Tag Archives: music

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

Translated 80’s Songs

Young people, in order for you to understand this blog, you need to be aware of a dark time in human history.  There was a time, brace yourselves, when people did not have smart phones or even regular cell phones. No, not even flip phones. I know.  I know.  Imagine a time where you couldn’t check Facebook every 19 seconds, or Instagram your lobster mac and cheese before you even took a bite.  Dark times.  Brace yourselves again.  Not only were there no smart phones, but there was no internet.  So, humans had no email, or social media of any kind.  We, gulp, had to call each other on archaic devices called home phones.  They hooked into our walls with wires. WIRES!! We had to sit or stand near the phone, and we could only move as far as the telephone CORD would allow.

When I was your age, back in the 80’s, there was music on MTV. Odd, I know, but stay with me. A lot of the videos showed people getting emotional about phone calls. These songs also talked about people meeting in person rather than on Facebook as nature intended. There were even lyrics about people reading paper magazines. What a waste of trees! Why were there no iPads?

Even though there was a shocking lack of technology back in the day, there was some great music. I wanted to share some of my favorite songs with you, but I realized they would probably not make sense to anyone born after 1992. To make them more accessible to those younger than me, I have updated the lyrics so you can understand and appreciate them.

 

Huey Lewis and the News, “If This Is It”

Original: I’ve been phoning, night and morning. I heard you say,”Tell him I’m not home.”

Translation: I’ve been texting. It says you read them. You keep letting me go straight to voicemail.

 

Duran Duran, “Girls on Film”

Original: Wider baby smiling you just made a million. Fuses pumping live heat twisting out on a wire

Translation: You used the right filter and got a million likes. You went viral on Instagram and Facebook, too.

 

Wham, “Battle Stations”

Original: You don’t know how much I hate that answer phone. Are you standing there? But – you won’t pick up the ‘phone. Why lie to my face? When you can buy a tape machine to give me bullshit in your place

Translation: I hate when you reject my call. I know my picture still pops up on your iPhone. You don’t even have the balls to Facetime me.

 

Ratt, “Round and Round”

Original: Out on the streets; that’s where we’ll meet. You make the night. I always cross the line.

Translation: In a Facebook group, I will see you. You post the best cat videos. I post politically incorrect jokes about Republicans.

 

Midnight Star, “Operator” (Young people, there used to be a person called an “operator” who used to help you make phone calls. It’s kind of tough to explain, but just think of this person as Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg.)

Original: “Operator, can I help you?”

“Yes, I’m trying to, uh, reach my baby, and I dialed 6-1-6”

Translation: “Hi. You sound lost. Do you need a new iPhone?”

“Yes, I’m trying to text this hot chick, and I dialed 567-443-8671.”

“You didn’t dial a 1 first, doofus.”

 

Tommy Tutone, “Jenny 867-5309”

Original: Jenny don’t change your number
I need to make you mine
Jenny I call your number — 867-5309

Translation: Jenny, I’ve been tweeting you. Please retweet or reply. Jenny, I follow your Twitter — at sign J-e-n-n-y

 

J. Geils Band, “Centerfold”

Original: Years go by I’m lookin’ through a girly magazine
And there’s my homeroom angel on the pages in-between. My angel is the centerfold.

Translation: A long time after school, I was flipping through Instagram, and there’s my ex in a bathing suit with lots of tats. My bae is a suicide girl.

 

The Clash, “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

Original: One day is fine and next is black. So if you want me off your back. Well come on an’ let me know. Should I Stay or should I go?

Translation: Your Facebook statuses are funny but sometimes you vaguebook. Your relationship status says complicated. Should I comment or should I unfriend?

 

Prince and the Revolution, “When Doves Cry.”

Original: How can we scream at each other?

Translation: How can we all caps text each other?

 

Blondie, “Call Me.”

Original: Call me (call me) on the line. Call me, call me any, anytime

Translation: Snap chat me (or text) on the iPhone. I won’t turn it off at night.

 

Stevie Wonder, “I just called to say I love you.”

Original: I just called to say I love you.

Translation: I tagged you as my Woman Crush Wednesday on Instagram to kind of claim you.

What do you think, young people? Are you still thinking about the wired phone? I hope you don’t have nightmares about that. It was super frightening. Your mom could pick up at any time and tell you to get off the phone. Super embarrassing. Be glad you don’t have to go through that. Maybe you can translate your favorite songs for me now, or at least hand me the lyrics.  I can’t understand what the heck anyone is “singing” now with all of the yelling and growling.  Oh, shit.  I’m getting old.

 

 

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.