I am a musical tourist…

… and I blame my daughter.

Or is it everyone that travels hundreds of kilometres a year and crosses international borders to see live music? Really, you’d think that living within about thirty minutes of the biggest city in the second-biggest country in the freakin’ world would be an automatic pass to all the bands and all the live music that you’d ever want to see. Yeah … not really true all the time. Sometimes, bands don’t bother to schedule Canadian dates (I’m looking at you fuckers, Warped Tour). Sometimes bands can’t make it across the border past Customs. Those border guards have a pretty long memory when it comes to all those *ahem* youthful indiscretions in a band’s past. But sometimes, you just want to jump in the car and drive.

How far is too far? One of the first shows that I ever took my daughter to was about 600 kilometres from home. And then there was that time we drove to the U.S. Gulf Coast — just about 2500 kilometres — for a show that cost us $24 in total for a pair of general admission tickets. Maybe when Google Maps tells you that your destination is in a different time zone, you might be traveling a little bit out of the way for the pleasure of your favourite band’s company. If your “music trip” routing will require you to spend more than two consecutive nights in one or more hotel rooms, then it might be that you are traveling a tiny bit too far.

All that aside, there’s only one real question to answer: is what you’re doing fun? Well, you only get one chance to do the really, really stupid shit so…. I guess you know what my advice would be here. See y’all on the barricade.

Ain’t no party like ….

… a rock ‘n’ roll party, bitchessss! That’s pretty much what a concert is, after all. Take a band or two or three (or sometimes four these days), then add a bunch of people who really love these bands and their music. Throw in a healthy helping of alcohol and/or other recreational substances, and voilà!

Now, there’s a thing I’ve always wondered about these venues. Before the show, between acts, after the show … there’s always recorded music playing. Sometimes it’s only three or four songs that get repeated endlessly. Sometimes you don’t hear the same song twice. And I always wonder who gets to choose exactly what gets played at these places. I think it should be me. Here’s what you’ll hear when I get to be in charge of the music at your show.

In Bloom: Neck Deep. If you’re just listening to the lyrics, well … kind of mopey-angsty-depressing. But don’t you just wanna bop all around the room when you hear the music that goes with those words?

Migraine: twenty-øne piløts. Same thing. Maybe I’m onto a theme here. Boppy song with a great rhythm, but the lyrics are kind of a downer. Meh. Good thing I didn’t pick Goner, right? Fuck it, man. Just dance while you’re waiting for the next band to hit the stage.

The Party Song: blink-182. It’s a little more on the punk side than the pop side, but damn. This song is funny as shit, and it’ll be an antidote for all the people who’ve been crying in the corners after listening to the last two songs.

The Lines: Beartooth. So we’re back to this, are we? I mean … those lyrics, though. That said, if this song is good enough for the band themselves to open shows with, then it’s good enough to get people hyped at other shows.

The Downfall Of Us All: A Day To Remember. And now it’s about the show openers. Bands open their shows with these songs for a reason, though. Set the tone early, and kill the rest of the show. Like the band says, “sing it if you fuckin’ know it.”

Poker Face: Lady Gaga. Not even close to kidding about this. There are grown men who will scream, weep, and push their girlfriends down to get to the dance floor when this song comes on. Admit it. You know all the words, and you’re singing it in your head right now.

Blank Space: I Prevail. You and I both know that everyone … everyone loves Taylor Swift. Now you get to admit it in front of a bunch of people without being the least bit embarrassed.

This Is The Time (Ballast): Nothing More. Yep. Getting close to time for that next act to get on stage. Get ready. Get moving. Get singing along with some more depressing lyrics backed by some great rhythms.

HUMBLE.: Kendrick Lamar. Full disclosure. I find this dude’s voice pretty annoying. I hear “MY LEFT STROKE JUST WENT VIIIRAL,” and it kinda makes me want to commit homicide. But this dude is at the top of his game and he’s working the most popular music genre in the US today. I can’t argue with that. And annoying voice notwithstanding, the tune’s catchy as hell.

Alpha Omega: Machine Gun Kelly. You get MGK just before the next act comes on. Motherfucker has an angry delivery. If you weren’t ready to get hype before, then you’d better believe that you will be after this song drops.

Lights go down. Cheers from the crowd. Here comes the band.

Bonus material. Here’s a song you’ll never, ever hear if you let me choose your music. I hate that I find that horrible, horrible song so catchy. The fact that your boy Lil Pump is sometimes too lazy to even finish pronouncing one-syllable words makes the English student in me weep bitter, bitter tears. Now … get back to listening to the music you went to the show to hear.

Who’s your Daddy?

Without music, life would be a mistake.

-Friedrich Nietzsche

What can I say? Everybody likes music, don’t they? When I was growing up, there was always music in my house. What I mean by THAT is that my bedroom was right next to the living room, and every weekend, I got to listen to the extremely, extremely loud reggae, soca, and/or jazz music to which my father and his friends were quite partial. So yes, from a young age, it was good to know that music was going to be about rooms full of loud people and bleeding ear holes. In fact, those are still pretty much the best things about music for me now.

Wait. Let me step back for a second or two, because I’m only three lines into this thing and I’m already completely distracted. Y’all don’t even know who I am, nor what I’m even doing. On the other hand, I probably won’t ever know any of that stuff about most of the folks who wind up reading this, so maybe that’s fair.

Well. What am I gonna write about? Probably about music, parenting, parenting a musician, having an adult kid and how weird that is, among other things. I’m also going to derive a great deal of pleasure in spelling things (like humour, centre, and neighbourhood) in the Canadian fashion. Am I qualified to write authoritatively about any of those things? HELL NO. But welcome to the egalitarian world of the Internet. I’m probably also going to subject y’all to random glimpses of my dad-taste in dad-music. And I might swear. So that’s a thing, too.

What am I gonna write about today? You just saw it. And you know what? Stick around. There’s more to come, and it just might be fun for all of us.