Category Archives: Good Eats

Babble Blog: G250 & Shooting Trees

Good news everybody!

All I can think of at this very moment is Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth:

Seriously though, there is some good news as I was able to recover a lot of data thanks to a computer whiz at work. This means I have all my music and photos back. Sadly I am still having a hard time finding my contacts and whatnot in Outlook. I really hope I can figure something out and retrieve some of those email messages but if it is not able to happen at least I got something back…

Why are computers such a pain in the ass? I wish I could have had some warning so that I could have planned accordingly. Lesson learned.

I have noticed lately that I have actually been blogging more personal aspects of life rather than what music I am listening to. Get used to it. Sometimes there is nothing better than typing out your day/week/month for the world to read. Who knows, someone might get a kick out of it.

A few days ago I was having one of those days where the zippers were falling apart on my hoodies and the pain from screwdrivers stabbing my thumb while trying to fix it just made it worse. Crappy as it was, it turned for the best when I found a package at my front door. It is the little things in life that mean the most. Someone out there took time out of their life to make me something and honestly it is the coolest thing I have ever received:

Of course I have already sent something back. I look forward to the reaction. It was nothing absurd in case you were wondering… It was thoughtful, fun, and maybe even amazing.

BHP is still getting things straightened out with the whole loss of the laptop. Any day now I will be posting worthless information for everyone to shake their heads to. Speaking of, let me tell you about my weekend…

This past weekend I went to Cincinnati to visit one of my best friends. Usually when I make the trip down there I take a friend but this time it was just me and the pups. I left Saturday morning and arrived there just before noon and returned home the following evening around 7pm. That one quick trip was full of hilarity from the moment I pulled into his driveway.

I could sit here and talk about everything that happened while down there but that might take a while so I will just point out the parts I look back at and either shake my head or laugh at.

-Hibachi. There is a place in Cincinnati called Tokyo that has the best sushi and hibachi ever. I make a point to go there each time I visit. Their dragon rolls are quite possibly the best I have ever had and the hibachi is damn tasty as well. The staff is super friendly and usually when we go it is not busy. This particular time it was just me and my friend at the hibachi grill. We stuffed our faces, talked for hours,and sipped on sake.  Life is good.

Sushi @ Tokyo

-IKEA. I have always liked IKEA products but never had been to one of their stores. An IKEA store opened in Cincinnati within the last couple years and I decided it was time to pay the store a visit. Walking in there I felt like I was in a Disney World attraction with all the different types of people and giant cargo elevators as well as human jammed escalators. I felt like I was in a rat race of sorts following all the people through the upper level of the building that showcased different rooms full of IKEA product. After endlessly dodging customers and employees while looking for an end to the maze I found myself getting bored and decided a pillow fight was in order. Some of the IKEA zombies did not like that. Moving on we managed to get lost but then noticed the convenient arrows on the ground were pointing the opposite direction we were walking so a u-turn got us back on track. As if the upper level was not enough we skipped the Swedish meatball stand and headed downstairs where it was just a warehouse of product. I admit I bought some stuff but did not spend a lot of money. I grabbed two pillows, two small tables, and a tool set. I wanted more but knew it was not a good idea. The shopping carts did sweet 360’s too.

-Roman Candles (Part 1). When a friend tells you that the roman candle you are about to light off may shoot far, listen. I did not and shot one of the balls of fire over my friend’s fence and into his neighbor’s yard. Oops.

-Guinness 250th Anniversary Stout. It’s been a little over a month since I started drinking again. I went alcohol free for a while not just because I wanted to see if I could but because I needed a break. As soon as I fell off the wagon I had a mission to find the Guinness 250 stout. The G250 is a limited edition Guinness stout that was brewed for their 250 year anniversary – simple enough right? Well I have been unsuccessful in finding it on tap in my neck of the woods but was lucky to find an Irish pub in Newport, KY that had it. My friend and I drove there, took at seat at the back bar, and proudly ordered a pint. My (insert worship character of choice) that beer was absolutely AMAZING. It is not thick like Guinness as it is a stout, but still holds that distinguished taste I love.

-Zombie Girl. After we left the pub we walked around the Newport area and as I walked past a Hot Topic I noticed a girl dressed like a zombie lying on the floor perfectly still just inside the entrance. She waved ever so slightly to inform me she was not dead (yet) so being the friendly guy that I am I walked up to her and complimented her on her zombie success. It was funny to see other passerby’s reactions, many who just did not get it. I wanted to punch those people in the face but did not. As my friend and I left the Hot Topic I noticed Ms. Zombie Girl had her hand open as if she were holding it open for a donation. I told my friend I wish I had some change to drop in her hand but my friend was quick to my idea and pressed thirteen cents into the palm of her hand. She looked me confused and we left laughing. We are idiots, yes.

-Roman Candles (Part 2). This time was a little funnier and a little dumber as I thought it would be a good idea to light more roman candles in the early hours of the morning. This time I made sure to hold it away from any neighboring house but for whatever reason managed to shoot a tree with the first fireball. I am an idiot, yes I am.

I survived the weekend unscathed. I did not hurt myself or others so I must say the weekend was a great success. I visited one of my best friends ever, ate mad amounts of foods, drank for at least 12 hours, and remember everything. Good times indeed.

The dogs had fun too.  Of course I took them, they have friends in Cincinnati too…

The pups...

Well Overdue Post Regarding Some Fun Events From Past Weeks

I have been so damn busy as of late I have not had a chance to tell you all what I have been up to in my own personal life, music and entertainment wise that is of course.

On Aug. 8th I joined my pal Mr. Addicted To Vinyl on one of the best adventures I have had all summer in Cleveland this year.  You see Matt is and has been in the radio business for years now and I am sure you know that if you have read his blog and if you have not then you are missing out.

For unknown reasons other than I am amazing Matt extended an invite to me to meet up with some of his radio / music friends at a bar at Whiskey Island for a gathering and then to see 90’s Cleveland alt-rockers The Waynes play a reunion gig at the Happy Dog.

At first I hesitated seeing how I was not sure how this day was going to pan out.  I would know one or two people tops who would be going to the show that evening and know only Matt during the day gathering.  After some quick thought I decided what the hell and told him I was game.

I picked up Matt and we headed to a bar at Whiskey island called the Sunset Grille.  I laughed as soon as we arrived to the bar because I remember being there over 10 years ago on a couple of occasions and have fond memories of drinking way too many Long Island iced teas while underage, making out with random women, and at one time sleeping in my car because I was too drunk to function.

I also recalled the time that I went there with some high school friends to join a frat party of some of my friend’s older brothers.  Let’s just say during the evening hours I caught a boat to the flats, partied like a rock star, got a couple of girl’s numbers, made the driver of the boat angry, almost missed my ride back to Whiskey Island via boat as the sweet jocks I was with tried to ditch me, and eventually made it back to the marina after convincing another jock it was a bad idea to go swimming in Lake Erie as well as a bad idea to take the boat to Canada.


So yes I had some great drunken memories of this place and was actually a little excited to be there.  The only problem was that it was gloomy out and just down right cold for an August afternoon.  When I say cold I mean I actually put a hoodie on cold.  It was crazy.

The Gang

Matt’s friends were all in the music business one way or another and all super cool.  I can honestly say I met some of the coolest people I have met in a long time that day.  They were all very friendly and had a ton of stories to share.  I of course supplied them with some of my stories as well.  it was a blast and even the sun warmed things up a little making for the afternoon just the perfect Saturday to hang outdoors with good people.

Around 8pm we headed to the Happy Dog to get a place to sit and get ready for a fun night that would include a reunion show of The Waynes, a 90’s local rock act who had not played a show in years.  The bar was already full of old school fans so we grabbed some bar stools and planted it there for the night.

Chris Allen opened the show with some great guitar playing, singing, and a little harmonica playing.  I had recently just seen him and Don Dixon play at the very same bar a few weeks back so I actually recognized some of his songs.

The Waynes on the other hand I was not familiar with.  I wish I was though because they were one of those bands in the 90’s I now wish I was aware of.  They were amazing.

The Happy Dog should have been called the Happy Inferno that night because I swear it was over 90 degrees in the bar.  With two full sets by The Waynes I tried my hardest to watch them perform their songs but eventually had to step outside for some fresh air.

While watching and listening to them I could not help myself but to observe Matt and his friends all with huge smiles on their faces as well as a bunch of other folk who showed up as well.  They were all singing along having a great time.  Yes, alcohol helped in the fun for many but the overall the gathering of good friends while listening to a band they all adored at a younger ago made it that much better.

Last Thursday evening I headed out to the wonderful Music Saves on Waterloo before venturing to see some bands play at a free show at Blue Arrow Records.  I told Melanie at Music Saves that I would bring her some cheese previously in the week as a joke but she got so excited about the offer I decided I should stick to my offer and brought her an afternoon snack.  After hanging out there for a moment and meeting up with Matt we then took off to Blue Arrow where my friend Adam’s (Rad-am) current band the Prisoners were playing a free show with The Lawton Brothers.

It was pretty warm in the store but nothing too crazy plus fans were brought in to make the show a little more comfortable.  A lot of cool folk showed up for the event and shopped for good vinyl while listening to both bands play throughout the evening.

Hanging outside on the sidewalk in between acts on Waterloo brought me back some memories of the days when I was a kid hanging out on Coventry, a hip street full of music and specialty shops in Cleveland Hts.  The Waterloo District as I have heard some folk call it recently is really a great attraction for all to check out.  With two of the best music stores and other amazing specialty shops it is worth the trip no matter how far away you live.  It takes me almost an hour to get there and I aim for one to two visits a month if that tells you anything…

Saturday night was all about The Foot at the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame.  Matt asked me if I wanted to join him to see Chickenfoot (Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Chad Smith, and Michael Anthony ).  i could not pass up the opportunity to see a line up like that of the silly named band so of course I said yes.

Before the show Matt and I headed around Lakewood to kill some time and eventually decided food was something that was needed.  Matt suggested The Diner On Clifton and I am glad he did.

Before I even continue this babble of a story I need to tell you all about the purple coleslaw.  Matt ordered fish n’ chips and where I am from fish n’ chips comes with a side of coleslaw too.  Our adorable waitress dropped off our orders and Matt stops in mid-sentence and says:

“Jesus Christ, what the hell is that?”

He of course was alerted to a certain little cup of coleslaw that was purple in color from the red cabbage that was used to make it.  The waitress asked if everything was ok and Matt kindly asked her to remove it from the table but being the ass that I am I asked her to give it to me so I could eat it slowly in front of him.  When she took the little cup of goodness away from his plate a little of the purple stuff dropped on the table.

Matt’s face was priceless.

Matt was so terrified of the coleslaw and that little amount that was dropped on the table by him when the cup was moved from one side of the table to the other was seen as toxic waste in his eyes.  I don’t think I have laughed that hard in a long time and to make things even more fun for me I took it upon myself to make sure he was looking at me each time I took a bite of the delicious slaw.  I was torturing him and it was hilarious.

After dinner we headed downtown to the Rock Hall to partake in the free event.  We chose to park in the parking deck just across the highway from the Rock Hall for a mere $10.00.  The tenant who took my money was nice but not nice enough to inform me that the steps near E. 9th were closed.  Matt and I found out the hard way as we parked the car and walked to the steps only to see caution tape.  We then took the elevator to the 1st level thinking that was where we first entered.  Nope.  We were in the basement and it was gloomy as hell.  All Matt and I could think of was the DXism (D.X. Ferris) reference to parking garage vampires.

I seriously thought we were never going to make it to an exit.  Luckily we were not the only morons running around the deck like a mouse trying to find the cheese in some failed science experiment.

Finally getting out of that damn garage and making way to the show a guy approached me and asked if I wanted to buy tickets to the event.  I am not sure if this scalper knew it or not but the show was free.  Tickets were given out for free before the date of the show and I found out later that people were just handing out extras to people who did not come with a ticket…for free.  I hope to hell the scalper sold nothing to anyone and cried himself home.

I admit I was excited to see Chickenfoot.  After never seeing any era of Van Halen or Joe Satriani I told myself this may very well be the only chance to see these two rock superstars live.  I did not know any of the songs but it did not matter as they were entertaining as hell and put on a great show for all who gathered that night in front of the Rock Hall.

I can tell you this.  Chickenfoot sounded great.  I still have yet to listen to their album that dropped earlier this year but the combination of all of the amazing musicians made for a great rock show.  I am still shocked to have learned that Sammy Hagar is 61 years old.

The front patio of the Rock Hall was crowded and everyone was having a great time.  The weather held out perfectly for the free show and I am glad I went.

I pulled a [insert Matt’s last name here] by leaving the show early but not because I needed to go home and crawl into bed like someone I know, but because I had another show in Cleveland I needed to get to.  I said bye to Matt left the rock show so that I could go to a punk show.

My good friends The Facials had a CD release party at Rockstar and were set to go on stage around 11:15pm so I got there in time and was greeted by my pals with about 7 free tickets.  I love my friends…jerks.

I was told by my pals that I missed some great openers but I could see a little gleam of jealousy when I told them were I was at before arriving.  Rockstar (located on the upper level of Peabody’s) was just as hot as the Happy Dog the week before was and I swear I thought I was going to melt there.

The Facials were the last band to take the stage and even though I was given a CD to listen to by my friends I opted to not check it out until I saw them play some of the songs.

I have to say I was impressed.

I’m not going to go review their performance or CD but if you like Cleveland punk rock you should check out my boys The Facials.  This is their second release and they put a lot of work into it plus they are good guys.  Fans of Pennywise and enemies of pop-punk should dig.

So yeah, that was the last few days/weeks for me.  It has taken me forever to even post this because I have been so busy with work and the office zombie routine.

This week is ending quick and tonight I am going to try and make it to Visible Voice Books in the essentric neighborhood of Termont to see author Jessica Hopper talk about her book Girl’s Guide To Rocking followed by a show at the Happy Dog (I will be bringing portable AC with me).  The fun starts at 7:30pm.  I am still not 100% sure I am going to make it but if you are in the area it is going to be fun.  Don’t miss it.

Friday Matt, who may be kissing up to me as rumors have been pointing that I want to beat him up, offered his extra ticket to see Tonic at the mini-Blossom of sorts, Cain Park.  I am super pumped to make that show.  I almost feel bad for taunting him with the purple coleslaw…no, wait… I do not.

The 27th is the homecoming show of Nicholas Megalis at House Of Blues Cleveland.  At $5 a ticket I am sure there will be a lot of folk there.  Then on the 28th is Cracker at the Beachland Ballroom.  Can someone say me so busy?  Well, I am.

Luckily I have decided that I am skipping the Virgin Mobile Free Fest so that should ease some of my busy life down a notch.  I was unable to get tickets (even though it was free they have to have some sort of control) to it but that is ok.  I do not have the money to make the drive out there plus I feel I have enough going right now to justify my choice to skip my tradition of going to Baltimore every Summer since 2006.

So yeah, that is my well overdue post.  If you made it this far down the line then go to the kitchen and find yourself a cookie.

May The Fourth Be With You – Weekend Follies In Fours

There is nothing better than having a four day weekend. Well maybe there are some other things out there that can be better, but one of them is definitely not having to work for four straight days and getting paid for one of them as it is a holiday. Add buying stuff, hanging with friends, and good eats and I would have to argue that nothing could be better.


Thursday the lady and I went for an amazing lunch at Yellow Tail in Fairlawn.  For $10 a person we got to engulf as much sushi, salads, desserts, and other buffet quality foods.  It was awesome and I am going back there very soon.  I was obsessed with the seaweed salad as well as the sushi tempura.

After we stuffed ourselves silly we stopped at Square Records in Akron for a quick look around at what was good.  I left there with some sweet finds including a Judgement Night soundtrack single and some Thom Yorke remixes from his album Eraser.

It was a nice little date for the two of us.  She had plans to go to go over to a friends for movie night and I just kicked it in the bedroom for the rest of the night.  It was a perfect way for me to start the weekend.

Last Friday was a day I really need to recap with a little more detail seeing how on much fun it was.  For starters I decided to head out to the good shops on Waterloo Rd. in East Cleveland where I dropped some $$$ on some vinyl at Music Saves (new Dinosaur Jr & Against Me! if you were wondering) and then killed some time at Shoparooni and Blue Arrow before heading to Lakewood to meet up with my pal Matt.

Once Matt and I met up we decided to grab a bite to eat but not before making a stop at My Mind’s Eye where I snagged up a couple more records (Coner Oberst & another Against Me!).  With my wallet feeling a little lighter we headed across the street to Angelo’s where for the first time I actually tried something other than the pizza.

Feeling full thanks to devouring my shrimp fettuccine alfredo and a slice of tiramisu, Matt and I ventured out to the Gordon Square Arts District area and made way in to the Happy Dog, a quaint little bar where Chris Allen & The Guilty Hearts with very special guest Don Dixon were to play a show that night.  Earlier in the week Matt had asked me if I wanted to join him as he was very excited to see Don Dixon live finally.  Figuring he would never make it down my way unless someone else drove him I happy oblidged to join him.

After dropping over $80 on records and a sweet Music Saves pint glass earlier in the day I feel as if I was given a break by the door-lady at the Happy Dog as she kindly waved us in saying it was not 9pm yet so no cover charge was needed.  Scoping out the bar we found a booth that was pretty close to the stage and parked it there for the night.

A very young and green opening act (their band’s name escapes me) took the stage and cranked out some original tunes as well as a Tom Petty cover and even a bold Wilco cover of “Jesus Etc.”, I was impressed with the kids.  I almost felt bad for them seeing how nervous they were but they really did a good job and everyone in attendance made sure they they let the kids know they were doing a good job.

Chris Allen was joined on stage by Don Dixon for the whole set.  Where as I am not familiar with any of their music I just relaxed and enjoyed the music.  Good times.

When Chris Allen and his band left Don Dixon to be alone for a while I became intrigued.  I was aware, thanks to Matt, that Don Dixon produced the Smithereens and R.E.M. back in the day so it was pretty clear the man was a veteran musician.  I was not sure what he was going to sound like as he started playing his acoustical guitar but was soon answered that question when he started to sing.  He had, to me, a very Elvis Costello resemblance and I really enjoyed the few songs he played.

Chris Allen and band joined Don Dixon back on the stage for play the second half of their set.  The mostly middle aged crowd there was going nuts.  The locals who use the Happy Dog as a Friday night drinking hole were not too excited, especially the ones who learned they needed to pay to get in the doors.

It was about at this time that another person was added to our table.  The very cool Emily who runs The Cleveland Caper met up with us to enjoy some of the tunes.

Honestly I think we had more fun making jokes at one another and surrounding people.  Regardless it was a good time.  Emily’s boss even met up with us for a couple of drinks after the band finished playing their songs.  We all sat snugly in the booth and continued to poke fun at one another as well as just engage in good conversation.

At one time Matt was telling us about how he and the Cleveland Bachelor went to see Kevin Costner play at the House Of Blues.  Somewhere in the conversation Matt hollered “Waterworld” where Don Dixon heard us and walked over to join our small party.

It was awesome just to sit there and talk to this guy who has a lot of music history running through his blood.  Trying not to talk to much I just let Matt and Don Dixon chat for a moment because I knew Matt was really excited to have him sit with us and talk shop even if it were only for a few minutes.

Having drained my iPhone battery earlier in the night from posting tons of Twitter lies about Matt, I had just enough juice to take a photo of Matt and Don Dixon.  After a warm shake for the guys and a more gentleman kiss on the hand for the ladies Don Dixon bid us a good evening and went back to collecting his gear.

Back to a table of four we kept conversing for a bit and before I knew it the time was after 2am and I really needed to get a start on that almost hour drive home.

Friday night was an awesome night even if I hardly slept.  I needed a night like that and I thank Matt and Emily for being a part of it (and Emily’s friend/boss too).

Saturday of course was the 4th of July. Woo, a day where people can go up to local fireworks stores, lie about where they are going to blow them off at since it is illegal to discharge fireworks in Ohio, and return home only to narrowly blow off a finger while carelessly lighting off M-80’s after a full day of drinking…

The day does not mean much to me as far as a drinking aspect goes so it was more like a day off from the work.  I did however have to go to my work as I left a flash drive there and needed it for review purposes.  After picking up my much needed storage device the lady and I headed up to the grocery store to buy junk food and grill food.  Jalapeno Cheetos are the bomb by the way.

The day (as well as the next day, Sunday) was all about hanging out with friends and family (and the pups) and was something that I needed.  I had some good eats, good sleeps, and just overall good times.  When I had down time I took a few moments to spin a couple of the records I had purchased.  I also joined the lady in some long ass naps.  I never nap so it was even that much more special.

So now that I have some alone time once again I thought it would be best to reflet upon about the weekend as well as relax a little bit more once again with the needle on the record…

The Gaslight Anthem, Good Old War, & Redwater Rojo – Agora Ballroom – Cleveland, OH – 03/31/2009 – Concert Review

The Gaslight Anthem

Last minute shows are always a good time for me.  First I have to see if I can get off work early enough to go home and change from my “business casual” attire so I do not stand out like a sore thumb and then there is the planning of meeting up with friends and trying to grab a quick bite to eat.  Sometimes this planning fails immediately as work beckons me to stay, meaning I can not get off that evening.  Luckily for me things worked out perfectly this past Tuesday when The Gaslight Anthem came to town.

Matt from Addicted To Vinyl mentioned to me on Monday night that The Gaslight Anthem were playing the Agora Ballroom with special guests Good Old War and local rockers Redwater Rojo the very next night.  I honestly did not think I was going to make it to this show and kicked myself for also forgetting about it.  I was not 100% sure that I would be able to leave work early enough to head out to Cleveland to see them perform but as luck would have it I was able to.

Matt and I decided to grab a bite to eat before hitting the show and jokingly we discuss eating at My Friends in Lakewood, OH as I was once convinced he lived there because every time I ever picked him up for a show or what have you he insisted on meeting me at My Friends.  I give him hell for it all the time but on Tuesday I was shocked when he told me I could pick him up from his dwelling.

Once I arrived Matt asked me if I had ever eaten at The Town Fryer, a local southern cuisine based eatery, and I stated I had not.  He reminded me that the restaurant had expanded recently and opened shop in the same building as the Agora.  He suggested we eat there since it was literally butted up to the venue and I agreed it was a good idea.

Now normally I do not mix food reviews with concert reviews but something happened while we were eating that involved unknown crew/friends of a band that would play later that night.  It was not about the food, that was excellent (the catfish was to die for!), it was about other patrons…

I should take a moment here and clear something up right quick.  Originally I thought the people seated behind me were Good Old War with a female friend.  I was quick to exchange emails later in the day after writing the blog with my good pal Jonah who informed me that said girl who was associated with Good Old War was the merch girl and she, nor the band, were even able to eat at The Town Fryer as they closed shop shortly after Matt and I finished our meal.  So to Good Old War band members/crew, supposed girl, her boss, and anyone else who read this blog originally…oops, my bad.  Seriously, I need to stop assuming things…


While seated at The Town Fryer there were some folk seated behind Matt and I who were giving the waitress kind of a rough time.  It was apparent the waitress was a little stressed out since she was the only one there and we later learned that she not even 5 minutes before we walked in found out she had to open shop.  Apparently The Town Fryer was in the process of moving from one space to another in the building and she had been there since 6:30am.

To make a long story short these cool folk were not too kind and not too cool in my standards.  I knew they had something to do with the band because they paid with meal tickets, something that is given to the band and crew only.

There was a female companion who sat along with a few guys who seemed to be making a big stink about “being vegetarian” and gave the waitress kind of a hard time about her order.  Granted the restaurant lacked some of the menu items I still found it uncalled for how they were being.  They were not exactly a-holes to the waitress but enough to bother me while I was eating.

Regardless of how crappy her day was and how long she had been on her feet busting her ass for a decent paycheck, our waitress gave Matt and I great service and in return we were nice to her as we both understood she was having a rough day.  She was a cute girl and just looked ever so tired.  I could see the long day she had in her eyes so I decided to be extra friendly and funny to her.  I am pretty sure thanks to our conversations with her we put a smile on her face.  I will be going there again for sure.

Something that also pissed me off was that later our waitress told us that the tip Ms. I’m A Vegetarian left her was not even $3.00 for a $60.00 bill total (I don’t give a crap if there were coupons/meal tickets/gift cards…your tip should reflect the total bill).  Don’t worry friends/crew that hangs out with unknown band, I tipped heavy on account that you suck as patrons and failed to understand how rough of a time that waitress was having.  I had been in the food business for many years of my life and this you should know… – respect your servers.

So let’s get back to talking about the show shall we?

The original bill for this show stated that Dayton, OH’s Heartless Bastards were playing as well but for some unknown reason they skipped Cleveland but managed to play Pittsburgh and Columbus just days before.  If anyone knows why they skipped out I would love to know especially since I have been wanting to see them live for a while now and am a little bummed they passed up Cleveland.  I guess I will see them this summer though as they are playing the 2009 Bonnaroo.  Luckily the Agora was able to acquire Redwater Rojo to fill in last minute.

Cleveland’s Redwater Rojo took the stage to a small gathering to start off the night.  I have seen their name around and even used to work with the lead singer years ago but I had never seen them live.  Their performance was good with a strong mix of southern , smooth , and even at one time some progressive rock.  I was shocked to hear how great the lead singer’s voice was as I was not even aware he was the front-man of the band when he told me about it years ago.  I liked their music and hope to see them play again.  My only complaints really were that the band kind of stood in place their entire set and lacked movement and I was unable to decipher if they were religious or not as some songs seemed to go hand in hand with a bible while others screamed F you to pretentious women.

While hanging out in the lobby of the Agora, Good Old War performed.  I had never heard any material by the Langhorne, PA folk fun rockers whose songs really remind me of Paul Simon.  They were entertaining and from the medium sized crowd that cheered and sang along with them I would have to say I got a kick out of them and will be checking out their release Only Way To Be Alone sometime soon.

I do need to add though at times during Good Old War’s performance, loud group cheers from the bar area of the Agora overpowered their performance and I knew why.  The Cleveland Cavaliers were kicking some serious ass that night and a bunch of the attendees at the show gathered around the television to cheer on LeBron James and others towards another victory.  Go Cavs!  Only in Cleveland…

The Gaslight Anthem took stage after the Cavs claimed a win so everyone at the venue focused all their attention at the New Jersey quartet.  Opening with “Great Expectations” the band sounded just as amazing as they do on their studio releases.  All of the members were smiling and playing their hearts out and it was truly enjoyable seeing that.  Throughout the show they played some of my favorites like “Old White Lincoln” and “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues” as well as “We Came To Dance” off their first release and “Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts” off the Señor And The Queen EP.

The lead singer Brian Fallon at one time explained to the crowd that they were smiling and laughing so much because of inside jokes the band had with one another.  The laughs soon were shared with the fans when Brian Fallon stated that he could not having a hard time understanding what any of the guys were screaming at him but was able to hear the ladies perfectly.  I found myself laughing a couple times in between songs when some of the things the guys were screaming translated into “What?  Ja Rule was at a Gaslight show?” and “I heard french kissed hot dogs”.

Aside from the great rock and jokes Brian Fallon spoke about a legend of a performer who many compare the band to, Bruce Springsteen.  At one time he told the crowd that he met Bruce Springsteen and they talked about New Jersey and their music.  It was awesome to hear his short memories of the conversation and his attempt to imitate how the “Boss” speaks.

One statement that Brian Fallon did state earlier in the show about Bruce Springsteen kind of irked me a bit.  He mentioned that Bruce Springsteen was being inducted into the Rock Hall later in the week but the truth is that there is a Bruce Springsteen exhibit being opened at the Rock Hall later in the week and that it’s been 10 years since he was inducted into the Rock Hall.  I hope for the lead singer’s sake that he was just overcome at the response of the fans and not terribly mistaken.

During the encore Brian Fallon came out with guitar in hand and played a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire”.  While he performed the classic I thought it would be a good time to head to the merch tables and see what goodies I wanted to pick up.  I decided that it was a good idea to pick up Sink Or Swim and The 59 Sound both on vinyl to add them to my collection.  I know these will be records I will listen for years to come.

Upon leaving we made a pit stop with the coolest “booking girl” ever and hung out with her for a few moments behind closed doors.  I could hear The Gaslight Anthem continue their encore and the very last song they played sounded like “Stand By Me” but was morphed into a song I could not figure out.  I thought they played three songs during the encore but I would not be surprised if I am mistaken.  If the set list below is not accurate let me know so I can update it.  Thanks.

I was really hoping that the boys that night would have played a little more material from Sink Or Swim or  Señor And The Queen EP, but this night was mostly all about their latest release The 59 Sound.  Regardless of their choice of the songs on the set list it was an awesome performance and I can not wait to see these guys again.  I do have the feeling though that next time the show will not be as intimate as this show was.  This band is going places.

The Gaslight Anthem Set List:

Great Expectations
High Lonesome
Old White Lincoln
Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
The ‘59 sound
We Came To Dance
Film Noir
Casanova, Baby!
Miles Davis & the Cool
Meet Me By The River’s Edge
Here’s Looking At You Kid
The Backseat

Encore (I could be off on this so if anyone has the correct set list let me know!)

I’m On Fire (Bruce Springsteen cover)
Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts
Stand By Me /I’da Called You Woody, Joe

Here’s a video a fan took of Brian Fallon signing “I’m On FIre” (no I did not take this…)

And I Am Back…

I know you all missed me and were all wondering when I would finally post something on here for you all to read. I received endless emails from people asking me if I was ok and if they could donate money so that I could acquire internet while in upstate New York just so I could post something. I had record hits on my site while away mostly because Matt from Addicted To Vinyl put on that benefit show for me the other night. I am sorry I was unable to Skype during the show…

OK, none of that happened…

I did hear from some of you awesome people most of which wished me a nice vacation. Thanks! It was nice to hear from you all while I was almost by Canada for the last six days.

My wife and I headed to Adams, NY last Friday to visit her grandmother. I love going up there because it means I just relax and eat poorly. Sometimes I am able to steal some wireless internet from a nearby school but this time I just could not connect. I was actually nice to not have internet on my laptop but I will admit checking emails and Tweets on my iPhone…after all that is why I have that thing!

I’ll be back to my regular blogging self here by tonight. I have a lot to talk about.

For now I will just leave you with the following fun things that happened to me while on my little vacation:

-Scored some LPs at the Hot Topic at Salmon Run Mall in Watertown, NY. I got the new Minus The Bear, Hatebreed, SOD, Terror, International Heroes of Hardcore, and some 7?’s for super cheap thanks to a 50% off sale. I also scored a Social D, Rancid, and Misfits shirt for cheap as well. I love deals.

-Dropped an earring (tunnel) down the drain while trying to stretch my ears. I was so pissed but was able to save the newly purchased jewelry by taking the drain apart. All those years of handing tools to my Dad while he did the work paid off.

-My dog ran away, or at least tried to. My wife’s grandmother’s house butts up against a golf course and Sweet Lou made a run for it. I ran as fast as I could chasing him. Of course he thought it was a game. After having what felt like a heart attack I stopped and he turned around and went to say hi to some neighbors who tried to help me. Luckily Sweet Lou is a people person and as soon as he saw the neighbors he greeted them where I promptly grabbed him.

-Watched Heavy Metal In Baghdad. I will be talking about this documentary later. It was really good.

-While at that Salmon Run Mall some girls at a mobile phone booth asked us if we could talk about cellphone plans and I kindly said “no”. When they asked me why I said “because I am from Mexico” forgetting that Mexico, NY is only 40 minutes away from the mall. Yeah that made sense. My wife laughed and I did too.  We also checked out this massive art piece that has been at the mall since the 80’s:

This thing was like Mouse Trap on roids.
This thing was like Mouse Trap on roids.

Jrecks Subs. Greatest tuna subs ever. Their sizes are half and whole. We get tuna on white with swiss cheese and “shakers” a mix of herbs and spices that they sprinkle on the sandwich. We went there twice.

Jean’s Bean’s. Fried haddock fillets of goodness (that’s fish in case you were wondering). The fillets are breaded and dropped into these huge vats of oil. The rumor is that they oil has never been changed hence the great taste. Worth clogging up my arteries. This place is a legend in Watertown, NY and it’s no wonder why. Homemade foods fill up the take out shop with the signature side being the beans made by the Jean family. I can not eat them beans as they cook them with meat. The coleslaw how ever is to die for.

This is where the magic is made...frying magic.
My arteries harden just looking at this picture.

So that was just a few of the fun events that went on while away. I plan on starting a diet starting tomorrow as I know weight was gained from all the good eats. Also since I was with out internet I have a lot of emails to catch up on…

Nap time first.