The Good, The Bad and The Dubby

Unbeknownst to me, as we walked out of the recent English Beat show, Cindy was handed a flier for a movie premiere that was happening here in Madison. Too bad I didn’t notice.

This would have been amazing. You can check out the trailer here:

I have been into Dub music for quite a while now, AND, these old spaghetti westerns are engrained in my psyche from when my father let me stay up ludicrously late on nights I shouldn’t have to watch them with him. All of the Clint Eastwood movies… For A Few Dollars More, The Good The Bad and The Ugly and For A Few Dollars More were favorites. The music was entrancing and distinct, and later I came to know from Ennio Morricine.

The grit and grandeur of such movies was epic, with Clint becoming THE archetypal gunslinger.

As for Dub music, there has been a long history of dub producers taking on films and video games and even other bands for fodder for releases. For instance Lee Perry and The Upsetters “Kung Fu Meets The Dragon” and Scientist “Space Invaders”. Sure they are gimmicky, but I find myself going for those because of that. So no slight.

This movie would be awesome. It says it is coming out Spring 2018.

I hope I didn’t miss my chance to see it.

Not sure it would play at Marcus Point Cinemas.

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Thinking Of You Today My Friend

Today is 3 years since my friend Dalton passed. I couldn’t let the day go by without acknowledging him.

I think of this dude daily, as I listen to music, and I say to myself… Dalton would have loved this!!!… wishing I could make an old school tape and share it with him. We shared so much with over the years. We made tapes together on random afternoons when there was nothing better to do and then played them as we played hacky in the garage, or drove around with no destination in mind. He was into music as deeply as I was and we communicated through it.

We were friends through thick and thin and I miss him.

Mystery tune!

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1 Dollar Nostalgia Sealed With A Kiss

Yes, the CD is becoming a nostalgia item. I often attempt to NOT look at them when I enter my local St. Vinnie’s, but often I fail.

Yesterday I walked out with 10. I got some Cranberries, a local album by Caravan that was recorded at The Brink (I’ve seen shows there!) and a fully sealed brand new album by The Specials, a Steve Martin bluegrass album signed by all the band members (not Steve, oh well) and an MIA album I have been wanting and a couple of others.

The highlight of the batch however was a CD single.

I had this music back in the day when it came out. Pretty certain I had it as a cassette single, but the format makes little difference. I laughed when I pulled it out of the shelf lineup, but after my laugh I found myself singing it in my head and not putting it back. When I left, it was in my pile.

Anyone remember this one?

Right Said Fred.

Wow, what a one hit wonder. It was so catchy you couldn’t not like it. My cassingle had lots of versions of the song. This CD? You bet.

One thing I don’t remember from my cassingle is the “All Thanks To Jimi Hendrix For His Supreme Inspiration” part. Hendrix? Interesting.

At any rate, the song and some of the remixes are a real nostalgia trip. I even remember the video for this song and the music and flashed of the video are permanently merged in my brain.

Sheer indulgence, but it was a buck. You would probably pay the same to download the song from Amazon, and now I have every version (including instrumental and Spanish version).

I believe my Right Said Fred collection is complete, and I couldn’t be happier.

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The English Beat – High Noon – Madison WI – 4/4/18

I had my 3rd opportunity to go see The English Beat this week.

I am pleased to announce at the outset that there were no overdrunk ska dancers wreaking havoc and creating danger zone for those at the front. The Wednesday night crowd was great.

Cindy and I passed by the small crowd that was waiting at the High Noon for “Doors @ 7” to get food at the Brass Ring first.

By the time we got to the High Noon the crowd was sparse, but all the good tables were taken in the loft, so we took one by the wall to wait until 8 when the show was supposed to start. Or so I thought. I tried to visit my cutting of the High Noon sunshine, but the glass case that used to hold O’Cayz Corral memorabilia, where it was housed, has been changed. Boo.

Just before 8 I made my way downstairs and stood almost center stage.

A few shots at the front…

Slowly the place filled up, but at 8:30 it became obvious show was really going to start at 9. Cindy had come down and was stage left against the wall and I joined her there, still only feet away from the stage.

The crowd that night was largely filled with people my age in sweaters and where last time people were in black and white shoes and shirts very much looking the two-tone life, this crowd seemed very different.

Turned out to be a good thing.

Just after 9 King Schascha came out to do some mic testing

and shortly after, Dave cam out and the show began!

That’s me, and that’s Dave.

The music was immediately fantastic. The sound where I was standing was actually coming from the monitors as well as the speakers, so it was perfect.

They started with Rough Rider, with King Schascha dancing and bouncing around getting the crowd worked up. Then they did Tears of a Clown and Twist & Crawl. I’d like to say I remember all that… but spoiler alert… I got a set list!

My camera sucked this night. I did not get ONE single picture from my Coolpix, so everything I am posting here was from my phone.

The show was amazing, and I have to say that even on only 1 cider, I was spot dancing. Usually I am just a head bobber, but this music really gets to me, somewhere down deep.

Even Cindy was digging it.

I felt her dancing a little as we stood off to the side and took it all in.

Tenderness was a high point in the show, as was Hands Off She’s Mine and although they didn’t do my all time favorite: Sole Salvation, they did do a spectacular Save It For Later that the crowd was shouting out and going crazy to. That was THE highlight for me of the whole show.

There was a lot of social media going on and King Schascha was taking people’s phones and taking selfies, and filming himself with the crowd and he even took the bands phone and recorded some stuff. I went to The English Beat Facebook page

and pulled this from that night. This one is of the new song “Love You Give”, Good stuff.

and this is a clip from that Save It For Later which was killer!

The new songs, from the album that is coming soon sounded great. I expected no less. Dave’s voice is still strong and the music has not loosened its hooks in me since the 80’s when I first heard it.

I decided after taking about 50 useless shots to give up with the camera, but I did get this shot of Dave turning to face our way for a bit with my phone. Thanks for holding the pose for a second Dave!

After Dave played Mirror In The Bathroom and Jackpot, he said his goodbyes to the crowd. He came over to shake some hands and I made my way to the stairs and stage left and reached out. He shook my hand! I went all fanboy. It was awesome. Then he was off and King Schascha did band introductions until the very end.

After the music stopped and the lights came up I hung out a bit and asked the drummer if I could get the set list that was by him. He stepped through the obstacle course of cords and stands and drum set to bring it to me. So nice. I shook his hand and thanked him. His beat was giving everyone the 1 for the 1, 2, 3 bounce all night long.

It was a great show, just as good as the first and second time I saw them. Looking forward to show # 4. Dave did mention that they would be touring near the end of the year in support of the new album!

Woo hoo!

Make sure to make Madison a stop on your tour Dave. I’ll be back.

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The English Beat – Pre Show

It has been almost 2 years since I saw The English Beat.

I know this because I came across my receipt for my pre-order of the new album that Dave mentioned during the show. After the show I found it on Pledge Music and ordered a signed vinyl version.

The date was 5/26/16 and I had moments where I thought it would never happen, but since thinking about going to the show tomorrow at High Noon Saloon, I checked in on it.

38 days till release!

It has been almost 2 years of rough mixes and backing tracks and vocals… release a little bit at a time and I have not listened to a bit of it. I want to hear the full package blasting from my turntable in 38 days.

I will be totally jazzed after seeing them tomorrow night!

See you soon Dave!

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Buckethead – Majestic Theater – 3/23/18

In 2016, I was able to go see Buckethead. It was amazing and in my list of top 5 shows of ALL time. It was everything a show should be. Fantastic music, toys, robot dancing, nun-chucks… it had it all.

This year he returned and I got my tickets the second I learned he was coming back to Madison.

My friend Josh had been getting into him since I saw him last time and wanted to go with this time. I was excited to see his mind blown by the event, just like mine had the first time. It is an experience.

This time I decided to create something to take and try to offer at toy time. Yes, during one part of the show Buckethead gives toys to the crowd. Some people bring stuff to give or leave as gifts. I made a vinyl cutting of Buckethead!

I doubted that he would take it, but you never know. At least I thought it was something I could offer that was unique.

The day of the show I went early to get in line to be down front. By the time I got there I was about the 25th person in line! I was worried that I wouldn’t get my spot! The waiting crowd was a real mix, there were several kids too.

and yes… Art Paul was there singing “This Little Light of Mine” and “Purple Bananas”.

At least while I waited I was able to get a unrushed marquee shot.

When the line finally started filtering in and got wanded and got bracelets I immediately went down front. Full! There was about a shoulders worth of space between the guy leaning against the speaker stack on the right and the two guys next to him, so I glommed onto that space and tried to be as big as possible. I put my cutting on the stage since my hand was cramping holding on to it.

While trying to establish myself as the rightful owner of the sliver of space at stage front I talked with the guy at the speaker stack, and the 2 dudes to my right. None of them had seen Buckethead before! We chatted a bit about the Buckethead experience. One of the dudes on the right brought a vintage yo-yo to offer up. So at least they had an idea of what they were in for.

The crowd was filling in fast behind me and the wait didn’t seem too bad. Josh was texting me that he was close, then he was in line… and finally, with just enough room to make his way to my spot, he arrived. With beer!

Gangsta pose.

We were ready!

So we waited and chatted and drank and at about 9:20 the music/old movie clips intro began. The crowd went nuts. But a respectful nuts. Soon, the roadie from last year and Buckethead came out to howls and cheers. After a minute or so to make some adjustments and get hooked up…

and then it began.


I was transfixed through the first song and when I finally looked back to see Josh’s face, he was smiling. Booyah! I was worried for myself, that the newness was a one time thing and that maybe I wouldn’t like it as much this time.

Wrong! It was amazing.

Buckethead was shredding up there.

My vantage point this time was over and between heads for most pictures, but I got a handful of good shots. I try not to go overboard with taking pictures and enjoy the show, but in the end I snapped about 250! You have to since he moves so much. About 35 actually came out. The lighting is not great for my little Coolpix. I got enough though to remind me how ridiculously awesome it was.

AND… I got a cool shot of my vinyl cutting and Buckethead in almost the same pose!

although to be fair, he is almost always in that pose. Ha ha.

Once again, on paper Buckethead sounds like a silly show, but the music and the scene just work, it is an unforgettable event and if he comes to town again… I’m there.

He played songs that I remember from the first show and some stuff that I didn’t recognize, but it was all great. The crowd was standing agape most of the show, just taking it in, phone filming and wooing at the top of their lungs.

Then it was nun-chuck time.

and robot dancing!

Then back to the guitar and more shredding. Ugh see the blob in the lower right of my pictures? At least it isn’t as bad as my Manson pictures.

To explain the way Buckethead plays is like an encyclopedia of techniques. He does notes, fingerpopping like a bass, there are pedals galore and he his fingers are going so fast it seems unreal that he is actually playing what you are hearing. It is crazy. He plays fast and hard, then plays something soft and then makes it sound like old space TV show lasers firing and the crowd loves it all. At that point the place seemed full. We had to defend our spot a few times as people tried to work their way forward, but for the most part it was not an issue. The speaker cabinet guy and the 2 guys on the right had accepted me and if I stood sideways, I WAS stage front.

Then it was the moment of truth. The roadie brought out the bag of toys and Buckethead began handing out items. I took the vinyl cutting and Josh’s item (a picture of Buckethead with drawing and letter from his son Emerson) and moved them out for offering. The guy on my right slid out the yo-yo too.

Buckethead had to step over the vinyl cutting/Josh envelope and yo-yo to get to the stage front on our side and the roadie moved all 3 items to a corner of the stage.

At any rate… he was right there in front of me! He gave me a Chutes and Ladders game. Another prized concert token for my collection.

Last time I got Hello Kitty Halloween stickers and a Star Wars Tie Fighter ornament. Not exactly a set list, but both are in my music room even today.

Josh got glow in the dark stars. Now he is indoctrinated in the Buckethead toy time.

After that, back to the music.

Josh had been trying to get some video between everyone’s heads.

I swapped spots with him so that he had a better vantage point. By that time I had like hundreds of pictures. I was trying to share the wealth of stage front.

Eventually as the drunkenness factor crept in, people were crowding in a bit more, jockeying and Josh got weaseled in on and we both lost our primo sideways stage front spot, but I figured the show must be getting on towards the end, so I let it happen.

Then IT happened.

Those of you familiar with Buckethead know that his custom made guitar has 2 red buttons that tweak the sound, one upper body and one lower. I’ll repeat a picture from above that shows them.

He uses these button almost like they are another instrument, playing the button with one hand while fretting with the other, it’s really cool to see.

Here is some video that was uploaded from that very night. You can see how he uses the button and the way his fingers are ridiculously fast. Props to TatumHalla for this clip.

The IT that happened was that Buckethead went to the other side of the stage and held his guitar out to the front row and let them hit the button while he worked the frets. It was unbelievable!

When everyone realized what was going on any type of space down front was swallowed up. Josh was moved back and I was at the corner of the speaker cabinet, out of reach. I was bummed. However, as luck would have it, Josh and I BOTH got to use Buckethead’s button for a second. When he got over to our side and had let everyone directly in front use the button Josh reached out over the crowd and was able to get his hand far enough forward to work it for a moment.

WHERE WAS MY HEAD?! That would have been an amazing photo, sadly I was so in amazement over what was happening it didn’t even occur to me to try to get a shot of him playing Buckethead’s button. Sigh. Sorry Josh.

I knew I was out of reach and resigned myself to missing it when to my surprise, Buckethead spotted 2 guys way out of range that were wearing buckets. He pointed at them and made it clear that they should pass their buckets up. While he was doing that he put the guitar down on the speaker stand. It was right there by me, closer than arms reach and you’re damn right, I played it!

Bah bah bbbah bah bah, bah bah bbbah bah bah, bbbbbbah bbah bah.

It was somewhat magical.

He took the guys buckets and put each one’s on top of his bucket for a moment and then passed them back. I owe my moment of touching/playing Buckethead’s guitar to them. Next show I wear a bucket. Mark my words.

Then Buckethead played Soothsayer, which we all knew was the final song. If you have never heard it you should check it out. Not sure about the video, but the song is the important thing:

It was a spectacular performance, full of highs and lows and gut wrenching shredding throughout. It is the song I think of when I think of Buckethead. During that whole song I tried to get a good shot of just his bucket and mask.

It is such a strange phenomenon, looking at his emotionless mask and hearing the music which is packed with emotion and finality. It is what makes seeing Buckethead live so amazing. You can listen to the Pike’s and CD’s and enjoy the music, but seeing him do it… it adds something to the music you can only sense standing right in front of him.

I hardly believe it myself, but, seeing Buckethead the second time might even have been better than the first time.

Bravo Buckethead.

Come back to Madison SOON !

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After A Long Hiatus… A Review Of Manson, Orpheum Theater 02/02/18

Hello y’all.

It’s been a while.

I have been doing lots of videos for my YouTube channel:

and have been AWOL from the blog, but have been missing it, however, I feel like I need to do a review of the last show that I saw, which was Manson. I hesitate to be negative about any band or performance, there is always something good to take away from almost any music or show, but the experience was not great this time, and on top of that my camera was messed up. So, if I have to analyze myself, I have been in avoidance.

However, here we go…


Rewind to February. After I had purchased the new Manson album and raved about it, I saw he was coming to town. He had come to Milwaukee a couple of times and I  didn’t go and regretted it, but this time he was coming right to Madison. I scored a ticket immediately and without hesitation. It was on the higher end of the scale for tickets I buy (about $65 after all the crazy fees), but I was not going to miss this one.

When the time came, with my ticket and my trusty Nikon Coolpix

I headed down to the recently remodeled Orpheum theater in Madison. This is only the second time I had been there. The first was to see Royal Blood open for The Pixies. The line outside was outrageous! It went around the building. Longest line I have ever stood in prior to a show. At least I was able to get a good marquee shot.

Once inside I slowly meandered to the rail on the right hand side and waited. The crowd was a mix of young, old, preppy, grungy… just about every style was represented. Including the obligatory too drunk guy down front.

Promptly at show time, a woman came out, dressed in leather with short hair and an “I mean business” look on her face. She walked up to the table that was center stage and the show started.

Her name was Amazonica.

Here is a clip from another show to give you an idea of what it looked like.

I was like huh?

A DJ set to open for Manson? I mean don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t bad, but it just didn’t really seem to fit with the mood, although she played heavy music. She did a lot of dancing behind her rig and pointing and throwing the horns and trying to be all rocked up. In the end though, it seemed off the mark to me.

When her set was done, the actual curtains came down.

Behind the curtain you could hear all kinds of prep being done. Excitement was growing. The smoke machine was on overtime and the whole stage area was filling up. The poor security guys down front were almost completely hidden from view.

Then the lights dimmed again and Manson began.

He started the show singing from a motorized, church inspired chair.

The crowd went wild of course. To my surprise it was a respectful non-moshing wildness.

He was wearing black leather pants and a black shirt with vest and the last time I saw him he was a tiny speck from the back of the Madison Coliseum opening for Nine Inch Nails, so being at stage front, even if I was off to the side was… well, great.

I didn’t notice it at the time, but that was when something happened to my camera. While I was looking at the pictures after the show I came across this one and I was like… “What the hell?”      It looks like he has a tail !   There was a hair of something on my lens. All my pictures look like this. Ugh.

Manson did some new stuff from the Heaven Upsidedown album and I was surprised how intimate the show was for such a large crowd. Behind me the place was packed.

He had simple makeup on and there were no dancers, or giant animal legs or anything weird onstage except for the giant guns that had fallen on him during another show and caused him to be in a leg wrap/cast still for this show. It didn’t seem to impair him much, but I began to notice that something seemed a little off. He was just a little slow, like he was guarded, or holding back. He kept spitting and randomly dropping or throwing the microphone down.

After a while he did a little banter and actually chided the audience for not being more wound up. It was weird. That was when things really went off the rails.

I don’t know if it was a bad night or what, but it seemed that it got worse as the show went on. There were moments when he was on in and rocked, but then he would drift. Every so often a roadie/stage guy would come out dressed in scrubs with a clear plastic cup of some liquid and Manson would take it like a shot and then of course throw the plastic cup and continue.

The guitarist was killing it. That part was 100%

In the end, it seemed that for whatever reason, Manson had lost his enthusiasm for the show. He was just going through the motions.

He did an operating room gurney version of Sweet Dreams, that even despite the mood was great. It was a standout. He used a trouble light for most of the song until he smashed it on the side of the gurney and the roadie/stage guys turned on the head lamps they were wearing, so it was likely staged that way.

Then came a costume change. He was offstage for a bit and came back wearing a suit made of feathers. It had to be damn hot.

He did a few more, then complained to the audience again.

Things got even more degraded when he started messing with the instruments. He messed with the bass player

and then he took the guitar later and tried to make noise with that. He is no guitarist.

After an awkward bit of that he left the stage again. This time to return with balloons to do The Nobodies, which even with the mood and weirdness that was going on, he did great.

It was probably the best bit of the show for me. He really brought it together for the song and I thought maybe he had shaken off whatever was the problem.

However, after that song, he went offstage again. We waited a bit, there was some Manson chanting and then we could see in the low lights that someone was walking him across the stage with flashlights. He went from stage left to stage right, then went backstage and never came back.

It was over.

We were stunned. He clearly cut the show short. It was a disappointment.

The next day also, I noticed the weird line in my shots and considered the prospect of having to buy another show camera. As it turned out, thanks to my procrastination on that, I ended up knocking it off the counter and it crashed to the floor. When I turned it on to see if it still worked… the weirdness was gone.

It was a weird night at the Manson show, but I choose to believe that he was just having a bad night.

Manson’s has gotten me through some hard times in my life and I will always be a fan.

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