Archive for June, 2009

Musical Giants

BREAKING NEWS: In case you didn’t know, Michael Jackson died!

Since this story is already dominating every 24-hour news channels and blogs, I’ll make my comments brief. I was in Mustang Harry’s, the usual pre- or post-band practice hangout when I found out (via giant screen tv) that Jackson had died. It was a really weird moment as the giant screen directly next to this one was showing the NBA draft. One era beginning, another ending.

I always considered Jackson to be one of the most talented musician/performers ever. He was so dominant that he ruled an entire decade. Proof: “We Are The World” – released at the decade half-way point – included 45 superstar singers from all different genres. Guess who was the centerpiece? As a result, as soon as I heard he had died it felt like the official closing of the 80’s to me. Those years now seem just a little farther away and more removed from the present.

Over the weekend I went to go see another fallen musical giant as some of the John Lennon exhibit pieces were being displayed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame New York Annex. There were only 3 (large) rooms in the entire place, and only the last one housed Lennon stuff, but what do you expect from an annex? Some of the memorabilia was awesome (Jim Morrison’s hand-written lyrics, a Jimi Hendrix guitar) while others were super lame (Bruce Springsteen’s first car?). Though hampered by the limited amount of items and relatively small size, the whole experience was very professional, with state-of-the-art audio guided tour (it would start playing a song by the musician whose memorabilia you stood in front of) and some amazing film productions.

The Lennon room was the highlight with his items in the center flanked by four films being played on the outer walls (stuff he made with Yoko, home movies of him with his son, etc.). However, a lot of the stuff didn’t really resonate with me. Two items, however, really moved me – the hand-written lyrics to “(Just Like) Starting Over” (one of my favorites of his solo songs) and the brown paper bag of John’s personal items returned by the police to Yoko after his murder. The lyrics were cool in that they were the only ones in the annex that had chord changes and edits in much the same manner as when I work on lyrics (rare). I have to admit when I saw out of the corner of my eye the lyrics I immediately looked away and had to work myself up to look at them. I don’t know what that was about … I guess I wanted to be in the right, respectful mood to read it after seeing less affecting items (a bunch of his clothes and art collages). Crazy!

Current Mood: Wowed emoticon Wowed

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  • Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 at 11:45 | #1

    When I saw the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame museum in Cleveland back in 2001ish, I saw this same exhibit, but only it was expanded. I saw his upright piano (he wrote his Dakota-period songs on it, unlike the white one that was from his first house) the signs saying “Hair Peace, Bed Peace” that were behind him and Yoko, the bag with his clothes, but my favorite was the room at the top which had a ton of handwritten lyrics. I remember there were a few Beatles ones but the one that obviously struck me the most was his handwritten “Real Love” lyrics

  • Zepmoon
    Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 at 13:57 | #2

    Michael Jackson – Child Prodigy, Teen Idol, Superstar, Pedophile.

  • Cassie
    Friday, July 3rd, 2009 at 03:25 | #3

    The piano and signs were in the non-Lennon section of the museum, but I guess weren’t deemed important enough for mention!

TWITTER: NYC Annex

Just saw the John Lennon exhibit at NYC Annex. Good stuff …

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TWITTER: Ron & Fez

Listening to Ron & Fez for the first time in 4 years! HOTNESS!!!!!

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Showdown In Chinatown

Photo 2009 Cassie Melnikow

Man, so much is happening all of a sudden and it’s hard to keep up in blog form! But I’m doing my best … and this means I haven’t forgotten the final part in my Rock Thrillogy nor the second part to my Virginia Weekend. All I ask is for you to take a little advice from one W. Axl Rose and have a little patience!

Last night, famous NBA balla, Steve Nash, held his second annual Showdown in Chinatown – a celebrity soccer game comprised of NBA players, Major League Soccer players and ESPN writers – in the lower east side. Although I work just two metro stops away from where the event is helf, I hadn’t heard anything about last year’s match until the day after. This year’s game snuck up on me as well (Nash, you really need to pump some public relations into this organization) but Cassie and I did manage to get down there in time to watch a little bit.

Actually, Cassie watched the whole thing but I had to stay at work a little longer than expected. However, with the help of my trusty Google Maps APP on my new iPhone I made it in record time. Unfortunately, when I got there cops had fenced the area off so I couldn’t meet up with Cassie and, instead, had to go around to some nearby playground section to attempt to see my precious ballers. Well, I was lucky and saw Chris Bosh, Steve Nash and Grant Hill. Tony Parker (and wife, Eva Longoria) were there too but I missed them.

I was really only there for 20 minutes but it seemed like it would have been a lot of fun to actually watch. Therefore, next year I shall go into crazy planning mode and make it happen!

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iPhanus

Photo Montage © 2009 Apple

Well, who would have guessed it? My phone – almost exactly 2 years after I purchased it – is on it’s last legs. Both the smaller outside screen (that displays the date/time and who is calling) and the larger inside screen both go completely white, rendering any phone functionality useless. Oh, and this happens about 75% of the time!!!

This was especially annoying as it forced me to adjust my phone-answering protocol. Instead of adhering to my strict “never answer an unknown number” policy, I now had to answer every call. Unfortunately, this meant I experienced the pleasure of talking with several telemarketers and other shady customers. FUN 🙂 !

Well, I had enough and upgraded my piece of shit phone to the new iPhone 3GS. The email verification I received warned of a 7-14 day wait for the phone to arrive but it was at my doorstop in 2! Sadly, I wasn’t there to claim it so in an eerily similar fashion I hustled out to parts unknown (this time the middle of the Bronx) just to have a new damn phone for the weekend.

I’m still getting used to this bad boy (hell, I just finished inputting all my contacts!) but so far it’s got a shitload of everything I want … and more! Phone that actually works? Check! Video? Double-check! BEER PONG APP LOADED AND READY TO BE INSPECTED?????? Treble-Check 🙂 !

Current Mood: In Love emoticon In Love

TWITTER: iPhone Tweet

ALERT: First tweet on my new iPhone

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Paper: Already An Anachronism

Photo Montage © 2009 Stan Syckes

A few days ago I received an issue of Maxim in the mail. I am not currently, nor have I ever subscribed to the magazine – it’s pretty lame and the cheesecake photos of women are usually so tired (“What else can we put in front of a naked woman to make a PG-13 picture?!?!”). Anyway, I chalked this strange appearance to some sort of press; a free issue to spark interest in possible readers.

Two days later another issue showed up in my mailbox! This one had a giant sticker placed on the cover – and not just to cover up a lame semi-nude Jennifer Love Hewitt photo, but to actually give me some information! I’ve known for some time that the only magazine I subscribed to, Electronic Gaming Monthly, had stopped existing in paper-form and was now an internet-only service. What I didn’t expect was that they would funnel all of the issues I was still owed on my subscription to a piece of garbage like Maxim.

Oh, well. It’s the end of an era as I no longer receive a magazine in the mail 🙁 . I guess this means I have more time to dedicate to music … well, either that or subscribe to this awesome new, British gaming magazine I discovered called GamesTM. Hmm … I wonder which will win out …

Current Mood: Slightly Sad emoticon Slightly Sad

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Old School Music

Photo © 2009 No Doubt

Wednesday, June 18, 1997 – I saw No Doubt (with opening act, Weezer) at Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, VA.

Sunday, June 14, 2009 – almost 12 years to the day later – I saw No Doubt (with some terrible openers) at Nissan Pavilion.

It’s such a trip to realize that I have now seen the same band in the same venue with three high schools worth of years in between. I am an old man. But really, what a show it was. This tour isn’t supporting any new album, and the band hasn’t played live in about 6 years, so it’s just a huge buzz-building affair (probably for an upcoming release). This means they just destroyed the audience with all of their well-known songs, with very little banter or pauses in between. Everything was amazingly rehearsed and executed … it was as if they were a robot band from the future sent to the present to do nothing but rock. Definitely one of my top 5 concert experiences.

I hadn’t been to Nissan Pavilion in 10 years and I completely forgot what a great venue it is for both audience and band. It’s open, but covered and even though the sound is a little muddy, the big screens are easy to see from anywhere and don’t compete with the band. It’s gotta be such a thrilling scene to be performing in front of 23,000 people as the sun goes down behind them.

The concert was actually the culminating experience of the weekend back in Virginia. I got back late Friday (thanks to a deadly combination of Lincoln Tunnel traffic and choosing the wrong Metro line) and slept at casa del Stever. We got up the next day (after the only night I’d get at least 8 hours of sleep for the weekend), stopped by an Enterprise car rental place (sadly, not the one former roommate “Badabing” works at) so I could be mobile. Damn, it’s all about renting cars outside of New York. I looked at the smallest car for a couple days and it was $100 a day out of NY, but only $30 in VA.

Now street legal, the Brothers Syckes Caravan headed to the Man Cave – aka my dad’s place. He showed off his latest prizes: a new mini laptop, dog Roxie, and Tiger Woods 2010. Sadly, I was on a tight schedule so we grabbed some grub at Ruby Tuesdays – where pops is apparently a “regular.” As we said our goodbyes, Stever and I braced ourselves for the next episode in our adventure: Toine’s birthday party. We thought that buying a lot of alcohol would totally prepare us for what was to come.

We were wrong …

Stay tuned for part two!

Current Mood: Taking A Break emoticon Taking A Break

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  • Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 11:04 | #1

    …part 2?

  • Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 11:07 | #2

    Patience, my dear Stever. I have not forgotten!

TWITTER: Bolt Bus

On the Bolt Bus back to DC. According to the hot Google maps app I’ve got another 45 mins

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  • Jeff
    Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 at 19:15 | #1

    I’m hoping you’ll be making an appearance at a certain big party on Saturday night.

MINI BLOG: Josie Maran

Saw Josie Maran at the make up store next to Barnes & Noble in Union Square. She’s way shorter than I thought, but is obviously still in love with Richard Killiam.

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