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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogger Charlie Chicken...)


Away, are ya?

Away from Charlie, are ya?



Yew are cluckin' BUSTED!!

Cluck fer now - I got a twenny dollar bill burnin' a hole in mah...pocket?? 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Lionel Richie Cee-Lo Green North American Tour Kicks Off & Then Some!!

Lionel Richie
CeeLo Green

The Friday Morning "Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway" Concert Review: 

Lionel Richie, 
All The Hits, All Night Long

OK, I'll be honest - I'm not really sure who I was more stoked to see last night at this launch of Lionel Richie's North American tour - but I can say that neither one disappointed, how about that?

I mean, come on, a chance in Canada to see CeeLo Green, AND Lionel Richie - SOLD!

Kicking open the stage doors with a pounding version of "Bright Lights, Bigger City", the unmistakeable voice of CeeLo G kept things soulful and funky with fun takes on some disco classics and more current snippets, a la PussyCat Dolls. 

His predominantly female band found a groove and stayed there until his time was up - but along the way we were treated to a number of highlights - I don't like to spoil any surprises if you're already holding tickets and waiting for this to roll into your own town, but I can say you'll recognize a lot of what you hear - OK, including some iconic Gnarls Barkley, and a certain ear worm that rocketed him even higher when the censored and uncensored versions both went viral.

I mean, come on - the man is blood with the legendary Sam Moore (Sam & Dave) - talk about Soul, Man...

Lionel Richie? 

So, quick personal story - back on the night I started as a mobile DJ, the first song I ever played at a dance was "Night Fever", by The BeeGees (yes, I'm that old...). So I was there for the start of disco, and the birth of funk. 

When The Commodores were dominating the charts, I was playing their hits at parties.

After Lionel went solo, I ended up playing virtually everything he ever released - mostly by request, but I was a fan myself as well. Man, for a decade or two you could not play a wedding without "Three Times A Lady", "Hello", or a handful of those other hits...

So, here you go - as the title of the tours suggests, All The Hits, All Night Long - as well as his help in the walk down Memory Lane, sharing both how some songs came to be, and how he has shouldered the burden of being the go-to guy for music when relationships fall apart...

In concert, the man knows how to work a room, even one as big as Rogers Arena in Vancouver, where the tour started. And the crowd lapped it up - I never did check to see how long the show ran, but by the time surprise encore selection was finished, it had been a satisfying menu of songs that had the audience dancing in the aisles (oddly enough, not even one on the ceiling - go figure!), and getting close to their loved ones when he took to the piano.

Next up, Seattle! But thanks guys for starting things off here in Canada...


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Rain Rain, Go Away...

Come again, on Mother's Day??

That just sounds disrespectful to Mom....

Honestly though, the rivers are high, let's ease up on the rain this year, Higher Power!

May need to visit somewhere with less rain this time of year.



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What The Hey?????? Maya Angelou Passes???

Holy crap - just trying to come up with something to blog about today, and "breaking news' interrupted the morning news broadcast.

Maya Angelou has passed away from a sudden illness!

Think I'll stay indoors today, and avoid things like stairs, the shower, and long metallic rods held in open fields....

I was just kidding around on Twitter yesterday!!!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bonus Post! Tory Doctor Interview

Tory Doctor
Actor, Director, Singer, Coach

Just finished loading my (YouTube version) interview with Tory Doctor, the actor, singer, director and coach that is in virtually every production I've seen in the last few months.

Check it out here.

I'll post a link when it's live as well in iTunes and on my podcast site!


Extending The Conversation

1) Use Longer Sentences.

2) Keep Talking After Your Partner Falls Asleep.

3) Stretch Out The Syllables When You Speeeeeaaaaak....


Well, three was really all I had...


Monday, May 26, 2014

Installing A New Printer


1) Open box, remove installation manual (yes, despite the stereotype of men simply bypassing this step - I did indeed follow those wise guidelines...)

2) Take your time, follow each step carefully, despite your eagerness to run test print sequence. Even the steps that are clearly written for village idiots.

3) Finally, arrive at stage where you are told the magical way that you will be able to connect to the wireless feature. Take your time, it is not unusual to have to try this several times, with no success.

4) After calling wife downstairs to help, continue to try steps clearly WRITTEN by a village idiot...

5) Weep for 20 minutes in corner, but even that will not help activate wireless printing - just facilitate sogginess of T-shirt.

6) After "just walking away" for 30 minutes, try one last time to connect printer to network. Sadly, shouted four-letter expletives don't assist connection either...

7) Beer.

8) Locate Help number, which naturally is closed until Monday. Yearn for days of rock and chisel.

Trying again after I drive the missus to work...



Sunday, May 25, 2014

Counting Flowers On The Wall

That title is actually a line from an old Statler Brothers' song.

I wonder how many times a person could even find flowers on a wall these days? Maybe in a planter - but certainly not as a wallpaper pattern.

Back when I was in the real estate biz, I used to see a lot of interesting "flowers" on the wall. One home had a variety of farm animal horns attached up one side, along the roof, and then down the other. My clients and I referred to that set-up as the Horn House. We never did look inside the owners' freezer, but I imagine any slow-moving animals often ended up on dinner plates there...

One home had a Hugh Hefner theme of a Playboy Bunny silhouette wallpapered throughout the rumpus room, which made "rumpus room" sound quite appropriate. How many rumpuses that basement must have seen!

Yes, modern design trends have sapped the playfulness out of making a home your own, in favour of solid colours and bold accent pieces. That's all well and good, but I kinda miss a feature wall mural of a waterfall and mountains.

Call me sentimental....


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogger Charlie Chicken...)

Alright, be quiet y'all...

Ah'm in tha lass frame uv a purfect game - all ah needs is this strike, an ah've bowled - THA PURFECT GAME!!


Ah needs complete silenss, puh-leez!

OK - relax've got this...






Mah chicken finger seized up!!


Wut the cluck??????

Someone musta spiked mah lemminaid!!

Ah demand a do-over!!!!


Mah endorsement deal...mah trophy....mah groupies!!!



Curse you, bowlin' gods, and tha pins ya rode in on!!!!!

Cluck fer now - mah heart is broke like a three-pin split down tha middle....

Friday, May 23, 2014

Imagining Biblical Tweets

Too bad smartphones & Twitter hadn't been around back in the day. You can only imagine some of the fun that might have been had...

Noah@ArkFor2: If anybody sees the unicorns, get them over to the big wooden boat b4 noon #GonnaRain #CouplesOnly

Adam1: Damn. No matter how much I Tweet, or how creative they are, I still only have one follower... #ButtSunburnGettingItchy #AppleRules

DavidSlingshotGiantKiller1: Hmmm... Seems that the Scottish aren't the only ones not wearing anything under their skirts...ewww!!

GepettoWhittler429: Hey, I wasn't in the Bible!! #PinocchioWarping

BeardedMosesWalkingStick: Got a few more commandments for you all - first one is #PickUpYourFreakingDogDroppings!!!

Yeah, maybe not....


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Artists' Collective Theatre's Production of "Spring Awakening"

"Spring Awakening"
presented by
Artists' Collective Theatre

Calgary Alberta Canada

The Thursday Afternoon Theatre Review: 

“Spring Awakening”, 

Artists’ Collective Theatre 

Calgary Alberta

The premiere of a multi award-winning Broadway musical is running here now in Calgary with Artists’ Collective Theatre’s staging of “Spring Awakening”. 

Tackling themes of young romance, budding sexuality and self-awareness (plus much more adult-related material - just sayin’), “Awakening” veers back and forth with sweetness and saltiness in the themes, incorporating background stories as relevant today as they were back in the original play that this 2006 update was based on…written in 1891!  

Described in the theatre company’s press release as “haunting and provocative”, the play deals with sexual self-discovery, the interaction between teens, and morals or conventions that as I mentioned earlier, linger from the late 19th Century setting through to today. There’s damage control and peer pressure, there’s the blame game, and there are moral or religious high grounds that complicate each of these 3 lives. All these elements fuel the storyline through the era the play is set in, along with the juxtaposition of a modern update in a Grammy-Award winning soundtrack. 

There’s also: reluctant somewhat non-consensual sex, masturbation, teenage pregnancy, erotic dreams, physical and sexual abuse, coming out, abortion, nudity and suicide - so it’s less ABC’s “Modern Family” coming-of-age than it is maybe Showtime’s “Shameless” sort of moral compass… 

Utilizing a cast of newer and veteran local actors, the main story of awakening centres around three young students - Wendla Bergmann, Moritz Stiefel, and Melchior Gabor. There’s awakenings a’plenty for the other characters as well, truth be told, but these three are the primary focus of both coming of age, and coming to terms with their actions. 

Director Amanda Liz Cutting has prepared three principal actors to do their jobs in portraying the nuances of their characters. Stefanie Lis as the naive but anxious-to-learn Wendla, and Brent Middleton as the insecure Moritz. Eric Wigston is not short on the confidence and swagger required of Melchior. Wigston and Lis are best in the tender moments in the play, while Middleton’s voice rises to the more boisterous melodies his character anguishes with. All together, they and the others in the cast come together nicely in the ensemble pieces.

The Adult Male/Female actors (Tory Doctor as a handful of Herren, and Jacqueline Strilchuk as a variety of Frauleins, including Wendla’s mother) have their respective hands full with a rotating variety of accents and characters, which was a bit confusing early on, but overcome given time. 

From a music standpoint, I’m always a fan of seeing the backing band onstage, and for my preview showing, they were sharp. 

As this review is based on a preview screening, your experience may vary from mine when you see Artists’ Collective Theatre’s production of “Spring Awakening”. That said, as I understand some actors will be rotating characters throughout the run, so any given night may be a new experience for audiences. 

“Spring Awakening” is indeed provocative, yet also familiar for what happens in the headlines right now - both for insecure young people wanting to fit in and the adults that bring their moral high grounds that sometimes prevent them from doing that.   

Opening officially Friday night and running through to May 31st, check it out at The Pumphouse Theatre.

The Youtube version of my cast interview can be found here

Buying Time

The magazine?

A new watch??

That fancy digital clock you see in the trendy gadget catalogues???

Nope - buying time until I get word on whether my latest review will appear in print, or here in my blog.

Please stand by......


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Murphy - The Law Of Timing...

Important project - Check.

Need to get said project done within a couple of hours, even though there was just a long weekend I could have been working on it all along - Check.

Progress smoothly, complete project in record time - Check.

Press "Print", wait for reaffirming sounds of actual printing - Check.

No reaffirming sounds, press "Print" again, but this time press even harder (no reason, but it can't hurt, right?) - Check.

After further indications no actual printing is taking place, open Printer folder to discover printer is "off-line". Check.

Discover that printer is not only off-line, it is off this mortal coil. Printer has gone to that Best Buy in the sky...

Panic that escalates to anger and unsightly dismantling of printer and connections - Check.

Determine alternate method of presenting material, while happily for the printer, unable to find ball-peen hammer - Check.

Likely going to have to buy a new printer - wonder if they will take a - cheque....



Tuesday, May 20, 2014


One letter wrong on the promotional posters, and classic rockers Heart ultimately had to cancel their show in the city they were distributed in....poor ticket sales. However, there were lots of inquiries for the fireplaces.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Happy Holiday!

It's a holiday here in Canada today, which I personally will be spending crawling back into bed in a few moments.

Had a bad reaction to something yesterday, which kept me up all night. I'll spare you the gruesome details, but let's just say I was still "actively participative" at 5:30 AM. Not even sure why I'm awake right now.

Or why I felt compelled to Tweet at about 5:35 AM...

However, I think things have literally worked themselves out, so I am going to click "Post", then crawl back into my bed, which may resemble a light watercraft after surviving a very minute typhoon at sea.

Which would explain why Mrs. That Dan Guy is giving me the walk-the-plank eyes this morning...

See ya!


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Meat & Greet

Perusing my freezer, trying to determine which member of the animal family will succumb to barbecue temperatures later today.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogger Charlie Chicken...)

Alright, pummee down!


Seriously dude, ah won try steeling' yer jello shots agin!


Lissen, ah suffers frum a soar neck, so ah could be in sereeus jepirdy here with tha way youse is holdin' me...


Ahh...if you could even just loosen tha barbed wire a tad...

Cluck fer now!!!!

(Call tha police!!!)

Friday, May 16, 2014


I'm not so sure this would cure all our ills with respect to political leadership (or lack thereof), but maybe if we would only elect people named Paul or Pauline...

Just a thought.


Have a great long weekend!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

6 Tips For Verifying Broccoli Infestations At Home

I don't know about you, but here in the Such Is Life household, the occasional bunch of broccoli finds a way into the vegetable crisper, forcing out leftover Easter candy and short beer bottles.

Well, I truly have no idea how the damn blight gets into my refrigerator, but I can assure you I will try to walk you through my simple steps just now, so that you verify the presence, and even remove said dense miniature clusters of fibre...

1) Locate refrigerator. Typically found in kitchens...

2) Open refrigerator. Stay focused, there will be distractions: leftover pie, cake, muffins, homemade spaghetti and meatballs, chilli, whipping cream, poppin' fresh dough cookies, pickled beets, pizza from the night of the big hockey game, chilled chocolate mints, and beer. You will want to direct your attention to the crispers, where fruit and vegetables are expected to stay fresh for a few months.

3) Open crisper - there are generally two in your average household kitchen refrigerator.

4) Identify broccoli cluster - in general, these are green, with thick stalks ending in miniature heads of cabbage. have your rubber gloves handy.

5) Confirm authenticity of broccoli cluster: a small hammer or rolling pin tap will generally indicate the lack of softness compared to say, a cupcake or soup. There is a white/yellow version as well, called cauliflower. Even if you have an infestation of mice, these two items (if present) will not be in any risk of harm.

6) Final step, confirm via Google Images that what you have tracked down is indeed a cluster of broccoli. Find a way to safely transport the bunch to your backyard, where hopefully a rabbit or condor will be starved enough to nibble on this offensive "food" item...

Good luck!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Birds Are Chirping...

Morning. Blue sky, lazy clouds hanging - a gentle breeze blowing.

Birds, chirping. And chirping...

And chirping........

Where's my pellet gun????


Monday, May 12, 2014

Carpenter Ants

Wonder how good the union is for carpenter ants?

Doesn't sound like they get to go to picnics, like all the other ants. They pretty much spend all their time in houses - or rather, "around" houses. Hence the name I suppose...

Given what they do, I 'd suspect a more appropriate name would be Demolition Ants - human carpenters typically have to come in to repair their "handiwork".

Either way, they'd still get to wear their tiny little hard hats and steel-toed boots...


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cavalia's "Odysseo"

Cavalia "Odysseo"

The Sunday Morning "Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway" Entertainment Review:

Cavalia's "Odysseo"

The latest production from a co-founder of Cirque du Soleil introduces animals back into the travelling circus of gymnastic spectacles. 70 horses, to be exact. 

I think the most we counted on stage at any one time was about half that number (give or take), but still - try to wrap around how powerful that is, as each is going through incredibly synchronized pieces, along with a variety of human performers. All this, in a tent!

"Odysseo" is nothing short of stunning and breathtaking. You won't believe all this is happening under a "big top", as the stage is massive, as well as the special effects in their scope. 

Actually, some parts of the special effects reminded us a bit of what Shania Twain uses in her Vegas show - to a lesser degree Bette Midler incorporated some of this technology there as well. But with the horses and their riders, it all seemed grander and far more breathtaking. 

The very ground seemed to change beneath them at times, as well as introducing at times rain, snow, seasons and climates, a gigantic carousel, and for the finale, a body of water.  

If you are a fan of Cirque, you will certainly recognize many of the facets of the human performers, including the live band and singers that populate the show - in this case from discreet tree houses on either side of the stage. It is the equine addition that elevates this beyond Cirque fare, as the beautiful stallions and geldings get to play as much as they perform, often appearing to enjoy the reactions as much as the human performers. I swear one horse in particular looked out at the audience every time he ran past the front of the stage, checking us out as he galloped along...

There are far too many highlights to single out, and really, you have to see something like this live to appreciate just how affective it can be, and how much theatre or the circus has transformed with the imagination of this team. 

Two hooves way up!!


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogger Charlie Chicken...)


Pretty much sums up this heer household...


Cluck fer now...

Friday, May 09, 2014

Vikings Remain

When I was a wee one, I read in school about vikings, and how they pillaged the lands they sailed over to.

I realize now that Vikings remain, but we vote them in. To local government. To National office. To positions of trust.

Where they pillage before moving along. Just without the horned hats and bloodied beards...


Thursday, May 08, 2014

Workshop Theatre "Always...Patsy Cline" - Cast & Director Interview (YouTube)

Workshop Theatre
"Always...Patsy Cline"
@ Pumphouse Theatre, Calgary
May 6-10 2014

Cast & Director Interview

Kerrie Hart, Jane Tetley, Cynthia Salter-Audy

Just finished editing my interview with the director and two lead cast members of Workshop Theatre's current production of "Always...Patsy Cline".

Check out the YouTube version of that here. Once the iTunes/podcast version is done, I'll post links for that as well.



Sorry, We Can't Cheer You On...

Mrs That Dan Guy and I are like the Bad News Bears of sports fans. Whenever we root for a team to win, or watch them play a critical game, they ultimately collapse like a dandelion fluff sculpture after a pudgy pigeon lands on it.

We've jinxed Canadian Olympic teams, Canadian curling teams, Canadian TV reality show contestants, and Canadian Bacon. We've doomed singers we've liked on The Voice, or unique entertainers we've cheered for on America's Got Talent.

So, if I don't openly support the Montreal Canadiens in this space during their terrific Stanley Cup playoff run right now, please understand that we are COMPLETELY INDIFFERENT to how they make out in this series!

We could literally care less about how they have taken the lead back in the series, and could put a stranglehold on the Boston Bruins tonight if they win again.

Frankly, it is is no interest to us whatsoever if the Canadiens eliminate the Bruins - so go ahead sports gods, proceed as you see fit. We won't be here to worry about the outcome...


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

"Always...Patsy Cline" Workshop Theatre

"Always...Patsy Cline"
Workshop Theatre
Pumphouse Theatre
May 6-10, 2014

Jane Tetley/Kerrie Hart: photo courtesy of Workshop Theatre
The Wednesday Morning "Before-Noon" Theatre Review:

Workshop Theatre's production
 of Ted Swindley's

 "Always...Patsy Cline"

I don't want to discourage anyone from reading the rest of today's review because of this spoiler alert but...I loved this production!

Unforgettable music, a heartwarming story, creative use of staging and live music plus solid performances made this adaptation of Ted Swindley's "Always...Patsy Cline" a real treat for the audience on opening night. 

Sure, there were a few hiccups as it was the premiere evening, but with only a few days in the run, I wanted to get a review out quickly, so that if people might be sitting on the fence,well - they ought to dust off their coveralls, polish up their cowboy boots, and sashay on in before this enjoyable show is over. 

Before the show, it dawned on me that although there are other Patsy Cline musicals, and countless tributes - I've never seen any of them. As a longtime fan, the closest I've come to her story was the theatrical release of the 1985 movie "Sweet Dreams", which prompted me to go directly out and pick up a copy of the soundtrack.

This play takes a whole other perspective of her life, allowing the audience to see the time-limited by fate true story of Cline and her chance friendship with a Houston housewife, going through much of what she was experiencing in her own personal life at the time. The bond remained afterwards through letters until Cline's death just a few years later. 

Oh, and then there's the songs - some 26 in all. Using the space of a creative set that alternated for a number of locales, Kerrie Hart brought those beloved hits to life with power, subtlety when necessary, and just the right amount to twang to immerse viewers convincingly in her portrayal of the country music star. 

As her newfound friend and erstwhile narrator, Jane Tetley was a gas as Louise, energetic and funny in the character. Down-home and plucky, talking directly to the audience as she guided the narrative along to the conclusion - which even though we know, is no less affecting by the time the play ends. 

Helping even more was the live band onstage (The Bodacious Bobcats - read the playbill for a smile with that one). They filling out the authenticity of the era with familiar riffs, as well as some fine background vocals without microphones, which were clear as a bell in the charming Pumphouse Theatre facility. Of my personal favourite highlights, it had to be the heartfelt songs sung A cappella - "If I Could See The World", and "Just A Closer Walk", for sure, but with the full band backing another standout was Cline's cover of Hank Williams' "Your Cheating Heart".   

First time director Cynthia Salter-Audy has certainly come out of the gate with a bang. This production moves along nicely, and the use of the space really brings everyone into the events as they unfold. I think it would be hard to find fault with the vision she has brought to life here.

If you're a fan of Patsy Cline, this show may introduce you to part of her history you might not have been aware of. Or you might just enjoy hearing that impressive songbook again, with a live band to boot. Call me "Crazy", but you just can't afford not to take in this winning production.

Check out Workshop Theatre for more info!

"Always...Patsy Cline" runs May 6-10, 2014


Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Cast Interview - Stage West Calgary's "Fiddler On The Roof"

Well, despite a few technology challenges, I have the YouTube version of my cast interview now live online - Victor A. Young, who plays Tevye in the current production of "Fiddler On The Roof".

Click here to view it!

This gentleman has appeared in a wide variety of film, TV and stage roles, and has chosen to work in Canada - he's done a fine job with that strategy...

We talk about the show, and his career - give it a look!

Once I get my podcast problems sorted out, you can download it from iTunes.



Monday, May 05, 2014

A Break In The Snow

I see that even though it is rather dreary out the living room window right now, the snow has finally stopped falling. I'll have to check my iPhone to see if the forecast has changed - we were supposed to see snow all...

Oh crap...

The morning news is showing road reports for the commute to work, and it is definitely still snowing in other parts of the city....

That REALLY frosts my igloo!!

Well, there's always June, I suppose...........

On the plus side, the pollen won't be a problem.


Sunday, May 04, 2014

Chicken Scratch

(posted by weekend guest blogger & country music fan Charlie Chicken...)

Guitars, Cadillacs - Hillbilly Music...HIC!

C'mon Dwight, less get this show STARTED!!



Yessir, gonna see Mr. Dwight Yoakam, can't wait...

Ah luvs tha Yoakam!


Oh boy - I think mah tummy iz tryin' ta relocate...


Ah sure hope that guitar slinger gets onstage soon - this room iz startin' ta feel like a merry-go-round...



Who turned out that lights???



Mah hat slipped down, humple abologies....



I think I oughta sit down fer a bit - wake me up when ya heer "Honky Tonk Man"....

Cluck fer now...

Saturday, May 03, 2014

The Apparently ENDLESS Winter of our Discontent...

So, last night, today, and tomorrow - actually all next week - this:

December? No, May 3. May frigging 3rd. 

WANTED: Jack Frost & Ole Man Winter

Dead or Alive. No questions asked, just need to see the bodies...

And grass - anything green would be nice....

Dwight Yoakam @ Grey Eagle Resort & Casino

Dwight Yoakam
Grey Eagle Casino & Resort

The Saturday Morning "Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway" Concert Review:

Dwight Yoakam

Grey Eagle Resort & Casino
(Opening Night)

I'm not sure how it is that it's taken me so long to see this gentleman in concert, but it sure was a great time once he hit the stage. Honky-tonk anthems, singer/songwriter gems, countrified covers - and reminders of how great Buck Owens was in his own right connected with a full house for the official opening night of Grey Eagle Resort & Casino's state-of-the-art new concert facility. Even a moderate delay to his start couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of this crowd...

Yes, adding to the stereotype of Canada, he and his band were delayed by weather - a snowstorm that was a real treat to drive home in after the show. That will be a bonus blog post after this review is live online, and consideration to maybe stay at their brand-new hotel when the next show is of interest to attend there.

He also had some trouble entering the country with his entourage, but that was just the sort of delightful red tape that many performers have to deal with - hey, at least he and his band made it, late start and all - the end result had people two-stepping in the aisles and in front of the stage during his energetic set of hits and newer songs.

Yoakam did have fun with the border incident in a chorus amended for Calgary fans in "Streets Of Bakersfield", it actually became a running gag throughout the night, as much as his heartfelt appreciation for how Canada has always been so supportive to his career. I know I've been there since the beginning, and had a chance to hear songs I've come to accept as part of my past, almost 30 years now!

"Honky Tonk Man", an edgier, growly version of his "Ring Of Fire" cover, "Turn It On, Turn It Up, Let Me Loose", "Ain't That Lonely Yet", "A Thousand Miles From Nowhere" to name but a handful over about 90 minutes. You could not be disappointed, even with a robust songbook there were highlights for every fan.

Just before his two-song encore, he closed the main set with "Guitars, Cadillacs" and "Fast As You", ultimately closing the night with "Suspicious Minds". Felt like it was over all too soon...

He also commented on a new album, due out this fall - find out more about all that is Dwight Yoakam on his website.

Openers Troublemaker did a fine job of starting things off, as they said, right in their own backyard. The Tsuu T'ina nation blues rocker trio reminded me a bit of early ZZ TOP, before the fur-covered guitars. 


Friday, May 02, 2014

Children's Entertainers That Never Caught On...

Here in Canada, we have Raffi and Fred Penner to name just a couple of beloved children's entertainers who have enjoyed long, successful careers. On a global level, you have to acknowledge Sesame Street at the very least.

Success spawns hopefuls and imitators, but not all talents reach the heights of success that popular entertainers do. Here, we'll reflect on just a few:

1) Crocodile Al - don't let that smile fool you, Al was an actual crocodile who couldn't balance nature's urges with his dreams of becoming the next big thing on TV. A crowbar prevented a tragedy out of what ended up as just some frightening permanent bite marks...

2) Saw VII - You know, I have to admit, the Saw franchise was a pretty good horror movie series - but doing the same thing with kids was just wrong...

3) 24-Hour School - Teachers may have good unions, but whoever negotiated THIS flop overestimated just how much time kids wanted to spend learning...or in detention.

4) Lion Park Safari Survivor - Popular tourist attraction, blended with popular TV competition program. What could possibly go wrong? To the horror of the producers, lots...

5) Charlie Rose and His Red Nose - Some people just weren't cut out to be clowns...

6) Muppet Rehab - To this day, Grover can't even talk about this show...

7) How Much Sugar Can I Consume? - Sponsored by dentists and diabetes groups, the National Council On Childhood Obesity was quick to protest and get this one shut down...

8) Bat, Man! - A dark room, real bats - this one did not last long...

9) Jay Leno in Prime Time - bombed with adults, and had even less traction with youthful viewers...

Wow - seeing some of these duds on a list makes you wonder how network executives keep their jobs, never mind their seven-figure incomes....


Thursday, May 01, 2014

Other Places You May Find A Fiddler

Sure, you always think of a fiddler on the roof. But are there other places one might find a fiddler?

1) Roller skating. I'll agree, you might expect roller-blading in these modern times, but I see a fiddler with flowing robes going in circles on an indoor track. With a mirrorball in play...

2) On a trampoline - this would likely indicate some sort of record attempt for that Guinness book.

3) At the beach - great place to practice the theme from "Jaws"...

4) In episodes of "The Bachelor" or "The Bachelorette" - what a great opportunity to play haunting soundtracks to heart-wrenching moments in fake dating, or pull out the World's Smallest Violin when something happens that makes viewers realize "who cares"??

5) While bullfighting. I'm not sure you could put a raging bull into a better mood, but you might be able to poke him in the eye with your bow...

6) At the tax preparer's office - is there any better place to have tranquil musical laments aiding in the soothing of your soul? And perfect timing - order your fiddler today!