Posted in Book Reviews, Non-Fiction

REVIEW: No Encore!: Musicians Reveal Their Weirdest, Wildest, Most Embarrassing Gigs by Drew Fortune

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*Heads Up That There’s Discussions of Drug Use*

This hilarious, sometimes horrifying, collection spans four decades and chronicles the craziest, druggiest, and most embarrassing concert moments in music history—direct from the artists who survived them.

From wardrobe malfunctions to equipment failures, from bad decisions to even worse choices, this is a riveting look into what happens when things go wrong onstage and off.

No Encore! is an unflinchingly honest account of the shows that tested the dedication to a dream—from Alice Cooper’s python having a violent, gastric malfunction on stage to Lou Barlow’s disastrous attempt to sober up at Glastonbury, from Shirley Manson’s desperate search for a bathroom to the extraordinary effort made to awaken Al Jourgenson as Ministry was taking the stage. As Hunter S. Thompson famously wrote, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

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I think music holds a special place in everyone’s life, no matter whether you listen to whatever is on the radio or if you are an aspiring musician yourself. Sometimes we fall in love with a singer or a band and can forget that they are people too. I know I have talked a couple of times about my favorite band Rascal Flatts and I have had to remind myself that even these people you look up to make mistakes too. They may be big mistakes or small mistakes, but at the end of the day, they’re human as well.

I found No Encore! to be an entertaining read. I am not familiar with the world of rock n roll as I think the target audience is. There’s only a small handful of names I recognized.

Even knowing that, I think No Encore! is a must-read for any music fan. There’s plenty of stories that will make you bust out laughing. If your local library also has this book, then you can just read the tales you want and still get a good feel for the collection as a whole. 

I would highly recommend this collection for music lovers and fans of any of the musicians or bands in this anthology. These stories are worth the read and are a love-letter to the fans.

~

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Posted in Personal Blogs

Rascal Flatts: My Heroes

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When I was growing up, everyone idolized Justin Bieber, the Jonas Brothers, and One Direction. I rejected popular music and only listened to country music. I will agree country music has gone downhill in the last decade or so, and I no longer listen to it as heavily as I used to. However, I still listen to Rascal Flatts whenever I’m in the mood for some nostalgia.

Rascal Flatts is a special band to me. Their music helped me through difficult times growing up in a small town who bullied and picked on me for liking country music “too much”. I am willing to admit I lived and breathed country music, but when you pick on someone for something as minor as their music preferences, it only drives them farther away from society and into their safe place.

Rascal Flatts was my safe place. I followed blogs dedicated to them and making various wallpapers and avatars for us fans to use. I actually got into making the banners for Facebook and so I kind of freelanced my limited graphic designer skills.

I have been a fan of theirs since 2006-2007. I saw their music video “Stand” and thought it was really good. Later on, I heard their rendition of “Life is a Highway” and I went to Walmart and my mom bought me their “Still Feels Good” album. And that’s how my life went from the casual fan to ultra mega fan.

I guess with maturity and the music industry moving on with the next biggest thing, I have actually not listened to Rascal Flatts’ newer music much. It sounds generic pop and I get all of the newer songs mixed up with each other. Even at their concerts, the newer songs sound so similar I only know which song it is when they get to the chorus. It takes a lot away from the show when you’re mentally checking the checklist to see which songs they haven’t performed up until that song.

As I’ve written about in the past. Most of their shows have been the same for a while. It took the “mystery” out of guessing which song out of their large discography they were going to play next.

Now, you might be asking yourselves, ‘well what is your favorite Rascal Flatts song?’ This is a great question. Each song has a special place inside my heart, and it’s gotten a lot easier now that I’ve taken a step back and looked at their music as a whole. My favorite song of theirs is “Stand“. Yeah, pretty much the song that introduced me to their music.

I have been blessed enough to have met these amazing and talented men. I was starstruck and just in awe of how “real” they were. I felt like I was in a dream and just on autopilot in a sense. My teenage self couldn’t comprehend how I was actually standing in front of them.

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The First Time I Met My Heroes

I was able to meet them again a few years later and I wasn’t nearly as starstruck as I was the first time. It was still amazing at how down to Earth they are. Both times were amazing experiences and memories I will treasure forever.

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The Second Time I Met My Heroes

With their “retirement” coming up, and how I still find it difficult to accept the change, I still wish them the best. They will always hold a special place in my heart, and I know they didn’t take this decision lightly.

If I could say anything to them once again, it would be “thanks for everything”.

~

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Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Run-Out Groove by Andrew Cartmel

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*No Spoilers* 

The Vinyl Detective is on the case again! He is hired to find out where a famous musician’s child is after her suicide. Normally he hunts records, but now the stakes have been raised. They know they’re getting close to the truth when their lives are put at risk in various and dangerous ways. Will he solve the case? Or will he even live to tell the tale?

I have read the first novel in this series and I fell in love with the series! I thought the fact that this is a “detective” who finds rare and collectible vinyl was very unique and intriguing. I was not disappointed with this newest installation in the series.

My favorite character was Celeste Drummond. She had suffered an emotional breakdown after her sister committed suicide. She plays piano and is really amazingly talented with the black and white keys.

I would recommend this for people who love musical mysteries. The hunt for vinyl records isn’t in much of the novel as the first one. However, I wouldn’t let that detour you from this one. The action is thrilling and kept me glued to the pages!

You don’t need to read the first novel in the series to understand this one. I know that’s a huge question concerning jumping into the middle of a series. They do reference the first book a bit, but not enough to be spoilers or confusing.

Buy This Book on Amazon