Seminally yours…

According to my dictionary widget, “Seminal” means “(of a work, event, moment, or figure) strongly influencing later developments.” Now, I’ve no idea where I came up with that word when suggesting to Jen the Twisted Mix-Tap Tuesday prompt for this week, but… Oh wait, actually I do. I heard it way back when, during the days when I used to listen desperately to the radio, in the hopes of finding through it a new life. I heard it from DJ’s who were hell-bent on impressing their audience with the use of big words. An audience, mind you, that wouldn’t recognize a big word even if it jumped out of the dictionary and gave them a right-good drubbing. But we didn’t care, the words sounded cool anyway, and provided us fodder to name all of the imaginary bands to come that never quite did.

But I digress. Or as my college professor recently said, “I regress.”

Seriously.

Anywho, below you’ll find (5) lil’ ditties that made me who I am today – or in other words – had I never heard these, I would most likely be happily married, successful, and sitting around combing my pounds and pounds of luxurious hair while sampling a steak right now, instead of writing this post late at night while shoving chips and vodka into my soup cooler instead.

But alas, I did hear these songs. And as a result – well, much like the ghost in the machine – “‘ere I am, Jack…”

Too cliché to start off with? Maybe, but this truly was the song that first got me off my duffless duff, and on my way. Or at least it alerted me that it could be done – some sort of Grand Journey – once and if the good Lord allowed me to hit the golden age of 18. This song had so much impact in fact, that it was the first and only one I considered using to start off my musical autobiography with…

OK, I had no real idea what this song was about at the time, but to me it meant (2) things – 1) I would forever more see myself as much more of a Punk than a Head, and 2) I now knew that there were others who longed like I did. There were others who held themselves to standards normally frowned upon by the “popular.” There was – at long last – the possibility of tribe at least somewhere out there…

And it was Tribe that I would find. Tribe that I thought I would never lose. Even though I eventually did. At least for a spell…

Fast forward quite a number of years, and we can find a troy who is now a father, a husband, a self-perceived failure and a man on the edge of a breakdown. A breakdown I eventually muscled through (and to a certain extent, still am) all by my lonesome, or so I thought. Leave it to the boys of Therapy? to come to my aid in embracing that particular darkness…

And leave it to the boys of Pearl Jam – plus an unexpected groundswell of previously forgotten and new tribe, all of whom came rushing to my salvation – to pull me back out. Much like the rubber band that has been my life, there is Someone Up There who seemingly likes me, and that Someone never allows me to stick around in the gloomy spaces for too long, before “snapping” me back into The Real.

And yes, that brings us to your bonus track for this week…

This track, while seemingly a counter-balance to the cliché that started this post, is not. No, this song has been with me throughout my journey. Spurring me on to cross every bridge that has snuck up upon me along the way. That’s what life is after all, right? A series of bridges that we can either cross or not. Regardless of our choice, isn’t it nice to have a song in your heart to help you along on your travels? All the better still, if they’re musical milestones that will guide along your way…

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PS: As life doesn’t stop when our generational interest in music does, this bonus-bonus track is brought to you by an old man who refuses to totally give up, and one of his dearest friends, who said that this makes her think of him. My incoming New Life is now coming up on a rough patch wherein there is much to do, and little time with which to do it in. As such, I apologize if I’m not around here as often as I would like, kids. My hope is that until we hook up again, you will all stay…

The post is too relaxed for a title

Sorry to double-dip on the Liza, but she needs to make an appearance here this week as well.

You see, for this installment of Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday, Jen tasked us with providing for you, (5) delicious slabs of musical mellow. Just (5) ditties that would relax and soothe, while jamming so, in a slowish-like nature.

Me and slow jams get along about as well as – well – about as well as whatever analogy you’d like to insert here to indicate that slow jams and I just don’t get along well at all. As such, this is most likely the first week where I will not even meet with the (5) song standard, based solely on my belief that it really is all about the quality, versus the quantity.

And those of you who were going to use that last bit, to now make a disparaging comment about Liza, can just go and stuff it! Slowly and soothingly, of course.

Speaking of, here’s Liza, talking about my favorite time of the week…

And here’s Dusty, talking about my favorite look…

And finally, here’s Stan and Charlie, talking about my favorite one note…

For your bonus track this week (what? You don’t actually need 5 songs first, in order to get one, ya know), I decided to avoid Herb, but only because I had already tapped into Stan and Burt. I also avoided a whole host of others that I feel are actually much more mopey than mellow (in large part, this is why today’s post is pretty much new wave-free, in fact). That being said, the following is probably one of my top-ranking “go-to” relaxing slow jams, even though it is neither slow, relaxing, nor jammish in any form or fashion.

It is however, Bobby. So I think that’s pretty much a “nuff said” right there. Here’s hoping your skies are of a similar hue this week…

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The (Singing) Gay Divorcee

OK. As Jen decided that this week would be a “free for all” Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday, I came up with an idea.

And then I had another idea. One that trumped the first.

And then a strange thing happened. And that strange thing was this. I went to oHIo (no, that in it of itself, is not the strange thing) in order to finally meet My Best Friend Ever Whom I’ve Never Met Before, and see with her the drag queen diva’s from RuPaul’s Drag Race perform live. I had a wonderful time with both her and another dear friend of hers as well, and it did my heart an immense amount of good to see that there are people out there, who truly are honest with you in mind and spirit, to the point where you almost know what even their inflection will sound like, before you ever even meet face-to face. People who – though they might live multiple states away  – are Good friends, vital to your survival, or at the very least your sanity. Ones that love you, simply because (and in some instances despite) of who you are; rather than who they one day hope you will be.

OK, so I suppose in retrospect, none of that was very weird at all, now was it? I mean, other than the fact that I lamented for hours over just the right outfit to wear to the drag event, and upon arrival, decided promptly that I had chosen incorrectly.

Regardless, the experience did make me scrap my second idea in a way similar to the first. Just a little more urgently, as I decided that the final draw for this week’s “free-for-all” would be inspired by my overflowing bucket of Joy resulting from last weekend’s adventure (one which we eventually decided to refer to as our “Big Gay Weekend,” or #BGW for short), in that the (5) songs will all be of a caliber such that, should you ever obtain a key and break needlessly into my sub-par apartment, you might very well catch me dancing about all girly like, while lip syncing the lyrics. And yes, if you found yourself peering into my private world in this fashion, just before I had you arrested for breaking & entering, you WOULD be thinking to yourself that I was Damned Good. So just relax, shut up and enjoy the show.

Beth, this is for you.

AND, because Ru’s tune didn’t actually count as a bonus (boys can’t technically “drag” to boys), here’s yours for this week. Possibly the most underrated song (drag or otherwise) of all time, and one that’s a sheer blast to “perform” to…

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To The Eye of The Beholder

Daddy… Are you crying?

You’d be surprised at how often I hear that question.

And you’d be similarly surprised at how often I am forced to squeak out a dishonest “no” from my phelgm-filled throat, whilst hastily wiping away any evidence to the contrary from my moistened eyes.

Today, Jen’s Tuesdayer Army celebrates “Beautiful” on Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday, and for this prompt I could literally litter you with song samplings to last well over the next several months.

But I won’t.

I haven’t enough tears.

My song bucket this week is filled with choices that to me, express my belief that beauty lies in hope. But it also lies in sorrow. It lies in the sun, and it lies in the thunder storm. It lies in victory, and it lies in defeat. In short, beauty lies at either end of life’s spectrum, versus the muddy monontonous middle – the very area where most of us feel “safe” enough to normally reside. Following is a mere sampling of what I see Beauty as being.

First, we have hope…

Followed by sorrow…

Then we have sun…

Followed by thunder…

Victory…

Then defeat…

And then, if you are among the very bravest of the brave, and the wisest of the wise, you recognize the aforementioned belief that the middle is the very last place to be, as it’s both ends of the spectrum that bring beauty to life. For it is only through the constant interplay between this absolute darkness and the purest light – the sun and the rain – that the brilliant rainbow that Life truly is, can come bursting through…

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And to the eye of this one beholder at least; that, my friends, is what Beauty truly is.

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David’s White Coat.

You might think that it should be The Clash, but it won’t.

Or possibly Judas Priest is the one band you think I’ll address today, but they’re not the winners either.

Surely you all know me well enough to know that it couldn’t possibly be Bobby Darin, as I do so loathe going with the over-the-top obvious in these matters.

And to those who know the inner me very well as well, perhaps you think The Bolshoi will be the band who rates my five, but even these lovely lads will be passed up for today.

And they will be likewise treated, as even more important than they, New Model Army has for many a year led my heart’s fray.

First formed in 1980, and still recording and touring till this day, these boys out of Yorkshire, England first captured me in 1988, with my unplanned purchase of their self-named EP tape (one of the many such bands that I came to love, after purchasing their album based SOLELY upon the artwork) – an EP tape that awoke my melodic and social senses with an immediate kick to the mental stones, partially due to their message of bleached lab coats gone mad…

David, my dearest friend and mentor during my stay in Jacksonville, North Carolina, at a little USMC air station called New River, chose this very song to last-dance to when he was leaving, discharge papers in-hand. And while that experience burned into my memory cells, it would prove to be a different N.M.A. song altogether that highlighted the “Tribe” that I had found for the first time ever, during those stormy days of my youngish life…

Appearing on their “Thunder & Consolation” album – a disc that would forever change the way I looked at people, “Vagabonds” was only bested by the following little ditty. A song of no consequence, unless of course, you listened to the lyrics…

Like many bands in my life, these boys and I parted ways at some point, though neither one of us will ever truly know why. And it wasn’t until we reconnected that these avowed witches were able to (once again) help to explain to me my avowed Christian beliefs, all while talking to me about “me…”

Once we reconnected, I went on a mad flourish (yes, complete with wrists a’ flailing, if you please) to catch up on all their efforts that I had missed out on while being absent. And as a result, your bonus track for today comes before track #5…

But alas, track #5 must ALWAYS come, and in the case of New Model Army, and in relation to a 44-year-old post-punk punk, the following provides strange consolation to an oldish man getting ready himself to be reborn…

Since 1988, they’ve spoken to me, consoled me and urged me on. I’m quite certain they never knew that they did so, but I’d like to thank them for the favor none the less. New Model Army – you should check them out.

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Jen, God bless ya for starting Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday, and God bless ya even more for providing us with the “favorite band” prompt for this week.

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You Suck.

You suck at life…

You suck in your marriage…

You suck at fulfilling your potential…

You suck in love…

Hell, you even suck at limiting this post to just 5 songs…

You suck.

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Please visit Jen’s Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday for more songs about sucking.

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PS: Should you listen to only (1) this week, go with track number #6, as it is damned near the “You Suck” anthem of all time. But also try to give picks 1 through 5 a audio peek as well. I mean, hell, this IS a mix tape, right?

Leonard Nimoy Gets Laid…

Listen, love ain’t free. You and I both know it, so let’s stop beating round that sad old bush and face the facts, OK?

Even when you wistfully think, “hey, no strings attached,” you just know that you’re lying to yourself. There’s ALWAYS strings attached. If not in heart, then at the very least, in purse…

And sometimes in heart as well, sometimes even a heart filled with disappointment…

But for the masses, disappointment is a worn-out old suit. Ill-fitting, uncomfortable and an embarrassment. Especially when the purse beckons towards instant gratification, especially when disappointment can simply be turned into a jaunty lil’ jingle to help celebrate the sin…

And speaking of jingles, are there any better than the one where instant attraction leads to instant fireworks? And instant fireworks leads to rings being exchanged? And rings being exchanged leads to some sort of happiness ever-after? But most often, only after those rings have lost their shimmer, going off on their merry pawn shopping way…?

But that’s just it – a blessed few get to realize their happiness ever-after, and the rest of us are simply relegated to dealing with the truth of the matter (most usually, only long after our purses have been drained of cash and fight) that eventually everyone has to pay, even Nimoy…

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So Jen told us this week’s Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesday prompt was “No Strings Attached,” and I instantly gravitated towards prostitution. None too sure why, but I feel that Anita said it best, when she cooed that she had been through the “mill of love,” only to find every type but True. And maybe that in itself is the truth of the matter. I mean, at least when dealing with General Hooker’s women, you know that you’ll be broke by the end.

Oh, and speaking of Hooker’s women, here’s your bonus track for this week – I hope that you enjoy =)