summer

#843: Summer Depression

After three days in paradise, returning to the stink of the city and the daily grind is depressing. It is a hard feeling to shake.

What makes it harder this year is the uncertainty. Because of Covid-19 there are no guarantees when we’ll be able to go back.

For three days, Covid was so far from our minds. No masks required when you’re isolated by yourselves in the woods. The only time I remembered Covid, it was too late. A neighbour was having car trouble and needed a lift to where he left his car on the highway. Without hesitation I told him to jump in and I drove him to his vehicle. Only on the way back did I remember Covid, and that we were not wearing masks in the car.

When I’m there in paradise, I’m up at the crack of dawn with a coffee in my hand, listening to the symphony of the forest.

When I’m back home, I can’t get up without hitting the snooze button a few times. The roar of traffic can be heard from the highway.

I hope you all are making the best of this summer as possible.

#774.5: Seasons End

Like an old termite-ridden stump, summer 2019 is burned up.

We planned to spend as much of the summer outdoors as possible.  We did that.   I didn’t want to use the precious summer months pounding out words about music.  So I wrote as much as I felt like.  I didn’t get to comment as much.  I had to sacrifice something to make the most of my favourite season.  Music was there with us every day.  I just wanted to enjoy the moments instead of figuring out how to write them down.

Hard to believe another summer has burned away.

There was no single artist who dominated this summer (like Blotto did in 2018).  We enjoyed a variety of Van Halen, Judas Priest, Stompin’ Tom, Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Rainbow, and Helix without rhyme or reason.

It’s already getting colder.  The nights are starting sooner.  I can feel the end of the season creeping, and our summer at the lake is over.

At least we made the most of it.

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#685: First Signs of Sausagefest

GETTING MORE TALE #685: First Signs of Sausagefest

To quote Bon Jon Bovi, it feels somethin’ like summertime.

Ever since my first time back in ’06, summer is about Sausagefest.  It’s just a month away now and I can already feel the cool waters of the Beaver River on my feet.

It has been hot in Ontario this past week.  I have been sporting my hair long, but the sweaty heat is a severe deterrent.  I originally wanted to try have bangin’ long hair at Sausagefest for the first time this summer.  That’s not gonna happen.  I have surrendered to the summer.  The hair is gone.  The first sign of Sausagefest has arrived:  my shaved head.

 

Before & After

Other preparations are under way.  Several weeks ago, Uncle Meat gave me the list of songs for me to introduce.  I’m very excited because the ideas started poppin’ right away.  I have been gathering funny audio bits for almost a year now, but I have pared them all down to the funniest.  I learned from last year when I took everything to excess, and I think this time I have distilled all my stuff down to the crème de la crème. Trimmed away a lot of fat.

Just as, I hope, the Lamb Lord will be trimming the fat on his massive side of lamb for the BBQ once again.

Now that the hair decision has been made, I have been pondering some new purchases for this year’s Fest.

This will be the last Sausagefest for the old Pontiac.  I’ll be getting something bigger in the fall.  Space in the car is an issue, since I drive two people and all their stuff.  But I want to make room for this baby below.

Someone brought Jon Snow’s sword one year, and I have been known to sport a machete on my belt.  This year, perhaps a more practical weapon would be something that could light our way in the darkness after sunset:  a Kylo Ren lightsaber.

These beauty “weapons” are dropping in price, and wouldn’t it be super cool to have one as a nightlight? It would sure beat glow sticks. Not a small investment, however, and you wouldn’t want it to get damaged up there.

What do you think, LeBrain readers?  Is this a worthy investment?  Stand up and be counted in the poll below.

Keep in mind I could use that money for many other, more practical things.  New shoes.  New glasses.  A new tent. New Guns N’ Roses and Def Leppard box sets.

Check back and see where the poll leads and take part in the discussion in the comments.

Back to work on my recordings for song intros. Can’t wait to see the reactions this time.

 


From last year’s recordings

Sunday Chuckle: Fans

It’s freakin’ hot out there!  I had a fan behind me to cool me off, and this is how it worked out.

fan

 

#407: Summertime

SHIRTS

RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#407: Summertime

I’ve always been a summer guy.  I was born in July.  I don’t like the snow.  My spirits are stronger and moods happier in the summer.  Summer holidays were glorious days to be spent at the cottage.  The beach, swimming, new music, no school…plus my birthday.  My whole year revolved around July and August!

Working at the Record Store in the summer was fun.  The sun pouring through the windows, opening the door and letting the breeze in…it was wonderful.  Not to mention that, as a single male, I didn’t mind female customers coming in dressed for summer.

Of course summer wasn’t all peaches and cream.  It meant the return of the infamous “No Shirts, No Shoes, No Service” sign and its enforcement thereof.   I hated having to kick people out for coming in with no shirt, but it had to be done.

Me: “Hey, do you mind putting on a shirt in the store?”

Him: “Why, are you serving food here?”

No, it’s just that I don’t want to have to watch the bead of sweat dripping off your nipple ring.

T-Rev made a different sign.  His said:

Because highschool is free,
And Jerry Springer does not work here,
Shoes and Shirts must be worn in store.

But I don’t know if he ever hung it up.  I hope he did.

People with no shoes were just as bad, particularly the Barefoot DJ who tried to fight us for his human rights to walk around with no shoes on.  All I know is that I had standing orders to kick him out, human rights be damned.  You can do whatever you want out there, but inside the store where insurance companies tell us what to do, you gotta obey the rules!  (If a CD case fell off the shelf and broke, and he stepped on a piece and cut his foot, he could sue.  And CD cases fell of the shelf and shattered every day.)

Because we had these big glass windows, sometimes the heat in the summer would get to be too much.  It was like a greenhouse.  There was always a constant battle over the air conditioning level, and it seemed we could never arrive at a compromise that made everyone comfortable.  My final summer at the store (2005), it was so hot inside that I tended to leave the big overhead counter lights off.  It made it harder for me to inspect incoming CDs for quality, but it also kept me from sweating all over them.

Summer album releases were memorable.  Metallica’s Load (June 4 1996) was the soundtrack to that summer for me.  In store, in car, it didn’t matter.  Load saw a lot of store play.  I’m quite fond of Load, and I’m sure the fact that it was Metallica that could be played in-store had a lot to do with that.  The same summer, Kiss were out there on their reunion tour, and I had their You Wanted the Best live compilation (June 25 1996) to keep me company at work.

I expect summer 2015 to rock just as much.  I don’t know what my album for the summer will be this year, but Van Halen’s Tokyo Dome Live in Concert is a contender.  I’ve already shorn my mane to cope with the summer heat.

Still, when it comes to summertime, I truthfully think Sammy Hagar said it best:

“We made it through the cold
And that freezin’ snow is gettin’ old, hey!

Woo! Summer nights and my radio
(Ah-ah) Well that’s all we need, baby. Don’tcha know?
We celebrate when the gang’s all here
(Ah-ah) Ah, hot summer nights, that’s my time of the year-ow!”

Have a great summer everyone!

GALLERY: Sausagefest 2015 Prep

Summer is here.  To quote Glenn Frey, the heat is on. For me, the best part of summer is Sausagefest. I submitted my song list months ago. I have recorded my bits. I have also shorn my mane.  Unlike Samson, without my hair I am stronger!  In this summer heat, camped out in the Valley, hair is not an asset, even for a metal head.

Uncle Meat, Sausagefest’s esteemed music curator and co-founder, tells me that this year is a complete reboot. For the first time in years, they have ditched the exclusions list, so all songs were on the table for votes. In prior years, we would have a list of songs that had been used before that could not be voted for again. This year, even perennials like “Tom Sawyer” were up for votes. It’s going to be an interesting weekend.

As for actual prep, I’ve bought a new tent. I have my Coleman Biowipes. My cooler is at the ready and I bought a fucking machete.

Nine days til the rock!

 

Part 199: Hooray! Hooray! It’s Stock Transfer Day!

RECORD STORE TALES Part 199:  Hooray! Hooray! It’s Stock Transfer Day!

A couple weeks ago, I was out driving, rocking to Kiss’ Hotter Than Hell.  Suddenly I realized the car in front of me was being driven by my former boss at the record store.  We happened to be going in the same direction.  I followed him as he pulled into the old record store, where he turned off.  He didn’t see me wave but from the stop lights, I could see him go to the back of the vehicle and pull out a big box of discs for the record store.

This brought back a vivid memory — Stock Transfer Day!  STD!

Twice a week, the local store managers were required to travel to a central location to pick up stock from the other stores.  This stock could include special orders being transferred from store to store.  The majority of the boxes were full of stuff for our shelves, and fresh jewel cases since we went through hundreds a week.  These would fill the trunk, pile up on the back seats, and once in a while the passenger seat too.

The managers decided to do stock transfer on Monday nights, and Thursday afternoons.  I hated Monday nights and Thursday afternoons.  The only good thing about stock transfer was the chance to see some of my store manager friends, such as the eternally interesting Joe.  It was during one of these stock transfers that I witnessed the immortal Open Door Piss.

What bugged me most about the stock transfer arrangements were that the time, gas and mileage on our cars was considered to be “part of our salaries”.  This part of it really sucked, as you could spend a good chunk of your night hanging around doing nothing, waiting for someone.  Sometimes a traffic accident or tie-up on the highway could screw somebody’s route home.  That’s just the way this city was(n’t) planned out.

So while you’re waiting for someone with some orders that you absolutely need, you’re sitting doing nothing, burning your own time.  This happened frequently in winter, but in the summer too.  While this is ensuing,  at home your porch is unoccupied and lacking in beverages.  And that is a shame.

Next time on Record Store Tales…

200th episode!!