kincardine

#857: Obsessed With Rock

GETTING MORE TALE #857: Obsessed With Rock

As this summer flies by, I’m reminded of seasons past.  My dad always took the same vacations in the summer:  one week in July and two in August.  That means we’d be up at the cottage for that time, and I wanted to be well stocked with music.  Meaning, I had to bring all my music.  All my cassettes, all my vinyl.  Everything.

It was a process, to say the least.  All my tape cases had to be wedged between seats of the car, and I had “a few” tape cases.  Then I took apart my jury-rigged stereo setup and carefully prepared it for transportation.  I taped down the tone arm on the turntable so it wouldn’t fly about.  I packed up all my wires, head cleaners, and record brushes.  My ghetto blaster and record player were loaded onto a seat in the car, with my dad’s old 8-track deck/receiver at the bottom.  I was using it as a pre-amp for the turntable, and it worked after a fashion.

My treasured Kiss cassettes were not in a case.  They occupied a shelf in my bedroom, with two custom ceramic Kiss bookends.  I placed the bookends and tapes into a plastic grocery bag for transport.  Upon arrival at the lake, I set them all up on another shelf, always in chronological order.  It’s funny to think that I didn’t get an obsessive-compulsive disorder diagnosis until I was in my 40s.  I was pretty clearly already there in my early teens.

Once I got everything hooked up again at the cottage (stealing extension cords from other rooms), I’d begin blasting the rock.  With OCD firmly in control, I first had to finish listening to whatever tape was in my Walkman during the car trip.  Only then would I choose what I would be listening to that night.

It’s all very clearly obsessive behaviour, but I guess people were not as aware of various mental health issues back then in the 80s.

Then and now, I loved listening to music at the lake.  I liked to blast it, which sometimes earned a noise complaint from the parents.  They were pretty good about it though.  They indulged my musical obsession though never quite understanding it.  I only had one true love and it was rock and roll.

Something else I enjoyed very much was buying new music while on summer vacation at the lake.  There were not many stores that carried anything good.  Don’s Hi-Fi, and Stedman’s were all that was available when I was really young.  They sure didn’t have much.  Still, listening to Priest…Live! when it was brand new, and breaking the seal at the lake was special.  It’s hard to articulate exactly what was special about it.  Your normal listening space is a familiar place.  Most things you hear, you first played in your own home.  When you get to experience an album on less familiar territory for the first few times, it develops a different flavour.  It’s not something you can hear, it’s just something you can feel.  I guess that’s why I always see myself playing darts in the back yard at the lake every time I hear Priest…Live!

Perhaps that is a feeling only a music obsessive gets.

When we returned from vacation, it felt like I would be welcoming my new albums into their new home.  This is where you live now, Priest.  This is where I am going to be experiencing you from now on.

Weird, right?

I never claimed to be normal.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  I’ve often boasted of not just “liking” music, but actually “loving” it deeply.  Maybe the only thing I’m actually boasting about is mental illness!

Whatever.  These are all good memories.  Although I speak fondly of it today, as a kid I would have chosen to stay home if I was old enough.  I missed being away from my friends, my rock magazines, my Pepsi Power Hour and all that stuff.  I missed talking about and listening to music with my best friend Bob.  Truth told, by packing up all music with me and hauling it up to the lake, I was trying to retain one aspect of being at home, which is my music collection.  Today the obsession remains, but I can do the same job with a laptop.  Crazy!  I never would have imagined that as a kid.

There are worse things to be hooked on other than rock and roll.  If it makes you feel so good, can it be so bad?

 

 

 

VIDEO: Windy Weekend

You don’t have to feel obligated to watch this video.  These videos are more for me than anyone else.  This time I wanted to keep intact the camera audio from the weekend.  The sights and sounds (and smells, natch) of the countryside are preserved here.  Instead of mixing my still and moving pictures as I usually do, all the stills can be found in the latter part of this video accompanied by the track “Masked” by Dr. Kathryn Ladano.

I saw a lot of birds this weekend (including geese and a family of wild turkeys) and managed to capture a bit on video. Nature lovers will enjoy the wildlife and greenery, the stormy skies and the churning lake. There are some seriously breathtaking pictures of the sky in this video, as well as a blooper and cameos by Sith Lords and Sausagefesters.

Wind and rain aside, it was a lovely weekend full of music, live streaming, barbecuing and the beach.

VIDEO: Rain Drive

Too exhausted to write after that white-knuckle drive home. I am disappointed that the camera footage doesn’t convey the sheer terror of 5-6 feet of visibility in near non-stop rain.

So this is what you get, no metal reviews today, just a video of the drive home set to music. After editing (I slowed the video down in some of the small towns so you could get a better look at rural Ontario) it came to be the exact length of a song that I can use called “A Beautiful Day” by Tempted Fate, a Raw M.E.A.T band. Contrary to the lyrics though, it was thankfully not a beautiful day to die and we made it home in one piece although exhaused from the effort.

Enjoy the tune!

Sunday Video: Max The Axe Weekend

Instead of a Sunday Chuckle, I give you something better: this video (which has a couple chuckles in it) and three Max the Axe songs: “River Grand”, “Overload” and “Gods on the Radio”.

The video above is just a summation of our awesome weekend. Look for a cameo by Superdekes from our Live Streamin’ Weekend. I hope you were able to stay cool in this heat as I was!  Sometimes people talk about the Top Ten Swims they’ve ever had in their lives.  I may have had two of the top ten this weekend.  You be the judge!

And thank you to John Snow of 2 Loud 2 Old Music for the birthday gift below.  I promise I will review it soon!

Also a special Happy Birthday to my Grandma Dolly who turns 96 today!

#838: Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days

A sequel to #548:  Bad Boys

GETTING MORE TALE #838:  Wild Nights, Hot & Crazy Days

I couldn’t believe it when that red Daytona pulled into the cottage driveway.

“Is that Bob?” asked my dad.  It sure was!

Bob’s parents had a trailer not too far from our cottage, part way between Kincardine and Goderich.  It wasn’t unusual for him to drop in, but this time was different.  He was about to start a new job and wanted a little vacation before his first day.  He chose to come and stay at the cottage with us!

You might think it strange that he just showed up unannounced, but that’s not unusual for cottagers.  My dad’s friend Ron often showed up with his whole family, completely unexpected.  Bob had an open invitation; he was always welcome.

We raised hell that week.  Bob didn’t know, but my cousin Geoffrey and his family were also scheduled to visit.  Geoffrey was…how do I put this?  Hyperactive was the word they used, but at that age, he was…impossible!  I am glad he had since turned into a fine normal young man, but back then you could only take so much Geoff at a time!  Naturally, Bob and I ganged up against him, which was a nice change of pace!  It was during that week that Geoff infamously pierced his ear, while we took the blame for it.  I didn’t trick Geoff into anything, I just chickened out.  But that was just one of the many things we did that week.

Bob was obsessed with one album in particular that summer:  Extreme’s Pornograffitti.  In that Daytona, we all cruised endlessly to the sounds of that album.  My grandmother, in the cottage two doors down, was not impressed by our loud hootin’ and hollerin’.  I was at that age when I thought being loud and obnoxious was funny.

Pornograffitti is a special album, but that summer it was extra-special.  We played it on a loop, and I had just about every song memorized.  I asked for and received it for my birthday later that month.  While I liked all the rockers, “Hole Hearted” really hit me where it counts.  Its melancholy exuberance reflected how I felt at that time.  (I know that sounds like a contradiction!)  I was both excited and scared to be starting a new journey in my life, at University.  Fall was only a couple months away and I was nervous.  Whatever the case, the acoustic strumming of “Hole Hearted” was exactly how I felt, before I jumped into the deep end of school.

It was a beautiful summer, bright and warm.  Bob and I took the canoe out onto the lake.  There was a rock far from the shore, that was just inches below the water.  Finding it was the trick.  We were determined!  I knew roughly where the rock was located, but once you’re out on the featureless water, it was difficult to pinpoint.  Yet we found it relatively easily, by carefully looking for little crests of water where it rolled inches over that rock.

We dropped anchor and stepped onto the rock.  There was room for both of us.  Singing heavy metal songs at the top of our lungs, we both “mooned” the shore.  We were so far out that nobody would have been able to see.  I guess I’ve always been an exhibitionist.  But we did it — we mooned a crowded Lorne Beach.

As my dad likes to remind me, we could have been arrested!

Ah well.  “We didn’t,” was my answer then and now!

We had huge beach fires at night, and found plenty of activity during the days.  There was one afternoon that we took a trip up to Bruce Nuclear.  We usually did that once a year, to go on the tour.  There were actually two tours: one indoors through the visitor’s centre, and a bus tour through the grounds.   Bob came with the family on the bus tour.  And we were awful.  I don’t mind saying so.  That poor tour guide had to put up with our running commentary.  The grounds included nature preserves, and she was telling us about the wild deer that you could sometimes see in the trees to our right.

“Yeah, that one has two heads!” chuckled Bob out loud.  Chuckled, or heckled?  That’s up to interpretation.

I like to say that we were like Tom Green, but without the video camera.  If only we had one!  We were definitely a public nuisance.  And I’m definitely an old fart now, because I would find that behaviour annoying today.

But we didn’t hurt anybody.  Nobody got arrested.  We were loud and annoyed a few people, but at the time I thought that was very rock n’ roll.  We were ahead of our time.  My cousin started his summer by getting a hole in his ear and Bob and I had one last hoorah together.  That all sounds real good to me.

 

#785: Seasons End (Oh Deer) + BONUS Nutshell Review: El Camino – A Breaking Bad Movie

A sequel to #774.5: Seasons Ends. Buckle up, it’s a busy one!

GETTING MORE TALE #785: Seasons End (Oh Deer)
+ BONUS Nutshell Review: El Camino – A Breaking Bad Movie
+ BONUS Star Wars – The Black Series 6″ figures “Abandoned” Video Reviews

“Be careful of the deer problem,” said my dad when I phoned him from Lucknow, about 20 or 30 minutes away from the cottage.

“Don’t worry, I’ll drive safe,” I reassured him in that voice that hardly reassured him.

“You know about the deer problem?” he asked to confirm.

No, but now I did.  Funny thing; I’d been driving up to the lake by myself for over 20 years and never came close to hitting a deer.  There are warning signs along all the major roads, some with flashing yellow lights.  Turns out Thanksgiving 2019 was my first on-the-road deer sighting.

It got dark quick after Lucknow, and soon it was like pitch.  I had been driving slower since the sun went down but it was Jen who saw the deer first.  I slowed down carefully until he jumped away unto the brush.  The guy behind me wasn’t paying attention and almost rear-ended me.

It’s so strange to review the dashcam footage afterwards. What felt like an eternal moment of tense surprise was really only seven seconds.*


Until that moment, we were wrapped deep in Iron Maiden.  I played the first album, with Paul Di’Anno, and the bonus tracks for the full-on experience.  This was music I’d been listening to for 35 years and under the weight of all that nostalgia, I immediately began singing along.  I remember “Charlotte the Harlot” coming up just as we were detouring past a town called Dorking.  I don’t know about you, but I think that’s funny.  Once completed, we switched over to Piece of Mind.  That’s the Maiden studio album that I have the longest deep relationship with.  Every word was dancing on my tongue, even “Revelations”.  But then again, I remember having that song memorised back in highschool.  My friend Andy and I sang it back to a rap kid named Patrick Barnes who claimed that metal lyrics are just unintelligible noise and nonsense.

All this Maiden reminiscence led to the writing of a new future chapter of Getting More Tale called “Run 2 the Hills”, a direct sequel to Record Store Tales Part 1.  Look for that one in the near future.

We had the near miss with the deer after both albums were complete, and I’d started on random tunes from Powerslave.  “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” was  the song playing when Bambi was spared by some good driving.

Upon arrival, I had get my Netflix fired up to watch El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.  Nutshell review:


EL CAMINO: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019 Netflix)

I didn’t think I cared where Jesse Pinkman went at the end of Breaking Bad.  Turns out, I cared enough to watch this well-written coda to a great TV series.  Aaron Paul rules, equipped with very little dialogue and only his body language.  Paul gives us a hard insight to the PTSD-infested survivor Pinkman.  Every cameo you desire is in store via relevant flashbacks, fleshing out the original series a little bit.  After a while, you, like Pinkman, are disoriented and can’t remember if you’re watching past or present.

4/5 stars


It was a little freaky when I finished the film, went on Twitter, and saw Bryan Cranston announced that Robert Forster had died, just after I watched his final film.

In the morning I wrote up the rough draft of my new Maiden chapter while it was all fresh in my head, but I otherwise accomplished very little, creatively speaking.

I tried, I really did try.  When mom & dad stepped out of the house for a few minutes I thought I could squeeze in time for a Star Wars Black Series video review.  You’ll see what happened.  Something like this occurred any time I attempted to make a video.  So what you see is what you get; I gave up!


Abandoned Reviews

For entertainment use only.  Back off, fanboys!


Instead of using my creative juices for this one final weekend of the lake this season, I decided to pour it into cooking instead.  I picked up three beautiful steaks and a pound of lobster tail. I made some garlic butter, clarified it, and put the tail on the grill.  Everything was phenomenal.  I felt like we ended the season right with these meals.

There was the traditional turkey dinner the following night too, stuffed with goodness, but I feel the lobster tail and the steaks really put a cap on the season.

The drive home was enabled by Twisted Sister’s Live at the Marquee and The Razors Edge by AC/DC.  I don’t know how often I’ve played The Razors Edge in the car since it came out before I could drive.  Could this have been the first time?  I liked it better in the car than I do sitting at home.  As for Twisted Sister, Live at the Marquee is by far their greatest live product.  The raw heavy stage purity can’t be touched.

And now we are home, preparing for the arrival of winter routines and monotony.  Hibernation begins.  But spring will return again, and with it, so will the roadtrips, the steaks, and the sun.

Stay warm, my friends!

* It was just a young deer  When you start having more frequent animal sightings in cottage country like this, it means they are being displaced from somewhere else.  There has been a lot of building and development this year.

#781: What Happened to C-3PO’s Hand? (Video story)

GETTING MORE TALE #781: What Happened to C-3PO’s Hand? The Story

Pardon the volume on this video, I really struggled with it and then said “fuck it”.

VIDEO: A “Kick Axe” Weekend + next series preview!

The first weekend of August is a long weekend in Ontario.  It’s called the Civic holiday, but people in retail still have to work it.  I did, almost every single year at the Record Store.  This year we spent the holiday at the lake, where I secretly began work on the next review series here at mikeladano.com.  With the encouragement of my good buddy Superdekes, two posts were completed at the lake, on the front porch.  You couldn’t have asked for a better setting.

As usual I’ve assembled a video of some of our weekend fun, all to the tune of Max the Axe (“My Daddy Was A Murderin’ Man”, and “Call of the Wild”).  Check out crystal clear waters, mountains of food, and rock and roll.  And of course that sneak preview for our next review series!

VIDEO: LeBrain’s Birthday 2019

Music by Max the Axe.

“Overload” from the CD Overload (2008)

 

VIDEO: Happy Canada Day

It’s Canada Day up Canada way. I hope you had a safe and happy one. Here’s what I did on my Canada Day vacation.