Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Bo Didley guitar.
One of our servers gave us a jello shooter in a syringe. We were the only people in her bar on the 23rd. Memphis was really quiet for two days then crowds came. We saw people from Korea, Amsterdam, Toronto, Florida, Germany in Memphis on vacations.
Just about ever place on Beale Street has live music. Really good musicians and no cover charge.
Furry Lewis meorbilia at the Memphis Hard Rock Cafe.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Hitting the road to Graceland
We've got the camera with us will try to post pics over the next few days.
Jun, why do you only take
pictures of the rooms we stay in...
and never what we see
outside, while we travel?
Those other things are in my memory.
The hotel rooms and the airports
are the things I'll forget.
Yeah, I guess so...
Oh, did I show you my
Look at him.
Study his face carefully.
Now, look at this.
This guy was an ancient Middle Eastern
King. Looks just like him, right?
Elvis as the Buddha.
The Statue of Liberty in
New York. She's Elvis too!
Elvis was even more
influential than I thought.
There's one more!
Madonna looks like Elvis, too.
Oh no, not Madonna!
Give me a break!
From Wikipedia: The Rock-afire Explosion was an animatronic robot band that played in Showbiz Pizza Place restaurants from 1980 to 1991. The show was created and manufactured exclusively for Showbiz by Creative Engineering, Inc. in Orlando, Florida. In later years, the show was sold to other restaurants and entertainment centers. The characters in The Rock-afire Explosion were various animals ranging from a dog to a gorilla. They would perform medleys of classic rock, pop, and country music, as well as original compositions.
The stage was designed to be life-sized. Unlike many small novelty animatronic shows, the Rock-afire was designed to take up the entire length of the showroom. The stage was split into three sections, with the band in the center section and other characters on the two side sections each with separate curtains. Differing from their main competitor (Chuck E. Cheese's), the characters could mimic playing real instruments and had realistic facial expressions due to the use of latex masks (as used in Disney animatronics) as opposed to fabric and foam. The show also used a large amount of props and stage lighting effects which heightened the amount of perceived movement on the stage.
ShowBiz Pizza Place was similar to (and competed with) Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre, another restaurant chain that was popular in other parts of the United States. When "Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre" filed for bankruptcy in 1984, ShowBiz Pizza bought the company.
The corporation maintained the two restaurant chains simultaneously for a few years. Each continued their own stage shows and merchandise. However, relations between the company that owned and programmed The Rock-afire Explosion, Creative Engineering, and ShowBiz soon began to cool. In fact, ShowBiz began toying with the idea of replacing The Rock-afire Explosion with licensed characters, such as Spider-Man or Garfield, and three locations actually retrofitted the robots at stage left into Yogi Bear and Boo Boo  (it is unknown what, if anything, was done to the other two stages at the aforementioned locations although it had been witnessed that Yogi and Boo Boo interacted with the band members on the center stage).
The company ultimately retrofitted the Rock-afire Explosion robots into a new show called Munch's Make Believe Band (featuring the Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre characters), and reverse-engineered the programming of the robots themselves. Eventually, the ShowBiz restaurants themselves were converted to Chuck E. Cheese's locations, in a process called "Concept Unification." The company had decided to shift its focus away from animatronics and more towards video games, food, and quality of service.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
The best iconic Chicago personality now that Studs is gone, Newcity
Tony Fitzpatrick talks about his life between Chicago and New Orleans.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Joe Strummer, Redemption Song
A short while ago I finished reading Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer by Chris Salewicz. It was a good read. It started out a little slow, but all of the material needed to be covered to explore Strummer's beginnings as a singer/songwriter. The photos in the book were very cool. I think the book was called Redemption Song because the song was sung over and over on Strummer's tours and many times in vans and buses, along the way, after lots of drinks. The book didn't exploit anything and it didn't sugar coat either. While I read it I had many images replay in my mind from a dvd I own called Revolution Rock and Westway To The World. Many other rock docs and articles try to connect early reagae to punk. They usually miss the bulleye completely. Salewicz helps make that connection without ever setting out to do so. Redemption Song highlights The Mescaleros, toward the end of Strummer's life, in the correct light of what the bands goals and interests were along with Strummers. I enjoyed the screen acting projects and soundtracks and this book gave good background anecdotes of that period in Strummer's work. The book helped wake me up to how much can be learned from someone elses life and dreams. So many musical groups both selfconsciously and unaware, have new offramps on and off musical highways from the life and times and influence of Joe Srtrummer.
NPR page about the book.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
This next set goes out for Candy
Rage Against The Machine are to make a bid to beat this year's winner of 'The X Factor' to the UK's Christmas Number One single position.
A Facebook group asking people to buy the band's 'Killing In The Name' has at the time of writing attracted over 45,000 members.
The group states that fans should buy the song from December 13 – the same day that this year's X Factor winner's song becomes available.
Twitter users are also showing their support for the petition by retweeting the following message: "Rage Against The Machine For Xmas No.1 #ratm4xmas See here for details http://bit.ly/inthename please RT".
Although it hasn't been confirmed yet, the winner of 'The X Factor' 2009 is reportedly set to release a cover of Miley Cyrus' 'The Climb' as their Christmas single.
A similar petition for Jeff Buckley's 'Hallelujah' was launched last year in reaction to 'The X Factor' winner Alexandra Burke releasing her version of the song for Christmas.
Although Burke still topped the UK singles charts with the song, Buckley's rendition of the Leonard Cohen classic reached the Number Two position.
This year's Christmas Number One single will be announced on December 20. From NME Magazine