Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blog Post (Toast)Tease

Yeah, yeah, I know...bad pun
Believe me, tomorrow’s post(s) will be better than this one, and hopefully, there will indeed be two — one here, and one here, on my hockey blog.

I just wanted to give you this little tease to let you know that I’m trying my darnedest to resuscitate this thing, while not completely sacrificing the other blog — and vice-versa.

See, I’ve got this problem: I think too much. I exhaustively research every topic on which I post for fear of mis-remembering, mis-quoting, or generally mis-taking a subject. I hate when I do that, and over the years I’ve become incredibly paranoid of allowing myself to slip into the habit of anything one might consider playing fast and loose with the facts.

It’s one thing when I’m recounting a memory from my own personal life; artistic license is still allowed in that regard. But when I’m talking about other people, places or things that can be (and usually WILL be) verified for accuracy by other peeps, the LAST thing I wanna do is be called to the carpet by someone taking issue with the acc’s o’ my facts.

So all that to say, I’ve become a slow-post. I think about what I write, I love what I write, and I will post no blog before its time. Hence my less-than-prolific output in recent years. Complicate that with the addition of PMFF (which DEMANDS both accuracy and timeliness) and you can see; between doing what I can in trying to find a job, finding and completing freelance work, and writing two blogs, my mind is toast most of the time these days — and I’m loving every minute of it.

My wife doesn’t understand — and I’m not quite sure I do either — but it sure beats the hell outta sitting around and worrying.


Tomorrow — hopefully by the afternoon, I’ll be posting A Place called Blogsville, a very important (for me) look back at this blog and the history of Blogger.com.

I originally began writing it as part of my last, most recent post, wishing my friend Michael a happy birthday last Thursday, being that he has been a large part of my overall experience here on AYBABTU. About halfway through writing the story, I knew it was much too long (heh...imagine that!) to include in one post, so I broke off the Mikey part and continued writing.

It’s nearly complete, and for those of you who may still maintain a space on Blogger, or started here before succumbing to temptation and jumping to Wordpress; and particularly those who still occasionally look in on this blog, who were a part of the community of folks I rubbed elbows with from the days of ‘Kev’s Place’ through about 2007, I trust you’ll find it a fun little romp down memory lane.

On PMFF, I intend to post for tomorrow’s (Wednesday) morning rush, my take on the Nashville Predators/Chicago Blackhawks first-round Stanley Cup Playoff match-up, but from a perspective that not many have thus-far addressed.

So look for that if you’re a follower of my other blog, but be sure to be back here tomorrow afternoon (approximately 3:00pm CDT) for my (possibly) two-parter on Blogger.com

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Well, I guess Facebook is Good for Something After All

Happy Birthday, Knucklehead
Although I’ve had an account on Facebook for much longer, I’m clearly a Twitter enthusiast when it comes to a preference between the two ubiquitous social media destinations.

Oh sure, FB has more to offer in the way of features and contact messaging, and quite frankly, you really don’t need to wade aimlessly for weeks or months to really ‘get’ Facebook. That’s only one reason why it’s so wildly popular.

However once you get the hang of it, Twitter is so much more immediate, malleable, and interesting in my opinion. You can easily conduct half a dozen conversations at one time on Twitter, though admittedly, that’s stretching things a bit for someone as ADD-esque as me.

But it’s much easer to filter out the noise and cancel out the silliness, gameplay, and other social nonessentials to a coherent online conversation on Twitter as opposed to FB. I prefer it for that reason above all others.

However there’s still plenty to like about Facebook.

Were it not for this, the most successful and longest-standing of all major social media applications, I would be all but disconnected from many of my high school friends and an even greater percentage of my extended family.

I love it for that, and will always maintain a presence there.

But today, I’m particularly grateful for one little bonus feature that Facebook offers, because it gives me the opportunity to extend a greeting to someone whom I care a great deal about.

Today is the birthday of probably my favorite person in all of cyberspace, MakeMineMike.

How do I know it’s his birthday? Certainly not because of my fabulous memory! Facebook reminded me. FB’s birthday reminder app is by far the most useful ‘push’ type of notification (other than, obviously, notifying you when someone writes a message on your wall) that Facebook provides; because if you’re like me, you need to be reminded to go to the bathroom most of the time.

And sorry, they still haven’t figured out an app for that just yet.

Next best thing though is the birthday reminder for those FB friends about whom you might just need a friendly memory-poke.

And given that Mike and I don’t communicate on as frequent a basis as we used to, that’s pretty helpful for moi.

So today is Mikey’s big Day and lest I embarrass him too much further here, allow me to sum up saying that I think of him often, and consider it a privilege to call him a friend.

Happy Birthday, pal. I hope you and Randi are able to go out and have a great time tonight.

Talk to you soon.


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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Discover a Musical Treasure: 3rd & Lindsley Bar And Grill

 Long Time Coming
It's been an interesting year for me, blog-wise. I began a hockey blog last September and began engaging not only a whole new group of readers, but have met an entirely new group of friends and contacts. It has it been a lot of fun, writing about the Nashville Predators, but in an opportunity that came up this week, I've gotten a chance to do something I had been wanting to do here on AYBABTU for years.

The Tennessean's OnNashville.com blog is celebrating Nashville in April and asked bloggers to submit their reasons why April is great. Below is the story I submitted, but as usual, I went a little too wordy and they asked me to kindly cut it down to size. You can view the abridged version here.

The subject is my favorite music venue, evAR, the one place that convinced me that Nashville was the place I truly wanted to be.

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Off the Beaten Path
There aren’t too many things I enjoy doing as much as taking in a Nashville Predators hockey game, but one of them is sampling the vast assortment of live music from venues all over this great city.

If you’re visiting Nashville for the first time, or the fiftieth — or worse yet, if you live here — and are still under the mistaken notion that Music City is only about Country Music, you’re missing out on something truly special.

The Ryman Auditorium, you know about. Oh, and you’ve probably heard of the Bluebird Café and perhaps The Exit-In.

But if you’re looking for live music that certainly doesn’t exclude Country, but by the same token, doesn’t require boots and a cowboy hat to get you in the door, I’ve got just the place.

My family and I relocated to Nashville from Southern California in 1992, and admittedly, Country Music wasn’t the dominant genre in my CD collection. As far as live music went, the honky-tonks on lower Broad were fun, but didn’t satisfy my jones for the more eclectic mix of styles I’d grown up with in Los Angeles; that is, until I discovered one of Nashville’s not-so-best kept secrets among music venues, 3rd & Lindsley Bar And Grill.

It’s an unpretentious, unassuming place, tucked away in a strip mall, about a half-mile off the beaten path of the most typical Music City visitor, but like many hidden treasures, the value is in the discovery.

The intimate, 275-seat bar and restaurant features a ground-level stage at the apex of it’s L-shaped listening room layout, providing a wonderful up-close vantage point for the vast majority of it’s occupants. This physical connection with the artist onstage instantly bonds listener with performer, making for an unforgettable musical experience.

The Progressive Approach
Owner Ron Brice opened 3rd & Lindsley back in February of 1991, to start afresh with a new and a different approach than that of his previous musical venture.

Brice formerly owned another local Country Music club called The Stagecoach Lounge on Murfreesboro Road. But in the midst of the sweeping ‘Country-as-Pop’ explosion of the late 1980s, he sensed a shift in the wind.

By 1990, Brice began to notice the passing genre fad depart from the innovative sound of artists like Garth Brooks and Lyle Lovett, growing more homogenized and much less progressive than just a few years prior. He decided to shift gears.

That wonderful confluence of musical styles that was the early 1990s offered a veritable cornucopia of sound from which Brice began to showcase; attracting acts for his new club based on the progressive, blended genres of Blues, Adult Alternative, and Americana.

Not coincidentally, he discovered an important partner in another recently-minted Nashville institution, radio station WRLT, Lightning 100.

A Match Made in Progressive Musical Heaven
One year earlier, in March of 1990, Lightning 100 had begun its current 20-year run as Music City’s longest-running radio station without a format change. It’s progressive, independent philosophy hailed from the golden age of album-oriented rock radio of the late 60s and early 70s, featuring an eclectic mix of classic rock, adult alternative, reggae, blues, and Americana that was a true reflection of the musical diversity of Nashville’s songwriting and recording industry, which is often masked and somewhat overwhelmed by the preponderance of the Country Music media machine.

It was a perfect marriage, and WRLT Senior Account Executive, Lesli (‘Dollar’) Bills, was the matchmaker. Working with Lesli, Brice began to offer ‘battle of the Bands’ contests, attracting exposure for local bands whose music was also supported by Lightning 100.

Soon, a number of strong regional and national acts began to frequent the 3rd & Lindsley stage with regularity; names like Ashley Cleveland, Jonell Mosser, and Bob & Etta Britt, were joined by the likes of John Prine and John McLaughlin as regular performers.

Brice said of his relationship with Bills and Lightning 100, “I just gave them my whole advertising budget and said, ‘there…now, make me or break me!’” Needless to say, 3rd & Lindsley ain’t broke yet.

On the synergy of common musical interests between he and his radio partner, Brice added, “Their cool, progressive approach has never gotten stale or diluted; it has stayed the same since we started out…(the relationship is) just a win-win-win.”

Nashville Sunday Night
3rd & Lindsley’s reputation for featuring Nashville’s best top-notch local, regional, and National acts indeed remains; fueled in part by yet another collaborative effort with Lightning 100.

Since 1996 the weekly radio and World Wide Web broadcast, Nashville Sunday Night has showcased a variety of top talent from all ends of the contemporary music spectrum.

It’s particularly interesting to note the numerous emerging artists who have performed on NSN and have gone on to national prominence soon thereafter. Names like Train, David Gray, Ray LaMontagne , The Fray, and KT Tunstall, all performed there and almost immediately thereafter went nuclear on the national scene.

This is just a partial listing of the many outstanding contemporary artists who have been a part of the
Nashville Sunday Night broadcast, live from 3rd & Lindsley since 1996.

Tin Pan South
Among the other special musical events 3rd & Lindsley participates in is the annual Nashville Songwriters Association International showcase, Tin Pan South, which wraps up tonight with a terrific lineup featuring, Butterfly Boucher, Katie Herzig, Trent Dabbs, and Matthew Perryman Jones.

Nashville Sunday Night takes this week off in recognition of the Easter holiday, but returns next week with yet another hugely notable performer who calls Nashville home, the immortal Leon Russell.

If you’re in town for any of these shows, or whenever you’re in Nashville, be sure to take advantage of this tremendous venue, where the food is as good as the music!

3rd & Lindsley is located at 818 3rd Avenue South; one half mile south of Broadway in Nashville. Visit their website for more details.

Tickets are typically available at the door, but for select shows, be sure to visit 3rd & Lindsley’s calendar page for advance sale tickets. Take it from a longtime fan of this venue, in light of the limited seating capacity, when they offer advance tickets for an artist you want to see, pick ‘em up; you don’t want to get shut out at the door. And you definitely don’t want to miss out on this treasure among Nashville’s musical landmarks!

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