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Monday, 21 May 2012

The Queen's Knight

Recently I was very lucky to be in the audience that took in Sir Elton John!  My first bit of luck was being local to Lethbridge Alberta.  On this trip, Sir Elton only performed 3 Canadian dates... and no it wasn't Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver... he played Lethbridge Alberta, Red Deer Alberta and Grand Prairie Alberta.  That's right... skipped right over Calgary and Edmonton as well.  My second bit of luck came in the form of getting tickets... you can imagine how quickly Elton John tickets for small venues sell... hell, they sell quickly for large venues!  The third bit of luck was that I was able to enjoy it with my musicians sons... They're only 18 but they have a great appreciation for music legends such as Elton John.  And my fourth bit of luck was getting floor seats... great floor seats (13th row) - no scratch that... that wasn't luck... that was due to intelligence.
We're not quite sure why Elton decided to only play the three small venues in Alberta.  I have heard through the grapevine that his husband does have family in Alberta... perhaps they were here for a wedding or something... who knows?  But I would have never guessed in a million years that I would take in an Elton John show at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge Alberta.  The Enmax with standing room and festival seating doesn't quite hold 8,000 people.  Tickets sold out in less than an hour... not a big surprise that a lot of fans were disappointed at not getting seats.  I did not get tickets due to standing in line over night (does anybody do that anymore?) or by having quick typing hands and dialling fingers.  In fact I bought my tickets the day before tickets went on sale!  You might think it's because I'm a world renown blogger and get special privileges... if you think this...firstly, awwww thank you!! and secondly, I'm very sorry, that's not even close.
No... I got my tickets the day before they went on sale by joining Elton John's fan club, the rocket club.  I know... it's genius... but I can't take all the credit.  A friend of mine got killer seats to the Chris Cornell show when he came through by jumping on the pre-order option for fan club members, so... when it was announced Elton John was coming to town (and I knew tickets would go fast!) I went online to see if he had a fan club with member benefits... sure enough!  For $40 I got a year long membership in the Rocket Club...along with this I was able to pre-order Rocket Club tickets (best seats in the house - well second to VIP tickets, which can also be pre-ordered through the Rocket Club) for less than the ticket price...let's just say I got my $40 back in savings.  I was also sent an Elton John DVD... bonus!!
The one thing about the Rocket Club is you can only pre-order two tickets and there were three of us that wanted to go.  As it turned out, one more ticket became available the morning of the concert and was auctioned off by a local radio station... $425 later, my other kid was able to attend as well. So much for savings! By the way, the proceeds of that auctioned ticket went to an animal shelter so it was all good.
The show itself was absolutely incredible!  Just Sir Elton and his piano.  No pyro, no big light show... just a digital curtain behind him, flashing scenes relevant to the songs he was performing.  When I saw it was only going to be him and his piano, I knew he would play hits like Nikita, I Guess that's Why They Call It The Blues and Candle in The Wind...these are favourites of mine and he did not disappoint, but more than that he still fucking rocked!  He also performed Crocodile Rock, Philadelphia Freedom and Bennie and The Jets and no sissy ballady versions either... I repeat, he fucking rocked!
Sir Elton himself just seems like the sweetest guy ever... I wanted to take him home with me, so I could pull him out any time at my convenience for a cuddle.  He was so cute.  After every song he stood and gave the audience a standing ovation and the audience was only too eager to return the favour!  He signed autographs for people in the first row and I had a twinge of regret that I hadn't sprung for the VIP tickets.
The highlight for me was when he performed my all time favourite Elton John tune, Tiny Dancer.  I bawled.  Before that moment I never understood why girls screamed and fainted during Beatles and Elvis Presley shows back in the 60's.  I was so moved by the fact that I was there hearing my favourite being performed by the legend himself.  I couldn't hold back the emotion that built up inside me and I cried... and cried.  I'm such a chick!
I'm very happy I didn't let the opportunity to catch this show slip by me.  Thank you Sir Elton for decades of great music and an incredible intimate show in Lethbridge Alberta.  God knows you didn't do it for the money, and this fan is very grateful that you're not too big to come to the back country and perform for fans who might not otherwise have a chance to get to a big city to see your show!  Rock on baby...... ; )

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Hard to Get

It's kinda funny how the universe gives us subtle hints about the choices we should make.  If we would only pick up on those hints and heed the universe, how much easier would our lives be?  Now, I know there are some of you out there that love a challenge, love to prove the universe wrong and no matter how difficult the task is or how many obstacles are put in your way, you will plow through it, all the time saying, if it's worth anything it's worth working for... and some of the time you're actually successful and you kick its ass!
It's been my experience though that the universe is usually right... Let me use my very best friend as an example.  The day she applied for a job she went to print her resume and the printer jammed.  After spending many precious minutes she didn't have unjamming the machine, she finally got it printed.  With resume in hand, she set off across her yard to apply for the job (it's a very small town...the workplace is right next door to her home).  Resume in hand that is until the wind (we get a lot of strong winds here) ripped it out of her hand sending the pages scattering across the vast parking lot.  She successfully scrambled around and retrieved her cover page and resume.  Wind whipped and out of breath, slightly damp and crumpled resume in her hand she rushed into the building to apply for the job with a nagging feeling in her mind that somebody was trying to tell her something.
She got the job.... then spent the next 2 years on workers comp because of injuries she suffered on the job.  The last one being a vehicular accident (a really bad one, she actually died in the hospital momentarily) leaving her with limited mobility in her shoulder (the accident had pushed her shoulder into the middle of her back.... yeah ouch) and hips (broke her pelvis in several places).  She of course suffers from chronic pain as well.  Granted this is an extreme example but it kinda makes you think that maybe the universe knows what it's talking about, doesn't it?
Now I didn't listen to the subtle hints the universe sent me before I married both my husbands, which may be why I divorced both.... in those cases the universe kicked my ass.  And now the universe is sending me hints about my next love... yes that's right... the universe is warning me against Sully Erna!
I first started falling for Sully (sexy front man for Godsmack) the first time I heard Godsmack.  When Godsmack first came out I was living here in rural Alberta... unfortunately hard rock did not appeal to the main demographic - farmers, and back then they were never played on the local radio stations.  As for TV we had an antennae which brought in 5 fuzzy stations, not including MTV or MuchMusic.   I didn't hear them until we put in satellite TV and I started listening to music on satellite.  Voodoo was the song and Sully's vocals paired with the sexiness of the bongo drums heated my my juices flowing so to speak.

Oh yeah, that was the start...loving Godsmack for the entity it was... not individualizing Sully at that time.  I could relate to a lot of their songs and I really got off on that.
Now, some of you who may know me now and also know Godsmack music might say, "Oh no Cat... you are way to sweet to relate to the darkness and negativity in the hard rock of Godsmack."  I grew up in an unstable and abusive home... my first marriage was abusive... I have been surrounded by alcoholics and drug abusers for a lot of my life.  I'm sweet because I choose to be, not because my experiences made me that way... I can very much relate to the negativity of Godsmack songs... they just express those darker feelings for me.
Then came the DVD... The album Good Times, Bad Times included a DVD and I laid eyes on Sully for the first time... did it just get hot in here? No? It's just me?  Lust at first sight to say the least!  It was filmed in an intimate setting and there was opportunity for the audience to ask questions.  I listened as Sully easily and jovially answered his fans and that was it for me... I was in LOVE.  By the end of the DVD I was joking with my kids, who are also Godsmack fans that Sully was going to be their Stepdad at some point in the future.  
But now I'm really starting to wonder if it's meant to be... I think the universe might be trying to tell me something.  You may have read in an earlier blog of mine, click here >  Summer of Rock .... that I attended a Godsmack show last fall.  Now I don't know if it was too cold or what, but Sully never once took off his shirt!  Apparently the show they did in Dawson Creek, BC later that month that my niece was at, he never had his shirt on! < Sign from the universe #1.  I was also backstage at that show and didn't get to give Sully a blowjob...uh, I mean a kiss... I never even got to give him a kiss! < Sign from the universe #2.
My kid had told me about a book Sully had written.  Of course already being in love with the man, I figured I should get to know him better... I looked for it in Canada... book stores and online to save international shipping fees but it wasn't available anywhere in the country! < Sign from the universe #3.  By the way, I did order that book from the states... I wrote a blog about that too , click here to check it out > Will This Cat Cross His Path?
Now I'm excited again because on May 15, Godsmack is releasing their live album Live and Inspired and I'll be able to re-live the concert experience over and over!  A majority of the album was recorded at their Detroit Rock City show...and I'm bettin that Sully had his shirt off for that one too...with some tunes taken from their Boston show.  No doubt both of these shows were killer!  I read in their newsletter (which you can sign up for on their website) that they were selling pre-sale packages, that included all kinds of music and merchandise.  I tried to order a t-shirt and CD but I kept getting an error message on my order and my order was never placed! < Sign from the universe #4.  Being a quick thinker and very resourceful, I did pre-order without incident on iTunes... no t-shirt though....oh well.... it'll give me something to purchase the next time they come around. I listen to the universe, who is obviously telling me that Sully isn't the right man for me?  Do I take my experiences and learn from them, ultimately saving myself from heartbreak and misery?  I probably should...ah fuck it...Sully, if it ever comes down to it...the answer is yes, of course I'll marry you baby....... ; )

For concert dates, news and merch check out their website:
Godsmack official website

Sunday, 6 May 2012

A Step into The Darkness

I know I've said it many times.  I love to hear new music.  So why has it taken me so fucking long to check out Gothic music?  It makes no sense considering when I read for pleasure I tend to turn to the know Stephen King, Ann Rice etc.  And yes, I read the Twilight series as well even though I prefer my vampires to be a little more fucking evil.  And though I don't profess to be a gamer, my kids will tell you my favorite video games are the Silent Hill games.  So again, I must ask myself... why not Gothic music? would seem to fit with my interests.
The only explanation I can think of is that I was waiting for an artist like Josh Stone to make himself known to me.  I guess you could say I came close before with David Bowie's Cat People album.  I fucking love that album and when I heard Josh Stone for the first time - Gunmetal Black Dress - I was reminded somewhat of that album.

I started to think of other rock artists, like Bowie who thought outside the box...artists I was finding comparable to Josh as I continued to listen to his album The Darkness.  These included Frank Zappa, The Talking Heads, U2, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and yes even a bit of  Korn and Disturbed too.  It didn't surprise me at all to find out that Josh himself lists some of these artists as influences and/or comparable music.
Josh sets himself apart with his use of sound...rain, creaking doors, metal against metal essence creating an experience, a soundtrack to his poetry.  From the start of The Darkness... a light piano start might give you the lighthearted promise of happiness and sunshine on a fine summer day but then the heavy breath of someone (perhaps running for their fucking life) interrupts and the music takes on a far darker mood.
You can listen from one song to the next and follow the story of a young woman's despair and rebirth into something numb, cold and dark. Her attempt to pull another into her depths and how he manages to hold onto a piece of the light...

....or at least that's my interpretation.  Or you can listen to each song on it's own and let it present it's piece of the story, a story in itself.
If you're into goth you will most likely relate this album to the birth of a vampire and the destruction that ensues as a result.  If that isn't your thing you might relate these songs to the darker feelings and experiences of life - for instance, how difficult is it for a woman to feel love after being abused mentally, physically or sexually?  Does one not come back from that feeling fucking numb and cold?   Either way, Josh Stone brings this darkness to light, or rather, he takes you by the hand and leads you into the darkness for you to see and experience for yourself.  Go on, take a listen....then sweet dreams my lovelies buwahahahahahahahahahaha.......; )

Josh Stone links:
Josh Stone on Reverbnation 
Josh Stone on twitter
Josh Stone on facebook 

Preview and buy Josh Stone Music:
Josh Stone on iTunes