Jan 16
Posted by Kala Filed in Pop, Rewind, Top 40

When you leave “Home” sometimes all you want to do is go back. To the warm fuzzy place, where mom, home cooked food and all your fondest memories lie. Sometimes you can leave home and return without ever moving your feet. Last week my brother and his wife visited my family and I at our home, for the last 8 years, on Hawai’i Island, aka The Big Island. Over about 10 days we jammed in a college graduatiion party, Christmas, 6 rugby games, 2 Seahawk games and a birthday; along with all the usual sightseeing. My kids caught up with Auntie & Uncle and were spoiled, just a bit, with shave ice, Christams presents and other random fun stuff. It was as close to going home as we can get, sans airplane.

Since moving to Hawai’i we have occassionally thought about moving “Home”, because we feel we are missing things that a big city can provide, but are non or practically non-existent on this island. We have since realized that we are home, and that all we need to return “Home” is to see the family that we miss so much.

I’m the new guy. In Seattle I’m known as Jeff, here in Hawai’i I go by Kala (the sun). My bro let me in his house of music, and I don’t plan on getting kicked out. I like it here and I will do my best to live up to his blogging standards. More on my style and tastes later.

Yes, our first concert was David Cassidy/Keith Partridge, our Grandma took us to the show and all I remember are the girls that sat behind us screaming as loud as possible for 2 hours, without taking a breath.

“Ice Cream Man” – Van Halen – “Van Halen” (1978)

Jul 10
Posted by admin Filed in Top 40

The other day, I watched a live clip of a Van Halen concert from way back in the day when Dave was still impersonating Jeff Spicoli (trust me on this, I’m pretty sure that the chicken came before the egg). The band was riding high with Dave and Eddie all adorned in their little one piece striped spandex/leotard things, and…. IT SUCKED. The band sounded horrible. The band was a caricature of itself. Dave halted the song (“Everybody Wants Some”) for four minutes so that he could play story time and give such a dumbed down version of one of his own Penthouse Forum chapters, that I’m pretty sure that even Kindergartners could understand that (“… and then she put her hand on my…”) Dave’s coconut contains lots of sloshing bland liquid, and zero multi-syllable words, just like a real coconut. I was sad.

I was sad because I went to a VH show probably within a year of the one that I just watched a clip of. Dave forgot the words to the second song (“Romeo Delight”) that night. He did all of his fancy little “Bring It On” kicks. He probably told a story or two about some Seattle girl touching his…

That was the worst thing about Dave’s little story. On all of his semi inducing pregnant pauses (… she put her hannnnd on my leggggg…) the crowd goes crazy. Dave finally delivers the punch line (… okay she touched my dick… yeahhhhh…. and then I FUCKED her!!!) and the crowd goes absolutely ape in parachute pants, two four packs of California Coolers crazzzzzyyyyy.

I like to ask simple questions, so at this point I want to ask, “why?” Why did all of those people act like they’d just won the Super Bowl, lottery, and graduated from high school all at the same time, and scream their heads off just because David Lee Roth told a story about getting laid for probably the 7,300th time in his life. It’s not like Dave is some sort of underdog, like the Rudy of “getting laid” or something and we needed to give him a standing O because he closed the deal. If the story had ended differently and he didn’t even manage to get the gal’s sweater off, then we should have put on our rally caps for poor Dave and encouraged him to get back in the game. So why, I ask myself. Why did I jump up and down and scream my head off for poor downtrodden “Diamond” Dave?

I still love Van Halen (the first version) and always will, but wow watching those old videos is “pull the curtains” material. Van Halen to me is synonymous with summer time: cruising Alki, cranking the boom box by the pool, road trips, minors consuming alcohol… things were so innocent and simple then.


“California King Bed” – Rihanna – “Loud” (2010)

Apr 15
Posted by admin Filed in Girls Rule, Top 40

There are so many reasons to like this the 10th season of American Idol, more than many of the previous seasons. Of course, this season could start and finish with the shiny personalities and considerable singing abilities of the finalists. The group has covered the genre map pretty well, or at least the pop music-centric genres that get mainstream play (sorry, but Fox watching Americans just aren’t ready for s mathcore, house, or shoegaze idol). Our under-30 cast of hopefuls comes in all shapes and sizes, styles, and attitudes. We won’t see a singer-songwritew win, for a change, and might see the first place trophy taken home by a good old fashion, or semi-old fashion, late 20th centrury heavy metal headbanger. Then you have the fact that it’s easy to cheer on our smily faced dreamers as they take the musical E ticket ride of their lives as their doesn’t seem to be any beach ball headed sore thumbs in the bunch.

Some of the other things that I love about this year’s show, I’ve previously touched on but I’ll reiterate. Addition by subtraction, plus addition, subtraction, multiplication, and not as much division (what did I say about mathcore).

– Subtract a certain judge that thinks that HE is The Show
+ Add a judge who is one of the greatest frontmen of all time and has a healthy appreciation for what the young folks are trying to accomplish.
– Subtract the horrible grotesquely awkward moment of making thee most recently banished re-sing the song that helped get them tossed.
+ Add a prominent producer who helps find and polish musical stars as his day job.
– Subtract the host whose only worthy moments usually happen on the road during the country wide discovery phase (I know, I know just let me have this dream for a minute… wouldn’t Ellen be way better at that job?).
+ Add more musical heavyweights to help the previously mentioned producer coach up the kids, and yuk up the rest of us.
+ Add a new Queen Judge who is as good or better than the black swans that she followed.
x Move the remaining judge down the row and let him say meaningful things that humans as well as dogs will understand.

Randy has really said some things that should make future Idol hopefuls, who aren’t totally cut from Top 40 cloth, have hope. I can’t remember who he said it to but a couple of weeks ago but he made a comment about balancing “art and commerce.” That is a great message from a guy that has the ability to influence many a music maker. The message is don’t turn yourself into someone whose main goal is to sing in a style that will add more commas to the paycheck. Do what you love or feel, and everything will fall into place. And then, on Wednesday Mr. Jackson reiterated this message by saying that “the world cannot live by pop stars alone.”

So then, why am I posting a top of the heap reigning pop diva in today’s post? Because I like her. And, I think that as far as high performance, custom built, sleek, and shiny pop stars go, this girl is pretty damn special. She’s not strutting around in the trash chic bubble wrapped, John-ripped fishnets, I-slept-on-a-park-bench-in-a-hurricane glazed over look that some of her peers sulk around in. She looks classy. Her voice is pure, liquid gold. Her albums entertain front to back. If we one day do have to subsist on pop stars alone, more Rihannas would be a good crop to grow.

She’s going to have to share the stage today though. I’m a big Jennifer Nettles fan too, and I thought that their duet at the Country Music Awards was really cool.


The Apology

Feb 5
Posted by admin Filed in Top 40

Hell Fire
Save Matches
Fuck A Duck
And See What Hatches

For that, and other less artful uses of a certain four letter word, American Idol offered a tongue firmly planted in cheek apology for the word choices of judge Steven Tyler. I’m assuming that there really were a bunch of folks out there who had nothing better to do than complain about a couple of bleeped out words but I still have to ask, “really?” Come on people, you’re the same ones who say “frick” all day. Frick, frickin’, freakin’, F.U., F-bomb…. guess what, every time you say one of these tricky little iterations of the “fuck” word, there is no editing to delete the word as it comes out of your mouths, and the impressionable little ears that you are trying to protect, understood what you really wanted to say. They’re not stupid, little ears after all, just impressionable and relatively innocent.

So really, can anyone tell me the harm of Mr. Tyler’s little R-rated nursery rhyme? Was it funny? I say yes. Was it necessary? Probably not. But, what was the intent? I don’t think that Tyler establishes intent before he opens his mouth most of the time. A lot of stuff is just latent effects of the 70’s and he just lets it fly.

It’s the intention of the words and the purpose of the person saying them that matters. How about a little rewind to the former, legend-in-his-own-mind judge and some of the beautiful things that came out of his mouth?

What was the intent of that? To belittle, degrade, and get a cheap laugh at the expense of a talented contestant who happened to be overweight. Some of us get schoolyard bullies, classmates, acquaintances, douche bags in the club, and all kinds of people in between to remind us of our flaws. We shake all of that off and go on TV in front of millions, and hey, there’s one more bitter millionaire waiting to get his shot in. So which is worse?

Is it worse to hear the rock star say “fuck” once in awhile? Or, do we want to hear a uncomfortable-in-his-own-skin Brit give verbal a kick in the nuts to every man, woman, and child who doesn’t measure up? Stop fooling yourself, you Demanders of The Apology. A lot of you say fuck all day long in tricky little PG versions, and your kids look at each other and giggle each time you do it…. and you also fart 14 times per day (Dr. Oz told me that one).

Can there be any doubt what my song of the day will be? If I was in charge of the horrible, choreographed group song that sucks up two minutes of Idol each week during the finals, I would have to do it. The kids would sing the peppy, Cee-Lo insta-classic and the bleep editor’s fingers would be cramping up by the time the song is over.

“Fuck You” – Cee-Lo Green – “The Ladykiller” (2010)


Super Bowl Halftime Show

Nov 26
Posted by admin Filed in Pop, Top 40, Uncategorized

So, The Black Eyed Peas are playing the Super Bowl halftime show. Good enough, I guess. They’ve got a pretty wide fan base from the left to the right edge of the musically affiliated centrists. “I Gotta Feeling” that by the end of the four or five song set, that Cowboys Stadium will be going “Boom Boom Pow.” But, let’s think for a second about what will be in the body of the four or five song montage.

“Where Is The Love?” charted very well in 2003 and reached # 1 on the Billboard’s US Pop Songs list. It’s a great pop song with a nice message. But, there was a guest vocalist on that song. 2004 was the year that Super Bowl halftime shows changed forever. Justin Timberlake was the guest featured vocalist on “Where Is The Love?” Does JT have a seven year itch and the credentials or disguise to get himself on stage. I’m guessing that there will be a few folks watching Bud Light and Doritos commercials on February 6th who would really enjoy seeing a couple of Fergie’s buttons fail a stress test.

“Where Is The Love?” – The Black Eyed Peas (featuring Justin Timbelake) – “Elephunk” (2003)

Beach Vibes

Sep 14
Posted by admin Filed in Top 40

In the latest edition of the ESPN Mag, Kelly Slater lists the Top 20 songs that he packs up and takes to the beach with him. It’s an interesting list.

Numero uno is Piers Faccini’s “If I.” “Think of You” by Carney, “Like The Last Time” by Matt Wertz, and “Better Be Home Soon” by Crowded House make appearances. Songs that have been posted on Play On Daily include: “Son’s Gonna Rise” by Citizen Cope, and “This Might Be the Place (Naive Melody)” by Talking Heads.

You know what is a good beach song? “The River of Dreams” by Billy Joel.

Yeah, I’m sure that the buffed and bronze set that Slater hangs with aren’t going to be cranking this up any time soon, but trust me, it really works at the beach. The water references in the lyrics aren’t really relevant, but there’s something about the lead-in and the heavy base line that make it sound like it’s calling to you from far away. On a personal level, it’s also one of those songs that I tend to associate with a certain time and place and it just so happens that I was chillin’ with a few friends, and several six packs on Maui one day, the year that this came out, and the boom box that we brought along with us, made this song sound really good on a mostly deserted beach.

“The River of Dreams” – Billy Joel – “The River of Dreams” (1993)


“Alright” – Janet Jackson – “Rhythm Nation 1814” (1989)

Aug 26
Posted by admin Filed in Top 40

Fifteen years prior to JT (no, not James Taylor but can you imagine if it was James Taylor right at the chorus of “Handyman”, Ms. Jackson at his side for the duet, and wham JT causes a malfunction) freeing Janet Jackson’s breast, there she was in all of her chart topping glory. RN1814 came about right before Jackson’s career accelerated into full stride, as it was the top selling album of 1990, but didn’t see the CD’s fly off the shelves to the extent of “Janet” which was released three years later. New Jack Swing was dominating the Top 40 airwaves and the youngest of the Gary, Indiana Jackson family seemed to be right at the center of everything.

So anyways, what if it had been James Taylor that had molested Ms. Jackson’s clothing? Of what if it was James Toney, the big bloke ex-boxing champ, soon to be UFC punching bag? I guess if we had to have a JT disrobe a fading star, Mr. Timberlake was as good or better than any.