Posts Tagged ‘4th of July’


If it’s illegal to rock and roll, throw my ass in jail!”~ Kurt Cobain

Ever run around in the middle of the night in a city of just over million people in the downtown area just to catch a band play a show?

I rolled my happy butt from the Dirty Dog Bar to a venue that I had never been before. A venue which apparently had two stages. Inside and outside.

Now I have seen that before with Acadia Bar & Grill in Houston, Texas. As well as Red Eyed Fly which also has indoor & outdoor. That wasn’t new. But Red 7 was new.

But I had left Downfall 2012 to go see CASKET OF CASSANDRA play once more before they hit the road this summer as they go up and down the Midwest.

It was dark. HOLY CRAP was it dark!!!!!!!!! I am totally surprised that any of my photographs actually came out. Or actually happy that the flash on the camera is so damned bright that its blinding!!

However, CASKET OF CASSANDRA was playing pretty late in the evening. I was amused and surprised to see how many people actually outside walking in the streets.

Nonetheless the band was going to be playing. And I was there in plenty of time. coc03

There was someone there, I think by the name of Alex. He sure did like getting his photograph taken. I am not sure just how drunk he was. But he was having a good time and for once I met a person who had been drinking but was not causing problems or being a danger to anyone. It was refreshing to find that.

Right away, I was thrilled to the core when I heard them open with “Solitaria” ohhhhhhh how I was excited!!!

My own biased opinion is that with each and every show that I see them play, they get better. They sound better. Everything about their set is better.

At least better from the last time that I saw them play. coc00I’m going to have to go back and count how many times I have seen them play. I know I’ve missed a few, especially their CD release party.. and that sucked for me but there wasn’t much I could have done. But I’ve seen them a lot. I guess it helps that they are “a local band.”

With their stage presence, Amanda Maddera came off of the stage and into the crowd and wandered around the bar. She’s done this many times (if not every time) before. And I got one hell of a photograph of her headbanging while doing her thing as she was off of the main stage at Red 7.

To be honest with you all, I have never seen that before. Where a lead singer comes off of the stage and hangs out in the crowd for a moment and then perches themselves somewhere for the duration of the song and then get back on stage by the ending notes.

Its fun. I could see it being a security problem if there were tens of thousands of people, but the band wasn’t performing in front of that many.

I can see how each and every one of the members are improving in their skill and craft. It is pretty awesome to watch this band grow and develop into a face melting, power gripping metal band. C43I really hope that they get all the success that they are striving for. It really is a unique experience to watch this band play live. Plus, when their new album comes out and I’m too scared to listen to it? You know there’s something going on.

When I told that to guitarist Riles Olacsi, he grinned the most evil of looks… knowing that all the evil and scary was the point.

So later this summer, see if they are coming into your area. If so, I definitely recommend you at least check it out. That’s all I am suggesting.


“The holidays stress people out so much. I suggest you keep it simple and try to have as much fun as you can.”~ Giada De Laurentiis

This could be put into three parts, but the first part is actually one entire blog post by itself, so we’ll only deal with two parts, which are actually the better parts, or the more positive parts.

Independence Day in the United States of America. The great holiday of The Fourth of July. And lucky to the American citizens, it landed on a Firday which gave everyone in the work force an extended weekend.

One would think everyone would be refreshed from such a long holiday. That remains to be seen.

But allow me to come back to business and give you the scoop on this year’s holiday activities.

Downfall 2012 came to town. Driving up from the Houston area. I remembered them from last May when they were here last, they played with Filter but also RESISTING VEGAS. And that’s where I met them.

Needless to say that I was excited. But this was going to go down on the Fourth of July.

Usually, I am sitting at home in the dark and hoping that no stray bullets that were fired by some idiot come crashing through my windows or some stray firework that exploded come down and start a fire. Simply put: Fireworks are illegal here. But it doesn’t stop these idiots here in the hood.

So this gave me another option to spend the holiday. With music and entertainment.

It was a little different from what I was used to because Downfall 2012 would be the one and only band playing. So they had the entire place to themselves.

I could not imagine the time that they were going to have to fill.

I asked the lead singer, Daniel Gil, ahead of time what was what. And he basically said that they would play until they didn’t want them to play any more. damagedroses

It was very different to be traveling on a bus on a holiday, without really knowing what to expect or curious about how many people would be out or riding the bus or whatever there may be.

Probably the funniest thing that happened that day was that I had two single stemmed roses (one red, one yellow) in my back pack and when I crossed the street to get to the city bus stop… I lost them in the middle of the street. These flowers were demolished and destroyed. And after a police cruiser ran them both over, there was nothing left.

I have no idea who I would have given them to in the first place and that is probably why I didn’t really care about trying to run into the middle of the street to save them. But I did lose $8 on them.


The bus ride seemed to take very little time to get downtown. And of course that works on the plus side. But there was a showdown going on between me and the sun. A race against time. Would I reach my destination before the sun would set or would I be traveling around on the sidewalks of downtown in the dark?? downfal2

I won that race by a narrow margin. And Downfall 2012 was already there and setting up. They got started early, but that was just fine by me.

I got some “happy fun time” photographs of the band before they hit the stage and then it was smooth sailing with great entertainment from there on.

In my own opinion, Downfall 2012 is far better than what I remembered them to be last May. Obviously, there was something from within that had me go to their show on the Fourth of July and as I sat there listening to their music and their lyrics, I would be reminded of that.

Downfall 2012 is clean cut as far as musical tastes are concerned. And what I mean is that you either love Downfall 2012 and their music OR you don’t.

Simple as that.

I on the other hand was happy and content with the decision to make it down to the Dirty Dog Bar for their show. However the joy would be short lived as there was something else going on one block north and one block east from where I was over on 7th Street. downfall2012It would be Part II.

I was hoping to catch them playing the cover of “Baby Got Back” but I left too soon for that, even thought I knew it was on their set list for the night.

Downfall 2012 had made the best of their weekend by traveling up here from Houston and staying at a camp site and had all kinds of activities of leisure planned ahead of them. I guess if you’re going to be playing on the Fourth of July weekend and have to drive three or more hours to get there, knowing that you have to drive that much time back to get home, that you might as well make a trip out of it. I hope they had fun.

I personally hope that they come back again soon. For whatever reason, I kept thinking that it had been many many many months since the first time that I saw them. But it was only since last May. Weird how time does that to your brain.

These guys are fun. I’d love to hang out with them just once because I think that they would be a blast.

Within the next few hours, I will be locking my door and keeping things on the DL. Once the sun begins to set, the hey day of celebrations of Independence Day will commence.

No, I will not be going out to enjoy any fireworks show this year. Unfortunately for this area of the country we are in a serious drought and are ten inches behind on the average annual rainfall for this time of the year. So a majority of the fireworks displays in this area have been cancelled. Which is sad.

The temperatures are too high to be sitting out in the sun today in the first place, just waiting for the sun to disappear. And even then, its still bad enough.

Instead this year, I went out to breakfast and ate ALL YOU CAN eat Fourth of July breakfast buffet. Not to mention I ate what seemed like a ton of bacon for Lisa & Lori this morning. My cholesterol levels and clogged arteries will thank them later.

And then in the afternoon, I went to a neighbor’s and stayed cool and watched movies on demand. That dear readers, is my Independence Day celebration. Include a marathon of watching the HBO series “Band of Brothers” one episode after another in a few here. Already this weekend, I’ve watched a few and so I’m just shy of half way there.

But the sporadic explosions of fireworks will begin. That and gun fire. Fireworks to my north and guns to my south. I prefer to stay uninjured during this Independence Day weekend.

For me though, I have a love/hate relationship with fireworks. For as long as I can remember my fascination as well as my protest for these things that go BANG and BOOM in the air and then produce the pretty spectacle of colors has always been there.

When I was a child, fireworks were in fact legal. I just hated the fact that they always made loud explosions in the air. Some of the more common firecrackers I hated too. Growing up, I had a difficult time with unusually loud noises. They hurt my ears.

By the time I was a teenager, it was not so bad on my ears. And by then, my family had moved to a place where fireworks were NOT legal. So there was nothing to be bought or had. Fines and tickets were hefty if you were caught in possession of them.

Not being able to buy them or use them didn’t bother me too much, up until about fifteen years ago when I was living in a place where the county allowed them. I could not believe my eyes when I saw a woman selling fireworks from inside of her own garage.

Without parental supervision, and being in a place in life where nobody could tell me what to do, I went NUTS!

In the three years that I lived in Lane County, in the state of Kansas, whenever July rolled around I practically spent every last penny I owned on fireworks. My first time buying them, I was so ridiculous, foolish, and irresponsible that I had spent so much that I could not pay my bills for the month. Needless to say that I didn’t have a lot to eat or drink in the entire month of July.

I remember that year well. I was hanging out with a guy during the summer and every day from the 29th of June until the 5th of July, I would go to that woman’s garage and look for something to buy. Wanting the biggest, the baddest, the most awesome fireworks that I could find.

I bought so much that the woman selling them to me, gave me about $50 worth in assorted fireworks for free. And on top of that she had a drawing for the mighty mystery bag of assorted fireworks that was supposed to be valued at over $200. The buddy that I was hanging out with would end up winning it. But he and I stuck together that evening of Independence Day.

Inside that mystery bag was something called “Thunder King”. It was the most single awesome, bad ass firework with report that I have ever laid my eyes upon. Nothing has ever compared to it since. 40 shots that go flying into the air, high above the telephone wires and explode in a colorful fury that lit up a radius of about three blocks. And the report rattled the windows of everything. Even setting off car alarms.

When I went back on the morning of the 5th, I was told that it valued at $75!! And she had one more left on the shelf. She was going to sell it to me for less than 50% off, but I could not handle it because of all the other stuff that I had bought that was pathetic by comparison.

Boxed sets, assorted sets, Roman candle sets, Black Cats, fountains, missles. I could go on and on. But I could not get my hands on another “Thunder King”.

Each end of June, that woman could probably smell me coming from a mile away even though I probably did not live that far from her. She KNEW I was going to be there. From that point on, there was no more “Thunder King”. Only something that was similar that truly and honestly sucked.

Obviously it didn’t matter to her that much. She was going to get my money! So she definitely set up things to where I could reach, remembering what I liked from the year before.

But then a few years later, I would move again to another part of Kansas where the county did not allow them. So I was back to what I really knew best: celebrating without them.

Hundreds and hundreds of dollars gone up in a matter of minutes, leaving nothing but a giant low lying cloud of smoke from all of the TNT and gun powder to permeate the night air. And then its all over.

I learned my lesson: Fireworks are BAD JUJU for the Dambreaker.

Now I have bought fireworks since that time, but nothing like that before. Maybe $25 here or $50 there. Each and every time I smell that unsettled powder, I cringe and my wallet begins to shake in my pocket wondering if I am going to strip it clean of its contents.

And I understand that there are people out there that spend thousands of dollars on fireworks. I’m just not one of those kinds of people that can handle that kind of spending, financially speaking.

It sucked having to live on 89¢ fountain drinks, Macaroni & Cheese and endless packages of Ramen noodles for three weeks. All in the name of wanting a “respectable collection” of fireworks.

 It might be really cool to watch all of those awesome, vibrant colors. And yeah, it is kinda neat for you to be able to knock the socks off of people who are nearby when you are putting on your own fireworks display. Just because you didn’t want the night to end when the local fireworks display was over. I simply had lost my mind in those years after spending so much money on it all.

And to think that I hated them for making such loud noises growing up!

But for those of you who do have them and are allowed by your county and state to use them: Be safe! Keep the children away from all of it. Leave the pets inside because they are gonna hate the noises anyways. Use some common sense because they are in a wild and weird sense, a fire hazard.

Enjoy your Independence Day celebrations. And Happy 235th birthday, America!!!!!!



“The day will be most memorable in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival…It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade…bonfires and illuminations (fireworks) from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.” ~John Adams, July 3, 1776

The words of one of our founding fathers to this great nation. And future President of the United States of America.

Everyone across the United States will have their entire weekend filled with fun activities. Many of them will include fireworks. Many of us will go watch a local display of fireworks. And others will relax in the summer heat while enjoying the company of family, relatives, and friends.

So why do we have fireworks and why do we use them? Well for one, that is how our founding fathers celebrated. Fireworks were brought over to this country from Europe and they were used mainly to celebrate as well as intimidate the native Indians who were there at the time. A show of force, if you will.

Fireworks dazzle all of us. Every woman, child, and man. The young and the old. It does not matter who you are, as soon as you hear that first great big BOOM!! of the evening, your heart nearly skips a beat and you’re filled with wonder and gaze into the night sky beyond the stars to see what amazing colors will fill the air for that one glorious moment.

But I think that a few of us tend to forget that fireworks also are a representation of the Revoluntary War. The bombs and canons going off as we struggled to become a free country and gain our independence. We should not take our freedoms for granted. It came with a price. And even on that first Fourth of July, our nation’s future was unknown. We did not know if we would end up winning the battle. But it was something in which we believed in, and so we stood up and fought for it. That was our price.

And our men and women in the military service still fight for those same freedoms that we have today over two centuries later. They fight because we wish to preserve those freedoms for everyone, and we will never allow anyone to take them away from us.

As we celebrate the 235th birthday of our country, remember those who have fought and died for our country. Remember those who still fight.

Relax and enjoy our freedoms to be able to gather with loved ones and celebrate. Try to thank those people whom you know have served in our nation’s military. Everybody stay safe and have fun.

Happy Independence Day!!!!