Smashing Pumpkins w/ Stone Temple Pilots – Hayden Homes Ampitheater – Bend, Oregon

Or, how I stopped being such a snob and learned to love a pair of bands I gave no thought to back in the day.

Stone Temple Pilots

Smashing Pumpkins

Truly an All-Time Top 10 Concert contender if ever there was one.


The Very Unexpectedly Musical Month of July

A funny thing happened on my way to a midlife crisis. Rather than buying a sportscar that I couldn’t drive anyway (between you and me, I haven’t had a valid license since 1999), instead, I bought a turntable – and it has completely changed my life for the better.

Some background: I got my first turntable when I was 9 years old and was hooked. My first albums were a bunch of those shitty K-Tel “Solid Gold” type compilations, and Bee Gees Greatest – I’ll make no apologies for the latter, the Brothers Gibb are gods. Anyway, from age 9 to around sometime in my thirties, I ate, slept, drank, and injected music of all forms. If I wasn’t listening to it or collecting it, I was playing it. Music was pretty much all I thought about and served as a soundtrack to what I look back on as a damn interesting life, up until about a decade ago when I became a dad.

This is my first turntable, made by Lloyd’s – it was crap, but it was mine. After it performed its music-playing duties it was converted into a gerbil exerciser for my little sister’s pet rodent.

Now, I’m not about to blame fatherhood on my separation from music; no, I blame that on conforming to the everyday needs of a soulless job that has always promised an outlet for my creativity and then wildly underdelivered – for about 11 or 12 years now. In other words, I blame myself because I played it safe and kept the job, knowing full well it was destroying me with tedium and boredom in equal measure. I became abrasive, mean, and any number of other undesirable adjectives. I’ll own that. I won’t bore you (or me) with the details but suffice it to say that once music (and most other art) left my life, so did my spirit. I turned to other vices and pastimes to fill the void, but none of them did the trick.

Fast forward (or is it rewind?) to early last month when I purchased a turntable on a whim. It started with a couple of records and then turned into an obsession, and honestly, I couldn’t be happier.

Music is back in its proper place, front and center in my life.

Music is an activity – listening to vinyl is a physical act that removes the screens, requires me to get up and walk across the room and make a commitment to listening to something for at least a 22-minute stretch.

Music is prompting discussion between myself, my family, and my friends (online and off) that I haven’t experienced in ages.

Music is exciting, and not just in an “I wonder what Amazon will deliver today” sort of way. It makes me downright giddy to revisit long-forgotten artists or discover new music that I didn’t even know existed.

Music is inspiring. I’ve been more interested in picking up the guitar or the bass or the synths in this past month than in the past half-decade combined.

And to think that the catalyst for all of this was a simple marketing email from Best Buy. Weird.

Anyway, I’m going to go listen to Dead Man’s Pop by The Replacements. If you haven’t heard it, I highly recommend it. They revisited an old album and rereleased it in its intended form vs the overly polished version that was officially put out way back in 1989. The difference is night and day.

I take full responsibility for this.

Multnomah Falls

Still one of my favorite places to visit in the entire region.

Shot on both an iPhone 14 Pro and a Canon EOS M50 with a pair of overpriced lenses that I’m far too amateur to properly appreciate. 😉


RIP Twitter Account

According to Twitter, I joined in February 2009. That’s a little over 14 years of my life that I’ve been contributing to that thing, during which time I posted some 122.9K tweets – yes, you read that correctly.

But it was time.

Goodbye Elon, you shit stain.

If you need me (and why would you?) you can find me over on Threads.


I Bought a Turntable and Now It’s Like I’m a Teenager Again

After resisting temptation for a number of years, my resurgence of interest in music saw me pick up a turntable last weekend and I couldn’t be happier – though my wallet might disagree.

Secondary achievement unlocked: picking up the entire Love and Rockets catalog and every New Order vinyl box set on the market.


The Low-Self Esteem of the Modern Super-Ego

“Do you know who I am?”

What a strange and wonderous question. Do I know who you are? Should I? Would it bother you if I did not? Has it ever occurred to you that if you must ask that question, chances are quite good that no, I do not know who you are? It’s rather like that adage that if you must inquire about the price, you probably can’t afford it. Same insult; (mostly) different application.

In this instance though, you’re using social standing vs. economic standing to emphasize your pretend importance. That importance only exists in your own small mind, of course, where certainly everyone must know who you are, right? After all, you’ve spent hours, days, even months, peacocking in front of those you’ve placed below you on the social ladder, meticulously cultivating your outward image as the Grand Pooh-Bah of your very own Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes – an organization of zero real-world worth but exalted in confines of your own mind.

How sad I must be then, not only to be ignorant of your supposed standing, but resilient to your self-serving charms and content in my own life, which has been quite happy and successful despite having no idea who you are. Yes, in your mind I am but a pathetic plebian, unwise to your greatness and glory – I mean, I must be, for I have no idea who you are.

But who are you really?

To me, you would appear to be nothing more than a large, bipedal bag of wind! Barely more than a sack full of plastic-wrapped dog excrement that one would find in any common park. A waste both in love and in life, and wholly incapable of having relationships that aren’t purely transactional. Oh sure, you’re married and even have a child or two, but they serve you like subjects in the world’s tiniest little castle, built for its tiniest of kings, or at least in your mind they do. You’ve bought and paid for them all, sent them to fine colleges, only to see them struggle, repeatedly, at life’s most basic tasks. They did not, after all, have a father to love and teach them, but rather a Lord to rule over them, doling out praise when their accomplishments reflected well on you, and causing you grief and anger when they suffered more, er, “human” problems.

Why else would you spend hours in the sterile beige stall of a public restroom, weeping into your hands, your sorrow sounding more like a dying aquatic mammal than a man? What sort of Lord does such a thing, if not the sort that grants himself his title versus earning it? The sort that truly never lives up to the role of father, husband, or man. The sort whose ego is more inflated with each passing year as he struggles aimlessly to regain the respect that he fooled himself into believing he once had at all.

You’re no Lord. You’re no hero. You’re no man. Certainly not by any traditional or even modern meanings of any of those words.

You’re only you. And you will die alone, already forgotten because no one knew or cared who you were to begin with. Your friends and family only a trail of transactions along the way.

I am nobody and I know who you are. I am nobody and I laugh at your question. And that is what hurts you the most.


A Creation Best Left Uncreated, If That’s Even a Word

Tales of fire, rock’n’roll, travel, jet lag, corporate radio shmucks, and more! But really, this one is all about answering the question: “What does it really mean to create?” 


Love and Rockets – Moore Theater – Seattle, Washington

May 28, 2023, marks the third time I’ve seen Love and Rockets live. I bought tickets to Bauhaus last year but had to travel for business shortly before they aborted the whole tour anyway. It’s just as well. I was always 100x the Love and Rockets fan than I ever was a Bauhaus fan.

As expected, they were nothing short of amazing. Still one of my favorite bands, live or recorded, after all these years.

Based on some quick research, it would appear that the other two times I saw Love and Rockets were:

  • December 11, 1987, at the Paramount Theater w/Jane’s Addiction
  • June 12, 1989, at the Seattle Center Arena w/The Godfathers
No, this is not my actual ticket.

Pro-tip: If you can find it, get yourself a copy of “Lift,” their final album. It was released in 1998 and is still probably ahead of its time. It’s not available on Apple Music, Spotify, etc. for whatever reason, but Amazon usually has CDs of it for relatively cheap. It’s worth every penny.


London Walking Tour

A walking tour. Trying my best to avoid taking pictures of the things most people usually take pictures of. You’ve already seen Big Ben how many times?


Skinny Puppy – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, Oregon

2 things:

  1. Crossed “see a band on a ‘no more tours’ tour before I die, and make it a good one,” off of the bucket list.
  2. I believe in aliens now.