...

  2. Terror Alert

  3. Being kidnapped by inbred, hillbilly, backwoods, white trash, redneck mountain men with missing teeth and being forced to submit to their perverted sexual desires which probably include the use of animals and sharp metal objects and afterwards they’ll probably hack you into small bits and make you into chili for the annual Kentucky mountain chili cook off that is coming up...

  4. Hill Billy

Monday, October 23, 2006

You Have My Vote

No offense, but most politicians are butt-ugly. Sure, there are some exceptions. But, let's face it, there are a lot of ugly, old, shriveled up, nasty-ass men in politics. Even the half way decent looking ones usually end up having ugly political and social ideologies. So, politics is not usually the place that I go looking for my daily dose of man on man woofiness.

Like I said though, there are exceptions. And, one half of the Governer's race here in Maryland is looking mighty fine to me. No, I'm not referring to that stiff Republican with the bad hairpiece. (If that's not a hairpiece, then that straight guy needs some serious help from the Queer Eye guys!)

The woofies to which I am referring are these guys:

The Hunky Duo
They are hot! Especially that hunky Anthony Brown on the left! He can have my vote (and anything else of mine that he might want) anytime!

Friday, October 20, 2006

I'm Not So Unique After All

Not sure how accurate this site is, but it's kinda cool...

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

  • There are 992,896 people in the U.S. with the first name Jason.
  • Statistically the 39th most popular first name.
  • 99.7 percent of people with the first name Jason are male.

The Most Boring Gay In The World

Bored Gay
I might just be the most boring gay guy in the whole entire world. I just haven't had anything happen in my life lately that is exciting enough to waste space in Cyberspace yakking about.

Yep, masturbation and watching reruns of The Match Game on The Game Show Network is about as exciting as it gets for me these days! (No, I don't do both of those things simultaneously! Unless, of course, that hunky Richard Dawson is on again!)

Richard Dawson
I guess I need a hobby.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Can I Handle All This Fame?

My brother has been filming scenes for a public access TV show that he is putting together. For whatever reason, he decided that he needed to film a couple of scenes in a bingo hall. One of those scenes required a bingo caller. So, naturally, he decided that since I was such a talented, little thespian all those years ago when I was in high school, that I would make a perfect bingo caller. I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that I am actually a bingo caller in real life. It's definitely because of my incredible Academy Award-worthy acting abilities. For sure.

So, anyway, last Thursday, we all gathered at the bingo hall and filmed the scenes. I found out that it is really difficult to just be yourself when there are lights and cameras and a camera crew in your face.

I am a bingo caller, yet I found it was not quite as easy to just be a bingo caller when the cameras started rolling. It was much easier for me to be some guy, not very convincingly, pretending to be a bingo caller than to actually be me, a real live bingo caller.

We got through it though. Here is a sneaky peek at my big small screen debut:

(I could not get the video to imbed properly into this here blog entry, so if you want to see my spectacular acting debut, then you'll have to click here.)

The show will not be completed and aired probably until November, but you can say that you saw it (well, the best part of it anyway) here first.

I don't know about you, but as I watched myself acting in this scene, I was immediately reminded of another super, spectacularly talented actor and one of his great performances in a major motion picture. I learned all of my best acting skills from watching this genius at work!

Long Live Pee Wee Herman!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Our Long Weekend Under The Porcupine Tree

Steve, Steven, John and YodaBoston: October 5, 2006

Well, I guess we've somewhat recovered from our adventures under the Porcupine Tree, but like my friend Moonlo0p said to me, one show makes her feel like she was hit by a truck. Imagine what four shows in a row in four different cities makes you feel like. I feel like we should have gone to the West coast shows. That's what I feel like. Last year, we did six shows in seven days. Oh, you just wait Bubala. Next time...

So, now that I've unpacked my adjectives, it's time to tell the tale. We headed north to Boston on 10/5/06 for the first show. Our first stop after checking into the hotel was at an in-store appearance at Newbury Comics where we ran into our Boston area peeps. (I mean Porcs!) We even ran into a couple of locals we that see at Blowoff from time to time who were traveling and decided to see PT up North. The in-store had enough room for 30 folks or so and about 200 showed up. I made it into the crowded place and heard the band play and took a few pics. Later, I chatted with Steven Wilson and guitarist John Wesley who both remembered us from past shows and tours.

The band enjoys playing up in this area at the Berklee Performance Center because it's right near the Berklee College Of Music and there are a lot of folks around that area that really like Prog Rock and Porcupine Tree. I think it's cool because everyone walks around with their guitars on their backs. The Berklee show went well enough. We had VIP front row tickets for this one. The band were a bit jet-lagged having just flew in from the UK and Steven had developed a slight cough. Still, they put on one hell of a great show for the sold out Berklee gig.

PT at the Nokia TheatreNew York City: October 6, 2006

The next day, we got up and headed down the road to New York City. We made it there by around 3pm, and we were in line for the show by 4pm. We ran into even more Porcs who were saving us a place in line. This was a general admission show at the Nokia Theatre. I have to be right up front at every P-Tree show. It's a tradition. I've seen PT 23 times and there were only 2 times that I was not in the front row. So, we ordered Chinese food from a restaurant across the street and sat down in line in Times Square and had dinner while waiting for the doors to open. As soon as they did, I ran down to the front of the stage as fast as I could and that's where I remained for the rest of the night.

PT only played six shows on this tour here in the U.S. to promote their new DVD, Arriving Somewhere. It's available now. (I think.) The DVD was filmed in Chicago and Bubala and I were there right in the front row for that show too. We are all over the DVD. So, you should buy it so you can look for us.

The band was also using this tour to introduce brand new material that they are about to start recording. So, the first hour of the show was all new songs, and they are really great. One of them is about 17 minutes long. I'm sure it is going to be a huge hit single. The New York City show was rocking. The jet lag was gone and the Tree were starting to ignite on stage.

We saw a few of the band members after the show and chatted with them and took a few pics. We also ran into a couple from Quebec City that we met last year in Chicago.

The next day, we spent some time shopping and went to Central Park and walked around, before heading South to Philadelphia.

Keswick TheatrePhiladelphia: October 7, 2006

We got to the Keswick Theatre and were greeted by even more Porcs in the parking lot. A very hardcore PT audience has developed around here. As always, Studio M was at the Philly shows to take great pics. There was a gathering of fans at a local tavern, so we had dinner there.

We had V.I.P. front row tickets for this sold out show as well, which meant that we both got a limited edition numbered and autographed copy of the new DVD. There were 2000 of these limited DVD's pressed. I hear that the band got #1 through #50. I got 51 and 57 and a few numbers in the 200's. (Yes, I have 5 copies of the DVD.)

The opening act for the four east coast shows was the debut of ProjeKCt 6, a band featuring Adrian Belew and Robert Fripp from King Crimson. They played very modern improvisational kind of music that changed and evolved each night. It was challenging to listen to, but I'm a big fan so it just made for a great double bill, in my opinion.

We ran into more Porcs that we had previously met at the Chicago shows. They were from Kentucky and were doing the Philly and Virginia shows.

The atmosphere was very hardcore, and the band spent extra time mingling with the crowd after the show. The band can be very accessible for questions, autographs, and pictures. Because of this, it makes them even more special. And their fans are really cool as well. Most of them are either musicians or are very into music, and they are usually pretty intelligent too.

D.C. Or Falls Church: October 8, 2006

PT has played at the 9:30 Club the last three times that they have been in town. This year, they decided to play a different venue over in Northern Virginia called The State Theater. It is a nice place and the sold out show was just charged up with energy as both bands played great sets.

I ran into my DC Porcs and one of them even gave me a bootleg of a previous show from this tour. So, I can go home and listen to the new Porcupine Tree album before it gets recorded and released. Now that is what I call NEW MUSIC.

Yes, I was right up front again for this show. Richard, the keyboardist for the band asked me afterward if my neck could still hold up my head. You see, I am a bobble head and I am spiritually possessed while under the Porcupine Tree to bang my head against it's trunk. Steven quite likes it because he comes over and plays his guitar in front of me just inches from my face.

After the show, I said my goodbyes to the band and Bubala and I got to play photographer for some of the DC Porcs. Sigh! Another PT tour is over, and I am sad.

Oh yeah, just in case you think that Bubala is getting the better of me with all the roller coasters this summer and then this Cyndi Lauper concert, you just wait until next year Bubala! First, Steven Wilson comes back in February with Blackfield and then again in the spring with Porcupine Tree. And, as if that's not enough, Rush should be back on the road and Marillion may come back to the U.S. too.

You just wait Bubala. I let you have it easy this year, but next year we go bi-coastal for our adventures under the Porcupine Tree.

The Fall season’s line of Porcupine Tree fashion apparel:

The "Arriving Somewhere" black T-Shirt and knit cap.
Shirt & Cap

Remastered "Stupid Dream" long sleeve navy blue t-shirt.
(To match the recent remastered vinyl.)

The limited edition "Arriving Somewhere" navy blue road crew hoodie.
(Just like the one Steven Wilson wears.)
The limited edition crew hoodie!

The End Of The World As We Know It

Stolen From Yahoo! News

Tower RecordsMusic fans mourn loss of Tower Records

By KAREN MATTHEWS, Associated Press Writer
Fri Oct 13, 3:33 PM ET

NEW YORK - The news that Tower Records is going the way of, well, records struck a dissonant note with customers as the news sunk in this week that the 46-year-old music retailer has been sold to a liquidator that will close all the stores.

"I feel very sad about it," Ladd Fraternale, shopping in the country section at Tower's East Village store in Manhattan, said Wednesday. "I think they have a great selection here and the service is good."

On Oct. 6, a federal bankruptcy judge in Wilmington, Del., approved the sale of Tower to Los Angeles-based liquidator Great American Group for $134.3 million.

While no firm date has been set for the stores to close, "Going Out of Business" signs went up this week at Tower's 89 stores in 20 states and the chain's 3,000 employees have been told they will be laid off.

The company owes creditors about $200 million and filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in August. In its filing, Tower said it has been hurt by an industrywide decline in music sales, downloading of online music and competition from big-box stores such as Wal-Mart.

CDs were 10 percent off this week, still not a bargain. At 10 percent off the list price of $18.99, Beyonce's "B'day" was selling for $17.09, compared with $9.99 on Amazon. Great American President Andy Gumaer said the discount will increase over the six to eight weeks it takes to close the stores.

At the New York store, Larry Kirwan, lead singer of the Irish band Black 47, was scouring the rock bins and mourning Tower's imminent loss.

"It's a bad day for music," Kirwan said. "It's a bad day for independent bands. ... Right from the beginning, even before we were signed with labels they carried us. They've been good to musicians."

Kirwan said taking music off the Internet is not the same as buying a vinyl LP or even a CD.

An LP or CD is "something real that's not virtual," he said. "It's like music itself. I'm not sure music is virtual. It's real and it's powerful, and I don't think you quite get the same thing from downloading."

Russ Solomon founded Tower in Sacramento, Calif., in 1960 and opened the company's landmark store on Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard in 1969. As part of the bankruptcy auction, the Sunset property will be sold for $12 million.

Outside the Sunset Boulevard store, a marquee with a message and REM lyrics said it all: "It's the end of the world as we know it. Thanks for your loyalty." A mock gravestone and Halloween decoration had a single word scratched into it: "Tower."

Norman Labby, who for 20 years drove across town to go to Tower for jazz and classical albums, said he was "frustrated, angry and depressed" that Tower was closing.

"I don't own a computer, I don't know how to work one and don't plan to buy one," he said, holding a bag full of CD's and tapes. "I'm disenfranchised for the umpteenth time."

News of Tower's sale to Great American plunged workers into "immediate sadness," said Ramsey Jones, manning the third-floor cash register at the New York store.

"Business hasn't been great," Jones said. "Downloading, competition from Virgin and your Best Buys and your Wal-Marts. But the thing that people will miss is the deep catalog that Tower has. They can come here and find anything they want."

Jones, a 15-year Tower employee who also plays the drums and has worked with musicians including Vernon Reid of Living Colour, said he has made connections at Tower and met famous customers like Carlos Santana and jazz great Ornette Coleman.

"Customers are going to miss walking into a store and speaking to someone that is knowledgeable," he said. "It's like losing a family member, working here for so long."

Rock critic Robert Christgau said Thursday that Tower often attracted workers who knew about music because they were musicians themselves.

"It doesn't make me happy to see places like Best Buy and Circuit City selling records," he said in a telephone interview. "I'd much rather records were sold at a music store."

Associated Press Writer Noaki Schwartz in Los Angeles contributed to this story.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Revenge On Revenge

Larry, Moe & Curley
Mumi, Steven Wilson from Porcupine Tree and me.

Wow! Going on tour can really take a lot of you. I don't know how all you famous people do it! I need to take a vacation to recover. Seems that I just cannot catch up on all the sleep that I lost.

Not to worry though. I am already plotting my revenge on his revenge. You see, I just happened to find out that Cyndi Lauper is performing this coming Tuesday night at Ram's Head Live in Baltimore. I bought my tickets this morning.

I love Cyndi. I have always loved Cyndi. I will always love Cyndi. She is the one woman that I would trade sides for. Yep, you heard me right. That's what I said.

I would go straight for Cyndi Lauper.

My Wife
She is one beautiful, talented, and classy lady.

Check out Cyndi's tour blog. Not only is she beautiful, she's also one heck of a funny blogger.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Where The Deer & The Antelope Play

Porcupine Tree
Well, we are back home again, fresh from our mini East coast tour with the Porcupine Tree. No, we were not the opening act. We were the two crazy gay guys sitting/standing in the front row for all four nights of the East coast gigs. It was a great trip. I'll let Mumi fill you in on all the gory, musical details.

I'll just say that I had a great time. Boston, New York, Philly and Northern Virginia are all just chock full of hot mandies! So much eye candy. Sometimes I actually had a hard time concentrating on the blaringly loud, ear bruising wall of music blasting in my face because of all the hot man candy surrounding me.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Professor's New Book

Just in time for the 26th anniversary of me seeing my first RUSH concert, September 26th, 1980, I received Neil Peart's new book in the mail. It's his fourth book released by a major publisher. It's called "ROADSHOW - Landscape With Drums - A Concert Tour By Motorcycle." The book chronicles Neil's motorcycle travels on RUSH's recent 30th Anniversary tour. Yes, by motorcycle. While most rock stars prefer the jet set, four star hotel treatment, Neil prefers to dodge all that and kill the boredom on the road traveling by motorcycle. So, this turned into an opportunity for him to not only document the RUSH tour but to also to travel deep into the darkest heart of America and just observe things.

Neil In Leather
Neil writes travelogue books. His first one, "The Masked Rider", is about his bicycle tour through Africa with a group of about 5 North Americans. In the 80's, he used to do RUSH tours by bicycle as well. Can you imagine biking 175 miles from one city to the next and then drumming for a 2 hour RUSH concert? Now, in the 2000's, he motorcycles it and plays a 3 hour RUSH concert. So, he's a biker right? That means that he puts on his leather for protection from the elements. He's the "REAL THING." So, you won't find him getting out of his Mercedes in front of the Eagle and primping before going in, but you will find him driving through rain storms to get to the next gig with his riding buddy Mike who also manages security on the RUSH tour. Neil met Mike though Neil's gay friend who knows Mike's gay friend but neither Neil or Mike is gay. (At least, I don't think so.) But, for some reason, because they are both gay friendly guys, sometimes their banter back and forth with each other throughout the book sounds just like two old queens.

Neil & Mike
RUSH became very gay friendly around the time of their 1993 "Counterparts" album, which had several gay references on it. After that, Neil has written in his books about his gay friends and his positive experiences while hanging around gay people and how they have influenced him through out his life. I've watched the crowds at their shows which are always about 90% men anyway. (Most girls hate RUSH!) There are a lot of gay guys who go see RUSH concerts these days. I got cruised several times during the last two tours especially around Philadelphia. I think it's all the naked men on their album covers that draws the gays to RUSH.

Neil had a few very bad years. In 1997, his 19 year old daughter was killed when she lost control of her car and ran off the road, while she was on her way to college. The next year, his wife was diagnosed with cancer and passed away as well. This left Neil without his family and RUSH was put on hiatus indefinitely. To do with his grief, Neil took to motorcycle riding across his home country of Canada and then down and around in America and into parts of Mexico as well. These travels became the focus of his second book, "Ghost Rider."

Since then, Neil has put his life back on track. He remarried an American woman and moved to California. He's made a few new Rush albums and played on a few tours. He wrote his third book, "Traveling Music." This time, he traveled by car around the Southwest U.S. listening to a variety of different music along the way from Sinatra to Madonna, Mars Volta to Buddy Rich, reminiscing about the past, commenting about the present and passing on some history about parts of areas he traveled in.

Last year, he released an instructional drumming DVD, "Anatomy Of A Drum Solo", where he dissects and demonstrates the 10 minute drum solos he performed on the past two RUSH tours. He even does a few ½ hour improvisational warm up routines on his kit on the DVD. This stuff is for the drum enthusiasts like me.

Neil is currently working on a new RUSH album now, and I've heard that you may spot him in the new Aqua Team Hunger Force movie coming out next year. Until then, we have the new book about RUSH's 30th Anniversary tour. Bubala and I saw six shows on that tour. Virginia Beach, Cleveland, D.C. (well, Nissan in Man Asses, Virginia), Philadelphia. We finished the tour with two sold out shows at Radio City Music Hall in New York City because RUSH is just classy enough to play there.

New Music (New For Me, At Least!)

Guster - "One Man Wrecking Machine"
From their CD, Ganging Up On The Sun.

Together for over a decade, Guster's new album is their fifth and it shows them having gained a certain breadth in their middle age (that's middle age in band years). Recorded in Nashville, they're now expanded to a quartet with multi-instrumentalist Joe Pisapia as a fulltime member adding a range of mature sounds and textures (everything from lap steel guitar, banjo and dulcimer to trumpet). They've fashioned a work that's radio friendly without being cloy, largely because of the subtle unpredictability of the arrangements and the underlying songs. They move with ease from the dreamily hypnotic "Satellite" to the slashing guitars of "The New Underground." They're equally at home with high volume (the thunderous "the Beginning of the End") and low ("Empire State"). Ryan Miller's confident vocals lend an everyman friendliness to the set as a whole. --David Greenberger
(Review stolen from Amazon.com.)

Persephone's Bees - "Paper Plane"
From their CD, Notes From The Underworld.

Like a sexy, real-life Natasha (as in Boris and), Angelina Moysov will seduce you with kittenish lead vocals into her cool punk-Gypsy-lounge world — but will never leave you stranded at the party by yourself. Have a fantastic acid flashback while jamming to Tom Ayres’s electric guitar licks and Bart Davenport’s deep bass on both the “Nice Day” and “City of Love” tracks. With influences ranging from Blondie to Russian folk tunes, the band manages to channel the voices in their heads into a one-of-a-kind signature sound that’s cooler than most.
(Review stolen from DailyCandy.com.)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Party Fun!

We had a great time on Saturday at Tim & Donn's annual Fall party. Thanks for the invite guys! We love you!

Tim & Donn are sexy, and they sure do know how to throw a party!
Tim & Donn

Lots of cute guys were invited!
Cute Bois

We got to hang out with these guys. They are nice.
The Gang's All Here

There were way too many delicious desserts (like these brownies) at the party!
I think I gained a few pounds!

Mumi was the pool shark!
Pool Shark