Happy Mother’s Day 2015

Anakin's vision of mom

This goes out to all the moms out there…

The ones who can be called…

…as well as the ones who can only manifest in a vision.

If you can dial your mother, feel lucky – and then make that call.  If you can visit her; make the call, and then surprise her by showing up.

Anakin once flew all the way from Naboo to Tatooine just to show his mom how much he cared.  And people call him a sith whiny bad guy.  If she’s less than a tank of gas away, go for it!

If you haven’t seen the original post, give it a look here…

Alderaanian Dreamin'

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Been a year, Mikey…

Mikey fishy

It’s been a year and two days since you saw a Dead Hot Workshop performance.  It’s been a year and a day since you spent all night getting the baby’s room up to your level of perfection – and it’s been a year since I found out a December phone call would be our last conversation.

A day still hasn’t gone by without something popping into my mind.  A song; a Howard moment; a syndicated Simpsons episode I didn’t see yet.

Most commonly it’s one of those throwaway lines we’d use towards one another; like a stenographer’s shorthand.  Something most wouldn’t pay attention to, but spoke a paragraph of feelings or emotion towards one frivolous thing or another.  “Who told you that!”  “Oh no, nippy.”  “MM-hmmm…”  “Hello hello.”  “See?  Wha’d I tell you!”  “Ho-MER…!”  “Let me see bonehead…”

What’s a worse travesty – me not talking to you again or me not knowing your favorite Dead Hot album?  Who am I kidding – it was that garage cassette tape you never got enough of…and didn’t get enough of making me listen to.  Not like I objected.  I was just as proud as you were when we saw your favorite band “go national” so to speak.  I still have a copy of that Best Buy ad safely tucked away in a box somewhere.

Music was a thing of ours.  With all we had in common, nothing was better than listening to CDs in your Toyota – or whatever music format on my stereo.  Hunting down tracks; hearing new cuts on the radio.  Acoustic rarities.  Our shared interest in local and obscure music; including bands we went to high school with.  I still wonder how your radio picked up those heyday performances of Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin as we froze while camping out in the woods near the crater for that dirtbike race.

I hoped to post a  jukebox of tunes, but these will more than do: representing the Tempe sound and spirit of Long Wongs.  As Brent would say, “This is a love song…  Well, they’re all love songs, aren’t they?”

Amazing. You still had a way to help guide with a couple of these choices.

Flip a coin / What shall we talk about

Something new next year?

Even if I did…I still doubt I would forget.

The Day Neil Armstrong Made Me Cry

Neil Armstrong and a Paper MoonThe Day Neil Armstrong Made Me Cry

or

It Was Only a Paper Moon Until 1969

It’s true.  Neil Armstrong made me cry; but it wasn’t exactly his fault.

Most of this is my own recollection, but I consulted with my mom to get some of the background and prior events.

This came back across my mind a month or so back when a conversation came up – and I was asked about any celebrities I met.  Due to the passing of Neil Armstrong, this story immediately came to mind…and hasn’t left.  Bringing this up to a friend became the catalyst to me actually trying to formulate it into more than a mention of a youthful experience.

I suppose it would be a highlight of many people’s lives to have an opportunity to be one-on-one with this legendary man.  Even more if the man in question came to the person’s house; such as what happened for me.  Why isn’t it the highlight of my life?  For one, I was only age four.  The other reason is most likely because my encounter ended in tears.  Not such a proud moment of mine, but maybe some would sympathize with me.

How much I was able to remember may be surprising, but many details were fuzzy…while some still are.  As I read articles released shortly after his death (which saddened me, like many others, when I heard the news), it reminded me how much he shunned from the spotlight – and even seemed a recluse to some.  It takes great courage to shake the limelight…especially if folks take notice of how “celebrity” is handled these days.  Who wouldn’t have loved to eat some Wheaties with him on the cover – or join his outer space fan club?  He was obviously too classy, or too humble for that.  I would have welcomed it; as I sure millions of others, but it seems he figured it was better to make money doing his job rather than flaunting his accomplishments.  I admire it: but maybe I would have learned of Wheaties sooner.  [Honestly, I think I became aware of that cereal brand when Mary Lou Retton appeared on the box.  Doubt I was the only one.]

Reading the articles about Neil Armstong’s life, and lifelong elusion of fame, made me wonder how in the world he ever ended up inside of my house.  Thanks to my mom, some light was shed on the circumstances.

There was apparently some talk of having something relating to an air and space center in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Rather than taking any decisive action, the city preferred to hem and haw over the issue rather than deciding to go for it.  Ultimately, I think the city of Chandler was the one bold enough to finally go through with it – but don’t quote me on it.  All I know is Scottsdale is not known for an air and space center.

Anyway…

Due to the issue of breaking ground on something regarding air and space, there was some sort of event or conventions where some astronauts were attending; in an attempt to persuade Scottsdale to build the place in question.  I wasn’t in attendance, so I had to get that part of the story from my mom.

She told me (along with explaining the pretense) a mixture of astronauts were at this event to help champion the cause – keeping space exploration in the minds of youth.  According to my mom, the more current astronauts were the ones getting most of the attention at that point.  Neil Armstrong was more in the back – where barely anyone was congregating.  I find it hard to believe, but that’s what I was told. Continue reading

Licensed to 3: Yauch Concluded

(click image for full size)

part 1, part 2

When I was a kid and the Beastie Boys first got play for their music video, I had a hard time figuring out what the word Ill was, but I did know what a Roman Numeral three looked like. So I often wondered if these Brooklyn guys really had two other records out there and people were just saying Ill because they didn’t know. What could I say? I was a goofy kid.

Before I go on, Ch-Check THIS out. Neal Brennan (now know as awesome in my book) knows the pain we’re feeling. Co-creator of Chapelle’s Show, he unleashed an appearance of the Bea-stie-Boys LIVE outdoors in 2004 – never seen until now. Already erased by Viacom at least once, it’s back! I’ll make a dupe of this just to make sure it’ll be harder to kill than a certain Holiday Special. Hurry and watch the clip below – and get more blown away since I won’t say what song it is. [I’d say to watch out for language, but even work should let you blast this. You’re mourning, yo!]

This post was intended as a conglomerate of links and images. Since I came across some great articles and stories which I mostly hid in the other two posts, I figured why not make this subject a trilogy and make it a hodgepodge of links and images amongst additional material. To tease a taste, here’s someone’s tribute to MCA/Nathan Wind – delivering pizza dressed as Cochese.

New York officially mourns the death of Adam Yauch.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s the document for proof, or watch the video below. Continue reading

Singnature Bassist – Donald Dunn

According to longtime pal and bandmate Steve “The Colonel” Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn passed away in his sleep; in Tokyo while on tour.  As lore states (according to Blues Brothers Central):

“Duck’ Dunn was a member of Jake and Elwood’s Blues Brothers Band in the 1970s until Jake went to prison. He then joined Murph and the MagicTones along with several other ex-members, until he rejoined the Blues Brothers Band in 1979. After a very brief tour, he went to prison with the rest of the band. By 1998 he was out of prison and working with Steve ‘The Colonel’ Cropper hosting WEXR 103.7 Talk Radio in Chicago. It was there that Elwood Blues convinced him to come back to the band, where he remained for several more years. His current whereabouts are unknown.”

If you prefer the “IRL” story of Dunn, why read it?  Check this short retrospective; produced in 2005 by Dan Lakin for the Lakland 10th anniversary concert.

How do I remember him best?  As the genius of an electrician who was the only member of the band Jake Blues shot straight with and had the most reverence for.  Donald quit his job working for a burglar alarm company to help get the band back together, but absconded with forgot to return the company van in the process.  If you don’t remember that part of the movie, or if you love alternate histories of anything, then read the book!  It’ll make you love Dunn (and the other members) all the more.

Even though the obvious clip would be the snazzy version of Dunn and company backing Cab Calloway Curtis, what better way to show off this bassist’s moves than seeing “The Duck” shake his tailfeather?

Thanks for the grooves, the pipe, and the times you rocked the fiery halo of a hairstyle.

(click the pic for the bigger version)

MCA: Who Let the Beat Drop?*

*The title does NOT insinuate the subject dropped anything except amazing albums, forward thinking, and proving a man [or band] can embrace a past just as much as denouncing parts of it without needing to be defensive; along with unabashedly making a difference in this world.  Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA created the beat and passed it along to us: making it our responsibility not to let it drop…or fall silent on the turntables of today or the future.

It was downtown Chicago in the year 2000.  Rush hour as I remember it, but there was always some form of constant congestion; far as surface streets were concerned.  I couldn’t say there was any cruising on that occasion, but it sure did feel like it at points.  Blame/Praise the music for that.

There were two of us in a freshly battle-damaged Budget [rent-a-]van.  Going  between locations for a feature film, I was riding shotgun and intermittently wincing from the rays of “golden hour” whenever the sunlight slipped between buildings and connected with a direct hit to either eyeball.

Both windows were down and the sonic libations flowed freely – forming a sound loop engulfing a lane’s worth on both sides of the truck, which was rented on the dime of the “production company” as the duo referred to themselves.  Loud as it was, the driver could still shout over musical firepower of this magnitude: known as the Beastie Boys. Continue reading

Mike Dorsey – March 23rd 2012

You should have been here.

You should have been thirty-four.

You should been unable to take my call: spending the time with your wife.  Your son.  A daughter- though she couldn’t lay eyes on you just yet.

I should have heard a story from my brother – making me jealous I missed another hangout session; or rather, jealous of whatever spirit was ingested during a celebration.

Instead, it’s a spirit I can only remember.

By now I should know what to call you – besides Mikey.

Instead: I know F (or L?) a bit.  I know C.  I kind of know S.  I should know them better.  I hope.  Just as I hope I did a good enough job listening and knowing who you are…

…because some questions still haven’t been answered.  You know I’m patient – sometimes too much so.  I wait.  I hope.

Maybe I’m here because I still have to try helping as many as you have.  If it can ever be counted.

I’m happy for what I ha[d]ve with you.

People say to celebrate.  Not mourn.  I’m trying.