Dave FM

REVIEW: The Tom Green Show – The Complete Series – Inside & Outside the Box (2005)

Thanks Dave FM for the chance to meet Tom Green!

GREENTOM GREEN – Inside & Outside the Box – The Tom Green Show: The Complete Series (2005 VSC)

As longtime LeBrain readers know, I was named King of the 4-O’clock 4-Play by Craig Fee on Dave FM.  I won a lot of stuff on that show.  One of the best things I won was a pair of tickets to see Tom Green at Crysalids Theatre, 9/22/11 with my best buddy Peter.  Tom was great, it was a celebration of the true spirit of stand-up comedy and he stuck around to take photos and sign stuff with everybody afterward.  I don’t think Tom Green gets enough respect for being an innovator as a comedian.  That’s why I felt inspired enough to write this review.

The most important thing to know about Tom Green:  MTV ruined Tom Green!  The MTV years, although peppered with some genius sketches such as “Undercutter’s Pizza”, was not at all what the original Tom Green Show was about.

This 3 disc set comprises Tom Green’s entire Comedy Network shows. In other words, the good stuff.  The weird stuff.  The offensive stuff.  The stuff that Jackass ended up ripping off (particularly Bam Margera).  Best of all though, this is the pre-fame stuff.  Tom Green could still run around downtown Ottawa without people knowing it was for a TV show.

You will see herein:

* Tom throwing all of Glenn Humplik’s clothes out of a plane in an evil double-cross.
* Tom burning Glenn’s shirt.
* Will Ferrell proclaiming that he hates Glenn and wants to punch him.
* Tom turning grape juice into pee (for science)!
* The dead raccoon.
* Tom demonstrating how a bus cannot move if you place your face on the bus.
* Repainting his dad’s car with a huge portrait of two naked women (the “slutmobile”).
* “Scuba Hood”.  He robs from the poor (fountains in malls, apparently) and gives to the rich (banks).
* Hanging his painting, “Tiger Zebra”, in the Ottawa Art Gallery, and then defacing it.
* and much, much more….

What you won’t see:

* You won’t see any bums on Swedishes.  That’s MTV stuff and not even half as good as this earlier stuff.

What I still like about the Tom Green show is that it is seldom mean spirited.  He picks on his friend Glenn a lot, which I can’t help but think that Kenny Hotz ripped off later on.  Everything else was done in this pseudo-naive childish fashion, and that is why I can watch The Tom Green Show over a decade later and laugh like the first time I saw it. This DVD for me has rendered obselete all of his old VHS tapes that I collected religiously. That stuff is on here, and it’s as fresh as ever.

I wonder whatever happened to Glenn’s clothes?

5/5 stars

REVIEW: Rush – “The Pass” (1990 single)

RUSH – “The Pass” (1990 single)

The discussion came up during Thanksgiving.  I had the laptop up at the cottage, and the whole family listening to the 80’s Weekend on our favorite rock station, 107.5 Dave FM.  As part of it, they played “Time Stand Still” by Rush.

I asked my sister Kathryn, “Is this your favourite Rush of the 80’s?”

“No,” came the answer.  “I prefer ‘The Pass'”.

So that got me thinkin’.  Yeah, “The Pass” was an awesome song!  Sure it’s not “YYZ” or “Subdivisions” or one of those better known 80’s anthems, but it stands up.  I enjoyed the production, with the emphasis on Geddy’s bass as the main hook.  I always preferred this song to the first single from Presto, “Show Don’t Tell”.  I was disappointed that “The Pass” was not one of the Rush singles chosen to be on their compilation, Chronicles.  “The Pass” is well crafted song, lyrically relevant, emotional yet tough.

  1. “The Pass” (Radio Edit)”  4:04
  2. “The Pass” 4:51

4/5 stars

Part 125: Syphon Remix (It’s T-Rev Appreciation Day…Again!)


(It’s T-Rev Appreciation Day…Again!)

Trevor’s in the habit of texting me whenever he sees something that I may want.  Which is more often than I can afford, as it happens, so I have to pick and choose!  I just received another box of goodies from T-Rev last week.  Inside I found the contents below:



Gotta love picture discs eh?  I’ll never play that Ozzy EP (all songs are also on his Prince of Darkness box set) but it sure looks cool.  (Look at Jake E. Lee!  Oh, Jake.)  Didn’t even know it existed.  That Grim Reaper one, I’d never seen the album cover before.  Never even knew what it looked like!  Sure love that title track though.  And I’m well on record for loving the Rage For Order LP by Queensryche!

Also in the box was a rare 12″ single by Kim Mitchell.  You know, the guy who teased your brains with Max Webster, and then your taste buds with “Go For Soda”.

Trev and I are both Kim and Max fans, but undoubtedly he’s the bigger fan than I am.  So it was with utmost gratitude that I accept this record:  “Go For Soda (Syphon Remix)” / “Love Ties”.  This was from his own personal collection.  As far as I know, neither of us have seen another copy.   I spoke to my buddy, that guy Craig Fee who works at that radio station Dave FM, and he’d never heard of it, let alone encountered it in his vast travels.

Anyway, Trev found this one, back in the record store days!  I don’t know when or where but maybe he’ll pop in with his remembrances!  But this is the kind of thing we lived for.  Finding something rare, cool, and previously unknown.

There’s no credit for who did the remix, essentially an extended version.  The song has a different intro and is beefed up from 3:26 to 4:59.  It’s a UK import, from Bronze records.  Mitchell’s stuff is released by Anthem over here in North America.  Bronze released Motorhead and Girlschool records in the 1970’s, I wonder if they commissioned this remix themselves.

So thanks Trev for another treasure.   This is the kind of thing that Trev was prone to finding.  I recall he had an etched Megadeth picture disc, and he also somehow scored me a double Bon Jovi 12″ single with 3 rare live tracks.

Must be the keen eye of a skilled Record Store Guy!  I salute you sir.

REVIEW: The Darkness – Hot Cakes (deluxe edition)

I wanna dedicate this review to Patrick from Dave Nation, a regular reader and Darkness fan!

THE DARKNESS – Hot Cakes (Deluxe edition with 4 bonus tracks, 2012 Canary Dwarf Ltd.)

The Darkness are probably the band that came out in the last decade that I truly love most.  Something about this band just makes me feel GOOD.  They always have.  I love this band, much to the consternation of some of the people I used to work for at the record store!  I love this band, so I worked their music into our wedding reception, and played a shitload of air guitar to it!  I just love this band.

I loved the Stone Gods too.  But this is the original Darkness:  Dan, Justin, Ed and Frankie.

At first I was kind of “blah” to the idea of an original lineup reunion.  I liked Richie Edwards just fine too.  But Frankie co-writes a number of these tracks, and he has a great stage presence.  As for Ed, his trademark drum fills might not be Neil Peart material but he has his own identifiable sound, and his fills are always dead-on perfect for what the songs need.  Play air drums to The Darkness some time, you’ll see what I mean!

To get to the point, though:  Hot Cakes?  It’s magically delicious!

If you didn’t like their second album, the arguably over-elaborate One Way Ticket, then you’ll be happy with Hot Cakes.  They’ve brought things back to the basics of guitars, bass, and drums with only the odd embellishment along the way.

But the lyrics are certainly not toned down!

Every man, woman and chile wants to…


Justin’s lost nothing.  He’s still bonkshit!* Except maybe just a hint (just a hint!) of his high voice.  Or maybe it’s just the production that make it seem that way.  It might even be my imagination.  So who cares?  And to sing and play lead guitar and run around like Steven Tyler?  That can’t be easy either!

The majority of songs here are great, and would make my road tape.  Much like the first and second albums, there are songs that I keep coming back to over and over again.  You become attached to certain hooks in them and then suddenly, BAM!  The song is stuck in your head!  Examples of this:

“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us” – Great fast catchy Darkness single, with one of their classic sounding choruses.

“With A Woman” – Simple, basic AC/DC rocker but with Justin’s flare and yet another catchy chorus.

“Everybody Have A Good Time” – “Come on people, tell me how you feel. You want a good time? Well you got yourself a deal!”  Along the blueprints of the feel-good tunes from the first album.

“She Just A Girl, Eddie” – Tied for best song on the album.  This is the one I can play 10 times in a row and still hit repeat (usually in the car).  As for the lyrics?  “There are four billion other girls, who want to make love to you.”  Eddie can’t argue with that math.  And speaking of Eddie, Ed’s drum fills are what I was talking about earlier — simple, powerful, perfect.

“Concrete” – Solid, riff-based song with great high Justin vocal.  Catchy as hell.

“Street Spirit (Fade Out)” – Holy.  Shit.

On the negatives:  The album somewhat follows the blueprint of the first one.  For example a ballad, “Living Each Day Blind” falls on track #5, the same place that the similar sounding “Love Is Only A Feeling” was on Permission To Land.  At times it gets predictable, but thankfully the song quality back it up.

I paid a fair chunk of money to have the deluxe edition shipped here from Amazon.co.uk.  I’m glad to say it:  These four extra songs are worth it!

There are two acoustic demos:  The campfire-like “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Love”, a song as good as any on the album proper.  Then there’s a demo version of the album song “Love Is Not the Answer”, which is better than the album version.  The album version seemed very much the answer to “Holding My Own” from album #1.  The acoustic version loses that soundalike aspect, and exposes bare Justin’s vocal prowess.

Then there’s “Pat Pong Ladies”.  No idea what this one is about since it’s not included in the lyric sheet.  This one has a more layered and operatic vibe, more akin to album #2.  Having said that, it’s a great tune, better than some of the album tracks.  It gets positively Queen at times.

Lastly, “Cannonball (Long Version)”.   As my fellow rock enthusiast, Heavy Metal Overload asked, “Where’s the short version?”  Maybe Ian Anderson knows.  He plays that flute part.  Of course!  But this isn’t a ballad, or even a Tull-like rocker.  No, this is The Darkness sounding like themselves (circa album #2 with some boogie piano underneath and layered screams)!

I’m so glad this band is back.  I hope to catch them live.  I hope Lady Gaga’s audience is into them…now there’s an odd pairing!

4.5/5 stars


* word coined by Statham

Part 93.5: Recognition

Missed part 1?  Click here.

Part 2

Even though half a decade has passed, sometimes I still get recognized from the CD store today. Just two weeks ago, I was at a lunch with some friends of my wife. One guy recognized me. “Do you still work at the CD store?” he asked as I said hello to everyone. He was an old regular. Not all regulars still recognize me. An older gentleman, Charles, my best classical customer, didn’t recognize me when he bought classical discs from my garage sale last summer.

Today, I tend to get recognized not for my face but for my name. Rather, my nickname: LeBrain.

I never mentioned how that handle came to be. After winning my umpteenth 4 O’clock 4-play on 107.5 Dave FM, Craig Fee dubbed me with that name. “Mike Ladano and his massive brain…his massive LeBrain!” The nickname stuck, and that is how I became LeBrain. Next thing you know it, we had an entire “Stump LeBrain” week where I guested at the station for a week, and a full month (“LeBrainuary”) of my own 4-play quizzes.

I was first recognized in person by the owner of the local UPS store, while picking up a parcel. “Are you that guy from the radio?” he asked me. Turns out he was a fan. He’d listened to all of LeBrainuary in his store.

I was also recognized by some of the younger chaps at Sausagefest, who thought my voice was familiar. “I know that voice…is that LeBrain?” they said.

I buy a lot of stuff off eBay (you’ve seen much of it here on the blog!), and the girl at my local post office now knows me as LeBrain. She is always excited when my parcels come in. “What’s in this one?” she’ll ask.

“Oh, that one is a rare Maiden 12” single,” I’d say.

“Cool! That’s awesome!” One time, she knew one of my parcels had arrived immediately, because the seller had put a Kiss sticker on the box. I walked into the post office, and she said, “I know which parcel is yours!” with an excited tone in her voice. She explained that she heard me on radio earlier as LeBrain.

So, to Post Office Girl: Sorry, I don’t even know your name. I would like to dedicate this blog to you, and my 15 minutes of fame!

Part 79: Physical Product

Loyal rock fans,

You’ve seen me say it here many times:  I love physical product.  I hate being forced to download something.  I hate paying money to own…what?  1’s and 0’s floating on a magnetic disc, a fragile thing that can die just because it wants to.  Know what I mean?

I like packaging.  I like knowing who wrote the songs, who produced them, who played what.  I like artwork, I like lyrics, heck I even like the thank-you’s!  Ever read the thank-you’s inside Def Leppard’s Hysteria?  Extensive and hilarious!  Mostly though, I think you gain an appreciation of an artist’s body of work, the more you know about it.

I like CD’s, and I’m fortunate to have worked in a CD store for pretty much the entire age of CD domination.  When I began in ’94 we still sold tapes, and I was actually still buying tapes, if the price was right.  Cassette was my primary physical product for another year, before I began the slow (still incomplete) process of re-buying all my tapes on CD.

For example, Wolfsbane’s first album.  Still don’t have that on CD, very hard to find in this part of the world. 

My CD collection increased approximately by 50 times, over my years there.  I love physical product!

I like to keep them in good shape, and for that reason, I’m glad about the improved quality of digital media and players these days compared to back then.  I don’t have to haul my discs around with me anymore when I’m heading to the cottage.  I used to pack 15, 20 discs for variety.  Now I just load up a 64 gig flash drive, and throw it in the car.  When I get to the cottage I have my mp3 player at the ready.  I don’t have to worry about breaking the cases, scratching the discs, or anything.

You know something?  When I was a really young fella, like 13 or 14, we used to go to the cottage for 2 weeks at a time in the summer.  When you’re 13, you get bored pretty easily at the cottage, so I began bringing my entire tape collection, my record collection, and my turntable with me.  Incredible!  Granted my collection wasn’t big, it was two cases of tapes and about 5 records, but still.  Today, flash drive, MP3 player.  Done.

But I’ll always keep my physical product, and at home I will listen to nothing else.  I think my buddy Marko Fox at 107.5 Dave FM said it very well:

Technology is my mistress as well…and I love her…but I still must be surrounded by records, tapes and CDs for my soul to survive.

That’s it right there.

I’ve posted this video once before, but I don’t care, it rocks.

Part 60: Back to the Start

Holy crap!  Part 60 already?  I hope you’ve been enjoying the Record Store Tales so far.  For this sort-of-but-not-really-special edition, I’m going to take you back to the start. 

Marko Fox asked me today, “LeBrain, how did you get to be LeBrain?”  Well, it was a unique set of circumstances Marko.

1. Obsession.  Ever since I was a kid I think I was an obsessive-compulsive collector.  I had to have every Star Wars figure, I had to have all their names memorized, I had to have it all.

2. Rock Magazines.  The first rock magazine I ever bought was an old Circus special on Kiss.  All my friends seemed to know all the important details about bands:  Which guy was the bassist and which played guitar, the names of the members, the brands of the guitars.  I decided to needed to catch up and so I started reading magazines.

3. The Power Hour. This MuchMusic show ran for an hour, twice a week.  Two hours of pure rock a week!  I taped them religiously and never missed one until I got my first part-time job.

4. Columbia House.  Remember them?  Buy 11 CDs for a penny, get 2 free, and only have to buy 8 more at regular club prices within the next two years?  We got Columbia House when I was in grade 11, my sister and I, and we split it evenly.  I read the Columbia House catalog cover to cover every month.  So that meant I not only knew who Iron Maiden was, but also Miles Davis, Bell Biv Devoe, and Alan Jackson.

Those four factors sealed into my brain and endless stream of musical knowledge and listening experience that has only grown with the the birth of the Interweeb.

Jump-cut to 1994.  It is July.  I just started at the record store a few days ago.  My boss is having me file discs to get to know the inventory.  He is shocked that I know where to file Miles Davis.  He is surprised that I know which Alan Jackson album has “Chattahoochee” on it.  He asks me how I know this stuff?  I tell him, “Columbia House!”

It wasn’t too long before I was teaching him things, too.  I remember I bought a disc for stock by Pigface (Fook).  The next day he took me aside, holds up the CD, and says, “What is this that you bought?  You paid $4 for this?”  I said, “Yeah.  Side project of Ministry.”  That was when I became known as the guy who knew the side projects from just about everybody.

He was more than happy to stock something if I told him I know it would sell.  With him knowing what was going on with the charts, and Trevor knowing what was happening with new rock, we were a formidable force.

So there you go, Marko.  That is how LeBrain became LeBrain.  You’ll note that two of the four contributing factors don’t exist anymore, so perhaps there could never have been a LeBrain if not for the 80’s!

INTERMISSION: Tom & Meat are the luckiest ****ing b******s in the world

Alex, Tom, Meat, Geddy

Alex, Tom, Meat, Geddy

Patrick @ Dave FM hooked them up.  Bastards.

Part 43: Shake Your Foundations (Epilepsy Sucks!)

In 2008, the year we got married, Jen was diagnosed with epilepsy.  Some people with epilepsy never have a seizure, once diagnosed and medicated.  Unfortunately for us, Jen is not one of those people.

It’s been a long hard struggle, but we have made it through so far with humour and a positive attitude.  One part of having a positive attitude came from my research on the illness. While researching epilepsy online, I discovered that numerous rock stars have it, but still function!  Knowing this was a huge boost to our attitudes, because being on stage involves lots of lights, and lights can be a trigger for many people with epilepsy.

I constructed a 4 O’Clock 4-Play for Craig at 107.5 Dave FM, involving this theme.  My goal was simply to raise awareness.  I told Craig, “If just one person hears this and learns something about epilepsy then my work is done, because so many people have no idea what it is.”  Judging by the feedback I got, it did succeed in getting people thinking!

1. Prince.  The royal single-monikered one was born epileptic and suffered a lot of taunting at school.  He’s obviously come a long way since!  I submitted “Let’s Go Crazy” in my 4-play but Craig subbed in a collaboration with Stevie Nicks which was fine by me!

2. Lindsay Buckingham.  He was born with a mild form of the disease, but still manages to tour with Fleetwood Mac.  Good on him!  I chose “Go Your Own Way”.

3. Adam Horovitz.  This Beastie Boy is sensitive to flashing lights, which I am sure they use in their stage show.  It certainly didn’t seem to hold him back from massive success.  For this 4-play I chose “Sabotage”.

4. Neil Young.  He was medicated for epilepsy as a child, but didn’t like the side effects of the meds, which can go all over the spectrum depending on you and your meds.  Neil chose to make lifestyle changes instead, and has lived without medication since!  And, obviously, rocked the world.  Good on you Neil.  I used “Rockin’ in the Free World”.

Epilepsy scares a lot of people when they see a seizure happen.  Don’t be scared, but if you want to learn more, check out some of these links.




Part 42: The Barefoot DJ

RECORD STORE TALES Part 42: The Barefoot DJ

We had one regular at the store, Barefoot DJ.  He used to come in and say, “Do you have that song, Mistadobalina? Mr. Bob Dobalina?”  With no shoes.  Every time.  He said he had a foot disease that made his feet feel like they’re on fire.  Therefore, he could’t wear shoes.  So I said, wear flip flops.  I had to kick him out so many damn times!  He said he filed a report with human rights, all that stuff.  It was an insurance thing.  If the guy cut his foot on a broken CD case shard, we get sued.

The problem is, there were some discs that were just hard to find and Del tha Funkee Homosapien wasn’t exactly a regular, like, say, Hole (bargain bin perennial, that one!).  So he’d come in, ask for the song, do his little rendition (no shoes this whole time) and then tell us we sucked because we didn’t have it.   Then he’d be back two weeks later asking for the same damn song.    This, and “Pink” by Aerosmith, were the two that the Barefoot DJ was constantly looking for.

But…he wanted “Pink” on a greatest hits album!  Even though it was their new single at the time, from their brand new album, he wanted it on a hits album.  Wouldn’t buy it otherwise.  I told him he was just going to have to wait.  There was no pleasing this man, even when he did wear shoes!

CODA:  A question raised by Craig Fee, of 107.5 Dave FM:  “Who the fuck wants that stupid song by Aerosmith?”

Answer – Me….