EPONYMOUS blew up my confused mind…

So, I’ve been listening to my dusty old CDs whilst (yep) driving in my car, going through the old collection, or what’s left of it due to moving, lack of space, and new technology. It’s been fun, rediscovering some albums I haven’t heard in a while, kinda remembering what it was like to be young, skinny, and gray-hair-free. The CD I put in the player most recently as of this writing is R.E.M.’s “Eponymous.”

I first got into R.E.M. kind of when “Weird Al” Yankovic prodied their song “Stand” as “Spam,” and then super-fanned with OUT OF TIME, so I’m thinking this was a purchase made well after EPONYMOUS came out, exploring the back catalog and whatnot. I don’t think I listened to the CD a whole lot, to be honest, but it kinda blew me away with this revisitation.

It starts of with “Radio Free Europe,” a personal favorite of mine. Listening, I was like, “Ah, maybe this song is why I purchased this early R.E.M. CD. Ah, yes…” Then a few songs later, “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville” started up, and I was all, “Dang. Some good songs on this album!”

Suddenly, it blew up all over my mind. “Driver 8” comes on, and a song after that the album finishes on an amazing run: “Fall on Me” to “The One I Love” to “The Finest Worksong” to freaking “It’s the End of the world as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” — what?? How did so many of my favorite R.E.M. songs end up on one album? Surely the number of well-known singles off this album “Eponymous” is fairly monumental in alt-rocky-pop music. I mean, almost all of the pre-OUT OF TIME R.E.M. songs that I know are on this one album! How the– oh, wait. That’s right. It’s a greatest hits album.

 

Waking Up Right

Look, as I wrote a couple days ago, I have issues with waking up in the morning. So many so, that I slept through yesterday. A whole day! I guess my 7:00 AM alarm went off for a while, then stopped… then went off again at 7:00 AM this morning, and it stirred me from my epic slumber. And even after a whole extra and unplanned 24 hours of sleepytime — I still groaned and grumbled about getting out of my slightly too short for my body length bed!

The part of not liking getting up in the morning that I can change (as I have to go to work regardless, which is the other unlikeable part), is my alarm music. Currently it’s a “melody” on my 12-year-old girl appropriate Samsung Rant phone called “Sunny Day.” I picked this due to it’s name, which I’d hoped would translate into a g’mornin’ smile. It’s got a nice, brassy beat and a celebratory feel… and is incredibly annoying.

I think there is only one bit of music that I’d be happy with interrupting my dream time…

This would make me wake up with purpose! Gotta find that ringtone and then figure out how to download ringtones and if I can even do stuff like that on my Raaaant.

Yeah! Wakin’ up in style! Heroically!!!

Whatcha up to, Bon Jovi?

Sometimes I wonder, I wonder what Jon Bon Jovi is up to. In my daydreams, as I zone out from my boring daily life of living boringly each day, I occasionally drift away from the day-to-day boredom of reality… just let my mind drift and wander to where it’d really rather be.

And where it’d rather be is in the body, or head rather, of Jon Bon Jovi.

No! Wait. Um… I don’t want to possess Jon Bon Jovi or have some sort of brain transplant with him, for that would curse one of the rockingest musical heroes of our age to suffer in the failing body of, well, me. That wouldn’t be fair.

Still, I do kinda wonder what JBJ (“J” for “Jon,” “B” for “Bon,” and “J” for “Jovi”) is up to while I’m toiling away in the bowels of pointlessness for just enough money to scrape by. Is he wearing red and black leather pants with gold highlights? Is that just cas (short for “casual”) to him? Or has he outgrown the red and black leather pants with gold highlights¬†look? Does he ever miss it?

There has to be a lot of pressure, despite being super successful, to replicate the glory of the Slippery When Wet days. It’s not like New Jersey or Keep The Faith were slouches, but… c’mon. “You Give Love A Bad Name.” “Livin’ On A Prayer.” “Wanted Dead Or Alive.” WANTED FUCKING DEAD OR ALIVE, PEOPLE! Just that song alone secures JBJ and the rest of the band a spot in Rock Valhalla.

Okay, I have to come clean. I’m now still really actually wondering what it’d be like to actually be Jon Bon Jovi. Especially mid to late 80s era Jon Bon Jovi. It must’ve been awesome. The whole Bon Jovi team (I see them as even more of a team, perhaps a superhero team than a mere band) rocked out what is arguably their most amazing music, and, c’mon… they looked AWESOME.

Can you imagine what it must’ve been like to be those guys back in those days of rocking in amazing style? To be David Bryan, Alec John Such, Richie Sambora, JBJ, and Tico “The Hitman” Torres. Yes, they’re still doing great (well, not sure about Alec, as he’s not in the band anymore, but, well, I hope he’s swell), and, yes, they still sell lots of records, but I don’t know who is buying them. Lots of people, sure, but the Bon Jovi in the above picture is the Bon Jovi about which I daydream.

Why, I bet even JBJ himself, richer in nearly every single way a person can be rich than I could ever imagine, still looks at pictures from this era and wishes he and his pals could still rock that look.¬†And what a look to rock. My word. These fellas were not messin’ around.

Shit. I really do wish I was Jon Bon Jovi. No lie. No offense to anyone who actually likes me, but I’d rather be Jon Bon Jovi. You’d probably like me better if I was Jon Bon Jovi, likers of me. Admit it. I’m not lyin’, so you shouldn’t lie either.

Let’s rock this blog out like it should be rocked out…

Run and tell that.

Better Living Through Tuba

There was a time when I thought I had to follow the standard rules of life that most of we first world human types have set for ourselves over the years. Get born, go to school, learn to play the tuba, get a job, get another job, get some other job, get hitched, get fat, spawn some younglings, get another job, get old, retire, get fatter, get some part-time job because no one can really retire anymore, and die.

That’s the way of life as I have always understood it. And that’s fine. No problem. That’s the route I’ve been on since the time what I escaped the womb.

But then I done remembered something. Something that could change the entire course of this silly old life. And that something is this:

I can fucking play the tuba.

You know how rock stars can do what they want and are better than regular people? Well, imagine how badass and special a tuba player in a rock band is. Some bands have done it, but they’re usually kinda kitschy and funny in some way (typed without any real research or knowledge of tuba players in rock bands). I love that, but come on, in order to get out of the doldrums of life, I’m not talking about novelty or even ska-tinged stuff. I’m talkin’ full-blown, Rolling Stones rock. I’m talking super rock stardom that will result in having songs in a Rockband game one day.

What if, instead of a bass guitar, a band had a tuba on bass? Again, it’s probably happened before, but what if that tuba bass player is ME? Hell, for ultimate live band performance rocking, I’ll sling a sousaphone over my shoulder. Jump up and down and do karate kicks with the rest of the band. I’ll blow and blat that bass line better than any regular old bass guitarist can imagine.

Once I re-remember how to play the tuba (because, okay, maybe I haven’t played since high school)… and raise about two thousand bucks to get a solid sousaphone — nah, hell, maybe closer to 7K to get me one of those snazzy, silver deals instead of a fiberglass one (maybe Kickstarter it up or something) — and then… and then I form a band, which will entail getting a Mick Jagger-esque lead singer and some Eddie Van Halen-style guitar action and Keith Moon reincarnated on drums and then, um, write some songs and get a record deal, and, yeah. It’ll work. And once it works I will be a sousaphone bass player jammin’ tuba style, leather pants wearin’ rock god. I will be king shit of fuck mountain.

So, the plan is pretty solid.

Hambonin’

Hamboning. Hambonin’. Hambonin’! It’s all I can think about lately. Just the word makes me happy. To be honest, I’ve never heard the word “hambone” in regard to anything other than the bone of a ham before co-worker Doug showed me a clip from REGULAR SHOW. This clip, though, this clip made me want to do two things: 1. Watch REGULAR SHOW. 2. Hambone.

I dunno. That clip just makes me laugh. The character designs are kinda wacky in a way that is wacky, but the voices have an easygoing tone and vibe that is fun. I dig it.

And, yeah, I hambone. Sure. I didn’t know it was called “hamboning” until seeing this delightful cartoon clip, but I’ve slapped little beats and rhythms on my belly before. I’m glad to know there’s a name for it — especially such an awesome one. Hambonin’.

Now I find myself wondering if hambonin’ could be the career I’ve been looking for during the malaise that started with adulthood. That sounds silly, sure. I mean, there ain’t no work in hamboin’… or is there?