The one where I start with a story idea…

Elvis isnt dead.
Really, he’s not. All of those conspiracy theories about Elvis faking his death are, you’ll be surprised to know, actually true.
He got a nose job, shaved his head and moved to Tulsa. He wears glasses now. The Clark Kent bit actually works pretty well. He’s run a NAPA auto parts store since 1977.
You see, he was a miserable man. Sick in the body and soul, when someone convinced him that he could make more money dead than alive and be free of that which tormented him.

Black Country Communion @ the 930 Club, Washington DC

Wow!  Where to begin… Black Country Communion would have fit perfectly on stage with their musical ancestors Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple.  The band, the legendary Glenn Hughes on bass and lead vocals, guitar ace Joe Bonamassa, former Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian and the son of the late John Bohman, Jason on drums – play a completely unironic heavy classic rock sound that resurrects the spirit of the early 70’s.  So much so that they “chord-checked” Led Zeppelin, Free and the Who, playing snippets of “Rock & Roll”, “All Right Now” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” during instrumental passages of their own songs.   Songs which with the exception of the first two, became extended jams with plenty of guitar and keyboard pyrotechnics.

Glenn Hughes is a natural frontman with Jagger or Tyleresque moves. He just happens to also play bass.  Bonamassa is a great player, just great.  He obviously owes a stylistic debt to Stevie Ray Vaughn and Gary Moore.  He plays with fire and subtlety, a rare combination.  Bonham simply has to be heard and seen to believe – his Dad taught him well.  Sherinian was the least rock start looking one of the bunch, looking more like a linebacker behind his Leslie organ and Korg synth than a musician.  However, looks were deceiving as he played riffs and fills reminiscent of Jon Lord and John Paul Jones.  Speaking of looks, I wonder if I was the only one who thought Joe B looked like Agent Smith from the Matrix movies.  At least until he took off his jacket and reveled the sparkly Andy Gibbs shirt he was sporting!

They played a good mix of songs from both albums, but one of the highlights had to be the encore closer of Deep Purple’s Burn!  After bludgeoning us for the better part of two hours, that song brought the house down.

If you get the chance, see them.  I’d have to give this one 5 out of 5 stars.  The only thing that was missing for me was my companion from last weeks Go-Gos show.  Though I’m not sure this would’ve been her cup of tea.

I may very well edit and/or update this later, but I wanted to capture my thoughts while they were fresh in my mind and my ears where still ringing!

Rock on!

The one where I run.

I run.
I’m running from you, from the ghosts, from the drooling monsters under my bed.
I run from death and hell, a hound nipping at my heels.
I run from my past, my pain, my shame.
From your expectations and disappointment.
I run because I cannot sing or dance or fly.
I run though the blood and sweat and tears and power chords and blast beats and break beats and break downs.
I run to stretch that base hit into a double.
I run because the road rises.
I run to achieve escape velocity.
Because the way out is the way in, and the world turns to greet me.
I run into that new dawn.
I run to transform my canvas.
I run in defiance.
I run to you.
Run with me.

In search of the next great Summer Song…

Ephemeral.  Is that the word I’m looking for? Ephemeral.  It is.  Evocative too.

These are the two ideas that come to mind when I think of what I like to call “Summer Songs”.  Summer songs are like Christmas songs in the sense that no matter when I hear them, I’m transported.  Transported to someplace idyllic, someplace warm and wet, someplace fantastic.  An “Island in the Sun” maybe?

Even though Summer technically takes up a full quarter of our calendar, it has always seemed the most fleeting of seasons.  Some of my best memories come from Summers past.  How about yours?

I love the music of Summer.  Beach music, surf music, soul music, lazy rock n’ roll.  As much as it pains me to say, Summer music is not Metal.  Metal is too precise, too intense.  Summer should be lazy and relaxed – not very Metal.  Plus, leather just is a bad idea on the beach.

There’s also something very American about this type of music.  It’s probably related to the Beach Movies of the 60’s that I remember and the music that made up their soundtracks.  For this kid from Nebraska, it showed a fantasy world of sun, surf, sand, bikinis and rock n’ roll music.  It was burned into my psyche.

So even though I was 17 before I ever put a foot on a proper beach and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, I’ve always felt like a beach boy.  Thanks Frankie and Annette!

Rather than share my own list of favorite Summer songs, I want to know what yours are.  Here’s a link to a pretty good list to get you started.