Tag Archives: metal

Metal Gentlemen – Alone at Dawn

We always hear stories about rock bands that tear up hotel rooms and leave a trail of drywall dust and vomit wherever they go. There’s usually a pregnant woman or a STD outbreak, too. Rarely, do we know of any well-mannered, faithful, kind musicians who can rock a metal tune. That is about to change. Allow me to introduce Alone at Dawn.

I’m not being paid to write about Alone at Dawn, but I did give birth to the lead singer. My son has wanted to be a musician since he was in fourth grade. That is when he saved his money and bought his first guitar. Realizing that he couldn’t actually just play the thing, he asked for lessons. He has played one of his now many guitars daily for the past eight years.

When other parents ask about my son’s future plans, and I tell them he’s going to be a rock star. They chuckle, as though I said he was going to be Batman or Jesus. No, rock stars are actually real, and they are all kids with guitars (or drums) and dreams in the beginning. I seriously doubt he’s going to decide to be an accountant or a doctor now.

My son is the youngest member of the band, and it’s founder. He’s not even eighteen yet. He met, Will, the drummer in high school, and began writing music with him two years ago. Wyatt and Aaron, the guitarists, are both lucky Craig’s List finds who have become part of the family. You really can find more than threesomes and serial killers on Craig’s List.

I want these gentlemen, and they truly are, to be able to live out their dreams. They are all driven, focused, and all around nice guys. You don’t see that often in the world of entertainment. Plus, my son has promised me a Mercedes and a cathouse when he is rich and famous. By cathouse, I mean a no kill cat shelter, not a place for prostitution. So, if you want to hear some great music, made be awesome guys, and save some cats, please take a moment to watch Alone at Dawn’s Surroundings video. If you like it, please buy the EP, Peacemaker. Check out their Facebook page for more information.

AAD

Metal Mom not a Soccer Mom

When we first moved here to Wisteria Lane, I knew we didn’t fit in. First of all, let me clarify, we don’t actually live on Wisteria Lane. We live in a cookie cutter subdivision where everyone has 2.5 children, a dog, and a vehicle with third-row seating. Sure, everyone said hello when we moved in. It’s not like they stood around making the sign of the cross and hissing. They asked us where we had moved from, and what brought us here, etc. When they found out that we had a teen son, they asked us the question that pretty much ended any hopes that our son would have best friends in the neighborhood, “Does he play soccer?”

I may or may not have rolled my eyes before answering. Does every child have to play a sport? My son does not play soccer, or lacrosse, or football, or basketball, or baseball, or any sport. He plays guitar and drums, and keyboard, and he sings and writes music. Metal music. My son is a musician, and I am a metal mom.

Whenever I told the new neighbors this, they gave me the uncomfortable smile. You know the one. It’s similar to the one you make when you’re at a crowded party and you have to fart. But this one wasn’t due to gas; this smile was because they thought my son was “bad.” They never said that in so many words, of course.

In reality, he’s not bad at all. As far as teens go, he’s actually kind of calm. He doesn’t do drugs. He doesn’t even drink alcohol except for the occasional beer I allow him to have at home. He only stays out late when he has a show or goes to another band’s concert. Other than that, he is in our basement practicing with his band or watching TV with his girlfriend. He cuddles with our dogs and cats and passes out candy to the trick-or-treaters on Halloween. But, he does not play soccer, so most of the local kids and their parents didn’t know what to say to the weird new kid with the beard and the stretched earlobes.

That’s ok though. We are used to being odd, and in truth, my family and I would rather be weird than “normal.” Normal sounds dreadfully boring. Personally, I would much rather be a metal mom than a soccer mom, and here’s why:

  • My car is way better than any soccer mom’s ride. I have a Volkswagen Jetta GTI Autobahn Edition with paddle shifters (that I don’t know how to use), a Fender stereo system, satellite radio, and Bluetooth, not a minivan filled with fast food trash and dog hair.
  • My son has learned not to fit in. He doesn’t NEED to fit in. He will never do something just because the other kids are doing it.
  • He’s creative. My son wrote a song about all of the people who have died in our family. It is a beautiful song, and a great way to deal with grief.
  • Every season is metal season. My son can enjoy his hobby of choice at any time of the year. There’s no waiting until summer or fall or whatever.
  • I don’t have to sit outside at some field either sweating or freezing my ass off. His gigs are INSIDE, where there is some sort of climate control happening.
  • Also, his shows are usually in places with a full bar. Can you get a martini on the soccer field?
  • He’s more interesting to talk to, at least for me. I don’t want to hear about balls, and goals and coaches. BORING! My son can talk about how he is inspired by hair metal bands that I listened to in school. He also knows which songs are Ozzy Osbourne and which are Black Sabbath. I don’t even know that.

Right now, there are at least 852 soccer moms who are just itching to post a nasty comment under this blog. Go for it. But before you do, take a look at the header on this site. It does not say Dr. Stork’s parenting advice column. It’s a humor blog. Don’t worry; I’m not going to run for president and make soccer illegal, so don’t get your panties in too much of a bunch.

Sergdrums
First “drum” set

Metallica keeps me from viciously pinching my loved ones.

It's medicinal.
It’s medicinal.

I was already growling in my head when I walked down to the basement to get on the hamster wheel (elliptical for you non fitness freak folks). Then, I saw the three plastic cups on the table by the couch. I had asked my son to bring up all glasses, as he has a tendency to just leave beverage containers on end tables like they will grow legs and walk to the kitchen. He had told me he didn’t have any glasses downstairs. Well, I guess he wasn’t lying, as these were PLASTIC cups. I instantly wanted to pinch him. I thought about picking up my phone and sending him a scathing text about this very serious cup issue, but instead, I got on the wheel, covered my ears with noise reducing headphones, and blasted Wherever I May Roam by Metallica. And this is why my son should send a thank you card to Lars and the fellas.

I spent the first five minutes on the wheel imagining the great satisfaction I would get from yelling at my son through clenched teeth, “You’re not going to pop a tendon by carrying three plastic cups up 6 steps! You’re going to have rats in your apartment when you move out!!” Then, I visualized pinching him so hard that he would look like the survivor of some medieval pox virus, not chicken pox, something bigger, maybe like vulture pox.

Don’t worry, other moms and social workers; he’s 17. It’s not like I’m fantasy pinching a little kid. Though, with my death eater mood, I wouldn’t put it past myself. Plus, I didn’t actually pinch anyone. Metallica saved them.

Of course Sophie, the big, annoying Great Dane/Lab, annoyed the crap out of me today, as usual, just by constantly needing attention and something to chew on. It’s like she just quit smoking or something. If she understood English, I would pinch her cheek and yell, “Sophie if you make one more mess I’m going to turn you into a really big rump roast!”

Then, just to make my day super groovy, Lola the Maltese decided to make the laundry room floor look like a chocolate chip cookie. No, she didn’t do this with finger paint or actual chocolate. She pooped, in tiny droplets, all over the floor. She even managed to get a splatter against the dryer. She had a new, clean potty pad in there, as Lola is not a go outside to go potty kind of dog. She opted to decorate the floor instead. I wanted to pinch her butt closed. For real. No, I didn’t actually do this. I just muttered about how people in certain countries eat dogs as I removed her artwork and threw my slippers, a casualty of the landmined floor, in the washer.

Animal-rights activist friends, please do not be alarmed. I’m not actually going to harm any animals, even the moose dog and tiny turd cutter. First of all, Sophie is far too aware of my dark aura to get within 6 feet of me when I am in a pinch mood.  She picks up on my Exorcist like mood swings before I even snarl “Go get a toy!” at her.  She goes to her crate and gives me the worried look before I say anything. If you want to learn more about why Sophie annoys the very humanness out of me, read this or this.  And Lola can hide under beds. So, she is safe, too. And Lola is feeling much better now that she got all of those “chips” out of her system. The cats are simply perfect and do not get on my nerves. Because of this, they are safe from pinching.

For everyone’s continued safety, I will make a daily habit of blasting old school metal into my ears and pedaling as fast as my Dublin stubs will allow. When I run out of Metallica, I will keep on going with Guns and Roses, and maybe a “new” band like Godsmack. Some people drink; some take prescribed psychiatric medication; some do both. I pedal and sing. That’s right; I sing, too. I forgot to mention that. Perhaps, that is punishment enough for my family.

 

 

Raising a Rock Star

Sergio, singing Photo Cred: J. Reed

My son is the type of person who would NEVER call himself a rock star.  He is and will be a musician. To say that I am proud of my son would be like saying I love staying home with my cats.  It’s an obvious understatement.  My son has not always been the easiest child (there was that time in 8th grade where I was convinced he was trying to kill me with stress), but he hasn’t been the toughest either.  During times when he was being especially stubborn, I would tell myself that Donald Trump probably did not kowtow to everything his parents said.  I doubt Eddie and Alex VanHalen did either. 

I think I know how Mr. and Mrs. Van Halen felt while raising their boys.  It’s a combination of pride and fear.  It’s not easy to guide a creative person.  I’m proud of him for his talent and his character, but I fear a lot of things about the world of musicians, like drugs, alcohol, gold diggers, and poverty.  I’m a mama lion, but I can’t protect him from everything. I can only hope that his head continues to stay on straight, and that he keeps away from things that will take his focus off of making music, the thing he has wanted to do since fourth grade.

My son has never had a plan B. There was never a time when he said, “Well, if I’m not a musician, I will be an accountant,

Sergio's first acoustic guitar
Sergio’s first acoustic guitar

or teacher, or fireman.”  Never.   Since the age of 10, so 6 years now, he has wanted to be a musician.  That is when he saved money and bought his first electric guitar.  He very politely asked if we could pay for lessons since he bought the guitar himself.  Of course, we did.  Through the years, he has also taken drum and vocal lessons, and he has purchased more guitars.  He has never learned to read music, but he has written a few songs, including this one, Peacemaker, which was just released on Friday. 

First "drum" set
First “drum” set

My son’s band, Alone at Dawn, is a metal band, but a melodic metal band.  Their first song, Peacemaker, is one that people of all ages have liked so far.  By all ages, I mean from about 13 to 45.  I don’t think people in their 70’s will jam out to it, but they might enjoy the more melodic parts.  If you want to check them out, you can LIKE Alone at Dawn here. That’s the link to their FaceBook page.  They will be posting more information and songs there.  I’m told there will also be pictures of the fellas soon.   For now, you will have to be satisfied with the lovely photos I have posted here.

Sergio's first public performance, the summer after 8th grade.
Sergio’s first public performance, the summer after 8th grade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Good Kind of Metal Plagiarism

Note: There are a lot of links in this blog. Be adventurous and click away.

If you read this blog regularly, or only when you are truly bored, you know that I am a private headbanger and a public hermit.  You may not know, or believe, that I used to do comedy.  I’m not talking about watching it; I mean I used PERFORM stand up.  I used to get on a stage and make people laugh.  Here is proof – the link to my last show (Please note that my mother came up with the concept of the “sun roof”): Lisa’s last show, 2006, Fort Myers, FL.

I quit doing comedy because I am not a night person, and there were no morning comedy clubs.  I don’t think there are any now either, but if you know of one, let me know. Also, like most introverts, I don’t like hanging out with gobs of people, and it’s hard to do comedy without an audience. So, there’s that.  When I did do comedy, I wrote all of my own material.  I never ran out on stage, grabbed the mic, and said, “Here’s a little Carlin for you guys!!  A little Carlin, ladies and gentlemen.”  No.  That’s just wrong because that would be plagiarism.  You know, stealing someone else’s work.  As an English teacher, I teach students how to avoid that.  As a creative person, I get irritated with plagiarism in all forms.

For years, and years, like most of my life up until a few years ago, I HATED when musical groups would do cover songs. HATED it.  Seriously, I thought my eyes would roll out of my head when Fergie “covered” AKA ruined “Sweet Child of Mine” at the 2011 Super Bowl.  I could not believe that Slash didn’t reach right over and hit her.  Anyway, shortly after that my son played Seether’s version of Careless Whisper for me.  I LOVED it.  Hearing the metal version of Wham’s song, made me more open to other cover songs, especially the metal versions of formerly wimpy songs.  So, I now have a list of favorite cover songs, and here they are:

“Land of Confustion” by Disturbed   Sorry, Phil, this beats the pants off of your wimpy Ronald Reagan version.

“Careless Whisper” by Seether  While the original version will always remind me of that awkward dance with my 9th grade crush at Annie’s quince, I really like this amped up version better.

“Love Song” by Four Year Strong  This is SO much more energetic than the original.  I believe this singer when he says he is not going to write me a love song.  The original version puts me to sleep.

“Turn the Page” by Metallica  I love how the video highlights  a part of American culture that we just don’t like to talk about.  Plus, as a headbanger from the 80’s, I’m drawn to anything Metallica.  I once had a jukebox battle with someone in a bowling alley.  He kept playing country, and I paid extra to have my Metallica songs play first.

“Personal Jesus” by Marilyn Manson   I have read a couple of biographies about Marilyn, and I find him to be fascinating, and I’m not just saying that because I went to South Broward High School with Gidget Gein.

“People Are People” by A Perfect Circle   The really cool thing about this version of the song is that A Perfect Circle truly makes it their own.  Only the words are the same, really.