Kidman J. Williams

Kidman Williams

Executive Publisher

Kidman J. Williams has been professionally writing for 15+ years now. He has written for many publications in a wide range of different mediums. Through his 20’s he was the frontman of the band Call to the Wise with a mild amount of success touring and making two albums.

Kidman also was in political radio and worked for the broadcasting giant WLS. He worked and learned a lot from the experience. He got to meet political conversation pieces like Todd Stroger, Blagoyavich, etc.

During this time he became burnt out on the high pressure and dishonesty of the broadcasting industry and left. He couldn’t take the constant and brutal dishonesty that came with political radio broadcasting.

With his illusions shattered, Kidman struck out with his writing again. Much like one of his writing influences (Lester Bangs) he found a kinship with music journalism. He has interviewed many from the industry like Hank Williams III (Hank3), Scott Ian and so many more.

He has covered many events like the porn convention, Exxxotica, concerts and sports; he has even done strip club reviews down in the Tampa area.

Now he has found a home and a true kinship with Gonzo Today and the high standard that comes with carrying the “Gonzo” name.

Kidman, “I have always been a political/social junkie of sorts. I always knew that I wanted to be in the political forum. WLS did nothing to curb my passion for it, but what they did do was ass-fuck the ideals that I carried for the genre. They showed me a dark seedy room with sawdust on the floor, bent me over callously and gave me a true knowledge of how dark politics can truly be!”

Sheryl Crow’s Newest Proves That Music Can Save You

 

by: Kidman J. Williams

Artist: Sheryl Crow

Album: Be Myself

Label: Warner Bros.

Rating: 4.4/5.0

 

Sheryl Crow’s first album “Tuesday Night Music Club” hit the scene in 1993 and since then she has earned herself nine Grammy Awards and sold more than 35 million albums all over the world, along with five of those albums breaking the platinum mark.

This future Rock and Roll Hall of Famer hasn’t done too bad for herself by just putting her real self out there album to album. Crow’s honesty has always been her drawing power. And let me tell you, she doesn’t disappoint on her newest effort “Be Myself,” due out April 21, 2017.

“So for the first time in my life, I made it a point to sit down and really listen to my old records.” Says Crow. “I’d drive my kids to school and play the old stuff as I came back home. That helped me remember what it felt like when I was just beginning as an artist.”

“But,” she clarifies, “it wasn’t about repeating myself. It was about revisiting where I came from and seeing where that would take me now.”

“Be Myself” has a welcoming throwback sound; the same sound that gave Crow the ability to speak to every fan on a personal and individual level while letting us know that she is just one of us with the same salient struggles that we all have to live with and endure.

She also reunited with producer, songwriter, musician and her partner on the early albums of her career.

“Musically, this record is about coming back together with Jeff Trott,” Crow said. “This past summer, because of what was going on in the world and particularly in the United States; I began to feel a sense of urgency about writing. So he came out from L.A. for a couple of days here, a couple of days there, and we turned out some good old-school Sheryl Crow tunes.”

Usually I wouldn’t start with the fourth track on an album, but in this case I will because the hit is not the most attractive thing on this album. The self-titled track and single “Be Myself” is a great catchy soundtrack song for this summer.

Trust me when I say there is nothing wrong with this anthem song declaring to the world that being yourself is the best self you can be. It just isn’t the finest work on this great album. And frankly, after we end up hearing it three times an hour on the radio for a whole summer, we are going to be begging for relief wishing that we were someone else.

“Love Will Save the Day” is the kind of song that saves people from themselves. We have all been there. Those times where everything is hopeless, despairing, and desperate. Whether it is a break-up, problems with your family, or maybe even your own anxieties crippling your life; this is the song you put on repeat in your dark room lit by one single candle while you fade out with your headphones on and forget about the world for a while.

Right from the opening of the song with that vinyl scratch embedded into the background of the song as the guitar gently holds you to its breast and tells you everything is alright while an angel resonates into your ears, “We get lost along the way. I know it hurts right now, but it will fade. Sometimes it is hard to find some light, with darkness on the left and on the right, believe me that love will save the day.”

The very funky second track, “Halfway There” is a whirlwind of sound with a message of compromise, something this world has forgotten how to do.

The song is jammed full of funky guitar riffs, grooving beat, and a guitar hook that seems to come in on the four count, giving it a unique movement. The lead guitar has a great break part that incorporates a nod to the psychedelic era of the late 60’s.

Crow nails it with “Be Myself.” She harnessed all of who she is, where she came from, while staying true to herself and above all, she is honest with her fans.

She gives you all of her fears, love, while being very topical, and most important, she leaves you with hope. No matter how dark things seem Crow makes sure that the listener understands that it will always get better. And she really knows how to have fun as well, as she explores all of the nooks and crannies of the human experience.

Sheryl Crow is out on tour right now. Click Here for more information.

Tracklisting:

  1. Alone in the Dark
  2. Halfway There
  3. Long Way Back
  4. Be Myself
  5. Roller Skate
  6. Love Will Save the Day
  7. Strangers Again
  8. Rest of Me
  9. Heartbeat Away
  10. Grow Up
  11. Woo Woo

Album Review: The Damn Truth’s Devilish Folk

 

by: Kidman J. Williams

Artist: The Damn Truth

Album: Devilish Folk

Label: Fineline Records/Warner

Rating: 4.7/5.0

I was 17 years old, my mind was altered to such a degree that I should have been put into a mental hospital after I decided it was a good idea to climb the balconies to the third floor apartment where the party was popping off; young, dumb, and ready to take on anyone.

There were about 40 pubescent wall-bangers packed into a 2 bedroom apartment, chock full of raging hormones that make teens even more disabled than they already are.

There was case after case of Mickey’s bigmouths, a collection of bottles piling up on the table and counters, and of course a fight at the door while the women were subsequently picking out the alpha male of their choice for the night, and The Damn Truth should have been the soundtrack for this level of irresponsibility.

The Damn Truth is the kind of band that you can not only party to, but you can sit at home and just take it all in with your best pair of headphones. They are the queens and kings of the subtle nuances in the music, seemingly taking lessons from Pink Floyd.

With Lee-La Baum on vocals and guitar, Tom Shemer (lead guitar), Dave Traina (drums), and PY Letellier (bass) they are the winning combination to a lock that we didn’t even know needed to be open.

The Damn Truth are Canada’s answer to the wildly predictable iTunes institution of cookie-cutter hit making.

The Damn Truth’s newest effort ‘Devilish Folk,’ released on Fineline Records/Warner Canada, is the kind of album that you can listen to all the way through, and there aren’t that many of those in the music industry anymore.

This is their sophomore effort to the critically acclaimed debut, ‘Dear in the Headlights.’

It is hard to pick out a highlight for this album when the whole album is one big highlight. The Damn Truth understand the formula to make you move, without actually sticking to any one formula.

On track 3, Plastic Flowers, they catch your attention immediately. Most of the rock songs you hear now hit you counting sheep 4 by 4 with their doldrum downbeat over and over until you fall asleep. This song hits you with a surprising 3 count and then Baum bombs you with her powerhouse vocal style that you feel down into your genitals.

The sixth track, “Heart is Cold” is the not so obvious single. It is a far cry from your predictable pop hit formula, but fully understands the vocal hook and ALWAYS important guitar hook from Shemer with an intensely groovy rhythm from Traina and Letellier.

This track slaps you with Baum’s grit and teeth-bearing style almost reminiscent of Janis Joplin, but I almost don’t want to make that comparison because it does a disservice to her and the band.

I would love to give you a rundown on all the tracks, but I have to keep this short. The sixth track on ‘Devilish Folk’ is “Alex.”

The song kind of switches gears with an angelic clean opening influenced by good ole delta blues. The song hits you with a very “star-crossed lovers” situation; bittersweet, loving, and forlorn.

Alex still gives the power of Baum’s vocals and lets it shine, but you can feel the sadness and grief while she bellows out the pain.

This Canadian foursome gives me hope that true music is not dead; that you don’t need a synth with pre-programmed drums and a basic cute face to sell records. The Damn Truth’s music has all the grit and dirty rhythms that made rock music great while still keeping a pop sensibility.

The Damn Truth express themselves with honesty in a world of devilish folks.

Interview With Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein

 

Interviewer: Kidman J. Williams

Illustration by: Joey Feldman

This is the second time that I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein. And I do mean a pleasure. Doyle is nothing like his monstrous persona, he is simply the guy next door that you want to hang out and have a beer with or in his case, eat a bunch of peanuts and work out seven days a week with.

Frankenstein’s newest project simply called Doyle, has now come out with their sophomore album titled, “As We Die.” The album comes out on April 27th.

This modest monster and I got to sit and chat again about everything from the Misfits’ reunion, a possible Misfits album, our kids, and even the move to a new label.

Doyle Interview

 Kidman J. Williams:  So, it is a nice day in Florida.

Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein: I bet! (laughing)

Hell yeah! It is beautiful, once we got through the tornado weather last night.

Oh, sorry man.

Well, you know. It happens. I just wanted to say sorry. Not that you would remember me from an interview two years ago.

It is frightening, I’m horrible.

I just wanted to say sorry. You were very cool. You personally invited me to your show on Halloween and I just wanted to say sorry I couldn’t make it out. The show was on Halloween and I had to take my kid trick-or-treating, just wanted to say sorry.

Yeah, I miss all that stuff. When I’m out and doing my stuff. You’re lucky.

It was cool and now he is eight and he talks back and —

(Laughing) Yeah, wait four years and see what he says then.

I’m sure it can’t get better from here.

Now he’s got a opinion for everything.

So, how are you doing man?

I’m doing great man. Everything is feeling good man, bands doing good, the crowds are getting bigger and they are starting to sing all the words. Excited about the new release. So, pretty good.

I  haven’t had a chance to hear or review the new album yet.

Well, we are still working on it! We got to finish it by tomorrow, it comes out on the 27th. (laughing)

Oh, I didn’t realize you guys didn’t finish it yet.

Well, I just want it perfect. If it isn’t perfect I just won’t like it.

The last time we talked you did a self-release off of your label Monsterman.

Yeah.

What made you decide to release on a big label, EMP. What made you go with the big label this time?

Distribution, promotion, and the stuff that I just couldn’t afford this time. And they are very excited to have us.  They are also taking on Monsterman Records on as a partner. And sign other bands. So it is pretty cool.

Plus working with David Ellefson (Megadeth) who owns the label. I’ve known him for a long time. I brought him Abominator and he got back to us. I was like if you want us make an offer. He asked what do you want? I told him what we wanted and he was like “ok.”  I was like “Really?!?” (laughing)

NICE! Did you guys self-produce this one or did the label assign a producer for you this time?

Yeah. We recorded the stuff at the same time as Abominator. We had to do the drums over because we got a new drummer Brandon Pertzborn. It came out better, better performance.

Last time I did the guitar, drummer did the drums, Alex did the vocals in his underwear in his kitchen. It just came out better.

So, you just said that a lot of this came off from Abominator. Last time we had spoken you said that for Abominator you had written 40 songs, recorded 25, and then used only 18. So a lot of this album came from the other tracks from the Abominator sessions?

Umm, yeah. They were all written. We had to write 9 or 10 more. We — (incoherent mumbles)

What was that? It is really hard to hear you wherever you are.

Yeah. We are driving. We are driving through, I don’t even know where the fuck we are…umm, Nebraska.

Nebraska?!?

Where are you headed to?

Wisconsin…somewhere I’ve never heard of.

You took care of my next question, how did the signing come about. Now did you take a different approach with the writing of the new album “As We Die?”

Umm, no. We just do what we do. I don’t approach it with “I’m going to write a song like this or I’m going to write a song like that.” Whatever is comfortable for me to play I use it. If it is too hard I don’t use it. I don’t need to be standing out on stage having a panic attack because I don’t know what is supposed to be played next.

What can we expect on this new album? Are there any big surprises on this new album?

Yeah! We have some guests on this album. We have Randy from Lamb of God singing with Alex Story on one. Alisa Winkler and Michael from Arch Enemy on “Kiss Me As You Die.”

We got this new drummer who is fucking insane. He is just so good. Brandon Pertzborn was playing with Black Flag. Our drummer, he just had to go.

We met up with Brandon and we weren’t even going to rehearse with him. I was just like, let’s just do it. He got the stuff perfect in like two days.

Are things still as easy with the chemistry and writing between you and Alex as they were on Abominator?

Oh yeah. It is just so easy.

You had been playing with Danzig for years off and on, but how was the vibe when you ALL got together for the reunion shows?

It was really funny man. (laughs) It was good times man. We all laughed. I know it was an easy gig. It was fun.

I’m sure somebody had to have asked this. But, could we expect a new Misfits album in the near future?

That would be sick wouldn’t it?

It would be! It think a lot of fans would love to see it.

I think I would love it MORE than them.

I know we have some limited time. I figured though, since we have done the interview dance before we could do something a little different. So, we took the questions to the fans and asked them if there was anything they wanted to know. You ready for this?

Yeah, yeah!

We will start with Mike Vest asks, “Would you ever play on a Cancerslug album?”

Yes, absolutely. We already talked about that. Why wouldn’t I do that?

Now we have another one. He must be a really big fan of yours. We have Chas “Frankenstein” Riley. He wants to know… oh, this is a pretty good question. “What was the punk scene really like? I’ve always wanted to know from a musician who was around at the time.”

It was pretty crazy. The shows were pretty violent, rowdy, very cool man. I was pretty young then though.

How old were you then?

I did my first recording when I was 15.

Wow.  This is a weird one. Jesse Chapman wants to know, “How did you like your time managing Vampiro in WCW?”

Let me go on the record saying that wrestling is all absolutely real (laughs). It is really happening. It was all very violent. Getting hit with steel chairs.

Did you ever get hit with anything?

Oh fuck no (laughs)! I didn’t want to get fucking hurt bro.

(Laughs) John Burden wants to know, “Is the Devil-Lock real or just a hair extension?”

It is fucking real as Hell.

Right (laughs). Right! Like stupid bastard.

This is kind of a two parter. Octavious wants to know if you are a vegan?

I am.

You are?!? I didn’t even know that. And how much do you have to work out to keep the look?

I work out 7 days a week.

Do you find it harder to keep in shape now than say 10 years ago?

Of course it is what kind of question is that (laughs)? I’m 10 years older. Let me ask you.

I would say yes

Yes of course. I’ve been doing it for so long that it is just part of my job. Plus it makes me feel good. If I don’t do it, I don’t feel good.

(Laughs) I get it man. Even in my 30’s it is harder to stay in shape.

Yeah. And everything gets heavier every day (laughs).

(Laughs) You aren’t joking there. I know you guys are doing a lot of touring right now in the UK. Are you going to extend your touring in the US?

Yeah. We have some shows in June, I don’t have the list. I know we are also going to be doing South America and some more in the UK as well.

I like to usually end on this. Is there anything that you would like to say to your fans reading this?

Yeah, don’t steal music. Go to the shows.

Album Review: Blue Fruit Snacks

 

by: Kidman J. Williams

Band: Blue Fruit Snacks

Album: No Artificial Flavors

Label: Independent

Rating: 4.6/5.0

Take me to the beach with a nice bonfire, surfboard, and Blue Fruit Snacks, not the food, the band. This Island Rock band hails from landlocked St. Louis, MO, but don’t let the location fool you, they bring a beach paradise right into the heartland.

The band brings a unique stripped down sound with the very talented Ahna Schoenhoff on lead vocals that will take you back with a Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon) and Janis Joplin kind of an approach while Bongo Jak lays down the rhythm with the bongo drums. Get it? “Bongo” Jak? He also lends sounds from the tambourine, kazoos, and even pulls backing vocal duties, while Jesse Cruzen rounds out the rhythm section with his tasty bass licks.

BFS has been touring nationally now for 5+ years and has played well over 500 shows all over the US.

BFS’s album “No Artificial Flavors” is a high energy spirited race, with a sun to the horizon on a wind surfboard.

From the first few measures of the first track, “Good Pain” you are instantly hooked into the feeling of popping open a cool beer on a hot summer beach evening.

The tone of the album really doesn’t change from song to song on this album, but what it gives you is that “glad all over” feeling that you just need out of music sometimes. The song “Skinny Corn” is no different.

Despite the somewhat dismal lyrics it still contains a powerful message and infectious rhythm that your feet just can’t help but tap and stomp to.

The sixth track “I-YO” will leave you loving life. This song as Schoenhoff states in the beginning of the song “is a sing along.” If the catchy, simplistic sing-a-long lyrics don’t float your boat maybe the kazoo will catch your funny bone enough to hook you.

Some songs have a bit of a long intro, but that is something you should expect with a jam band. For example, “Walking with a Gun” has a two minute intro, but you almost don’t even notice it through the Spanish like chug that keeps you waiting for what’s next.

“No Artificial Flavors” is an album for all ages and all types of consumers. Much like Sublime, it doesn’t matter what genre you typically listen to, Blue Fruit Snacks brings a little something for every listener. They are just looking to show you a good time and they want you to get to the end of the album with nothing but a smile on your face.

Album Review: Bad Mimosas

 

by: Kidman J. Williams

Band: Bad Mimosas

Album: Demo Album

Label: None

Rating: 1.2/5.0

Bad Mimosas are…well…they are a…have you ever dealt with a person who was A.D.D.? If A.D.D is something you are born with, much like being homosexual. You are just born with it. But if a person could be virally infected with A.D.D., Bad Mimosas are the band to give it to you.

The only adjective in the Queen’s English that comes to mind while describing this band would be reprehensible.

They are an assault on the senses. Let me rephrase that. They are Germany starting war…nope. They are like Ethiopia starting a war against the rest of the world. At least Germany had a chance in WWII until the Russians thinned them out.

This New Orleans based band Bad Mimosas is comprised of guitarist Michael Colomb, Joe Dominick (drums), George Deane (bass guitar), and David Desroche (lead vocals). I understand that typically a writer would start with the vocalist in a list like this, well there is a good reason I ended it with him.

Desroche is the part of this band that allows people to immediately connect with them, but when you have a short curcuit in the wiring it causes a very negative shock to happen.

In the email I was sent a link to a live video from February 26 of this year that shows the band and Desroche as he plays with his hair, and gives his generic rockstar poses while still needing to read his own lyrics off of a music stand in his notebook, and filling his set with screeches and off key notes.

Desroche needs to spend more time on practice and professional vocal training and less time worrying about telling women he is in a band while smoking and drinking his brain cells into submission.

The tracks I was sent via a link to Bad Mimosas’ Soundcloud had six songs on it that sound like they were recorded with a cell phone in the middle of the room with a cheap recording app installed on it, but even in spite of the opprobrious recordings the idea came through just fine.

The music itself is not a bad showing of skills by a very green band. The band is proficient on their instruments, but lack the experience in recording and arrangements.

The music song to song leaves you feeling like you have heard three different songs in one track sometimes.

For example, “Down and Dirty” does this musical change at about a minute and a half that sounds like a completely different track entirely while Desroche mumbles his verse ruining the bit of vibe that the band tries to convey.

This is not a one time writing mistake. Almost all the tracks are arranged in this way leaving you like you have a bad case of A.D.D.

The fact is that Bad Mimosas have a lot of musical growing pains to go through before they think that they could ever get a record deal offered to them. They have yet to really find their own voice and sound that is unique to them. They just have to make sure that their own egos and stubborn nature that a lot of bands tend to have doesn’t get in their own way of honest growth and love for what they do.

Album Review: Blacktop Mojo’s Burn the Ships

 

by: Kidman J. Williams

 

Band: Blacktop Mojo

Album: Burn the Ships

Label: Cuhmon Records (Self-owned Indie)

Rating: 4.7/5

 

Twenty-two years old, recklessly driving at 90 mph in an ’87 Ford Bronco with a .351 small block blasting by cars on the decline of the Smokey Mountains – Chicago to Tampa in 16 hours. Only fueled by nicotine and heavy doses of caffeine pills equipped with a hangover from my good-bye celebration from the night before.

That is Blacktop Mojo’s sophomore album “Burn the Ships.” It is a hard rocking tromp through the Everglades while making love with a trashy southern belle.

Blacktop Mojo has spent their time opening up for acts like Bon Jovi, Aaron Lewis, Drowning Pool, and Puddle of Mudd; just to name a few.

Back in July of this year Blacktop Mojo decided to go for broke with recording “Burn the Ships” and went down to record at two of the most famous and legendary recording studios that this country has to offer. They took their talents to the Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville where Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Kenny Chesney recorded. That is just a few of the Grammy winners that have recorded there.

Along with their producer Philip Mosley they brought on a co-producer by the name of Jimmy Johnson of the famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studios along with long time sound engineer Steve Melton (The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd).

With these combinations, could they really go wrong?

“Burn the Ships” opens up a can of redneck whoop ass and then celebrates by head-banging over your bloody battered body with its opening song “8000 Lines.” The song lets you know who is boss right from the beginning and tells you that this is much more than just another metal band.

If you are looking for generic mall metal with simplistic chunky guitar down-strokes go download some Asking Alexandria. Blacktop Mojo brings a real musicianship and soul that you just don’t get to see much anymore in the download era where studios are just looking for snappy hit after hit.

The fourth track “Dog On A Leash” grabs you with its pseudo delta blues opening only to slap you with hard hitting metal rhythms while declaring independence. Something we can all relate to.

The 5th track on this album was an ambitious cover. When bands do covers they tend to go down faster than the Titanic. Not the movie where Kate let Leo die despite there being enough room on that hunk of wood, that took forever. I’m talking real life.

Blacktop Mojo covered Aerosmith’s prodigious song “Dream On.” We have all seen cover song crashes – Madonna doing “American Pie?”

Blacktop Mojo’s rendition of “Dream On” however, stands at full glory. Though the band didn’t change much of the song, they kept pretty traditional. What they did bring to the legendary song is their undeniable stamp. The singer didn’t try to be Steven Tyler, but let me tell you…when you hear the grungy soulful vocals from Matt James it adds a new dimension and then he delivers on the high notes dropping you down the basement steps. Saying that it “floors you” isn’t enough. It kicks you in the head down the basement steps.

Matt James (Vocals), Nathan Gillis (Drums), Ryan Kiefer (Lead Guitar), Kenneth Irwin (Rhythm Guitar), and Matt Curtis (Bass) bring a combination of musical melody and southern stomp that I haven’t heard in quite a long while.

It is like the old Lynyrd Skynyrd story where Ronnie Van Zant knocked out the piano players teeth in the studio. The music is just that. It is that rough southern soul with a harder rock and metal sound that you have to beat your chest to, but then can show you what the heart is all about with songs like “Prodigal” and can even give you a chill in your soul with the song “Underneath.”

Burn the Ships is a body of material that you can listen to from start to finish. It explores every part of the human condition and takes you on a very personal journey of your own. It almost hurts me to not give it a 5/5, but I have to be objective. Everyone will get something different out of this album, but you will get something out of it and that is the point of music.

Music Review: Candy Cigarettes Self-Titled

 

by: Kidman J. Williams

This Portland, Oregon one-man band creates a sound that you would swear was being played by a six piece. Candy Cigarettes is headed by the highly talented singer/songwriter Lane Mueller and has earned a lot of praise and love in the highly proclaimed Portland music scene.

The music is everything that you would expect out of Portland. If you haven’t been to Portland well, get your flannel on, jump on the Max to Voodoo Donuts, get some coffee at Stumptown, and pop this album on the headphones and take the funky fortune 500 fast track into Candy Cigarettes’ world.

It isn’t normal to start off a review with the third track on this adventurous collection of work, but MY 45 is THE TRACK.

MY 45 is the obvious radio friendly hit. The song is so catchy that you are going to find your grandmother whistling it while she force feeds you liver-n-onions for dinner. Your Dad will even begrudgingly listen to it in the garage when nobody is around. Even that artless coxcomb “How Bou Dah” girl would bop her dimwitted head up and down on this infectious spellbinding track.

This track is not so candy sweet. When you listen to the lyrics it is about a guy who can’t be with the girl he wants. The song is like hiding a lemon inside an M&M and letting your friend eat it while everyone gets to laugh about it.

The chorus line:

“I want you, but I can’t have you. So I guess I’ll listen to my .45. And if she deceives me baby please leave me, I’ll find another way to die.”

If that gives you an idea?

The rest of the album is a sonic waterslide of adventure taking you through twists and turns that you may not have expected with your tube going so fast that you might go over the edge.

This collection of music is the real deal. Passion bred with true vision and art. Mueller catches your soul and flies you to a place of pure imagination.

Songs like MY 45, and the short but Beach Boys esque Sweet Love, all the way to the snappy The Party’s Almost Over; you will enjoy the unique and familiar sound that this self-titled album brings into your ear drums.

Ides of Trump — Inteview with Ted Sullivan Hollywood Writer and Spokesman

 

by: Kidman J. Williams

The Ides of Trump movement — you may not have heard of it. The movement is a non-violent attempt to get the attention of a president who doesn’t seem to take what people want seriously, as if any politician does, but this time feels different to a lot of people.

The idea of this movement is to get millions of disgruntled Americans to send postcards to the White House to maybe grab the attention of this administration and do what is right for the people, not what is right for a few people’s own special interests.

I had found this movement on a Facebook posting by a chance search. Full disclosure, I got into a debate with the runner of the page. Couldn’t help myself. Then I reached out and they were gracious enough to give me this interview.

Ted Sullivan is a screen writer and producer in Hollywood. He has worked on numerous projects including Supergirl to Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

I had asked him if he would like to start this interview off by speaking about his work outside of the movement. He answered with a, “I’m not sure how it ties in to anything related to this political protest?”

It does.

There was a time when people listened to musicians, artists, writers and even actors. We trusted what they said. If we didn’t agree with them we at least respected them as citizens of this great nation. Don’t forget, California not only elected two different actors as governor, but one of them was elected President in the 80’s.

Kidman J. Williams:

 What is your title at Ides of Trump? Are you a founding member or a spokesman?

 

Hollywood script writer Ted Sullivan

Ted Sullivan of Ides of Trump:

We don’t really have titles or spokespeople. My friend Zack is the true father of the idea. I’m more like the crazy uncle who stumbles in with a lot of opinions. But we’ve both been trying to do this while juggling our professional lives and family. And we’ve been really lucky, too. A lot of great people have come helped us create a secure website, design logos and images. They’ve all donated their time because they were inspired by the idea amd felt they wanted to help get the word out. But it’s a total grassroots program. We don’t pay to promote it or anything. But within a week of launching, we’ve got tens of thousands of people on board. And we’re always trying to expand it. I hope it continues to grow.

 

 

How did the Ides of Trump movement get started? What was it that inspired you to get involved in such an out-of-the-box movement?

 

The Ides of Trump came from my friend Zack. He brought his little daughter to the Women’s March. It was obviously a great experience, but kinda stressful, too. It was really crowded, and I think he kind of wished there was a way for parents and young kids to participate without being in the middle of hundreds of thousands of people.

 

A few days later, I was up visiting him in Berkeley, along with some our other friends. This guy Sean and Brad. We were all expressing our excitement at being part of the different marches. Brad and his family went to Washington. Sean and Zack were in Northern California. I’d been down in LA, where it was just bananas. And we were all raving about the incredible protest signs we’d seen.

 

Zack said he wanted to mail them to White House and brought up the idea of turning the signs into post cards. That got us talking. We all started “yes-and”ing each other. At first we thought of Valentine’s Day. We thought it would be great to get people to send Trump Valentine Day cards. And I think is still a great idea for next year. But I was concerned we didn’t have enough time to get people up to speed or get the word out. We talked about Tax Day, but there was already a march scheduled for then. I then suggested the middle of March. The Ides of March. And then Zack and Sean said at the exact same time, “The Ides of Trump.” In a writer’s room, when something like that happens, you kinda know you got something worth exploring. So the idea stuck.

 

Zack ran with it the next day. He set up our online presence. Then he and I started passing copy back and forth to each other. He’s really good at that. Figuring out how to get people zeroed in on the idea. I got artist friends I know to help out with some images and then we started spreading it around.

 

I managed to call on some of my friends in entertainment. Actors and musicians. Writers. People who have access to a big audience. And some started to help us get the word out. But in general, it’s been a natural, self-propelling engine.

 

Some people have said we’re stupid, because Trump will just ignore them or throw the postcards away. No shit. It’s not like he’s going to keep them for his Presidential Library. But I do believe this can get under his skin. I do believe he will hate seeing thousands of postcards showing up every day with #TheIdesOfTrump written on them. Or addressed to “President Bannon.”

 

We totally get that this isn’t going to convert any Trump voters. Trump will do that himself when he doesn’t bring back the jobs he promised or when cuts their health care. And we sure as hell don’t think we’re going to change Trump’s mind. That’s impossible. What we are trying to do is keep up the pressure with an easily promotable event.

 

We’re trying to remind the press to stay focused. We’re trying to tell members of Congress on both sides of the aisle that we are watching their every move. And our outrage is not going away. We need to maintain our moral outrage. Because this fight isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. And we have to create markers along the road to run to. The Ides of Trump is in the middle of March. We got that covered. Other people can fill out some other dates in the calendar.

 

 

What kind of things do you expect to be said in these postcards? You want to send postcards out to the White House to have millions of peoples’ voices heard. And you keep addressing President Trump as the “President (for now).” What is the end goal of this movement?

 

Well, like I said before, we want people to turn their protest signs into postcards. And come up with new ones. Lord knows Trump and his team of clowns are providing material for new signs every day.

 

But one thing we’re very clear about NOT wanting to see on the postcards is anything violent. Or any calls for violence. Our referencing the Ides of March is about voicing dissent. We want to undermine Trump with humor, sarcasm and righteous indignation.

 

Look, Zack is a writer. I’m a writer. Our friend Sean is a writer. Brad is a songwriter. And we all passionately believe the pen is way mightier than the sword. Unless, of course, someone is jamming you in the chest with a sword. But we’re all anti-violent. Wow. I know. What a brave stance. But regardless, we won’t put up with that kind of bullshit on our site or feeds. Because we think it undermines the message.

 

One of our goals is to mess with Trump. To get under his incredibly thin skin. To keep the press focused on the real story. And, ideally, to get Congress to do their fucking job and investigate Trump. Look into his goddam finances.

 

And honestly, I’d love to drive that guy out of the White House. Just force him to quit. And I kind of believe that’s maybe possible. Trump’s a notorious quitter. He’s weak. The guy runs whenever things get tough. I can’t imagine he’s going to be able to handle the pressures of this job. So, we’d love to make his life so shitty and uncomfortable that he just gives up. Pipe dream? Maybe. But maybe not.

 

Because Trump is perhaps the only President we’ve ever had whose life was unquestionably better outside politics. Politicians usually need to stay elected to have all the good stuff they love. But Trump had it before he was President. He was famous. A celebrity. He could do whatever he wanted. He’s got a golden toilet, for Christ’s sake. He lives in a fucking golden tower. He used to be able to do whatever he wanted. It was fun.

 

Now people expect him to work. And harder than he’s ever worked before. That’s got to be miserable for him. I mean, just look at the pictures of the guy. He looks like someone broke his favorite toy. I mean, he’s had to take three goddamn vacations in his first goddamn month in office. That is not the sign of a man enjoying the gig. Or handling it well.

 

 

I’ve heard it from many Liberals that they want Trump impeached. If the people are wanting that, are they prepared for what Mike Pence will bring to the White House?

 

Well, I would hope it was more than liberals. I would hope it’s anyone who is concerned about democracy and the legitimacy of our President. I would hope it was Republicans who are increasingly concerned about his erratic behavior. His strange man crush for Putin. His insistence that leaks are more important than what the leaks revealed. His Muslim ban that he claimed wasn’t a Muslim ban except when he said it was a Muslim ban. Him siding with Russians and Wikileaks over U.S. intelligence. His odd reticence to even discuss or examine Russia’s interference in the election. His desire to push actual fake news while calling out real news. These are big, big issues. Troubling ones. And they’re not limited to “liberals.” And they’re certainly not “partisan.”

 

And, I totally agree that Pence is WAY worse. Trump is a clown. He’s mentally unstable and — well, let’s say “not intellectual.” He can’t even answer direct questions. It’s like he’s learned how to speak phonetically and doesn’t understand the meaning of any words other than “big,” “huge,” “loser” and “sad.” It’s astounding.

 

But Pence is totally way more dangerous, because he is not an idiot. He knows how to use politics. He knows how to game the system. He’s respected by his party and far more liked by the Republican power brokers.

 

But I also believe that if Trump is ousted, it will be messy and ugly and devastating to the Republican party. There would be a power grab unlike anything we’ve ever seen. There would be distrust and disillusionment within their own voters. It would be incredible. And Pence would be tainted. He’d either be the fool who was tricked by a lunatic or a willing participant in a crooked administration. Both outcomes are disastrous for the GOP and Pence personally.

But regardless — getting Trump out office doesn’t mean “the work is done.” I firmly believe we as a nation have been far too fat, lazy and happy. We’ve been focused on iPhones and reality shows and football games. And the whole time, behind the scenes, corruption on both sides has festered. So there’s a lot of work to do. But just because Pence is bad, we should keep Trump in power? I don’t understand that reasoning.

 

All the things that Liberals are scared of could come to fruition under a Pence presidency couldn’t it? I mean, do you really think Trump trying to get rid of the separation of Church and State was all his idea? I don’t.

 

Of COURSE I agree that the religious agenda is all Pence. Trump doesn’t give a shit about religion. Look at how he lives his life. He thinks he’s god. But Pence is actually a believer. He doesn’t wear his faith like a complimentary sports coat given to him by a steak house  to cover up his Anthrax tee-shirt. And that’s what freaks me out about him. I’m always way more scared of true believers than cheap opportunists.

And one of the biggest problems I have with mainstream politics is religion. There should be no religion in politics. I am happily and proudly Atheistic. I don’t get religion. I stopped believing when I was 11 years old. Because even as a child, it made no sense to me. I actually find comfort in not believing in a god. I find solace in knowing we’re on this rock hurtling through space for a handful of decades — if we’re lucky — and then we die. And we are reabsorbed into the universe. The science behind that is beautiful, elegant and logical.

If someone wants to believe in god, fine. I don’t care. I do care when they force their beliefs on me. And jam it into our political system. Which is why Pence totally scares me. He’s far more focused on rolling back civil rights, pushing a religious agenda and attacking women’s rights. But, like I said, I also believe the GOP would be stuck in a historic shit storm if Trump goes. And Pence’s political power would be in tatters. Tough to be an effective leader from that position. You ain’t exactly Emperor Palpatine. You’re more like Jar Jar Binks.

 

If Trump doesn’t get thrown out of office, what would be the most singular message that you would want to get out to President Trump?

 

I think Trump’s totally beyond learning. He’s not Kennedy coming into office, capable of evolving his point of view on civil rights. He’s a spoiled child in the bloated body of a geriatric man. Nothing we’re trying to do with this movement is geared toward “educating Trump.” That’d be a waste of time and energy.

 

I don’t know. Maybe the one message we’d hope to get across to him is “not on our watch.” I admit, I’d love for him to see how poorly he ultimately does at the job. I’d love for him to fail spectacularly. Because I hate bullies. I was bullied as a kid. Beat up a lot. Hell, I even had my ‘cello smashed to pieces like I was in some shitty 80s comedy. I got bullied so badly, my parents pulled me out of school and sent me to another one in a different town. It’s why I’ve hated bullies. And Trump’s the ultimate one.

 

What do you think when the internet trolls lash out against Hollywood actors/actresses and musicians for speaking their minds about politics?

 

I don’t think about them at all. Engaging a troll is like arguing with a drunk person. I mean, why should an actress or actor not speak their mind? Or have an opinion? And if these trolls are suggesting someone doesn’t have the right to express their own opinions, doesn’t that immediately invalidate their own? Why the hell should I listen to them? It’s literally one of the stupidest, most indefensible statements you can make.

 

And, do they say the same thing about a plumber who agrees with them? Do they tell a mechanic to shut up? What about a conservative movie star who shares their point of view? Do they tell them to keep quiet? I doubt it. But hypocrisy rarely silences stupidity.

 

I’m not saying that actors and writers aren’t capable of saying insanely, soul crushingly stupid things. I’ve seen it first hand. But I think people should be judged on the merits of their words, not what they do for a living. I’ve met really smart janitors and really stupid professors. But if someone is well informed and coherent, I wouldn’t care if they were a waitress or a Nobel laureate. I would just be impressed by their comments. And if you’re trying to silence someone just because they’re famous or because of their job, I think the real problem is you.

 

It just seems that at one time in our history (example: the 60’s, 70’s, and even the 80’s) people really looked at musicians especially for some kind of social/political guidence. What do you think changed?

 

What changed? Money. That’s not a big secret. It’s just obvious. It’s hard to be political when you have an album that costs $10 million. Or a movie that costs $150 million. The bigger expense, the smaller the risk you’re allowed to take. And the less chance an artist has to make a personal statement. Lawyers start coming in and telling you “you can’t say that. We’ll lose some of our audience. We need to maximize profits and demographics”

 

But I think some people are still out there being political. Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen, right? They’re always there. My in-laws are pretty conservative and they listen to a lot of country. Sure seems like some of those singers have a political point of view. May not be mine, but they’re out there doing it.

 

I also think, in general, we as a culture got distracted by the pretty, shiny thing. In the 70s, rock got bloated. Arena rock. Prog rock. The message got lost. By the time we reached Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian a generation later, who knows what pop culture was anymore. The message got even more muddled.  Tough to be sincere or political in that market. But I guess some people did. Public Enemy. Alicia Keys seems to have a point of view.

 

It’ll probably change. I think it already has. I mean, did you see Milck and the GW sirens on Samantha Bee? Holy shit, that was amazing. And that was borne directly out of resisting Trump. Hell, now that I think about it, Samantha Bee and FULL FRONTAL has been on fucking fire. She’s an incredible voice of dissent. That’s some of the best political comedy I’ve ever seen. John Oliver, too. So smart. Well researched. I think those two are providing incredible counter culture material. Even SNL, right? They’re doing some pretty funny stuff for the first time in like decades. Seth Meyers, too. So it’s out there.

 

I think we can all agree that President Trump himself is not a racist, maybe a misogynist and a bigot (just kidding — sort of). What do you think it is that attracts the Alt-Right and other racist groups to him or do you think it is just that those groups always vote Republican?

 

First off, I don’t think Republicans are automatically racist. I know a lot of people who aren’t. I mean, I guess you could argue we’re all racist on a deeper level. But individually, I have family members and friends who are both Republican and not racist.

 

I think what actually happened — and this is just an opinion — but Trump got a lot of first time voters. A lot of people who never got involved before. Who felt ostracized. Who were outside of the normal voting system and decided to throw their support behind someone who was bold enough to lie blatantly in a way most politicians don’t.

 

I think there are problems with both Democrats and Republicans. They all lie. They all exaggerate. They all make promises they don’t intend to keep. But Trump functioned on a different level. With a brashness and overtly racist text that made some people happy. They felt they were finally being listened to. Like this guy got it.

 

I think a lot of people over the past thirty years have been quietly stewing in the corner. They got told by elitist liberals “You can’t say that.” So they didn’t. They just thought it to themselves. Quietly. In their heads. And over time, they felt oppressed for their “beliefs.” We made them the victims. Because no one on the Left bothered to explain WHY it was wrong to say those things. And that’s a failure of the left. Our arrogance bred contempt.

 

And then finally Trump came alone and said “You’re right! And they’re wrong!” And Trump’s people capitalized on that. Not Trump. He’s far too dumb. But Bannon and his people? They knew how to light that kindling. And they knew they had a guy who was egotistical enough to get riled up by the cheers. Who was too stupid and too arrogant to care that what he was saying was vile and awful. They knew he’d just soak up the glory. Trump was their monkey who danced for the crowd. And the crowd loved it.

 

Some voters hated his racism and sexism and xenophobia, but they voted for him anyway. Mainly because of jobs, I think. But, I’m sorry, if you begrudgingly stand with a racist — even one who is just repeating racism from a script — you’re supporting racism. I told family members who tried to get me to vote for Trump “racism is a deal breaker. Sexism is a deal breaker.” Life is usually gray. But this is black and white.

 

Plus, he’s not bringing back any jobs! He lied. All of them are lying when they say factories are coming back. They’re lying when they say illegal immigrants stole their jobs. Factories went overseas. They’re gone. Robots are making our cars. Those jobs aren’t coming back. Trump’s people know that. McConnell knows that. Ryan knows that. But they all lied — openly and overly — just to win. And people were desperate and ignored enough to believe the lies. So, they ended up convincing themselves that a rich guy who was born rich and got richer taking advantage of people just like them was “their guy.”

 

It’s kind of incredible. But also understandable. Because as Bernie Sanders kept saying, we were ignoring a large sect of the public. A public we had systematically let down and made them feel bad about themselves. People don’t grow and change and evolve if they’re just put in a corner and yelled at and mocked. You need to reach out to them. Educate them. Help them grow. Evolve.

 

Instead, we treated them like latch key kids. We left them alone with Uncle Sean Hannity and Aunt Megyn Kelly. And we wonder why they grew up to have a racist view of the world? Come on! That’s on us. We own this problem. Which is why I think we need to help fix it.

 

Finally, in your eyes, is Trump really that dangerous to society or is President Trump just another version of the same politicians that we’ve always had in office?

 

I think I can sense what you’re getting at here. You’re trying to trick me into saying that one side is great and the other side is bad. And I don’t feel that way. I’ve already said that. Am I happy that Obama deported more people than any President in history? No. Was I happy about his reliance on drone strikes in the Middle East? Or his close ties to Wall Street? Of course not.

 

But if you’re trying to say that there is no difference between Trump and Obama, we’ll have to respectfully disagree. The Affordable Health Care Act may be imperfect, but it has helped millions of people and changed the face of the industry. It insured people who couldn’t get covered before. Including my nephew who has a heart disease. A child who couldn’t get covered now can. You can spin however you want, but that legislation helped a lot of people. And I think it’s why so many angry people are showing up to town hall meetings now.

 

Obama signed Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform, which again, is not perfect, but a step in the right direction. He changed the discussion toward Climate Change, which I believe is the single greatest threat the planet faces. He repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Ended Torture policies from the Bush administration. Established Net Neutrality, changed Federal Student Loan programs, refocused the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights divisions. These are all important things that impact low income citizens. Populations that are typically ignored or discarded or vilified. That’s an important difference from the current President, who panders exclusively to the rich and powerful.

 

The Democrats are not perfect in any way. But they at least don’t deny climate change. They spend some time talking about civil rights. Women’s rights. Look at Obama’s final speech. I thought it was pretty incredible. He challenged us all to think about race. He asked African-American voters to think about the angry white voters who put Trump in the office and empathize with their pain. He asked us to embrace reason and science. It was a beautiful, powerful and in my perspective, brave speech. Maybe one of the best of his life. And I think it’s far too simplistic to equate Trump with Obama.

 

And I think George W. Bush’s speech defending Muslim Americans and differentiating the Muslim religion from radical terrorism is another beautiful and enlightened position. And certainly one beyond the mental and moral abilities of the current President, who is a racist, hateful blowhard. So, yeah, I think Trump is worse. I think Pence is worse. I think we’re in a unique time in American history. And I think that’s why so many people are taking to the streets. And it sure as hell is why we started The Ides of Trump. And we hope a lot of people will join us on March 15th. We’ll be joining them over the next four years in this fight. It’s going to be a long one.

The Passion of Fred Rogers and his Neighborhood VS Trump…I mean Nixon

 

By: Kidman J. Williams

There are very few people in this world that speak to volumes of people, there are even fewer people in this world that touch those volumes of people down to their souls. Fred McFeely Rogers was that rare person who spoke to us all and meant every word that he said and we knew it.

We have heard the old story about how Mr. Rogers was a military sniper, well, that is far from the true story of this great man who taught us all how to be great, warm, caring people who should never forget how to look at life through the innocent eyes of a child.

Rogers was able to really speak to children with honesty and warmth and reached them on their level of understanding while his passion reached the adults on their level.

 

A Brief History on Mr. Rogers

 

Rogers who graduated college in 1951 with a degree in music composition. When he went home in his senior year of college he saw the new addition to his family – the television set. Rogers was captivated by the television medium and thought that there was a fantastic future for him in that medium. He was right.

Rogers claimed his first job in TV in 1953. He was hired by WQED in Pittsburgh for a community station; it was the first one of its kind.

By the next year he started to co-produce a little show called “The Children’s Corner,” and as his experience grew so did his aspirations.

Rogers went back to school to earn his divinity degree. He got it in 1962. At his ordination the Presbyterian Church asked him to serve children and their families through television.

After a short stint in Canada he and his wife moved back to Pittsburgh where Rogers began Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in 1966. Then two years later it was launched on PBS throughout the country.

Mr. Rogers touched the hearts and minds of our youth and adults alike from 1966 – 2001. Rogers died from stomach cancer with his wife by his bedside on Feb. 27, 2003 and left us with amazing lessons and expansive imaginations.

 

Mr. Rogers Vs Nixon and his Congress

 

Fred Rogers was seen with many political figures over the decades of his career, but none was more important than when he sat in front of Nixon’s congress opposite of the United States Senate Subcommittee on Communications.

Rogers was looking to support funding for PBS while Nixon was looking to cut the budget, taking them from the $20 million that President Lyndon Johnson wanted and bringing it down to $10 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

It was high noon in Congress on May 1, 1969 when Mr. Rogers sat in front of the chairman, John O. Pastore who started the dialog with a confrontational tone and dismissive eyes…until the unasuming children’s show host showed him just how powerful he was.

We Need A New Mr. Rogers?

 

Today we are seeing a new Nixon? Are we seeing a new Nixon? An enemy of the people and the state? We just might be.

Trump has already went after women and the LGBTQ UNOFFICIALLY with his actions and “grab her by the pussy” attitude.

Trump stated that he wants to go after the funding to PBS like a Republican after your Social Security checks. PBS defunding and privatizing comes in with his proposal to cut Federal spending by $10.5 trillion in 10 years.

Where does that leave PBS? It wouldn’t go away, but by privatizing PBS they would feel the itchy burn that Trump has dealt with in his crotch for years.

Just use the cream that your doctor gave you Donald, you have the cream and the shampoo buddy.

Eventually PBS and NPR could just go away, but that is really what he wants. The left leaning ideals of both could no doubt put a hurt on Trump and his love den of money drunk fiends and ghouls.

He can’t go after CNN, but he sure can attempt to put a hurt on their access if they aren’t willing to play ball with the new administration.

Despite Trump’s willingness to give the churches in this country a voice without losing their tax exempt furthering his deplorable reputation and trying to turn the U.S. into medeval times England, defunding PBS and squeezing Big Bird into the garbage can with Oscar the Grouch would further destroy the fundamental growth and education of our youth.

As the sunsets on the horizon our children could be witnesses to a very terrible day in the neighborhood.

10 Greatest Cover Songs You’ve Never Heard

By: Kidman J. Williams

The cover song is sometimes more vital than the original song itself. When bands play live they always throw you some amazing rendition of an older song, covers are also a very good way for newly formed bands to hone their skills as a unit and sometimes these bands manage to make a great and unique version of what another skilled artist wrote.

We have all heard Aerosmith’s cover of The Beatles Come Together, Nirvana doing David Bowie, or Johnny Cash’s version of Trent Reznor’s Hurt. This collection focuses on cover songs that you may not have ever heard for many different reasons.

These are some of the greatest cover songs that you may not have heard.

  1. 1. Redemption Song: By Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer of The Clash

 

Redemption Song was originally written and recorded by the legendary Jamaican Bob Marley in 1980. It was recorded on his final album and was the last recorded song he did for the album before he died from complications from cancer on May 11 1981.

The song was recorded during Rubin and Cash’s last recorded album together and the duet was “accidental” as Rick Rubin puts it. According to Rick Rubin, ” Joe was coming every day, because he loved Johnny Cash, and he just happened to be in L.A. on vacation. And he actually extended his trip a week longer just to come every day and be around Johnny.”

The song was made and we are thankful for these two musical prophets who came together to bring life back to the words of another musical prophet.

 

  1. 2. Brick House: By Rob Zombie

 

You read that subtitle right. Rob Zombie did a cover of The Commodores’ Brick House with the one and only Lionel Richie.

The original song released in 1977 on the Commodores’ self-titled release was quite the heavyweight composition in funk. But when Zombie got a hold of it in 2003 it went fairly unoticed to many people. The song was put on his greatest hits album named, Past, Present, and Future.

 

  1. 3. I’m on Fire: by Whitey Morgan and the 78’s

 

Bruce Springsteen, The Boss, released I’m on Fire back in 1984 and since then there have been many, many renditions and covers over the years. Some of them by legends like Johnny Cash, some of them by others like Awolnation, Tori Amos, and even John Mayer.

But none really captured the overall tone that Whitey Morgan and the 78’s were able to sonically portray with their version of the Springsteen classic.

Whitey Morgan and the 78’s released it on their debut album Honky Tonks and Cheap Motels in 2008. The band might not be a household name, but you can bet your farm and your bottle of whiskey in the barn that they will be in no time.

 

  1. 4. Gin and Juice: By The Gourds

 

We all know Snoop Dogg’s song Gin and Juice by heart. It is a legendary song at this point. But did you ever think that it could be done in a country way AND be good? I don’t think anyone did.

The Austin, Texas Alt-country band, The Gourds managed to do just that. The Gourds have been putting out albums and touring now for 17 plus years with their brand of country music.

From the first notes that come out of Kevin (Shinyribs) Russell’s mouth you are pretty hooked into this unique take on one of raps’ most popular songs.

There is even a video out there where the song is being played to Snoop Dogg himself. It got the King of Marijuana to sit and bop his head, we are sure you will too.

 

  1. 5. Black Betty: By Ministry

 

We all know about Ram Jam’s version of Black Betty and some of you might actually think that that was the original version of the song which makes this a weirder choice for number 5, but necessary I think considering most people think the original is Ram Jam.

The fact is that nobody really knows for sure where the song originated from or from who. Huddie “Led Belly” Ledbetter recorded one of the most popular versions of the song back in 1939, before him Alan Lomax did a cut.

Some people believe that the song was an old slave song that talked about flintstock guns. Some think it referred to a whiskey, but nobody really knows.

Now, even though Ram Jam saw considerable more success with the song, this is about covers you may not have heard before. Ministry the industrial/hardcore/metal band fronted by the always moody Al Jorgenson (Uncle Al) put out an insane and epic cut of the old song on their album Cover Up.

The album also included many other covers including an intense version of the T. Rex classic Bang a Gong.

 

  1. 6. True Love Ways: By My Morning Jacket

 

Buddy Holly is a legend in the world. He was using recording techniques that weren’t used again until The Beatles came out with Sgt. Pepper. He was one of the originators of Rock music and his life was cut terribly short by a plane crash that took the lives of two others, Ritchie Valens and Big Bopper.

The music of Buddy Holly still lives on and inspires many musicians around the globe including My Morning Jacket.

My Morning Jacket released this gem for a Buddy Holly tribute album in June of 2011 and to my surprise, not a lot of people knew about the song. It does prove to be epic from the opening line, “Just you know why,” it sucks you in and doesn’t let your heart go.

  1. 7. Lithium: By Muse

 

We all know the song Lithium by Nirvana. Nirvana came out of the Seattle Grunge scene and was another band that was gone way too soon with the death of Kurt Cobain.

Nirvana released Nevermind Sept. 24 1991 and lit the whole world on fire with their brand of punk/metal and disillusionment. Lithium was one of those epic songs released and produced by Butch Vig.

Muse who have not done an official release of the song (I’m sure it is right around the corner) have been playing it live at many different events including Coachella. How long they have been doing it…don’t know, but we do know that this huge sounding band does the job and captures exactly what this song needs.

 

  1. 8. Hotel California: By SkaDaddyZ

 

The Eagles Hotel California is one of those over-played classics that everyone loves; even the people that hate The Eagles love its overly poetic lyrics and Don Henley’s high and pompous…yeah, I don’t much care for Henley, but this song is gold.

Hotel California was released in 1976 and won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. It was also put into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

But this cover is gold. Not many people know it and even fewer people on the internet seem to know exactly who does the song.

Many people think it is done by Pennywise. Other people scream in comments that it is Reel Big Fish, well, it isn’t.

It is done by a lesser known band called SkaDaddyZ. The SkaDaddyZ were founded in 1993 out of Silver Strand Beach in Oxnard, California and have played alongside Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, No Doubt, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

  1. 9. Whole Lotta Love: By Prince

 

Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin is a well known classic that many bands and artists have over done over the many years. Zeppelin released the song on their second album Led Zeppelin II, Oct. 22 1969.

Prince did it live, never to have recorded it as far as I know. But this version of the old Zeppelin song really takes off as an entity of its own. The second you hear Prince proclaim to the crowd, “No format tonight!” you know you are in for something really special. And he does NOT let you down.

 

  1. 10. We Can Work It Out: By Stevie Wonder

 

The Beatles released We Can Work It Out 

The Beatles recorded this song while recording the Rubber Soul album.

It takes a serious musician to step up and cover The Beatles..and do it well. Enter Stevie Wonder, a soul/funk legend himself. Stevie recorded the song in 1970 and put it on his Signed Sealed Delivered album. He put his own twist and sound on the song making this one of the greatest cover songs of all time.

Disney Announces Title for Star Wars Ep VIII: What Does It Mean?

By: Kidman J. Williams

Disney released on Monday morning that the title for Episode VIII will be The Last Jedi. The movie is set to open in December of 2017.

All the Star Wars fans have been itching to know any information on the upcoming movie since we were left with nothing but a dead Han Solo and a very lonely Luke Skywalker (who had like 5 seconds of screen time)

I wonder where Luke hides his porn?

Either way, everyone has been waiting patiently for the next movie. We were even gifted Rogue 1 to tide our White Castle sized cravings for more.

What do we know about the new movie?

The Last Jedi title eludes to very little, but a lot at the same time. My first question would be; are we going to have to endure another heartbreaking loss with the death of Luke Skywalker? They already killed Han off, and our Princess died in real life(RIP Carrie Fisher).

Will Disney really be that cold to the fans of Star Wars? They might, after-all they did brutally kill off Bambi’s Mommy.

What else could it mean? Well, I could speculate that it is just a clever title that loops fans into the idea of a last Jedi, but then again, the plural for Jedi is…you guessed it! JEDI!

Looks like we will find out soon enough in December when Episode VIII hits theaters around the galaxy.