Posts Tagged ‘Bowling Green’

A Safe Space To Remember

May 1st, 2017

I survived Technology Vs. Horse. We played our last show Saturday. It was a nice day, warm and bright. I don’t want to live in the past but I do want to take some time to remember this moment. It was the end of something, the beginning of another thing entirely.

 

The band actually broke up last year but didn’t tell anybody. Our previous show was over a year ago at a bar in Bowling Green and I walked off stage after two songs because I had a sudden attack of diarrhea. This time I made it without incident. Goddamn it. We played an alright show and my bowels didn’t get nervous.

 

I looked into the crowd and saw so many familiar faces. All of these people had been to so many TVH shows in Bowling Green. They weren’t fans. Before our last song, I went to say something and I got choked up. . .

 

“I’ve seen a lot of you at our shows.” I stopped and corrected myself. “WE’VE seen you at our shows. . . you’re our friends.” I was choked up in that moment. I wanted to say more but couldn’t.

 

Then we played “Termite Art” for the last time and it hit me that we were another link in Bowling Green music history. We’ve been part of it longer than most bands, and different musically than practically any other band in this area, but still we’re a part of the chain. Bands came before us and will come long after us. But here we were, playing on Morning Teleportation’s drum kit, borrowing a guitar from Heron And Crane because our guitarist broke his high E string at a show hosted by the local college radio station. . . in front of the people who had seen us more than anybody else. People came far and wide to see us one last time.

 

We could never break the chain, even if we wanted to.

 

I was hugged by children, took pictures with teenagers, signed CDs for a Juggalo. One of the college radio kids said that our set was “psychotic”. I told him that wasn’t even one of the twenty most psychotic sets we ever played. I watched the newer bands that came on after us. I ate a hot dog. I cried a little bit because I didn’t realize how many friends we had.

Technology Vs. Horse Farewell Show

April 17th, 2017

Greetings, sports fans.

 

My band, Technology Vs. Horse, formed in 2004. In that time, we played many shows. We released six of our own albums (and you can still get them). We tried our best. And on April 29th, we’re playing our final show.

 

There’s a lot to say, right? You may wonder why we are breaking up. The five of us are still friends, so that’s not it. We’re all bogged down by middle-age concerns like families, careers, and responsibilities. That makes it hard for us to get together on a regular basis. The band actually broke up last summer but we didn’t say anything.

 

 

We started practicing for the April 29th show a few weeks ago and that was the first time we’d all been in the room together since last June. The people at Revolution 91.7 who are putting together Mayhem 2017 have played our songs on their station for years and asked us to be on this upcoming show. We felt it would be a great way to say goodbye, seeing as how we’d played numerous Revolution events over the years. A nice free show on a late Saturday afternoon in the park on Center Street in Bowling Green.

 

 

From Bowling Green to the Big Leagues

November 5th, 2016

Since 2009, the Bowling Green Hot Rods have been a part of the Tampa Bay Rays minor league organization, and several former Hot Rods have made it all the way to the majors. Here is a mostly-comprehensive list as of the end of the 2016 season. Nobody from the 2015 or 2016 teams has made the majors. . . yet. Some of them hit the bigs but not for a few years. Given that there’s single-A ball, then double-A, then triple-A and for all I know I’m missing a step or two.

 

Tim Beckham (2B/SS, 2009): Tampa Bay Rays 2013, 2015-2016

Matt Moore (P, 2009): Tampa Bay Rays 2011-2016 (AL All-Star 2013), San Francisco Giants 2016

 

Alex Colome (P, 2010): Tampa Bay Rays 2013-2016 (AL All-Star 2016)

 

Kyle Lobstein (P, 2010): Detroit Tigers 2014-2015, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2016

C.J. Riefenhauser (P, 2010-11): Tampa Bay Rays 2014-2015 (spent 2016 in Chicago Cubs farm system)

Wilking Rodriguez (P, 2010-11): Tampa Bay Rays 2014

Albert Suarez (P, 2010): San Francisco Giants 2016

Kirby Yates (P, 2010): Tampa Bay Rays 2014-2015, New York Yankees 2016

Derek Dietrich (SS/2B, 2011): Miami Marlins 2013-2016 (led NL in being hit by pitch, 2016)

Kevin Kiermaier (CF, 2011): Tampa Bay Rays 2013-2016 (Gold Glove 2015)

Taylor Motter (OF/3B/SS, 2011-2012): Tampa Bay Rays 2016

Chris Rearick (P, 2011) San Diego Padres 2015 (spent 2016 in independent leagues)

Enny Romero (P, 2011) Tampa Bay Rays 2013, 2015-2016

Ryan Brett (2B, 2012) Tampa Bay Rays 2015 (missed 2016 after Tommy John surgery)

Tyler Goeddel (3B/OF, 2012-2013) Philadelphia Phillies 2016

Juniel Querecuto (2B/SS/3B, 2012, 2014) Tampa Bay Rays 2016

Andrew Bellatti (P, 2012) Tampa Bay Rays 2015 (spent 2016 in Rays farm system)

Felipe Rivero (P, 2012) Washington Nationals 2015-2016, Pittsburgh Pirates 2016

Oscar Hernandez (C, 2013-2014) Arizona Diamondbacks 2015-2016

Luke Maile (C/1B, 2013) Tampa Bay Rays 2015-2016

Joey Rickard (OF, 2013) Baltimore Orioles 2016

Andrew Toles (OF, 2013) Los Angeles Dodgers 2016

Dylan Floro (P, 2013) Tampa Bay Rays 2016

Ryan Garton (P, 2013) Tampa Bay Rays 2016

Blake Snell (P, 2013-2014) Tampa Bay Rays 2016

Germán Márquez (P, 2014) Colorado Rockies 2016

 

 

Brian Came To B.G.

August 18th, 2016

Brian Wilson came to Bowling Green for a show a few days ago and I got to see him. He was on his “Pet Sounds” 50th Anniversary tour, with Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin as special guests. It was a strange show, considering the setting and the audience. Watching the show at SkyPAC with thousands of older folks who seemed to want to have a nice, normal time enjoying classic Beach Boys songs. If it had been in a small club in front of a crowd packed with hipsters my age and younger, I wouldn’t think it was so strange. But the niceness of the venue and the oldness of the crowd and the content of the music, especially the “Pet Sounds” music combined for an intense but interesting show.

 

First thing you realize when held up next to the classic Beach Boys hits is how “Pet Sounds” is such a moody collection of emotionally intense songs. It’s not a happy album at all. Brian Wilson produced that album when he was twenty-four, which is a pretty good age to have an existential breakdown about your life. So maybe “Pet Sounds” is the musical equivalent of that breakdown except it sounds beautiful and universal. And then you hear that same guy at the age of seventy-four singing “God Only Knows” and you start thinking.

 

I got choked up at “God Only Knows”. My life, how it has changed. How I have changed. To hear the old man sing the song that he wrote when he was a young, young man. He wrote it and had his brother sing it but his brother has passed on. And Brian can’t sing anymore. Or he can but his range is limited. By age and drugs and life. My God.

 

Brian Wilson, this poor s.o.b. is a 74-year-old drug-damaged schizophrenic. And he’s the ticket seller for this 50th anniversary tour. Why don’t we just leave the guy alone? He has to sell the tickets and be there in person for the show. That concert did more for Bowling Green than it did for Brian. And it was pretty weird.

 

I also cried at the last song of the night, “Love And Mercy”. Choked up again. Because that’s what it is all about. Love and mercy is what we need tonight. Every night. Forever. He’s right. We really do need Brian more than he needs us.

 

A VIP experience was available. No thanks. Never meet your idols. Nothing like posing for an awkward photo with an anxious old man. What are you gonna tell him? “Thank you. . . for everything.” Anything I’d want to say would be way too personal for someone who I don’t know and doesn’t know me. I’d want to hug him. Can you imagine how his eyes would bulge if a stranger just grabbed and hugged him. Forget it. Leave him alone.

Thank You For Speaking

June 29th, 2016

“Thank you for speaking.”

I heard those words a few times Tuesday afternoon.

If you have read my post from a few days ago “I Go To Confront My Enemy” then you know that I had something in my heart and on my mind. I had to go to Bowling Green to comment on the governor’s disastrous health-care proposal.

I really thought I would be one of maybe a few who spoke up against it. Had to be ready to accept snickers from the crowd (laughs, not candy bars). Imagine my surprise when I was the first called to speak.

I was nervous but I got out what I needed to get out. I ended up being recorded by WBKO, interviewed by someone from WKU Public Radio and someone from the Louisville Courier-Journal. The meeting was streamed on WKU’s website. That was all very cool.

“Thank you for speaking.” That makes me feel good because other people felt the same way I did and were grateful that someone went up to say it. I’m proud of myself.

I’m also proud that as the meeting went on, every speaker that went up spoke against the proposal. It was an ill-conceived, poorly-thought out plan that wouldn’t help Kentuckians, take health care away from them and cost the state more money in the long run.

People from all walks of life. People who depended on medicaid and medicare, eye doctors and dentists, private care practitioners, private citizens, non-profit workers who work with mentally ill, homeless and victims of domestic violence. People who had not been considered by Matt Bevin’s new health care proposal.

It’s hard to stand up in front of a lot of people and admit to being vulnerable. To admit to needing help. I need help. I need medicaid and medicare. I cannot work. I’m not even close to good health and it would be a long road just to get back to a place of fair health. I’m just trying to maintain and keep my head up while politicians keep tinkering with my health care and every time they do it people like me have to pay.

 

This is about the state trying to curb spending and fix the deficit, but I can’t think of a more important thing to spend money on than the health and wellness of its’ citizens. Taking from low-income families is not a solution. Shaming them into giving up on receiving health care is a Scrooge-type twist of the knife.

 

So I spoke up. And after the meeting I heard it again and again. “Thank you for speaking.” That means a lot to me. A lot of good things were said and intelligent points were raised at the meeting. I’m proud of that moment in my life. No matter what comes of it or of Bevin’s proposal.

 

Later that day I called my mom and we talked about what I did because I hadn’t told her about it. I don’t know why I hadn’t mentioned it to her. But I went and she said “thank you for going”. She was glad I stood up and spoke, too.

Diminishing Returns

February 24th, 2016

It’s time.

 

It’s time for Technology Vs. Horse.

 

The band is playing a show on Friday, “celebrating” the sixth album we’ve released. The name of the album is Diminishing Returns. I have a lot to say about the album but first a little background.

 

A few years ago, we put out an album called Sorry That I Knocked You Up. At that time, we were already working on the music for the next album. That was way back in 2013. And then. . . all hell seemed to break loose.

 

In the span of three years, life got in the way of being a band. Careers, family, the slow crawl into middle age. Everyone in the band is in their 30’s now. I’ll be 38 next month. David will be 40 later this year. The older you get, the harder it is to maintain art activity. You have a lot of weddings and funerals to attend. Which we have. More funerals than we would like to have attended at our age.

 

We stayed a band, but getting together became much more difficult. We probably played less than a half-dozen shows in 2014-15 total. We were lucky to have practice monthly. We were lucky if all five of us showed up for practice. Life got in the way.

 

So here we are. Five people approaching middle age trying to maintain the creativity they had in their twenties. Not the quality of the work, but the energy and time put in. Life before and after responsibility are two different things.

 

We make the music we make for ourselves and those who want to hear something like it. We dabble and experiment and push ourselves. You can definitely here me pushing myself on some of these songs, the amount of straining and screaming I do.

 

It’s a good album. It’s not the happiest, funniest, jokiest album. But it is pretty good. Some of my most personal lyrics are on this album. “Night On Hobo Blood Mountain” is NOT one of those lyrics.

 

Some song information now.

 

“Dark Logics” precedes the release of Sorry That I Knocked You Up. The title is a reference to the David Foster Wallace book Infinite Jest. I didn’t tell the others in TVH but for a moment I wanted to fill the entire album with IJ references.

 

“A Night On Hobo Blood Mountain” is the other song that references IJ. Specifically, the animal-stalking halfway-house resident character of Randy Lenz. The title has nothing to do with the book or the lyrics. It’s a long, annoying story.

 

“Player One Has Entered The Game” is extremely strange. The lyrics are from the perspective of a croupier, someone who runs a roulette table.

 

“Handsome Mike” is from the perspective of a barfly who admires another guy who seems to be a ladies’ man. There’s a twist on the breakdown as the ladies’ man is not what he seems to be. Put another way, we started writing this song before the tsunami of allegations against Bill Cosby. Timely by accident.

 

There are six other songs on the album and I’ll write about them on the next post because I’ve gone on too long on this post.

 

 

 

Three Day Weekend

November 17th, 2015

I was not an isolated creep last weekend. I went out Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Normally, I may go out once a. . . month? for some social function.

 

What got me out of this hermit life, even if temporarily? Or who? Well, it was my very good friend Young Mary, who curated a three-day series of events. I will try to sum up highlights from a whirlwind weekend.

 

Jesco White, the Dancing Outlaw came to Bowling Green to dance at the Spillway. Earlier this spring, I closed for him at a show in Louisville put on by Will Russell (which is a story all in itself). I went to Spillway but left before Jesco went on. Spillway’s legal capacity is somewhere around 300 and it felt like they reached it and then some. 300 drunken hillbillies standing around watching a genuinely crazy West Virginian tap dance for forty-five minutes. Some old guy kept asking me where my brother was. I don’t have a brother. Another old guy kept yelling at me calling me “Eddie”. I got the claustrophobia real quick and had to leave to keep from screaming in terror.

 

The people seemed to be enjoying themselves, so good for them. I would have been the idiot that made the scene because I freaked out. I was one of a handful of sober people in that bar. That was actually the second time I left the bar that night. I left the first time to make a #2. Can’t make #2 in a redneck bar where they don’t have locks on the bathroom stall. Call me crazy.

 

Perhaps this was all some cosmic payback for all the times in my youth I tried to make people uneasy. I thought I was doing performance art by being a weird dickhead, and here are these hillbillies twenty or more years than me that did it without even trying.

 

Saturday was my day to perform. Mary hosted an event at White Squirrel Brewery. Me and about a dozen other performers all going 20-30 minutes a piece. It ran so efficiently I started twenty minutes earlier than my start time. Clearly none of these other singers know how to pull a Technology Vs. Horse and go “we’ve got 45 minutes which means we’ll play 52 minutes.”

 

I did pretty well. In my 20 minutes, I played four songs. Got a good response. While I set up my piano, a guy with a djembe came up to me. He had shown up to accompany the previous two guys’ sets without apparently asking first. He had banged on his tuneless bongo during the end of Tanner Elias’s set, then did the same thing throughout Shane Tutmarc’s set. Shane decided to roll with it and even gave the guy a solo. Let’s just say Djembe Donny would not have lasted long in Fela Kuti’s Africa 70.

 

So the Djembe djork walked up to me while I was plugging up the keyboard and got as far as “Hey maaaan, I was just wondering if maybe. . .” before I said “NO.”

“But I got the beat.”

“No you don’t. You don’t know my songs.”

 

I’m glad he asked me upfront so I didn’t have to embarrass him publicly. . . until this blog, of course.

 

Sunday I went to a poetry reading at Mary’s house. I voluntarily went to a poetry reading. I’m afraid of poetry. What if someone I like as a person writes poetry and I think it’s lousy? Am I a bad person? Of course I’m a bad person but not for that reason. But I am a good friend.

 

I’m such a good friend that I was prepared to pretend that Mary’s poems were great even if they weren’t. Fortunately, she is talented enough to write and sell her poems when she recites them that I wish she would focus more on that. I was so happy that I could applaud sincerely for her. That writer side is a piece of her that I wish she would showcase more often, as opposed to the non-stop Periscopin’ music business would-be-conqueror. The vulnerable side that we all have but don’t all have the ability to express in formats of art and performance. Shut up, Mike. She is trying to help you. Someone is on your side and you’re telling them not to do it so much.

 

Mary was the warmup for Travis Blankenship, a writer, poet and professor. He did two poems, the second of which was a long-form piece. A good storyteller can adapt to the format they use. He told a good, compelling story in poetic form. A lesser writer would try to employ tricks like internal rhyme schemes or let the whole thing fall into prose. Travis’ long-form tale of a neighbor with a revolving door of adopted haggard pets could have worked as in story form as well. As paragraphs as well as lines.

 

And when I say “long-form”, I mean somewhere like 15-20 minutes. I don’t mean to make it sound more epic than it is. This was not a Homeric soothsayer epic. I don’t think those words should be put together like that. I would be a shit poet.

 

I hate watching other people perform, especially when I am not performing. I want to be entertained just like anyone else but I feel snobby and judgey in ways most people aren’t. I’m half critiquing it in my head. It is a relief to just be able to listen and watch and enjoy myself. Good art will take you out of your own head. Whether it be low or high art, the best stuff makes you forget about your own neuroses and problems even for a few moments.

 

In case you were wondering, I played four songs Saturday night. “The Concept Of You”, “Learning To Live Without You” and “Mountain Music” had all been played before. I debuted a new song called “Runaway Star” and that went well. I’ll probably play it in Louisville next Friday.

 

The next album I put out will have this credit: “Nobody played djembe.”

Restaurant Review: Novo Dolce

November 6th, 2014

TL;DR: If you enjoy eating at places where you stick golf tees into triangular blocks of wood, skip Novo Dolce.

novo-dolce-espresso-bar

 

I went to Novo Dolce in Bowling Green this past Wednesday, which some of you may recall as November 5th. Others may know that day as Guy Fawkes’ Day. And yet quite a few of us recall it being the day after Election Day. Anyway, we went to Novo Dolce in honor of my friend Mary’s birthday, for it was on this day that she failed to blow up British Parliament.
It was a rainy night in Bowling Green, and while Eddie Rabbitt might have sang about loving a rainy night he would not have loved this particular night. It was cold November rain, the kind Axl Rose sang about. Eddie Rabbitt hates cold November rain, both the song and the weather event and he’s right on both counts.

 

Our party of eight sat in and took in the decor, which given the gloomy circumstances of a future with Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader, began to resemble a German Expressionist play. All black with the occasional flat-screen in limbo showing an Washington Wizards game. The owners may have intended for an understated design without the overdone kitsch of most Bowling Green restaurants, but on this night felt like an oppressive hell, especially when “I Can’t Tell You Why” by the Eagles came on the loudspeaker. I will say it again, people:  YOU CANNOT GO TO A WHITE MAN’S RESTAURANT IN BOWLING GREEN WITHOUT HEARING THE EAGLES.

 

ls

Our server was polite, but was red-faced as if he had been crying most of the day. I knew the look because I had been crying as well. So had most of our dinner party. The server listed the specials and brought us some appetizers (pimento cheese and proscuitto). At some point, he cracked and let it slip out, “You know, there are people who think Kentucky wouldn’t even have a gastropub.” We nodded at him in agreement. “It’s almost as if they think all the liberals are in Louisville and everybody else is three-teeth inbred.” He then apologized to Nutsy, the three-toothed inbred in our dinner party.

 

I spoke up. “I know. We are hated right now by the rest of the country. Like we inflicted Mitch McConnell on them. Can I order the beer braised ribs with mashed potatoes and a slice of chocolate cake for dessert?”

The server took my order and as he walked away spat out, “We might as well be Florida right now.” Mary, the birthday girl, burst into panicked tears and cried aloud “I DON’T WANT TO BE FLORIDA! IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! PLEASE DON’T LET US BE FLORIDA!” At which point she was comforted by her boyfriend Jon who said angrily, “I won’t let it happen. I won’t let anyone call Kentucky the next Florida. We’re nowhere near that bad. We’re not even Pennsylvania-level yet. If anybody calls our state the next Florida, so help me I WILL CUT OFF THEIR BEARD AND MAKE THEM EAT THE DAMN THING!!” He slammed his fists on the table, excused himself to go outside, smoke a cigarette and fight the tears like a man does sometimes

 

In the kitchen, I heard a clashing of silverware and someone yelling “WHAT DO YOU MEAN ONLY TWELVE PERCENT OF VOTERS UNDER THIRTY VOTED? WHAT DO YOU FUCKING MEAN?” Then the dishwasher walked out in a huff through the front door never to be seen again. The hostess came over, makeup running and apologized. We didn’t know why. Maybe she was trying to cope with the situation. She told us that three staff members had quit Novo Dolce the previous night without notice to begin hoarding gasoline in the event prices go up again. Apparently they got the idea from an episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, so maybe they weren’t the brightest to begin with.

 

My beer-braised ribs were very good. I would say the portions were smallish but it’s nitpicky to say that. Mashed potatoes were fine. Chocolate cake was very good. Mary could not judge her own food because it all began to taste like her tears at one point. Jon had a salmon dinner and tried to be thankful he didn’t live in Nashville. I heard no complaints about the food or service from our party. Even Nutsy had an alright time.

 

That night I went home and started drinking booze. I’m not a drinker but I figure now is as good a time as any to start. Upon my first drink, I toasted our President. He isn’t perfect, but he’s done the best he could under the circumstances. If only his name was something like Barry Jackson, how much of this could we have avoided?

It Wasn’t Me

October 2nd, 2014

I am probably causing myself a lot of trouble even writing this, but here goes.

 

The Montana Grille in Bowling Green caught on fire yesterday afternoon. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that I am in no way responsible for the fire.

 

As long-time readers of this website may remember, I am not a fan of Montana Grille. But I am in no way responsible for the fire that engulfed that restaurant.

 

I even have an alibi. I have been in Fordsville since Saturday. I went to the local grocery around 3:30 pm yesterday. People saw me. I bought some. . . grocery stuff. There is no way I could have been in Bowling Green in time to start that fire. Unless I had some kind of time machine. Ho ho ho ho ho. Oh boy. Ho ho ho. Hoo-boy.

 

So it’s settled. I didn’t start that fire and I DEFINITELY do not have a time machine. Are we clear? Good.

Being In A Band Sucks

May 19th, 2013

“Being in a band sucks.”

 

That is the concept behind a coffee-table book I’m writing. It will be the least readable and least bought book of all time. Even less readable than BITCH ARE YOU RETARDED, which is a real advice book for women written by a man who did not exactly have the gift of gab. . . or any professional qualifications to give anyone advice about anything.

 

This weekend was not great for me, as a guy in a band. I don’t want to get into the details of it. Some people say that the bad shows will make for good stories later. Some people can laugh about the downsides of being in a band, but I can’t anymore. Because being in a band sucks.

 

This has nothing to do with the people in my band. It’s not them that’s the problem. It’s the outside world that makes everything so difficult. It is so difficult to deal with promoters who tell you you’ll make $100 and then hand you $10 at the end of the night. I don’t want to deal with “festival organizers” who slap together some shitshow in a grassy area and have no plan for when it rains and bands get shafted out of a timeslot they’ve practiced hard for weeks. I have no time for people who have no plans for paying bands other than hoping that enough people show up at the gates.

 

I maintain that local bands that perform original music are at odds with the world around them. Not that there aren’t fans of original local music but they are in essence constantly trying to promote their very existence. In bars, coffeehouses, on social media, they are trying to say “I exist”. They are supposed to be not only musicians and songwriters but also booking agents, PR guys, and wear a dozen other hats. If you’re in a band and you feel like it’s you and your bandmates against the world, probably you are. And their biggest weapon is their yawning indifference.