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2011 August

Mayhem Tour Concert Review

On August 23, 2011, in Concert Reviews, by admin


Congratulations to us…this is our 200th post!  And there was much rejoicing….yea

August 10, 2011.  Gexa Energy Center, Dallas Texas.  Another night out under the stars to take in some more head banging concert fare. The Mayhem Tour made a stop to this soon to be desert city of Dallas, Texas. The Mayhem Tour features Disturbed, Godsmack, and Megadeath in the headlining role.  Other bands like Machine Head were on two side stages. The twist to this stop on the Mayhem Tour was that Dallas and the entire Texas region has been crippled by 105 + degree heat and extreme drought conditions. So the madness on this stop of the Mayhem Tour included more sweat than the usual.

Mayhem Tour - It Doesn't Look 107, But It Is

The first stop was the side stage for Machine Head.  Although I have heard of them, I had never seem them before. The pic above was from the side stage where Machine Head played. Interesting group in that their metal guitars are laced with a rolling, wandering string of guitar licks that glue together to create a sound. Nothing much more on these guys.  The crowd was receptive, But nothing more stood out about this performance.

Megadeath came on in the early evening on the main stage.  Dave Mustane promptly informed the crowd that his doctor advised against playing this evening for an undisclosed reason.  He had the toy DJ who introduced him say the same thing.  Bottom line, they played for just short of 40 minutes a set that was typical Megadeath. Mustane seems to have shook his asshole ways of the past, and was gracious to the crowd and his stated attempt to play against better wisdom. I am OK with Megadeath, but will never go see them has a headliner.  Tonight, they were OK, but I did not mind it was a shortened set.  More time for $12 beer.

Godsmack follwed.  I like these guys. Their sound is so unique, not from music structure, but from the settings and sound out of the electric guitar.  I have not seen this unique electric sounding since Tom Sholz of Boston invented his contraption that was the Boston sound. Sully, the lead singer, is a no BS entertainer with a good sense of humor.  The only misstep  in the show was the once again obligatory solos that do nothing for me and the audience.  Only the real drunks trying to keep their buzz or highs intact cheer for these. The stage was straight up.  NO frills. Sully goofed with the audience at one point, and was truly funny, something you rarely see in concerts.  Go see Godsmack. They are good.  I hope they keep it together for a long time.

Disturbed headlined. I do not like these guys, but must review with an open mind. The stage was incredible.  Full of color and visual effects, including video running through most of the songs. I swear they were trying to send messages to audience.  Disturbed is a bid military supporter. Many of the videos captured that in a framing of ‘war really is stupid and shitty’ approach. Disturbed played all the hits in the 1:15 hour set. They are a tight band, and like Godsmack before them, they definitely have a sound of their own.  The political statements get a bit much.  Audience is there to loose their minds, not use it thinking about heavy subjects.  Still, I do not fault them. Most bands are just plain mindless, and my seven years of university are often lost on the mindlessness (which usually is very entertaining). In the end, they indicated to the audience that they would be taking a break.  The rags state they are not breaking up, but on indefinite hiatus, to ‘get away from eachother’ for a while.  So if you are really a fan, go see them, this may be the last for a long, long time.  And frankly, while I see the Hair Bands touring with great success in a reunited state, somehow, I just do not think this type of music that Disturbed plays will be the type to come around again in 20 years.

Go see them. I am calling them done for good.

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Jani Lane Dead at 47

On August 13, 2011, in Uncategorized, by admin

Jani Lane, the oft in and out member of Warrant was found dead at a Woodland Hills Hotel room on Thursday, August 11 2011. Most of the world will not notice, and frankly, much of the rock world will not notice as well. Lane was a troubled soul with a boat load of talent, yet undeniably underrated for musical writing, voice and overall performance. He was a founding  member of the ‘Hair Band’ Warrant, who actually rose to popularity toward the latter part of the hair band era.

Jani Lane dead at 47

For those of you not familiar, the hair band era was from the mid 80’s to right around 90-91. The bands were known for outrageously big hair, makeup, and hard rock songs with a ‘hook’ in them.  The big metal ballads were part of this era as well.  Bands in this genre include Dokken, Cinderella, Great White, and a host of others. Warrant too was part of this era, but with a more rich talent for songwriting, which is attributable largely to Lane.

Warrant’s success was a bit short lived, but filled with great songs.  The top selling song was the ballad “Heaven”, penned by Lane, topping the singles charts at number one in 1989. Other great pieces include Uncle Tom’s Cabin, included in the You Tube video above, and a host of others.  However, for the rest of their careers, the remaining Warrant members and previously Lane was tagged with the reputation derived from their immensely popular song “Cherry Pie”.

Like many of the hair bands, Warrant continued, and continues today to tour. Before Lanes sudden death, he, in the last decade was in and out of Warrant several times. At times, when sober, he was a real performer on the stage and truly thankful and humble to his audience.  When blasted on stage, he was horrible and disruptive to the show, many times not finishing songs.  The band had finally had enough, when in 2008, he joined up with them once again, only to be kicked out shortly thereafter.  I had recently seen Warrant in a club in the Dallas area (post is here on redd of course, just search the site) with a much younger lead singer who was so good it was hard to miss Lane.

But in the end, Warrant was Lane.  He had so much talent.  The rest of the world will not notice, but I will. He was too talented to end this way. It was reported that a half consumed bottle of vodka and prescription medications were found on the night stand. Official cause of death will likely not be released for quite some time.

In the end, it looks like whatever demons haunted him will cease, for nowCherry PieCherry Pie



Now that title is a mouthful.  The Rum Guy jumps into obscurity with his latest entry.

Today’s featured rum is from the lower price range of the spectrum.  The ultimate goal is to try every commercial rum and to find the best rum values on the market.  While some of my top rums are indeed in the upper cost tiers, not all have been a good value for your hard-earned cash.  So today’s entry, “Tropic Isle Palms—Spiced Cask Rum” addresses the other end.   While research found very little information about the company, the bottle states it is imported from Barbados, where “modern” rum is thought to have been originated.  The origin of the word “Rum” is lost to the mists of time, and several different linguistic experts disagree on that origin.   One item we can agree on, good rum means good times.  The island of Barbados makes a number of rums, some better than others but all are worth trying.  Historically, I have never been a huge fan of the “spiced” rums.  I have to be in a certain mood, and generally that happens only a couple times a year.  Purchases therefore have been few and far between, as I hate to spend the money on a rum and have it sit, lonely and ignored for months at a time.  That would not be a good rum bargain.  Having said that, I tried this Tropic Isle Palms.  The bottle has an appealing picture of two coconut palm trees and underneath that two barrels, to induce that impression of having been aged in barrels.  The rum itself is yellow-gold in color, similar to a beer when poured.  Upon opening the top, the aroma of fruit and spice rises gently to the nose.  Pouring a straight shot, this 70 proof rum is lighter than most I have tried.  The first taste on the tongue takes me to the tropics, with banana and vanilla overtones with a hint of cherry.  The spices seem to include a touch of cinnamon, cardamom, and light black pepper, but are subtle not overpowering.  It has a very smooth finish, perhaps due to the lower alcohol content but also to the right mix of spices.  While this is not a rum for drinking straight up, it mixes very well with both regular cola and Cherry Coke Zero.  With fruit juice it is a refreshing mix for a hot summer day.   Tropic Isle also sells a number of flavored rums if you are so inclined.   I am not a fan of flavored rum, but obviously people like it, as all the major rum distillers sell their own versions.   The texture and flavor of this Palms rum hold together, even if the drink sits unattended for a few minutes, which some rums do not do.  At about $12 a bottle, I was very pleased with this rum.  If you like spiced rums, or are looking to try one, I can recommend this rum, especially for summer outdoor social occasions.


Does it make my Top Ten Rums?  No, but a very good rum for the price.

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Fat Ho Burger Review

On August 1, 2011, in Other Interests, by admin

God Bless Lakita Evans.  She sold everything she had as a 23 year old to open Fat Ho Burgers in Waco, Texas. This burger joint opened up in late March 2011 with much fanfare because of its name, Fat Ho Burgers. You see, Waco, Texas is a sleepy city of 125,000 or so laced with more Southern Baptists than there are mosquitos in Northern Wisconsin. Not only Southern Baptists, but conservative, God fearing, anal Southern Baptists who will not take it lightly that their cherished city has a burger joint named ‘Fat Ho’

Fat Ho Burgers

When she opened in March of 2011, the name captured national attention with the name.  Living in Waco Texas during the weeks, I had several approach me inquiring whether I had been to Fat Ho. i had no idea what this was about.  Finally, I decided to embark upon a journey to find Fat Ho Burgers, and to review the product.

Frankly, I did not know what to expect. Since I had not followed the hype in March, I thought this was a chain that came to Waco. Well, clearly it is not.  It was started by 23 year old Lakita Evans,  a college grad who sold everything to start this joint. She choose a mid-Waco neighborhood, largely African American, surrounded by small buildings touting ‘Gospel Missions”  on the front, hand made signs.  Clearly, Lakita is my soul mate for the gumption she showed by opening, and calling this joint Fat Ho Burgers, in this neighborhood and Waco, Texas. The opening weeks were a craze for this joint. The internet had gone viral, and lines outside this joint were 30 minutes of wait with the business running out of beef on opening day.

Inside Fat Ho Burgers

But here is where the sad part begins.  After all of the hype, Fat Ho Burgers is left with the product. Gone are the lines that snaked into the streets. Gone are the uber number of peeps laying down an average of $7+ for a burger plate. What is left is a sign that still reads “Fat Ho Burgers, Coming Soon”; and a business that is struggling to stay going in a difficult environment both economically and in the neighborhood.

On this Thursday, assuming that their manual receipt book keeping is accurate, I was the 29th cover to come into the restaurant at 12:45p. Not a good sign for the business. At an average of $7 per cover, this equates to a paltry $203 on a day when the lunch business should be picking up.

Inside Hip-Hop and R&B was playing. You order at the counter. Today, their fountain drink machine only had regular Dr. Pepper left out of a normal 8 choices. You get the impression that these folks are not that familiar or experienced with operating a restaurant.  Not a good sign.  I ordered a combo of cheeseburger and fries, total damage, about $6.95. Now here is the difficult part for this business, the cheeseburger was actually quite good and the fries decent. The bun was thoroughly toasted, the meat flavorful with the appropriate fixings on the burger that left it messy and delicious. Never mind the food came out from behind a red curtain where you are not sure what goes on. The meal was good.  Not what I expected, but good.  I expected more branding of the name that flowed over into the plate names.  While she clearly had attempted this with the naming rights of the plates, she could have done so much more.  Their brisket plate is called ‘Sloopy Ho”?  Really? Is this a misspelling or am I getting bad information?  Clearly Sloppy Ho has to be a front runner, and maybe this is what they meant….how about ‘Bag Full of HO” for the really big order, or, ” Blow Ho” for the really spicy burger?]

I hope this place makes it.  I will be back.  It is not the best burger I have had, but very, very good. Some of you Waco peeps who fear certain neighborhoods just need to get over it. These people are real and nice, and the service showed that exponentially.   On a scale of 10 big burgers, I give this a solid 7.

Check them out if you are ever in Central Texas…..if for any  other reason, just to spite the personality of Waco, a city that has so much going for it if it would just get over its overt conservativism.



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