Monday, July 19, 2010

Roots Radical

Just past 50 posts for the year, not too shabby...
Anyways...
I had been reading an article on musical influences and it struck me how almost no matter what kind of music you liked as a kid you go through a hip hop appreciation phase. And then usually you move on to building on the roots of your musical tastes.
Its the strangest thing.
Makes me wonder if B-Boys and B-Girls go through a brief metal or lounge music phase? Nah probably just they end up listening to terrible techno for a few years.
The first song I remember hearing was my mom playing Beastie Boys " You Gotta Fight" now this is tricky since they were on Def Jam at the time and were somewhat considered in the hip hop world BUT what I loved about it was the organic live band sound, it was almost thrashy, the solo was like something that Anthrax woulda been playing.
I've been all over the radar with my musical tastes, my first vinyl 7 inch was Los Lobos' cover of "La Bamba". I was so obsessed with it that when we moved I am convinced my parents through it out as it didn't seem to make it to the new house mysteriously.
As a baby of the MTV generation, I had an eclectic taste right off the bat. Loving everything from Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" and Taking Head's "Burning Down the House", Pat Benatar's "Love Is A Battlefield" to being able to remember that Adam Curry looked retarded trying to host Headbanger's Ball (and i was very young and still understood that fact) while enjoying The Crue's "Dr. Feelgood" and getting rare viewings of Iron Maiden's "Run To The Hills".
Oh I had the embarrassment of knowing the "Hangin' Tough" dance and loving M.C. Hammer's "Please Hammer Don't Hurt Em" album because well, at the time i had no idea that there was an underground punk movement, MTV didn't cover that. Alternative Nation and later 120 Minutes just barely gave glimpsed into anything resembling that scene. Honestly the video clips shown in Bevis and Butthead were where I got to hear the raddest music. Unsane, Butthole Surfers, the Pixies, i got exposed to them all by that show.
Radio wasn't much better.
Though at night falling asleep I would be lulled into dreamland by the likes of Wax, The Cure, and what I would later realize as the early Paul Westerberg solo stuff. Otherwise it was G'n'R and Warrant and Ratt until mopey-dopey Nirvana hit the scene. Perfect for me because it let all these obscure bands float to the surface and then reading their liner notes in the "thank yous" section it turned me on to even greater bands. Well worth it even though thanks to Pearl Jam being put into heavy rotation, we much later got stuck with god-awful shit like Creed and Seether, much like watching the Simpsons on Fox saved the company and would one day give birth to that which is FoxNews.
Green Day opened me up to Rancid, Op Ivy, NoFx and the rest of the Epitaph roster.
Though of course I put all that away with the exception Sublime and Reel Big Fish when I started to get more into the hip hop music which i don't think is a coincidence that I also (stupidly) started to think that pot was cool, like a lot of late middle school age kids.
Thus is where I was really listening to Ice Cube, Too Short, Wu-tang Clan Tupac, Notorious BIG and whatever popular east coast vs. west coast rap was in fashion in the moment. These acts were the soundtrack to my high school party days mixed in a bit with a slowly deepening knowledge of punk. My metal listening was relegated to mostly Nine Inch Nails and marilyn manson, (sad as can be to admit) Limp Bizkit and other "edgy but really not" type music.
Since my friends and I had the derogatory nickname in high school of "Slayer-dogs" it took me years later to realize that Slayer was actually a fucking rad band. I gotta say thank god for one band: Glassjaw, not groundbreaking music by any means but they woke me up, it got me out of a musical rut and slowly returned me to the joys of discovering new and exciting bands. The way seeing live music can only do.
Music has always been my lifeblood but I've always been a slow learner when it comes to the really good stuff. The throwaway stuff always hit my ear right away but the stuff I actually love, it took second or third listens before I actually understood that I had more in common with those bands then what I was immediately exposed to. I heard the Replacements numerous times before I actually sat and paid attention and saw that they summarized most of my high school existence.
Even today I am the same way. I knew OF Dillinger Four back when Vs. God came out but I just started really getting them a few years ago.
I feel like I've come full circle in alot of ways. I loved that thrashy sound of " You Gotta Fight" oh so many years ago and now I am really appreciating bands like Baroness, Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan. Its not the only stuff I listen to, I'm a die-hard Willie Nelson and Van Morrison fan but I feel like have taken the roots of the music I loved as a child and expanded upon what the aspects I loved and sought out kindred bands.
It gives me immense pleasure to be able to recommend a band to someone and get them hooked on them. Since buying cds has become so few and far between and mp3s don't come with them, I like to think its my way of being a walking talking "thank yous" part of the liner notes.
I could go on and on about the crap music i listened to by default of MTV/the radio and the amazing music I've discovered through word of mouth or mixtapes ( <3 ) or seeing live.
Hell I could write a whole paragraph just about that I owned a Green Jelly cassette tape.
But I digress
If i had any one piece of advice, its "stay eclectic".

Edit: I've also found better hip hop as well, thanks Rhymesayers

Roll The Dice

The date has been set for Suzy and my nuptials are gonna be set for Friday April 13th 2012 in Las Vegas. Then we will hopefully set up a party type atmosphere for a reception on May 4th 2012.
I'm gonna look into trying to get it at Devil's Head, maybe in the Avalanche or The Cornucopia. Depends on how much it costs.
We really want to keep costs down as much as humanly possible with it still being fun.
The guest list has gotten gigantic and its kind of overwhelming.
Well we have a year and 10 months to get it all planned out.

So there you go.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Loungin Lakeside in the Northwoods

Rode up with Suzy Thursday night to Pelican Lake and it took longer than it should of because like idiots we actually thought Googlemaps is accurate.
Guess what, its not.
Thursday night after we got up there and settled in, Suzy and I drank little more than half a bottle of Amaretto mixed with cola while we shot the shit with her family.
I had to strip for her family to show off and explain all my tattoos because her mom felt awkward staring at them previously.
Then Suzy's sister Jenny caught a glimpse of the engagement ring and then questions started flying, we let them as a bit before Suzy told them that yes it is an engagement ring and no we aren't pregnant. Everyone seemed very happy for us.
Then after a night filled with heartburn from too much sweet alcohol, we got up and ran with everyone to Walmart to get more booze and some other accouterments. Both Suzy and I felt like total ass all day( intestinal distress to put it lightly) but we maintained barely. I learned out to play the family card game which is pretty much "shit on your neighbor". They play for money but I was learning so I got to play for free. Which is good because I woulda lost haha.
Then we went out for friday fish fry and we had the biggest cunt of a waitress, not even very busy and anytime we asked for like a drink refill or something we'd get eye rolls and angry sighs.
Total bitch.
Then after dinner, came time for the surprise, Suzy's mom and sister Robin came back to the table with a cake that said " Happy Engagement Austin and Suzy" with a bride and groom on it.
Very sweet of them.
We got back and sat around, had burned marshmallows layed around and after everyone went to sleep, we had sex on the living room floor. ( safer spot than the following night)
Saturday was boat ride and sun soaking.
We also all took turns riding the inertube being pulled by the boat. I haven't done that in years, I got some great pictures that I will have to put up once i edit them.
I got sunburned on my temples.
After a nap that lasted longer than I thought we got up, and hung out some more and bullshitted with everyone. Right about dark we were treated to a huge fireworks display around the lake by each of the rich families that must have dropped a pretty penny on some elaborate sky flowers.
After Suzy's parents headed to bed the sisters and their significant others and we played this game called "Catchphrase" i think, I dunno, by this point I was just hitting the bottom of the bottle of stoli raspberri vodka that we bought on friday morning.
It was a hilarious time playing that and after the boys team lost, BARELY... we scampered off to bed. We were in the room with bunk beds and a twin bed that slid on the floor with the slightest movement so we decide to have sex on the top bunk to minimize the sound but it being kinda dark and REALLY close to the ceiling, what do I do? Slam my head into the ceiling fan blades and gash my head. Didn't bleed really but it is very very noticeable and is quite bruised. Not to mention my sunburn really brings out the red in the line gash. HAHAHA. Floor might have been safer.
Today slept in a bit then collected our things, said our goodbyes and we headed off back to Lodi.
Now we are sitting around hoping that the rain holds off and we feel good enough to drive to the Dells and find a good spot to watch the massive Fireworks display that the Kalahari resort puts on every year. The skys aren't looking to favorable at the moment but fingers are crossed.

I had a blast with what I suppose is now my third side of the family. Everyone was super nice and I got along quite well.
The lake was beautiful towards sunset and I couldn't put my camera down.
It was an amazing respite from the drama and hectic-ness of the normal southern Wisconsin life.
So far a great way to spend my holiday weekend.

Thought of Dad some too, which made me sad but thats life.