Mimi's Blog

You Can’t Share a Camp Chair

Perhaps the greatest invention since the car cup holder is the collapsible camp chair. Bringing your portable chair into shows means comfort. You can even supersize your chair with recliner-like extensions and crazy hanging storage, too. Most chairs come with two cup holders which enables two-fisted drinking if you’re up to it. And they are pretty lightweight although I am not good at stuffing it back in its carry bag. How did we live for so long with just a blanket? The blanket covered the anthills but offered no padding. It didn’t even provide a good sight line to the stage. However, the laying of the blanket was most important. It was territory! You had a plot and a place. The blanket created patches of real estate that sober concert-goers hopped over and drunk concert-goers trampled. And sometimes you shared that blanket with someone you met at the show…. You really can’t share a camp chair.

Box Sets are for Suckers

As a fan of many classic rock bands, I seem to be buying a lot of box sets lately. If it is a band I really love, I don’t care what reviewers say about the release, I am going to buy it because well, I am a fan. My music collection is busting out at the seams with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I only want the previously unreleased songs and the demos and the alternate versions but, I have to buy the whole box set to get those tracks. And I have to buy the correct box set because most artists release several versions. There is the vinyl version-no, thanks. The deluxe version which usually has the extra tracks I want and the super deluxe version with books or photos and a DVD. That’s the stuff I will look at once that will remain in the box never to be seen again. Box sets seem to be the perfect way for an artist to make money without doing anything. Incredibly, musicians are making money on the very songs that they rejected, that were not worthy many moons ago. Must be plenty of suckers, er, fans out there like me.

Rocking the River

It doesn’t take much coaxing for me to get out on a river in a canoe. I love canoeing. I would go every day if I could haul the canoe myself but I can’t so I have to wait until my better half feels like carrying and dragging 70 pounds. I’ve only been out a handful of times so far this season and the next to last time was a bit of a scare. I knew I would tip over in a canoe at some point. Everyone does. I can swim and am not afraid of the water. I was not prepared for how intense tipping a canoe is near a fallen tree in the middle of a river bend.  It’s a lot different than dumping in a lake. The canoe immediately fills with water and the current pins it against the tree. Plus, you get to watch your paddles float down the river. It was only about 3 feet deep where we tipped but the force of the water made it feel like we were under Niagara Falls. I don’t know how we got the canoe out but we did. We paddled a bit with sticks until we caught up with our paddles. We were wet. We were tired and we learned that rocking the river in a canoe is not to be taken lightly.

Summer Comfort

Music just sounds better in the summer. Blue skies and hot sun do wonders for whoever is on stage. Sometimes it’s the people I am with and sometimes it’s what’s in the red cup that sparks the moment. It could be my favorite band or it could be someone I have never heard before but add summer ingredients and I am sure to enjoy the music. It’s that vibe that puts me on the road to travel hundreds of miles to see a band I just saw inside three months ago. I guarantee I will love the outside performance more. I love the summer vibe.

My 25 year old cassette

Bon Jovi has just announced that the band will be releasing the definitive 25th anniversary edition of “New Jersey’. This is one super deluxe re-mastered package that I am actually interested in. My only copy of “New Jersey” is a cassette and it may be time to get a CD copy. That cassette has lasted for 25 years, without a case, stuffed into the glove compartment of a car I only drive 3 months of the year. Through temperature changes and frequent scrambles for license and registration, that cassette is still playable. I look forward to that first top-down day each year when I reach for that cassette, stuff it into the factory-issued in-dash cassette player and turn the knob to ten. That cassette, a pair of sunglasses and an open road has been my welcome summer ritual for 25 years. That cassette has served me well. Maybe I don’t need that super deluxe re-mastered CD boxset after all.

Flooding the Yard with Sound

I have retreated to my music collection now that I can relax on my back deck with no fear of a snow storm. It’s been a long time coming. My neighbors on the north side of my house are also taking advantage of warmer weather. They have already peeled back the pool cover and have plunged right in. Although I love the sounds of kids laughing and having fun in the sun, I dislike hearing adults that shout at rather than speak to each other (frankly I don’t need to know that much about them). While they bellow “cannonball” every five minutes, I am flooding my yard with the Allman Brothers Band. Live at Fillmore East Allman Brothers Band. Great jams, dueling guitars and just enough volume to drown out the Mark Spitzes next door.

Ode to the Kitchen Radio

I grew up in a kitchen that rocked. My mom had the radio on in the kitchen 24/7. It was never off. Then, one radio station played all kinds of music; the Monkees next to Neil Sedaka next to Aerosmith. My mother liked what she heard, I liked what I heard and my brother, well, he only liked The Who. My kitchen also rocks. I cannot cook without listening to the radio. It’s a zen thing I guess. I get into the groove with the music. It’s me and the hot stove on the weekends when there is no rush and I can listen to every single note of Hotel California. Singing is involved only if I am the only one home since I can’t carry a tune. But all those chocolate chip cookies, lasagnas and green beans from my kitchen are not only cooked with love(most of the time) but soaked in rock and roll.

Calling the Hamster in the Bowl, “Dad?”

The music of perennial bad boys Motley Crue is appearing in the soundtrack for a new series of television commercials. The ads are not for a decadent night out, the liquor of the month or a Vegas soiree but for Sprint. I have seen at least two versions of the ads which tout the Framily plan and the Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” is the song that pulls it all together. In one version, the song gets a singalong in French, in another it is the background of spirited discussion around the breakfast table. Am I the only person that doesn’t get the hamster in the bowl at the table? Albeit, it’s not “Dr, Feelgood” or “Kickstart My Heart” but apparently it’s effective to pair rowdy rock stars with cell service pitches. Here’s the link to one of the ads

Show Me the Way to the Next Whiskey Bar

With St Patrick’s Day celebrations lasting weeks rather than weekends, I couldn’t help but think about songs to go with the festivities. Green songs for rockers, “Green River” by C.C.R and “Green Grass and High Tides” by The Outlaws come to mind immediately. There is “Green Eyed Lady” by Sugarloaf. Of course, anything by Green Day. Does “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman GREENbaum count? And then there are the drinking songs, a common theme among rock music. It’s a little disturbing that I can rattle off so many songs that mention or have “whiskey” in the title: “Whiskey Man” by Molly Hatchet, “Whiskey In A Jar” by Metallica, “Snortin’ Whiskey and Drinkin’ Cocaine” by Pat Travers, “Whiskey Rock n Roller” by Skynyrd, “Alabama Song(WhiskeyBar)” by the Doors and a very cool song by the Felice Brothers, “Whiskey in My Whiskey.” Not to mention, “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” by George Thorogood and a real ballbreaker from AC/DC, “Whiskey On the Rocks.” That’s just my whiskey knowledge!

The Foo Fighters and Fogerty

I love the Foo Fighters and have all of their releases. All of their songs are great blasting on the radio in the car. I sometimes crave the energy I hear and feel when listening to them. I do have one Foreigner CD-their Greatest Hits-and I’m covered in case anyone asks if I have any Foreigner. I have lots of John Fogerty solo releases. Every time I bought one, I thought this will be the one that captures the CCR feel that I love. Although “Revival” has a couple of anti-war songs it doesn’t quite have the sound I was hoping for. “Wrote A Song for Everyone” is terrific but it’s a mostly a collection of reworked CCR songs. Fogerty pairs up with some of his musician friends, including the Foo Fighters to re-record his staples. The old songs manage to sound fresh without stepping out of the box.