Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Brian Williams the Booking Agent

I have a very funny story about Brian Williams.

When Antigone Rising was a baby band, we started touring full time well before we were technically ready to be touring full time. In other words, we gave our parents heart attacks. That being said, we were all in, together, arms locked, going for it.

We realized fairly quickly that the best way to be a full time touring band was to get a booking agent. Most artists might have a booking agent before they quit their day jobs. Not us. But that's incidental.

We had someone 'helping' us, acting as 'manager' sort of. She was living it and breathing it with us every step of the way. She was practically our sixth member.

And she ended up being the biggest liar on the face of planet Earth. In hindsight, we have come to realize not a single thing that came out of her mouth was true.

We laugh out loud to this day remembering little tidbits that fell from her lips. There were big lies. There were little lies. There were just tons and tons of lies.

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THERE WE JUST TONS AND TONS OF LIES...
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What is so funny about all of this is that one day she came to the band with 'GREAT NEWS!' She had secured us a BOOKING AGENT!

We were THRILLED! We were OFFICIAL!

WE HAD A BOOKING AGENT!

But there was a catch.

He would only deal with her.

He did not want to talk to anyone in the band.

Ever.

He would not be coming to any shows because he "had already been to several shows of ours and already LOVED the band."

So, you get that there was never a booking agent, right? She was lying about the booking agent. It took us quite some time to figure it out, even with the lack of tour dates he was securing for us, but eventually we did figure it out.



The funniest part about the booking agent is, she told us his name was Brian Williams.

Isn't that just bananas?

#Hendo

PS-This is an actual photo of me at a show in 2001. After this show, our 'manager' told us that Brian Williams was dropping the band because he 'couldn't book us any dates'. The person in this photo believed that story. It all makes a little more sense to you now, I bet...




Monday, February 9, 2015

Grammys 2015 Hendo Recap!

I would like to keep my 2015 grammy recap as positive as possible, so let's call it what it was right out of the gate.

SO, SO, SO BORING. 

How is it even possible to produce such a boring, boring, boring show? So many missed possibilities for greatness. Honestly, I enjoyed the American Music Awards much more. You didn't even know the American Music Awards were still on, right? Well, they rocked the Grammy's in the face.

That being said, L.L. Cool J is so cute. He had to have been the cutest baby. I want to bite LL's grown up cheeks, so I can only imagine how delicious he was as a baby. Who's with me?

The show opened with AC/DC.

I am going to repeat that.

The show opened with AC/DC.

What? Why is Angus Young wearing a school boy outfit on my TV screen in 2015?

Oh right. I'm staying positive. I just think they shouldn't make school boy outfits that fit 60 year old men. I get it. That's his schtick. I just find his schtick a lil' creepy is all.

The Stones, Led Zeppelin, surviving Beatles and a smattering of Beatle offspring would all serve as acceptable opening acts for The Grammys. I am a product of the 80s, and I mean no huge disrespect. I just think AC/DC is best served on the Broadway Stage in that 80s musical starring Constantine Maroulis alongside songs like "The Final Countdown," a personal fave of mine from the era.

And I've just alienated every guy I graduated high school with...

Then, when The Grammys actually utilize a Beatle, it's with Rihanna and Kanye?

And Kanye gets to perform TWICE but Antigone Rising not even once? No sour grapes. I am just noting facts.


Annie Lennox made my night. Thank you Annie Lennox. Click to see, cause words won't do it just. 

http://youtu.be/WuQNdmL2PHg?t=1m56s

Sam Smith also made my night. He is no longer just fat and gay, Howard Stern (click here for more on that). He is also a several time Grammy winner and totally humble and adorable. I love his album and thought it deserved 'Album of The Year', which went to Beck. I am sure Beck made a great album too, I just haven't heard it and have no inclination to do so...until someone sneaks it on the radio during a long car trip without telling me it's what I am listening to...that will probably be the only way to get me to listen to it, is all I'm saying. Certainly doesn't mean it's not good. I can just happily go through life never knowing for certain, is all.
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I did think it was a little strange that Sam Smith won 'Song of the Year' for a song he is admittedly paying Tom Petty royalties for. In case you're not up to date on the latest 'song that sounds exactly like another song' drama, Sam Smith's 'Stay With Me' sounds an awful lot like Tom Petty's 'Won't Back Down.' The two songs sound so similar, in fact, that Sam agreed to pay Tom a writer's royalty. I guess somewhere in the fine print he did not agree to give Petty a piece of THE GRAMMY he took home last night for rewriting the song. Not even a 'Thanks, Tom" in his speech. It was a big night for him, so I can understand forgetting. Yes, that is a Hilary/Chad reference. Anytime I can reference Chad Lowe in a blog I will do so.

Let's quickly touch upon Brandy Clarke's performance of "Hold My Hand." We have an out loud and proud female singer/songwriter coming out of Nashville who does duets on The Grammy's with Dwight Yoakam? It seems we do!

It's obvious which one of them is making it feel like Hee Haw
Granted, it looked and felt a lot like Hee Haw instead of a cutting edge, culturally relevant moment. And I think we know whose 20 gallon hat to blame for that. But the Nashville needle moves slowly. The city is about twenty five years behind every other major artistic city in the country with regard to the LGBT movement, if we're to be totally honest. So props to Brandy Clarke and bigger props to the straight ally willing to strum next to her, Dwight Yoakam. He will never get served at a Chik-Fil-A ever again, but if I still bought records, I would definitely start buying his.



We will end this blog entry on Sia, because I know most of you were in utter shock at her "performance" and are expecting me to say something really ripe and possibly not positive about it. So, here's what I've got for you:

I love Sia. 

She is a brilliant song writer. She writes amazing hooks and melodies. And she has an absolutely astounding voice. What little hair I have on my arms stands up on end every time I hear Chandelier.(TMI about my arm hair?)

I don't know exactly why she never actually shows up to perform the song. I haven't googled it, I just assume she has massive stage fright. Regardless, I think it's brilliant. She never has to worry about what she's wearing, getting her hair and make up done, she just sends in her friends to do trippy and debatably performance art-like things along to the song.

It probably helped that I had a few glasses of wine in me by the time the Sia moment rolled around. But I simply loved Kristen Wiig in the Sia Wig.



 
Overall, The Grammys 2015 were an undeniable bore-fest. But we can't end the party on a negative note. So let's end it with this:

It's really cool that they honored George Harrison, Buddy Guy & The Bee Gees with lifetime achievement awards.

#Hendo