Thursday, January 29, 2009

Its a day that ends in Y.... it must be time for some Elvis!

I don't really know why, but I have been wanting to do an Elvis Presley piece for a few weeks now. But I wanted to make sure it was not connected to any significate Elvis date (Birth, Death, Album Release, etc, etc). Growing up in Mississippi as white, male it is hard to escape Elvis. We sounds a little like him. Even if we don't want to. If we go some place, people will ask if we like him. It is easy to see his influence an alot of modern music. From Johnny Cash, to The Beatles, to Elvis Costello, to Jon Spencer or Chuck D calling Elvis "racist". It is hard to escape the influence of the man. Punk Rock kids laugh and make fun of him while playing the simple chord progressions that he helped make famous.

Of course you can always say he was just used by Sam Philips as a white kid who sounded black, to help sell "colored" music to the masses. But that is a pretty limited view. Elvis had a career and still has a following far passed that. It is true that Elvis owns much to the Blues and R&B artist of the 1950s, and it is true that Elvis didn't write his songs. But it was his power as an incendiary preformer and skill as a guitarist that seperated him from so many who's names have been lost to popular history. It has earns him his place in history.

Thats All Right Mama(1954)
Heartbreak Hotel(1956)
My Baby Left Me(1956)
Blue Suede Shoes(1956)
Hound Dog (1956)
His Latest Flame(1961)
Can't Help Falling in Love (1961)
You're the Devil in Disguise (1963)
Viva Las Vegas(1964)
Suspicious Minds(1969)

As I stated above Elvis influence can still be found though out modern musci but, in my opinion, no where is it better that in a group called Dread Zeppelin. Basically the whole idea for this band is taken from an interview with Elvis where some reporter asked him what he liked musically at the time. According to the band, he response that he liked, "Led Zeppelin and Reggae music". Which is why, the band songs like a Reggea band, doing Led Zeppelin covers as sung by Elvis Presley. Enjoy!

Heartbreaker(At the End of Lonely Street)
Your Time is Gonna Come
Immigrant Song


Sunday, January 25, 2009

What a Long Week

Lots going on this week.....

The Inauguration

What can I say, write, think, or feel what hasn't been said, or written, or felt a thousand time already. I will just say for once in a long time it was a good day in America.

Still Adventuring in Umemployement

While I am sure that almost everyone got to watch the inauguration Tuesday, I did not. I have spend alot of time this week in my car. I drove down Tuesday to McComb, to meet with a rep. from Sante Fe Cattle Company. I had a meeting at 10am and I finished up just in time to hear the President give his address. I guess I was good enough, because they called me back later that day to set up a second interview in McComb with the VP of south eastern operations.So I was schedualed to have a second interview on Wednesday afternoon. So I drove back on Wednesday. Basically after talking for 30 minutes they said they would send me an offer letter. So I don't have a job with them yet, but I guess they want me to come work for them. The only problem with this is that the job will be in Hammond, Louisana. Normally this would not be a problem, except for the fact that I am see some one here. But, my relationship with Amanda is complicated. Sometimes it feels like no relationship at all and then other times it seems very serious. I guess I will have to figure out what to do after I actually have the job.

Anyway, right before I left on Wednesday, my buddy Stephan called to tell me Debbie(his wife) was giving birth to their first son, Conner. To congrats to Stephan, Debbie, and Conner. And seeing that I was in South Mississippi anyway, I rolled on over to Hattiesburg to visit with folks.

I did stop off at the hospital first, but I never found anyone I knew. Those place are like mazes. So I called and went to dinner. I met Charlotte and we had a grand old time having drinks and just generally being the fun kids we are (or as much fun kids as a 26 and 31 year old can be). I even spilled my beer right on Charlotte! I felt bad about that. So we then made plans to go rent DVDs and watch some movies. Somehow it turned into a "B movie" night, we watched Freaks and The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. The second one I recommend because it is a modern homage/spoof to 1950s "B" horror/sci-fi films. Charlotte's boyfriend Hank arrived home and watched most of the movies with us, as we made plans for the next day.

See, for a long time now I have been wanting to go down to Abita Springs, Louisana and visit the brewery of Abita Beer . They do a free tour. But for one reason or another I have never made it there. But with Hank and Charlotte's support we had planned to go down and and enjoy the day. And what a beautiful day it turned out to be, Sunny, high in the low 70s. Prefect day for road tripping. You might think it irresponsible of me to drive down to a brewery, when I don't have a job or money coming in, and your right. But really what else did I have to do. I didn't have an interview that day and I had been offered a job, in theory, the day before. So anyway, after waking up I found out Hank couldn't go, he got called into work(see, work is bad!). So me and Charlotte went. The drive down was boring and what not, but we had fun, I filled her in on my whats going on in my life, she told me about Hank, her sister, and herself moving to NOLA. We got a little lost between the Interstate and the town of Abita Spring, but made it with plenty of time for the tour. The tour starts in their Brew Pub with free samples of beer. Then you watch a video that explains the brewing process and then you get to walk the brewery. The Brewery itself isn't that interesting. Just large tanks and hoses. So unless they are mixing the mash there isn't much to see. After the tour, we went and eat at the Abita Brew Pub, which in the original brewery but was quickly outgrown. I dropped Charlotte off with Hank and headed home.

Because I did have an interview with Dick's Sporting Goods. Not to be full of myself, but I could tell the guy wanted to hire me, but I have no retail experience. Still he called me, late in the day to say he would bring me on, but as an hourly manager and he would call me next Friday.

So in theory, I have two job offers, but no job!

Anyhow all this traveling kinda of wore me down and yesterday, I did as little as possible. But I still put in an application with Broad Street Bakery and got my invite for the JFP Best of Jackson party tonight. Why am I invited? No idea, but free food and drink is hard to turn down for an unemployeed guy!

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Super Bowl Prediction

Well the play offs are over.
The Arizona Cardinals wond the NFC and the Pittsburg Steelers won the AFC.
Both teams have coachs that are only in there second year.
This will be the second time in five years the Steelers have gone to the Super Bowl(they won it in 2005).
They Cardinals have not been to a Super Bowl ever, but the Cardinals QB has two previous Super Bowl wins.
The Steelers are playing good, hard hitting Football, and "The Steel Curtain" is as good as it has been in years.

So, who wins?

I'm going with the Steelers, but only by a touchdown or less.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Adventures in Unemployement...Day 6

So, I lost my shitty little job on Sunday, does that make today the sixth day or seventh day with out work. I don't know. I did work on Sunday, so I guess today is the sixth day.
Anyway, I had a strange thought last night. Instead on one "Full Time" job, I might look for two "part time" jobs. I had two run-ins yesterday that brought this to my attention. A friend of Zuga's said I might be able to get part time work at Be-Bop and then I might be able to cook at this new restaurant opening in Fondren called The Auditorium. Both would be cool job and I would not have to be responsible for other people. I still want to look in Brewmaster school, but I the best one in Chicago is full till fall 2010.
I did get a call from a restaurant called Sant Fe Cattle Co. I have to drive down to McComb on Tuesday meet with a guy about it. The problem with this job is that it means moving out of Jackson. While Jackson is perfect, I have spent the last three years craving out a life here. I don't know if I am ready to just up and move and start again. That gets harder the older I get and I would be leaving someone behind this time.
What to do, What to do?


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Covered Up #3

Some times You get the Blues, and some times the Blues gets You

I know what you are thinking, "What the hell does that mean?"
Well one of the basic principals of music is stealing. People call it a lot of different things, covers, samples, tributes, etc, etc.... Back in the early days of country and blues music it was not uncommon for one musician to hear a song another musician played, learn it himself, and then start playing it as part of his songlist. Of course this is all in a time before copy right infringement and all that legal mess got involved. Of course this did not stop in the with the birth of Rock n Roll. Rock musician have taken songs from their blues inspirations pretty much sense Rock music started. But I like to think of it more like the song said, "The Blues gave birth, and they called it Rock n Roll!"

My first example is one of the biggest names in blues history and is one of the main people responsible for the folk music revival of the early to mid 1960s. Son House was not just an influence of rockers but on other bluesmen of his time. His influence was so great he was the narrater of the movie Black Snake Moan, which was made twenty years after Son House died.
You can hear his influence in all types of music today, if you know what to listen for. Son House - Death Letter. The man even has fan today that are topping the chart. The White Stripes - Death Letter. While the two version sound almost nothing alike, there is that basic rythem on The White Stripe version that holds it true to the Son House version.

One of the few who can match Son House historical influence is Lead belly. Much like Son House, Lead belly was one major influences on the folk music revival as his song ranged from childrens music, to country, to blues. And many an artist had credited him with inspiration, like Johnny Cash, Led Zepplin, ABBA, C.C.R., The Animals, The White Stripes, and Ram Jam plus many more, Lead belly - Black Girl One of the most popular updates to this Lead belly song came in 1993 for MTV unplugged Nirvana - Where did you sleep last night.

While it is rare, some blues artist have now taken it to start stealing from rock artist. The keystone in this move is Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix liberally borrowed from the old blues masters, so I was not surprising that later blues singers started to do Hendrix music. But Hendrix is an easy example.
A far better one is with Count Five, a 1960s garage rock/protopunk group that had a top ten hit with this song psychotic reaction. Just a few year ago, 2005, up and coming blues singer/songwriter Michael Powers release a blues version, that is still raw and psychodelic but keeps the same undertones as the original.Michael Powers - Psychotic Reaction

Next Time: Fever


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Adventures In Unemployement...Day 3

I meant to write yesterday, but I really didn't have anything new to add to what was written Sunday. Plus I suffered a slight freak out. I had hoped that the freak out would come on Sunday night while I was drinking a case of High Life but no, it waited till I sobered up. But I have been getting my resume out to people. Between Careerbuilder, Monster, and the head hunters that uses those boards I have made a good start. I even heard from one of the head hunters today. So that is a plus. I hopefully will have another soul crushing job in no time. But....

I can't help of think of the holy words of Tyler Durden,

" Only when you have lost everything are you free to do anything "

They just popped into my head Sunday night. And I can't shake them off. As long as I am paying my bill and whatever I really could do anything right now. I have thougth of going to Brewmaster School and learning to make beer. I have thought about enrolling in Massage Therapy School. I have thought of selling everything I own and moving to New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Sengal, or Fuji. I know that last one is just a pipe dream, but I seriously feel like I am missing out on something. I have never been the 9 to 5 type and I knew I don't want to work in an office. But I'm not really trained to do alot. My study of history has not made me ready to do anything but study history or teach history. Neither of those sound like good options at this point. I can cook, which is how I have ended up where I am. But do I want to go to culinary school. If I was going to do something like that I would rather learn to make beer.
I guess I just don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Which is sad and scary at 32.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Adventures in Unemployement

So, here I sit, unemployeed...again.
I really don't know what else to say about it. The restaurant wasn't making money. The owner decided to close it. Me and my whole staff were laid off. So I here I sit unemployeed again. I would like to say that I didn't see it coming but that would be a lie. Sales in general have been going down hill, and no one gets into a business to lose money (unless its a tax dodge). Still I can't say that I haven't been looking for other work, I really never stopped after the whole Basil's thing.
But it just sucks.
So tonight, I'm drink a case of cheap, CHEAP, CHEAP beer and having some hot-wings. After I sleep that off, I will gather together my thoughts and get to finding new work. At least with the time off, I can write a few article for the JFP, finish some piece of art, and play my guitar more. I might even chronicle my "adventure in unemployement".


Saturday, January 10, 2009

From Back in the Day...

Man, look how young I looked. I am pretty sure this was take on a trip to NOLA with Wes, Gen, and Gen friend David. Gen sent this to me tonight. Its just werid to think about me in New Orleans that long ago. Hell, its werid to think about me back then. I had my whole life ahead of me then.
Now, I'm a little depressed!


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

New Year, New Blah, Blah, Blah.....

So its 2009.......yeah, well, great.

I don't know what you tell you. I had some ideas about end of year post for 2008, but none of them panned out. Seriously 2008 was damn bit depressing for me. I can't tell you much about it. As a year, it kinda sucked and I'm glad its gone. Hell even new years eve sucked. What did I end up doing, just going to a bar and watching a few bands play. Don't get me wrong, I like the new George Street and the bands where great, but it was New Years Eve. I had not one, but two trips to NOLA fall threw, and I didn't even get to kiss Amanda, because she had to stay home. I could have gone to Hattiesburg, the coast, anywhere....But I digress.

I had thought I would do a top ten albums of the year, but I realized most of what I bought this year came out in 2007. Very sad! Anyway, my favorite album of last year, shock of shocks turned out to be
The Black Key's Attack and Release. Another great Album from last year was, of all things,The Soundtrack to Rock n Rolla. It has a strange mix of classic garage, like The Sonics, The Clash, and Wanda Jackson. Plus some new school stuff like The Hives (a personal favorite of mine), The Subways, and Black Strobe (who sound like NIN doing Muddy Waters songs). You should check it out.

Anyway enough about last year. We all got to start thinking about this year. We got a new President, but the economy is in the toilet and war is running wild in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Minor. The Mayor of Jackson is either going to jail and/or will die of heart problems. Which would put him in the company of alot of other political and business folks. Its just crazy ass shit all around.

But on a personal note, I got high hopes for 2009.

I have a woman, I'm very into. Our relationship is complicated, but it can only get better. I mean seriously, how could it be worse than being totally alone?

I got a job, which is better than alot of people right now. And while it may not be the greatest, I can use it to help me look for a better one. I'm not going to be caught off guard by unemployement again.

Plus, I don't have resolutions, but I do have some ideas for this year.

First, I need to excise more. I know everyone says this, but I really am starting to feel bad, health wise. There isn't anything wrong with me, but I just don't feel well about myself.

Next I am going to work on my Spanish. I have spoken some Spanish for years. I have never spoken it well, and I feel that I should go back and really work on the basics.

Lastly, I am going work on my music. I know most of you have never heard me play or anything. Thats okay. I'm not a good musician, and I don't even expect I will be. But I would like a better understanding of music. So I am setting out to not just play guitar better but to understand what I am play, with the study of music theory.

Any-who, I hope everyone is having a good new year!


Movies for 2009

This movie could easily be the best of the year or it could be a cluster fuck on the road to hell. And that of course is IF we see it. Fox and Warner Brothers are deep into a legal battle over the rights to this movie. So it might get delayed or we might never see it at all. But it looks cool.

Star Trek:
Contrary to popular belief I am not a Trekkie. While I will admit watching The Next Generation. Putting the words Star Trek on something doesn't mean I will watch it. But I do like J.J. Abrams (Alias, Lost, Fringe, Cloverfield, M:I3) What I think scaries most fans is that is a reboot for the original series. But with out doing something new, this franchise is dead.

Monster verse Aliens:
Hoepfully this movie will do for 1950s B-movies what Dreamworks did for martial arts movies with Kung-Fu Panda. Just from the trailer you can see references to "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman", "The Blob", "Docter Stranglove" and "Creature from the Black Lagoon". Plus it has a great cast Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Rainn Wilson, and Stephan Colbert to name a few.

Bitch Slap:
Warning, don't watch this at work or with kids in the room.
This movies looks like a cross between Grindhouse and Sin City. Which is pretty much why I want to see it. It clearly is inspired by women in prison movies and crime-chase films from the 1970s. And you know when Lucy Lawless, aka Xena, is the biggest star and she isn't the lead, you know its going to be an exploitation movie!

Black Dynamite:
Warning, don't watch this at work or with kids in the room.
This comedy, clearly draws inspiration from 70s blackploition films like Shaft and Dolemite. And is even shot to look like those films. But seem to have a sense of humor about how those movies played out.

Of course there are other movies coming out this year that I want to see. The new Harry Potter looks awesome. I want to see Crank 2 just to see how they explain Jason Statham's character, Chev Chelios', surviving the first films ending. The Broken Lizard guys (Super Troopers and Beerfest) new movie called Slammin Salmon looks funny. And I am sure there are tons more films coming out later in the year that will be cool.