{Brad’s Corner} April 2005

Brad’s Corner is a monthly commentary written by Brad about whatever he feels like. It’s supposed to be funny, interesting and thought provoking, but most geniuses are misunderstood. Check out the April 2005 edition of Brad’s Corner and see what’s on his mind.

Sometimes we forget what music is all about. We get so caught up in release dates, who’s touring with who, who gets to open what show and for how much, and who got to do this, who got to do that; that we forget what drew us to the music in the first place. Certain things take me back to the joy I used to experience listening to music as a kid, or to that feeling I got the first time I really HEARD what Nirvana and U2 and Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings were saying with thru their music. I go in a cycle of refreshment and burnout. I’ll go months without hearing any good, new music. Same CDs in rotation, same crap on the radio, same bands playing the same clubs in the same Texas circuit. Then something magical happens. I’ll hear a Mando Saenz come out with the most vivid lyrics I’ve heard in ages, I’ll see a local blues band that’s tighter than any band I’ve ever seen, or I’ll see an old man picking his beat up Martin guitar with a huge smile on his face. Things like that renew my faith in music.

It’s sad that the little things are what it takes to make a big music fan, such as myself, believe in the magic of music again. Music heals. Music unites. Music divides. Music is a living, breathing entity. It’s in all of us. It’s powerful. In the right hands in can be awe-inspiring and in the wrong hands it can become a dangerous weapon,. As the years have passed and I’ve become more accustomed and welcomed to the other side of the curtain of Oz and seen the wizard’s tricks, I’ve become more jaded and harder to impress. There’s not much I haven’t seen. Sometimes those of us on the business side of things are so busy trying to out music-snob one another that we forget what it’s like to be that guy on the front row singing along to every song. We lose sight of the joy that comes from playing air guitar along with Cody Canada because we don’t want to look uncool. And what about those instances when you hear a new song for the first time on the radio and have a driveway moment at home as you squeeze to listen to every second of this new piece of your life soundtrack. It’s a sad day when that initial rush of new song joy fades and you’re left with a once favorite song becoming something you turn away from or skip. Sometimes I turn the dial or avoid music for hours or days at a time just because nothing I’m hearing is turning my ears on.

As I said earlier, a few events sparked me into this current musical refreshment phase of my music loving cycle. One of the events happened just the other night at my favorite watering hole. As I was playing pool, the load in door opened and a band began doing the usual Saturday night set up. I didn’t pay them much mind and continued my game. They soon became hard to ignore. This was the Sonny Mac Blues Band from the darker side of the tracks in Waco, Texas and they had come to jam for some rednecks at a little bar just off the interstate. I couldn’t divert my attention from them. First off, it was a 10-piece band. Instrument after instrument was loaded in by person after person. Guitars, keys, horns, triangles and even cowbells. After their load in they went to clean up. When they returned to start their show, the transformation was unbelievable. 8 black guys, 1 white dude and 1 black female were there to play music. They were decked out in zoot suits of vibrant colors and shoes shinier than a new quarter. They were playing for the door on a $3 cover at this small bar in the middle of nowhere just because they wanted to play music and share their gift with others. This band was one of the best bands I’ve ever seen and they were just everyday Joe’s (and a Jane) doing it for fun. They played for 4 hours with just one short break. Original material, standard covers, obscure covers, requests, old stuff, new stuff, solos for every member and even Happy Birthday. My point is that there are Sonny Mac Blues Band’s all over the world. Guys like Josh Ward and Josh Norman playing gigs just because they have music in their soul fighting to get out. People like the homeless man down on 6th street jamming through his cheap practice amp. That show helped to re-light the flame of music in my soul through their talent, their attitude and their overall presence. I re-learned a lot from them. Music’s not and should never be about how much beer or albums were sold, how many people paid to get in, who got a better spot on the bill, who gets played on CMT and who doesn’t, etc. The main lesson I re-learned that we all tend to forget is to not let business get in front of or behind music. It would be nice for many people in this scene to take a step back, a night off and go see a band like this to remember why they loved the music in the first place. So the next time you feel like you’ve seen Artist X at Bar Y too many times go check out some authentic guys and gals playing music just because they want to share music. As Jack Ingram sings…”Keep on keepin’ on”.

Minor Chords:

-Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy is not that bad of a song – take out the chorus and it’s okay. That occurred to me just the other day. Decent verses and the worst hook of all time. Trace Adkins’ output is much worse. Has anyone ever put out a worse series of singles than “Chrome”, “One Hot Mama”, “Rough and Ready” and “Songs About Me”?

-Baseball season is in full swing again. Thankfully, I’m a Rangers fan, aka the Cubs of the South. The only thing this organization has ever won was a free Happy Meal back when McDonald’s had that Monopoly game. It’s April though, and we still have great pitching and it’s not 137 degrees at the Ballpark in Arlington yet.

-Pat O’ Brien’s infamous voicemails from last month are my favorite celebrity gaffe of the moment. His number was in Paris Hilton’s phone when it got hijacked several months back. It was a pretty non-descript item at the time but in retrospect it’s hilarious. “That’s hot.” I guarantee you she slept with Pat just to get 3 seconds of face time on The Insider Access Tonight Extra. The deleted scenes of the interview will be hitting your favorite local adult bookstore soon.

-Blog madness has gotten out of control. This column is a blog of sorts. It’s intended to be a statement on pop culture but sometimes veers into blogdom when I’m not feeling very creative or am just being lazy. I’m thinking of just linking this to a blogsite, talking about relationships, pixie sticks, stardust, star bangers, and other nonesuch nonsense and immediately start apologizing for only updating it once a month.

-Redneck Woodstock is this month. For those camping in Section G please bring earplugs, first aid kit, and champagne.

-Does it bother anyone else that JoDee “Head Like a Watermelon” Messina has a song out called “My Give a Damn’s Busted”? The songwriters on that piece of trash should be thrown to the plagiarism ligers for copying Matt Martindale of Cooder Graw’s penned “My Give A Damn’s Broken”.

-Congrats out to Mander and Michael. A Tore Up wedding of the highest order. Galleywinter people+Luckenbach on the weekend of LJT’s spells daiinnnger, daiinnger, daiinger as Steve Irwin would say.

-This month’s recommended album is: Matt Dunnam Band-Roadside Theater. Matt and the guys have been around the scene for a number of years. Their second effort is a strong one. Check it out when you get a chance.

-This month’s recommended movie is: Sin City. Robert Rodriguez is a genius. Give him a small budget and an A-list cast and magic happens.

-Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.-Mark Twain

Brad Beheler

Raised in Waco, refined in the Hill Country, escaped from DFW. I've worked in just about every facet of the music business for 20 years. I like to write about it all. e-mail Brad Editor-in-Chief

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