Brothers Can Be Awesome…Mine is the Best

About an hour ago I was sitting in front of the TV when my brother came home from running errands.  He told me he had been in The Salvation Army and got me something:

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Yeah, that’s right.  A New Kids on the Block, Hangin’ Tough Live tour performance on VHS.  It doesn’t get any better than this (ok, it does but this is pretty close).  I love my brother.


Lost Music

Last night I went back in time.  Back before my time.  Back 50 years, to a time when folk music was all the rage.  The local university invited The Limelighters


The Brothers Four

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and The Kingston Trio.


Turned out my brother and I were the youngest people in the audience by about 35 years, no real surprise there I guess.  The Brothers Four were the first to take the stage and I couldn’t believe how well they harmonized.  I mean, I know that’s their thing but it was truely impressive.  They actually turned out to be my favorite of the night.  Not a lot of talking but rather had their songs flow one into another, yet they were still personable and engaging.

The Limelighters were probably the zaniest of the groups.  I kind of think their lead singer (if there is such a person in a folk group) looks like he plays in a ska band.  Well, a ska band made up of older people.  The Kingston Trio were the headliners and the only group I had heard of.  Matter of fact, I really like The Kingston Trio and knew almost every song they performed.

None of the performers of any of the bands were the original members, but they were all so insanely talented and sounded incredible that I imagine it was similar to hearing the originals 50 years ago.  It was a fun night and I’m really glad I was able to go.

I’ll Take One Uneventful Day Please

It started with a band staying the night at our house and ended with a blown out tire on the interstate.  That’s how my last 24 hours have played out.  Two Christmases ago I wrote about driving with my brother to return a guitar to a guy in a band.  The guitar got left in the club they had played at in Little Rock and it wasn’t discovered missing until they were at home in Texas.  My brother saw an opportunity to help out this band that he liked and so he offered to pick up the guitar and drive it half way.

Well this same band (their name is Resident Hero) is back on tour and were driving from Mississippi to a town in northern Arkansas to play a show.  Since they had to drive on I-40 to get there, my brother saw another opportunity to help them out and so he offered up our house for the night.  They took him up on it and while I have no idea what they might have actually thought of the house or their sleeping accommodations, it beats sleeping in a smelly van right?  Plus I helped my brother ended up making breakfast for them in the morning and one guy did his laundry.  I didn’t really talk or hang out with them but they seemed pretty cool and I think they were grateful to get out of their van and stay in a house, even if it was only for one night.

The town they played in is about a 2 1/2-3 hour drive from our house and I told my brother I would go with him so he wouldn’t have to do the drive alone.  We got there and the show was pretty good and I was especially happy that they were one of the openers, so they were done by 9:30.  We listened to a lot of the next set and then talked to the lead singer for a little bit and headed out around 10:30.

About 14 miles outside of our town there’s a fast thumping sound and smoke coming from the front of the car.  Keep in mind this is a rental my brother had to get because of the car wrecks he was in last week.  We pull over and wouldn’t you know the front passenger side tire is not only flat, but has exploded leaving a 2 inch gash in the tire.  And there’s some kind of liquid leaking out from the tire.

We pull out the spare and my brother starts fiddling with the jack but neither one of us have actually had to change a tire.  I’ve seen it done but never had to do it myself.  Here it is, 1:00 in the morning.  We are on I-40 heading east about 14 miles from our town.  I don’t know what night time looks like where you live but down here in Arkansas it’s complete and total darkness.  You can barely see your hand in front of your face so we were using our cell phones as flashlights.  And I should say that we ended up only being 14 miles away from home but we really didn’t know exactly where we were at the time.

My brother was working on getting the jack on the car but it wasn’t looking promising at first.  So I found a road service number and gave them a call.  Their estimated time for arrival was sometime in the next 75 minutes.  Oh goodie.  By the time I finally got off the phone with them, my brother had gotten the jack on securely so I loosened the bolts.  Once the bolts were off, I called the road service people and canceled the service keeping my fingers crossed we would be able to get the spare on and not have to call them again.  It took us about an hour (maybe a little more) to get the tire changed.  I’m just glad we didn’t have to wait an additional 75 minutes.  I have no idea if it’s really on the way it’s supposed to be.  I would assume so since it didn’t fall off or explode but who knows.

It’s now 3:30 in the morning and I’m exhausted.  Oh man, did I mention that my mom got sick and I almost had to take her to the ER?  I didn’t?  Well, that happened too.  She probably won’t like that I put that in there but it adds to the drama craziness excitement that is my life sometimes.  By the way, I got her to her doctor’s office and she’s fine just really tired.  Here’s the recap:

Make breakfast for a rock band staying in our home – check

Almost took mom to the ER – check

Went on mini road trip with brother – check

Went to a rock concert with brother – check

Had to change an exploded tire on the interstate in the middle of the night – check

Let’s see…yep, that about sums up my day.  I’m going to be flying to Salt Lake City this weekend, can’t wait to see what madness happens there.  In the meantime I hope tomorrow is a complete and total bore.

Elevator Music

While I was at work today (yes, after 8 months I got a job this week!) I had to make a call and was put on hold for quite a while as I waited for the next available agent.  The on hold music starts up and my mind starts to wander, who composes this stuff?  If their song gets played in an elevator or as the ‘while you wait music’, do they get paid for that?  Do companies have to buy the rights to the song?  I wonder if any of the composers have ever heard their stuff in an elevator or while they were on hold?  Just stuff I thought about while on hold.

The Throbbing Testicles

That is the name of my brother’s band that I had the opportunity to see perform on Friday night.  And what a show it was!  Until Friday I had only seen them perform in an acustic show and while it was good, I wanted to witness the full scale, amps turned up, rock out performance.  The night went as follows:

9:00  – Called Robert (my brother) to make sure they were still performing and get a better idea of when they were going to be onstage.  I had absolutely no interest in seeing the two other bands perform.

9:05  – Left house and headed to Little Rock

10:00 ish – Got to Little Rock after a couple of stops. Called Robert because we ( my mom and I) were lost.  Got new directions.  Learned the first band was just starting…they were two hours late.

10:20 or so – Found venue.  Robert just happened to come out at the same time we were driving by and told us that the second band nearly caused a riot inside.  Apparently their gimick is to be controversial to get a rise out of people and start fights.  I really hate bands that do that.  We were advised to stay in the car and wait it out rather than coming in.

11:20 – Finally told the majority of the other band had cleared out and it was ok to come in.

11:40 or so – The Throbbing Testicles take the stage.  I know none of you know my brother.  Crap, none of you really know me but I couldn’t believe the transformation he takes when he gets up there.  He’s a laid back, passive guy most of the time but as soon as he took the stage he completely owned it.  He’s the lead singer and without him the band has no real sustaining life or energy.  I seriously can’t get over how he totally commands the performance.  They’re definitely a band where you need to see the show live rather than just listening to their CD.  Their songs are a little corny, I mean with songs titled “Grandma is sitting on the can so we’ve got about 20 min to kill” what else would you expect?  There are costumes that get worn and my brother is definitely influenced by the mainstream semi-punk almost glam rock bands like Cobra Starship in the way he dresses and even a little in the performance itself.  Actually, now that I think about it I have no idea where his influence in style comes from.


But the show is so full of energy and catchy little hooks here and there that you can’t help but have a good time.  They’ve developed a small fan base that come to their shows that help to build the energy as well.

12:15 more or less – Their set is over and my mom and I are heading to the car to leave.

12:30 – Drive on a street that passes a lot of clubs and bars and see a guy sitting on a bus bench throwing up.

1:00 – Get home

I was looking through pictures and what not and didn’t go to bed until around 2:30 which was dumb because I had to get up at 6:30 to drive to Memphis.  That little jaunt is three hours each way and going on virtually no sleep pretty much sucked.  I was so tired this morning I grabbed the same smelly clothes off the floor I wore at the concert and even now I still have the pumpkin stamp on my hand.  Here it is midnight  and I still haven’t had any sleep and I’m getting up in the morning to drive to Illinois.  Times like these I feel like an 80 year old woman in a 29 year old girl’s body.

Literal Music Videos

Maybe some of you have already seen these but they crack me up so much I had to post them anyway.  There are actually a handful of videos that have been done like this but these two are the funniest and the most well made.

What in the crap is going on in this video??  It makes absolutely no sense at all.  I love 80’s music videos for this very reason.  I’m thinking of posting a new one every week just for the laugh.

I loved this video when I first saw back in the day and I still think it’s one of my favorites.  I just wish they would have finished it at the end rather than going to the thriller dancing Star Wars guys.

Pizza and Organ Music, Who Knew?

Tonight I went with a group of people to dinner to a local place called Organ Stop Pizza.  Being new in town, I’d never heard of it much less been inside so I really didn’t know what to expect.  I figured it would be like any other pizza establishment but man was I in for a surprise.  I felt like I had stepped into a restaurant smack in the middle of Branson.  You know, the cheap thrill Vegas for kids and old people.  The basic set up is that this place is home to the largest Wurlitzer organ in the world which someone plays all night while you’re eating.


This is the picture of the actual organ itself minus all the pipes.  The pipes are located along the entire wall behind glass windows and a few are hanging almost from the ceiling.  The organist, who is beyond talented, takes requests people write down on cards but of course has their own set of songs or progam that they follow.  Most everything played seemed to be either a showtune or something from a Disney movie which keeps the interest of both the old and young.  It also helps, among the kids anyway, that depending on the song played puppets will come out and dance, different lights will blink, or things come down from the ceiling (for example while our organist played the Mickey Mouse song a huge Mickey Mouse banner came down).

It was a little corny but  it was also entertaining and something totally unexpected. And not in a bad way.  And I’m not going to lie, the organist had some mad mad skills!  So while I wouldn’t want to eat there everyday or even every week or even if I never eat there again, I did have a good time hanging out and meeting new people.  And I can say that I’ve seen the largest Wurlitzer organ in the world.  Yep, that’s right, that’s getting checked off my list.  Plus they sell some DVDs and CDs so you can take home the magic to enjoy in your own living room.  Huh, I do know of some birthdays coming up…bwahaha.