Whistlin’ Past The Graveyard

Oh hello, I’m just going to drop this here for my obligatory Halloween post:

I made a mix of my favorite artists and their most Halloween-ish songs for your listening pleasure!

For the record, it was really difficult to not just make a list of 10 Tom Waits songs (WHAT’S HE BUILDING IN THERE??), but I had a fun time digging through my iTunes library trying to find relevant songs somewhere in between “Monster Mash” and “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” (I mean, I want to be able to enjoy listening to it myself).

The other person who I figured would dominate this mix is John Entwistle, featured above in his skin-tight skeleton suit. The man is obsessed with the macabre. I mean, just look at each album cover of his solo career:

albums2(I left out Too Late the Hero and The Rock because those are actually pretty normal, but let’s not forget that he also did an album called Music from Van-Pires). However, while re-listening to these albums, I realized that John Entwistle has a way of making songs with really dark content in the style of, say, 50’s doo wop (which is essentially all of Rigor Mortis and Mad Dog). Since I wanted this mix to actually sound like it could be in a classic rock haunted house of sorts, I ended up using some of his Who-era songs instead. For the rest of the mix I got kind of lazy and just opted for spacey psychedelic 60s songs.

Anyway, all of this was way more explanation than necessary. Happy Halloween, I guess. Anyone else have any good spooky songs to share?

Into the Great Wide Open

Just some miscellany for you on this fine Friday eve…


OK Go’s new album Hungry Ghosts officially comes out next week, but you can hear the whole thing now at Hype Machine! Thanks to pre-orders and two OK Go concerts this summer, a lot of these songs already feel like old favorites (“The One Moment,” “I Won’t Let You Down”), but hearing them as part of a full album somehow brings back the magic of experiencing them for the first time. After a few listens, my favorite new songs are “If I Had a Mountain” (SO Prince) and “Bright As Your Eyes.” Can’t wait to have my own copy, and for the new music video(s) to come out!



Last weekend I saw TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS in San Jose, and it was epic. A real American rock & roll show, as Tom put it. Poor Alex was suffering from the Bruce Springsteen Effect (throwback to 2009 when Lauren and I couldn’t stay awake during the Boss’s 2+ hour set at the end of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concert). Nevertheless, I like to think he enjoyed at least the hits, and/or wasn’t too embarrassed with me trying to perfect my Petty impression during “Yer So Bad.” Unlike a lot of other classic rockers who have understandably gone hoarse (Roger Daltrey, I still love you), Tom Petty still sounds exactly like Tom Petty. And his hair is still so unbelievably groomed (is it fake now? I’m too scared to ask Google).

That hair…so smooth and silky…

Anyway, the show was awesome and I quite enjoyed Tom’s stage quips: “Whaddaya say, San Jose?!” (such a dad phrase) and “Thank you SO MUCH” x1000. I also thought it was cool that they played “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” and a rowdy version of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” which I had no idea was originally recorded by Paul Revere & The Raiders. We had pretty good seats on the floor level and near the middle, but I would love to someday see a show like this from the first few rows. Maybe next time TP & the Heartbreakers play Outside Lands….


And of course, Happy Lenntwistle Day! I searched through Tumblr to find two pictures of these guys being their awesome selves:

johnny JUNagain

Is J.L. on a skateboard? And I know he’s flipping the British equivalent of the bird, but he’s doing it so HAPPILY! I’ve never seen that pic before and I love it. Meanwhile, J.E. makes a fashion statement out of leather pants, a scarf, and a wacky bass guitar. How can you not love them?

Top Fives: John Entwistle Edition

Top 5 Who Songs Sung by John:
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (I love this one so much, don’t judge)
Boris the Spider (obvi)
The Quiet One
Trick of the Light
-I know it’s kind of a stretch, but A Quick One because John’s falsetto at the end is too. much.

Nikki’s Top 5 Favorite Johnfacts:
-He had a thing for Irish wolfhounds (bonus pics).
-He played the trumpet & french horn – all of the brass parts you hear in The Who’s songs were arranged/played by John.
-He was blonde but dyed his hair black throughout the 60s-70s.
-He and Keith were BFFs (more bonus pics).
-He did the cover art for The Who By Numbers. More of his drawings are here, along with a funny autobio that he wrote just days before he died. :(

Top 5 “John DGAF” Moments:

– The skeleton suit, an excellent example of “John does whatever the f@*& he wants”:


– The entire Smothers Brothers performance, but especially around this part:


– His bass-playing on The Real Me (UNREAL):


– The rogue lick at 0:23, and also the 2:40 mark of this video, when the rest of the band has finished and John just thunders away:


– And finally, this little montage:

Conclusion: John Entwistle is my favorite.



In high school, my AIM username was “lenntwistle”: a combination of John Lennon and John Entwistle. (I thought I was sooooooo clever. Too bad I had to explain it every time I had a conversation with someone [although let’s be honest, the only people I chatted with were band kids who were just as nerdybut not as classic rock-savvyas me.])

Anyway, the only reason I bring it up is because it’s October 9, one of my favorite self-proclaimed holidays. JOHN DAY! i.e. the day that John Lennon and John Entwistle were born, 1940 and 1944 respectively.

In honor of these guys, I thought I’d share a song by each. These are two of the most rocking, dance-inducing songs I could find, because after all, these guys ARE rock ‘n roll:

Happy birthday, John and John!

Of Mods and Rockers

Tonight I’m remembering that one time I saw The Who in concert and how flipping awesome it was. Seriously one of the greatest shows I’ve ever seen and probably ever will see. I’ll never listen to Quadrophenia the same way again.

I’m also remembering the first time I listened to The Who. It was the summer of 2002 and I was sitting in the garage (because that’s where we kept the record player), thumbing through my dad’s records and discovering The Kids Are Alright, the soundtrack album to the documentary made in the 70s.


The vast online Beatles fandom (which probably had a lot to do with my early Internet obsession) had made me familiar with the British Invasion, and I knew this was a band I should listen to. So I put the record on and got my first taste of The Who. And literally the next day (as recorded in my spiral bound journal), I read about John Entwistle’s death in the newspaper.

The Legend. The Ox.

At the time I wasn’t a big enough fan to be super upset, but I did realize the ironic timing, and made it a point to listen to as much of The Who as I could get my hands on (pre-Youtube = actually finding physical records/CDs to listen to). The result? It took me a while, but by the summer of 2005 I was a full-fledged Who Fanatic. I spent that summer making Mod collages and learning Pinball Wizard on guitar and trying to perfect my windmill. And since then, I’ve never looked back. :)

So it’s no surprise that my recommended film/documentary of the moment is….*ta-da!*: The Kids Are Alright, chronicling The Who’s career up until Keith Moon’s death in 1978. I will never, ever get tired of watching it. Action-packed and full of guitar smashing, all the way to the ending credits.

And the video of the night is one I’d never seen before (I have now, of course). It is proof of not only The Who’s awesome stage presence, but their sense of humor too. This is perhaps the silliest guitar smash (not actually a smash) I’ve ever seen Pete do, followed by John not giving a single f*ck about how loud his bass is, followed by lots of Keith antics and hugging as they exit the venue. Ahhhh, so much love for these guys:


Rolling Stone just released a list of reader-picked Top 10 Bassists, and I bet you know who was Number One (or, I bet you can guess since I’m posting it here)…

John Entwistle, a.k.a. THE OX:

*My Generation solo. As the top rated comment says: “Oh, am I doing a bass solo? I didn’t notice…”
*Acoustic bass solo. Still SO MUCH POWER.
*WGFA isolated bass. This is an extra on The Kids Are Alright, and it’s really freaking awesome. The whole middle part is amazing (stuff you don’t really get to hear when the full band is playing), and the end is POWERCHORD MADNESS. So good!
The best thing about John Entwistle is that he was never outwardly showy or pompous about his bass playing. He just did his thing while the rest of the band flung around their instruments and got destructive. He was the ultimate of cool.

we all shine on

Oy. School has started and now I can’t update this thing pointlessly three times a week anymore. Bummer. I missed John Day so this is my late tribute:

John Lennon, Oct. 9 1940 – Dec. 8 1980

John Entwistle, Oct. 9 1944 – June 27 2002

Two of the greatest!

Also, one more thing from the Rock Hall website:

October 14th, 2009
We have just added BB King to play with Stevie Wonder on October 29th and Buddy Guy to play with Eric Clapton on October 30th.

Epic! 15 DAYS!!!!!