Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Pet Peeve #1

So like many people, I've a number of things that bug me.  They run from 1 barely registers as annoying to 10 I'MGOINGBALLISTICAREYOUSERIOUS?!?

This one ranks about a 5 but ca easily escalate to 10 depending on outside influences.

Drum roll please.....

People who show up late for movies.

Yes, I know, first world problems but I live in a first world country and attend a lot of movies so this is a trigger.

Now, I was brought up that if you're 5 minutes early you're already late.  If an event starts at 6:45 pm that means you are sitting in your seat and ready to be entertained when the curtain rises, NOT wander into the venue and stare myopically at everyone else who's arrived on time and wonder where all these people came from.

Example of a 5: We are sitting opening weekend (okay opening day) in the theater waiting for Skyfall the new James Bond movie to start.

Now we arrived when the theatre opened 45 minutes earlier to ensure that we:

  • Had seats together;
  • Had seats in the middle of a row 3/4 of the way up (optimal seating position see Sheldon Cooper for confirmation);
  • Have had our bio-breaks and are ready to sit for the next 2.5 hours;
  • Have purchased all snacks, drinks, picked up a magazine and are ready to be entertained

    Now, part of the movie going experience are the trailers. I have a good friend who leaves the theater when they start as she feels that they ruin the whole movie by giving away too much.  She is allowed to do so because a: she is eccentric and that's why I love her, and b: her ass was in the seat well before said trailers started.
    If you are held up in line getting your snacks etc., unless you are alone you should have sent someone from your party ahead into the theatre to Harvey Hogger and  saved y'all some seats!

    You walking in, in the dark trying to find four seats together opening night anywhere but the front row is ridiculous.

    I love to watch these bewildered individuals who obviously couldn't organize themselves out of a burning paper bag try to figure this out.

    Well how does this become a 10, you ask.  Allow me to retort.

    So, this one time, at a major movie opening weekend, the usher comes in and asks the rest of us to make room for people as there may be a seat here and there that are open.

    ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!?!?! I don't think so Tim.  I'm not moving over a single seat to allow for some dipshit and his loser family who've decided at the 11th hour to come to a movie, late no less, so they can sit anywhere but the front row.  Guess what idiot, you loose. Sit down front in neck-crick land or ask for tickets to the next show.  The other 300 of us got ourselves and kids organized and made it here to pick decent seats so we weren't being pain in the asses.

    It's true, there have been a few times where we've arrived later than expected and had to sit waaaay closer than we wanted to (like fourth row from the screen, right side for Thor: The Dark World) but we owned that and sat in crappy seats and ended up seeing it again in better seats a few days later.  Our bad.  Did we make anyone move over or conquer and divide our team? No. We sucked it up and dealt with it.
    So how does one avoid the dipshit reshuffle? Well, location is one way. We live in small (small) town so this is frequent and cannot be avoided unless we travel 30+ minutes.
    Timing. Yes this whole post is a bitch about timing but maybe don't see the prime time showing on opening weekend.  Actually my fave time to see a new flick is the 12:30 on Sunday morning.  It's usually quiet and they'll play the 2D version then. Aside: I hate 3D it's a waste of time and very few movies need to be seen in 3D.  It's a money grab and nothing more.

    One of my new favourite things is saving up our Scene points and then going to the theaters where you can book your seat online like a real theater. It's a numbered seat and everything. Then there's no snafu at the beginning taking away from my trailer enjoyment. 

    I'm also loving the adult only theaters with reclining seats, boozey bevys and table service.  If I'd ha a blanket I'd have slept through the movie accidentally.

    So there you have it, one of my Pet Peeves. 

    What are your thoughts on late movie goers (comers)?

    I'll be thinking of you as I'm off to the show tonight.

    Love Mel

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Holy Hiatus Batman!

Wow, so internet, it's been a while.  Miss me?

It's not that I've not been writing, just not stuff I'm ready to share with anyone yet.

But I'm back thanks to spring and a renewed interest in sharing my shit online.

I've taken on a new obsession since we've last been together: Sam Roberts Band. Sigh and heart flutter.

Awesome music, lyrics that both speak to and confuse me and some delish eye candy as far at the members of the band go.

I first came across them at the movie theatre spring 2014. Yes really. The Cineplex preshow used to have a SiriusXM clip with a Canadian band/singer featured and Sam Roberts Band was on for their new album Lo-Fantasy.

We see A LOT of movies at our house.  I love going to the theatre and getting swept away into a story.  There are few movies I've not enjoyed (Agnes of God I'm looking at you) and few I've walked out of (JFK booooring).  And I'm a total snob as far as where I sit.  I'll Sheldon out and find the optimum seat for sight and sound and I'm willing to arrive 45 minutes early to get said seats.

Needless to say we see a lot of preshows and here's this cutie pie of a singer promoting his song Shapeshifters which is catchy to say the least.  And he's Canadian. AND speaks fluent French and Spanish. I'm interested enough to google.

My job changed since my last post and I now have a minimum of a 2 hour daily commute which has allowed me to listen to music other than Top 40 crap and really appreciate stuff like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Neil Young, The Whos (original and Guess) etc. and every time I'd hear certain songs I loved and shazamed them guess who was singing them? Yep, Sam Roberts Band.

To the iTunes store!  Between iTunes and Youtube I realize I've missed out on SRB for almost 15 years!!!!! My excuse is that they weren't around when I had control over the radio and for 12 years the soundtrack to my life was Disney/Dora/Sesame Street/The Wiggles and then Top 40.  But now my music options were wide open and I was ready for something that wasn't repetitive, autocorrected or fully computerized.

So I snowball into SRB addiction. First comes a few downloads from iTunes, then tickets to see them at the Kee (omg I'm dying, they were awesome), then more downloads and the husband begins to realize that there's at LOT of SRB in my life.

Then husband goes above and beyond and gets me the best birthday gift ever. 4 tickets to SRB in Buffalo for me and 3 friends!!! Whaaaat a girls weekend in Buffalo that culminates with a live Sam Roberts Band show? Yes please and thankyouthankyouthankyou.

Best concert ever!  Seriously front row, got to touch the man himself, sang to every song and couldn't hear out of my left ear for two days. Awesome.

Here's a sample of some older Sam Roberts Band for your (okay my) enjoyment.

 Now I'm hooked. I'm a junky. I'm watching youtube videos and reading articles like there's a test at the end.  That brings us to the 2015 Junos.

BFC mentions: SRB is nominated for Junos, you should check out the website and be a seat filler so you can see the show.

You have my attention.

And as I research the Junos, I discover I CAN MEET THE BAND!!! My heart stops then starts then stops again. Logical brain says: Calm down woman, you're in your 40's and are taking this too far. Illogical brain shoves logical brain to the rear screaming: DO IT DO IT get the free tickets to meet him and kidnap him and make him sing for his freedom!!

With age comes wisdom and I take a little from column a and from column b and calmly order tickets for me, BFC and SILS, fill out the request for seat filler and quietly plan another SRB weekend.

BFC goes above and beyond and gets me and 10kmom tickets to the charity hockey game that Sam's playing in. Exqueese me? How'd I miss that?!? Oh right, screaming teenage Mel is still coming to terms with the fact she's meeting the band and has a singular focus.

So, last Friday I had the distinct pleasure of attending the 2015 #JunoCup in Hamilton. A charity event which pits former pro-hockey players such as Wendel Clark, Rick Vaive and Gary Roberts against The Rockers including Chris Crippin from @Hedleyonline, Jon Gallant from @BillyTalentband and your favourite and mine, #14 Sam Roberts from @samrobertsband

I was impressed by the number of Rockers vs NHL Greats (31-12) and by the number of fans in the crowd.  As a hockey fan (what true Canadian isn’t?), I was expecting a good time but I was really impressed with how much fun this event was.  I’ve seen my fair share of live pro hockey games and the Greats still had “it”. They skate like they’re floating over the ice and instinctively know where their fellow players are and where the pucks coming from.  

Intermission brought some fun little skill games and then the second half brought out why I was there: Sam.

As I realize Sam’s a mere 6 feet away from me I turn into that screaming psycho teenage girl (inside) and have to mentally restrain myself from leaping over the small wall screaming “I love you, sing Uprising Down Under to me right now!!”

Instead I distract myself by taking photos of him waiting to play in the second half:  

Who knew Sam Roberts was such an amazing skater? He obviously has skill and loves to play. He’s able to keep up with the alumni and has a fierce competitive streak (as evidenced by the fact he was in the middle of the action during every shift).

I thoroughly enjoyed the night and had some luck with the camera. I was able to print off some of my better shots and present them to him at #JunoFanFare the next day as a memory and got a special Mel original 8 x 10 picture signed by Sam.  

The first step is admitting you have a problem and I’d go watch @samrobertsband open an envelope. 

Keep Chasing the Light.

Love Mel

On Twitter @samrobertsband
On Facebook Sam Roberts Band
Instagram samrobertsband

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

You're warranty is officially expired!

So last December I hit the bit 4-0.  Not a big deal as age doesn't really bother me.  SO had a wonderful surprise party for me and life carried on.

Then in January it slowly started to happen.

Things began to change in the ole body.  Weight was gained, menstrual cycles got waaaay messed up, knees stopped working.  WHAT THE HELL?!?

Apparently my entire system has decided to slow down or speed up in the past four months. Of course the systems I want to slow down sped up and vice versa.  Damn karma, she's such a bitch.

Went to the Dr.'s and said: Menopause? Cancer?

She said: Blood tests, internal examinations, ultrasounds inside and out (yeah, those are fun NOT).

I said: So, wazzup?  I'm going into early menopause and will save thousands on feminine products!

She said: Old Age.

I replied: That sucks.

She said: Welcome to 40.

So apparently now my awesome metabolism has crossed it's arms and is pouting in the corner and now I'm going to actually have to do some form of exercise (ex-cer-siz, I am unfamiliar with this word) in order to not reach maximum capacity.  None of my summer clothes fit.  That sucks.  I look in the mirror and  realize that I am completely unhappy with myself.

The cycle is as follows: I look in the mirror and hate the way I look so I eat which settles in a protective layer around my waist which means my clothes don't fit which makes me look in the mirror and not like what I see.

So how do I fix it?

Ephedrine?  If I could I would, but sadly it has a few adverse side effects.

Stop eating?  Not a chance, I like my food and snacks.

Alcohol?  Excellent option, and would be my top choice but my job requires me to be completely sober (which sucks on so many levels, no liquid lunches for me.), so although they can't fire me for being chubby, being drunk is a game breaker.

Lipo? I'm no gold digger and have a distinct lack of funds.

Self-Lipo? Yes this is apparently done by people.  I don't think the SO would appreciate my using of the wet/dry shop vac for this (and let's face it, I'd probably forget to empty it out and that would be disgusting).

So I guess since I don't really want to change how I eat (completely), the only other recourse is (shudder) exercise. I don't even want to loose much weight, I just need to tone up and be able to fit into my 6's again instead of the 8/9's I'm currently inhabiting (and now the SO knows why I don't get rid of clothes that don't fit any more).

I've been coerced into running a 10K in September so that training should start this week. Ran a 1/2 marathon last May and haven't run further than up the stairs since.

Yoga classes have been paid for and even attended but I realize that I'm not going to get much weight loss/body firming  from that.

So, I'm up for suggestions to what works for you, but keep in mind that I hate the gym (HATE isn't a strong enough word) and motivation comes in very small doses (usually right before I get ready for bed which is not the opportune time to exercise). Oh, and I want fairly fast results (of course, who doesn't right?).

So I'll be adding Oat Bran (gag, gag) to my meals to encourage the fat to exit via the south end and electric shock therapy to retrain my brain away from snacking, junk food and random over eating. Why or why don't carrots taste as good as Cheetos?  They're both orange!

I'll keep y'all posted on what happens, but I have a dress I'd like to wear in September that fit me in January and doesn't now so that's a goal (I guess).

Getting old sucks.  Just sayin'


Thursday, 22 March 2012


So I'm pretty sure that spring brings all the freaks out from under the porches they reside under.  What I don't understand is why the hell do they have to talk to me?

I'm out mailing some letters today, enjoying a beautiful sunny afternoon and decided to go to a local coffee establishment for their frozen cappuccino treat to reward myself for being awesome.

The local coffee watering hole is, unfortunately, infested with the crème de la crème of small town Ontario royalty.  The heroin chic, three-toothed,  tattooed "gangsta's" (aka baby daddies) with their baggie shorts and showing stained underwear waist bands, tramp tatted hosebags wearing strapless tops with bras that aren't (I shit you not I'll take pictures next time), all standing around smoking cigarette's and drinking coffee that my hard earned tax dollars have provided for them.  This is only a slightly more disturbing scene than the winter version where they're all wearing hoodies and flannel pyjama pants.

The other day when I walked over, dressed in my business clothes (dressed as an adult, unlike these stellar representatives of their demographic) as usual, I was auditorily assaulted by the mating call of the white trash scrouts, "Hey baby" complete with teeth sucking.  Buddy I wouldn't piss on you if you were on fire, and if it wasn't for the meth clinic at the drug store on Wednesdays, you'd be crystal meth tweaking in a ditch somewhere so piss off.  And oh yeah, you make me soooo hot clicking at me like I'm a horse.  This is exuded through my body language and not actually said out loud as they are pack minded and could physically attack if provoked so I ignore them.

Today I am walking back from the post box, huge sunglasses on and striding determinedly down the street when some over dressed skinny tweaker shuffles up to me and asks if he can buy a smoke. "I don't smoke." I say, not breaking stride.

He trots to keep up with me and starts mumbling on about the weather this week, I completely ignore him and  he finds another person to bother for a moment as he buys a cigarette off another dude.  How do I know this you ask? Well because he purposely caught up with me to share his excitement and bounty over the recently purchased pollutant.  I continue to ignore him and seriously consider pushing him into oncoming traffic.  He has that psycho look in his eye that pyromaniacs get when they see matches.

I have no idea what made this guy think that I wanted a conversation with him, but I think he had other issues and couldn't read my fuck-off-it's-you-not-me body language.

I'm uncertain as to what I need to do to be less approachable.  I walk incredibly quickly, don't make eye contact, wear sunglasses, refuse to acknowledge street freaks, and yet they still are drawn to me like flies to....honey. (Piss off, I know where you were going).

I'm open to suggestion as to how to discourage interactions with other of the human race. Maybe I need to get a hip holster and start packing, or carry pepper spray in my hand (actually, a summons would be better for keeping them away).

Maybe I'm just in a bad mood because I'm stuck inside all day instead of at the beach, or need a nap or a snack. Or some Midol.  Maybe I'm just a bitch.  That one's more likely.

I should probably take into consideration that these people haven't have the opportunities that I have and are doing the best they can with the hand they've been dealt.  I should be more compassionate and accommodating and pleasantly smile and nod at the crazies, but not encourage long conversation with them.  After all, they likely normally don't have anyone other than the multitudes of voices in their heads to talk too and a new, outside voice is a blessing for them.  I probably shouldn't judge people by my own yard stick (one of my personal favourite comments that I use regularly with others). I should donate my time and money to services and charities which help people who have nothing better to do than stand outside of coffee shops all day instead of working for a living or getting an education (oh wait, I already pay taxes).

Maybe I should just use the drive through window.

Happy Spring!


Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Enough already!

So today's looooong overdue post is brought to you by the letters T, M and I.

Into everyone's life a little information must fall.  When you are a later teen/early twenties the information sharing is about who you're currently sleeping with and how he/she measures up to expectation and past lovers.  This can be a bit creepy because if you're like me, a visual learner, you get pictures flashing through  your mind with people you know having sex.  This can also be a turn on, if that type of thing turns your crank.

Once you hit your reproductive years, (the ones where you WANT to get knocked up, not the ones were you bargain with God that if you're not you'll do whatever he/she desires), the sharing of birthing babies enters the scene.  This can also be gross if you have a friend who's particularly graphic in their description, had a traumatic or long labour/birth, or if you don't want to think about your bff's vag or perineum in any detail.

Then you move onto parenthood where nothing is sacred.  Poop, pee, puke, infected circumcision sites, scrapes, broken bones, explaining the birds and the bees, getting caught in the act, it's a free for all.  Usually you can distance yourself enough that it's not too skeevy, or commiserate because you have gone through almost the same experience.

Then there's the informer.  You know, the one person (usually not a friend, but a neighbour or co-worker), who continuously over shares personal information.

I have several such people in my life, but one continues to outdo themselves.  Usually I just shake my head like a wet dog, sigh and then look to my compatriot who also shakes her head and gives up.

Today, however, a line has been crossed. 

When you are experiencing a medical issue, you should probably let people around you know so that if something were to happen to you, they wouldn't be caught to off guard.  Epilepsy, hemophilia,  spontaneous combustion, those are all appropriate information to share with your workplace.  If you've started a new drug that could cause side effects that might warrant a trip to the hospital, also points to share.

Telling me that you've got a doctor's appointment because every time you shit, your asshole bleeds, none of my business.  Seriously!!! All you need to say is "Hey, I've got a doctor's appointment today and __________ is going to switch shifts with me."  Done. Settled. Finito.

I don't care that  you're bleeding out of your hoop unless it's going to cause me hours of paperwork or a WSIB claim form.  There's no box to tick for anal bleeding on a WSIB form, I looked.  I don't even know what category it would fall under, other than injury not done at work.

Now I've got a mental image in my head of her bleeding every time she craps.  Did I need this? Oh no I did not.  Why she would feel the need to share something so intimately personal when it had no bearing on anything at all boggles my mind.  I wouldn't have said no or questioned the timing of the appointment.  If the work is being covered and there will be no disruption in the day, I DON'T CARE!!!!  STOP TELLING ME THIS TYPE OF PERSONAL STUFF! 

It's not making me a better person, seriously.  I'm not keen on this individual anyways (not that she'd ever pick up on this fact since she's too dense to pick up on the interpersonal clues and snide comments that slip out occasionally).

Now of course the evil Mel has taken over and I'm (independently) coming up with reasons this might be happening, none of them nice nor likely.

Reason one: She's crazy (okay, this one is likely).

Reason two: Trying anal sex for the first time in your mid-forties is just a bad idea.  Your butt will be super tight and dry due to age and so of course any inroads are going to cause bleeding and discomfort. This one has visuals to go along with it which make me nauseous and want to lie down in the dark.

Reason three: Stop sticking things up your ass!

Reason four: Even her tapeworm has had enough and wants out.

Reason five: Fiber, baby Fiber!

People, think about how much  information is being shared when you speak.  Stop giving too much when the minimum is adequate.  Don't elaborate, embellish or fish for sympathy.  Just say it in the simplest terms possible.

Thanks for not sharing,


Of course I realize the irony of this posting is, in fact, TMI, but if you didn't have the catalyst story to accompany my reasoning behind my position of TMI, then the full scope of my frustration and disgust would be poorly explained.

That said, I promise not to over-share in the future.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Root of all Evil

No this isn't an entry about me, or chocolate, or even one of the 7 deadlies (

Through countless conversations with a wide variety of people, I have come to the very scientific conclusion that 95% of the world's divorces are caused by one of two things, and they aren't what you think.

During the course of any relationship where you are living together, there are ups and downs.  He's a hoarder, you're a pitcher. You fold the laundry as soon as it comes out of the dryer, he wears it out of the laundry basket. Children get sick, parents come for unexpected extended visits, one of you has an office flirtation, the cat pukes all over the couch right before your real estate agent brings in potential buyers, you know: Life happens.

You weather these storms together, working through them, coming out stronger on the other side.  Maybe you need some counseling to move past some of the harder things, but in the end you are more connected as a couple, stronger in your love and confident that having come through the fire, nothing can break the iron bond you've forged.

Then, shaking your relationship to it's cornerstone comes issue one: The Dishwasher.

In my conversing with fellow humans (women AND men), this can put a greater strain on a relationship than anything else.  In fact, I'm fairly certain that it accounts for more divorce filings than people think, but there's no box to check on the papers and people are too embarrassed to say that's why they're throwing 25 years of marriage out the window.

I'm going to point the finger at the men on this one, but am in no way unaware that there are women who fit this mold too.

Most men can Tetris the entire first floor of your home into the 5X3 space in the back of a small SUV, but these same men can't get more than five plates, a spoon and three glasses into a regular sized dishwasher.
"Honey, the dishwasher is full."  That's not possible, it's breakfast time and it was emptied this morning.  Opening the washer you find that there are three cereal bowls flat on the top rack and two small juice glasses. The cutting board an oatmeal pot and four spoons fill the bottom rack.

There's no more room in the dishwasher.

Now not to brag, but I can get dishes from an entire Thanksgiving dinner for eight into my dishwasher, serving platters included (but minus pots).  And our dishwasher isn't full sized, almost, but not quite.

I guess these people should take into consideration that the opposite would be worse.  Filling the washer with so many dishes that the water can't circulate and nothing actually gets clean.  Nothing sucks more than pulling out dish after dirty dish that now needs to be hand-washed to get the baked on stuff off.

I can see how this would be a frustrating situation and could cause some disharmony in a relationship.

(As an aside, the thing that makes me mental is people who wash their dishes first, and then put them in the dishwasher.  Now rinsing off rice and small food particles is fine, but as soon as you add either soap, a cloth or a scrubby, you're an idiot.).

Now the second biggest cause of discord is......The Tupperware Cupboard.

Added simply for nostalgia.
We had these exact ones and yes
they are actually that ugly in real life.

NOT my cupboard at home, but close!

This is usually a large cupboard with high shelves that are most likely impossibly designed for any useful storage, so it becomes the catch all and plastic container corral (I don't want to be prejudice towards the copyrighted originators, but everyone calls the damn stuff by the generic identifier).

In my personal cupboard of insanity, I try very hard to keep it tidy, but I swear to God the damn stuff jumps around by itself once the door closes.

I stack all my same size, same shape, same brand (because you're fucked if you try to mix Ziploc and no name tops and bottoms together).  All the round ones together, nestled, then the lids on top.  Same for square, rectangle, diamond, trapezoid etc.  This way (in theory), when you grab a medium round, the lid should be stacked on top and they go off in happy leftover saving contentment.

So where's the problem you ask? Well, once you've used them and washed them, they require CONSTANT organizing in order to remain in any type of visual continuity.

How many times have you just thrown in a couple of pieces and thought, "I'll put them back properly later?"  Then you go to open the cupboard and a tsunami of mis-matched, non-biodegradable plastic containers.....where none of the lids match....pins you to the floor.

Help, I'm under here somewhere.
Oh wait, there's the lid I was looking for!
This cupboard is a constant battleground, both literally and figuratively in my house.  Literally because it makes my S.O. MENTAL! He hates it, even when it's all neat and tidy I know he hates it.  I do too but I'm not sure what people did prior to 1946 with their leftovers.  Actually, upon reflection, I guess during the "war years" there weren't leftovers.  There wasn't even butter as everything was rationed.

 I wonder if Crown Royal qualified
as a "rye product"?

And this time I actually have, for almost a month.  Pretty impressive huh?  Go ahead, bask in my awesomeness for a moment.....okay, stop.  You're not leaving enough awesomeness for me.

So there you have it.  The two secret reasons that couples actually break up: Tupperware Tsunami's and Dishwasher Dishabille.


And for no reason, here's a clip of the Honey Badger: 

It's badass.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Cover me, I'm going in!

Whatever happened to music?  Yes this is another lament on the current state of music.
Now my music history is wide to say the least.  Growing up our home played the following music:
Scottish Bagpipes (I wish I was kidding)
Show tunes
Barbra Streisand (You don't bring me flowers...)
Roger Whittaker (I'm gonna leave old Durham town)
and on the radio CFRB back in their hey day of Anne Murray (physical shudder) and rousing choruses of Oh-Bla-Dee courtesy of the Beatles.

Thank God for my cousin who is nine years older than me!  She introduced me to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Queen (play the Coffee Crisp commercial song again!), Men at Work, Platinum Blonde and various others.
When I was in Grade 7, Madonna stormed the air waves (meh) as did Michael Jackson (No thank you.  Didn't like him then, don't like him now--"musical genius" or not).

High school brought me to Duran Duran (LOVE them!), Depeche Mode (seen them four times in concert, they rock), Morrissey (that charming man, love him), The Cure, and various other Brit Pop/Alternative bands.

As I grew even older, I changed radio stations from CFTR 640, to The Hog, to CFNY 102.1 The Edge.  Here I stayed for many years.  I enjoyed the alternative music scene.  It was edgey, it wasn't fluffy, it was machine sounding, it was hard without being metal band-long hair flipping-tight jean wearing hard (Sebastian Bach I'm lookin' at you).

It was the Nirvana/Pearl Jam/Oasis/Smashing Pumpkins years.  It was angst, and anger, and passion.  My favourite band of all time is Nine Inch Nails.  Trent Reznor (Academy Award Winner btw), is a genius of mixing various sounds and beats together to create layer upon layer of music you can feel the beat of in your soul.  Yes his videos were mild disturbing, his lyrics  controversial, and his music loud. But there's something about it, maybe it's almost primal.  Anyways, my Mother never complained about it when it came blasting through the floors at 11 on the speakers.

So you see where my musical tastes are coming from.  Now in the past say, 10 years, I noticed that the "alternative" music offerings just weren't my cup of tea.  They all started to sound the same, and as my daily music background changed to nursery rhymes and Elmo songs, I started to be out of touch with the new music scene.

When I went back to work full time between the OC and YC, I was working retail management with team of young people (comparatively :) ) and started listening to The Edge again.  Most of the music on there did nothing for me, but a few bands did stand out Billy Talent and The White Stripes particularly.  Very Green Day and the music and singers voice was raw sounding. So maybe alternative was making a come back.  Alas, no.

So after we moved from Met-roc-ity to Smallville, the only radio stations which seem to come in with any clarity are the local Top 40/Pop station, the County music station, and the Christian station.  You can safely assume which one I chose.

Although I changed my main music listening to fluff about wanting a piece of Britney and being informed that Backstreet's back alright (I wasn't aware they'd left), I still enjoyed listening to my (now retro) alternative music when the opportunity arose.

About two years ago I realized that I was actually enjoying the happy, upbeat poppiness that is today's music.  I liked not being dark and angry, and the words to what was on the radio were relatively upbeat and meaningless.  I knew the songs, the singers and could still happily vacillate between music genres as the mood struck me.

Then it began.  Rhianna and SOS.  Okay, now she's not the first musician to use a track/beat/song and mold it for her own chart topping/itunes selling purposes.  The Beastie Boys did this "sampling" with great success, adding a clip here and there amongst their own cool beats and catchy lyrics.

Vanilla Ice was the first culprit that I recall doing this with his Ice, Ice Baby ditty.  Still one of the most annoying songs that you just can't turn off if you catch it on the radio.  It'll be stuck in your head for the entire day so just let it play, do your bad running man imitation and with a final Word to Your Mother, it'll be done in 4 minutes.  Of course, one should be careful when stealing from Queen and the omnipotent Freddie Mercury.

My biggest beef isn't that people use other musician's music or songs (ever listen too Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, The Alphabet Song and Baa Baa Black Sheep?  You don't hear Mozart bitching or asking for royalties), but I do have issue with remaking a song and hoping that between a familiar tune and some Auto-Tuning software, it'll catapult you into the charts, hopefully within the top 5.

My current biggest peeves are these singers:

Karl Wolf. With his bad George Michael scruff, hat that's too big for his head (worn to the side of course),  he's not only "remixed" Africa by Toto, he's done Glory of Love by Richard Marx (retitled Ghetto Love).  Mr. Wolf (if that's your real name), having an equally unknown rapper repeatedly chant "Ghetto Love, Ghetto Love, Ghetto Love" does not make this a good song, nor a new song.  You obviously have no talent and should go back to the ghetto from which you sprung.  You are the weakest link, goodbye!

DJ Sammy et al, "Heaven".  Yes I can't believe that I'm defending Bryan Adams, it is a sign of the Apocalypse and you should be getting your affairs in order. In the Summer of '69 I wasn't even born yet so I can't relate to your twaddle about a boy band that failed miserably.
It took me weeks to figure out why I knew this song, why it seemed to resonate deep in the inner memory of my brain.  I finally had to sit down, slow down the music in my head and ping! Ah, video with tv's and Bryan Adams' pitted visage, raspily crooning about how young he is.
I actually like the newer version mostly because it's upbeat and doesn't have Mr. Adams in it.

Heart was one of the biggest rock girl bands of the 80's.  Those girls could belt out a tune like few others.  Ann and Nancy have a set of pipes each that are immediately distinguishable for any true 80's music lover.  Oooooh barracuda is now running through your brain, don't lie, I know it's the first song  you thought of.
So back in 2007 Celine Dion (gag) apparently did a cover.  This is disturbing to me, mostly because Celine Dion is revolting and a viscous audio assault who should be stopped at all costs.  I realize that I've just alienated the gay men following my blog, but seeing as there's only three of you actually reading me and none of you are gay men (or if you are, awesome hiding the fact), I don't give a shit. 
Now some young upstart named Alyssa Reid has taken the core music and chorus, added a few words of her own and (another) unknown rap "singer" and is singing the songs of my youth.  The video for this looks like it was shot in a high school.  Sad.

Now someone whom you would not have thought to enter into the ring of song theft, recently "made" a "new" song out of two very recognizable tunes. AAAhooooo Sweet Home werewolves of London.  Now, I love this song, it's got a catchy beat, the lyrics aren't bad and it makes me want to roll down the car windows, sing at the top of my lungs and start a road trip.  So I guess if he's doing it, it's alright. Of course, his video is full of girl-on-girl action, a mast-humping bikini clad trollop oh and Kid himself in all his scrawny, dirty 'stachedness.

Now before you get up on your soapbox and wax poetic about the great re-recordings, stow it.  I have a number of songs that have been covered by other artists.  In my opinion, when you cover a song you do so as a sort of tribute to the original artist, not to make a name for yourself on the Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest.

Here's a few of my absolute faves:

Topping the list is NIN's cover of Get Down Make Love, by Queen. Trent Reznor, Freddie Mercury, raw beat, primal sexual humping commence.

The Lemonheads did a version of Mrs. Robinson that just makes me feel happy. If I recall my Ongoing History of New Music I believe they did it originally as a sound check and when it got out, they recorded it as a B-side (remember those? yer old!).  Anyhoo, it's a fun little song.

Echo & the Bunnymen, People Are Strange.  Now Jim Morrison should also be sacrosanct much like Freddie Mercury, but if you can make it work and add an eerie goth/vampire twist to it, I'm in.

Johnny Cash, Hurt.  The Man in Black had a distinct voice, a deep baritone that resonated within your ribcage.  Whether it was Ring of Fire (yes, I laugh at the title too), A Boy Named Sue (how do you do?) or I Walk the Line, you knew when Johnny was singing.
His rendition of Trent Reznor's Hurt song, is heart-breaking.  His voice is sad, it causes the loneliness of the song to penetrate within you and the sepia tones in the video, along with clips of Johnny in the past, make you feel the pain he still feels for June Carter's passing. This video is a must see and hear.

Paul Anka, Rock Swings album.  This album is awesome.  I heard the Nirvana cover on the Ongoing History of New Music (Alan Cross is phenomenal) and was singing along before I realized who it was and what they were actually singing.  He covers Oasis, Bon Jovi, Soundgarden, Billy Idol and The Cure, just to name a few.  It's done in a big band swing style and you'll be singing along and laughing when you realize what song he's actually singing.  I have this on disc if you're looking to borrow, otherwise iTunes purchase it, it's worth it.  I enjoy playing it during dinner parties and watching the guests faces when they realize what's playing.

The Cult, Wild Flower.  Hard rock, Ian Astbury, Long Black Hair.  'Nuf Said. Listen and rock out. Bang your head, it's mandatory with this song.

Lenny Kravitz, American Woman.  What was missing from the original Guess Who's version was a sexy "Huh" from a fit, pouty, tattooed man, a wicked guitar riff and a female drummer.  Really now, how could Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman compete?  Oh that's right, they can't.


Now Glee is on a level of it's own.  They remix the songs and I'm okay with that.  In fact, there are a number of songs I like better with the remixing. So I don't count them as cover artists per se, but acknowledge the creativity and ingeniousness of them doing so.

Another awesome album of covers is Punk Goes Pop.  Apparently, in my Google searching, there's a whole listing of Punk Goes Albums that I will now need to selectively download.  I highly recommend the Baby One More Time by Nicotine cover.  It makes me laugh.

So there you go, apparently there's no new music any more.  We've reached the pinnacle of our collective musical talents as a species and must now rely on the tragic reworkings of past musicians brilliance to make up for this fact.

Let me know what your favourite cover song is, or better yet, which song you feel should be covered and by whom.  Maybe we can start a petition.

Happy listening!