Sunday, April 17, 2011

Twenty bands/artists who I would like to be a back up singer/dancer for

Hello out there to all of you in internet-land! Tsk...wouldn't it be cooler if we could meet in--oh--I don't know, Mega Slide Land? Or, Water Park Land? Or, Deep-Fried Funnel Cake Land instead? Alas, such will never be the case, and so we must settle on Al Gore's utopia. ...For now. Since last we spoke I had the opportunity to see a live show! On Wednesday evening last, I had the very special privilage of seeing the magnificent Carolina Chocolate Drops perform at Radford University--in a view from the front row! While this blog serves not necessarily as a post to review live performances exclusively, it DOES serve as an outlet for discussing music and all its wonderous, geeky avenues. So, before we go any further please allow me a moment to convey my deepest respect and nerdly appreciation for this horribly talented North Carolinian String band. The Carolina Chocolate Drops are an African American group hailing from the Chapel Hill area of Carolina. The members range in age from 28-33 (I think). They have been together (in one form or another) for roughly six years; but it hasn't been until recently that they have begun to explode on the bluegrass scene--playing festivals and shows all over the world--AND--even managing to ern themselves a 'lil ol' Grammy award for best new folk artist. It is uncommon to find oneself at a concert where people aged three to sixty five are dancing together in the aisles, but to this, I swear I bore witness. The Carolina Chocolate Drops specialize in old timey/bluegrass/folk/traditional irish/blues/traditional americana/and songs that you could (literally) dance the Charleston to. Even if you aren't into this type of music I highly recommend checking them out. And if you ARE into this sort of thing, and you aren't familiar with them, then ladies and gentlemen do stop whatever it is you are doing and look them up NOW. No, seriously...stop reading my blog, go to youtube, and type in Carolina Chocolate Drops. Hell, if you are so inclined saunter down to you local record shop and purchase their albums. In a nation where Nickleback clones largely dominate generic rock radio stations, the Carolina Chocolate Drops are a much needed, appreciated, and welcomed breath of fresh air. Right, i'll stop gushing now--and get on with things. Today's blog features a list of artists and performers whom I would delight in providing back up vocals/dancing for. And we could go with the obvious choices of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, etc. But that's too easy. I think we will venture into a more obscure and quirky territory. So, in the words of the immortal Samuel L. Jackson, "HOLD ON TO YOUR BUTTS!" 1. The Carolina Chocolate Drops Please see the above paragraph. Since i've already spoken to a large extent about my appreciate for this band, let me just say that I would be more than happy to be the token white boy dancing by himself in a dark corner of the stage while they dominate. Hell, I would even be thrilled to just play the triangle if they asked me to. 2. Gogol Bordello Gypsy Punk! A drunken, vivacious mad-house of infectious, unique stylings. 3. The Decemberists A versitile, weird, mix of folk, rock, and story-telling. I want to hang out with them. And YES, the wanting comes in waves. 4. The Flaming Lips DOY. My darling Yoshimi, let's battle these pink robots! 5. Cypress Hill Maybe they would let me play the harmonica for them? Cause let's be real, they possess just the right amount of Insane. ;) 6. Weird Al Yankovic A dorky fan-boy's child hood dream come true. No, really...I can clearly remember fantasizing about playing onstage along side Al and the gang from the tender age of nine. 7. Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers For some one who grew up watching Steve Martin movies since I can remember, to discovering that he played the banjo, to purchasing and falling in love with his first album (The Crow), to making the pilgrimage in the deadly Tennessee heat to watching this renaissance man perform--to actually being onstage along side him--would blow my mind twenty-seven million ways to Sunday. Steve, I could be your King Tut (in a completely heterosexual way, of course). 8. A Perfect Circle Because sometimes it's fun to flirt with the dark side ;) 9. Roger Miller I've recently begun watching the Television series "Doctor Who." Perhaps one day i'll accquire a TARDIS of my own, and time travel back to a time when it would be opportune to join this quirky, billiant, songster on the road. He is, after all, king of the road, even if he can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd. If a TARIDS cannot be obtained then I would gladly settle on a Delorean--or even a phone booth--if it came to that. 10. The Mighty Clouds of Joy Let's get the Lord up in this blog! 11. Big Mama Thornton Because who DOESN'T want to hang out/perform with a big, jolly, African-American blues woman? 12. Run DMC Don't deny it, you know you'd wanna rock it with these guys too. 13. Loretta Lynn & Jack White I would do very bad things to be able to be on stage with Loretta Lynn and Jack White. She is the greatest female country artist to grace our land, and He is the savior of rock n roll. Together they create an unstoppable force of toe-tapping, heart-breaking, glory-filled musical magic. 14. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy A swingin' big band from the late nineties that never really got the recognition they deserved. Having survived middle and high school playing the trumpet, these guys are right up my alley. I admit, this fourteenth entry had strong competition from the Glen Miller Orchestra, and The Squirrel Nut Zippers, both of whom I admire on the highest levels. Of all the bands that i've posted so far though, BBVD ranks at the top of those whom I would actually have a real shot of playing with; were my trumpet skillz not so rusty. I still have my trumpet (a beautiful, silver, Bach Stradavarius) that i've been promising myself as soon as I live in a place where the walls aren't so thin, I will pick back up and start playing again. Maybe someday i'll start a swing band of my own. Hey...a lad can dream right? :) 15. Shel Silverstein We can probably blame my unhealthy fascination with poetry on Shel Silverstein--and the fact that when I was eight, I picked up a copy of "Where the Sidewalk Ends" and never looked back. Imagine my delight when, as I got older, I discovered that not only was Shel a talented poet and cartoonist, but he was also a singer-songwriter/performer. In my opinion, Shel Silverstein is the definition of cool; and easily one of the folks whom I base my philosophies and way of life upon. To even just be in the same room with him, would make my feeble little mind kersplode into a gooey universe of millions of excited little pieces. But to have had the chance to play along side him? Brother...I can't even begin to imagine... We miss you Shel Silverstein. The whole world misses you. 16. Flight of the Conchords/Tenacious D Born of similar ilk; these two groups profess and practice the ideas upon which my worlds revolves. Music, and comedy. You can be a wonderboy, but you don't have to a prostitute. 17. Old Crow Medicine Show The bad-ass mad men of bluegrass. Enough said. 18. The Travling Wilburys Nelson Wilbury, Otis Wilbury, Lefty Wilbury, Charlie T. Wilbury, Lucky Wilbury...A.K.A....Spike Wilbury, Clayton Wilbury, Muddy Wilbury, Boo Wilbury.....A.K.A....George Harrison, Jeff Lynn, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan & Roy Orbisson. Possibly the greatest band ever to walk the face of the earth. I would be content to simply have been a fly on the wall (or stage, whatever) when these men came together to play. They are my heroes. Three live on to play and record music in their own respective rights in this world that we live in; while two have moved on to groove with all the greats in the wide unknown. But wherever they are, in this life or the next, they are always creating perfect music, for the imperfect listener to learn from, to live in, and to love. Cheers mates, and thank you. 19. Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band I owe a lot to Jimmy Buffett and his band of merry music makers. I know they're not for everybody, but for me they are perfect. They always provide just the right song for just the right mood. And if you've never seen them live then honey you haven't lived. A Buffett show is one of the single most thrilling, happy, energetic experiences you can ever hope to have. For years Buffett and the Coral Reefers were my white whale. I came so close to seeing them so many times. But in the summer of 2009 I managed (somehow) to see them twice. I can testify that it is one big jolly (mon) of a party. Whether I was just some dude dancing on stage, or singing back up vocals, or strumming along to a simple song in the standard and much loved chord of G, on my daddy's old Alvarez; I would be one, ecstatic Parrot Head. Waitress? We need two more boat drinks! 20. Justin Jewell, Brandon Daigle, Aaron Atkins, Tom Hughs, Erich Robinson, Sidney Hollandsworth, Nathan Schell, Dawn Graham, Brack Stovall, Joyce Banker, Tim Banker, Missy Amos, and anyone else i've ever had the very esteemed opportunity and privilage to participate with in a backyard bonfire sing along with acoustic guitars, or driven down the road with while the music blared from car speakers and we sang along with reckless wonderful abandon in our glorious and beautiful off-key voices. Cause that's what it's really all about. You can fantasize about playing with your favorite bands. And while it's a sweet, fun fantasy--that's all it is. And that doesn't come anywhere close to playing music and singing along with your best friends and loved ones. Obviously, I can't post a link to that sort of thing, so if you're reading this then I invite you to sit back, tune in to your most cherished memories, and reflect on all the excellent times we've had together making our nerdy musics. I wouldn't trade you guys for even a micro-second of playing with any of the afforementioned artists. Thanks and praise to you all, for all the years and smiles that you've given me. And in the words of Forrest Gump, "That's all i've got to say about that." Honorable mentions: Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and any musical number that The Muppets have ever performed, ever. Till next time, long days and pleasant nights. :)


  1. Well, it posted the stupid way again. Next weekend when I go to visit my my folks for Easter and I have more readily available access to the internet, I will have to search out a more appropriate venue to post my blogs. My apologies for any difficulties you may have experienced in reading this.

    Blogspot...smell ya later. SMELL YA LATER FOREVER!

  2. We will once again drive in your truck through the backroads of Southwest Virginia blaring the Born In The USA cassette tape in its entirety. And once again, special cadence will be payed to "Darlington mofo'n County"!!!!!!

  3. If you want to be a backup dancer for Weird Al, your best bet is to put together a set of really good stormtrooper armor and join the 501st Legion.