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SoulMonster

Duff's Reverb Column

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Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:26 am

​Last Call on the Tour That Shouldn't End

Some of you know that I am currently on tour in Europe with my band Loaded. A lot of the gigs we are doing are at those magical European festivals with names ranging from the self-explanatory (Sweden Rock) to the Germanic (Rock im Ring and Rock am Park) to the inexplicably information-age-ish (Download) to the odd. France's Hellfest is a better name than its former moniker, FurryFest, but still conjures up the idea that it's filled with Satan-worshipping bands. And I don't think Iggy and the Stooges, The Cult, Mr. Big, or Kyuss are anything close to death metal . . . nor do any of those bands wear corpse-paint.

So, as this will be my last post from the field on this tour, I thought that it may be fun to let you all in on some of my personal highs from the last four weeks:

Ghost: I know that last week I wrote maybe one sentence about these guys, and their whole mask-wearing shtick.

Later last week, I was backstage with Down's Phil Anselmo, and asked him if he'd gotten a load of Ghost's whole deal (no one knows who the actual band is, as they hide their identities, and blindfold their interviewers, etc.). Phil looked at me, kind of like an excited kid would after hitting his first Little League homerun. "Do I KNOW who Ghost IS?!! Dude. They are my new favorite band! Listen to THIS!" He proceeded to play Ghost's new record for me and Mike Squires. Mike bought it on iTunes immediately, and I followed suit.

Ghost is not what you would expect, I guess. Well, I've never actually given a "satanic" band a chance in the past. But if you like indie rock, Blue Oyster Cult, early-'70s rock 'n' roll, and a good pop song . . . check these guys out. Really great songwriting. Killer players. Great analog recording. All of that, with a bit of the ol' Lucifer thrown in.

Down: Best live rock band of the month. Anselmo means it. The band sounds ridiculous. Black Flag mixed with the best of stoner rock equals greatness (read: Down). Yes. Greatness. I don't need to say much else.

Lifehouse: You may ask how it is that I can put Lifehouse in here right after Ghost and Down. I must say, this band was never really ever on my radar before I saw them play two shows over one weekend a couple of weeks ago.

These guys write really good pop songs, and execute them with ease, flair, and even some balls. These guys have some roots in our own Port Orchard, too. I'd go see them again for sure.

Judas Priest: Yes! Loaded has had the chance to play a few shows with the almighty Rob Halford and co. And, even though guitarist K.K. Downing inexplicably bailed out right before this farewell tour, there IS still Glenn Tipton at stage left, shredding it up pretty damn good. Rob Halford has, hands down, the best and strongest pure hard-rock voice ever. Ridiculous.

Family Guy: Yep. I hadn't seen the show until last week. Our drummer, Isaac Carpenter, has been on me for like a year to watch this show. I've never been into adult cartoons and thought I was somehow above these types of shows.

Finally, on the tour bus last week . . . I relented. Isaac has a few seasons of Family Guy on the hard drive of his computer. The first one he played for me was the episode when the Dad (Peter) gets injected with the "gay gene." Holy fuck. The funniest and most twisted show on TV, or maybe ANYWHERE! I, for one, am now completely hooked.

French Loaded Fans: Who knew that people even knew who we were here? In my whole career, I have never had the pleasure of playing four straight shows in France. From Lille to Paris, and Strasbourg to Clisson . . . just great and excited fans of the rock.

Handing out and touring with Mike Squires, Jeff Rouse, and Isaac Carpenter (aka Loaded): This has been one of those tours that, while I miss my family at home, I just don't want to end.

These guys are the fucking best dudes EVER. We travel light, and tour hard--often having to react and move and perform, with little to no information and less sleep. It is a perfect scenario to garner hot heads and snappy-ness. We have none of that.

It is rare to be in a band where there is no inner-band gossip. Loaded is that rare band (unless of course, they are gossiping about me, and I just don't know it!).

On this trip, it has been an honor and a pleasure to travel and fight the good fight with these gentlemen.

My wife Susan meeting me in Paris, sans kids: Fancy time. Yes, that IS what I mean.

Bonjour. Ahoy. Good day. Guten Tag. Etc.

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/06/last_call_on_the_tour_that_sho.php


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Our Night With Britney Spears: I Stayed in My Seat, But My Girls Made It Onstage

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:29 am

So, um . . . yeah. I, your trusty scriber of all things mostly rock, am going to try my best here to give you all a blow-by-blow account of my experience Wednesday night at Britney Spears' Tacoma Dome concert. Yep.

Some of you may remember me writing here about my night at the Justin Bieber concert. If you do, then you will also know that I am the father of two girls, now aged 10 and 13. I encourage music and arts with my daughters, so when they want to see a concert (any concert!), I will take them. I have learned to leave my preconceptions sitting next to my dog Buckley--squarely at home.

OK, enough of me explaining my attendance.

With me just getting back from playing a whole slew of shows in Europe, going to a concert on my third night back probably was not on the top of my list of priorities. Especially a concert in Tacoma.

Driving ANYWHERE with teen and preteen girls involves--in my case--a large dose of finding the right music on the right station at the right time. When I am facing a drive that involves some time or distance, a parent in my position must sort of steel themselves and become almost numb. If you were to actually think in advance how many times you will be asked to turn up or down the music, or to "switch back to that OTHER station!", you go a bit numb with caustic pre-coil to the long drive. We listened to Ray J, Nicki Minaj, LMFAO, Britney. Not exactly deep and soulful. But the girls were wrapped up in THEIR moment, and last night WAS their night, after all.

From the get-go upon arrival, people-watching is the component that slaps one upon the broadside of the head at a Britney Spears show. The first person I saw was a rather larger and manly-man, dressed as the schoolgirl version of Britney. He was not exactly sexy in my view, but this bloke probably felt so deep inside somewhere. Alrighty then. That's all cool with me.

We all know of the crap the Britney Spears has gone through in her life, especially over the last seven or eight years. Drug use, a mental downward spiral, a child custody dispute in a very public forum, etc. One of the first people I saw and talked to at the gig was Britney's dad, Jamie Spears, a nice and very hospitable gentleman from Louisiana. You could visibly see the relief in his face and demeanor at the recovery in life that his daughter has seemingly been having as of late. I can respect what he must have had to deal with.

On to the show. It was a spectacle of Cirque du Soleil proportion. Britney seemed relaxed and happy, and just as or more important, my own girls were just absolutely losing their sh#t. The production was amazing. The show was G or PG-rated. The hits were unstoppable. My girls even randomly were chosen and invited onstage to dance at one point. My wife Susan took them to the spot side stage when it went down, and I stayed in our seats. The next thing I witness was ALL of the McKagan girls onstage dancing . . . even MRS. McKagan! The usher near me just looked at me and chuckled in a "you-poor-bastard" type of fashion.

But my girls had the time of their lives, and so did all 20,000 of the other people in attendance.

As we left, I saw the same dude in drag leaving the show in the parking lot. He seemed a bit disheveled and used, like a hooker after a long night's work. Britney has been through a bunch of crap that may have left her--all these years later--looking a bit haggard and disinterested too. But she was on top of her game. I was happy for her. If nothing else, as a dad of girls myself.

P.S.: I would like to send out a hearty congratulations to 'AxlReznor' and 'Katy (just me)' who write in often to this column.I have known then as a couple for the last few years, but I just learned tonight that they actually met years ago through a Velvet Revolver fan-forum on our website.

They will be getting married this weekend in their hometown in England. Other attendees will have traveled from the U.S. to be able to be there. These people have met too on either Loaded or VR websites. It is nice to know that social media brings with it love and friendship.

AxlReznor and Katy had BETTER make me the Godfather of their child--if they so choose to go that route. I'm just sayin'....!

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/06/our_night_with_britney_spears.php


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Singers Get Off Scott-Free, Bassists Get the Slammer

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:37 am

This past week seems to be a "Hell Week" of sorts, in the world of rock bass players.

Coheed and Cambria's Michael Todd got arrested on charges of armed robbery and drug possession when he held up a Walgreen's pharmacy while on the road supporting Soundgarden on the East Coast.

Four things here: maybe don't (1) take a cab back to the gig after (2) yelling 'give me your Oxy, I have a bomb!' (3) You could've probably scored the drugs at the rock show. Duh! (4) Maybe time to get sober, pal.

You're going to have the time now that you be doing some time in the federal slammer.

Kyuss and Queen's Of The Stone Age bassist Nick Oliveri got a visit from LAPD's SWAT team on Monday night. Apparently, it is illegal to have a loaded assault rifle while telling your girlfriend she can't leave the house.

Singers and guitar players seem to get off Scott-free (pun intended) on these types of things. I fear that bass players and drummers, may fare a bit worse. They are 'out of the spotlight' types, and perfect targets to be made examples of.

These things usually come in three's, so Geddy Lee and Sting, and Mike Inez-lay a bit low this week, and stay very, very far from the crack!

Note: I'll be answering a couple reader questions in this space tomorrow and on Monday. Stay tuned!

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/07/singers_get_off_scott-free_bas.php


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Because the Bookstore Has Taken Up the Strip Club/Bar Space In My Life ...

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:50 pm

I had the pleasure last night of going up to Elliott Bay Books, one of Seattle's best independent book stores. Bookstores to me these days are like what my experience was in the past of going to a bar or maybe even a strip club . . . I'm like a kid in a candy store when facing shelves and shelves of books. The only poles at these places hold up bookshelves, and the only "crack" here is the small sound a book makes when it is opened up.

I do pretty much all of my reading on my Kindle, but I buy the physical books, too. That is, I buy the e-book for my device doo-hicky, and the hard cover for my bookshelf at home.

Kindle isn't always the best way to find new books. It's cool for sure, in the way that if you hear about some new book, you can instantly download it to your device. But a bookstore is the ultimate way to immerse yourself into what is new. You can browse, and you can ask around, something you just can't do in the cocoon of e-commerce.

Here is what I found:

Corey Taylor, Seven Deadly Sins: I've known Corey (of Slipknot fame) on a personal level for the last few years, and have come to know that he is one of the smartest dudes out there. When he told me about his journey into authordom, I had no doubt that whatever topic he chose to write about would be deep and heavy.

I just picked this book up last night and gave it a cursory browse. It looks fascinating. It's a funny yet poignant look at Corey's own dip into drugs and vice and asinine behavior in his youth, while also studying the age-old question of whether certain personal traits are learned or bred into a person.

Corey Taylor is one of those people that just seems impossibly good at whatever he chooses to pursue, and I have no doubt that this tome will reflect this fact.

I can't wait to see what Corey's version of "Sloth" is! I shall report back to you all.

Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian (hardcover): Either you love Cormac McCarthy's prose, or you can't get through two pages of it. There seems to be no middle ground. His writing is too real and brutal for any half-measures. I am a huge believer myself, and anytime I see a McCarthy title that I don't have in hardcover, I will pounce upon it. Elliott Bay Books is the type of store where you can find these types of hard-to-find titles.

Steven Kasher, Max's Kansas City: Art, Glamour, Rock and Roll: This is one of those coffee-table books that a guy with my influences just has to have. It wasn't my birthday, but purchasing a book like this does feel celebratory.

I never got to go to this club in New York before it closed down, but if you are a fan of The Ramones, The New York Dolls, Iggy Pop, Bruce Springsteen, or Patti Smith, well then you undoubtedly know of the lore of this hollowed ground.

Michael Hodgins, Reluctant Warrior: There are newer titles coming out about our U.S. soldiers' experiences in Vietnam. Just when I thought I had read everything there was to know about this conflict in Southeast Asia, boom, there comes another great account. Michael Hodgins writes with ease about his time as a Marine at the end of the war.

There is nothing at all wrong with a Barnes & Noble or Borders store. In many of the sprawling outskirts of our larger cities, these stores may be the only convenient means to browse what is available book-wise.

But the little indies like Third Place Books in Seattle, Powell's in Portland, Fingerprints and Book Soup in Los Angeles, or Warwick's in San Diego and Strand's in Manhattan instantly take me to a warm and inviting place where I feel welcome.

As with all of the other times that I have written "suggested reading" columns, please feel free to criticize my picks, and suggest some recent reads of your own.

We nerds must unite!

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/07/because_the_bookstore_has_take.php


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Nobody Chooses Addiction, Not Even Amy Winehouse

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:41 pm

Like everyone else this side of the pond, I woke up Saturday morning to hear the sad and terrible news that singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London apartment. Like everyone else, too, I suddenly felt a great loss and not a little bit of anger.

In my head I yelled at her, "C'mon, girl! It seemed as if you were pulling OUT of that drug shit! It seemed as if you were on your way back! It seemed as if maybe, just maybe, you'd be putting that troubling time behind you..." But no. It wasn't to be after all. Alas, the Winehouses do not have their daughter Amy anymore.

In the late '80s into the '90s, there was a mess of drug-addled youth in their 20s in and around rock and roll music--buying into the "Live Fast, Die Young" mantra and all of that stupid and ignorant rot--that I found myself and my circle of friends a part of. I lost two of my very best friends to overdoses. And for a while it seemed that I'd most certainly go that same route.

But I had good people around me, a network of friends and family that some of my peers didn't have. It was those people, who when I saw a chance to get better, and get sober, it was they who called and stopped by, and showed me how to stay away from the bad stuff--taught me how to stay alive.

Amy lived her life for the last eight years in a fishbowl. We all peered in when she had her great and worldwide success. We all gawked at that same fishbowl as we watched her stumble again and again. Our view into the fishbowl changed as her life's trials changed. But her view OUT of the fishbowl never changed. I'm sure it was claustrophobic and terrifying in there. For those of you who may say "Yeah, but she had EVERYTHING! Why would she waste her time on drugs; she should have JUST GOTTEN SOBER!", let me just say a few things:

-- No one loves to be addicted.
-- No singer or musician I have ever known has dreamed of one day being successful AND strung out.
-- Do you think Amy's success changed HER more, or do you think it is possible that her success changed how other people treated her more?

People who become that high-profile in an overnight fashion rarely have the time or guidance to really know what the hell is going on once that massive "fame monster" smacks them upside the head. She was suddenly on TV and the radio all of the time, she suddenly had a #1 record all over this planet, and won five Grammys. All at once, we expect these people to adjust how we perceive we ourselves would adjust in the same limelight. When that doesn't happen in Amy's case, the tabloids are right there to show us all that "this girl is just plain fucked-up." Maybe she never got a chance to catch her breath.

The "specialists" and talking heads on cable news are criticizing Amy Winehouse's inner circle of "advisors." I know Amy's manager and accountant, and I also know that both of them are VERY stand-up people. It is a shame that people like this, people who have tried their best to help Ms. Winehouse in the past few years, get their names dragged through the mud. But in the end, it is just so sad to have lost this young woman to what will most likely be discovered to be, drugs. She was a talent. She was different. She railed against the norm. She was a musical trailblazer.

In the end, I cannot compare what I went through or experienced with what Amy Winehouse went through. I only know that addiction is a lonely and terrifying place to be. It's not glamorous, and addiction does not care if you are well-known and rich, or a loner-hermit with no dough.

In Amy's case, like mine, I think she had some friends and family who tried and cared about her, but in the end fell short.

I'm sure she must have been a good friend to some people.

I'm sure her parents must have watched with joy as her musical talents blossomed in her young teens at school.

I'm sure that they must really miss her right at this very moment.

They will not have their daughter . . . anymore.

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/07/nobody_chooses_addiction_not_e.php


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No Need for Heat: Dead Babies Take Care of Themselves

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:51 pm

Life gives us little pleasures sometimes when we least expect them. Unexpected good happenings don't necessarily slap one upside the head when they are taking place, but simply reveal themselves as little pleasures after the event takes place. Last week, I had two such "events."

I did some hanging out with former Post Stardom Depression and current Missionary Position frontman Jeff Angell all week long. It is always fun to catch up with a fella as talented and chill as this guy. Jeff and I have a lot in common:

-- We are both musicians
-- We both are fathers to two girls
-- We are both from the Northwest
-- We both are fans of the Prince

When Jeff told me that his band, Missionary Position, was playing last Friday in Georgetown, I took this to be a perfect opportunity to get a little "dude time" out of my feminine household. Besides, the gig was in Georgetown and I hadn't been down there for some time.

For those of you who don't really know much about Georgetown, in truth, the residents down there would probably prefer to keep it that way. It is a hidden and commercial-free little mecca for art, coffee, pizza, good beer (they say), and bikes.

Not just any bikes, either.

The Dead Baby Bike Club, a bike "organization" originally formed from the social outer-edges who make up a healthy part of Seattle's bike-messenger community, holds an annual event down in Georgetown in August called the Dead Baby Downhill, a hilarious bike romp through the city that now ends down there near Boeing Field, followed by Dead Baby Bike Club's "Greatest Party Known to Humankind."

Check out a slideshow from the Dead Baby Downhill race and party.

As it turned out, the Missionary Position show was just one of many bands playing that night. Dyslexic 33, Plaster, and Horse Headall were also among the bands playing after the finish of the Dead Baby Downhill, a sort of Georgetown punk-rock street fair. All without the notable presence of the Seattle Police Department.

Apparently, the Dead Baby Downhill race and ensuing party in the streets of Georgetown are both a rather unsanctioned affair by the city. From what I understood from that night, the citizens or punkers of G-town--and the neighborhood police--could not really agree on a set way to hold the DBDH. The police wanted more safety (and thusly, less fun). The Dead Baby people wanted less safety (and thusly, more fun?).

Somehow--and I am not even sure how it was sorted out--the area of Georgetown and the city agreed for this whole affair's responsibility to come squarely on the Dead Baby Bike Club's jean-vest-wearing shoulders. They rose to the occasion.

The absence of the police in all other situations would more than likely be an unremarkable aside. But at a nighttime function with free kegs of beer and jousting on bikes without any pads or helmets, it was hard not to notice that police were not around. Because here is what happened . . . there was not even the slightest hint of violence in the air. Not even the slightest threat of a fight, or some dumb-ass being a dumb-ass in public. People seemed less hindered and fettered and more responsible and chill all seemingly BECAUSE there weren't cops visible and showing force. It was an "ah-hah!" moment.

I couldn't say, nor would I think to recommend, that all of Seattle's street fairs and parties shouldn't have the police around. But in Georgetown, I am telling you, it just seemed to work better that night.

The four different artist stages showcased all kinds of different rock, punk rock, DJs, and sundry other types of music. When I finally found the stage that Jeff Angell's band was to be playing, I was pleasantly surprised to find Tad Boyle's new-ish band Brothers of the Sonic Cloth just plain ol' rocking out. What a sweet thing to just sort of run into. Only in Seattle, right?

As I stood there waiting for Missionary Position, it became apparent that the people in front of me were still moving. What I thought was a mosh-pit for BOTSC was actually a rather damn large lineup of people for the free beer kegs. The free-beer part of this street fair was just another way to keep this more of a "party" in the city's eyes, and less a commercial venture. If it was a private party, well then the Po-Po wouldn't be a necessary invitee. Ahhhh. I get it now!

And alas, as I waited for my buddy Jeff's band to start . . . some other band who hadn't gotten to play earlier took the stage. My eyes grew tired, and all of the hoopla was starting to take its toll on me. I get up early, ya know. I'll catch MS on their next gig if it ain't too damn late.

This column kind of wanders a bit, don't it? Well, here is one more point of randomness. I did see John Roderick at Slayer the next night, and we found out that we are related in an abstract way. He is my nephew's uncle-in-law. Figure THAT one out.

As I said, it was a week filled with a few little pleasures.

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/08/no_need_for_heat_dead_babies_t.php


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Punk Rock, and Stiff Little Fingers, Introduced "The Troubles" to Kids in the States

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:16 pm

When punk rock first reared its head, people were introduced to the genre through bands like the Ramones, the Dictators or even as a late-comer to the Stooges. The music was rough and impactful, but otherwise, the songs were about cars, girls, fun, and dope.

In the UK and Ireland, though, there were political and class struggles that were pretty pointed and scary. In America, we did not have the same level of problems, economy-wise, that they had. And in America, we had nothing close to Imperialism intruding in on us.

When The Sex Pistols and The Clash records stormed into our U.S. record stores, we became educated on seemingly very exotic problems and situations that were happening 'over there'. Remember, there was no cable TV 24 hour news networks, and especially no Internets. They definitely didn't teach us about the disgruntled working class in the UK or the Troubles in Ireland in school. Punk rock music became much more than just a heavy riff with a snotty vocal.

nobodysheroes.jpg
​But still, the impact was pretty damn far-removed. I guess you could say that there was sympathy, but other than that, there was no REAL understanding from us on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

There was a scrappy band from Ireland called Stiff Little Fingers whose songs told a rather bloody story about a people under siege. I had no idea at the time that the first two records--Inflammable Material and Nobody's Heroes -- were personal stories of an area run red with blood and goreÚ Belfast and Northern Ireland.

In 1980, I was 15 years-old, and, of course, lived at home still. My mom was very supportive of me playing music, and she even pretended to take an interest in the Damned, Jam, Germs, Ruts, and whatever other records that I would play in our living room. She worked hard every day, and so when she got home, I would turn the volume down to give my poor ol' mother a break.

But often, I would see her looking through the jackets of the records I brought home. Some of you may think that she would (naturally) be looking for crude or inappropriate content. But if you knew my mom, Marie, you would probably agree, that she was just looking for something that she could find common ground for us to talk about. She was a nice and smart Irish lass after all; with a huge curiosity for what was 'out there' in the world.

inflammablematerials1.jpg
​One day, I came home from some band practice or another, and was surprised to hear Stiff Little Fingers music coming from my house. I knew it was not next older brother Matt playing my records, 'cause he was ONLY into Jazz back then. As I entered our living room, I saw my mom holding the Nobody's Heroes jacket cover with tears streaming down her cheeks.

What I wasn't aware of until then, was that my mom had been following what were called "The Troubles" there in N. Ireland. Her father was from there, and we had a lot of family living in and around those parts (most have moved south to Dublin though by the '80s... the Troubles did that).

Political and, especially, religious strife had gotten that country into such a civil war of sorts, that there was a fear-based gridlock, choking the people as a whole. Terrorism and sabotage and car-bombs were a daily occurrence for many, many years.

"Bloody Sunday," "Suspect Device" (the British term for a supposed bomb), "Gotta Getaway" were just a few of the songs that suddenly came to life for me, as my mother gently explained the intricacies of what these "poor boys" in SLF must have been facing daily.

But that was then, and this is 2011. The Troubles are thankfully a thing of the past. But also thankfully, the Stiff Little Fingers are still alive and kicking some butt.

This Sunday, at El Corazon, may I suggest you go see Stiff Little Fingers, a band who hasn't been here for more than 15 years, but will hopefull be back before another 15 years goes by. I for one, am completely excited. Marie McKagan would've went if she were here...that lovely lass cared for these "boys."

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/08/punk_rock_and_stiff_little_fin.php


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Headliners Create Lines. It's Everything Else That Makes a Festival

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:05 am

Much has been made of the seemingly huge drop-off of big-name headliners for this year's Bumbershoot Festival. Last year there was Bob Dylan, and in 2009 we saw Katy Perry, Sheryl Crow, Fergie, Death Cab for Cutie, and Modest Mouse. The 2011 lineup is topped by Daryl Hall and John Oates.

This is not a commentary on the artists (I personally really dig Hall and Oates); this is all about what Bumbershoot was willing to spend to attract the bigger-name artists, and its decision to pass on marquee acts to keep the festival affordable (and in business). This change hasn't sat well with many folks who remember Bumbershoot as a festival that regularly capped the summer with some of the biggest names in music.

Seattle is a funny town. We hate the headliners when they come, and feel left out and small when they don't. But does it really matter to you who is headlining? Do you go to festivals for the headliner, or do you go for the whole experience, and perhaps even the chance of discovering something new?

In Europe, where my band has spent a fair amount of time touring and where the major cities and countries are much closer to one another than in the States, there has been an explosion in the summer-festival circuit. I've seen bills packed with the likes of Sweden's mellow The Soundtrack of Our Lives and the Gutter Twins, topped off with a little Slipknot. And Korn, Journey, Mastodon, Ghost, and Foreigner all together, with a dubstep tent somewhere in between.

It is not just the odd combinations of artists that I find rather appealing and fresh. It is the knowledge that I will more than likely discover something new, an artist that re-inspires a guy like me.

It's not about the headliners. Heck, you can go see those guys when they are passing through town on their big-ass tours. I've always felt that experiencing artists whom you'd otherwise maybe never get a chance to see--or know to see--coupled with odd groupings of artists from all sorts of different genres, is what truly makes a good music festival even better. And Bumbershoot has plenty of that.

Red Fang, a kick-ass band I saw this past June in Clisson, France, is playing Saturday. As is Campfire Ok, a band I've heard nothing but good things about. Having a chance to maybe see them on the same day as Red Fang and Pentagram? Now this is getting interesting . . .

Vendetta Red are on a redux as a band, and that could be a very good thing. And I know that The Jim Jones Revue could have a chance at stealing this whole festival when they play on Sunday. Or will the Butthole Surfers have something to say, and prove my headliner theory wrong?

But, honestly, when I look at the Bumbershoot lineup for this year, it is a dazzling array of mysterium. Who ARE half of these artists? Am I admitting that I am not so cool anymore when I admit that I don't know who a whole swath of these acts are? Who cares? That is the fun bit about a music festival, the discovery.

So quit your griping about how Bumbershoot has been diminished. Just go out and see something new, and rediscover what has always made Seattle a different sort of music town, one that celebrates all kinds of genres while maintaining a sense of humor and grace.
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Seattle May Be Aiming for Clean And Green Transit, But It's Not Convenient (and Hurts My Undercarriage)

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:36 am

It is really hard for me to ever really say anything adverse about my dear old hometown of Seattle. I mean, what is there not to love about this place? Great coffee. Great music scene. People are generally less dick-ish. Culture and literature are highly-held attributes. Mountains and water and rivers and sports and, oh yea.....traffic.

Being a guy who has bounced back and forth to Los Angeles since the 80s, I never thought I'd see the day when traffic in the Northwest EVER got to a place where it would compete for worst on the west coast. Los Angeles is congested with single-driver automobiles, and traffic lights down there are so badly timed that you start to think that it is all some sort of plot to keep the general populice in a state of edge. As they kept building more and more further-out suburbs, this just added to the morning and evening traffic gridlock.

Seattle, as we all know, was built surrounded by water. You can't get anywhere in this town without going over a bridge. Whether it is the West Seattle bridge, or the Aurora, I-90 or the Fremont or Montlake-you are at the behest of a waterway overpass (I am only naming but a few bridges here....).

The Insterstate 5 and I-99 that run through Seattle both seem to narrow down right at the heart of the city, and city planners back in the day, until this day, seem like maybe they were just a few degrees off of plumb. No one seemed to be looking to the future and designing the roads so that they would keep up with the population. Too late now.

We all have voted one way or another, on the Light Rail, and now this new Tunnel. The Light Rail system here, I just don't get. I am one to always try and look and the glass as half full, but this train thingy we got ourselves just doesn't seem like it will ever be a mass transit system that will alleviate traffic in this city. Do YOU take it anywhere?

The Light Rail system is currently building a station right at Husky Stadium. I suppose this is meant to be a tactic to lessen the traffic gridlock that now hinders that area around the Montlake Bridge and 520 interchange. Okay, but let's just say that I'd take it to work downtown in the morning instead of drive; I'd still have to GET to that station, right? Where would I park?

New York and London have great mass transit systems because they have made these trains and subways totally convenient, affordable, and easy to use. I think up here in the Northwest, a lot of lip-service has been paid to the fact that the Light Rail is a 'greener' and cleaner way to get us all around. Great. But is it convenient? And if it ultimately isn't easy to use, will we suffer for the greater cause of 'green'. Maybe once or twice...but then we will get back into our cars, and tint our windows, so that our neighbors won't be able to see us as we carve out a big ol size 13 carbon footprint.

But back to the matter of just too much traffic. This Alaska Way Tunnel (or whatever they are calling it), is gonna be a massive mess. I get the fact that the tunnel will be safer in case of earthquake, and that our waterfront will be more accessible and real estate will increase and all-but from what I understand, it's not going to ease congestion at all. Oh yes, the plague of our Seattle city planner's again. And can you imagine how bad north-south traffic through town is going to be for those years that it takes to build? Oh dear God.

Atlanta, Miami, and San Francisco all have horrible traffic issues like us in Seattle, so don't feel alone here. Maybe it is really time to look into and perfect jet-pack technology....

And have you tried to drive east-west or west-east within our city? The traffic lights are just abysmally timed. Try this route, if you like torture. Drive east from say, the Ballard Locks, and take a right on Leary Way and follow like you are headed to the University Village (this would be the less trafficky short-cut). Take Leary up through Fremont to Pacific, and ultimately turn left on Montlake Blvd. The lights are so bad here, that last week-as my wife and I traveled this on my motorcycle at 10 at night (when there was NO traffic), it took us 35 minutes to travel about 2 ½ miles. That CAN'T do anything to help traffic during rush hour, can it?!

Right, and to my last point of contention-and probably my first move I'd make if I were Mayor of Seattle. To all of you sail-boaters. Sorry. The bridges should no longer go up and down for you, and your behest. Nope. High-masted boats should only be able to go through at say, before 6 AM, and after 7:30 PM. Summer traffic in Seattle is gnarled double because of our lower draw bridges constantly going up and down for the leisure boater. Dumb.

I could go on and on. The Stewart street exit in the morning anyone? Getting on the 520 during rush hour around Montlake anyone? 85th St. in and out of Ballard anyone? West I-90 trying to get to southbound I-5 at rush hour anyone? One lane, REALLY?!!

Ah, but I do love our fair city, and our views are some of the best city vistas in the world. I have studied the outline of the Cascade and Olympic mountains whilst sitting gridlocked in traffic. I have counted boats on Lake Union as I have sat motionless behind the wheel. I have checked the frequency of the Bainbridge ferry as I have power-walked my motorcycle along the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Car pools are not really working. Mass transit seems to be so far, a bust. Bicycles just hurt my undercarriage after too much riding, and it's too wet to ride a motorcycle all year round. People need to get to work. People need to drive their cars. Parents need to get their kids to school. Trucks need to carry their loads. What now? It has gotten real. It has gotten bad.

For those of you reading from outside our area, surely you will not recognize these areas of which I complain. But I am sure, that you most probably have some of the same-such ires in your city, town, or burg.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:19 am

Again, My Summer Movie Agenda Is Derailed ... By John D. Lukacs, Donald Ray Pollack and Co.

At the beginning of summer, just as all of the bigger Oscar-worthy films are starting to screen, I have good intentions of going to see 'em all. But this summer was really no different from the ones past. Things just get busy when it is warm out, and I always seem to scramble right about now to play catch-up.

When I told a few of my dude friends that I really was looking forward to seeing the film The Help, I got a sort of sideways look that foretold of male-ego-living-around-chicks-too-much-whatever-dude-chick-flick-watcher. Yes, whatever indeed. I read and enjoyed the book, and had heard that the movie was just as good. Oddly enough, the other movie I made it to, also featured a mainly female cast. But Bridesmaids ain't no chick flick either.

Getting to a book, of course, can be done on a nightly basis at home. Hence, I have some new reads that I'd like to share.

The Help, Kathryn Stockett: I hate to write like I am a film or book critic, because I am not. I DO, however, know when something is depicted so well, and the story is so good, that I am deeply and profoundly moved. This era of American history has always piqued my interest, too.

I wrote about the book last year, so I won't repeat myself. But I will say that if you haven't seen this movie yet, do yourself and your friends and/or family a favor and see it. Emma Stone plays a perfect "Skeeter"; Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer portray "Aibileen" and "Minny" so well (aka, the "help"), that it is hard to fathom how actors get this good.

Escape From Davao, John D. Lukacs: I've read a whole shit-ton of books about World War II, and have spent a lot of that time zeroing in on things in the Pacific. The Bataan Death March, and anything to do with being a prisoner of the Japanese back then, will most certainly be in my realm of expertise (That's right. I said it!).

This story of airman Ed Dyess' escape from a Japanese labor camp in the Philippines is as epic as Unbroken. Lukacs is a top-notch nonfiction writer who can put together the facts of warfare, distance, hunger, and fear and still make a compelling and engaging full-length book. Escape From Davao goes to the top shelf of my book case.

The Devil All of the Time, Donald Ray Pollack: In trying to find good fiction authors who I can somehow sympathize or see their angle, my search takes me far and wide. I am still a bit new-ish to fiction, and hence maybe a few of you already know of Donald Ray Pollack's work. For me, I was just turned onto him by a friend who owns a hip and independent bookstore in the Bay area.

TDAOTT is an abrupt and sickening story of murder, rape, white trash, religion, and hopelessness in 1970s America. Pollack is a master.

Knockemstiff , Donald Ray Pollack: Once you start, you cannot stop reading Pollack. Knockemstiff, Ohio is, according to Pollack's storytelling, a desperate and no-win corner of America. In the same sense that Cormac McCarthy can make a reader queasy with the necrophiliac in Children Of God, Pollack can do the same with his speed sniffing, glue-huffing ruffians and sex fiends.

Bridesmaids (movie): Holy fucking shit! All right, so most of you have probably seen this movie? But if you haven't, please read that first sentence over. Holy fucking SHIT! This movie is one of the funniest and certainly-not-a-chick-flick flicks that I've seen in a few years, for sure.

Saturday Night Live alums Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph are absolutely ridiculous. There are a bunch of scenes that got uncontrollable laughter in the theater. And for the first time ever, there was yet a few more scenes during which I actually heard people laugh so hard that you could hear the beginnings of a good throw-up. Now THAT is good humor, ladies and gentlemen!

Here Be Monsters . . . 50 Days Adrift at Sea, Michael Finkel (Kindle Single): I don't advertise for anyone here, of course, but I do now also use an e-reader, as well as simply just buying the physical book. Kindle has started to amass a bunch of different larger articles from the likes of GQ, Playboy, Rolling Stone, Outside , et al., for the purpose of selling something they call "singles" for a buck ninety-eight or some such trifle. I'm not sure if I am going to be looking into these that often, but was glad I ran across this story.

I like stories of survival and misery for some reason. Last year, three 15-year-old boys from the tiny speck of the island nation called Atafu in the South Pacific got drunk and decided that they had had enough of living so far away from the modern world. They made the inebriated and knee-jerk reaction of stealing an uncle's fishing skiff and setting off on an adventure. There is no other land anywhere nearby. They did not bring any water or food. They guessed that they'd probably be found within a day or two anyway. They were not.

The boys did survive their 58-day ordeal, but just, and Finkel does an outstanding job of reportage. My second question is: Do magazines still have the dough to send a reporter all the way to Samoa to write this stuff?

Note to Seattle Weekly: I want to write about a climb of Mt. Everest. Can we sort that out?
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Questions for Duff: My Band Sucks. What's Our Problem?!

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:30 pm

Have you ever had a week where you just have too much crap in your head, and are just plain overweighed by, well, life? That has been my week. So instead of ranting and/or overly praising some asshole/saint, I shall go back to the old question files here at Seattle Weekly. I want to see just what the hell YOUR problem is!

Hey, Duff: I kind of get upset when people call me buddy or big guy, especially if I don't know them. I just want to be like, "Hey, buddy was my dad's name. You can call me pal." How do you feel about that? Sincerely, Adam Kearney


Duff: Hey, Adam: At least "buddy" and "big guy" are terms of endearment. Or at least I imagine the tone that they are used in is hopefully non-threatening (as opposed to something like "Give me your fucking MONEY, buddy!").

Nah. I don't really mind it if somebody calls me "Big Guy" or whatever . . . I AM tall. It reminds me of one of the first bus drivers that GN'R had as a band.

We were just completely stoked to have a bus at all--and our first-ever driver had been driving around bands and their crews for like 30 years. The dude had just plain met a lot of people over those years, and could in no way even start to remember all of the names of these people.

So, "Johnson," our bus driver, just called everyone else . . . "Johnson," or Jimmy Johnson. Or Jimmy Joe, or John, or JJ, or John Jimmy Joe, etc. But it was the WAY that he called us these names. He smiled and looked us straight in the eye. He meant no harm--and soon enough, the rest of us were calling each other Jimmy Johnson or John Jimmy Joe, etc.

Ever since old Johnson the bus driver, I have had no problems whatsoever with somebody calling me a nickname. Hell, I know who I am!

Dear Duff: Why is it that no matter how much hard work and countless hours my band and I put into our music, I still feel that we suck? Andrea Jasek

Duff: Well, Andrea, I've been in some great bands that have really been good songwriters and live performers, etc., but there are those moments or nights where we did just plain suck.

The important thing for you to do right now is to figure out if your band is just bad, or if your outlook and expectations are skewed too high for now.

If music is something that you want to do on a full-time basis, and you don't feel that you are with the right people--then perhaps it is time to move on.

Hi, Duff: My name's Liz and I'm from Jersey. I'm 17, and after this last year of high school I'll be expected to do something with my life. But the thing is, I'm definitely the stupidest person in the world! I get crap grades in school, I took my written permit test for my license 5 times so far and still haven't passed! I can't find a job so I'm currently unemployed while all my other friends have their license and jobs and know what college they're going to already!

And my dad tells me that I'll be fine and everything will happen in time, but my mom is really being horrible about it and makes me feel really bad that I haven't accomplished any of these things yet. I've just been really down and out. I even thought about suicide once but decided against it. I just don't know what I'm doing wrong. Help?

Duff: Hello Lizzy, my friend! OK . . . here is the deal. At 17 years old, you are in that perfect storm of too old to be a kid and too young to an adult. It is a really, REALLY confusing age. I too had those dark thoughts when I was around your age. I think a lot of us do.

Lizzy. DO NOT EVEN WORRY ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BECOME right now. Some of us are early bloomers, and some of us blossom much later. Crap. I couldn't have gone to college yet when I was your age.

Try something else for me, too. Stop thinking of yourself as "the stupidest person in the world." Just because you may not pass a certain written test really doesn't mean much. Your brain just isn't working along those particular lines right now.

Do this, and I call it "Act As If" (yes, I do this).

When I am feeling down or confused or overwrought or ugly, I "act as if"--

I act as if everything is OK. At least outwardly I do. I smile and hold my head up and put my shoulders back. Don't curl up in a ball and wither. Soon enough, and I swear it is true, other good things come from this acting job.

Act as if you and your mom are friends. Act as if she is on your side. She will notice, and things may change from this piece of theater.

Act as if you are not overwhelmed by this life. Charge back at it, with your ears pinned back, your shoulders wide, and the wind helping you along, young lady.

And listen to some Prince!

We are pulling for you, Lizzy.
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Seattle: It's High Time We Chilled Out

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:18 pm

Back in the day, Seattle was a place that bands loved to play. Bands that made it all the way up to our isolated corner of the country in the '70s and '80s were met with unbridled crowds that didn't give a hoot what anyone else thought about what they were doing. Seattle had yet to receive the memo that you were supposed to try and be cool at concerts. We were physically so far removed from the rest of the country that we just developed our own thing. This is the sensibility and sentiment that our now-beloved rock bands Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Tad, the Melvins, Pearl Jam/Mother Love Bone, the Fastbacks, P.U.S.A., and Nirvana all were born and bred from.

Along the way, though, and after many of these bands went on to stardom, Seattle audiences and artists--and I belong to both groups--lost their way. WE believed the hype, and WE started to look around to see what the other guy was wearing, thinking, saying. We stopped thinking for ourselves. We became precious.

When the Experience Music Project's Andrew McKeag called me in early August to see if my band, Loaded, would play a song off of Nirvana's Nevermind for their 20th-anniversary shindig featuring a whole swath of local talent, my reaction wasn't positive. I didn't want to fail and soil the weight of what the record has become. But I relented, and we agreed to play the hit "Lithium."

As the show approached, I heard rumblings from some of the other artists wondering insecurely, "What would Kurt say?" I admit I bought into the anxiety a bit, and let some of this pressure sit squarely on my back.

In the early '90s, Nirvana--perhaps kicking and screaming--became the poster kids for change, and not just musical. In fact, a recent Rolling Stone article stated that Nevermind changed the world in an economic and political way. When we talk about Nevermind, we're rarely talking about rock and roll anymore.

Don't get me wrong. Nevermind, from beginning to end, is one of those great records that should be remembered always and forever. But when we start talking about a music's legacy as a lever for things like political and social change, too often writers like myself begin to interject our will into the experience. We forget that we're talking about rock and roll, something that's always been meant to get us out of our everyday head space, and a lever to have a good time.

There was a tension at EMP on Tuesday. A tension caused by what I believe to be a collective fear of "Is this the right thing to do?" I could see it in the artists' faces backstage. I could see it in the audience's faces when I came out sidestage. I saw it in my own face when I looked in the mirror. The only guy who seemed totally at ease, and full of grace and calm, was Krist Novoselic, Nirvana's stalwart bassist and a special guest on the night's bill.

I literally forgot the words to "Lithium" right as my band went onstage. Yes. I was freaked out. But I saw Krist sending a big smile from the side of the stage. It gave me the confidence to ask the crowd to help me sing. They did. I think that is all that was needed, too. The audience sang the whole damn song, and thankfully, very loudly. Suddenly, it seemed like old-school Seattle again.

Later in the evening, Krist joined the Presidents for "On a Plain" and "Sliver," and it was completely evident that our collective anxieties were misplaced. The night was meant to be, and it WAS OK to celebrate Nevermind without fuss, naysayers be damned.

Maybe now Seattle can get back to being weird and different and fun again. That'd be really cool.

P.S. I'd be remiss not to note that our man John Roderick added some serious elegance to the night with The Long Winters' version of "Something in the Way." Nice work, John.

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/09/seattle_its_high_time_we_chill.php
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Thanks, Guys. See You on the Road (and on Dr. Phil!)

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:53 am

Well, guys, your trusted scribe is heading out for his first-ever book tour (see all my the dates here)--not only here in the U.S., but also in the UK and Ireland. You are left in the trusty hands of, well, my book.

Seattle Weekly will be running selected excerpts from It's So Easy (And Other Lies), for the next 4 weeks as I travel.

Before I check out of here for that time, let me just thank you all for hanging out here while I have tried (and sometimes failed) at this art of writing. I'm proud of the community that we have built here, and look forward always to your comments. They have made me a better writer. They have made and sometimes forced conversation. They have enlightened. Those are all very good things indeed.

If some of you want to come hang out, I will be in New York next week. Come down to the Strand book store in Manhattan, or Bookends in Long Island, or the Book Revue in Huntington. You may just find me combing through the first-edition section . . . or trying to find Suttree in hard cover.

Or next weekend, if you are in Southern California, try the Costa Mesa and/or Santa Monica Barnes & Noble, or Book Soup up on Sunset Blvd. If you can't find me at the signing table, tell them to look for me in the crossword book section. More directly, at the section where New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz has his selections.

I will be doing plenty of interviews too. So if Dr. Phil or the O.C. Weekly or the Miami Herald is more your speed, check me out there. I'd tell you what I spoke with Dr. Phil about, but I signed a waiver promising that I would not do just that. He is on to us here.

If you are in Minneapolis, and are a frequenter of the Mall of America's Barnes & Noble, we can get together and shop for some Husker Du at the record shop.

If you like Seattle as much as I do, come to Third Place Books in the north end.

Or come to the University Bookstore, where I grew up.

Or the Seattle University-sponsored Elliot Bay Bookstore event--and see where I did my book-learnin'.

Or come out to the Neptune on October 20 and listen to me flubber through a reading of selected passages--as Jeff Rouse, Jeff Fielder, Paul Hutzler, and myself guide you through a musical "then and now" of the bands I have been in.

Yo, Portland! Loaded had an amazing time playing down there a few weeks ago, and I am psyched to be doing a book-stop at the lofty Powell's. Acres of well-chosen books. Maybe I can find a seafaring or polar-exploration book that I haven't read yet.

In La Jolla, California, I am honored to be signing at the great and prestigious independent Warwick's. I do believe that I will be on the local news that morning . . . interviewed by none other than my very own wife, one Susan Holmes McKagan.

Oh, and if you see a pair of fairly beautiful young girls out there, that'd most likely be my two daughters, Grace and Mae.

If you come from the other side of the pond, try me at WH Smith in Glasgow, or Waterstones in London, or the HMV's in Belfast and Leicester. Those won't be until the first week of November, but still . . . At least over there, perhaps the wait will be paid off doubly, as Loaded has been invited to play some gigs along that book-tour route.

It is possible that over the coming weeks I'll be asked a bunch about GN'R being nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What an honor it is, and I will probably be short for words. None of that has really hit me yet. I mean . . . uh, what would YOU say, besides . . . THANK YOU.

So indeed. Thank you all.

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2011/09/thanks_guys_see_you_on_the_roa.php
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Touring South America Has Evolved Considerably, But the Fans Are Still Incredible

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:11 am

When I left you all last week, I was just boarding a plane that would become a series of flights that would eventually land me in Santiago, Chile from London, England.

I actually found the 13-hour flight from Madrid to Santiago to be the first real rest I'd had in two weeks. I slept for a little over nine of those hours. I woke up refreshed as the plane was descending into Chile. It didn't hurt that I woke up knowing that I was just a few hours from riding rented Harley-Davidson motorcycles with my good friend Sean Kinney (of Alice in Chains). Our bands would be playing together for the following few days, and had made plans before I left the UK to do something on that day off in Santiago.

Being as it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere, Sean and I decided to pick up our Seattle summertime where we left it off: riding motorcycles.

Traffic in Santiago is no joke. Drivers -- especially bus drivers -- have their own view of how fast or slow to go or when to change lanes. It is controlled chaos at best, and being on a motorcycle in that circus will get one's attention. But as we escaped the city and got up into the mountains, it became quite clear just how beautiful this city and the area is. It was a good, good day to be alive.

Alice in Chains hadn't been to South America once since their initial visit in 1993, when they toured with Nirvana. Sean's memory of the hecticness of the environs seemed to be clouded by that time. Yes. Memory can fuck with a person, and blare false warnings of a place or situation. Sean was nervous about coming back down. I get it. Been there too.

Back in the 1980s, when I first started touring in rock bands, playing gigs in South America was just way too exotic, and really an unproven and sketchy place to try and book gigs. Did they have gear there? Were venues safe from collapse at 120 decibels? And what about political stability and police corruption filtering over to us rock bands?

Queen was really the first major rock band to bust out and tour down in Brazil and Argentina, and they became a beloved entity BECAUSE they went all the way down there. I could only imagine the stories that the surviving guys in that band have to tell about those first times in South America.

I've written about the first time I went to Rio de Janeiro with GN'R (the very first Rock in Rio). It was such a far-removed locale to go to, and none of us even had the slightest idea of how far or near Rio was to Los Angeles. It seemed like kind of a straight shot down the coast . . . "Maybe a six-hour plane flight," I remember somehow thinking back then.

Only 20 years later, long-distance plane travel has become something most of us have done at least once. And also, with the Internet Age, the world is a lot smaller than it was back then.

Brazilian, Argentine, and Chilean fans . . . and South and Central American fans in general, had been starved of live rock music. When a band did finally show up, they would experience what we now call Beatlemania: the locals down there would just lose their shit, and often run headlong at the band's van, bus, car, or whatever. (If you've seen the Ramones documentary, where they are in a van from the Sao Paulo airport . . . scared to death . . . then you would get the idea).

But it is all different. A lot of rock bands come here now, and as I found myself on a plane with the members of Faith No More, Alice in Chains, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Megadeth, and Down, traveling all together from Santiago to Sao Paulo, it dawned on me that now EVERYBODY is coming down here to play shows.

And the audience has matured as well. Where it was once a sort of Beatlemania (as I stated above), the fan base in general is now simply smart, loyal, and passionate. Loyalty and passion are big attributes down here.

Festivals are a big deal in South America, too. The SWU Festival in Sao Paulo even had a theme of self-sustainability (Starts With U), and the crowd and vendors did all they could possibly do to adhere to a sort of clean-energy program. Self-sustainability seems even more weighty in Brazil, as we are all aware of what is going on with the rain forest in Brazil. It really seemed that there was a real energy given to the fact that these 80,000 people in attendance were doing all they could do not to leave a carbon footprint in the wake of this three-day festival.

I sit now backstage at a venue in Porto Alegre, Brazil. I am now able to go to places here that I've never been to before. This country seems to be thriving, and there is a massive air of positivity in these parts. I am glad to be along, to ride the crest of this wave, if only for a day or so, every few years. I only wish . . . my family was with me.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:50 pm

So I played a gig last night in Hollywood that commemorated Dimebag Darrel and Ronnie James Dio. The gig, called "DimeBash," is a very public fundraiser that sells out annually and draws press from around the world. Last week, Guns N' Roses was given the "nod" for the Rock Hall of Fame. I now realize that I use the word "overwhelmed" much too often in my life.

Music to me has never been a competitive sport. We do what we do, and if you connect with an audience and write the songs that feel good to you in the process, that is reward enough. Getting a Grammy or an American Music Award seems a little bit weird in this whole context. I mean, are you BETTER than all those other bands? No. You are just doing YOUR thing, and they theirs. It's not a competition.

But it became very apparent to me that fans of GN'R felt very motivated for our band to "get into the Hall." All of those fans ARE very important to me, and thus getting this RRHOF nod was a victory for them. And so I am deeply honored and feel very good about this whole deal. Thank you all.

I spent a lot of time revisiting my past in the book I just wrote. Living in the past, or just revisiting it, is something I hadn't done until I was in the process of writing that book. The process became personally poignant in how much I appreciated and loved most of the characters in my past, especially the guys in that little band from Hollywood that we formed just after I moved there in 1984.

I've done my best to avoid doing any interviews that pertain to our induction, and maybe this column will serve as all I really need to say for now. I am a grown-up now, and hope that we can achieve some grace and class when that ceremony comes. But in the end, I am only responsible for myself.

At that Dimebag gig, I rode down with Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains. We were talking about old demos of theirs and how AIC got signed to Columbia back in 1988. I became good buddies with those guys shortly thereafter, and we've seen each other go through many ups and downs . . . remaining friends through all of it. I love hearing those old stories, and always try to put myself into what those surroundings must have felt like for a band when they were first starting.

With Jerry's story still ruminating in my head, he and I took the stage at the Key Club in Hollywood. I avoided the press people who were there, and simply wanted to play my songs and "get in and get out."

VH1's Eddie Trunk was the MC for the night, and he introduced all the different players who were playing throughout the night. When he got to me, he said, "And recent inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Duff McKagan." I was suddenly a tad overwhelmed. It was a first. Jerry looked at me and gave me a nod of "FUCK, yeah!" The crowd there went nuts. I sheepishly waved, and then kind of awkwardly looked at the ground and pretended that I had to tune my bass or something.

My band Loaded has been asked to play a couple of shows with Axl this weekend in Seattle and Vancouver. I was somehow reluctant at first to do this. I love that dude, but wanted to sort of stay out of the fray, especially after that whirlwind tour of the world we had just done. AND that damn book tour.

But this fray is only a fray if I let it be. And now I am actually pretty excited to see my old pal. His band is the nicest bunch of fellas, and I will be home after all. The KeyArena will be rocking tomorrow night . . . and I hope you all show up.

After all, it is just some dudes doing what they know how to do best: connect with the audience, that fan-ship that has honored us with their presence for so damn long. And THAT, my friends . . . is overwhelming.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all.

--Duff
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:45 am

Okay, I like good deals just like everyone else. There is a store with the initials B.B., right by my house that specializes in, well, deals and mark-downs. They sell TVs, computers, CD's, DVDs, washing machines, etc.

I went into the store the other day, so that I could get a new DVD player that would also be Wi-Fi-ready so I can get the Netflix and whatnot. The first thing I noticed was an almost Occupy-esque line to my right. Ah, the "customer-return" line! Boy, was I was glad I wouldn't have to get into THAT!

Unless you are a hermit, you've had to wait in one of those awful return lines in a big-box store at least once. You know the ones I am talking about: the people are sweating and shifting their weight weight trying to keep aloft whatever box of doo-dad they have. The line never moves.

It's a funny thing: I have any problem when I go into a store and need someone to help me buy something. It certainly is much easier to find someone to help you PART with your dough, than it is to find someone to help problem-solve or rectify your retail problem du jour. But I was in luck, for I was in the B.B. to part with my money. No problem there. Yet.

The second thing I noticed was the three salesman dudes in blue shirts, all vying for my attention. I chose one and headed for the DVD players.

My guy proceeded to dazzle me with brands and capabilities and factoids. I was overcome. Really, I just took the box he gave me and proceeded to the check-out line.

When I got home and tried to hook up my new toy, it became apparent that this apparatus was not compatible with my existing TV/stereo system. Oh, crap. I'd have to go stand in that line. This was not a good realization for me.

When I got to the B.B. the next day, I was not disappointed by the size of the line....it was ginormous. I stood there like the good patron that I am. I shifted the weight of the box many hundreds of times. I shifted my feet. I put the box down. I picked the box up. I got thirsty, but would in no way leave this line. No one would have let me back in, I was sure of that. Everyone in the sweaty, long-ass line had that steely "don't-even-fuck-with-me-this-is-gonna-suck" glare in their eyes.

Workers behind the desk, conversely, we're comparing new apps for their phones. Every time one of them got close to finishing one of their lengthy transactions with a miffed customer, another B.B. worker would sort of interrupt, and tell their co-worker about what they did on New Year's Eve. Nice.

We are in the boom time of the year for customer returns. With Christmas barely in our rear view mirrors, we are now all going in droves to those stores to return and exchange items. The parking lots are full, but all of that extra Christmas help is gone.

We are a culture of consumers. We have a whole assortment of ways to buy stuff. From the high-end boutique, to the huge mega-store where we buy in bulk, we have it all. But in this day and age, it seems that the customer comes last. Whether it is cranky airline employees, shitty home-mortgage hustlers, or simple crap retail give-take, we have consumed ourselves into a place where the stuff we want often comes with a caveat of pre-assumed blase from the buyer and seller.

I, for one, am going strictly online-shopping from here on out!

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/01/duff_mckagan_customer.php
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:47 am

I found out this week, that one of my favorite all-time bands were getting back together to do some gigs later this year. Yes, the great Swedish punk band Refused, fter 14 years apart, are seemingly playing a handful of American and European festival gigs this Spring. I never got to see them in the 90s, so I am particularly pleased with this development.

I haven't been 'tweeting' that much as of late; just little things here and there. But in my enthusiasm regarding this REFUSED news, I tweeted "Refused reunion? Now we are talking!"

Think before you tweet.

I am playing a show at LA's House of Blues tonight with the original formation of Velvet Revolver, which includes lead singer Scott Weiland. It is a long story, really, but the crux of it is that we are playing a benefit, with proceeds going directly to a friend's wife and her two children. When it comes to the welfare of kids, old grudges or whatever, are put aside. But the fact is that the re-formation of the five of us has got a lot of people talking. Good. Just as long as they buy tickets to this show, right?

Back to the tweet: "Refused reunion? Now we are talking!" It looks a little different now, eh?

Think before you tweet.

I've written here before about GN'R being inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in April. This event, too, has given rise to speculation and gossip.

"Refused reunion? Now we are talking!"

Think before you tweet.

After I made my little Refused remark on the Twitter, my phone gadget just kept blinking. Incessantly. It turns out that a whole bunch of people thought I was tweeting about VR or GNR. Nope. Just tweetin' about a little Swedish punk rock band, that I thought a whole lot more people knew something about. Oops....

I think I will use terms like 're-formation' or 'getting back together to play some shows' from here on out if and when I tweet. That other word just causes too much of a ruckus.
I could be the cool guy, and just leave my tweet where it sat, and left a whole bunch of people wondering if I was back on the sauce again, but I have this column, and thought I could discuss this whole thing in public...with all of you.

Until the next time, I will think before I tweet.

If you all get a chance, get a record called The Shape of Punk To Come, by a band called Refused. We can tweet about it.

Haha, I was really wondering about that tweet myself Smile
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Johan on Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:25 am

Yup, me too haha. That's cleared up.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:06 am

Sitting in my usual chair, watching my usual a.m. updates on CNN's Headline News, Wednesday morning, I, like every other American tuned in to at least one form of media, was inundated with verbiage about anti-piracy legislation known as PIPA and SOPA.

The legislation's meant to combat theft of creative works like movies and music from overseas web sites. But when I turned to the Twitter and Facebook, I saw an overwhelming dog pile of support against the bills. Excuse me, but where were you all when piracy started to decimate the music industry? Why didn't you take a stand against that? Those free records felt good, huh?

The fury from the Internet class is that the broad language in the pieces of legislation will be bad for start-ups, might prevent the next YouTube, or give the government the ability to take down a whole site because of one link to copyrighted works. In short, they're opposed to the legislation because they think it will be bad for the Internet business.

Bad for business. Anti-piracy legislation could be bad for the Internet business. It almost takes my breath away. Internet piracy has claimed half of the recorded music business, and made the prospect of making a living as a musician harder for artists of all rank and file. Why didn't Google, or Facebook, or Wikipedia ever stand in solidarity with musicians, actors, and writers - most of whom have never known fame and fortune - as their works were stolen with no recourse on their sites?

Where are the "fans," the lovers of music? Why have they never stood up and taken a stand for the men and women in front of and behind the microphone? Yes, yes, this is all boring, right? It's typical that the "rich rock guy" would be spouting from his golden pulpit. But let me tell you something, the working stiffs at recording studios and record stores that have had to close thanks to rampant internet piracy never were rich, but they are out of a job.

Are people really actually pissed off because Wikipedia is going "black" for a day? Because people feel that their First Amendment rights are really being threatened? Or is it because they're afraid of losing free access to Deadwood and the Black Keys? Or are they worried that the next YouTube won't be able to build a business model off the unwitting investment of copyrighted material that users uploaded for free while investors and start-ups glibly proclaimed that they couldn't be responsible for actions users took? Wikipedia has thousands of volunteers and brags that they keep the site's content accurate. Why can't they regulate more rigorously for copyright violation, too? Too much of a bother?

Should the government be able to shut down Facebook because one user posts a link to copyrighted content? Of course not. But should Facebook and Google do a better job monitoring - and stop profiteering off- their users' access to illegal content? Absolutely. And, you know what, they're smart enough to figure it out.

When it comes to creative industries, we're not talking in the hypothetical. Recording studios all around the world have had to close. So have record stores. Movie studios have suffered. Many, many jobs have been lost. Many peoples' livelihoods have been affected. The people who make or who have made money from record sales are not the "bad guy," the pirater and the stealer are. Period. So, where's the public outcry?

As a practicing musician who has seen his industry turned upside down, and see how piracy has hurt every artist from chart-toppers to indie start-ups, this PIPA upheaval is a slap in the face.

If, as the claim goes, the social media masses were able to overturn the regime in Egypt, they can certainly turn the tide on Internet piracy.

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/01/quit_whining_about_sopa_and_pi.php
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:10 am

Not sure I agree with Duff on that one... Speechless
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by puddledumpling on Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:57 pm

I can see Duff's point.
I voluntarily refrain from downloading music that is available to me for sale as a rule but there have been a few occasions where something was right in front of me online and it was irresistible - I'm no angel. An example would be Beautiful Disease by Duff McKagan. I read references to it from fans in a forum and googled it because I didn't know it existed and immediately found a link for a download. I couldn't resist and was surprised the link worked. I'm very, very pleased to have that in my collection - I would have bought it if it was for sale. The ripple effect of mass downloading anything that is for sale is obvious.
I do object to infringement of privacy and collecting personal data without consent regarding the internet. Copyright infringement is another thing.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:05 am

It's a difficult thing. And I am yet not decided. I see Duff's point, and I am of course against stealing which includes music and movies. But it is not like artists can't make money today, they just have to find other channels, other opportunities. The whole industry is changing and those who can't adapt will disappear. I don't think we should stop "progress" just because some people can't adapt to the new situation (people in the music industry). In fact, the fact that artists now can communicate directly with their audience -- like Bumbles is doing with his singles of the month -- and sell their music directly without all the expensive middle men, must be better for the artist and the audience, just not all these middle men.

What we need is not to revert to how it was with the music industry getting rich off other's work, but to instil some sense of morality in the youth so they actually pay for the music they enjoy regularly. That's where the problem lies.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by puddledumpling on Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:33 pm

I bought the deluxe version of Tom Waits' Bad As Me for the book of art and poetry it came in. It's beautiful - can't download that. Tom gets it and his website is killer too.
BTW I just used the new KISS button. On another forum these buttons would be seriously abused - I think you can imagine.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:23 pm

Yes, but people here are more...sophisticated.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by puddledumpling on Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:46 am

@Soulmonster wrote:Yes, but people here are more...sophisticated.
So far so peaceful - and GNR have been up to stuff. Life is good.
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:59 pm

Review from The West Australian:

Here we go again.Duff McKagan's book is the third
autobiography by a member of the most popular lineup of Guns'n'Roses. It
follows a hefty tome from hirsute guitarist Slash, and a short
paperback from dumped drummer Steve Adler.
But Duff's is the best so far, and it's the one you can recommend to your kids, because it has a moral centre.
McKagan
always came across as the most "together" Gunner, the one who wasn't on
heroin, and wasn't causing riots through petulance or non-appearance.
This book bears up that impression. McKagan comes across as the one who
tried to keep it together as all collapsed around him. But along the
way, he lost his septum and blew his pancreas.
It seems that
nearly all of McKagan's friends died as a result of heroin addiction, or
managed to survive with one. Becoming a driving force in Guns'n'Roses
meant accommodating three bandmates who were often wasted on smack, and a
lead singer who was an uncontrollable egomaniac. Duff avoided the
needle like the plague and kept himself upright, despite being an
alcoholic and sporting a debilitating cocaine addiction.
It was
Duff who organized the "tour" of Seattle, which bonded the band in a way
that would not have happened otherwise. Their collective ambition
fuelled powerful rock'n'roll, based on a surprising series of cool and
uncool inspirations, and powerful source material. The Gunners seemed
real, at a time when the bands of the Sixties and Seventies were losing
their fire and the pretty boys `of the Los Angeles scene failed to live
up to their promise musically. What made the band dangerous made the
band appealing.
But the cartoon rebellion took a nasty turn as
fans were crushed at the Monsters of Rock gig at Donnington, and the
Gunners were blamed. Then the band became known for performing at gigs
which descended into riots.
Axl Rose was known for storming off
the stage mid-set, or not turning up at all. In It's So Easy, McKagan
explains how Axl Rose's selfish behaviour disgusted the other members of
the band. Yet Duff exposes an interesting factor in this mess - the
inability of the other Gunners to confront the singer. They simply
couldn't penetrate his entourage.
McKagan told himself that he
would always steer away from anything that affected his performance. Yet
Duff says he was such a drunkard that it was somewhat appropriate that
his moniker gave the creators of The Simpsons the name for Homer's
favourite poison. The boozing leads to a near-death experience, a spell
in hospital, and a commitment to getting fit.
Guns'n'Roses finally
breaks up and Duff is doomed to go the rounds with another addict -
Scott Weiland - in Velvet Revolver. McKagan himself slips off the wagon
and has to get it together again.
If you're a big fan, you do need
to read this book. This is an insightful, direct and (apparently)
honest autobiography. McKagan has a lot of knowledge about drug use and
its indignities, and it's all on display.
Such details should best
be considered as a means of warning off. There are omissions. There's
nothing about some of the events that Adler complained about in his own
book. And there's not a great deal on the recording of the albums
released by Guns'n'Roses and Velvet Revolver.
But Duff McKagan
acquits himself well. Unlike Adler or even Slash, you get the feeling
that you wouldn't mind if Duff took out your daughter. Just keep her
away from his friends...

Source: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/entertainment/a/-/arts/12705500/book-review-it-s-so-easy/
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:15 am

Tommy liked Duff's blog on SOPA

tommy_stinson A must read by Duff. Awesome!!!!!!
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by puddledumpling on Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:59 am

Uppity Bassists Unite! or U.B.U.
With membership enrollment they could form a guild and qualify for group health insurance rates and a lobbyist (American joke with a serious point in line with Duff's new association, Meridian, advocates for music artist wealth management for the benefit of the artist and their families)
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Thu Jan 26, 2012 8:48 pm

It's not at all uncommon that I write a piece here that I hope inspires discussion in the comments section. My mission statement of sorts has been to help usher in a higher bar for social media. I know that we are capable of educating each other, and I have been thrilled at some of the deep conversations that have taken place here. We are capable of much more than just typing "fuck you, you suck dickhead" under an anonymous moniker. We have (largely) succeeded.

I wrote an article last week on the SOPA/PIPA debate. I was hoping to get a conversation started about a facet of the debate that I hadn't seen explored. I think in my rush to write it, I assumed many things about some of my readers here. I wasn't clear on some things.

For example: I received e-mail from some fans of my band or things that I had done in the past, who were pissed at some of my wording. I never meant to lump true supporters of music into some catch-all "all you fans" type of category. To all those fans of music who go out there every day and hunt down music with the sole intent of wanting to fully support artists, if you were offended, I sincerely apologize.

I am a great supporter of music. I love to go see bands, and buy their T-shirts and CDs. I urge others publicly to go BUY bands' new records. I know how hard it is to make the whole thing work from a basic economic scale. Artists do have to pay their own way when they record something new. And, believe it or not, that shit is still expensive, even if you do it at home. You need a computer and an expensive program. You need mic pres, and good microphones, a mixing board of some sort, and compression and mike stands and drum kits and amps and strings and time off work and guitars and numerous other pieces of gear . . . just to record your first note. This is not including the time you need to write the damn songs.

I have been there as an artist when the Major Label rips you off. I have been there when the manager takes his cut off the gross while you are left to pay for the crew, travel, hotels, a bus, gas, food, and every other expense involved in touring. I've been there as large merchandise companies try to sell your shirt for 35 bucks while you demand as hard as you can to charge only $15. The artist still has to pay for the shirts and the printing, and ends up making a dollar--maybe two--off the end sale. I've been there.

Even at the height of major label-dom, the most a band would make off a record was something like $2. Split among five people, after paying for your producer and mixer out of that $2--well, you can do the math of what a band member would see from that. Pennies. Oh, and of course before you see penny number one, you do have to pay back that label for the recording costs . . .

I was there when the major labels kept trying to change formats so that they could sell artists' whole catalogues over and over. I could see it plain as day when the digital format was introduced just as home computers were beginning to be the norm in every household. It was only a matter of time before file-sharing on a large scale became a major player in how music was delivered to the end user.

I saw Napster try to work with the labels. They tried to cooperate, and share the immense advertising revenue. The artists would get paid. The labels would get paid, and people would get their music for free . . . legally and without feeling like a thief or living in fear of legal prosecution. The labels balked. The labels failed in their short-sightedness. The labels are now in serious trouble, cutting back to a point where I believe major labels will be fully a thing of the past within five years.

I am not an advocate of "the man." Never have been. Never will be.

But I AM an advocate of the artist. Those who, since Chuck Berry, have gotten the short end of the stick.

A lot of you argue that illegal file-sharing gives some bands and artists worldwide exposure. Maybe so. But whose place is it to say that a band who records their own shit and puts it up on their site for sale, or on iTunes, doesn't actually need those folks to actually purchase their music, so that they can afford to just eke out paying back the expense that they took to record that thing?

A lot of us will buy three grande lattes at Starbucks throughout a day ($15 or $20?), and then complain about paying $10 for a CD. I'd argue that all you get from that coffee is the jitters and bad breath, while that CD gives you music, that beautiful thing that'll fill your soul for THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

I understand that there is a new paradigm. People argue that "Art wants to be free" and that the digitizing of music is all the proof that one needs for that argument. But aren't there many arguments that can offset that one?

The real argument or point I wanted to put up for discussion was with people on Twitter and Facebook going so damn crazy last week when Wikipedia went black and everyone was complaining about something called PIPA. How many of those educated themselves first before they went on the Twitter and exclaimed "Fuck the SOPA. I want my first amendment rights" or "Big Government is taking over!!"?

A wise man once said to me: If you don't understand something that a government or business does, it's always going to be about the almighty dollar. We must educate ourselves, and then take that education to the rally.

The PIPA bill, as it was written, left so many gaping holes and open language that those in that business who would be looking for loopholes to capitalize against a smaller competitor could use this bill to squash said competitor.

For those of you thinking that PIPA and SOPA were equivalent to what is going on in China, please make that argument. But try to back that argument.

If there was some way to have a person-to-person, live, open "town hall" type of talk about this whole deal, I think a lot would come of it. A Senator. A musician or two. A person who used to own a recording studio. Someone from the movie business. A book publisher. Advocates for open file-sharing. And so on.

Hopefully this week we can all sort of get along and try to educate each other here in the comments. Let's try a "do-over."

Please reply with your real name.

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/01/lets_try_this_again.php
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Re: Duff's Reverb Column

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:20 am

How to drink when you don't drink

I used to be the guy who was constantly trying to find the best place in town to drink the cocktail. Yeah, I was the guy barkeeps loved at first, but always ended up trying to find a way to get me the hell out. An obnoxious drunk--but good tipper--like myself could only buy just so much good graces from others. It wasn't a "just have a couple of drinks and go home" type of situation. It got embarrassing and weird and smelly. Bartenders get a bit sick of people like the guy I used to be. I was like the Bukowski character in the movie Barfly. I loved me some liquor.

Bars were there just for the alcohol and sleazy camaraderie.

For people like me, getting sober and not drinking anymore is the only real choice (the other "choice" is not really an option at all--it's just sudden darkness). But what do you do when you can't do the cocktail anymore? Can a teetotaler even go into a bar?

Well, after I got sober, I still loved music, and most live music is played in some sort of drinking establishment. To my surprise and delight, there were a lot of people just like me out there.

Not only are there a ton of sober peeps out at bars, there are also a whole legion of bar staff who are pretty darned psyched to have a sober person or two in their midst. I guess people who teetotal give a bartender a modicum of sane company to keep.

If you are a non-drinker because of a "history," or are just not drinking alcohol on a particular night because you are behind the wheel, your list of bars to go to, and what they will offer in the form of non-alcoholic drinks, will vary on a par with what they offer in the alcoholic arena. If a bar has a bunch of fancy cocktails, then it's a good bet it will have a bunch of different NA drinks available. The opposite is also true, however. If a tavern just offers beer in a can, your only NA choice may be tap water.

There are a ton of different great NA beers these days, and more and more bars are recognizing the fact that there is a market out there for O'Douls and Buckler drinkers.

And of course, there is the energy drink, my own personal favorite. The sugar-free energy drink for me gives you the high without the sugar crash. (And the calories. A guy has to watch his girlish figure!)

Here's a quick list of some good options:

-- The Sunset Tavern: Great bar staff. They have O'Douls and the energy drinks. The bar staff there are real cool, and the bands are right there to your right. Highly recommended for the sober night out.

-- Darrell's Tavern: A brand new find for me, Darrell's is the ultimate in old-school kitsch. Nice round bar, good low stage. Great mixture of north-end locals and downtown hipsters.

-- Ivar's Salmon House Bar (Northlake): If you are in the mood for great food, an awesome view, and sports on TV, this bar has it all. Since the Ivar's bar is full-service, a teetotaler can get the fancy NA cocktails with a sprig of mint and everything!

--Jaks (on N.E. 45th): A great place to bring the kids. Again, great food, a full-service bar, and no separation between the bar and restaurant. Since it is a real eatery, your chances of being around your standard drunk are pretty slim.

-- Slim's Last Chance Chili: I'm a big fan of some authentic barbecue and some real historical Americana. As a bar, Slim's holds a candle to any shotgun shack in the Texas panhandle, while still holding something uniquely "Seattle." A great punk-rock/rockabilly club. A great restaurant. A great bar.

-- Palomino (downtown): For those inclined to the fanciness, Palomino will most certainly do. A great place for date night, and they make a real strong and full-bodied espresso. So while your date may be getting her hammer on, you can get all jacked up and ready for the eventual hookup. Of course, I don't know this from experience . . . I'm just saying it COULD go down like that.

Source: http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/reverb/2012/02/how_to_drink_when_you_dont_dri.php
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