Radio: Love vs Hate

I like to try to fit in a little music post every week, but I sometimes just don’t find the time to get together a blog that actually reviews something I like at that point in time.  Therefore, I sometimes rely on talking about the various albums I’m listening to at that moment, and other times I like to just talk about some of my thoughts on music in general.  I legitimately do try to enjoy about as much music as I possibly can; however, there are some things that I just can’t get in to at all.  I feel like I run a constant battle with the radio.  My wife is a big radio fan, so she always wants to have the radio on when we are in the car.  I would much rather have my iPod on.  We have managed to find a good mixture of this when we ride together using satellite radio.  There are stations she will want to hear, and I can find stuff I would rather hear as well.  Of course, on longer trips, I benefit from her not really being able to stay awake very long.  It’s not that I always dislike what is on the radio; it’s just that I can’t stand what I get sometimes.

The Hits: I think my biggest issue is with what people consider popular music to be.  There are plenty of artists I end up listening

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to and not minding all that much because they are catchy.  I find my self singing along to that new Carly Rae Jepsen song.  It’s not like I find it all that talented, but it is catchy, and I’m always a sucker for a really catchy song.  I still find myself singing along to some Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, or LMFAO songs.  The bigger problem for me is when I hear artists I just don’t get or appreciate.  One of the biggest problems here for me is Nicki Minaj.  There are a few others I could name that I have a real problem with, but she may be the one artist I don’t even like to hear the voice of.  She seems to have gotten famous for making funny voices, singing in accents, and just trying to be outlandish and in your face.  I saw an interview recently where she just slipped into an accent without even realizing it.  The interviewer called her out on it, and she got a little embarrassed over it.  Despite not really liking her as a person.  It’s really more about the way in which I don’t understand her fame.  Why do people like her?  I guess I don’t like having to compete with channel surfing when I always seem to find her music on the dial.

Variety: Another huge problem with radio: no variety.  Long drives prove this point to me all the time.  How many times have you been driving in the car and counted the amount of times you’ve heard that same song.  It’s almost always that big summer song.  “Hips Don’t Lie”, “California Girls”, and “Party Rockin” have been songs that I started the summer thinking this is catchy and ended the summer never wanting to hear it again.  I could probably name five artists on here, tell you to turn on your radio, and I guarantee one of them is being played on the radio right now.  (Adele, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Maroon 5, Rhianna).  Give it a try to let me know if I’m right.  Even when they find a newer artist to play, they play it so often it kills it.  I did a little blog on Gotye and how much I enjoyed his new CD.  Now I’ve had to hear the single so often I never want to hear it again.  We went to Bamboozle two weeks ago where we must have heard that single 10 times on the way up.  Then we got to the venue and some DJ is remixing it and another band is covering it.  You have to be kidding me.  Plus, what is up with that bad slightly more upbeat version they play on the radio?

Stealing what I love:  The last gigantic problem I have with radio is they find bands that I enjoy, expose everyone to them, and I can no longer see them live.   I don’t care that bands become more widely known.  Ironically I listened to a few songs yesterday by different punk bands that state it isn’t selling out.  I’m fine with bands making money, but I want to still be able to see these bands at a reasonable venue for a reasonable price.  The Black Keys just played the Verizon Center here in DC.  That is just crazy to me!  Also, they take songs that I enjoy and beat them into the ground.  I will admit to overplaying some albums for myself sometimes, but I want to be the one that is responsible for that.

I’m not a radio hater really, but I think the system needs to be reformed to make it better.  I used to listen to the college radio station by my house, and I loved that I could call up and request music.  I wish radio stations still did more of this.  They have to get in 2 Adele songs every hour, or they have to play some new Britney Spears song.  I would like radio with a little more variety.  I’m not surprised most people are moving to satellite.  You get more variety, and you have more station options.  What are your thoughts on radio or the state of music today?

Be a Good Customer

I thought of this blog post the other day when I was I working both Sunday and Monday night.  I always have to work Sundays and Mondays but this week was especially rough because of the holiday.  My normal shift is 3-11:30 (or so) on Sunday and 5:30 – 11:30 (or so) on Monday.  However, I had the joy of getting to work at 3 on Monday and basically having no real bbq joy.  I know that isn’t the real reason for the day, but as a guy who works two jobs already, I would like to have a full holiday where I don’t have anything to do.  Ultimately, if I have to spend a lot of time at work, I want to have a good time with good customers; however, that really doesn’t seem to be the case when you have customers who seem to not really understand proper etiquette when it comes to eating out.  I figured it was about high time I let everyone know what it takes to be a good customer.  I’m not assuming anyone who reads this is a bad customer or anything, but I need a place to vent and this is it.  So, if you have never thought of a few of these issues before, here are a few things that get on this employee’s nerves when it comes to trying my best to take care of you.

Children – We have the joy of being considered a family restaurant.  It’s really not all that bad.  We get some pretty large groups of people who come in and rack up some pretty high bills.  This of course helps to make for some hefty tips.  Unfortunately, this also means that we have a lot of little ones running around.  I don’t mind kids, I’m a teacher after all, but I don’t like having to play parent while you enjoy your meal.  Pay attention to your kids.  If they get up and start running around the restaurant be a good parent and get them to sit down and be still.  If you can actually manage that, you then need to try to make sure they aren’t yelling, screaming, or banging on everything.  There are people without kids eating in the restaurant too, and they don’t want to feel like it’s feeding time at your household.  If your child starts to cry or have a hissy fit, you need to take care of it.  I don’t care if you haven’t finished your country fried steak or peanut butter bacon burger; you need to take them outside and make things right.  Finally, if you have a child who likes to throw food everywhere, you need to clean it up.  If for some reason you don’t feel that is your responsibility, you need to tip extra for us literally having to sanitize the entire area before we can seat that table again.  Yes this even goes for if you end up sitting on the patio.  There are no wild animals on the streets of DC that will come along and clean up after you.

Ordering Food and Drinks: I understand you want things a certain way when you go out; however, it is nice if you actually have knowledge of what those things are before you tell me you are ready to order.  I make sure to ask if you are ready to order before I actually stand there and listen to you. There is nothing worse, especially when I have other tables to check on, than standing there listening to you discussing options.  If you’re not really ready, you can feel free to tell me to come back in a few minutes.  Additionally, if you ask for 5-6 different changes to a food item, understand that it may be hard for the little immigrants working in the back to understand everything that you wanted altered.  Also, a mistake in the kitchen doesn’t mean I screwed something up.  It means the kitchen did; therefore, you don’t need to take it out on me or my tip.  We normally comp your food or get you a new one, so you need to calm down.  Finally, if you order a drink you’ve never heard of before, don’t you dare get mad when you realize you don’t like it.  It’s great that you love Mad Men, but I don’t care if you though an Old Fashioned would be something sweeter or more delicious.

Common courtesy: We are human beings too, and I understand you may work for some big government agency; however, I like to be treated like one of God’s creatures as well.  I don’t always want to stand in front of you and take your order, but I show up with a smile on my face.  You want me to provide you with a service, so if you want the best possible service from me, you can smile right back at me too.  If you’re having a bad day, I am not the one you take that out on.  We don’t really have to come into too much contact; therefore, we should try to make it the most positive relationship possible.  This also means you need to realize we want to go home as well.  If you show up at 10:25 and we close at 10:30, you need to go down the street to the next option.  I understand you really want your milkshake or meatloaf, but I work two jobs and want to go home to my wife.  I’ll tell you the kitchen is open for another 5 minutes; however, that is not a time where you should high-five that you made it in time.  You don’t know what those people working there have going on in their life, and I know they aren’t high-fiving that they got one more customer after they already got a head start on cleaning up the kitchen.  I’m sure you’re not excited when something gets dropped on your desk five minutes before you head home.

I would trust I don’t have a lot of readers who struggle with some of these issues, but I need a place to vent.  Even if you’ve screwed up in one of these areas before please keep these issues in mind from now on.  Thanks for listening to my ranting!

Brouwerij ‘T Gaverhopke – ‘t Gaverhopke Extra

One of the big problems with doing a few beer reviews a week is you tend to run through a lot of different beers rather quickly.  It makes no sense to buy a six pack of something when you’re trying to drink something new all the time.  Therefore, I might buy a six-pack here and there to make sure I have beer that I can just drink for the fun of it.  However, I need to hit up stores that will offer me singles of 12oz in order to make things worth while and efficient.  I ran into a problem this week where I realized I only really had a few remaining beers in my fridge that were really reviewable.  Therefore, I felt a need to run out to the closest store that would offer me something unique for reviewing.  Schneider’s on Capitol Hill doesn’t really offer the biggest beer selection I know of; however, they have a few things that would hold me over till I found my way to a real good beer store.

In the store I had a tough decision figuring out what I want to review.  A lot of what I ended up looking at was 750 mls.  The problem with that is I really don’t need big bottles at the moment.  I like to do smaller bottle reviews during the week.  Although I am running short on big bottles too, I have a few on the way in the mail from a site I’ll talk about later.  Therefore, I was really trying to focus on getting some smaller bottles.  In the end I managed to buy two small bottles and a six-pack of a summer ale I had recently tried and really liked.  This particular bottle was the first one I grabbed.  I’m not sure why this one stuck out to me so much.  I guess the bottle was interesting to me, and I had certainly never had a beer from this particular company before.

I did attempt to look for information on the brewery; however, I really couldn’t seem to find a whole lot at all on them.  They are a brewery that exists in Belgium; however, that seems to be the only thing I can find about them.  The style on the bottle says that it is an Extra; however, other places refer to this one as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.  Either way, it would seem this is a stronger higher alcohol version of the Belgian Dark Ale.  Makes sense to me!  Also, they put this one in the same category as the Chimay Blue, if you were looking for something comparable.

This one pours out a really dark brown color with a lot of reddish hue to it.  The head is certainly plentiful here and it has a pretty obvious brownish tan hint to it.  Swirling the glass results in some fairly good lacing, and you get a lot of sticky residue on the side of the glass as well.  This beer is quite obviously hazy, but it doesn’t prevent you from being able to see the visible carbonation in the glass.

There is a really big malty aroma to this one.  The malts have some of that big raisin and fig smell to it.  There seems to be some very faint light citrus aroma here as well.  The light hopping is evident in here; however it is by no means a hoppy beer at all.  The beer has a lot of sticky sweetness to it, which I would blame on a little bit of caramel and light molasses.  Some of the spicy clove yeast is coming through in here as well.

The beer has a very interesting mix of big booze flavor and a certain amount of freshness.  The tasting starts with some really sweet malts that have a lot of big raisin, fig, and date flavors to it.  The ample raisin flavor is quickly met by a really significant hit of caramel and molasses flavor.  The sweetness of the molasses and caramel also brings a really big booze flavor to accompany it. Interestingly, the yeast and clove flavor follow the booze to really take the edge off and make it seem kind of fresh.  You have a momentary confusion where you’re not sure if you’re drinking a big heavy beer or a light farmhouse style beer.  A little light hop flavor comes in on the end and you get a light amount of residual booze and raisin to finish it off as well.

The mouthfeel adds to the identity confusion of this beer.  You get a beer that has a lot of carbonation.  This works together with the yeast to bring about a certain freshness; however, the beer manages to become slightly syrupy on the end  with a really big bite of booze in the middle too.  It’s kind of a beer that doesn’t know what it wants to be.  It has a little bit of a dry finish; however, that only adds to the difficult job of trying to figure out if this beer wants to be heavy or light.

Despite the confusion this beer has in its nature, I really like that it keeps you guessing.  I’ve realized as of late that I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing American beers, and I’ve kind of neglected a lot of the foreign market.  I think I need to really start adding in a lot more of my available imports.  Regardless of that, this is an all around great beer.  I really liked this one, and I would be interested in trying some others from this brewery.  Has anyone else had this beer or a different one from these guys?  I don’t know if you can find this in your local store but, if you can, you would benefit from picking it up.

Teacher Grade: A

Three Floyds Brewing Co – Zombie Dust

I’m beginning to become quite interested in doing beer exchanges through the mail.  This is mostly due to the crazy success I’m seeing my friend Gavin have with it.  Evidently he put up a little notification on the Beer Advocate message board that he was looking to make some trades, and he managed to get a ton of stuff that we can’t get in this area.  Thankfully, being a fellow beer lover, he gave me one of the beers from a six-pack of Zombie Dust he was sent in a recent trade.  I really need to start trying to find different beers from around the US that I haven’t had before.  Regardless of that, I’m glad that I can mooch off a friend for now.

I was extremely happy to get this beer from him about a week ago.  We made a second attempt to get out to see a UFC event in our area.  Ironically enough, we watched the Korean Zombie dominate in his fight to earn the right to fight for the belt in his weight class.  It was a great night of watching fights, but I think my greatest joy came when he gave me my first bottle of a beer brewed solely by Three Floyds.  This is yet another brewery I’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying.  I did happen to have one of their brews they did in collaboration with Mikkeller.  I’ve enjoyed a few different beers from Mikkeller, but I have never had the pleasure of cornering a bottle of Three Floyds.  Therefore, I was hopeful it would be a great first try.

Three Floyds is brewery out of Indiana, but it seems to be well-known all across the U.S. The first thing that is noticeable about this bottle is the crazy amazing artwork on the bottle.  Evidently Three Floyds wanted to create a label that would really jump out at the consumer, thus they got the comic book artist Tom Seeley to create a pretty impressive piece of artwork.  Floyds lists this beer as their undead pale ale.  I had to go check to make sure, but it is in fact an American Pale Ale and not an IPA.  However, it is quite a heavily hopped APA.  Looking it up on Beer Advocate, it received a 99, so I was even more excited about giving this beer a try.

This beer poured out a slightly golden color with some ample amount of orange and amber.  There is some moderate white head that develops on the pour; however, you really don’t get much of any lacing after giving the liquid a little twirl.  A little slight light sticky residue clings to the glass, but it really isn’t much to speak of.  There is definitely a slight hazy quality to the beer; however, you can see some of the faint carbonation in the glass despite the haziness.

The very floral and herbal aroma of the hops overwhelm the nose on the first smell.  There is a small amount of pine mixed in, but it seems as if the smell is mostly dominated by an extremely herbal quality.  The hops smell fresh.  Combining with the hops is a lot of citrusy grapefruit aromas.  While these are quite prevalent, they still manage to get dominated by the fresh hop aroma.  The herbal nature of this makes the beer very earthy as well.  Surprisingly there seems to not be an overwhelming amount of malt here to help balance the hops.  I was curious if it would be the same way on the taste.

I’m not sure if the malts are very light, or if they are simply overpowered by the hops, but they don’t seem to really be very obvious here.  The hops are certainly in the driver’s seat.  The paltry malt intro lasts a very short period of time before the hop kick comes in.  The hops start off rather herbal and floral with a very modest pine nature.  The really big citrusy grapefruit notes follow the hops; however the hops don’t disappear or dissipate.   They do manage to get a little tang towards the end of the flavor profile; however, they manage to stay quite herbal and floral throughout the majority of the tasting.  Overall this beer finishes quite fresh and earthy.  I feel like they took the hops right off the plant and dropped them in here.

The mouthfeel never once becomes syrupy at all which helps the beer to seem quite fresh throughout its entirety.  There is plenty of carbonation and tons of herbal hops that allow this beer to not become too heavy at all.  Interestingly, the only other noticeable quality to the mouthfeel is the fact that this beer has a somewhat dry finish.  I think it adds to the freshness.

While this was the first Three Floyds beer I’ve had, I’m really hopeful this won’t be the last one.  The only thing that annoyed me about this beer was that I only had one of them.  I have a new mission and that is to find more Zombie Dust.  If anyone out there wants to make a trade for something in the DC area, please let me know!  I need more Three Floyds!

Teacher Grade: A+

Jack White – Blunderbuss

I wrote a little synopsis a little while ago of people I thought were one day destined and guaranteed to be hall of fame inductees.  Jack White was right at the top of that list.  I certainly think he has to be considered one of those musical geniuses of our time period.  It’s strange looking at musicians who I have actually seen from their inception to current time becoming hall of famers.  These rock gods are supposed to be people that my parents listened to.  It’s almost like how I hate knowing that half of the best athletes out there now a days are younger than I am.  When did all the cool people stop being people I could also look up to as my senior.  Anyway, I’m amazed at the ability of Jack White to achieve greatness in so many different styles.  The White Stripes was his rock group, the Raconteurs are his folk group, and the Dead Weathers are his punk band.  With him finding so many different niches already, I was really excited for his solo release.  I was quite curious what style it would be in at least.

I was actually quite pleased with the result of this record.  I have picked up every album Jack White has made and, although I don’t really enjoy The Dead Weathers all that much, I would say I really enjoy his ability to create a unique sound with his different projects.  One song stands out as one that would have fit perfectly on this record for me.  The last song on The Raconteur’s album Consoler of the Lonely is called “Carolina Drama”.  It tells the story of some domestic violence, but it has a real folk country sound to it.  I think it’s probably the song that reminds me the most of the type of material White put together for this album.  Thankfully, “Carolina Drama” is a personal favorite of mine.

Back in January White gave his fans a little taste of his upcoming album with the song “Love Interruption”.  I was really interested to hear what his sound was like.  White Stripes had broken up and none of the other acts he has were really putting anything out.  I wasn’t really sure what his inspiration would be like for this album.  The song is probably one of the more quiet songs on the album.  In fact, it doesn’t seem to feature all that many instruments at all.  There is a guitar and organ for sure, but there really aren’t all that many other instruments to accompany it.  I was curious if the entire album was going to be this low key. Also the topic seemed to be really interesting as well.  He recently was divorced from his wife so, like many others, I was curious to know if this album was about the break up.  He didn’t seem all that broken up when they threw a party to celebrate the time they spent together.  I guess there’s nothing like a good divorce party.

Even though I think “Love Interruption” is a great song, I’m really happy that this album has some crazy amount of variety to it.  If you’ve read one of my music reviews before then you know I definitely appreciate an album that keeps me interested.  I can’t hear too much of the same thing over and over again.  Thankfully White’s voice alone keeps things extremely interesting.  “Missing Pieces” is a great song to start the entire album off with.  Once again the music is somewhat subdued and plays second fiddle to White’s voice, but it complements it extremely well.  Jack’s twangy voice and ample story telling will really rope the listener in.  There is a quick little guitar solo in the middle that leads to a nice little musical breakdown; however, the rest of the song is heavy on organ, keyboard, and drums.  Once again it seems like White could be dealing with the break up as he sings about someone taking pieces of him and leaving.

There are plenty of other songs on the album I enjoy quite a bit as well.  “Sixteen Saltines” follows the opening track and it has a much different feel to it.  It opens with a really loud and blaring guitar line.  White’s voice starts with a yelling quality, but he quickly transitions to a falsetto delivery halfway through.  I like how his voice even changes throughout the song.  The song “I’m Shakin'” has a very obvious bluesy quality to it for sure.  One might even refer to this one as his Black Keys song.  He has a very good twang to his voice that is really complemented by the soulful backup singers he uses on this song.  “Take Me With You When You Go”, the final song on the album, may be one of my favorite songs.  It doesn’t have the same big flashy quality that some of the other songs do, but it features a little more of the instrumental aspects and good harmony.  An added bonus, and the real reason I enjoy the song, is the way in which it almost transitions to a completely different song about half way through.  There are some really fuzzy guitar, hefty drums, and very quickly sung lyrics by both White and the accompanying singer.  Before the end they manage to tie the first and second half of the song together to give is great continuity.

There are actually a couple of songs I’m not huge on but, unlike other albums from other artists, I don’t detest them enough to skip them.  “Hip (Eponymous) Poor Boy” is an incredibly catchy song that I think I would normally like.  It’s definitely a toe tapper for sure, but I find myself just getting a little annoyed with the song overall.  Plus I keep thinking he is singing Hippopotamus Poor Boy.  I know he was going for that, but I don’t quite get the same enjoyment out of it I’m sure he intended.  “Blunderbuss”, the title song for the album, is another fairly good song, but it just doesn’t do a whole lot for me.  I almost feel like it’s missing something to keep me interested.  I have a feeling this is more of just a personal feeling on these songs after listening to the album a bunch of times.

Ultimately I really like this album, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up on my list of top albums of the year.  I’ll have to see if it has staying power for me.  There is already an album or two I think will make that eventual list.  There are a bunch of other great songs on the album I didn’t mention; therefore, you need to open up Spotify or go get the album and give it a listen.  If you’ve ever enjoyed something White has produced in the past, I think you’ll like this one too!

Teacher Grade: A

Brewing & Beer Literature

I had a few different ideas running around in my head for today.  I was considering throwing something up about music, but I ultimately decided that I didn’t want to do three music blogs in a row.  Yesterday’s was on Bamboozle and tomorrow’s will be a music review, so I thought it would be good to stick in a little blog on something I’ve been thinking about for a little while now.  Being an English teacher, I tend to really rely heavily on the written word for my main source of information on things.  I suppose that really isn’t all that strange.  I do also enjoy having conversations about different issues with informed and intelligent people, but if I find it in a book I’m far more likely to believe it.  A few days after receiving my homebrewing kit, I immediately went out and purchased a book on hombrewing and a clone book.  I figured I needed to get right into figuring out what I was doing, and the best way to do that was to research it.

This led me to wondering what literature my readers relied on when it comes to different beer related things.  Ultimately I’m really looking for good websites and magazines to look into.  I would definitely appreciate a good book, but I was considering getting a subscription to a magazine that would be informative on homebrewing and beer related issues in general.  I really can only compare what I’m looking for to what I currently receive for music.  The music magazine I receive is called “Under the Radar”.  I personally hate the name because it sounds ultra pretentious, but I think it has good information on music.  It tells me about what is up and coming, gives me articles and interviews on current popular artists, and it gives me a heavy volume of reviews on recently released albums.  I would like to find a magazine that does a similar thing for beer.  I want talk of up and coming beer releases or brewing styles, interviews with brewers and other beer related gurus, and I want reviews of current beers I could see in my store everyday.  Mixing in some homebrewing info would be great too.

In the end, this led me to thinking of sharing a few of the resources I’ve found to be helpful as I develop my interests and expertise on beers.  So, I guess this post is mostly a “I’ll show you mine if you show me your’s post”  (Gross I know)  Here are a few of the sites and resources I like to read, now you tell me what you like.

Books: I am starting with books because I really only have three, maybe two, books in my collection that could count as beer books.  The first book is the one that I probably read the least: The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.  This is interesting as a book about Stone, and it has recipes in it as well, but I really don’t think it gives me all that much information in general.  So, it kind of just sits there while the others get more use.  The next book that gets some use, but it isn’t as much as it could be, is The Complete Joy of Homebrewing edition 3.  I like this book to give me information on different homebrewing issues, but I haven’t really read it all the way through.  I end up using it as a quick reference if something pops up I don’t have an answer for; however, otherwise it just sits in a pile.  Finally I have Clone Brews.  Clone Brews really doesn’t have all that much information in it on homebrewing, but it does have a lot of info on different brews to create.  I’ve used it for brewing one beer, and I am planning on using it for more.

Magazines: Like I said earlier, I think I really want to hear most about good magazines out there.  I’ve looked at a few at the stores, but I have two in my possession that I think are pretty good.  “Zymurgy” was the magazine that I was first given by a good friend who happened to receive two after moving.  I thought it was a pretty good magazine; however, I didn’t like that it seemed to cater more to all grain brewing.  I’m fine with it, but I don’t have the ability to do all-grain just yet, so I would like to find one that is a little more equal rights for extract brewers.  The other magazine I was given was “Brew Your Own”.  I liked this one for the homebrewing advice and recipes.  It doesn’t really seem to talk a whole lot about professional craft brews, but it does give you a lot of advice on brewing techniques.  I actually used the saison article to put my saison together.

Websites: These of course are the easiest research to find, and you can access them at any time.  I would like to think this site gives people a lot of info on good brews out there, but I don’t have a whole lot of advice on homebrewing just yet.  I have a pretty fair amount of other blogs I check out for info as well, but I have a couple of pro sites I use as well.  Beer Advocate and Ratebeer are two sites to check out for normal beer reviews.  I’m assuming everyone knows about them. I also like to check out Advocate for some basic information on beer types as well. Homebrewtalk is a site I’ve gone to for advice on different homebrewing issues, and I have looked at different recipes for it as well.  My friend John showed me a bunch of different resource sites for hombrewing as well, but I was bad and didn’t write them down.  If you have any other really helpful websites out there I’d love to take a look at them as well.  Like I said, these are quick and easy to check out, so I would love to do so.

So what beer resources do you head to for advice.  I would love to check them out!

Bamboozle in Review

I’ve been a big fan of music for quite a while now.  That’s probably a silly statement to make, but I have really allowed it to play a major role in my life for years.  I set out trying find different styles and bands that I loved; however, as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that I just don’t really enjoy some of this stuff the same way I used to.  Regardless of that, I decided that I wanted to head out to the second day of Bamboozle in Asbury Park NJ this past Saturday.  While there were 30 or so bands and groups I didn’t know performing, the headliners were the ones I was set on seeing.  I have managed to drag my wife into this love of music back when we were dating.  Ultimately, I got her super hooked on Jimmy Eat World.  We’ve seen them two or three times since getting married, but I saw they were playing this festival, so I knew we needed to go.  The other headliners that were playing were Foo Fighters, Blink 182, and All American Rejects.  Having never seen Blink I was really excited to see them, but they got sick so My Chemical Romance took over.  Definitely less excited about them, but I thought they’d put on a good show.

Living in DC, and not wanting to pay for a hotel, we set out for NJ around 10 AM Saturday morning.  I thought the set up of this show was rather interesting.  They didn’t have a band go on until 2:00, so we could kind of take our time getting up there for the show.  Even then, Foo Fighters were scheduled to end around 9:30, so we could drive the four hours back to our house in DC.  It seemed like the perfect way to make sure we had a fun filled Saturday and got to head home and save some money.  There was some traffic getting up there, but we managed to make it up there around 3 something.

They did have a fairly good set up on getting everyone to the show, of course, it seemed less perfect on the way home.  We parked about 20 minutes away at a local race track and caught a shuttle to the concert area.   It was one of the more interesting little set ups for a concert area I’ve seen in a while.  Evidently they had 7 different stages where you could go see bands play.  Also, they didn’t try to cater to a single music style.  There was rock, rap, metal, punk, ska, DJ’s, and even a comedian on Sunday night.  Truthfully we only saw about 4 of the stages.  I’m not sure where the others were hiding.  Ultimately we ended up staying at the main stage.

Yay $7 taste of the Rockies

We did have to purchase beer right away to set us apart from the masses of little children.  It was actually an interesting mix of kids and adults who needed to feel young again.  Anyway, we made it all the way down the boardwalk to the main stage just before All American Rejects went on.  We found a spot on the beach where we could sit.  We of course were a little ways away from the stage, but I’m fine with just sitting back and listening.  I prefer to not stand in a sweaty pit of people anymore.  I don’t want people crowd surfing on my head.  It was nice being able to sit on the beach, see the ocean, and enjoy the music.

I’ve never been a big fan of All American Rejects.  Their songs are catchy and all, but I was never really a big fan of them overall.  My wife, however, is a big fan of theirs, so we caught their whole set first.  They played a pretty good show, but I hate a band continuously cursing at me.  They were the least rock star band there, and yet, they wanted to act like big bad rock stars the whole time.  Thankfully, that was the last band that decided to be overly obnoxious on stage.  Jimmy Eat World took the stage next.  They are probably the least rock star band that played that night.  They make great music, and it doesn’t really seem to be about the image with them.  Thankfully they didn’t play anything off the new album because I really didn’t care for it.  They did however still play things all the way back to Clarity.  I like it when a band knows when to ignore a record.  They played a great set, and I know my wife was happy to see them again.

It was now that I set about going and getting some pizza.  Of course waiting in line, or mob, for food made me really annoyed; however, it wasn’t overly expensive.  Therefore, I was alright with the whole ordeal.  This did cause me to miss the beginning of My Chemical Romance.  I’ve never been a big fan of theirs.  I enjoy some of the radio hits they’ve had, but I don’t really know a lot of the songs.  The ones I did know were fun; however, I could tell they were a fan favorite there from all the people singing along.  While I wasn’t a big fan, I still did think they put on a good show.  I was also really happy to see they dropped the gothic stuff.

Finally it was time for Foo Fighters.  They were given two hours to play which was shorter than the last time I saw them, but I was happy they had them playing for a little while.  Surprisingly they also had to get up to NYC for playing with Mick Jagger that night.  They made sure to let us all know they would be taking a helicopter from Asbury to NYC so they could do both.  I think it’s pretty cool they played two hour and then went and did SNL.  Anyway, some of the stuff they did in their live show was similar to what I saw a few months ago here in DC.  They still played a great show.  I also wish I didn’t have 5 kids next to me trying to dig a whole in the sand and an older woman having fun with her light up hoola hoop behind me.  I feel like that was the antithesis of the old and the young crowd right there.

The worst part of the night was trying to get home.  We all rushed for the shuttles, and it took a while to get back to the parking area.  Thankfully we made it there and had no traffic getting home.  We finally got home around 2:30 in the morning.  It was a real long day, but it was a lot of fun for sure.  I’m not sure I’d do it again, but I suppose it would depend on the line-up.  I couldn’t pass up on Jimmy, Foo, and Blink.  Maybe next year they’ll really get Blink to play for sure.  I also would have liked to get to a few of the other bands playing on different stages.  Still, it was a good time and a nice way to get away for a day.  Even if I was exhausted when I got home.