Sunday, April 28, 2019

Large Local Fan Turnout At Recent New Album Signing For Cage The Elephant's "Social Cues" At Mellow Matt's Records & More In Bowling Green, Ky.


   Cage The Elephant and I go way back in Bowling Green during their early days before their second album release in 2011, "Thank You, Happy Birthday.'
Cage The Elephant

    Since CTE is from Bowling Green and my son, Tony Smith, who is also a Bowling Green musician, songwriter and producer and who now lives in East Nashville,  he became friends with CTE band brothers, Matt and Brad Shultz, earlier in their early days of the band's beginnings and eventually "Sleeper Agent," was formed (Tony's former band) and the rest is history. And that's another story to tell in of itself one day. However, the first time I saw CTE perform was at the second annual "Starry Nights Music Festival" in Bowling Green (which is now defunct) in the October of 2010. I was blown away by the band. (see video below) In the meantime, here's a little info about that time period during CTE's history with Sleeper Agent and the Bowling Green Music Scene on their Wikipedia page. I like to call it the "Heyday of the Bowling Green Music Scene":
Sleeper Agent

   'The group's audience expanded widely throughout 2011. Although they were formed in the 2000s, the band earned the top spot in Rolling Stone's "Reader's Poll: The Best New Artist of 2011". The band Sleeper Agent, another Bowling Green music group and close friends with Cage the Elephant, came in second place. The magazine also named Thank You, Happy Birthday as the 15th best album of the year. That year, Cage the Elephant and Manchester Orchestra embarked on a co-headlining tour with Sleeper Agent as the opening band. In January 2012, the band released the album Live from The Vic in Chicago, recorded during their 2011 tour, and also toured with the Big Day Out music festival."

   Even though that is a long and interesting story especially on Sleeper Agent's part as far as I'm concerned, I will stay focused in this particular blog segment on CTE's recent new album signing for "Social Cues" at Mellow Matt's Records and More on Smallhouse Road in Bowling Green which was a grand experience for CTE local fans and the Bowling Green Music Scene from all appearances while I videotaped the event from the outside of the building and in the parking lot as well as the grass.
CTE's New Album, "Social Cues"

    Mellow Matt's is a small record store with not much space in a strip shopping mall. However, Matt and his staff somehow manage large crowd turnouts in order for fans to get autographs on records and CD's from famous bands such as CTE. It's also where Sleeper Agent had their second release album party in 2014 for "About Last Night." The crowd for Sleeper Agent was not quite as large as CTE's but they nonetheless they had a good turnout and that was Matt's number one album selling album for the year he had claimed. Actually, this was CTE''s was second new album signing at Mellow Matt's. The first one was a couple of years ago at the store for their fourth album, "Tell I'm Pretty," in which they won a Grammy for "Best Rock Album in 2015. I was not able to make it to that signing. But since I have a new HD DVC camera that my son, Tony, gave to my birthday, I decided to try it out in the parking lot at the CTE signing at Mellow Matt's. There are three little short video clips that I posted below from my Youtube Channel. They are not perfect by no means but I do believe I was able to capture a little of the magic, spirit and excitement among CTE's many local fans that were lined up waiting to get inside. And hopefully, I'll get better with the camera as time goes on. (Note: I did receive Mellow Matt's permission on the phone prior the signing in order to make these video clips). I also included one of CTE performing the song "Tiny Robots" at the Starry Nights Music Festival in 2010. Thank you and I hope you enjoy the videos!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

America's Bud Light Cult Following: Frat Parties In The 80's, 2019 Super Bowl Ads And No Corn Syrup

    When Bud Light first hit the market in 1982 in its early days of introduction to the world,  I remember a lot of frat parties in the 80's at Ole Miss in Oxford, Miss., where the new fantastic and great tasting light beer was being served to guzzling college students playing beer games using a keg, a pump and a black hose with that little handheld flexible tap.

     According to USA Today, Budweiser's Bud Light is the number one selling beer in America these days with about 33 million barrels shipped a year. It's not just for your average, run of the mill for the beer guzzling frat boy anymore.  Oh no, it's much, much bigger than that.
    Just about everywhere you go nowadays-grocery stores, convenient stores, liquors stores, restaurants, bars, small sporting events and at the one of the biggest events in the world such as the NFL's Super Bowl with millions and millions of viewers watching on television.  And TV ads for the big event costs a sponsor such as Bud Light,  millions and millions of dollars for a 30 second spot.

 Bud Light was one of the major sponsor for this years Super Bowl in February with some memorable ads stressing the fact that they use "No Corn Syrup" in order to make their beer where some of the major other light beers do such as  "Miller Lite," and "Coors Light." Wow, earth shattering news, right! Lol.

 Also, Bud Light, the industry giant and leader, is the first to promote their new policy of labeling Bud Light boxes with nutrition and ingredient labels as a leader of the pack that shoots them even further into the stratosphere of the beer world. The nutritional labels are hard to miss: they are bold, black and white, and big. They're the same type of labels you see in other food categories.

   Most of us who watched the Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the LA Rams, probably thought the game was pretty much a bore.  I did somewhat but what I remember about it the most was the Bud Light commercials.  I think the ads worked on me because now I know the beer has no corn syrup in it!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Ole Miss Lives On Forever

Ole Miss is a place. It’s a place that lives on in our hearts and minds whether we are 18 years-old or 94 years-old. It does not matter if you live in Nantucket, Mass., or Bowling Green, Ky., some of us attended school there and some of us did not. Nevertheless, Ole Miss is the place that you see in your mind when you close your eyes and meditate upon her. When I shut my eyes, I can see myself standing in The Grove or The Circle looking at the front of The Lyceum at a moment’s notice. I can still hear the Ole Miss choir standing on the staircase of The Lyceum during my freshman year back in December of 1982 singing Christmas carols to the administration and staff on the last day of school before the holiday break or in Fulton Chapel singing the Ole Miss Mater Song during an Award ceremony in the early Spring. No, we could never be mad at Ole Miss for what she stands for and what she means to us. She lives on forever and our love for will never end.  No one can ever kill our love for her or take away our memories. We will all die one day but she will live on forever creating new memories in the hearts and minds of students and other people from other places from far and between. Hotty Toddy!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

There's A Small-town Disco That Still Lives On In My Head

    I still think about it all the time while driving my work truck throughout the rolling hills of Southcentral Kentucky during the day.
     I can't get it out of my head.  The music still lives on my mind and motivates me after all these years.  I may not be able to dance or move like I used too but I still find the music especially motivating and inspiring.  I really love to listen to it with my iPhone and earplugs while walking on the treadmill at the gym.  I have a whole playlist on Amazon Prime Music dedicated to Disco and Dance Music. I find it invigorating and youthful.  There's just something about it.  I have a fantasy that if I was super wealthy, I would build a mansion in Bowling Green with a disco in it with the lights, dance floor, sound system and the whole nine yards and invite all my friends over to dance.

 The other day while driving my work truck, all of sudden the 1980 hit disco song, "Stomp" by Brothers Johnson came on the Sirius radio channel's Studio 54.  My mind began wander back to the days of my dad's lake house in the hills of North Mississippi when I was a 16 year-old kid in the fall of 1978.  I can still see myself looking in the mirror dressing up in my polyester pants and shirt. I had a job to do but it did not pay anything. I worked for free in 1978 because I loved it.  I was the disc jokey at the former small-town disco on the square of Hernando, Miss., in North Mississippi.

    Also, I couldn't wait to get out on the dance floor to strut my stuff.  I thought I was really cool.  I was the "Disco Boy."  My brother and friend used to like to tease me when he got home from the disco at night.  I didn't mind though because he thought it was funny.  It reminded me of that Frank Zappa song, "Disco Boy," or his other Zappa's other hit song during that time period, "Dancin' Fool.

  The small-town disco was alcohol free where the local kids could come in and dance at no charge.  I would be upstairs on the balcony sitting at a little desk flickering light switches on and off while the kids below danced on the dance floor lined with Christmas lights basically to the disco music on the jukebox.  Lol. And yes, there was a disco mirror ball too hanging from the ceiling with a couple of spotlights shinning on it too.  I had lots of fun with it for a while until I started getting bored with it.  Especially, since I was not making any money.  Eventually, the owner of the disco got upset with me because I quit showing up.  I told him, "Look,  you're not paying me anyway, so I do have to show up."  Eventually, the disco was turned into a video game arcade which was really popular with the local kids also because they had lots of PacMan, Gallatical and other popular games at the time.  But regardless, there's still a small-town disco that lives on my mind and I can't get it out of my head.  It's engrained in there. I don't mind though.  Because they are really sweet memories! Happy 2019!