Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Rock Hall Nominations Class Of '07

Hey Soul Mates,
Happy Halloween. And special Halloween birthday shout-outs to King AdRock (Adam Horovitz) and Larry Mullen, Jr. Hard to believe the AdRock is 40. Yikes. Time flies when your fighting for your right to party.

The nominations for the
Rock Hall Class of '07 have been announced. And the nominees are: R.E.M., Patti Smith, Chic, the Dave Clark Five, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, The Ronettes, the Stooges, Joe Tex and Van Halen. Included in the announcement was this: "In January, five of the nine nominees will be selected and will participate in the induction ceremony on March 12th at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City." I take that to mean that the Hall intends to enshrine a minimum of 5 of these acts. This could be good and bad.

If you think up to 5 of these groups are worthy or if you've been disappointed in their choices before this is good news. If you think that less than 5 of the acts should get in, you may find yourself asking "why did they arbitrarily add an undeserving band?" Conversely, one might wish that all 9 be inducted. I think they're doing it to ensure a variety of acts get in and that the night of March 12 will be as entertaining as possible. It's a case of hedging your bets.

That said, here's my rundown of the nominees:

R.E.M. - A first ballot no-brainer. I didn't like REM for the longest time. But I have come to appreciate their impact, their music and their steadfast political beliefs. As far as 80's pop/rock groups go, they may be second only to U2 in popularity and importance.

Patti Smith - Never been a fan. Before my time, so to speak. But as far as women proving they could rock with the punks, she's always the first name mentioned. A good bet the Rock Hall wants her in. [Note: Not to be confused with Patty Smythe of Scandal]

Chic - If you have to ask, you've never met me. Dammit, put them in already. And let me give the speech!

The Dave Clark Five - Not the first nomination for this seminal British Invasion group. For a time (1964-65), the Beatles' only true rivals. I vote Yes!

Grandmaster Flash - When, oh when, will the Rock Hall put in their first Hip Hop act. Flash & the Furious 5 must go in before the Beastie Boys and Run DMC. Now would be a good year for that. [Note to the Rock Hall, you really need to consider nominating German electronic geniuses
Kraftwerk at least once]

The Ronettes - First time nominees. A wonderful girl group led by the heavenly, stunning
Ronnie Spector from Phil Spector's heyday. Just not as essential a pick as some of the other nominated groups who've been looked over in recent years.

The Stooges -
Iggy Pop's breakthrough group. True pioneers of punk. They may get in on this ballot. Lots of fans of Detroit's legends in the voting ranks, I suspect.

Joe Tex - A contemporary of Jackie Wilson, James Brown and Sam & Dave. Most of you know his song I Gotcha from Tarantino's Resevoir Dogs. Skinny Legs and All, his induction is probably a few years away, if ever.

Van Halen - A lot of my schoolmates will say "Finally!" This one's tough. Eddie Van Halen has come off as a duplicitous unkind bandmate in the last 10 years. Which version would be elected Diamond Dave's or Slammin' Sammy's? Too many question marks for a really tremendous group that put the guitar solo back into Top 40 Rock and Roll. I predict voters will want to see the VH reunion spectacle/debacle at the Waldorf as soon as possible.

So my best guesses are, if they hold fast to putting in 5 acts, that they will be: REM, the Stooges, Patti Smith, Grandmaster Flash and Van Halen. Of course, if I were voting, I'd replace VH and Ms. Smith with Chic and the DC5. What do you think? Who would you put in or keep out? Remember the Rock Hall made trailblazers like Bob Marley and Steely Dan wait several long years of balloting to make it.

Love, Power, Peace

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Soontaree's October Surprise

Hey Soul Mates,
I hope your Sunday was as wonder-filled as mine. I spent the day at
Wat Thai, the local Buddhist temple, volunteering for a bone marrow match drive for my dear friend Soontaree. Soontaree is duking it out with Leukemia. She was diagnosed while we were in England. In fact, the band found out right before we performed in Huddersfield.

Soontaree is Thai ('tho born in the USA) and needs a bone marrow match for a transplant. This was the third drive I've done with
Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches (A3M). It's pretty amazing to hear how the odds are stacked against people needing marrow transplants due to the lack of potential donors and the finiteness of the categorical matches. Anyway, with a group of mutual friends, family and full-timers from A3M, we've gone to events and locations searching for Soontaree's match and getting the word out about the need in general.

Of course, I signed up and did my buccal swab first time out; so pain-free. I certainly didn't mind putting a Q-tip in my mouth for her. "Sexy swabbing for Soontaree." Well, this drive was our most successful yet in terms of signing up potential matches for her and others who desperately need a marrow transplant. After several hours of work and a few trips inside the temple to pray and meditate and more jaunts to the food-vending area for Thai iced-tea, chicken skewers and sugary rotee, we had a major surprise. Soontaree and her husband Mike appeared. How surprising was this? This morning they were in Houston, Texas and none of us knew they were coming. Everyone was blown away.

Here's the gorgeous dame and yours truly from this afternoon. What a thrill to see you, Soontaree! She's making that bald thang look good! She looks like a mini-monk. And I'm sporting my too fresh "Save Soontaree" shirt. Represent! We also got an extra blessing from the real monks in the temple.

Her visit certainly helped reinforce how precious life is and how limited our time is in this life. Make the most of it and love the people you need to love... which would be as many people as you can. Hope is real. Love is real.

Gotta jet, but you all have a great week. Go forth and build that good karma, that righteous juju. And we'll see you on Thursday at the Gig!
Love, Power, Peace

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Too Damn Good, Is What

Hey Soul Mates,
as many of you know, we submitted our video A Talent For Loving and other clips into
YouTube's first "Underground" music video contest. For some reason, they have declared all 3 of our pieces ineligible. What? Well, cousin, it must be that our videos are too damn good, is what!

The contest starts tomorrow, so we'll never know how we might have fared. Be sure to check in on our YouTube page on Wednesday Oct. 25. You never know. I've seen some of the other clips and they are definitely amateurish, so maybe that's what they wanted. We too slick, y'all. But that's how we roll.

We appreciate all of the kind things our fans and peers are saying about our work. It was a joy to make and more fun to present to you. We are up to 1600 plays of "Talent." And close to 4000 views over all. Thanks!

Also in the news, we are hoping to present a fantastic double bill in December with the
Adam Marsland Chaos Band. You know them. We played with AMCB at the IPO fest in L.A. in August. But we've wanted to do a proper show with them for some time. If this one goes off there will be musical fireworks!

In the meantime, I'm sure you've polished your shoes and pressed your suit for our show at the Gig next Thursday (Nov. 2). We've got a few surprises up our sleeves. So watch out or rather, listen up!

Love, Power, Peace

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Bob Dylan Show Goes LBC!

Hey Soul Mates,
dig that crazy rhythm? It's the
Bob Dylan Show. Tonight's tour stop at Long Beach was hellacious! We had a fantastic time in the standing room/general admission floor area. I knew the last time I saw Dylan that it would actually be fun to dance at his show. There wasn't always room for cutting a rug, but there was plenty to shuffle and vigorously clap hands.

The Arena in Long Beach reminds me of the old Jacksonville VMC where I used to go to concerts in highschool. Capacity around 5000 on a good night. On top of an ice rink (though we didn't have that in Jax). Real Mom 'n Pop. Just a more relaxed ambiance than usual at an L.A. show. When tickets went on sale, I snatched some up. How often does any major act play a small venue with GA standing for the floor? Let alone THE major act of our lifetimes.

Dylan smiled throughout; playing organ and blues harp. It was a different experience this time, being less than 30 feet from him. Seeing him really move and sweat. Selling the performance. His band was cracking, too. I know he's said he wanted to be in Little Richard's band. Well, Bob was giving the audience quite a lot tonight. He was definitely feeling it.

So many favorite moments. But the one performance that moved me to tears was the sublime reading of Hattie Carroll. The arrangement was exquisite, great interplay between the guitarists and a crushing story-song. I've got a soft spot for Highway 61 Revisited and most folks sang along with Just Like A Woman. Even the teenage girls in the audience. Those were a few highlights, the songs that is.

The selections from Dylan's new LP Modern Times (currently my favorite album of 2006) were played with gusto and met with appreciative applause. Gotta love an audience that's done its homework. The tender When The Deal Goes Down and the raucous Rollin' & Tumblin' were even more fun live than on record. There was a knowing whoop from the crowd (including yours truly) for the line "I'm in a cowboy band," from Nettie Moore. Dylan acknowledged it with a grin. His back-up crew nodded and smiled. That's joy.

The crowd was quite varied. Truly fans of all ages. The openers,
Kings Of Leon certainly helped bring in a younger demographic. KOL was much better, more polished than the last time I saw them in '03 opening for the Strokes. Their set was tighter and rocked harder than previously. They also seemed more comfortable performing for Dylan's crowd than the Strokes' crowd, oddly enough. But kudos to them.

Here's what the Bob Dylan Show consisted of:
Cat's In The Well
She Belongs To Me
Lonesome Day Blues
Just Like A Woman
Highway 61 Revisited
When The Deal Goes Down
Tangled Up In Blue
Ballad Of Hollis Brown
Rollin' And Tumblin'
The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll
Watching The River Flow
Nettie Moore
Summer Days

Thunder On The Mountain
Like A Rolling Stone
All Along The Watchtower

[Set list from
Expecting Rain]

I must say that looking at last night's setlist from his show at the Forum, we got the plum batch. For my taste anyway. Considering how large Dylan's canon is, it's amazed me both times, that I've gotten to hear what I wanted! Lucky me.

Have a great Sunday everyone. Go Browns.
Love, Power, Peace

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Two Week Warning

That's right, Cousin.
Rush Hour Soul is back and badder than a heart attack.
Get ready to feel it.

Love, Power, Peace

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

UK Update: A Minor Rant Involved

Hey Soul Mates,
took a break for a week to get some important things done and get mentally prepared for the coming month. We are looking to do some great shows in the Los Angeles area here at the end of the year. I've been in contact with folks at some of our favorite venues, so details will be coming this week.

Our return to the UK has been scrubbed till next spring. Lots of reasons why. But one big one that was an utter disappointment for all of us in Rush Hour Soul. We know a lot of you were hoping to see us back in England. Trust us, we wanted to be there. We were lead to believe that we would be entertaining you right about now. In fact, this was what we'd been told for months, so your dismay is ours. We are truly thankful that our fans in the UK are eager to see us. International Pop Overthrow Festival has already extended us an invitation to play in Liverpool again in 2007. That is wonderful.

Moving on. We need to brush the dirt off our shoulders and show our home digs some love and great music. We've got some new material to work on so the sets will have some surprises.

Remember: Rush Hour Soul is unsigned. We have no representation or management. What you see, on stage, on-line is all us. We do everything. The expense is all ours, too. There are no wizards behind the curtain helping us out. We take great pleasure in playing music and we hope that once the new show dates are announced that you will make plans to bring your friends to see us and have a good time out on the town.

Finally, we have entered several of our video pieces, including "A Talent For Loving" and "Fall Out (Live At The Cavern)" into YouTube's first unsigned band contest. It's called the YouTube
Underground Contest. There will be some sort of public vote involved with determining the winner. Voting will begin a week from today (Oct. 25, 2006). We'll be counting on you.

Love, Power, Peace

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Hiatus Week

Hey Soul Mates,
I'm going to take a week off so there will most likely be no posts on my blog.
But I do want to pass this magical phrase on to you:


If you are in the Pasadena area, heck, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you need to have pie and burger from Pie 'n Burger. At the same location since 1963 with the milkshake machine to back it up. They make the Coke's by hand y'all. The burgers are beef. The pie is luscious. Got mine "to go." It's an especially good stop if you've been walking around the Huntington Garden for 90 minutes.

Love, Power, Peace

Monday, October 02, 2006

Weekend Highlife In The Dawg Pound West

Hey Soul Mates,
hope you had as productive a weekend as we did. Although most of mine was spent at home working on the computer. Self-sufficiency is the new name of our game. We've gotten DVDs of our music video and tour doc together. I'm proud of my handiwork creating motion menus for the discs. Next step is to get them to some helpful people.

Saturday, we were gifted with tickets for the preview of a new comedy show,
Groundlings For $1000, Alex. The Groundlings (alums include Paul Reubens, Phil Hartman, Will Ferrell & Pat Morita) do a combination of sketch comedy and improv. This particular show was tear-inducingly funny. I cried during the finale, a Nickelodeon kids' game show spoof called "Mathblasters." What a talented group of actors. The whole ensemble was entertaining. Certainly better than anything that showed up on SNL later than night. The house band also did an incredible Led Zeppelin medley. Not easy with one guitar, keys and drums. Kudos. Anyway, if you live in L.A. and you have the opportunity, do not miss this show when it opens officially.

The highlight of the weekend no doubt was watching the Browns beat the Raiders. What fortune, two games in one season. The apartment became Dawg Pound West for several hours. Here's the Dog & I during the Browns' 3rd quarter rally, down by 18-11-4, etc. [That's not a Braylon Edwards jersey, nor even a Brian Sipe. It's my own Norm Kelsey jersey! Got it at the Stadium in CLE a few years ago, but it never leaves the house. I'm lacking the orange pants, however.]

I must call it in print:
Orpheus Roye is the coolest name in pro football. He's a real rarity, too. Roye's in his 7th season as a defensive lineman for the Browns. In this current salary cap era, that should be considered quite an achievement and I'm sure he'll eventually make the Cleveland Browns' All-Time Team. 7 years under the salary cap is like 14 prior. Kinda like dog years or something. Anyway, #99 put this one hit on the Raiders' QB that had me jumping around the house like an idiot. Whoo. Thanks, Orpheus. The game was sloppy in parts, but the Browns' comeback was a sight to behold. It's always good to defeat Oakland. Red Right 88 needs constant avenging.

Have a great week. Hard to believe it's October.
Love, Power, Peace