Confessions from a Cubicle

Confessions from a CubicleI don’t do these very often anymore. Quite frankly, I haven’t been working out of a cubicle in well over a year so it simply doesn’t make any sense to write about thoughts from my cublicle…y’know?

And while I still don’t have a cubicle (it’s an interior, open-top office space…ahem), I thought that I might as well write down a few thoughts while I had some down-time on a Monday afternoon to post on a Tuesday morning…

    • I feel bad that Sunshine and I didn’t stay up to watch the VMA’s this past Sunday. We normally like to make fun of celebrities on Twitter and, may I add, are quite witty with our comments and banter. From what I saw the next day, though, we didn’t miss very much. We missed a bunch of Nicki Minaj’s ass showing Miley Cyrus how it’s done, but I can just watch her video to see that.
  • I’m really excited about the upcoming football season. I’ve joined four different fantasy football leagues and I might join one or two more just for shits ‘n’ gigs. In fact, I’m even part of a league with Random Esquire…and I look forward to kickin’ some major ass when the season is all said and done. Maybe there needs to be an individual wager between the two of us?
  • Platinum Blonde2014 has turned into the “Musical year of Sunshine”. It kicked off with us seeing Platinum Blonde, who she was a MAJOR fan of (I have to admit…I enjoyed the concert a lot more than I expected). She then got tickets for September to see Jann Arden, who she is a MAJOR fan of. Now we’ve got tickets in October to see her #1 childhood dream, Richard Marx. I won’t lie…I’m looking forward to that concert, too, as I’m a fan. The question, though, is when is an artist that I want to see going to make their way through Halifax? I guess this would be Sunshine getting retribution for making her go to the KISS concert five years ago (lol).
  • guardians-galaxy1Finally got to see “Guardians of the Galaxy” this past weekend with my son. What an incredible movie! When they initially released the poster, I had no idea what the movie was about as I had never read the comics. I thought it was ridiculous to think that they could make a realistic gun-toting raccoon and a walking tree and then incorporate it all into a good movie. I couldn’t be happier to be more wrong! This is probably now in my Top 10 all-time favourite movies, it was that good. I’d pay to see it again and can’t wait to pick up the Blu-Ray when it’s available.
  • My work is full of hills and valleys. One week I could be all-out non-stop crazy busy and the next week I could be sitting here desperate for inspiration to smack me on the head so I can write more blog posts. Guess where I’m at this week?
  • The summer seemed to speed by faster than any other I can remember. I can’t believe it’s almost September already. Sometimes I wish life would just slow down a bit, y’know?
  • CBG & Sunshine on Navy PierSunshine and I are still thinking about possibilities for an October long-weekend drive somewhere. We want to get out of the city for a few days but aren’t sure where to go. Montreal and Boston are suggestions, but we’re just not sold on each as of yet. We need to get away, though…just the two of us. Hell, we haven’t even had a proper honeymoon yet!! I mean, sure…we flew to Chicago to hang with Random Esquire for a few days (which was AWESOME), but we didn’t…y’know…“do honeymoon things” while we were there. That would just be rude. Anyway…we need to get away for a few days on a budget. We just need inspiration on where to go.
  • Ugh…I’m 42 soon.

My Concert Bucket List

I was looking at my Last.FM stats the other day and looked at my “Overall Top Artists Played”. I realized that I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen five of my top eight artists live in concert. For a guy living in a fairly remote part of North America, that seemed pretty impressive to me. It also got me thinking about revising a list I had done a couple of years ago, only because I find my tastes in music have varied a bit and priorities have changed.

Some artists, like KISS and AC/DC, I’ve had the good fortune to have seen live and in person. Some artists, like Van Halen, are no longer together in the version I’d prefer to see (I admit…I was a “Van Hagar” fan). Others, like INXS, don’t have a lead singer anymore that I’d want to listen to (original lead singer, Michael Hutchense, passed away in 1998 and their other lead singer, JD Fortune, has been kicked out of the band twice).

So after much thought, I have decided that these artists make up my Concert Bucket List…

1. Phil Collins

How can you NOT want to sit back and enjoy the musical stylings of one Phil Collins live and in concert?  I have always considered Collins to be a guilty pleasure of mine and I’m a massive fan of his. I know that he’s retired from live performing, but I’m still hopeful that he will come out of retirement and do a huge “one last time” worldwide tour that includes smaller markets like Halifax, Nova Scotia.

2. Walk Off The Earth

I can’t tell you just how much of a fan of this band I’ve become in a short amount of time. I first heard them three years ago when they did a cover version of the autotune hit song, Backin’ Up Song. I didn’t follow-up on them until they released that hugely popular  5 person/1 guitar version of Somebody That I Used To Know (which is 100% better than the original version). At this point, I went through their back catalogue and immediately fell in love with the band. They have been my favourite band ever since, with me constantly buying and downloading their combination of original releases and incredible covers. I love this band and would pay $100 (easily) to see them perform live.

Green Day

This is a band that I have been a fan of since before they hit it big. To the best of my knowledge, they’ve only been in my neck of the woods once and that was about a decade ago. While some may argue that their music has turned too “mainstream”, I only hear the same pop/punk fusion that I initially heard back in 1992. And from what I can tell, they’ve only gotten better with age. This would be one helluva concert!

Billy Joel

I cannot begin to tell you how much I love this man’s catalogue of music. I know he’s not the performer that he once was, I would pay big bucks to just sit there and listen to him sing for two straight hours. Or more, for that matter. His songs speak to me like no other artist…and I’m at an age where I can truly appreciate that.

Roxette

This is a huge guilty pleasure, much like Billy Ocean was for me before I got to see him in person a couple of months ago. While there are still a lot of other artists I’d love to see, too…but this one is definitely high on my list just for the “fun factor” of it all. I would know almost every single song performed…and that’s the sign of a concert I’d want to attend.

Honorable Mentions (because I can’t be contained to just five):

  • Journey (as much as I love Steve Perry, I think it would still be incredible with Arnel Pineda on vocals)
  • Honeymoon Suite (I saw them back in 1985, but as one of my favourite Canadian rock bands I would love to see them again)
  • Richard Marx (this one’s more for Sunshine than for me, but after having seen a live acoustic dvd I think this would be a very enjoyable concert)
  • Poison (how can you go wrong with this???)
  • P!nk (this is close to being my #5 pick…she’d rock live)
  • Rick Springfield (again, another pick primarily for Sunshine but I had his “Greatest Hits” cd long before Sunshine entered my life…so I’m definitely a fan)

What about you? Who would YOU like to see live?

Where Are They Now?

I was getting ready to re-launch my “Guilty Pleasures” blog when I stumbled upon a recent live performance from an 80’s singer who hasn’t done much of anything since.  So then I started wondering how many artists from the 80’s were still around performing.

So where are they now?  They’re still singing!!

The first one is one of the most recent. Remember the classic “Safety Dance” by Montreal-based band Men Without Hats?  Well…Ivan hasn’t done much since his follow-up “Pop Goes The World” (trust me…it was a HUGE hit in Canada) but for some reason showed up for a concert at the SXSW event last month in Texas.

Luckily for him, he really didn’t sing a whole lot in the original song so it’s not like you have to worry about his voice holding up…

Y’know who else has been out-and-about in the last year?  None other than Rick effin’ Astley!!  And honestly…he doesn’t sound too bad.

And one of my all-time favorite songs from the 80’s is by Billy Ocean, who I thought was an amazingly talented pop singer/songwriter who seemingly disappeared after a pretty darn successful career.

Well fear not, kids…Billy is still doing concerts at venues all around the world singing some of the best pop hits of the 80’s like this one…

And what about everybody’s favorite dreadlocked Reggae sensation, Eddy Grant?  From what I can tell, he doesn’t tour very often but every once in awhile will pop up at a music festival or open up for an act like UB40 (really? isn’t he bigger than them??). You gotta love the showmanship and interplay with the crowd at the end of the song…

God I love his music.  Anyway…where was I?  Oh yeah…

I decided to look around for a couple of artists that I really thought wouldn’t still be touring.  The first one was Wang Chung.  I really liked these guys.  From “Dance Hall Days” to “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” to “Let’s Go” (my personal fave even though the video sucks major ass) to…well, that’s about it.  But still…they had three or four songs that really were great.  And yes, they’re still touring around…

Remember Nik Kershaw?  Remember that mullet and the video with him glowing?  Well, he actually went on an acoustic tour last year and is still playing some great music (I’ve always been a fan of his).  It’s amazing how much better some of these guys sound today, 30 years later, than they did when they first started…

Going through some musical possibilities and found OMG…why in the hell is this one-hit wonder still performing as recently as December 2009???

And this one is for Sunshine.  Apparently, Rick Springfield has been hosting CRUISES for the last few years now (on Carnival, at that!!), and this song features both him and another of her 80’s crushes, Richard Marx.  This is from the 2009 cruise, but they both still tour every year.

So what about you?  Ever look up a favorite artist from your youth to see if they still perform live today?  Anybody REALLY good?  Anybody out there who should really stop?