About Me

My photo
Dallas, Texas, United States

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Temporary Sanity?

In light of most every part of my life becoming ferhoodled (another way of saying eff'd-up) in the past couple of months - work, family matters, concert / dvd planning, etc - I seem to have lost a portion of my mind. The practical portion. Yes, my dahlinks, I must be crazy.

There. I said it.

Last week, I realized I would have Friday off for holiday. What's a girl to do with a spare day she wasn't counting on, you ask?

Well, I'll tell you.

She whips out the MasterCard, logs-on, and throws together a 27 hour trip to Chicagoland. There's nothing like feeling the sting of booking a flight two days before the plane takes off. (Good grief, how do they get away with what they charge?)

I closed my eyes and tried to reason that "it's only money," grabbed my camera and passport (yes, I keep it handy just in case a stray cruise ship appears on my front porch right here in Dallas) and headed for the aeropuerto at 5:30 Friday morning.

Don't get me wrong, Chicago is a fantabulous place - one of my favorites - but indeed, there was a reason for my crazies. His name is Kasim.

Oh, come on - you've read this far - you may as well stick with it.

No, actually, I was getting sick of the nice Dallas weather and wanted to get me a little of this:

I kid. But get a load of that? It was 50 degrees the day before I got there and apparently the Ice Fairy decided Chicago needed one more visit to the deep freeze for the vernal equinox and my thin-blooded arrival.

My flight got a wee bit ferhoodled (as is my M.O. most days) as I landed at Midway and yet my hotel was up near O'Hare. Not usually a problem, but on a blizzardy day like Friday, with me behind the wheel of a strange vehicle, there was a good chance I would end up wishing I'd purchased the additional insurance coverage from the rental place. Alas, the Magic Of Todd (and all things Todd i.e. since my goal was to see Kasim again, the M.O.T. does apply here) got me there in one piece in time to take a little rest, whore-up, and call a taxi - because I was in need of adult bevs and the above combo of CruiserMel, blowing snow, rental car, and booze seemed like it would be pushin' it a little.

I got to the Abbey Pub in time to see some of my fellow Kasim and Todd-heads and grab a bite at the bar before the show. It was great to see K1, K2, J, S, etc. again! It's so funny when we like-minds converge upon the un-enlightened. And we do cause a presence indeed. That bar didn't know what hit them.

K1 finished her supper before I did, so she sprinted into the actual showroom when the door opened and grabbed a place for us down in front, since CruiserMel does not suffer the travel ghoulies just to sit in the shadows. Nun-unh. Apparently, neither does K1. This is why we are friends.

Our other friend (K2) had brought along two friends of her boyfriend (not really sure why) and was trying to ditch them...but they pulled chairs up in front of us, only to have the pleasure of hearing K1 shoo them away like the pests they were. Heh. Behold The Magic of Todd.

If you've watched the youtube video below, you know that Kasim and Jesse left Doug behind somewhere in Ohio, so I can't tell you if he exercised his thumb and made it to Chicago, at least not until another episode of "Backstage Pass" - but I can tell you that Kasim was at the top of his game, sang beautifully, played some new songs and told some hysterical stories. (I love that.)

Woo. I outdid myself with that picture, didn't I? Nummy.

After some mingling after the show, K1, K2 and I stumbled back into the pub area to share some photos, some stories, some gossip, and finish off a cocktail or two. But before too long, K2 was whisked away by a very cranky boyfriend who had been plowing snow all day, K1 had to make an hour drive south to wherever she lives and someone from another country pulled his yellow cab alongside the curb to drive CruiserMel to her hotel.

The next day, the sun was shining and I found my favorite Chicago-style pizza joint (Gino's East), pigged-out on some awesome pizza pie, drove back to Midway and in a few hours time, was back at home.

Was it worth the hassle and the (serious) airfare? Hell yeah. It always is, when Kasim or Todd is concerned. Besides, crazy people don't know they're crazy, do they?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

On the Road to Utopia, er Chicago

Yes, it's another blog entry about Kasim. But this one is different, I promise!

Kasim does these video blogs, called "Backstage Pass" whenever he's on the road with Meat Loaf, Todd, etc., but the funniest ones are when he's on the road, literally, with his side-kick(s) Doug and (this time) Jesse.

Take 3 minutes out of your busy schedule, sit back and relax.

And remind me to tell you about my current insanity next time.....stay tuned.

Monday, March 17, 2008

And The Whole Groupie Thing Begins

Happy Monday, y'all! I hope everyone had a fun and restful weekend. Me? Aw, thanks for asking.

Fun? Yes. Restful? NEVAH!

You may remember a Dallas-area band I spoke about called the Badenders. Well, they are really starting to see some rewards for their efforts. Their cd is doing well. They are getting gigs more and more often, and they played at SXSW in Austin last week to a full-house and great reviews. Things are clickin' right along for Dan, Will, Guydon and Chris. Yay!

Last night I headed out to the House of Blues to see our little boys, er young men, being the opening act for Ben Jelen. Not a shabby gig. I had not heard of Ben Jelen before, but I was impressed enough to throw down $11 for a cd that has been playing in a constant loop in my computer today. He's quite a talent.

So, I pull up to the valet and lo and behold the little guy who parked my car about had an orgasm because as he said "these cars rock!" I was afraid for my little car's life - and had visions of the scene with the car-parkers in "Ferris Bueller," but was relieved to see my new baby parked right up front with the Porches, the Cadillac STS's and the other grownup cars. I've gotta admit - that's pretty dang cool - to see that they know good taste and reward it by parking it right up front. And no, there weren't a bunch of extra mileage on it. Oh, did I mention I bought a new car a couple of weeks ago when all hell was breaking loose in my life? No stress there...but I digress.

I bought a ticket and headed for the door when I was asked to open my purse, presumably to screen for concealed weapons and liquor. (whew, glad I didn't pack that half-gallon of vodka or my 357) To my chagrin, the woman pulled me aside as if I was a common criminal and made me hand over my - I can't believe I'm even writing this - Sharpies! My sharpies! O. M. G. How would I live without my groupie supplies? What did they think I gonna do with those? Actually, she ended up being pretty nice and explained that for the shows where the audience is pretty young, they have to confiscate sharpies, etc to curb the graffiti. Yeah, I guess I do look a little shady at times - and twitch when I have the opportunity to tag the ladies room stall doors with "CruiserMel Was Here." Evs.

Let me get this off my chest: who is dressing today's youth? And by youth, I mean 18-25 yr olds who will run this country of ours in our old age. Seriously. Do they own mirrors? Let's begin with their hair. How is it they can make their hair look so dirty? Do they cut their hair with razor blades or garden shears or do they just pull it until it breaks? And what's with letting it hang in their faces to the point where they actually can't see to walk? Or there are the others who, on this warm spring night, were wearing knit ski caps with their tshirts and shorts. Mmmmkay. If they weren't wearing shorts - they were wearing those low-rise, hip-hugger, skin-tight pants that I'm sure haven't been washed in weeks. Girls and boys. I have yet to see a human butt look halfway decent in these pants. And that low-rise just makes their bodies look like stretched noodles on really short legs. Ugh. I've become my mother. This called for a trip to the bar to clear my head of these unattractive visions.

Anyhoo, moving on.

Dan and company only got to play about 30 minutes, but it was fun to see how they've developed their live show and are really looking comfy cozy on stage now. They've even got some new songs that I'm anxiously awaiting release on cd when they do get in the studio again.

The guys did great and the crowd was into it. I even saw some lighters go up over head, old school style, among the cellphone lights.

But the fun didn't end there.

During Ben Jelen's set, Dan came rushing over to me, breathless.

Dan: "The whole groupie thing is starting!"
CM: "That's great!"
Dan: "No! I'm not ready!"
CM: "What happened? What do you mean?"
Dan: "I got, like, 5 phone numbers up at the bar."
CM: "That's a problem, how?"
Dan: "No, that's cool. But I was just standing there and this girl comes up and grabs my balls and is, like, all 'you're so precious' and well, I'm not ready for that!"
CM: *snicker*

Be careful what you wish for, Dan.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Acoustic Atlanta

I know what you're saying...."Cruiser, where the hell have you been hiding?"

In plain sight, kiddies, in plain sight. It's just that all effin' hell broke out over the past couple of weeks and I just couldn't get myself to the computer for much more than work and yadda yadda yadda...okay, so I've been neglectful. There, I said it. We okay now?

So, it's been over a week since CruiserMel and Co. put on a show in a barn with puppets, naked lumberjacks and Nordic dancing...

Nah, just testing y'all.

Actually, our presentation of An Acoustic Evening With Kasim Sulton in Atlanta was a smashing success. Oh, it was harrrrrd work, but the end-result was a resounding "attawaytogo!" The theatre was a mess when we arrived, but Carrie from Groupie Gear! put her decorating hat on and threw together a beautiful set that will look awesome on the final DVD. She also handled ticket sales, selling merch, and was mistress of the excel spreadsheet. Her husband Dave took over duties of HD camera dude extraordinaire, manning two cameras and supervising one other. My lil bro Doug from RundgrenRadio.com played venue-scout, publicist, pimp, and Master of Ceremonies, while yours truly was CEO of Talent Accommodations, merch maiden and interviewer for the DVD (to be made available in a few weeks, just in case you were wanting a copy, and you know you do).

None of these "music promoter" jobs were easy, seeing as how not a one of us actually live in Atlanta, but Atlanta was the chosen locale and our little team rose to the occasion to present a fabulous night of music for our guests and I think our stars really dug it, too.

One of my duties as CEO of Talent Accommodations was to feed da boys backstage. Now you just put that judgemental smirk away. We're talkin' party trays, people. Party trays!

So, I headed out to the local wrap sandwich shop for a couple of party trays. When I arrived at 2:10, I was told that they close at 3:00 and couldn't possibly get two party trays put together in time. Being in a city I was not at all familiar with, I had to think fast. Matching wits against sandwich artists such as these was....well, judge for yourselves.

(Glancing at the catering menu, seeing that a party tray consists of 5 delicious wrap sandwiches, sliced in quarters, and placed neatly on a party tray...)

CruiserMel: You can't make two party trays in 50 minutes?
Sandwich Dude: No way. Ain't gonna happen. We have to close at 3:00.
CruiserMel: *pause* Okay. Can you make 5 sandwiches for me?
Sandwich Dude: Uh, yeah.
CruiserMel: Can you slice them in quarters?
Sandwich Dude: Uh, yeah.
CruiserMel: Can you put them on a tray?
Sandwich Dude: Sure! No problem.

CruiserMel: Now, can you make 5 more sandwiches for me?
Sandwich Dude: Uh, yeah.
CruiserMel: Can you slice them in quarters?
Sandwich Dude: Uh, yeah.

CruiserMel: Can you put them on a tray?
Sandwich Dude: Sure! Not a problem.


Done deal, Lucille. And within 30 minutes, I had two party trays in hand, though they apparently were NOT party trays. Evs.

We started off with a local musician, Alec Roeser, who proved he really does have the talent and charm to move an audience with his wonderful music. And his dark dark eyes and boyish good looks (well, he is only 18) won over the hearts of the females in attendance. Check him out. Cute huh?
And then......
...it was time for Kasim and his band to take the stage. It was amazing! Kas has put together a new solo show for this tour and there were some very nice surprises in the setlist. To say I was thrilled to be witnessing the taping of his DVD would be an understatement. Surprised? I thought not.

Anyway - it was a magical evening, great fun and we (RundgrenRadio and Groupie Gear) will soon be the proud parents of a bouncing baby DVD!

This might be the start of a new sideline for CruiserMel and that's pretty darn exciting.