Jun 302010
 


Several of these choices have taken me some time to decide on, but this one was a given from the moment I saw the title.

My Father and I didn’t have a whole heck of a lot in common. He was raised on a farm and wore cowboy boots even if he had shorts on. He spent his entire life working with his hands. He served in the military. His favorite author was Louis Lamour. He was a good old boy in every sense of the word.

Obviously, this is not me.

Given all that, it’s probably pretty obvious that he was a big fan of Country music. I, for the record, am not. There are artists from that genre who I admire a great deal though, and one artist who I shared a love with my Father for was Johnny Cash.

I first heard this song several years after my Father passed away, and the minute I did it instantly became “his” song in my mind. As a Nine Inch Nails fan, it seemed to perfectly bridge the gap between our two worlds. Not only that, but the message of the song itself strongly resonates with the demons my Father dealt with in his life (He was an alcoholic and only sobered up for real in his last few years).

Most of the time when I hear this song I am overcome by sadness as I remember my Father and wish he were still here. He never got to see me perform on stage, and my son hardly remembers him. He was, despite his many flaws, a good man. A decent man who made a lot of mistakes but really made an effort to try and make up for them.

I miss him.

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Jun 292010
 


I think about this song a lot.

I have a good life, and I don’t want to ever give the impression that I do not. I have a wonderful son, a wonderful other half, a home, and a good job. I act on a fairly regular basis, and I’m moderately active in social networking circles. I’ve got it pretty good.

I am, however, acutely aware of the missed opportunities in my life. Two things, in particular. I am aware of how much damage I did to my body by not making the conscious choice to be healthy until my late twenties, and of how I pissed away the opportunity to actually go to college full time. More so than my weight, the fact that I did not take my education seriously until it was far too late for me to devote all of my energy to it is a constant source of shame and sadness for me.

I had a taste of what is described in this song. One small, fleeting moment in my life that I can still remember vividly to this day. Six months that I absolutely pissed away and which I describe as being miserably lonely, and yet I can recall countless moments from that time period that still make me smile to this day.

Such as…

The first day of orientation and how excited and nervous I was. Sitting in the Student Hall surrounded by other students like myself and feeling all of that energy in the room.

Sharing a cigarette with my English professor on the steps of the building our class was in and realizing that we were sitting right next to the spot where George Wallace protested the integration of the University of Alabama.

The first time I went to the gamers meeting and realizing that I wasn’t the only geek on campus.

Seeing comedian Henry Cho at the campus nightclub, and how he was having so much fun just telling us stories about his college days that he went about an hour over when he was supposed to finish.

Spending my Sundays with old family friends at their home outside of Tuscaloosa watching the Buccaneers play.

The absolute stunning beauty of the campus at the University of Alabama.

The parade of honking cars that snaked all over campus the night we beat the Auburn.

Hanging out with my Hall Monitor and thinking that the math he was studying was something I’d never even come close to comprehending.

Watching Twin Peaks in the basement of Mann Hall, the residence hall on campus that didn’t have monitors because you basically had to be a MENSA member to get in. As a result it was the place where you could score the best drugs and there was ALWAYS some kind of party going on.

I could go on, but I need to get ready to go to work and as much as I am enjoying this trip down memory lane there’s nothing I can do to get these experiences back. That’s why this song makes me sad. If I had simply done the bare minimum…just put out SOME kind of effort…I could have had four or more years to build these kind of memories. I am, alas, stuck with a mere six months.

More than some people get for sure, but not nearly enough by far.

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Jun 242010
 


While there are a lot of songs that make me happy, the Pet Shop Boys are guaranteed to do so with their song “I Wouldn’t Normally Do This Kind Of Thing.” I can’t put a finger on exactly why, to be honest. I mean there are a lot of reasons so it’s hard to give a specific one. It reminds me of the time we used to spend going to Tracks back in the early 90’s. It has a pretty positive message. It’s bouncy. It’s great to dance to. All of that, and I just have a weakness for this kind of pop music.

Regardless of the reason, this song is virtually guaranteed to get me to smile and dance around like a fool.

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Jun 232010
 


Wow.

I think this is even harder than my favorite song. I mean, I really like music. It’s hard for me not to be able to find something redeemable about a song that I hear, ya know? I’m sure there is also a lot of music out there I’d hate that I just don’t listen to, or that I turn off as soon as I hear it (thus guaranteeing that I have no idea what the song is to tell you that it’s my least favorite).

So. Let me think. My least favorite song should be a song I know that evokes a negative emotion.

OH! I got it!

Trace Adkins. “Honkey Tonk Badonkadonk.”

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Jun 222010
 


So…My friend Heather has been doing this here list for a few weeks now. I have to admit that I’m a lot like her in that this is likely not going to be done in anything remotely resembling 30 days, but it does give me some quick fodder to actually put some content out on the site.

The whole point is that you have this list of 30 different music based topics you’re supposed to write about. Day 1, for example, is your favorite song.

I hate this question. With a passion. I don’t know that I have a favorite song. I have favorite songs of the moment. When you ask me what my favorite song is the answer that comes to mind wouldn’t be the same answer I’d have given you six months ago, and it probably won’t be the same answer six months from now. So telling you what my “favorite” song is becomes kind of a problem.

That said…

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Jun 112010
 

As has become the tradition here on my little ol’ blog, I am posting up links to all three major reviews that have come in for Dead Man’s Cell Phone. For the most part, they are overwhelmingly positive. There are some quibbles about the script itself, but even with those caveats all three critics had tons of lovely things to say about our little production.

A fine production of Dead Man’s Cell Phone, an imaginative if flawed play by the ubiquitous Sarah Ruhl” – Mark E. Leib, Creative Loafing, June 9th, 2010

“‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone’ starts out strong, then fades out” – Marty Clear, The St. Petersburg Times, June 10th, 2010

“‘Cell Phone’ message is loud and clear” – Kathy L. Greenberg, The Tampa Tribune, June 10th, 2010

I’ve said it before, but I’ll emphasize here again. I don’t do what I do just to get a nice review, but I sure as hell don’t mind it when that happens. All three of these reviews are awesome, and two of them are especially complimentary to me personally. Mark says that it might be my best performance, and Marty refers to me as “always excellent.” I’ve heard similar comments from some of my peers who have seen the show.

Is this my best work? I honestly don’t know. I can tell you that it’s some of my most honest. I can tell you that the things that have been praised about the show are things that the cast and crew consciously worked on and that they were not “happy accidents.” I can tell you that the audiences that have seen the show so far have seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves and that we’ve been getting lots of positive feedback on Facebook and Twitter.

Another show that I got high praise on, personally, was Playing with Fire : After Frankenstein. Unfortunately, in the realm of ticket sales, not a lot of people came to see that show (despite great feedback and positive reviews). I hope that doesn’t turn out to be the case again.

Please, if you can possibly spare the time, give us an opportunity to entertain you for an evening. I promise you that you won’t regret it. If money is an issue please contact me directly. We have several means to get discounted tickets available and can possibly work something out to help you get into a seat.

If this sounds a little early for me to be all desperate and pleading…It’s only because I’m proud of the work and I want to share it with you. I have had people tell me that they “wished they could have” seen one of the shows so many times it makes my head spin. Don’t be that person!