2020

#867.5: Gratitude

This might get emotional here, so hold on to your hats and grab some tissues.

I just wanna say thanks.

In March 2020 the world went into lockdown, and we all dealt with it one way or another.  Now, at least where I am, lockdown 2.0 is looming.  Christmas is coming and seeing my family is a question mark.  I’m not able to see my friends.  Yet in a bizarre twist I’m feeling so connected to everyone.  This pandemic has forced us all to stay home, but instead of moping and watching Simpsons re-runs, together we’ve turned Friday nights into a fun weekly event.

Not that there is anything wrong with Simpsons re-runs!

This first started with just me, talking into a camera and hoping people were watching.  They were.  And they wanted to play along.  Then Uncle Meat came up with the “Nigel Tufnel Top Ten” countdown theme and it was a huge success.  And here we are now!  I had to invest a little money into this, to take it up to the level I wanted.  I bought a new camera, two new microphones, lights, cables (lots of trial and error here), a streaming subscription…several hundred dollars later I’m where I want to be and I wouldn’t have done it without so many awesome humans.

Thank you Eric, my friend of 20-plus years, but soulmate for 40.  I love you, you big stinky Meaty Uncle.

Thank you Derek, also know as “Superdekes”.   It’s hard to believe we never spoke to each other except by keyboard until this pandemic began.  You have become a friend, a collaborator, a creative genius (“Paper Plate T-Bone”) and the facilitator for bringing on some great guests.

Thank you Aaron for being a reliable regular, not to mention 24 years of friendship.  Now we can speak regularly about the music we love!

Thank you Kevin for getting me on Streamyard, and for being a reliable co-host for many weeks now!  Sorry I’ve been mangling your last name for years now, though you didn’t know it until recently!

Thank you Geoff and Sarah for your recent contributions.  I’ll be seeing you both again soon — that’s a promise/threat!

Thanks to Rob Daniels for 35 years of friendship, amazing co-hosting duties, and for bringing your own shows to us every Wednesday and Saturday!  You are weathering the storm like a superhero Rob.  And of course thanks to Gimli who I suspect could actually be the real star of your show….

Thank you John Snow for helping me out multiple times as co-host, and for very cool backdrops every time!

Thank you Harrison for watching on the opposite side of the world, since the very beginning.  We’ll be having you on again real soon for another great list show.  No spoilers!

Thank you Holen, wherever and whoever you are!  Thank you Saige for the amazing LeBrain Train graphics.  Thank you to Tyler(s), plural.  Thank you to my family especially my mom for watching week after week even if you do not care about AC/DC or Van Halen.  Thanks to Chris, Scott, Len, Seb, Michael LeFevre, Lana, Rosana, and Никола́й Черныше́вский for watching regularly.  Huge appreciation to the guys from Storm Force, Steph Honde, and Frank Loffredo for coming on and supporting the show.  Taking the time to come on and talk to us means everything to me.

Frank mentioned that he loved the “DIY” method of what we do.  That’s it exactly.  He gets it.  This is a bunch of stir-crazy friends getting together every Friday night to hang out, geek out, drink coffee (some of us anyway) and talk music together.  On a personal level, it’s me trying to stay connected, but also trying to give back to the community.  I’m not making money on this, it’s happening out of love.  And necessity.  We need to take care of each other.  As a classic introvert, this pandemic has brought out hidden talents.  Not just in me; in all of us.  One of us (not naming names) got kind of sour on the idea of doing interviews a couple years ago.  He had a bad experience.  But this Friday night show has allowed us to have some really great interview experiences together and I’m glad to have been a part of that.  DIY is right.  We have been figuring it out as we go and it keeps getting better week after week.

The worst thing about making thank-you lists is forgetting someone.  I hope I didn’t.  I appreciate every single person who has watched, contributed, left a comment, and or just hung out and watched.  I think we’re just getting started.  Just like this pandemic keeps going and growing and evolving…so will we.

Let’s give’r.

 

 


Friendship live stream 08/28/2020

#863: Masks Are the New T-Shirt

GETTING MORE TALE #863: Masks Are the New T-Shirt

If you have been watching my videos or live streams, I’ve occasionally shown off my new masks.  Now, I don’t wanna get into the whole “issue” of masks.  I just want to talk about masks in terms of music, marketing, and keeping businesses alive in 2020.  No matter your political affiliation (I consider myself unaffiliated and flexible enough to change who I support), then if you are reading this then I think we can all agree on three things:

  1. We love music.
  2. We want businesses to survive in this difficult year.
  3. We need to do things that make us happy, especially now.

I’ve been saying for months:  every band, brand, and icon needs to put out branded masks, pronto!  Many of us are going to need masks for at least the next six months.  I have five Kiss masks currently.  I don’t know how long these things last, especially if you wash them as frequently as you have to, so I assume we’ll all need replacement masks in a little while too.  It makes sense to put out your own branded mask right now.  I love that I can put on a Kiss mask and go out and do my shopping.  It’s like wearing a T-shirt.  In 2020, the mask is the new T-shirt.  Especially in winter time when, in Canada, we will be wearing heavy jackets on our backs like a tortoise shell.  T-shirt weather is far behind us.  Bonus:  though they fog up my glasses, the mask does keep my nose warm in the morning chill.

To Kraft Dinner:  I would love to buy a mask from you that has your delicious cheesy noodles on my face!

To the estate of Frank Zappa:  I’m looking for a mask with his trademark moustache and beard.  Does such a thing exist?

Dear ZZ Top:  You know exactly what I want!  One of those longer “goiter” masks with your beards!

And local clubs, restaurants and businesses:  I would love to be able to buy a mask with your logo or website address on it.  We need to support each other in this time, I firmly believe, and that starts at home with our venues and clubs.

Sceptics might ask me, “Will any of that actually make the life-or-death difference for a business?”  I don’t know.  I didn’t study business or economics in school.  I just know that I am (somewhat) in a position to help (a little bit), and…I have to try.

I practice what I preach and have thrown a bone or two to some local businesses and music venues.  I’m not saying this to show off what a super guy I’m am, I’m saying this so I can lead by example.  I’m not wealthy though, and what works best for me is if I can buy some merchandise.  That way I get something I need while helping somebody else out.  I would rather buy official than knockoff.  I need more masks, and if there are enough cool ones, I could even give some as gifts to certain family members.

For the next six to twelve months (who knows?), masks are going to be in our lives.  Like it or lump it, I suppose they say.  Maybe I’ve just been more successful trying to have a positive attitude in 2020, but I’ve been able to…have fun?…with masks.  We gotta support each other to get through this damn pandemic, and to play on the words of my man Jon Bon Jovi:  I’ll Be There For You!  These five words I swear to you.  If you sell, I’ll buy a mask from you.  I’ll mask up for you!

 

 

#855: Some Of My Favourite Fest Intros (and One Outro) 2020

As always, I was asked to introduce songs at this year’s Sausagefest.  I’d like to share some of them with you so you can get a taste of what I do for the Fest.

These four are only some of my favourites this year.  I did 10 intros altogether and the longest was about nine minutes.  That’s my actual favourite, but it was less about the track intro, and more about inside jokes that mean nothing to you.  I also did a well-received Neil Peart tribute as part of my “Passage to Bankok” intro but you can just read it here as it was previously posted in its original text form.

 

Below is a medley of four intros and one outro.  Some notes before you proceed:

  • Because it’s 2020 and why the fuck not, I understand they did the countdown in reverse order this year.  Starting at #1 going down to #100.  I didn’t know that when I recorded these.
  • I like to lift bits from cartoons like Rick & Morty and American Dad.  You will hear some.  These are not my original bits, just funny things that work as transitions from whatever Tom & Meat had going on before me.
  • Afroman has been a point of contention. I do not believe Afroman has a place at Sausagefest but they vote it in every year and then make me introduce it.  This year I fought back by putting in 0% effort.  (50 second mark)
  • Better than the Afroman intro was the outro which you will also hear.  I “interviewed” Werner Herzog about Sausagefest and people that vote for Afroman. (2 minute 15 second mark)
  • The Herzog bit was probably the most complex to edit.  I downloaded random Werner interviews and found a perfect part where he was talking about chickens.
  • Getting Darth Vader on Cameo was a real stroke of luck! (3 minute 45 second mark)

 

* I had to surgically create the word “one” out of the word “chicken” in order for it to make sense.  Now you’ll notice but before you wouldn’t.

REVIEW: Marillion – “Made Again (2020)”

MARILLION – “Made Again (2020)” (2020 iTunes)

It wasn’t that long ago, in this sad year, that Marillion gifted us a new version of “Easter” from their lockdown spaces.  Now, from the landmark Brave album, they’ve re-recorded the hopeful “Made Again”.

“I have been here many times before, in the life I used to live…”

Poignant.  We’re all grieving for the lives we used to live, some more than others.  I’m tiring very quickly of virus-themed songs, like that damn “I know there’ll be better days” ad I keep hearing on the TV.  It’s having the opposite effect on me and making me very bitter.

Since “Made Again” was written in 1994, it doesn’t have the stench of 2020 all over it.  We know the lyrics are being repurposed but it’s not so bad knowing their old origins.

“Like I woke up from a bad dream, to a brand new world.”

Unlike “Easter” this is a bit more of a complete arrangement, not abbreviated and without shortcuts.  You can buy the track for 99 cents on iTunes or watch the video on YouTube.  The video was painstakingly assembled from the at-home performance videos and fan footage sent in from all over the world.

We all need some optimism.

“I woke up from a deep sleep,
I woke up from a bad dream,
To a brand new morning,
To a brand new day,
Like the whole world has been made again.”

I hope so, guys.  I hope so.

5/5 stars