2012
01.08

After reading about the recent Twitter war involving song “stealing” between Jason Isbell and Dierks Bentley (You can read about it here in detail) it just sounded all too familiar.  About this time last year Dierks released a single that sounds very similar to a Matt King tune.  It was actually brought to my attention from a big Matt King fan.  Not sure if Matt King knows about it but I am sure he would cringe if he heard the song.  The same way Jason Isbell had to when he heard Dierks Bentley’s “Home” sounding eerily similar to his own “In a Razor Town”. The odd thing about this coincidence is the Dierks song seems to take pieces from 2 of Matt’s songs.  Even the intro to the song with the creepy stuff is so similar.  Just listen to the first 10 second of each and you can already see a similarity.

Check it out and see for yourself:

I present to you exhibit “A”:  Matt King “Hardluck Road”

I present to you exhibit “B”:  Dierks Bentley “Up on The Ridge”

 

Now  for exhibit “C”.  After you have listened to both check out Matt King’s “Shanty Town”.  The lyrics are spoken the same way, the beat is the same and the chorus is similar.

You be the judge but I hear it.  I just had to say something after hearing the Jason Isbell and Dierks Bentley Twitter Feud.  What’s going on over at Dierks’ camp?  I don’t know who the credited writers of “Up on The Ridge” because I didn’t look them up, but I can tell you this much they without a doubt have heard Mr. King’s songs.  He has been playing them around Nashville for almost 10 years.

How many other songs are created in this fashion?  The art/craft is all these guys have.

 

2010
03.19

Bill Withers…..amazing.  No one plays funk like this anymore.  You have to have at least 10 inches of limp junk in your pants to play music like this.  Check out James Gadson on the drums.  My next post will be dedicated to this man.

2010
03.03

Last Fri night/Sat morning we played a gig at the legendary John. T. Floores Country Store in Helotes, TX. After a long night of entertaining and driving at approximately 3:30am on the way home on the lonely highway I noticed a large tour bus up ahead.  As we neared it I saw this image:    I immediately recognized it as Willie Nelson’s tour bus.  It made me feel proud that Ol’ Willie is still out there hittin the road and doing his thing after all these years.  We got a big thumbs up from the driver as we stopped beside them at a light.  They noticed our little “tour” van and saw that we were working hard as well.  Anyway, it made me think of Willie and Waylon’s friendship and then I ran across these awesome pics on the web.  Enjoy.

2010
02.23

The Grateful DeadYeah you read that right I am talking about The Greateful Dead and Business in the same sentence.  I recently started studying the ways of the Google business model much more closely.  The basic premise is that they have continually given away quality services that would/should cost billions of dollars to the customer for free.  In turn they make their money on customer loyalty (sort of).  Anyway, The Grateful Dead’s model is not that far off from the same.  I found this article today explaining the whole gist behind the business of the band and found it really interesting.

The article is Here:

Management Secrets of the Grateful Dead

by Joshua Green


Enjoy.

2010
02.10

Google released this video out on youtube a couple of days ago and I ran across it today.  I am generally NOT a Suze Orman fan but I do think that she gives some solid advice about investments, finaces, budgeting, and real estate in 90% this vid.  If you are like me and can listen to head phones while you work I’d just let it play in the back ground while you work.  No one wants to look at her surgically enhanced leathery face for that long.  Also, just a heads up her accent makes me want to let a raccoon scratch out my ear drums.


2010
02.02

Television.  You’ve heard of it.  It’s similar to crack and just might be the death of America’s youth.  I tried to quit T.V. once.  I wanted to be like the hip kids and everytime someone said “hey man, did you see such-and-such last night on T.V.?” Then I could be a freakin’ badass like this hip cat replied to me once with “I don’t watch T.V.” Because let’s be honest, that kid puts on a silk robe, sits in his leather recliner, smokes a pipe, and reads the works of literary masters in his study while  Natalie Portman sits nude in his lap nightly, right? A-hem.

I digress. So, I went a year without the boob tube and things were fine. My wife (girlfriend at the time) and I had just moved in together and it gave us time to really get to know each other. I think we made it almost a complete year without the cursed box. Then before I knew it, college football season reared its ugly head and I had to have my fix again. Once again I became a cable slave. There is nothing like watching football in HD when you can’t be there yourself. Once you go HD you can’t go back. But once football season was over I was left with the stinking pile of crap that is today’s cable package

The problem with cable is that the programming is so horrible that I with over 1000 channels, I MAYBE watch 6 of them on the reg. I refuse to watch any reality programs, any drama that deals with police work, law, medical, or cheating house whores (that about covers all dramas). So, that leaves me with about 2 shows in syndication. Other than The Office, The Big Bang Theory, and re-runs of My Name is Earl, That 70’s show, MASH, and Three’s Company (which is rarely on), and a few other old shows, occasionally I will watch something informative like the History Channel, A&E, or something on Nat Geo (some crazy shit about snipers last night). That about covers it. If none of these show’s are on then what am I to do? We’ll that leads me to my newest discoveries in syndicated entertainment.

The future of programming is bright my friends. There is an end in sight to the horridness and the networks are squirming like little roaches trying to find a way to keep their finger on the button. There are options and my current favorite one is free! You can subscribe to netflix, or Tivo, or many other types of DVR’s or even Apple TV or Window’s Media Center. But, the one that has really caught my fancy for now is Boxee.

Boxee is now in the beta phase which is a major improvement over the alpha phase. But, here’s the deal…the alpha release was amazing as well. It’s just more user friendly now. I can’t say enough about how much I love it. The coolest thing in the world is that there is also, an “app for that”. You can download a free Boxee app that turns your iphone into a remote! Freakin’ A! Basically, my setup is really simple. I have my Macbook Pro hooked up to my HD TV with a DVI to HMDI cable that plugs right into the TV. I use the audio out on my Macbook and hook it into my TV to the surround sound. I hook up the power supply and wa-la…I have an amazing media center setup. Boxee will pull down RSS feeds for you and it works amazing with Hulu.com. If you are a fan of old and new shows Hulu.com is amazing. They have the first 3 complete seasons of The Twilight Zone on there. Not to mention TONS of Hitchcock and just about anything you could imagine. Did you miss the latest episode of The Office? If it’s been 24hrs since it aired you can watch it with only four 30 second commercials in-between. The best part about all of this is that you don’t have to sit through a shit-ton of commercials that make you forget what you were watching. Some of the programs even let you select if you would like to watch the 2 mins of commercials before the program starts and then watch it with no interruptions or if you would prefer to watch them in the four 30 second intervals. There is so much more I love about Boxee that I could write pages on it, but for now I’ll just say that you should go and try it out for yourself. Here is the demo video:

Boxee Beta from boxee on Vimeo.

The next revolution that I recently discovered is basically internet television. By using Boxee I realized that there are good number of sites out there with their own internet syndicated shows. Youtube has allowed any ya-hoo in the world with a video camera and a connection to post any type of “show” that they want. There are definitely more than a few shows that are entertaining and failblog.org’s Youtube channel is one of my personal fave’s. I love to check them out when I need a quick laugh. One channel has recently caught my eye and they have been around for a bit. Their website could use a re-skin but, hey the concept and content is pretty interesting

www.channel101.com has a unique concept in that anyone can submit a pilot show to the creator. The creator then screen the pilots at a theater in L.A. for an audience, once a month I believe. The pilots are then voted on and the top ones get syndicated on the site. People have really come up with some great creative shows for this site. I was amazed at some of the entries. I know how much time it takes to make even a shitty video and these people have invested plenty of time and money just for the love of the craft. The first show that lead me over to discover the Channel101.com site was called “Yacht Rock”. I am a fan of Jason Lee (the actor from My Name is Earl fame and early 80’s – 90’s skateboard star) and I had somehow discovered that he was in the final episode of some underground internet show called “Yacht Rock”. So, It was during one of those wild induced internet binge trips though the looking glass and down the rabbit whole that I ran across this show. Yacht Rock is described by Wikipedia as “an online video series following the fictionalized lives and careers of American soft rock stars of the late 1970s and early 1980s.” It’s a pretty hilarious show that made it to 11 episodes on Channel101.com before being canceled/retired. Here is the first episode that I also found on Youtube:

Another amazing show that I found on Channel101.com is this sick twisted animated show in the vein of Adult Swim called “House of Cosbys”. This show had it’s initial run in January – June of 2005 before the creator was promptly sent a cease and desist letter from none other than the Cos’s personal lawyer. The theme song itself is really cool. It sounds like something the Butthole Surfers laid down. The lyrics explain the premise of the show with greatness.

“He was a Cosby fan at heart it’s clear.

He searched and found a Cosby hair.

He spent 10 long years and built a cloning machine.

And now he’s accomplished his wonderful dreams.

To make a house of Cosby’s.

It’s a house of Cosby’s”.

All of the episodes are still here on http://www.channel101.com/shows/show.php?show_id=121. You can view the episodes on Youtube as well, here is the first episode:

So, my friends due to our human creativity and ingenious ways to still get our voices heard, the future of entertainment is in good hands. That’s basically why I started this blog. I want people to know that there are infinite talented and creative artists out there for every medium. You just have to get off your lazy ass and search for them. Remember don’t drink the cool aide that they throw in your face. Bad advertising, pointless music, and shows with no substance are abundant and it could just be a “test run” for the media monopolies to control your every move. Let’s fight the “Manchurian candidate” syndrome and make an effort to support these artists that are doing it for the love they have of the craft. Like Chuck D. said, “Fight the Power”!

2010
01.03

I think I missed the boat earlier in 2009 when HBO came out with the series Eastbound and Down.  I briefly remember last year when the first season came out that my brother and a few other people were telling me it was bad ass.  I don’t have HBO with my cable plan so maybe that might be a decent excuse, but after all I do have a computer.  I just got the complete series 2 weeks ago (you can even get it on iTunes for $9.99 right now) and I have watched it at least 3 times.

Eastbound and Down is centered around Kenny Powers a slightly overweight, alcohol and drug abusing, washed up 34 year old Major League relief pitcher from a small southern town.  As the story progresses you see that he is THE  biggest thing to ever come out of this fictional North Carolina town.  Kenny believes  he is the baddest mother-fucker alive.  He will even convince you if you let him (He’s got me convinced, as far as, fro-mullets and Oakley Blades are concerned anyway).  He went straight from high school to the majors and even pitched in the World Series.  As his pitch speed starts to fall, and his attitude becomes a problem, he is cut from the majors, loses his poorly financed small fortune, and is forced to go back to his home town and live with his brother, his brother’s wife, and 2 kids.  Left only with his 1986 tricked out Bronco and a hilariously upgraded jet ski, he is forced to get a job at the local Jefferson Davis High School as a substitute gym coach.  The antics that follow are nothing short of side splitting laughs.

Here is a “Best of” clip that someone put together on YouTube:

The funny/scary thing about this series is that I can really relate to it.  It’s all in the details.  The small town setting, the accents, the small mindedness of the people living there and the home town hero coming back after his reign.  These are all things that remind me of my hometown.  Even the way that Kenny Powers acts towards his hometown sweet heart that he hasn’t seen since he left.  He approaches her with the most juvenile, high school pickup lines and actions.  Will Ferrell and Adam McKay are the executive producers so you know what type of comedy to expect.  Kenny Powers is played by Danny McBride (The Foot Fist Way, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, Land of the Lost) and just “nails” the part.  It’s one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long damn time in this TV world soaked with shitty talk shows and lame-ass reality shows. The series is filled with one-liners that will keep you and your friends firing them off at each other. From what I have seen on the internet HBO has signed these guys up for a season 2 so it should be right around the corner.

This is a clip that I found on YouTube of the second episode.  Kenny ends up on ecstasy after a humiliating personal appearance at Ashley Shaffer BMW (played by Will Ferrell).  He decides to go to a High School dance where he is now the interim gym coach while he is waiting to “get back in shape” for the majors.  He is supposed to be chaperoning this dance with his ex high school lover.  He decides to perform this amazing mating dance to win over her heart.

I highly recommend checking out Eastbound and Down sooner than later.  Some of the camera shots and situations are Napoleon Dynamite esque while, some of the sound track gives me a Dazed and Confused feeling at times with southern rock anthems.   If you are a fan of Will Ferrell’s wilder and edgier comedy then this is a must see.