Gnoob Won’t Blog

We’ve been in something of a tizzy over on the String this last week as Gnoob has been regaling us with the tale of his trip to Phoenix . . . in a Sprinter Van . . . in a blizzard . . . with no headlights. I know what you are saying — sounds like a great story, what’s the issue?  Well you’re right, even though it didn’t involve Gnoob abducting a hooker, it is a riveting story.  The problem is that it is a looonnnnggg story and it took Gnoob the entire week to get the story out.  In other words, its a story made for the MWAG Blog. We tried to get him to move the sordid tale over here, but to no avail.  He said that the text string was his “medium” or some bullshit.  I really think he is just intimidated by having to prepare a proper blog post.  He is Gnoob for a reason:


Given that this is the second best String Sprinter Van story (the other one’s top secret, but Karen can verify) and since, much to our initial disappointment, it doesn’t involve Gnoob abducting a hooker or doing anything more than Gnoob being Gnoob, I have decided to share it with you since Gnoob is being a bitch and won’t do it himself.  So, without further ado, here’s the story of Gnoob’s recent trip to Phoenix.

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Best of 2018 (or my continuing effort to drag Pipes out of the 80’s and 90’s and into the music of today)

SeaDick is back bitches!  I of course say that with nothing but affection.  I see my brother Pipes has published a few of his “premier” blog postings to keep you entertained in my lengthy absence.  As for my absence, all I can say is I’ve been a little busy and “priorities.”  But never mind, I’m back and I promise to try to provide you (all 11 of you) with my scintillating insight about the important stuff we follow here on the MWTGB.  To that end, as is my habit, with the turning of the calendar to 2019, I’ve spent some time thinking about the great things that came our way in 2018, especially music.  I was further inspired by the receipt of this in the mail:


I know what you are saying:  “What the fuck is that?”  Well, its “Spargs Best of 2018” in CD form of course.  The obvious follow up question is “what the fuck is a CD?”  It’s an outdated format for recording and listening to music.  Then again, when I received it in the mail from my good friend and fellow music lover Spargs, the first reaction I had was “how the  hell am I going to listen to this?”  So the side story is that Spargs likes to take a stack of these anytime he goes out to a bar and pass out a few of these as conversation openers.  I’ll let you guess who gets the lion share of these things and it’s not middle-aged dudes.  But I digress.  As it turns out, Spargs isn’t a complete Luddite so he also makes his best of available on Spotify.  Here ya go:

Spargs knows his tunes, so give it a listen.  While there is usually a good deal of overlap between Spargs and me, our tastes do diverge a bit and, as stated at the outset, I am a on my annual Sisyphean task (look it up Gnoob), trying to get Pipes to listen to some music created after 1998.  Now he will tell you that this isn’t a fair comment, that in fact that he does listen to new music and he will undoubtedly point to Greta Van Fleet.  My obvious response will be that he gets no new music credit for listening to a Led Zeppelin cover band.

In an effort to avoid getting into that debate again however, I’m just going to throw some music from 2018 out there in the hopes that he will give it a listen and up his game.  I’m going to start with something that ought to get his attention as well.  A great musician who has a social conscience and isn’t afraid to let the world know it.  I may not always agree with Pipes on the political issues of the day (what he won’t admit is that I agree with more of them than he is willing to acknowledge), but I can’t argue with most of the messages that Will Hoge includes in his latest album, My American Dream.  I’m pretty sure that Pipes will agree with all of them.  Will Hoge is hard to classify — Americana, country, country rock, singer-songwriter — labels always seem problematic to me.  What I will say about him is that he’s a helluva musician.  If you like Mellencamp (that’s to pique Pipes interest) or Isbell (one of my all time favs), you will like Will Hoge.  Give it a listen.

More to follow of course as 2018 was a pretty good year in music, but fair warning Pipes, I’m not ranking them.  Deal with it.

SeaDick out.

RIP Tom Petty

Nothing reminds you more of your mortality than when one of your Rock and Roll idols shuffles off this mortal coil (that’s a Shakespeare reference Gnoobs). It was a punch to the gut yesterday when I heard the news that Tom Petty had passed away. That was followed by a brief period of hope as I heard that Tom was clinging to life. That news was further punctuated by Tom’s daughter’s response to Rolling Stone’s report that he had passed.

Let this be a warning to not fuck with Tom Petty’s daughter. That would be about as smart as playing Mississippi Stud (or as Mango has renamed it, Mississippi Dumbass). How’d that work out for you Pipes?

Alas, the good news was only temporary, as we lost one of the greatest American rock artists (not band IJ, artist) later in the evening.  In any event, I’m not here to make fun of Pipes, well not primarily, but to remember Mr. Petty in the way we do around here at the Monkey, with a list of his greatest. Without further ado, here are the top 5 Tom Petty songs of all time. YMMV.

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Mango Got New Wrenches

It’s that time of year in the golf world where you start assessing your game to try to figure out why you didn’t get your index down from a 13 to a 2.  Can’t be due to ability right?  Has to be the clubs.  Accordingly, both Mango and I got some new irons.  I got the new Ping G400s, which, while taking a little while to get used to, I like a lot.  Mango got these sweet looking beasts at Club Champion.  And when I say “these” I literally mean the ones in the picture.  Club Champion is advertising with Mango’s actual irons.  Seems like they should have given him a discount or something, just sayin.

New Music Alert — The National’s “Sleep Well Beast”


In the ongoing effort to drag Pipes out of the 80’s as far as music goes, I bring your attention to The National’s new album, Sleep Well Beast.

It’s great from top to bottom and, Pipes, if that doesn’t get your attention, take note that it rips all over your President.

If you like it, then as an additional bonus, check out the band’s live performance of the album, start to finish, from NPR, which is available for streaming for a limited time.

One bit of warning, play “The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness” at your peril.  I can’t get that freaking guitar riff out of my head.

Happy Labor Day

It’s Labor Day and I hope all you working stiffs are getting a little rest, spending time with your family, eating some BBQ and drinking a few of your favorite adult beverages. To celebrate the day, here’s a Labor Day playlist from Spargs. About the only thing missing is Dirty Work by Steely Dan.

SeaDick’s Visual Set List — Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit


As reported previously, IJ and our much better halves took in the Jason Isbell/Frank Turner show.  Scroll down for the Frank Turner set list.  Here’s my report and set list for Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit.

I don’t want to be one of those guys, but Jason Isbell is, in my humble opinion, the best songwriter on the planet today.  Oh I can hear ya — “But SeaDick, Bob Dylan is still on the planet, Paul McCartney is still on the planet, that is a very bold statement.”  Yeah, well I’m sticking with it.  Present day, new music, Isbell is the man in the song writing department.  Pretty damn good from a live performance standpoint too.  If you like rock and roll, Isbell and his team are all you need.  The show was pretty spectacular.  The band was clearly on its A game and the set list, as you will see below, gave us just about everything we could want from an Isbell standpoint, old, new, ballads, rock anthems.  Just a flat out great performance.  The only very minor complaint is that his wife, Amanda Shires Isbell, who has been playing fiddle on this tour wasn’t there.  (She’s great too so give her a listen as well.). I understand from the interwebs that she jumped off the tour bus on Thursday to do a couple of solo shows on the east coast.  The fact that the Isbell’s daughter turned 2 on Friday may have also had something to do with it.  The band seemed to fill the missing fiddle parts with some electric guitar and that turned out just fine.

Here are some links to Mr. Isbell for Spotify and iTunes.  If it turns out that you like what you hear, then you should check out this album from the Drive By Truckers.  That’s where he got his start.

Lastly, before I give you the set list, check out this Tiny Desk Concert from NPR.

Without further ado, here’s the set list.  Per usual, the song titles are links to the songs on Apple Music. Continue reading

SeaDick’s Back Bitches

That’s right, it’s been awhile, but SeaDick is back in the blogging game.  I know what you are sayin — “who gives a shit?”  But as with most things with this blog, its not about you dear readers, it’s about me.  (Well, me and Pipes, as he does have a hankering for the blogging as well.)  Now I know that you are also saying, “enough of the blah, blah, blah, if you are going to blog then at least entertain us.”  Fair enough, premier blogs coming in 3 . .  . 2 . . .1.

Frank MotherFooking Turner — SeaDick’s Visual Set List


So IJ (and our better halves) took in a concert to start the Labor Day weekend.  First we had a little dinner at The Dearborn.  Solid meal, especially if you like strong drinks and two pounds of butter in your mashed potatoes.  IJ and I had the short ribs.  I know, I know, you are shocked.  We then headed over to the Chicago Theater.

If you told me that I could see any two musical acts on the planet right now, I would respond Jason Isbell and Frank Turner.  Well guess what Mrs. SeaDick got me for my birthday sports fans, that’s right, tickets to see Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls open for Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit.  It really doesn’t get any better than that.

What can I say about the show other than it lived up to my expectations.  Absolutely freaking awesome.  The only complaint I have is that the bartenders at the Chicago Theatre wouldn’t pour a double.  WTF?  Have no fear sports fans, there is a solution to every problem.  You know what you have when you order two Captain and Diets and tell them to hold the diet in one of them?  Problem solved, that’s what.

So even though I just said that I couldn’t say anything else about the show besides it living up to expectations, in typical Monkey fashion, I am going to say some more.  For those of you unfamiliar with Frank Turner (or Frank Mother*&king Turner as IJ likes to say) he is an amazing performer and one of the hardest working guys in showbiz.  I saw him at Lolla last year where he did 4 shows in less than 24 hours.  This was show 2092 for he and his band.  Frank ain’t lazy.  Originally part of a UK punk band (Million Dead), he now fronts the band with an acoustic (hey Muni, please note the proper spelling of that word) guitar, writes some of the best lyrics ever and plays some of the best straight up rock and roll on the planet.  That would be pretty cool alone, but as I mentioned previously, Frank and his band are performers.  He knows how to engage an audience and his shows are some of the best you can see.  Go. See. Frank. Motherfooking. Turner.

You can get more info and find his music here if you like Spotify:

Or here if you prefer iTunes:

If you are a music geek like me, then you probably hit both before you go to a concert and afterwards so that you can see the set list for the performer you are going to see or make sure you remember what you heard, especially if you manage the double C&D work around to perfection and parts of the evening get a little hazy.  So here is the set list for Frank from Friday.  Good info, but pretty boring right?  Not to mention that I had to correct it because the asshat who posted it the first time forgot a fooking song.  How can you forget a fooking song?  Time to do it right.  I decided to record a short video clip of each of the songs performed.  The full SeaDick Set List is below, enjoy.  (Song titles are links to the songs in iTunes.) Continue reading