Vanity Tag #music #rap #80s #SirMixALot @therealmix

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Who doesn’t like a good vanity tag? I took this photo in a parking lot not too long ago.

I miss my vanity tag (“FRYLOCK”), which I lost when I leased my current vehicle.

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My Favorite Album Cover @IronMaiden #music #IronMaiden #gatekeeping

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A Facebook friend posted about his meeting with Derek Riggs, the creator of Eddie, the character gracing the covers of Iron Maiden’s albums. Despite my efforts to soil that character, Eddie is iconic, as are the album covers generally. Among those covers, Number of the Beast is my favorite, and probably my favorite album cover of all time. Somewhere in Time is more impressive, and (one of my favorite 5 albums) Powerslave is more interesting, but Number of the Beast wins. My reasoning is less about the display and more about the message.

Derek intended no message.

“That particular idea I stole from a comic book that I’d read in the 70s, then I adapted it. I wasn’t trying to create a mood. I was just trying to get the job done in the short time I had.”

I inferred a clear message from it, and it raises a pet peeve of mine. When someone gets admonished for doing something bad, rather than say, “I will be a better person going forward,” they sometimes say something like, “That’s not who I am. That’s not me.”

Well, who the hell was it? It was your body doing that crazy stuff. Is there a gremlin living in your head controlling your every move? This excuse is appropriately along the lines of “the devil made me do it,” and it’s a subtle way to avoid properly owning up for the mistake. No, you did the bad thing. You’re responsible. It is you. We hope it’s not who you want to be, and we hope that you’ll grow out of it, but right now, you’re the asshole, not some unidentified, supernatural manipulator. The album exemplifies this by showing that, while the devil is pulling Eddie’s strings, Eddie is pulling the devil’s strings. The smaller Eddie is what people see, the devil is who Eddie blames, but ultimately Eddie is in control. That’s true for all of us.

Is my interpretation correct? Well, yes, because it’s a subjective perspective. Good art encourages you to think and feel on your own. It doesn’t matter what the artist intended; I read into it what I do, and you read into it what you do. Both of us can like it even if our interpretations are in direct opposition to each other or even to the artist.

In this case, I’m sure most of you took the same message from the art, so there really isn’t much of a dispute. So, I guess the real message of this post is, “Leave your gatekeeping at the door.”

Think about it.

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Inktober for Charity, Day 25: The Warriors #Inktober #JDRF #StillBrave @JDRF @stillbrave @KevinBednarz @JoeWalsh

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September’s series of musical selections is officially over! It’s October! Or should I say . . . Inktober?

Do you remember what happened the last time I celebrated Inktober? No? Well, you’re not going to like it. You’re certainly not go to like this one. You see, a friend posted to Facebook a list of Inktober assignments, and being the smartass I am, I’ve taken on (synonym: stolen) those assignments despite my . . . “modest” drawing skills. Look, mine will be funnier, okay? I’d link to his (which are going to be much better), but he protects his tweets. You’ll have to settle for mine.

He’s drawing for a charity by offering his drawings for sale, the proceeds for which go to the Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation. Noble, but my choice of charity is the JDRF. Unfortunately, no one will buy my work, so until their link breaks, you can directly donate here. Or you can donate to Stillbrave. I won’t get angry. Here are the assignments:

I don’t know all of these things.

<< Prior | Next >>

And here is today’s entry.

Day 25: The Warriors

Great movie. In the City by Joe Walsh is also great.

He’s got a huge head.

Before you laugh, try to remember that it’s for charity. Then laugh.

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Inktober for Charity, Day 24: Beastie Boys #Inktober #JDRF #StillBrave #music @JDRF @stillbrave @KevinBednarz @beastieboys

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September’s series of musical selections is officially over! It’s October! Or should I say . . . Inktober?

Do you remember what happened the last time I celebrated Inktober? No? Well, you’re not going to like it. You’re certainly not go to like this one. You see, a friend posted to Facebook a list of Inktober assignments, and being the smartass I am, I’ve taken on (synonym: stolen) those assignments despite my . . . “modest” drawing skills. Look, mine will be funnier, okay? I’d link to his (which are going to be much better), but he protects his tweets. You’ll have to settle for mine.

He’s drawing for a charity by offering his drawings for sale, the proceeds for which go to the Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation. Noble, but my choice of charity is the JDRF. Unfortunately, no one will buy my work, so until their link breaks, you can directly donate here. Or you can donate to Stillbrave. I won’t get angry. Here are the assignments:

I don’t know all of these things.

<< Prior | Next >>

And here is today’s entry.

Day 24: Beastie Boys

I mentioned the Beastie Boys last month. That was unintentional foreshadowing.

It doesn’t even look like them. Would you know who these guys were if you didn’t know?

Before you laugh, try to remember that it’s for charity. Then laugh.

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Inktober for Charity, Day 16: Stevie Ray Vaughn #Inktober #JDRF #StillBrave #SRV #music @JDRF @stillbrave @KevinBednarz

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September’s series of musical selections is officially over! It’s October! Or should I say . . . Inktober?

Do you remember what happened the last time I celebrated Inktober? No? Well, you’re not going to like it. You’re certainly not go to like this one. You see, a friend posted to Facebook a list of Inktober assignments, and being the smartass I am, I’ve taken on (synonym: stolen) those assignments despite my . . . “modest” drawing skills. Look, mine will be funnier, okay? I’d link to his (which are going to be much better), but he protects his tweets. You’ll have to settle for mine.

He’s drawing for a charity by offering his drawings for sale, the proceeds for which go to the Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation. Noble, but my choice of charity is the JDRF. Unfortunately, no one will buy my work, so until their link breaks, you can directly donate here. Or you can donate to Stillbrave. I won’t get angry. Here are the assignments:

I don’t know all of these things.

<< Prior | Next >>

And here is today’s entry.

Day 16: Stevie Ray Vaughn

I almost don’t want to do this one. There have been only three celebrity deaths that really bothered me: Sam Kinison, Chadwick Boseman, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Kinison bothered me despite being a casual fan of his. This is because in college I was an avid Howard Stern fan, and his death hit them hard. With constantly mourning coming from my radio, it rubbed off on me. Boseman bothered me because he was too young and was a major part of an intellectual property franchise for whom my excitement is exceeded only by Star Trek. As for Stevie Ray Vaughn, I picked up guitar and bass in 1985. I subscribed to the fantastic Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazine. Every month, they provided sheet music, both traditional and tablature, for four to five rock/pop/metal songs, and sometimes guitar-based songs from other genres (e.g., Bach’s Bouree in E Minor from the March, 1988 issue). The first issue I got had Greensleeves as adapted by Jeff Beck, Message in a Bottle by the Police, Mississippi Queen by Mountain, I Wanna Be Somebody by W.A.S.P., and Couldn’t Stand the Weather by Stevie. That was my introduction to Stevie Ray Vaughn, and I never looked back. I’d say he inspired my music, but I’ve never been a good enough player or songwriter for that to make sense.

At least he looks happy.

Before you laugh, try to remember that it’s for charity. Then laugh.

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Inktober for Charity, Day 4: Eddie from Iron Maiden #Inktober #JDRF #StillBrave #music #IronMaiden #UpTheIrons @JDRF @stillbrave @KevinBednarz @ironmaiden

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September’s series of musical selections is officially over! It’s October! Or should I say . . . Inktober?

Do you remember what happened the last time I celebrated Inktober? No? Well, you’re not going to like it. You’re certainly not go to like this one. You see, a friend posted to Facebook a list of Inktober assignments, and being the smartass I am, I’ve taken on (synonym: stolen) those assignments despite my . . . “modest” drawing skills. Look, mine will be funnier, okay? I’d link to his (which are going to be much better), but he protects his tweets. You’ll have to settle for mine.

He’s drawing for a charity by offering his drawings for sale, the proceeds for which go to the Stillbrave Childhood Cancer Foundation. Noble, but my choice of charity is the JDRF. Unfortunately, no one will buy my work, so until their link breaks, you can directly donate here. Or you can donate to Stillbrave. I won’t get angry. Here are the assignments:

I don’t know all of these things.

<< Prior | Next >>

And here is today’s entry.

Day 4: Eddie from Iron Maiden

I don’t go to a lot of concerts, so when I go, it’s because I really want to see that band. Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son tour was the first time I’ve ever been on the floor. Soldier Field doesn’t count.

It’s not as if he’s supposed to look good.

Before you laugh, try to remember that it’s for charity. Then laugh.

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31 Songs in 31 Days Challenge, Day 31: Song About Accomplishing #music

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It’s September, the start of a new month. Well, in mid-August, half a month too late, I came across one of those internet challenges. Being a music nut, I’m willing to take my chances with the data mining assholes and participate. For the month of September (plus October 1), I’m going to answer each of these with a blog post. Here’s the challenge:

Day 31: Song About Accomplishing

If you listen closely, you’ll see that this song is deceptively about accomplishment.

Well, that’s one hell of a finale to this long series of posts, isn’t it?

If this isn’t “bringing peace,” I don’t know what is.

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31 Songs in 31 Days Challenge, Day 30: Song That Brings Peace #music

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It’s September, the start of a new month. Well, in mid-August, half a month too late, I came across one of those internet challenges. Being a music nut, I’m willing to take my chances with the data mining assholes and participate. For the month of September (plus October 1), I’m going to answer each of these with a blog post. Here’s the challenge:

Day 30: Song That Brings Peace

This song is claimed by US researchers to be the most relaxing song ever. Seriously, they warn you not to listen to it while driving.

If this isn’t “bringing peace,” I don’t know what is.

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31 Songs in 31 Days Challenge, Day 29: Favorite Reggae Song #music

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It’s September, the start of a new month. Well, in mid-August, half a month too late, I came across one of those internet challenges. Being a music nut, I’m willing to take my chances with the data mining assholes and participate. For the month of September (plus October 1), I’m going to answer each of these with a blog post. Here’s the challenge:

Day 29: Favorite Reggae Song

I’m tempted to cheat with this one, but fortunately for you I can’t. My favorite reggae song was a reggae version of Simon & Garfunkel’s Cecelia. It was recorded by a band called, if I recall correctly, Funhouse, and I think they were based in Charlottesville, Virginia. I can’t find the audio for it — certainly not due to a failure to search for it — and other reggae versions I’ve found pale in comparison. I could also go with some early Police, such as Roxanne, but no. I’m going to give you a song by a dedicated reggae artist.

We could all use some redemption.

That was cheesy. I take it back.

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31 Songs in 31 Days Challenge, Day 28: Song About Dreams #music #VanHalen @VanHalen

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It’s September, the start of a new month. Well, in mid-August, half a month too late, I came across one of those internet challenges. Being a music nut, I’m willing to take my chances with the data mining assholes and participate. For the month of September (plus October 1), I’m going to answer each of these with a blog post. Here’s the challenge:

Day 28: Song About Dreams

Here’s an obvious choice for a child of the 80s.

Great album.

Follow me in Twitter @gsllc