Worst Christmas Songs Ever: “Santa Baby”

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , on December 13, 2013 by 30daysout

This is one that just gets on my last nerve. Every time it comes on I can’t change the channel fast enough. The tune, which tells the tale of a woman asking Jolly Old St. Nick for extravagant gifts, was written by Joan Javits and Phillip Springer in 1953. It was first recorded by Eartha Kitt that same year and has since been done by everyone from Madonna to Calista Flockhart.

I’m guessing the song is supposed to be sexy, but for me it’s about a thousand miles away. It just sounds like a rich girl whining to her wealthy old husband (dressed up like Santa, of course) for more and hinting at sex that most likely will never take place. After he falls asleep, because he’s in late 80s, she’ll max out his credit card and he’ll wake up and wonder what the hell happened. He’ll eventually die, she’ll get all his money, and then fight with his kids in court for years. I’m thinking I may have read way too much into this song.

Here is one of the worst versions performed by Madonna…

Bruce Springsteen – “High Hopes”

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags on December 12, 2013 by 30daysout

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There have been grumblings in Springsteen nation about the forthcoming High Hopes album that is set to be released on January 14. Some people don’t like that the album will feature “covers.” Others think because the songs are not brand new and the album features previously released material, albeit in another form, that he is just putting something out to put something out. Does it really matter if you’re a true fan? I know it doesn’t bother me. I’m happy anytime Bruce wants to put out something new.

The song “High Hopes” is a serious upgrade from the version that appears in the Blood Brothers movie and six-song accompanying disc. Much more energy, much more groove, and, ah, Tom Morello, who presence is always refreshing. Some people I know can’t stand “Dream Baby Dream,” but I love it. It’s mesmerizing and soulful and the new version with the drum machine and background noise will be a welcome addition. I’m looking forward to hearing tunes like “Harry’s Place,” a leftover from The Rising sessions, a studio version of the excellent “The Wall,” written with Joe Grushecky and Morello’s take on “American Skin (41 Shots).”

Don’t listen to the haters, Bruce. We fans truly appreciate you putting out new/old/previously released material. Any Bruce is good Bruce.

Worst Christmas Songs Ever: “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

Posted in Christmas with tags , on December 12, 2013 by 30daysout

Songs that are supposed to put you in a festive mood can sometimes have the opposite effect when you are exposed to them 24/7 on the radio or at the store when you are busy running up your credit cards buying gifts that people will most often forget about come January. That being said. I really like Christmas music. “The Andy Williams Christmas Album” (the red one) and anything by Frank Sinatra, Nat ‘King” Cole, Perry Como, Jerry Vale, etc  all put me in the holiday mood. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is also a favorite and their yearly trek to Houston has become a family tradition. But there are those songs that, whenever you hear them, make you want to throw the radio out the window. One of those at the top of  my list is…Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

The tune was written in 1944 by Frank Loesser, who also gave the world “Guys and Dolls” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” just to name a few.  The song has been recorded by everyone from Dinah Shore to Ella Fitzgerald to Zooey Deschanel to Leon Redbone to Dean Martin. Every time I hear it, it’s like a needle in the eye. I just want to take both people, throw them outside, and lock the door. It’s like “just do it” already. She clearly doesn’t want to leave. He doesn’t want her to leave, so get after it. Gets some wine, curl up by the fire and do what needs to be done. Forget about the “maybe just a cigarette more” and just heave-ho.

Below is quite possibly the worst version ever by Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton.

New Song Alert! “Marley Jane” by Duane Dulane

Posted in Uncategorized on September 4, 2013 by 30daysout

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

There comes a time when you no longer give a shit what people think. I have finally reached that point when it comes to my musical ability.  “Will they like it?” is a phrase that will no longer permeate my mind or my soul. Here it is. You either like it or you don’t. You either want to listen or you don’t. I’m throwing it out there whether you like it or not. Trying to please everyone but yourself is a useless exercise. It’s very tiring and not very productive.  Am I a great guitar player? Far from it. Am I a great singer? Far from it. Am I a great songwriter? Far from it. However, all three make me happy, so I will continue to try and get better everyday.

This rant is not about any single person, group, place or thing. This is all about me. It’s me telling the demon who tries to bring me down every minute of every day that enough is enough. I will no longer listen to you about anything, especially music. Crawl back to your hole and bother the millions of others who call you friend. I have no use for you.

Now that I got that out of the way….the video above is for a new tune called “Marley Jane.” It’s a tune about watching your daughter grow up and realizing how much time you wasted not enjoying it more. Pursuing this, pursuing that. Missing the little things while you chased things that lead down the path to nowhere. Looking at her picture and saying to yourself…”when did you become this beautiful young woman?” “Where was I?”

The song pretty much wrote itself. It’s easy to write about a blessing. My daughter is a blessing to everyone she meets. She takes after her mother. I got lucky twice.

If you get a chance, let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Curefest 2013: Humble Family Raises Funds to Fight Brain Cancer

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 15, 2013 by 30daysout

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In September, 2011, then 47-year old Phil Baumann started experiencing severe headaches. Then he started getting into his car on the passenger side instead of the driver’s side. When he would talk on his cell phone, his arm would be stretched out to his side and not bent up to his ear. His family doctor thought it was a sinus problem that was causing the headaches and the odd behavior, but after a trip to the emergency room, he found out he had a large tumor on his brain. After an MRI, he found out it was malignant. Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade 4, one of the worst forms of brain cancer, was the diagnosis. This type of cancer is particularly damaging because it’s relentless. In other words, once surgeons remove the tumor,  it keeps coming back.

This is what happened to Phil. Surgeons at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston took out his tumor and six months later it reared its ugly head again. But luckily, it came back in an FAMILY PHOTO 2012area of the brain right above where the tumor was and this gave doctors a chance to treat it. Instead of opting for another surgery, he entered the Delta 24 clinical trial. The trial involves injecting a modified cold virus directly into the tumor. Since entering the trial in April 2012, Phil has seen his tumor shrink every 8 weeks to the point where it is now non-existent. Of the 29 people in the trial, only two others had the same outcome. Baumann feels more than blessed.

Most people who deal with a disease as devastating as this one would be happy to receive good news and move on with their lives. However, you have never met Phil and his wife, Misty.  Last year, they put on the first Curefest at the Humble Civic Center in Humble, TX, just north of Houston. The event raised more than $150,000 and helped fund nine patients in the Delta 24 trial at M.D. Anderson. The money raised at Curefest 2013 will go towards a new phase of the trial that is looking at the effectiveness of injecting stem cells directly into the bone marrow, and sparing patients the pain of a needle in the skull every 8 weeks.

This year’s event will feature games and activities for the kids, a silent auction, a live auction, featuring such items as a guitar signed by the members of U2, along with plenty of music. A slew of local bands will start at 11 a.m. and country music superstar, John Michael Montgomery, will end the day with a headlining concert beginning at 8 p.m.

I have followed the progress of Curefest 2013 on Facebook and it’s amazing to see how the community has come together for this event. Friends, family and strangers from all walks of life have donated time and treasures to help this family make a difference in the lives of people who are searching for a miracle.

“It takes your breath away when we see how the community has supported our family and our quest to find a cure for brain cancer. ” said Misty Baumann. “It’s going to be a great day.”

Like the song says…”take a sad song and make it better.” The Baumanns are doing just that.

What: Curefest 2013, featuring country music superstar, John Michael Montgomery.
You can purchase your tickets here.

Where: Humble Civic  Center, 8233 Will Clayton Pkwy., Humble, TX

When: 11 a.m. until ?

“I Love the Way You Love Me” – John Michael Montgomery

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Friday is Boss’ Day: The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle (Live in Rome)

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2013 by 30daysout

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Sounds like it was a magical night in Rome last night as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s “Wrecking Ball”  tour continues to storm its way across Europe. After a roaring version of “Kitty’s Back,” Bruce broke out side 2 of The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle complete with strings. I have included the rarely played gem, “New York City Serenade,” and “Incident on 57th St.” from last night’s set list that also included “Lucky Town,” “Roulette,” and the underrated, “Bobby Jean.”

Backstreets Magazine

“New York City Serenade” (Live in Rome) by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

“Incident on 57th St.” (Live in Rome) by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Cover Me: “Real World” by Georange

Posted in Bruce Springsteen, Cover Me with tags , , , , , , , on July 9, 2013 by 30daysout

I know “Cover Me” is not a very creative title, but I could care less. It’s the best title for this weekly segment that will feature Bruce Springsteen covers performed by unknown artists. I plan to scour the web looking for the best versions of great Boss tunes. There are so many great musicians out there who are never heard and I plan to use this blog to help some of them find an audience.

I know this is shameless, but up first, is me. I am the lead singer of the Houston rock band, Orange Is In. Back in 2010, I did my first ever solo gig at a place called Bohemeo’s in Southeast Houston. It was a small Mexican restaurant/bar that had a great vibe and great owners. On the setlist that night was “Real World,” an excellent love song from Springsteen’s Human Touch album. While the album version is a little over produced, the acoustic version from the 1990 Christic Institute show is beyond amazing. That is the version I tried to capture on that hot July evening.

Feel free to send links to Springsteen covers you would like to see featured in this weekly post. We welcome all comers.

“Real World” by Bruce Springsteen (1990 Christic Institute Show)

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