Thursday, December 29, 2016

December 29, 2016 at 08:25PM


This is the centerfold of the Journey "Frontiers" tour program. This image is identical to a poster we had hanging on the basement wall in the old North Olmsted house. I spent many nights with Journey playing on the stereo and staring at that poster.

December 29, 2016 at 08:22PM


Tonight I was given this Journey tour program from their 1983 "Frontiers" tour. I went to this concert with my friend, Matt B., who passed away nearly 12 years ago. We went to the show with his mom and sat behind the stage. That was fine by me because I got a better view of Steve Smith playing drums. Bryan Adams was an up and comer and the opening act. Matt's brother gave this to me. I will treasure it.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

December 25, 2016 at 08:41AM


I normally don't show of my swag, but this wood watch I received from "Santa" is the bomb.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016

Remembering Seann

This was written soon after the death of my brother-in-law, Seann. It' been five years since he left us. The void of his loss still stings. -- SM

I could sense a presence at the foot of my bed; someone standing there, waiting for me to wake up. Raising my head, my eyes fought their way through the haze caused by the alcohol and turkey I’d consumed the night before. It was my brother-in-law, Seann, dressed in his motorcycle jacket and his backpack hanging over one shoulder. His mouth curled into the cocksure smile that never seemed to leave his face.

The night before, Thanksgiving, he’d joined us for a feast at my brother’s house. We hadn’t seen him in a while and it was a pleasure to catch up. All in attendance came from my sister-in-law’s side of the family and I always found it beautiful that Seann could effortlessly fit in with them.   Just as they had welcomed Julie and me into their lives many years ago, they did the same with Seann. It helped that he was so personable and an interesting person to be around. If you asked him he could talk to you about just about anything.

It wasn’t always that way. When I first met Seann, as a cut, ten-year-old kid, in love with the Cleveland Indians and the game of baseball. He was also pretty nonverbal. Our conversations generally went something like this:

Me: “What’s up dude?”
Seann: “Hmm. Not much.”
Me: “Indians look pretty good. I really like the team they’ve put together, including that Lofton guy! I loved him!”
Seann: “Hmm.”

And that was about it. I was content with having this type of relationship seeing as I’d bonded with her other brother, Michael, over similar interests in music, movies and comics.  Still, I hoped that someday Seann and I might connect, despite the fact that we lived in California and he reside in Northeast Ohio.  Everything changed the day Seann took up drumming.

Having played drums throughout my entire adolescence and into college, I could finally relate to my young brother-in-law and really get to know him. To my great surprise, Seann didn’t just bang around on the drums, playing to the radio; he excelled at the instrument through discipline, hours of practice and a innate sense of rhythm. He found a way to express himself and it was awesome. As any drummer  can tell you that it’s a joy to listen and watch a natural talent on the kit, and Seann was a true natural. We now spoke the same language. Instead of grunts and mumbles, Seann and I began having conversations about drum kits, tuning, cymbal brands, drumsticks and which drummers he admired the most.

I’ll admit that I took secret pleasure in being able to jam every time Julie and I went back to Cleveland, but Seann was always gracious and gave up the drum stool whenever I asked.  There were occasions when he hung out to watch me play. I wager to say that he didn’t receive as much pleasure in watching me as I did when he was behind the drum kit.

When the time came for Seann to apply to colleges, I was intrigued that he was considering Bowling Green State University, my alma mater. He wanted to major in music and seeing as I’d spent four years roaming the halls of the music school, I felt that I could offer my two cents. We discussed BG’s excellent music program and the great campus atmosphere. I’m not sure if what I had to say had any sway in his decision, but Seann chose BG in the fall of 2000.

At Bowling Green, Sean transformed from a great drummer into well-rounded percussionist and musician. His studies introduced him to a variety of instruments that added richness to his skills. Additionally, he became interested in sound engineering and began thinking about a career as a sound designer for films. It was a marvel to watch the light of his spirit shine. This was no truer than when he returned from a trip to Ghana, Africa. An openness and a joy for life were bursting from him as he regaled the family with stories of his trip abroad. Africa fortified his soul and gave him a new purpose in life.

In 2005, Seann graduated from college and moved to Los Angeles. In Southern California he really came into his own. For a short time he slept on our couch and made daily treks over the mountain into Hollywood. It wasn’t long before he hooked up with some Ohio friends in that area and took up residence on their couch. Eventually he found a place in Venice, a city close to the beach and full of culture. With the two industries he wanted to succeed in all around him, Seann flourished. Moreover, the access to nature- oceans, forests, mountains- kept him in tune with his physical and spiritual sides. We began seeing less of him as his new life began taking off and he became busier, working as a sound designer and composer for a small production company, and recording and distributing his own music.

Still, he was never too busy to visit when we called. All it took was the pleading voice of my daughter on the other end of the phone and he was making a weekend trip to have home cooked dinner and catch up. Each year when it came time for the CF Great Strides walks, he never had to be reminded. In fact, he would ask when the walk was taking place so that he could program it into his calendar. I will never forget his dedication to the children, not just to my kids, who had the good fortune of seeing him regularly, but also to his nieces and nephews who lived on the other side of the country.

Whenever the two of us got together, I was eager to talk shop, whether it was film, music or baseball. I never would have given Avenged Sevenfold a chance if it wasn’t off of his recommendation, nor would I have been able to say that Thirty Seconds to Mars is not my thing. I never would have discovered Porcupine Tree, the British prog metal band with a cult following in America.

Last Christmas, as I scrolled through his iTunes, their album, In Absentia, popped up on the screen. “Those guys are great,” he told me, “you really should listen to them.” Intrigued, I copied the album to my iPod. Months later, while commuting to work, I fell in love with the record. The multiple time changes, the lush harmonies, the slick production- everything reminded me of my favorite Yes album from the 80’s, 90125. In particular, the second track, Click to listen“Trains,” stuck its hooks into me and had me singing it for days. Because he was the only person I knew who’d ever heard of this band, I always associated the album with Seann.

It should come as no surprise that when Seann was killed in a motorcycle accident last December, I sought comfort in the music that made me feel closest to him. To numb the hours, days and weeks following his tragic death, to block out the screaming in my head and the hot tears of sorrow, I listened to “Trains” over and over again- on the train, in my office and before I went to bed ad forced myself to sleep. Sometimes it’s a great help, and others it’s just the noise to help me get through the grieving.

I am blessed to have known this man. As I said, he was a good uncle, a good friend and a brother to me. Was Seann perfect? No. But who is in their 20’s? He was still learning, growing, trying to figure out this world and how to make it a better place; trying to find his place in it. I’m so glad that he decided to spend Thanksgiving with us this year, to have him join us in the good food and company that the holiday symbolizes. The next morning, while Jacob slept in another room, and Julie was out shopping with my daughter, Seann stopped in my bedroom to say goodbye before riding off for the studio where he worked. It was the last time I ever saw him.

He stood at the end of my bed, dressed in his motorcycle jacket, his backpack hanging over one shoulder. His mouth curled into the cocksure smile that never seemed to leave his face. I craned my neck to look at him.

“S’up?” I asked.
“I’m taking off,” he replied.
“Mmm, yeah.”
“Tell Julie I said goodbye.”
“Hmm. Yeah. Sure.”
“See ya.”
“See ya.”

I fell back on to my pillow while Seann exited the house, walked across the driveway and started up his motorcycle, parked right outside the bedroom window. As I drifted back to sleep, I could hear his motorcycle drive down our street and fade off into the distance.

Originally published on Popdose January 12, 2012.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

November 14, 2016 at 09:45AM


This guy. 15 today! Love him so much and can't believe he's a young man. So proud of who he is becoming and I look forward to what he achieves in the next year. Love you, Jacob!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November 01, 2016 at 02:26PM


Coco Crisp and I share the same birthday. I knew there was a reason I've always like this guy! Man, what a great late season move this was. It's like he never left. #rallytogether #goindians #windians

November 01, 2016 at 06:53AM


Taking it back to the Jake! Josh Tomlin brings his stuff to the mound tonight for game 6. Cleveland fans around the world send your good vibes and wear your lucky shirts, hats, etc. #rallytogether #goindians #windians

Monday, October 31, 2016

October 31, 2016 at 05:52PM


I love the resilience, determination and leadership Mike Napoli has brought to this year's Indians team. Not just a slugger, he's great at 1B, too. Here's hoping there's a party at Napoli's tomorrow night. #rallytogether #partyatnapolis #windians #goindians

Sunday, October 30, 2016

October 30, 2016 at 04:25PM


Pulling for Bauer to gave a great game and lead us to victory. Go Tribe! #goindians #windians #rallytogether

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 29, 2016 at 03:16PM


Here's hoping JK brings the hammer tonight! #goindians #windians #rallytogether

Friday, October 28, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

October 20, 2016 at 08:32AM


Tito and the Kid after last night's game. Imagine, a 24 yr. old young man, who doesn't even qualify as a rookie because he doesn't have enough games under his belt, carrying his team on his shoulders and stifling one of the best offenses in baseball. You can't make this stuff up! 4 more to go. #rallytogether #partyatnapolis🎉⚾️ #goindians

Friday, October 14, 2016

October 14, 2016 at 05:54AM


Corey Kluber has delivered another Cy Young worthy season for the Cleveland Indians. He takes the mound for the Tribe tonight in game 1 of the American League Championship Series. Despite the Indians' injuries, I have hope because of his leadership and grit. He's just one reason I love this team. Go Indians!!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Coldplay, "Fix You"

The Indians are about to begin the American League Championship Series, and I've been listening to a lot of Coldplay for something I'm writing. Whenever I hear the band, I instantly think of "Fix You" and this post I wrote for Popdose 5 years ago.Follow the link...


http://basementsongsthebook.blogspot.com/2015/03/basement-songs-rewind-coldplay-fix-you.html







Thursday, October 6, 2016

October 06, 2016 at 07:31AM


Feeling a little funny today. Most likely because I have INDIAN FEVER. Go Tribe!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

August 29, 2016 at 01:16PM


The Waco Kid has ridden off into the sunset. RIP Mr. Gene Wilder. Thank you for the decades of laughter.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

July 28, 2016 at 08:00PM


Jacob and I hanging at the SMOSH Summer Camp event tonight at the YouTube Space LA.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

June 19, 2016 at 08:31PM


Amazing, simply amazing! Congratulations to the Cavaliers. Cleveland Rocks tonight. ALL IN!!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

June 12, 2016 at 01:52PM


This violence HAS to end. There must be a place for commonsense gun control. How many more of our brothers, sisters, friends and children have to die before someone does something? Prayers to the LGBTQ community and the people of Orlando.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 26, 2016 at 08:39AM


Happy birthday to my darling wife, Julie. She makes all of our lives better with her love and kindness. I love you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It's never too late to donate. And if you hesitate, think of this guy!

Hi.

The Valencia Great Strides walk for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is 10 days away. We're inching toward our fundraising goal, but we still need help.

I know what you're thinking, because heck, I've thought it myself at times. "I don't have a lot of money to give, so how can it possibly help."

My friends, every bit helps.

I will use Bernie Sanders as an example.  Not his politics, because this is definitely not about that, but the success of his campaign. Regardless of what you think of Mr. Sanders, he has raised A LOT of money through small donations. People with limited means believe in his cause and give what they can.

THAT is what I'm talking about. Most of the money that the Cystic Fibrosis Foundations takes in goes directly into research. So... every bit counts, no matter what the amount.

This year, Julie's school held two bake sales, selling cookies and Rice Krispie treats. They sold for a buck each. She doesn't work at a large school and most of the buyers were children. So we're talking a buck or two here and there for a week.

Those two bake sales raise close to $1000.

Every bit counts.

If after reading this you're still hesitant, then look at this kid's face. That smile. The joy. The innocence. The great future ahead of him. Help him.  Help Jacob and kids like him who suffer from cystic fibrosis. You can make a difference.  You DO make a difference. Every bit counts.

Thank you!

Now here's the link: page: http://fightcf.cff.org/site/TR/GreatStrides/120_Southern_California_Los_Angeles?px=2602145&pg=personal&fr_id=5010



Thursday, March 17, 2016

March 17, 2016 at 06:57AM


Tonight I'll be hugging my family as tight as Bruce is hugging Patti and Steve. Tonight we go down to the river. Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

March 12, 2016 at 12:15PM


Super Dave and I can now be called triathletes. We were stoked to finish under 2 hrs, especially since our initial goal was to just finish. What a great morning, and a super special thanks to Sophie and Julie for coming out to cheer us on.

March 12, 2016 at 07:01AM


Race morning at the Pasadena Sprint Triathlon with Super Dave... although neither of us will be sprinting today.

Friday, March 11, 2016

March 11, 2016 at 09:25PM


The night before my first triathlon, hanging with my training bud, Super Dave Osburn.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

March 10, 2016 at 08:14AM


In one week, the family and I will be spending St. Patrick's Day with the E Street Band. The kids have listened to Springsteen their entire lives (not by choice, but they like a lot of his music) and this is a dream come true for me. Seeing the Boss and this band is a such a communal and spiritual experience and if I never see them in concert again that would be okay. Why? Because on this night I'll be standing and singing and cheering and possibly even crying next to the three people I love most in this world, listening to my favorite artist performing some of his greatest songs.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

R.I.P. Sir George

My favorite track from the entire Beatles Anthology collection is this recording of the string arrangement for "Eleanor Rigby." It was written and arranged by George Martin, the Beatles producer. Martin passed away last night at the age of 90.

The song's melody is present and the strings do their job of providing accompaniment to Paul McCartney's vocals. As the are the only instruments on this essential Beatles song, they stand on their own as a haunting, melancholic composition.

https://youtu.be/6W774VU8zW4