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Monday, December 6, 2010

I go to a birthday party and ramble on about obscure music that no one cares about anymore!

I just got home from attending a birthday party for a long time friend on mine. I can't believe I have known him for 20 some years. I can't believe 20 odd years have gone by so fast.
We became friends through the course of an interview. I was dispatched by the newspaper to interview him about his high school drag race team as they were a thorn in the side of the sports department.
I made an appointment to interview him one evening. When I arrived he told me his friend had just been killed when the asphalt tank we was working on exploded and he really didn't feel like talking about car racing but he would appreciate it if I stayed and had a couple Henry's with him. Somewhere I wrote down the interesting stories he told me that evening that did not have anything to do with the high school drag race team. I don't know where that little notebook went.
It was different back then. I thought that life kind of opened up ahead of you and you followed what came next. With that strange sort of beatnik idea in my head I quit my job and went to Costa Rica with him the next year, but did NOT take the internship offered me by Hot Rod Magazine but rather decided to help out of the farm for a summer.
It was interesting to sit around with those people from 20 some years ago and look where they went and where I am.
I met my friend's girl friend who is quite nice and her daughter who is a year younger than mine. She can wiggle her nose very nicely and she hid a piece of peanut butter cake for her dog. I did not tell on her.
I had a nice chat with my friend's daughter (who is also my friend) and who I have not seen for quite a few years.
I also discovered that I can no longer pick individual voices out of a crowded room and so I suppose I'm going to go deaf sooner than later. I smiled and nodded a lot.
I was going to spend the night if invited, and had an overnight bag packed but decided to go home. The whole thing kind of set me back a bit.
My brother loaned me a flash drive full of music. I listened to it on the hour and a half drive to the coast. It had what I think is a recent release from Maria McKee of Lone Justice.
There probably won't be links in this post as I'm having some internet problems and I'm just going to sign on and post and attempt to do any searches and I may get some details wrong.
Anyway, Maria McKee was critically acclaimed in 1984? with her one big album and the sort of hit "Ways to be Wicked" and "Don't toss us Away." Ways to be Wicked," was written for her by Tom Petty. She was an aspiring singer song writer at age 19 and was supposed to be the next best thing.
I have a big of a weakness for sweet and sad country songs sung by waif-like girls and I remember saving my money to but the album. Actually waiting for it to come out. I can't remember if I bought it from Discus records in McMinnville or if I couldn't afford the $7.50 and I borrowed someone else's copy and later ordered the album from Roundup Records.
I was quite captivated by her photo on the album cover, that toss of her hair when she belted out a lyric and the MTV video of her on a skateboard, a gingham dress, and a letterman jacket. Somehow I figured she would ditch that loser who was mean to her and find me. But, she never did and I never really grasped the concept that you need to be somewhat indifferent and perhaps just a touch cruel to the girls you want and that Way's to Be Wicked was song from the point of view of the manipulated one and might actually have some good advice. I mean, she was coming back for more.
But, I digress...
Lone Justice, Rank and File, and Steve Earle put me onto the Alternative Country genre and really got me listening to Country Music. From there I found Dwight Yoakam and George Jones and on to traditional country music. Little did I know that Lefty wrote "Life's Like Poetry," and "Waltz of the Angels" as well as the play-to-death "Long Back Veil." Or that Merle had other songs than "The Fightin' Side of Me."
I have a warm and a little bit fuzzy memory of snuggling on the couch in my apartment during college and watching an MTV video of Lone Justice singing what I thought was Don't Toss Us Away and standing next to a fire. The problem with this memory is that my wife swears it was not her with me at the time.
I also remember another cold evening and watching the rain listening to "You Are the Light" but i can't go into that one either as my wife also noted that it was not her. Since we got together and apart a few times over the course of a decade I thought it best to not mention any more memories involving Lone Justice music.
I saw a People Magazine with Taylor Swift and her record company appointed boyfriend who starred in "Brokeback Mountian." The memory of Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger making out and gay wrestling makes me laugh whenever I see Jake with a girl. Heath OD'd due to the embarrassment in starring in such a really bad movie and Jake seems to be over compensating for his gayness. Reminds me of the joke in which the punchline is, "....and just one goat" it is about a guy in a bar who wants to be remembered for building a street but isn't.
But I digress,
So in America, you have Maria McKee who is a very talented singer song writer, with a good vocal range and powerful voice and she was for years a one-hit wonder. I saw a video of her belting out "Fortunate Son," and it was kind of amazing! Talk about giving it your all. I wish I would have seen her live in a small club. I bet the energy would have been amazing.
Then you have Taylor Swift who is a total packaged act and she goes up the charts. Maria McKee's biggest successes came in Europe! But of course, the European's like actual country music and Americans like Billy Ray Cyrus.
Lone Justice had the misfortune of opening for U2 which probably doomed the band. There is one really bad song on the Maria McKee CD and it was her rendition of "Sweet Jane," and Bono sings and make reference to himself. What a pretentious ass. It should have been U2 opening for Lone Justice as that band could actually play their instruments.


  1. What a truly disrespectful article.

  2. I met and worked with Mr. Ledger and he really does not deserve to be included in such a disrespectful way in your article. I hope his loved ones especially his daughter never stumble across such drivel. Just awful. Mattie

  3. Great article. I value your opinion and know where your coming from.

    Keep up the good work and I'll keep reading .

  4. Anonymous 1, please hit the offensive button then. But, I didn't mean to offend a Taylor Swift fan. She is pretty and has a good voice. I think it is kind of silly that she has to be a cover for Jake Gyllenhaal's homophobia.
    Anonymous 2, um yah, I've "worked" with Christina Applegate and Terry Hatcher (in the Superman days) but I it is kind of a weird thing to talk about in public...
    I just really hope his daughter never has to see him fake gay wrestling with Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback mountain. Perhaps you should make it your purpose in life to replace all the Brokeback videos with "A Knight's Tale." I don't think I am really being disrespectful, I feel really bad that he died of embarrassment. I didn't realize that could happen. He should have read the script first.
    Any movie that could be a bad joke, as in, there were two cowboys, a flock of sheep, and what did they choose?" has got to be avoided!

  5. Bobby Gene, well thank you very much. I don't really know why I rambled off on such a strange subject. It was a long drive home and my wife fixed me a big thermos of coffee and I drank a lot of it and couldn't sleep. That stream of consciousness thing is probably not good.

  6. Stream of consciousness okay by me. Kurt Vonnegut wouldn't have sissy footed around keywords, or the fact that Emperor Pop Culture got no clothes. Sometimes we get ag education here, sometimes we get a view of the storm. Thank you for sharing the ride.

  7. Collieguy, you know I post about going broke, people who are going to die, and just random weird stuff and it is you, Goff and Grouse who comment and then I get two new comments in a row and 40 some hits cause I mention a dead actor who made a fortune and pissed his life away with drugs?! There are idiots out there who troll the internet looking for people slandering their idols. I swear it is de-evolution that is going to get us all! I hope you guys don't go to ruin when "Warper" tops the charts and you go on the Grand Ole Opry!
    Heck, if you guys would tell me I'm full of poop I'd probably just say, "well ya got a good point there!"

  8. Your stream of consciousness is what I read your blog for. Keep "working" on it!

  9. thefrumpyhousewifeDecember 7, 2010 at 6:04 AM

    Thankfully, I didn't see "Brokeback Mountain", and although I did see (and liked) "Knight's Tale", I have sense enough not to make heros of actors or football players and other idols of their ilk. What you choose to do reflects who you are. If you don't want to be typecast as a gay actor, don't play one! I've never heard of Maria McKee, and who hasn't heard of Taylor Swift, so you make your point about packaging. Interesting visit with your friend--kind of makes you look at your own mortality head-on when you get together with old friends. As for hits on your site--maybe you can make random references to famous people who are in the news--just write their names--and see what it does to your hits. It could be a scientific sociological experiment. You have such an entertaining blog--I looked for some on raising large families, and all I could find were people trashing the Duggar's. Some people live to criticize those who are doing better than they. Ignore your critics. Keep writing for those of us who appreciate it.

  10. I wouldn't worry about it Budde. At least people are reading and commenting. And you can't please everybody.

  11. Frumpy, thanks for the compliment. Big families are not part of the party line anymore. Although, I've changed my mind and am in favor of them. It builds a cohesive unit. I see it with the cousins and my daughter.
    I'm pretty homophobic but I also know a couple gay people who I have a lot of respect for. I wouldn't recommend that movie except for the old farm equipment dealership. I hope real gay people don't act like that. It was embarrassing to watch. But, also very funny. It was kind of a compilation of gay stereo types.
    Ralph, but they are not reading. They are just here for the keywords-unless it was a joke by a regular reader...

  12. It probably looks a bit suspicious that I haven't commented for a while! I swear it wasn't I. This is one post where the comments section is as interesting as the original post.


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