LeBrain

Hello! My Name is Blotto

I love what we do — talking about the rock that makes us roll!

There are some perks that make it extra-special.  A few months ago, I was contacted by Paul Rapp, Esq., known to readers here as F Lee Harvey Blotto!  As you’re probably aware, last summer I was on a huge Blotto kick.  I raved about the band and began collecting in earnest.  Thanks to the magic of the internet, F Lee found my reviews and liked them enough to email me.  I learned that while I didn’t care of “Stop! In the Name of Love”, it is one of his favourites!  He pointed out that the drums are a terrific homage to Clem Burke on “Heart of Glass”.  Perhaps it’ll grow on me!

Mr. Blotto sent me this awesome T-shirt and I wore it to work on casual Friday. Thank you sir for this. Not only is it cool as hell, but I was out of clean laundry too!

What do you think of “Stop! In the Name of Love”? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Never Mind the Ads: A quick explanation

Just a quick note for those suddenly noticing advertisements on this site.

Most of you have already been seeing the ads for months, but in 2019 the expenses for running this place increased.  Because I like to run a photo-heavy music site (you’re welcome!), and after almost seven years, I’ve finally run out of storage space.  I had to upgrade the site which costs more.  The upgrade also comes with more bells & whistles; we’ll see if I use them, but the point is I had to offset operating costs by trying to increase advertising dollars.

In the past, readers logged in to a WordPress account wouldn’t see the ads.  Now, you will.  I’m sorry for doing that to you, and even though you’re a small portion of readers, I need to maximise the ad potential.

Many, many apologies and heartfelt thanks for reading.  I hope you’ll understand and hang on in 2019!

As a thank-you for your understanding, I present to you one of the WordPress bells & whistles I can give you now:  Embedded audio.  The track (a mikeladano.com exclusive) you are about to hear is called “Cryptozoology Rap (Alien on the End of My Knob)” by an anonymous artist.  It is a Sausagefest classic.  Hope you enjoy it.


“Cryptozoology Rap (Alien on the End of My Knob)


 

#729.5: Silver Linings & Thanks 2018

GETTING MORE TALE #729.5: Silver Linings & Thanks 2018

This year, my wife beat cancer.  Her mom did not.  Those two things defined my entire year.

I kept up with this writing stuff the best I could, at the expense of reading and commenting.  For that I apologise.  For the first time ever, I even put this place in mothballs as I went on a summer hiatus to deal with everything else.  It was very necessary, even if it meant losing the chance to run an advertorial for my favourite band, Kiss.

By a strange happenstance, despite not being able to give you 100% in 2018, it was our most successful year in terms of hits.  With the exception of 2016, every year here has been an increase over the previous.  I didn’t expect that 2018’s numbers would be so high, so thank you for not forgetting about me!

Here are the Top New Posts of 2018 by hits:

  1. TRAILER PARK BOYS Season 12 (1420 hits)
  2. A Call from “Visa/Mastercard” (639 hits)
  3. JOHN CORABI – One Night in Nashville (603 hits)
  4. GUNS N’ ROSES “Not In This Lifetime” Tour advertorial (458 hits)
  5. READER SPOTLIGHT – Harrison from Down Under (307 hits)*

This doesn’t include old content from previous years that are still perennially popular:  Trailer Park Boys Season 11 (2350 hits, bigger than Season 12!), the Intro to the Kiss Re-Review Series (1650 hits), Van Halen – Zero (1170 hits) and many more.  The Van Halen post is the oldest (2014) and yet it still gets hits every year.

* These stats were compiled on December 29 and do not reflect the last two days of 2018, as if you care.


2018 wouldn’t have been as successful as it was if I didn’t have guest contributors.  A friend in need is a friend indeed?  These friends stepped up when I was unable to do it myself.  All these contributions were a big part of our successful 2018.  So let’s give a second look to the awesome work below!

 

GUEST SHOTS OF 2018



KIX REVIEW SERIES by Holen MaGroin:

HALLOWEEN REVIEW SERIES by Holen MaGroin:

THANKSGIVING REVIEW by Holen MaGroin:

 


Thanks to Derek, Harrison, Kovaflyer, Holen, and Dr. Dave for your help in 2018.  And also to Uncle Meat, Frank the Tank, and J from Resurrection Songs for your Top Lists of 2018!


FINAL WORDS OF 2018

Regardless of the setbacks, I did accomplish a goal this year.  I wanted to fight my fear of crowds and get back out there, and see some shows.  And I did that, twice!  Onto the next show…

…Which was supposed to be Sasquatch: The Opera, brought to you by Roddy Bottum of Faith No More.  Well, that won’t be happening:

This is truly unfortunate for me, as I planned to catch all four performances including an interview with Roddy.  I’ve been assured the interview will still go on, but I won’t get to see Sasquatch as part of it.

One goal that went unaccomplished was finishing the Kiss Re-Review Series.  When it does finally conclude, it’ll be two years in the making.  At least I’ll be able to coincide it with the farewell tour.  This project is not abandoned but I must be able to do it right and that takes time.  It’ll happen, so thanks for your patience.

I’m also planning on launching a series of shorter posts called Just Listening.  This won’t replace reviewing, but any music is on the table for Just Listening, even ones I’ve reviewed before.  I hope you enjoy when it debuts in early 2019.

Have a safe and happy New Year!  If you need some entertainment, then check out the videos below.  These are my Personal Favourite Videos that I Made in 2018!  Please watch and if you’re so inclined, subscribe to my Youtube channel.  See you next year!

1. Sausagefest 2018

2. Mike and Aaron do Taranna 2018

3. Max the Axe – “Randy”

4. Star Wars Black Series random unboxings

5. A Tribute to Superdekes

Rest in Peace, Mrs. LeBrain’s Mom — “Mum”

Some people knew her as “Debbie”.  Some called her “sis”.  Jen called her “mommy”.  Readers here remember her as “Mrs. LeBrain’s Mom”.

As for me, she liked it when I called her “Mum”, so that’s what I did.

She’s been sick for a little while.  She was diagnosed with cancer at the same time as my wife, late last year.  Because Mum only cared about other people, she tried to protect us.  She did not tell us about it.  She lived with her secret, so we could focus on Jen.  We knew she was sicker than she claimed, but at the end of the day we had to trust her.  I don’t begrudge this.  She was right — I needed to focus on Jen, beating her own cancer.  When she did, Mum told us the news.

She’s so important to me.  We became much closer when Jen’s dad passed away in 2009.  When that happened, our little unit circled the wagons and held on to each other tight.  We invited her to come and stay with us on the weekends, and she did, probably two out of every three times.  She came and celebrated Christmas (and all the holidays) with my family.  She bought us dinners and treats and spoiled us.  She took good care of Jen.  We talked and laughed.

I already miss our talks.  I just wanna call her.

She even contributed to my website.  She co-reviewed Machete Kills with me.  She helped with two of my videos, always as comedy relief.  She was a great sport.

I miss her so much.

I could count on her for wisdom, for support, and she was always there when Jen needed her.  If Jen called, Mum would be on a train.  She just liked being here.  She wanted to retire in Kitchener.  Over the years she made a lot of friends. Lots of people here will miss her.  Her generosity won’t be easily forgotten.  She was good to everyone.

I have always tried to put on an optimistic face when it comes to health.  Until you’re done, you’re still fighting to win.  But as summer progressed, it was clear Mum wasn’t getting better.  She bravely tried a new experimental treatment.  The upside was that some tumors were shrinking, but the treatment made her incredibly ill.  She couldn’t continue.  Eventually the doctors just ran out of things to try.

The last thing she said clearly to me, many many times, was “I only trust Michael.  I only trust Michael.”

I will never forget that for the rest of my life.  “I only trust Michael.”

I guess she means to take care of Jen.  Hearing her say this, repeating it, was the heaviest moment of my life.

But it felt good at the same time.  I couldn’t have asked for the trust of a more important person.  She was a second mom to me.  I am a very lucky person to have even known her.

She fought that cancer, and fought, and fought.  She fought longer than any of the doctors said she would.

She was the toughest woman I ever knew.  I miss her like crazy.

Rest in peace, Mum.

Mrs. LeBrain’s Mom had a cameo in this video. She was a good sport and played the role well.

Update 2

On the last few Toronto drives, one band keeps getting played over and over again.  When I return from my hiatus I’m going to be writing a lot about Blotto.  Their upbeat, comedic rock and roll has been everything we needed.  There have been dark days these past weeks, but Blotto helps make us laugh again.  Blotto formed in the late 70s, never signed to a major label, released one album and several singles, and became a cult band.

One day before hitting the highway, I checked out a Blotto concert from 1982 on Youtube called Tonight At Toad’s.  It had Jen’s favourite song (“It’s Not You”) and two of mine (“Metal Head” and “Goodbye, Mr. Bond”).  I flipped the concert to mp3 and put it on the car stereo.  Together we found a new favourite, “I Wanna be a Lifeguard”, their first hit from 1979.

Music helps.  Every little thing helps.

Selected Road Tunes:

  • Blotto – Tonight at Toad’s
  • Deep Purple – The Book of Taliesyn
  • Deep Purple – With Orchestra: Live at Montreaux
  • Deep Purple – The House of Blue Light
  • Budgie – Deliver Us From Evil
  • Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson & Steve Vai – G3 Live in Concert
  • The Darkness – Live at Hammersmith
  • The Sword – Used Future

 

 

Hiatus Update

“Well, the cops have been lookin’ for the son-of-a-gun,
That’s been rippin’ the tar off the four-O-one.”

I’ve learned a lot in the last week and a half.  I think I have mastered this “driving the 401 to Toronto” thing.  It really boils down to three easy steps:

  1. Watch the signs and you won’t get lost.
  2. Stoppy-starty traffic is perfectly normal.
  3. Motorcycles can and will drive between lanes of stopped traffic.

See?  Easy.

Timing is also fun.  What takes 80 minutes on a good day takes 120+ minutes on another day.  It’s like a guessing game you can enjoy with your friends.

OH!  And last Saturday in Toronto, I dropped my brand new glasses into a pissy hotel toilet.  Thankfully, it was my own piss.

When we have something to update you on, we’ll update you!  Until then, keep watching the roads….

 

 

A sampling of Road Tunes:

  • Deep Purple – Burn
  • Deep Purple – Stormbringer
  • Deep Purple – Come Taste the Band
  • Blotto – Combo Akimbo
  • Thin Lizzy – Renegade
  • Thin Lizzy – Dedication
  • Stompin’ Tom Connors – Bud the Spud

 

Well it’s Bud the Spud from the bright red mud
Rollin’ down the highway smilin’
The spuds are big on the back of Bud’s rig
They’re from Prince Edward Island
They’re from Prince Edward Island

Now from Charlottetown or from Summerside
They load them down for the big long ride;
He jumps in the cab and he’s off with the Pride Sebagoes
He’s gotta catch a boat to make Tormentine
Then he hits up that old New Brunswick line
Through Montreal he comes just a flyin’
With another big load of potatoes

The Ontario Provincial Police don’t think much of Bud

Well, the cops have been lookin’ for the son-of-a-gun
That’s been rippin’ the tar off the four-O-one;
They know the name on the truck shines up in the sun – “Green Gables”
But he hits Toronto and at seven o’clock
He backs her up again at the terminal dock
And the boys gather ’round just to hear him talk
About another big load of potatoes

Temporary Hiatus

Mikeladano.com will return after a brief hiatus.

Sunday Surprise: Guess what we’re up to today?

SURVEY: SHOULD LEBRAIN SHAVE HIS BEARD?

WATCH AND COMMENT BELOW…

The Big Lebowski radio, tonight!

I will be LIVE at 12:30 AM (ET) Saturday morning with Robert Daniels on VISIONS IN SOUND. Tune in on your dial to 98.5 or internet to CKWR!  You folks in the UK can tune in as you enjoy some morning java!  Join Us THIS Saturday 12:30-2:30am (ET).

This Week On Visions In Sound – The 20th Anniversary Of The Big Lebowski – Drop in to see what condition your condition is in this week as this week we celebrate the 20th of the Coen Brothers cult classic The Big Lebowski. We will also be live on Facebook!

I’m a bit of a fan of both the movie and its excellent soundtrack.  My movie review can be found here.  Check out my cool Lebowski ID and swag!