Hangin’ Tough with the Right Stuff

Leave it to New Kids on the Block to bring me out of my blogging funk.  I’ve been thinking of lots of things to update on here but never bothered to get around to it.  Let that be a lesson to you…never underestimate the power of the boy band.

My brother presented me with this little gem today:

He found it in a Goodwill, knew I would love it and bought it.  If this sounds familiar, you might remember he bought me one of their other videos a few years ago.

I absolutely love every single thing about this cover.  First of all, how much more street thug cool can you be than to have your picture taken literally in the street…next to a minimally graffitied wall…next to a sign that reads drug free school zone? Not much let me tell you.

Looking at Joey, aka Little Joey Joe, *sigh and swoon* (it was quite the competition between Joey and Jordan as to who would be my favorite New Kid but in the end Joey won out) I have to wonder if he was expecting there to be a flood or whether he hit puberty in the time between buying those jeans and taking this picture.  My guess is the latter.

I don’t really know what look Danny was going for…Tom Cruise in Risky Business?  More mature? Cool and casual?  Let’s go out for an evening stroll through the back streets of New England while I impress you with the intricacies of freshman community college knowledge. Fail, fail, and fail.  You’re not fooling anyone Danny.  We’ve all seen Community and the only intricacies of knowledge going on there is what to do should you find yourselves locked inside the school during a zombie attack.  Which by the way, was very helpful.  As a side note, I’m very excited for Community to come back this fall.  And very ticked with networks at putting it in the Friday, aka kiss of death, time slot and only greenlighting 13 episodes.  You suck networks *shakes fist*!

Nice pajama pants Jordan.  And what’s with that hat?  And the vest?

Jon, I’m totally loving your tights? long john underwear? under your jeans.  And penny loafers? Seriously.  I guess the jokes on us because you had us totally fooled.  How could we not have known you were gay? It’s so obvious in retrospect.  George Michael you were wrong, the clothes DO make the man.

Donnie, oh Donnie.  I just don’t know what to say about your mess of an outfit.  What. The. Crap?!??

So I turned the video over and this is what graces the back:

How about a closer look?

Looking at this I can’t believe Jon’s the only one who’s gay.

Joey, or excuse me Joseph as it’s labeled, must really like that T-shirt he’s wearing of forgot to bring a change of clothes to the photo shoot.  I’m loving the bowling pin broach on his jacket.  Did you know I like to bowl Joey?  Did you, did you??  Oh the fun we could have had.

Seriously Jordan,What. Is. Up. With. That. Hat??  You look like a creeper with your fingers trying to give a dainty tip of your hat.  You might be about to give a cordial greeting but you’re undressing me with your eyes.  Perv.

Jon your hair is perfectly coiffed and looking closely I think your eyebrows were purposefully brushed that way.  Again I ask, how did we not know you were gay?

Donnie I still don’t know what to say.  Your clothes and style are sending all sorts of mixed messages.  Mostly ones that say you look stupid.

Danny, I forgot you had that nasty rat tail.  I wish it could have stayed that way.

Oh man, I can’t wait to push play!

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.

One, two, three, and four..step step

I love to dance.  I just love it.  I’ve never had any training or taken any classes but I would like to think I would have been pretty good if I had.  That is to say I’m not a total spaz when I’ve gone dancing at a club, if that’s an indicator of a good dancer…though I’m not really sure it is.  I haven’t been dancing in a really long time because something happened to the style of dance while I was living in Guatemala and when I got back I felt completely disconnected.  Now it’s all about pop and locking and my body can’t contort that way.  I really wish it could because how awesome would it be to be an amazing street/breakdancer?  Sadly this is never going to happen for me.

I bring this up because I’m starting to get into a new phase of music.  I know some people discover artists or tend to stick with one specific style of music they like but I approach it a little different.  I tend to emerge myself  entirely into new genres.  For example, I went through a Motown phase a number of years ago.  All I listened to was Motown.  In the car, in my room, wherever.  Then what happens is I tend to burn myself out and go back to listening to current radio songs until I come up with another genre and the whole thing will start again.

I don’t actually know what to call it, jazz maybe?  But I’ve been listening to Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, well you get the picture.  It’s just so relaxing and timeless really.  Nat King Cole’s voice is like plush velvet and melted dark European chocolate all rolled into one.  And when I hear this music I can’t help but want to get up and dance.  Do a little ballroom, quick step, or something.  Except…I don’t know how.  So I’ve decided that if I ever get a job I want to look into taking dance lessons.  Watch out Julianne Hough, I’m coming for your job.

Man That’s Annoying

I just got a CD my brother made for me (yeah I know, I know.  Why don’t you just download from iTunes to your iPod blah blah.  I like actual CDs for my car and don’t like messing with it myself) and while I was listening to one of the songs I noticed that it doesn’t sound exactly like it does on the radio.  It’s really close but there’s some talking in the background of this version (and no it’s not my brother.  It’s actually part of the song).  After I had a few Grrrs and Growls, I wondered why artists do this??  I once bought a CD for one song that I really liked but when I got the CD that song wasn’t anything like how it was played on the radio.  Sure the words were the same but the music was totally different.  It boggles my mind.  Usually the first exposure a fan has to a song is what’s played on the radio.  Based on that they determine whether or not they like the song.  Then they may want to buy it.  So why for the love of all that’s holy, would the artist want to have a different version available for purchase.  I don’t know that song.  How do you know I’m going to like it?  Usually I don’t.  I like the one you put on the radio thank you very much.  And most likely that’s the version picked for the radio because marketing knows that will be the song version most favored.

I’m sure you’ve all been to a concert where the artist stops singing, points the microphone to the audience, and lets them sing.  STOP IT!  STOP IT NOW!!  If I wanted to listen to drunken Joe or hoochie Heather sing your songs, I would have gone to a karoke bar.  But I didn’t.  I paid a butt load of money to see you perform your songs.  And for heaven’s sake, play the songs that made you popular and in the way that made you popular.  I don’t care how sick of them you are or how much you feel like you’ve evolved to another musical level.  You can cry about it later as you sleep on your Egyptian cotton sheets after spending a gadzooks amount of money on a shopping spree.  You know, the amount that could sustain a small country.  Is it really too much to ask that you sing and make available the songs that we love you for?  Is it?

The Throbbing What?

I’m down here in good ‘ol Arkansas for a week because my driver’s license was ready to expire and instead of getting a Utah one, I came back here to renew.  Which by the way, the picture turned out pretty good.   I know a lot of people don’t like their driver’s license pictures but I have yet to take one that I thought was atrocious.  That’s beside the point.  The day after I flew in was my brother’s 24th birthday!  Here he is with the David Hasselhoff card I got him


and him approving of the Xbox we all chipped in for

But the real fun came later in the night when I got to hear his band play.  It was only the second time they’ve performed and I was pretty curious to hear how they would sound.  I must admit I was a little skeptical of the night because my brother has no musical background except a couple of years in school band playing the clarinet and now he’s the frontman to his band called The Throbbing Testicles.  Here they are taking a slight break from performing and I think my brother is introducing the next song

And even though it was supposed to be a subdued acustic performance (they were performing inside a Hastings afterall) they did get up and get a little into the music and my brother even busted out some dance moves

I was pretty impressed with the show and the energy that was immediate when the started playing.  I hope that I’ll be able to see them perform again and next time, I want to see them perform at a club or bar to hear what they sound like live non-acustic.  Congrads kiddo and thanks for letting me hang out with you on your big day!

Music and a Little Road Trip

My mom flies into Vegas tonight then over to southern Utah where I’ll be driving down to meet up with her for Memorial weekend.  I’m really excited about the getaway, because really, who doesn’t like to get away?  Plus I haven’t seen my mom since Christmas and I enjoy hanging out with her.  So I was trying to think of all the little things to pack and take with me.  That’s the good thing about driving as opposed to flying.  There doesn’t have to be order in your packing since you have an entire car to pile everything into. 

The most important part of a road trip no matter how big or small, is the music.  I was flipping through all my CDs trying to decide which ones I wanted to take when it occured to me that I couldn’t even remember what I had in the player in the car.  I go through rotations where I listen to only the radio for a time then switch over to only CDs and then back again.  I’ve been in a radio phase as of late.  So I made my way to the car to check it out.  My car has a 6 disc changer and it was like going down memory lane discovering what was there.  I know a lot of people post 5 things they find in their purse or wallet but I’m going to list the 6 CDs I found in the changer:

1.  Mixed CD – These are the best!  This one I got from my brother at Christmas time and I love it.  It has random songs from Pink, Evenescence, Avril Lavine, Dixie Chicks, Maroon 5, Fergie, Lifehouse, Josh Turner to U2.  There are more but you get the general idea.

2.  Punk Goes 80’s – Do I like 80s music?  Check.  Do I like Punk?  Check.  So this CD is brilliant.  Various artists like Relient K, Halifax, Sugarcult, Emery, and Midtown (my favorite) all play 80s covers.

3.  Poison’s Greatest Hits – Um, yeah.  I don’t know why that’s in my player but it makes me laugh just thinking about it.  The CD reminds me of college even though it was technically before my time.  I recently obtained this CD from my old roommate when I was visiting her in Washington so I guess I put it in for nostalgia…oh who am I kidding?  I love it.

4.  Queen’s Greatest Hits – Another One Bites the Dust.  Need I say more?  I love, love that song especially the intrumental part.  I have no clue what they’re playing when it sounds like shakers at one point but I love it.

5.  Men, Women, & Children – I was introduced to this group thanks to my brother.  I have no idea what style they would be called but they sound like a odd mix of techno, dance, and punk with playful lyrics.  But it works.

6.  Red Jumpsuit Apparatus – Again, another group introduced by my brother.  I saw them perform twice before they went semi-mainstream and I have to say they sound better on CD than they do live.  They do have some catchy songs other than the two overplayed songs Facedown and Your Guardian Angel.  Though I still like those two as well.

Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh, The Right Stuff

I no longer have internet connection at home which not only drove me nuts over the weekend, it caused me to almost miss this little piece of news:  New Kids On The Block are reuniting!!  That’s right folks.  According to people.com NKOTB are staging their comeback.  How could I have almost missed this bit of information??  A few years ago I was talking with my dad and he asked me what group or artist I never saw but always wanted to.  My answer: New Kids On The Block but being realistic, I knew this would never happen.  Then a few years ago VH1 tried out a new program where they would try to reunite various bands for one night, one concert.  They were successful with Flock of Seagulls (and other 80s British bands) but were turned down by some of the members of NKOTB.  With this latest news, maybe there is a spark of hope after all. 

Is their music bubble gum crap?  Yes

Should they stay in retirement?  Yes, Really guys you need to let it go.

Are they too old to be joining together as a boy band?  Yes

Is this going to be a major flop and embarrassment to they guys?  Probably Yes

But to me they hold nostalgia.  This was the first group I remember liking without the influence of my older sisters, they were my Duran Duran (and Pam before you say anything, I would like to remind you that you actually went to a NKOTB concert while I had to stay home because I was too young to go) and they are my guilty pleasure in music.  Now when Joey sings “Please Don’t Go Girl” I can have the satisfaction of knowing that after all this time, I was hangin tough and didn’t go anywhere. 

And by the way, I’m curious to know what music guilty pleasures those of you who read my blog have.

It turned out great

Last Thursday I went with my roommate and her family to Salt Lake to listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s Christmas Concert.  I must admit when she first asked if I wanted to go, I inwardly groaned because one I am not a fan of the choir and two I’m not a fan of hanging out with her family.  But I said yes that I would like to go and secretly dreaded it for two weeks.  So Thursday night I got ready and we waited for her parents to show up.  Because of some arrangements dealing with one of her sisters, they were an hour late in coming and I thought my roommate was going to blow a gasket.  We finally left but of course we were in bumper to bumper traffic on the interstate and didn’t make it to Salt Lake until a after seven.  Our tickets were at will call and we had until 7:30 to pick them up or they would be given away and it was clear that at 7:20 we were not going to make it.  We were still about a block away from the Conference Center and were about to sit through our third light not moving.  So one of my roommate’s sisters jumped out of the car and ran to the center to get the tickets.  About 10 min. later we still had not moved so my roommate, her mom, and I jumped out and ran to the center and to my surprise her sister had the tickets and we just had to make our way in.  Well there was no assigned seating so we ended up being scattered with the unorganized plan of meeting each other in the back among the throng of people trying to leave at the same time.  By the way, her sister and dad never made it into the Conference Center but instead had to watch in the Tabernacle across the street.

The program starts and I’m thinking to myself, “You can get through this it’s only an hour and half of your life.”  To my great surprise I had a blast!!  The guest performers were a group called The Kingston Singers.  According to the program they’re from England, have been performing for 40 years, and apparently are awsome.  And they were!  Although reading that they had been performing for 40 years I assumed it meant these particular individuals and they would therefore be old.  But they must operate somewhat like the group Menudo because only one or two looked like they could have maybe been in the group that long (but doubtful) and one of the singers looked my age so at some point they must have to quit and make room for someone else.

The whole program was beautiful and The Kingston Singers were pretty funny.  It’s hard to say what my favorite song was but Riu, Riu, Chiu, O Holy Night, Little Drummer Boy, and 12 Days of Christmas would be among them.  What made 12 Days of Christmas so fun was that they had dancers come out dressed up in costumes to match each day.  Fabulous, absolutely fabulous!

When the concert ended I was able to find my roommate quite quickly and we reunited with her dad and sister quickly as well.  And then her dad forgot where he parked the car.  Literally forgot.  We wandered for at least a city block completely lost with no idea where it could be.  And it was FREEZING outside.  We did however find a Carl’s Jr. and while her dad and sister continued to walk around aimlessly in search for the car, the rest of us went in to eat and get warm.  Eventually the car was found and we were on our way back home.  Despite the rocky start and finish of the night, the concert was amazing and outweighed the rest of the evening!