Although this band reminds me of the Manson Family, I think their song, "Home", is my favorite tune of the year. These gentle hippies can rock......
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Thinkin' of my Holiday Top5's..........
While I try and grow a "Christmas Mustache" for this year's festivities, I thought I would also take the time to list my Top5 Christmas tunes. Every Christmas song has been recorded countless times by too many popular artists to name. The question is, who's version do you like the best? Here's my Top5:
5) That Song At The Beginning of Christmas Vacation - I have fond memories associated with this song...The time I heard it on a chartered bus coming back from Sweetwater, Tx almost 13 yrs ago stands out in my mind....
4) Do They Know it's Christmas? (Band Aid)
3) Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Bruce Springsteen) Imagine that.
2) All I Want For Christmas Is You (Vince Vance and the Valiants) This is a great song that is sung with passion by some girl I've never heard of. I don't even know who Vince Vance is to be honest.
1) The First Noel (The Crash Test Dummies) That's right...by the band who's considered a one-hit wonder.
What are yours?
Now...Back to growin' the 'stache....
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm is airing tonight in what has been a very enjoyable season that reunited the cast of Seinfeld for the first time in 11 years. Some thoughts:
1) At the age of 48, Julie Louie-Dreyfuss is hotter now than she was in the 90's.
2) Curb relies heavily on improvisation and Jerry is very good at it.
3) It is great seeing Michael Richards on T.V. again.
Seinfeld is my favorite show of all-time so instead of watching the Cowboys and their non-existing offense, I figured I will list my Top5 episodes. They are......
5. "The Summer of George" - George takes the summer off, Kramer wins a Tony and sees the sun rise at Liza's, Elaine tells a co-worker that she needs to swing her arms when she walks, and Jerry dates a girl who has a Dude named Lyle living with her.
4. "The Serenity Now" - Frank Costanza tries to sell computers from his garage with the help of George and Loyd Braun, Jerry's girlfriend wants to see him get really mad, Elaine has "shiksa appeal", Kramer enjoys "the cool evening breeze of Anytown, USA", and George divulges his deepest, darkest fears and everything he's capable of.
3. "The Frogger" - George and Jerry return to their high school hangout where George discovers he still has the high score on the old Frogger video game, Elaine eats a cake that came from King Edward VIII's 1937 wedding, Jerry fears a serial killer known as "The Lopper" while Kramer suggests they name him "Son of Dad."
2. "The Little Jerry" - This aired on my 17th B-day. Jerry passes a bad check, George dates an inmate, Elaine dates a bald guy who shaves his head for swimming purposes. The fact that he chooses to be bald offends George who says "that's like using a wheelchair for the fun of it." Kramer accidentally buys a rooster instead of a hen and names it "Little Jerry Seinfeld." He then enters it in a cockfighting competition.
1. "The Voice" - Kramer gets an inturn from NYU, Jerry has to decide whether he should lose the voice or the girlfriend, Elaine backslides into another relationship with David Puddy, and PlayNow negotiates with George ("I'll see you in Hell, Costanza".)
Shoutout to "The Yadda Yadda" episode
Here's George in a nutshell....
Selecting my Top5 Seinfeld episodes was like picking which Beatles' songs are the best but I think I successfully narrowed it down to where I'm satisfied with the list. Thanks Wikipedia.
Wow...the Cowboys won.
BTW, while I'm on the subject of television:
Top5 T.V. characters....
5. "Hey Now" Hank Kingsley - The Larry Sanders Show
4. Michael Scott - The Office
3. Barney Fife - The Andy Griffith Show
2 & 1 (tie) Cosmo Kramer and George Costanza - Seinfeld
shoutout to Jerry Seinfeld, Elaine Benes, and Homer Simpson
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I was bored so I decided to read old comments from my past Jives (back when people still wrote them)and read a comment from Lyle C.(shoutout)that got me to thinking. In a May 2nd Jive called "A Lost Art", I lamented over the loss of the art of tape-making. Lyle gave a shoutout to an old tape I made in the mid 90's that I called "The Chamberlain Street Serenade."
I was 15 or 16 years old and do not remember what songs the long haired,pimple-faced,160 pound,C Daddy put on this compilation. However, I do remember that I tried to put the best songs that I knew on this tape while also never straying from the narrative thread.
For my own amusement, I've thought about what songs I would put on this album fourteen years later. I originally was going to make a Greatest Hits album but found the task to be almost impossible. The songs would vary so drastically that I would probobly not be happy with the compilation. So here's "The Chamberlain Street Serenade" made by a graying, yet fair complected,216 pound, C Daddy:
1. Into the Mystic - Van Morrison
2. Heard it in a Love Song - Marshal Tucker Band
3. Whiter Shade of Pale - Procol Harum
4. She's a Mystery to Me - Roy Orbison
5. Unchained Melody (live) - Elvis Presley
6. To Make You Feel My Love - Bob Dylan
7. Like a Coat from the Cold - Jerry Jeff Walker
8. She - Elvis Costello
9. Don't Worry baby - Beach Boys
10. This Year's Love - David Gray
11. Beast of Burden - Rolling Stones
12. The First Cut is the Deepest - Cat Stevens
13. Harvest Moon - Neil Young
14. Don't Let Me Down - The Beatles
15. Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel
16. Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen
Shoutout to Save the Last Dance For Me - Drifters
Is this my Greatest Hits? I'm not sure. There are certainly songs in this compilation that would make the cut.
FYI: I hope you check out the King's version of Unchained Melody. It's one of my favorite vocal performances of all time. "Hit me with it."
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The newest movie added to the Top5 Drive-In was my failed attempt at landing a role on the reality show, Survivor. In order to apply, you have to make a 3 minute audition tape saying why you should be selected. I always loved professional wrestler, "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig's vignettes and found this to be a great opportunity to totally rip off his idea and make it my own. In all honesty, I really didn't want to be chosen to be on the show - I just wanted to make the audition tape.
In retrospect, it would have been disastrous had I been selected. I would have been one of the worst contestants ever. Here are some things about me that give creedence to this statement:
- I do not like to be dirty
- If I get hungry, I'm rather unpleasant to be around.
- I do not like to be forced to socialize
- I usually don't listen when given instructions. This could hurt me in the reward challenges.
- I'm not confrontational. Well.....unless I detect condescention from someone....or someone puts 1/2 of a tomato heel on my Whataburger and thinks that will suffice...or if I get my Davy Crockett jacket hemmed and dry-cleaned and it cost me $97.48 - almost as much as I paid for the stupid thing. There are circumstances but in almost all situations, I choose the path of least resistance.
I made the video with my friend, Bill "One-Take" Shumake(shoutout). He plays the host in this video that we made in 2005. Bill's a big-time producer now in Austin where him and his son, Alexander (shoutout) make Roger Corman-esque movies that should gain a cult following. Shoutout to "Killer School Girls From Outer Space!"
Anyway, enjoy this cinematic gem and try not to think about how I would have been the first one voted out.
In the video, I used "The Best" by Tina Turner. I'm not ashamed to say I love this song...even though once while working out, someone pulled the plugs out of my ears to see what I was listening to. They gave me a funny look when they heard that it was this song. "Don't ever do that again", I exclaimed. So, maybe I'm a little ashamed. Agree or not, I consider this song "one of the good ones". However, there are some songs that are universally considered "good" that I really don't like and will flip the dial everytime they're played...
Here's my Top5:
5. Black Magic Woman - Santana
4. Hotel California - The Eagles
3. Mack the Knife - Bobby Darin
2. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - Iron Butterfly
1. Rock Lobster - B52's
"Demanding Satisfaction Since 1980"
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Speaking from personal experiences, what are the Top5 songs that jump-start any celebration? Thinking......
If someone hires Ol' Video Joe to produce a DVD for their wedding, there's a good chance that the product will be an assemblage of slow, white fades with touches of soft romantic music - accompanied by moving images filmed with the utmost care and precision. After the mood is established and the ceremony is pieced together, I will often kick it into high gear, pick up the tempo, feel the beat, go for broke....ratchet it up a notch.
It's my philosophy that a Wedding DVD should show all aspects that make up the special day. I believe the setting must be established, the major players introduced, and the invitees acknowledged before I even begin to show the ceremony.
So how do I turn up the volume? Well, staying true to my stance that a wedding is not only a romantic occasion but also a celebration, I've always filmed people as they showed off their dance moves at the reception. I have realized that in each wedding, there is one song that brings everyone out on the dance floor. If I'm in position to film the scene as it happens, the sequence will usually find it's way on to the finished product. I use the scene as a back-drop as I maticulously edit other dance clips from the night - all to the beat of the music. This is one aspect of wedding videography that I feel I've mastered and makes my videos unique.
In the past, I have edited dance sequences to "You Sexy Thing" by Hot Chocolate, "If You're Gonna Play In Texas" by Alabama, "Hollaback Girl" (edited version) by Gwen Stefani, and "Thriller" by Michael Jackson to name a few. I've been told that it is the first scene that married couples show to others after the original viewing.
At bridal shows, when I feel that potential clients aren't giving me enough attention, I skip to the chapter with the Dance Video, turn up the volume, and watch as everyone crowds around my booth's display. The situation is similar to the scene in High Fidelity when Rob strategically plays a record by the Beta Band. He plays the song and hangs back, watching as the song grabs the attention of everyone in the store.
Bride to Be: "What's this?"
Video Joe: "It's a Dance Video...a Top5 Specialty."
Bride to Be: "Wow..it's good."
Video Joe: "I know."
So where am I going with all this? Recently I've had some eye-opening experiences that have led me to believe that maybe I should stop filming and editing these scenes that I love so much.
There's a code to follow in the videography business that says (paraphrasing) it is improper to show anyone in a negative light on the finished DVDs. Usually this applies only to "video testimonials" where friends and family wish the bride and groom health, happiness, etc. etc. I have had to decide many times whether or not a party-goer's inebriation was noticable on camera and whether or not said person would be embarrassed if I left their speech in. I've always leaned to the side of caution in these situations no matter how funny I thought their speech was. But recently, I've started to think that filming people drinking and dancing might fall within the realm of showing people in a "negative light".
The other day I recognized a Maid of Honor from a wedding I filmed a couple of years ago. I remembered that she was a part of one of these dance sequences that I showed very often at Bridal Shows. When I told her how I recognized her and how people loved that segment of the video, she responded with an "Oh GAWD". After one wedding, someone called me in a very sullen tone and asked me nicely to please erase all footage of them "acting ignorant". Some times people aren't as nice about it. This past weekend, while I was innocently filming the proceedings, a lady walked in front of my lens...turned, gave me the "Stink Eye", and told me that "I'd better not be filming her." Meagan K.(shoutout) witnessed the verbal reem-out and commented on its ferocity.
I've been thinking about how I would react if someone was filming me on the dance floor as I attempted to Bring SexyBack. I don't think I would care for it too much. I would probobly stop (much to the delight of all the ladies on the dancefloor)and head back to the keg or punch bowl and kick the vibe...George McFly style. But that's just me. I'm camera-shy.
In conclusion, I'm strongly considering removing the "Dance Video" from my price packages. I'm thinking that the unique quality of this service might be at some unwilling participants' expense. The jury is still out....
So what are the Top5 songs that jump-start any celebration? And to be specific, I'm listing songs that the casual music fan appreciates. I'm not talking about what songs that would be played at Frank's house with the Dawson Bros.(shout-out combined shot) attending.
5. Old Time Rock'n Roll by Bob Seger - It's old school but still does the trick.
4. Hey Ya by Outkast - This is one of the catchiest tunes since 2000. Shoutout to Paper Planes by M.I.A. and Time to Pretend by MGMT in that regard.
3. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cindi Lauper - Every time its played, girls flood the dance floor. Guys too...unless they are fortunate enough to catch themselves before the Point of No Return.
2. Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond - Side one, Track One
1. Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks - This is also the greatest sing-along of all-time. Ready for a bold statement? Everybody likes this song.
Shoutout to Ice, Ice Baby and that song by Sir Mix-A-Lot that I've really never liked.
Until next time...
Let the High Times Carry the Low
Thursday, September 3, 2009
If you were to ask me in early April whether or not I believed the Rangers had a snowball's chance of making the playoffs, my answer would have been quite pessimistic. Like Coach Jim Mora, I would have hoped that they could just win a game. Like I wrote in my April 6th Jive, I had "blind hopefulness" that this was the year. But being the realist that I am, I knew that it was nothing but wishful thinking. I can't believe that it is early September and we are still in this thing. It's gonna be tough without Michael Young for two weeks but I gotta feeling it's gonna go down to the wire. There's no telling how many Winston's Ron Washington is gonna smoke this month. there is no doubt that we have a good team. We have......
Ian Kinsler - He is going to end up a 30-30 guy. Few second baseman's have ever done this.
Elvis Andrus - We have found our starting shortstop for years to come.
Michael Young - He's having a career-year. Future Hall of Famer? Discuss.
Chris Davis - It was very beneficial for him to go to the minors and work on his mechanics. I said it before and still believe it...he will be a star one day.
Hank Blalock - Thanks for the memories. I'm sure Frank thanks you for paying for his Grad school.
Pudge Rodriguez - It's good to have him home. He should play everyday.
Taylor Teagarden - You can't hit 190 and expect to be the starting catcher...especially when the catcher on the bench is a first-ballot hall of famer that can still go.
Jarrod Saltalamachia - At least he's good on defense...
Josh Hamilton - Someone told me that as soon as he gets red-hot, the Rangers should trade him. Sadly, I agree. With his relapse in January, "The Bone" is just too big of a risk. BTW, I've never seen a single's hitter who can hit the ball 600 ft. Very strange.
Marlon Byrd - There has been talks that the Rangers will not attempt to sign him next year. I think that is a bad mistake. He's a spiritual leader who leads by example. The Rangers need him.
Nelson Cruz - It took him 30 years, but he finally got it together. He's a big threat in the line-up and I hope this year is not a fluke.
Andrew Jones - Nice comeback...better smile. Thanks for stopping by.
David Murphy - The "Murph-Dog" is a quality ball player. I would still let him go before Marlon.
Julio Borbon - This guy is very impressive. Could he be then next Rickey H. Henderson?
Omar Vizquel - I've never seen anyone play the infield so effortlessly. I think he should be resigned for next year.
C.J. Wilson - He hasn't made me nearly as mad as he has in the past. He's having a decent year.
Scott Feldman - He's probobly the best pitcher on the team.
Kevin Millwood - You get a lecture from Big Tex and you'd straighten out too.
Neftalli Feliz - He needs a nickname. "Fireball" Feliz?
Derek Holland - Ol' Meatball has had no-hitter stuff a few times this year.
Brandon McCarthy - He looks like Hank Williams Sr.
Frank Francisco - He was dominating before his illness and injury. It looks like he's gotten it together again. If he doesn't, I'm sure everyone will boo him out of town like they did CoCo.
Ron Washington - Give that man a smoke.
Stay Hard...Stay Hungry... Stay Alive,
Saturday, August 8, 2009
What are my Top5 worst movies? This should be fun....
I finally got around to seeing Revolutionary Road the other day. It was an unpleasant cinematic experience to say the least. I had some thoughts about this movie that starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
- that I shouldnt drive for a while in fear that I might subconsciencely drive off a bridge
- that if Jack didn't die at the end of Titanic and married Rose, would their marriage end up like the one in this movie?
- that this movie was "the Anti-Notebook". Many people who love The Notebook should be issued a copy of Revolutionary Road. Then, each time they watch Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling's torrid love affair and get depressed that something like that never happens to them, they can put in Revolutionary Road and be happy to be single.
Since this movie did make me think(terrible thoughts, mind you), I can't consider it to be a bad movie. It was just an unpleasant experience...much like watching The Passion of the Christ. However, I have 5 movies that I consider the worst of the worst. Here they are:
5. Fever Pitch - Real baseball fans don't act like Jimmy Fallon in this movie. And by the way, I hate the Boston Red Sox.
4. Van Helsing- I remember looking at the walls instead of the screen during this assaulting mess.
3. Swept Away - Madonna plays the least likable character that I've ever seen in movies. Poor Guy Ritchie.
2. Lady in the Water- I think that M. Night Shyamalan's films are unfairly judged. I liked The Happening even though every critic panned it. But this movie was terrible. Turrible, turrible, turrible...
1. On the Line - starring Lance Bass...should I say more? I will. I have been known to watch this movie because I enjoy hating it. On two seperate occasions, friends of mine have threatened to leave if I didn't turn it off. Justin Timberlake's cameo in the credits only pours salt in the wounds.
Shoutout to Jaws the Revenge, I Am Legend, and The Step Mom
I wanna know your worst movies. Until next time....
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Once declared "the greatest 90's mix ever created," by Jim K., (shoutout) Chris Chamberlain's Musical Journey through the 90's is a 4-CD compilation that chronicles the rise of alternative music from 1991-1999. Through the years I have given out copies of this fantastic tuneage to those who I thought would really enjoy it. And here in a second, I will list each track as they appear on my CDs.
There was a considerable amount of research involved in making this assemblage. I had to look up the release dates of each song and place them on the CDs accordingly. Volume 1 chronicles music from 1991-1994 and begins with Smells Like Teen Spirit(1991), the song that first sparked my interest and started me on this musical journey. Volume 2 documents the years 1994-1997 while volume 3 consists of songs from 1997-1999. I followed my own personal guidelines of tape/CD making (See Jive archives) by not featuring two songs by an artist/band on the same compilation. Since it was extremely difficult to choose what songs made the list, I made a fourth CD that I called Chris Chamberlain's Musical Journey through the 90s: B-sides. On this CD, there is no chronological order to the songs.
These CDs that I made about eight years ago, act as a nostalgia trip for those who are a few years over 30 or a few under. If you are around 34 years of age, there's a good chance that you will prefer Vol. 1 over the others. If you are 24, you'll more than likely enjoy Vol. 3 a little more. So without further ado, here's the track listings for each CD:
Chris Chamberlain's Musical Journey Vol. 1
1. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
2. Alive - Pearl jam
3. No Rain - Blind Melon
4. Whats Up - 4 Non Blondes
5. Zombie - Cranberries
6. Mr. Jones - Counting Crows
7. Shine - Collective Soul
8. Losing My Religion - R.E.M.
9. Runaway Train - Soul Asylum
10. Two Princes - Spin Doctors
11. Black Hole Sun - Sound Garden
12. Mmm mmm mmm - Crash Test Dummies
13. Down On Me - Jackyl
14. Plush - Stone Temple Pilots
15. Loser - Beck
16. Sellin the Drama - Live
17. Pets - Porno for Pyros
18. My Name is Mudd - Primus
19. Losin' Your Mind - Pride & Glory
1. Good - Better Than Ezra
2. Interstate Love Song - Stone Temple Pilots
3. All Apologies - Nirvana
4. All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow
5. Buddy Holly - Weezer
6. Run-Around - Blues Traveler
7. Precious Declaration - Collective Soul
8. Pirhana - Tripping Daisy
9. Only Wanna Be With You - Hootie and the Blowfish
10. Better Man - Pearl Jam
11. The Freshman - The Verve Pipe
12. Hand In my Pocket - Alanis (Atlantis) Morissette
13. One of Us - Joan Osbourne
14. Basket Case - Green Day
15. One Headlight - Wallflowers
16. 'Til I Hear it From You - Gin Blossoms
17. What I Got - Sublime
18. 3AM - Matchbox Twenty
19. Fly - Sugar Ray
20. Semi-Charmed Life - Third Eye Blind
1. The Rascal King - Mighty Mighty Bosstones
2. Tubthumper - Chumbawumba
3. Marching To Mars - Sammy Hagar
4. How Bizarre - OMC
5. One Week - Bare Naked ladies
6. The Way - Fastball
7. Thank U - Alanis Morissette
8. Save Tonight - Eagle Eye Cherry
9. Steal My Sunshine - LEN
10. You Get What you Give - New Radicals
11. Every Morning - Sugar Ray
12. All Star - SmashMouth
13. Why Don't You Get A Job? -The Offspring
14. Kiss Me - Sixpence None The Richer
15. Smooth - Santana Feat. Rob Thomas
16. Bittersweet Symphony - Verve
17. Only Love Can Break Your Heart - Everlast
18. I Try - Macy Gray
19. Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen) - Baz Luhrmann
20. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) - Green Day
1. Aeroplane - Red Hot Chilipeppers
2. Lump - Presidents of the United States of America
3. Brick - Ben Folds Five
4. Daughter - Pearl Jam
5. River of Deceit - Mad Season
6. How's it Gonna Be? - Third Eye Blind
7. 1979 - Smashing Pumpkins
8. The World I know - Collective Soul
9. Come To My Window - Melissa Ethridge
10. Cryin'- Aerosmith
11. A Long December - Counting Crows
12. Take A Picture - Filter
13. I'll Be - Edwin McCain
14. Pepper - Butthole Surfers
15. MMM Bop - Hanson
16. Santaria - Sublime
17. I Kissed A Girl - Jill Sobule
18. If you're Gone - Matchbox Twenty
19. Walkin' On the Sun - Smashmouth
20. I Will Remember You - Sarah Mclaughlin
After viewing these track lists, I'm positive that many would ask, "Where's ______?" (insert popular song)My only response would be that it is my Journey...not yours. I have a distinct memory that goes along with every song that made the Compilation. For example, I cannot hear Only Wanna Be With You without thinking back to 1995 when we were stranded at a Motel 6 in Kingman, Arizona after our car had broken down over the weekend. The T.V. had 5 channels including MTV, which played this video over and over again. There are many deserving songs, such as Combersome by Seven Mary Three that did not make the list because of negative reflections. Another one, Self Esteem by Offspring didn't make the cut because of my tendency to negatively reflect back to my freshman year of high school when my basketball team chose to play this song in pre-game warm ups. Not the best song to intimidate the opposition...don't you agree? I could delve even further about how that particular song reminds me of how we ran out of team jerseys that year and my ol' buddy Jake C.(shoutout) and I had to wear girl's jerseys...complete with the v-necks and bra protectors...but I digress.
Anyway, Chris Chamberlain's Musical Journey Through the 90's is probobly my greatest achievement in Tape/CD Making. I'm honored to share and hopefully discuss these songs with you. Perhaps in about a year I will begin work on a new compilation covering the last decade. For now,I think that you should create a new playlist in your IPod with these songs as a blueprint. Feel free to add and remove at your discretion. And when you name that new playlist John/Jane Doe's Musical Journey Through the 90's, I will consider it a personal triumph.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
What are the Top5 suprise celebrity deaths that somewhat affected me? Yes it's morbid but let's go with it.....
Not only have I been really busy celebrating the Summer O' Chris, I've also been Takin' Care of Business; traveling to one city after another over the past two weeks. It started with a 3-day conference in Granbury...then a 6-day conference in San Antonio (where on my down time I acted as the Norm Peterson of a local establishment called "The County Line") then to Austin where I attended the read-through of a movie in which I am cast called "Killer School Girls from Outer Space" (more on that in a future Jive) and then straight to Oklahoma to relieve some stress (don't ask). Now on the last day of June, I've decided to sit still long enough to Jive about something...anything. So what shall we talk about?
Michael Jackson? Sure. When I heard Wolf Blitzer announce to the world that "the King of Pop" had died, I knew that I was watching history. Until last Thursday, he was probably the most famous living celebrity on the planet. I would argue that it was and is Paul McCartney but what do I know? Being a self-professed "Student of Popular Culture", you would think that I would be a big fan of Jackson's music. Nah, not really. Besides "I Want you Back" and "ABC", which he recorded with the Jackson 5,most of his songs never scratched me where I itched. I did grow to like "Thriller" after I used it in the Henderson-McDorman wedding video (shoutout). But, those three are the only ones you might find in my iPod playlist.
Michael Jackson's death was without question, a significant moment in our culture. But was it shocking? True, he died before his time but 50 yrs. old isn't very young.
His death has been compared to Elvis' in it's magnitude. I would have to say that Elvis' was more shocking and significant. The King died at age 42 and also had a hit single with "Moody Blue" only months before collapsing on the throne at his home in Graceland. Of course this opinion comes from a guy who owns not one, but two Elvis jumpsuits. So go figure. Remember, we've had forty-four presidents but only one King...that's Big E., baby.
In conclusion, it could be said that Michael Jackson's death didn't affect me very much. However, over the course of my life, there have been some unexpected celebrity deaths that actually affected me a little. Here are my Top5....
5. Heath Ledger
4. Chris Farley
3. Owen Hart (pro. wrestler)
2. "The Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin - I LOVED Steve Irwin. If anybody saw his last television special, you would have realized that Steve was pushing the envelope and taking way too many risks. He was swimming in the ocean with Saltwater Crocodiles! If one decided to attack, there was nothing that could have been done. The narrator calmy assurred the audience that Steve knew what he was doing. He then stated that Steve was the only human on the planet who was trained to do such a thing which illustrated the danger of the act. With the element of danger escalating with his shows, it was sadly a matter of time for Ol' Steve.
1. Kurt Cobain - I'm a little embarrassed about this being number one. But in my defense, his death occurred when I was 14 years old. At that age, my voice was changing, hair was growing in strange places, and was full of teen-angst. I was an impressionable youth who became interested in music two years earlier when a preacher's daughter bought me Nirvana's Nevermind for Christmas. I haven't been able to listen to Nirvana in over 10 years because either 1) I'm burned out after listening to them for 5 straight years growin' up or 2) They were the right sound at the right time and there music does not stand the test of time. It's one of these two reasons. Anyway, I took his death pretty hard.
Shoutout to all the professional wrestlers who have died prematurely...especially "The Loose Cannon" Brian Pillman
That's all I've got for now. Sorry about all the death talk. Now back to the Summer O' Chris...
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I had my Jive planned out. Even though the 81st Academy Awards were held two months ago, I still wanted to voice my disappointment over Mickey Rourke not winning the Best Actor Oscar for his awesome, true-to-life performance in "The Wrestler." I was then going to delve into my personal preferences and what I felt constituted an acting performance being labeled as "Great." I was gonna elaborate by suggesting that a performance was more impressive to me when the actor developed the character out of his/her own imagination...unlike Jamie Foxx in "Ray", which I considered to be a glorified impersonation. I was gonna cite all of my favorite performances such as Robert DeNiro in "Taxi Driver", Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day", Diane Keaton in "Annie Hall", Nic Cage in "Adaptation", Daniel Day-Lewis in "Gangs of New York" etc etc...none of which portrayed a real-life character with a plethora of footage to mimic. And no, Charlie Kaufman doesn't count and Donald Kaufman wasn't real. There was a good chance that somewhere in that Jive I would have more than likely digressed by stating that I was not impressed by an actor receiving an Academy Award nomination based on "physical transformation." I would have cited Tom Hanks in "Cast Away" and defended Mickey Rourke by telling you that he has always been muscular. I was really gonna talk some Jive by stating that Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of Johnny Cash and Philip Seymour Hoffman's impersonation of Truman Capote couldn't hold a candle to Bill Murray's in "Lost in Translation." It was gonna be quite obvious that I didn't respect these so-called "great performances" where an actor studied a subject and imitated them on screen. What has changed? Well...I recently saw Sean Penn's performance in "Milk." What an inspiring, moving, and splendid performance that was. It was one of the decade's finest. I will say that.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
When I first became interested in music, what are the Top5 albums that I listened to the most? Hmmmmmm.......
Since this Jive is once again going to be about music, I've developed a playlist on my CPU to get me in the mood. "Baby, I Love You" by the Ronettes is playing now and if I can't be inspired by hearing the voice of Ronnie Spector then I need to go do something else. I think I'll stay put.
The making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Well...it was a subtle art. I miss the days when we used someone else's poetry for our own artistic expression. To be certain, burning MP3s to a CD and giving it to someone is in no way as meaningful as making them a tape. Nowadays...well actually for the past 10 years, all you have to do is click, drag, and burn. It takes 10 minutes.
I'm hearing Waylon sing "Amanda" now. That's a great song by a great singer.
Anyway, Back in the Day (the 1990's), when you made a person a tape, it meant something. Not only did it mean that you were willing to spend at least 2 hours (not counting the time spent planning) in creating something specifically for their enjoyment, but also that you respected their tastes in music and felt the need to turn them on to something new. A well-informed mix tape with a romantic subtext was a great gift for that special someone. More on that later.
When we made tapes, it seemed as though we had a little something to do with creating the music. After all, it was a creative endeavor that required the utmost care and precision. Anyone who ever made a compilation tape knew that there were rules and guidelines to follow. In one of my Desert Island All-Time Top5 favorite movies, High Fidelity, Rob Gordon (played by John Cusack) lays out his rules to follow. I'm not going to put in the DVD right now to quote him verbatim on what his rules were, but I remember that they were in tune with mine...so to speak.
As Crosby, Stills, and Nash sing "Teach Your Children",, I will give you my personal rules to follow when making a great compilation tape.
But before I do, I must say that it would be useless to have followed the guidelines if you allowed for the tape to have a "Glitch" between the songs. This dreaded sound came from trying to record over another track and not rewinding far enough. This horrible sound would ruin the flow of the tape. It was unacceptable.
Anyway, the first song needed to be a recognizable attention-getter. It needed to be something catchy...something snappy. I would usually slow down the pace with the second song. I often found that a movie quote fit well between the second and third track. It was very difficult to record a movie quote back then. You would have to use a hand-held cassette recorder and place it close to the speakers of the T.V. You would have to rewind the tape in the VCR far enough to give you enough time to press record on the cassette player. Now the third song was the one that I considered to be the best tune on the tape. This is the song that inspired you to make the tape in the first place.
It was always necessary to "go out on a limb" and play some unknown songs that fit within the theme of the compilation. Before I go into this, I want to fill you in on the importance having a theme for your tape. The songs did not necessarily have to be within the same genre but they all needed to have a common thread. For example, it would be totally unacceptable to make a tape featuring both "Daydream Believer" by the Monkees and "Paper Planes" by M.I.A.
Anyway, back to "going out on a limb." It was necessary to do this but you had to be careful and not play more than three in a row. A strategically placed "Side 1 Track 1" was needed between them to insure listening enjoyment. If the recipient became bored, your tape failed. It is the same philosophy that I have for bands who are just starting out. They should play a recognizable cover song for every two originals.
The last song on the tape's purpose was to sum up the overall vibe of the previous 117 minutes of music. If that was too difficult to accomplish, I at least wanted to end with a great song that would leave them wanting more.
I forgot that I put "Story of My Life" by Social Distortion on my playlist. I'm a rockin' and a typin'...
I mentioned earlier the effectiveness of a well-informed mix tape with a romantic subtext. This was my favorite kind to make. When I say "well-informed", it means that the tape-maker knew the recipients favorite songs and tried to incorporate them into the compilation. The goal was to smoothly transition their favorites with well-known love songs without straying too far from the overall feel of the tape.
Most of us were never able to be that guy who played guitar and sang "Oh Donna" to his girlfriend from a phonebooth, but making them a tape was the next best thing. When your girlfriend listened to the tape for the first time, she recognized that you had paid attention to her tastes in music and knew what her favorite songs were. She also understood that when she shed a tear after hearing "I Cross My Heart", that it was your thoughts channeled through the pleasing tones of George Strait's voice. Tell me that didn't mean a little somethin'.
Here are my Top5 albums that I listened to the most after first being introduced to music. I'm not going to exclude Greatist Hits.
5. The Beatles (White Album)
4. Use your Illusion 1 and 2 - Guns N' Roses
3. Nevermind - Nirvana
2. Ramones Mania (greatest hits)- The Ramones
1. Chronicle 1 (greatest hits) - Creedence Clearwater Revival
Shoutout to Metallica's Black Album
Any tape-makers out there?
Until Next Time....
Monday, April 6, 2009
"Baseball? It's just a game. As simple as a ball and a bat, yet as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes. It's a sport, a business and sometimes even a religion." - Ernie Harwell
Who are my all-time Top5 Texas Rangers? Hmmmmmm........
I am what you call a "Die-Hard" Texas Ranger fan. Some might consider this to be quite peculiar given that I only casually follow other sports. The only other team that I will watch is the Dallas Cowboys and sometimes I find that to be trying on my time and patience. It has never been that way with the Rangers. Opening Day was about a week ago and with the dawn of a new season comes the optimism that maybe this is the Rangers'year to go all the way. I've had these feelings of blind hopefulness at the beginning of each season for the past 20+ years. You would think that I would have learned my lesson by now. I haven't...despite C.J. Wilson's best efforts.
For a guy who always "demands satisfaction", my team has often left me drowning in the vast seas of disenchantment. In the two decades that I've been a fan, I have definately endured more than my share of disappointments. From watching my team miss the playoffs every year since the turn of the millenium, to being sassed by shortstop Jeff Kunkel at a baseball card convention (I was 9 yrs. old, you pr__k!), there have been some trying times. There have been so many nights where I foolishly stayed up until the early morning hours only to witness the Ranger bullpen blow a 3-point lead and lose the game 15-14. Instead of enjoying my third peaceful hour of sleep, I remained awake, strangling my pillow and cussing Cordero's name."Why CoCo, why?"
As a life-long fan, other bad memories would include:
- Nolan Ryan's no-hitter bid shattered by Toronto's Nelson Liriano with one out in the 9th
- Hideki Irabu
- The 1996 team's loss to the New York Yankees in the playoffs despite Juan Gonzalez's dominating performance (viva Senor Octubre!)
- R.A. Dickey
- Sammy Sosa traded for Harold Baines
- Mike Heneman
- Jose Canseco traded for Otis Nixon
- Matt Whiteside
- Finding out that Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for steroids
- Chan Ho Park
- Witnessing my brother receive a verbal scolding from 3-time all star Jim Sundberg
True, there have been some bad times that have almost jaded my otherwise optimistic outlook on each new season. But to be fair, the Texas Rangers have given me countless memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Most of these memories involve my chilhood hero, Nolan Ryan.
There have been many great memories such as:
- Nolan Ryan's 6th No-Hitter
- Kenny Rogers' Perfect Game
- Josh Hamilton captivating the nation in the 2008 Home Run Derby
- Geno Petralli going 5 for 5 against Roger Clemens
- Witnessing Nolan's 5,000 strikeout from my seat in the right field bleachers
- My Uncle Jimmy (shoutout)telling pitcher Bobby Witt that he hopes he can straighten things out the next year (Witt responded with 19 wins the following year...a career high)
- Nolan Ryan laying the smackdown on Robin Ventura
- Nolan Ryan's 7th No-Hitter (my favorite moment in baseball history)
O.K., so what happened with Jeff Kunkel? After asking for his autograph, I told him that I was going to be at the game that night and wondered if he would throw me a ball. Kunkel gazed to his left and then to the right as if he was looking out at thousands of fans that would be packing the stands. And with a roll of the eyes, he sarcastically said, "Will I throw you a ball? Sure, kid....if I see you at the park I will throw you a ball." Reading his response does not accurately depict the amount of condescension that filled this verbal exchange. Granted, it wasn't as bad as former Boston Red Sox's leftfielder, Mike Greenwell telling my brother to "git" (as in "get away from me"), but it still stung quite a bit.
In conclusion, although the Rangers have frustrated the heck out of me for years and years, I will stick with them no matter what. I have to. That's what Die-Hard's do.
So who are my Top5 Texas Rangers? Lets see:
5. Brian Downing
4. Pete Inclaviglia
3. Juan Gonzalez
2. Will Clark
1. Nolan Ryan
Shoutout to Ian Kinsler
P.S. I forgot one more memory. I have been trying to upload a video of an undeserving member of my family who won $25,000 in the Sonic Slam Inning. I've tried and tried to upload it but it wasn't meant to be. Maybe my Webmaster will be kind enough to showcase it in the Top5 Drive-In someday.
Until next time...
Thursday, March 26, 2009
In music, what are my Top5 guilty pleasures? Hmmmmmmm.......
What is it about an artist/band that would cause you to classify them as a guilty pleasure? The topic arose a while back as my brother, Frank (shoutout)and I were driving home from Fort Worth listening to some great music on my Sirius/XM radio. After an hour of listening to the All Elvis Channel (ch.18), my brother managed to flip the dial without receiving a verbal lashing. The sweet melody of "Mona Lisas and Madhatters" played on the radio. "Good song," Frank said. "Great song," I concurred. We both agreed that we should leave the dial on this Elton John classic. Moments later, the question arose that has inspired me to Jive for the first time on my website. My brother stated that he considered Elton John somewhat of a guilty pleasure. I completely disagreed."Why so?", he asked. At that time I couldn't come up with a satisfying answer. So here we are, weeks later and I have decided to list some guidelines to follow when trying to decide if your liking of an artist/band should constitute some feelings of guilt. And here...we...go...
It is more than likely a guilty pleasure if:
-The artist in question competed on American Idol
-The artist's music is very popular among teenagers
-The artist does not write their own songs
-Their brand of country music is extremely popular in Nashville, Tennessee
-If you are somewhat embarassed to admit you like the artist
It is more than likely not a guilty pleasure if:
- The artist in question has been inducted into the Rock n'Roll Hall of Fame
- Their music has been featured prominently in Cameron Crowe or Martin Scorsese Movies
- The artist writes their own songs
- They refuse to allow their music to be used in commercials
Of course there are exceptions to every rule. "Like a Rock" was used by Chevrolet for years and years. But, do I consider Bob Seger to be a guilty pleasure? No, I don't. John Mellencamp...absolutely not. However, if an artist refuses to sell their music to big corporations, there is a very good chance that their music is bonafide.
A few days after the issue was first brought up, a friend asked me if I would feel a little uncomfortable playing an Alanis Morissette album while hanging out with my buddies. I told him that I wouldn't, stating that her international debut album, "Jagged Little Pill", was one of the greatest albums of the 90's. However, I was not the best person to be asked the question, being that in the past, I've had no shame in rockin' out to "Mambo No. 5" while running on the treadmill. But I could see his point. Here we had a beastly, bulging, high school football coach that probobly showers with Lava soap, admitting that he would feel a little uncomfortable playing Alanis' music in a room full of dudes. I definately see his point. As much as I might disagree with his hesitation in playing her album in public, I cannot deny that "embarassment" is definately featured in my criteria above.
So in conclusion, I hope that you find my personal guidelines helpful in deciding if you should readily admit to being a fan of one's music. I suppose it's time for me to do just that.
So...in music, what are my Top5 guilty pleasures?
5. Big and Rich - Ouch. That kinda hurt to admit.
4. Kid Rock - He borrows famous guitar riffs, shamelessly name-drops, and makes music for the sole purpose of selling records. I dig it...just don't feel good about it.
3.Toby Keith - This is a controversial entry for sure. When trying to decide if he qualifies, think of "I Wanna Talk About Me."
2. Andrew W.K. - Party Hard!
1. Shania Twain - Guilty as Charged
Now it's your turn to confess. No worries,we're all friends here.
Until next time...