This process begins today

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This has to happen sometime, so I have chosen now as the day or the hour. Goals? How about expectations first. I'd love to provide eloquence and erudition, but I am certain I will fall woefully short of such an endeavor or lofty ambitions. But I suppose the story proceeds that I grew up with my own favorites within what is called 'music'. I'd like to share commentary on songs, or even bodies of song that I might have on repeat play within the confines of my car or my messy bedroom, if you can call it a bedroom.

And so it begins. Mr. Mister. I came up with four older siblings. In growing up, I won't suggest that I was advanced in my pursuit of the underdog band or songwriter, I pretty much took what was fed to me. The bulk of my music came from KSHE 95, the radio station in St. Louis, Missouri (94.7 FM). I hope to continue reflection on KSHE as this blogging process continues and advances. It will more than likely require referencing in subsequent entries. The pink pig with black shades on and headphones. Real Rock Radio.

Mr. Mister. When I think of this group I think of the 80's. I thinkof Miami Vice. 'Vice' is a central piece that figures into my understanding of the 80's. I hope I am still impressionable, but certainly in the first ten years of anyone's life they are impressionable. It was no different for me. With this band I recall the remarkable voice and the song that paid the band members' mortgages, 'Broken Wings'. I have no idea what the song is about, who can truly conjecture what a song is about? But who needs to know true meaning regarding song-smithing? I guess maybe that is the purpose of the blog: I think there needs to be more written about bands that don't get on the more popular blogs. If there isn't a chance to get on more popular blogs, then create one and make it work. I will.

OK. Another tangent, and that suits this blog perfectly well. Currently I am hacking away currently at the bass guitar in two bands, and so when I listen to 'Broken Wings' I hear the beat that is kept by the lead singer/bassist/chief songwriter Richard Page. Cheezeball as ever, that I am. There is no regret.

Commentary is sure to vary. Questions regarding the importance of a certain song will be entertained. Surely reflections on composition will occur. Am I qualified? Absolutely not. I craft songs by sound and not by understanding of theory. I listen in my car to songs because I feel them at the time or during the moment, and most often need them. There won't be easy answers on this blog. There will undoubtedly be easy conclusions that might very well be the very opposite of anything resembling complexity.

Why write about Mr. Mister? And why not? This will be a question to ask of every entry on this blog. Good questions these will be, and they should be asked. Music seems to be attached to time and often to place. Again, Mr. Mister launches me back 23 1/2 years to 1985 when I heard it on the radio. There is nothing remarkable about how I heard the song. The remarkable piece is that the song is still viable for me and always will be. Does this song need to be compared to any other song? Not sure. Does it need to measured? What would be the purpose? And assuredly there are far better questions to ask. No matter, the music moves. And that is probably what it is supposed to do.

What will be the parameters of this enterprise? There are none determined yet. There are certainly some goals that I wish to achieve. As a fledgling musician who plays in a few local outfits already, it is apparent that blogs have rivaled and in many ways surpassed the impact of what 'Rolling Stone' magazine used to be for bands. So one must go with it! Yet there exists a tremendous gap within the genre of the blog, as it has come to exist, and that is what is of greatest concern. I am one that appreciates some of the more popular blogs that come to mind, but none of them can remember the Hoyne show at the Mutiny in Dec of 2003. Believe me, I have tried to find anyone writing a review of that show. I have tried to find photos of Guy Grace playing bass on floor, Dangerous D on the drums and Mike Rizzo belching out the classics from that yet to be produced full-length that the Chicago music community desperately yearns for. What about reviews of those early Dragonfly Red shows at Bar Vertigo on Western Avenue? Is there a living record of these morsels of history? How about Ben Summers solo sets at Uncommon Ground from 2005? Why is this stuff lost? And what has been lost? The bigger blogs can't handle all of it.

The future is promising. Elsinore has added a new member to their fold in 2009. Adam Faucett just finished 7 to 8 weeks of travel with his 3-piece band, stretching across the entire expanse of the country. Bile Greene is back in Philadelphia crafting more precious gems out of that lovely little Vox amp of his. William Blackart just underwent knee surgery, you can count on that man coming up with good material during his convalescence in Russellville, Arkansas. E.P. Hall has a new album coming out this November and is putting on a cd release show in less than two weeks. There are so many more. The parameters are set, I suppose.

Contributors to this blog, I can only hope, will expand and increase in number. Good music is happening everywhere and it isn't getting enough attention. Believe me, to some, the Avett Brothers are still unknowns, but how many more times do we need to read about them on blogs, which by creation are and were supposed to be tools of shouting out loud the merits of new and upcoming bands? This blog may only mention a few of the local favorites in limited amounts, this might be best as I can only hope they gain greater numbers of adherents to their songs and their live shows. It is my hope that I can convince some of my friends/acquaintances/band mates to contribute thoughts to this blog. There won't be a measuring system, there won't be a yardstick, and such a choice and direction is purposeful. It simply isn't an interest of mine, and if this blog is under my e-mail, then maybe that is my only request of my contributors: lay off the harsh criticisms.

Well, another parameter has been cast: the promotion of the lower tier, primarily, but also to reflect on some of the music that moves me and has moved me historically. No apologies if there is an entry about Tom Kiefer's rhythm guitar playing, the singer of the 80's metal band Cinderella. I must define what consists in the lower tier, as a phrase or a description. What does it involve? It is nothing more than bands that are not making it to these other well-known blogs. It is no description or criticism of talent. The talent is there, it just isn't getting the recognition it deserves.

The format, hopefully, will be expansive. Hopefully this blog can provides links to live shows, videos, mp3's (with permission, in most cases), schwag, concert reviews, live webcasts, websites, etc. This blog will concern itself with music and the endeavoring toward making good music ubiquitous.

A few apologies to begin with. I wish I was a creative writer, I am not. Do I read enough? I do not. Will I reference enough film when I provide reviews of concerts? I will not. Will there be order to this? Does there need to be order?

This is not a club. This is borne out of frustration that a band like Facing Winter is not getting enough recognition for the significant work that they are doing and have done. The house show they played in West Chicago in Feb 2009 was incredible, did anybody ever write about it or produce some good, representative photography of the event? Of course not. I was there, but I didn't even think to bring a camera. My fault.

What about that show at the A Zone on Milwaukee Ave with Brown Stuff (John Bellows) sometime in the winter of 2003? The show took place in the basement of the A Zone. The Coughs played there. Fantastic show, first time I had seen The Coughs. Brown Stuff gave away his tapes out of a brown paper bag after the show, only accepted donations. It was a beautiful event. That crowd was not pleased with George W. Bush, as I recall.

Let's get on with this.

First up is a link to the Mr. Mister song 'Broken Wings'. Remember, this blog seeks to provide an outlet. My own posts won't reveal a refined taste in music, it will only reveal what I enjoy and for my own reasons. I will not portend to speak for my fellow contributors, of which there are none currently. I hope by the 58th blog entry I might have 3 contributors on the roster. It is a lofty goal to ask someone to contribute to a blog that references Cinderella in its inaugural blog posting. I know my tastes can tend to separate the wheat from the chaff. I ally myself with the chaff.

Enjoy the blog!


Thank you for reading. Support these bands if they interest you!

- Mr. Whiskers ShareThis

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