Here I am with lots o' music in my brain today. I'm in between Sounds of the Underground, Jim Curry and Poison with Ratt.... plus quite a few local grooves. Perhaps this would make more sense if I started from the beginning.
Last week I ended by saying I was off to the Sounds of the Underground show in Irvine. Held on the back parking lot of the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, the first thing I did was stake out a spot for the day under a tree and near the stage. My brother, Jason, was serving as my photographer for the day-- he's willing to stay for the entire show and isn't afraid to take a ton of photos to get a few good shots. Plus he works cheap-- he even bought me lemonade!
There were 15 or so acts Saturday, including Shadows Fall, Every Time I Die, You Look Like the Number 12, Devil Wears Prada, Job for a Cowboy, Darkest Hour, Acacia Strain, Chimaira, Amon Amarth, Heavy Heavy Low Low, Goatwhore and 2 Cents. The surprise headliner was Suicidal Tendancies. But my favorite was Gwar.
Yeah, I'm a huge Gwar fan and I think I've converted my brother too. I've often watched them from the back of the house, the sidelines or even backstage because their signature act involves spraying colored water, representing various body fluids, all over the audience. This time I had my white shirt and was ready to earn my place in the Slave Pit. I entered the fray, got doused with "blood" and had a blast.
After, I met up with my brother. He was the only photographer who lasted past the first tune or so of Gwar. Jason looked pretty good as he told me how he ducked or turned around when the spray was too much-- there were a few splashes of color across his hat and shirt. Then I looked some more and noticed his shorts and socks had dots of color too. Jason smiled and turned around to show me his backside-- he was "painted" from head to toe in swatches of red, green and blue! Evidently, Gwar had taken aim at him, but Jason understood it was all in good fun and seemed slightly proud of his baptism. As for me, I felt invigorated by my time in the Slave Pit, yet a little disenchanted, as I came out with only a sprinkling of red across my chest.
For more on SOTU and my "Confessions from the Slave Pit," visit http://www.dabelly.com/ after Aug. 15. Also visit http://www.soundsoftheundergoundtour.com/
Last night my pod partner (that means deskmate at work), Linda, and my friend Andrew went to see Jim Curry's Tribute to John Denver at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens (http://www.rsabg.org/) in Claremont. It was pure delight to watch the sun go down and the stars come up as Curry, along with his vocalist/mandolinist/guitarist wife, Anne, and his backup band wooed the crowd with a nice repertoire of material. All of the selections, except for one penned by Curry, were either written or performed by Denver at some point in his career. Curry and his wife chatted with the audience in between numbers for a pleasant downhome feel.
The Currys have made their tribute show their mainstay, performing in Las Vegas, on cruise ships and all over the globe. One of the things I like best about their act is that it is a true tribute honoring Denver, not just an impression or impersonation. Curry has the look, charm and sound that he could easily work into being a Denver impersonator, but these attributes are naturally his and any resemblence is a happy coincidence that he has been able add to creating a successful music career.
You can find out where in the world is Jim Curry and learn more about him at jimcurrymusic.com
Next up for me is Sunday when I return to Irvine for Ratt and Poison. My story on Bret Michaels published today in my newspapers- San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, Whittier Daily News, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, San Bernardino Sun, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze and Los Angeles Daily News.
In rotation this week: The Haunted, Chthonic, Mark Kendall, Judas Priest, Tribe of Gypsies, Steel Tyrant, Gwar, Poison, Slayer, Orange Sky, Tiger Army and Five Finger Death Punch.
My thought for this week comes off of Linda's refrigerator (good thing it's not off of mine, as I only have old Get Fuzzy and Pearls and Swine comic strips, friends' photos, magnets from restaurants and various utility companies and a calendar with military aircraft stuck on there):
"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not"~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Beauty is as beauty does, you know, so ruminate on that for a while
and keep on rockin'