Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hello. Welcome to Rainyday. I had an interesting discussion with a local wordsmith last night over a few wobblypops and some pie. This young man writes for the local entertainment rag and has had the duty of interviewing many performing artists. As he talked about his interviews for the upcoming music festival in Sioux Town, he made a comment that I found particularly interesting. He said, "The artists I've interviewed have attitudes inverse to their status in the industry. The bigger performers are really chill and the lesser-knowns cop an attitude with me." This newsman said he recently wanted to interview a local band for his paper and they rescheduled the interview several times and didn't have the "right" band members available for another attempt. He said it was easier scheduling an interview with a well-known member of the Grateful Dead.

Now, I have made this same comment about bands I've booked over the years. I have had more issues with local bands, than international touring acts. Most of the world renowned performers look at the gear you provide and say, "This is cool, let's rock." Many of them don't even do a sound check, unlike some of the up-and-comers who require hours of sound check and equipment changes.

I don't know the reason for this, but I have a theory. Perhaps all artists start out with an attitude and the successful ones realize that they won't make it very far being difficult. I guess none of us will make it very far being difficult.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hello. Well we made it through a week of grandbabies. We spent 6 days with them. Our grandson is 3 and our granddaughter is 1. This was different than when our children were that age. Our lives were so different then. My work schedule was more intense. We didn't work together like we do now. We had people at our house all the time back then. I probably spent more time with the grandbabies than I generally did with our children at that age. This did bring back good memories. Five or six days was cool, however, I wouldn't want to be raising two young children in today's world.

I take my hat off to people raising children today. It seems that as things advance in our society, there are more problems children are faced with. Technology creeps into their innocent lives stealing their childhood. Most youngsters today will never know what it's like to play a pick-up game of baseball or just sit in the sand box with a shovel and your favorite toy truck for hours. They'll never experience the joy of walking uptown with a pocket full of quarters to go to the Saturday matinee. It was those endless hours of independence and camaraderie that built the character in children for decades.

How can they learn the valuable lessons of life sitting in a dark room, alone, staring at a computer screen? Oh, they'll make good data entry people...or worse, a lone gunman on a college campus. Thank God, our grandbabies love to be outside. Even though it's demanding on the parents and others, it's worth it. I hope they never get hooked on the television or computer. The computer is evil...and that's a whole other blog.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hello. We survived the wedding. I can't straighten the little finger on my right hand, my forehead is scraped up and my right big toe aches, but otherwise everything is back to normal. I guess that's what I deserve for trying to hang with a bunch of twenty-something guys celebrating their buddy's wedding. I think everyone had a good time.

It is interesting how people react to something they hear about another person. Remember the game we played as children. We sat in a line and the person on one end of the line whispered something to the person next to them, and they whispered what they heard to the person next to them and so on. By the time the person on the opposite end received the whisper, it was usually quite a bit different than the original statement. This "game" seems to hold true with adults, only we don't do it innocently and we've dropped the courtesy of whispering.

As a result, I don't give much credibility to negative comments about others. Truth, or lack of, is a very slippery devil. A person might only be repeating their translation of the original comment. You can't fault them for that...can you? It is so easy to twist a statement into the story you want it to be, regardless of what the person really said. They might not think of it as lying, but it is. Ultimately, these people are only fooling themselves. How sad it must be, to spend your days trying to convince yourself that you're a good person at the expense of others.

The best policy is one we were taught when we were young, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Monday, June 09, 2008

Hello and welcome to wedding week. Our son is getting married this Saturday. There appears to be a phenomenon that takes place when a wedding is planned. Something about it turns normal level-headed beings into deaf and blind maniacs! The bride-to-be turns into a stranger with selective hearing and no patience. These beautiful young ladies have been known to growl, curse and in some extreme cases, spin at the neck and spew green slime. Everyone involved seems to be speaking in a different language. None of the family members can understand each other. It is such a common phenomenon, there have been movies made about the subject. It is a wonderful, bonding event for families to experience...if everyone lives to enjoy it.

I sat yesterday with a guy who drinks too much and works too little, but he's OK. He started talking about his marriages, two to be exact. It's not surprising that neither of these unions is still intact considering this fellas habits. He took the first one seriously, but the next one was like buying your second car. Everyone remembers their first car. This is common with everyone I know that has been married more than once. How many times can you say, "til death do us part" and actually mean it? I would not re-marry if I ever find myself making that decision.

We attended a retirement party for my oldest sister. She is 56-years-old. That's young to be retiring. She was already talking about working part-time! I don't think it's a good idea to become idle. Playing golf, fishing or worse sitting in a bar playing cards seems like a waste of time. I want to go out with a purpose. I've never planned for retirement, so I guess I won't ever retire. There must be something I can do until I fall over dead. The WalMart greeter thing is out though because of my sincere dislike for the retail monster. I'll start planning my senior career soon. Peace.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Hello, and welcome to Rainyday, otherwise known as Thursday or Golf League Day. Now, I'm not a huge golf fan, but I do enjoy riding around in the cart, drinking tequila and playing a little pasture pool. We started league in April and it's rained some every single night. So, I've decided to rename Thursday, Rainyday. I hope you're all cool with that.

On Tuesday, there was a big vote held in Union County, South Dakota which is about 6 or 7 miles from Sioux Town. The locals were deciding the fate of a 400,000-barrel-a-day oil refinery. The yes votes outnumbered the no votes to change the zoning for the 3,300 acre plot of land they want to build this thing. I understand the sentimental reasoning for voting no, but let's face it, this is a chance of a lifetime for a community. I can understand a 70-year-old farmer saying, "What do I care about economic development, I want my peace and quiet." But, long-term, this could be huge for our little piece of the world. It will be the largest building project in the U.S. for several years. Thanks to all of you who have the vision to vote yes for this deal. And for those who voted no, you made a valiant effort, but now stand aside and grin and bear it.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Hello Monday. Man, I love outdoor music festivals. It's like a lot of things, it just tastes better outside. A group of my fellow music freaks went to the booming metropolis that is Hawarden Iowa this weekend for the first annual "Dry Creek Music Festival". It was real cool. Eight hours of live music, 5 bands, cold beer, good bourbon and good friends. It's amazing what a few bucks and a strong effort by a determined group can accomplish. I hope it worked for the town, because we are already planning the trip next year.

Music is so powerful. I have made connections with other music junkies simply from our common taste for Americana music. It is very cool. I am not going to waste my time trying to force feed people this flavor of music. You can't change them. I want to join fellow Americana music lovers and put on our own shows. It's more of my plan to do what I like to do. I like good blues, roots rock, zydeco, rock-a-billy, know Americana. This group of freaks like good Americana. Hey, I think we can make something happen here. The wheels are in motion.

The bands at the festival were at different stages of their respective careers. This is common with most shows you go to. From the local guys that kicked off the day to the international touring headliner, the talent was obvious. This is how it should be. Something very cool happened during the headliner's set. The players from the Kris Lager Band (third on the bill), stood next to the stage looking on with awe as Bernard Allison and his world-class band burned their way through 90 minutes of smoking hot blues/rock. They were soaking in every drum beat, guitar lick and keyboard stroke that the masters laid down. It's no wonder Kris and his band are climbing the ranks of the music business with class. It won't be long and they'll be headlining and some other young guns will be watching their every move. Peace.