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Mick Foley!

My all-time favorite wrestler, Mick Foley aka Mankind, aka Dudelove, aka Cactus Jack is performing at the Just For Laughs comedy fest doing standup Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at Underworld, Midnight showtimes so it’s too late for an old man like me. however I made a dream come true as I interviewed him for this weekend’s Dave’s World. 

I had to do a lot of editing before it aired, because this is the first time I was ever nervous and starstruck during an interview.  Here is the complete, unedited interview

enjoy!  send all your comments to facebook.com/mikemetalbabins

Roger Waters in Quebec City

I had quite the adventures getting to this show which I won’t get into, all I can say is I wouldn’t recommend camping at KOA Quebec unless you like setting up your tent on gravel and you don’t mind swimming by the highway.

First, here’s the review I did on air Sunday Morning


and here’s the one I did Monday morning

As for all the talk that it would be a different show from the rest  of the tour, it wasn’t.  Except for one moment which totally blew my mind.  He had these new lasers which projected into space.  They weren’t just spotlights, way too precise for that.   Check these pics

This is what they looked like when they hit the clouds.  Totally death star.

They were perfectly aligned with the projections on the wall.

It was incredible, planes started circling around to see them.  Again, unlike anything I have ever seen in my life.  I stopped looking at Roger because I could not take my eyes of these things.

As for the projections, I noticed that many shots of Roger were pre-recorded and not actually live, which is pretty standard for rock shows these days.  Seeing the clarity of the original animation projected on such a huge wall was pretty sweet.  I’m not sure if Roger was happy with the destruction of his pig but went along with it – what else could he do?  I know people are thinking he’ll be releasing this show as a dvd but I really think he would more likely use a show where he spoke english to the crowd.

Was he finally saying something about Dark Side of Oz?  Is this Dorothy against the moon?

I cannot recommend the Festival D’ete enough.  It’s the only place where you can go to an outdoor show that sounds like an arena concert.  Check it out next year.

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Three Days in the Woods

Around this time last year, the love of my life moved away and we began a one year long term relationship. Thinking it would be a good idea for me to clear my head, I had the bright idea of going camping by myself.  I went home the second day soaked, broke my kobo, and got hungry waiting for the shuttle so had to eat a can of beans while sitting on the side of the highway like a hobo.  As our year apart comes to an end, I figured it must be about time to redeem myself.

I don’t drive which makes solo camping difficult, luckily you can get to oka park  by taking a shuttle from the  deux-montagnes trains tation, you just need to time it right.

 There is absolutely no way I am going near a computer so I brought along my trusty pen and notebook.

 Day 1

Wake up at 5am, naturally it’s pouring.  The report says there should be thunderstorms later.  Great day to go camping. If I decide to cancel and stay home it will be a beautiful 3 days, no way I’m gonna let that happen.   I almost forget my wallet, but make it to the train just on time carrying  my tent, sleeping bag and mat (in a big garbage bag to stay dry) a cooler, a grocery bag of dry goods and my knapsack.  On the train I realise that I’ll have to use my camera sparingly as it seems to eat through the battery charge but that’s ok:  blogs with too many pics require too much scrolling.  I also realised that my equipment wouldn’t be so heavy if my biggest fear wasn’t running out of beer. 

I juggle my stuff from the train to the shuttle and from the shuttle to the park where a ranger offers to drive me to my lot – awesome.  At oka most people camp in “Les Dunes’ which is closest to the beach.  I choose “Les Crates”  which is nice deep forest, with a hidden walking path to the beach.  I made the right choice because no one else is camping there.   I have a huge forest all to myself. 

It’s pretty hard to get a tent up while keeping everything dry in a downpour but  I get it done in just under an hour.  The rain starts to stop so I eat a lunch of humus, pita, cheese and some raw veggies and head to the beach.

The beach was super chill, and after a swim and reading a bit I fell asleep in the sun.  I wake up to an insane amount of camp kids wearing Spiderman bathing suits.  As long as Stan Lee is making a buck, then this true-believer is happy.  I notice clouds so I figure it’s a good time to get back to camp and start a fire, naturally I left the map in my tent and got ridiculously lost on the way back. 

I finally make it back .  Filthy, not sure what time it is, haven’t spoken to anyone in hours and running around naked in the woods.  Mission already accomplished.  The only thing left to do is make sure I completely destroy the t-shirt that I will be wearing for this trip.

I won this at an all-inclusive in Dominican Republic a few years ago for my full costume lyp-sync of Madonna’s “Like  A Prayer” By the end of this trip it shall go back to the ashes from whence it came.    They won’t let you forage for wood in national parks so I buy some from their convenience store.  Luckily Quebec never rips people off and two bundles  of wood only cost me $14.01.  They wouldn’t let me off the penny and made me break a twenty.  Notice I didn’t call them faggots of wood, even though I can?  Look it up. 

Here’s the crazy part:  while walking to the store I heard some birds practically yelling, I was trying to figure out what it could be when a HAWK swoops down and barely misses me while a really angry mother crow chases it away.  Must have been trying to eat her babies.

Naturally it started pouring again as I carried my faggots of wood back to the camp, I notice that my camping hat looks even stupider with short hair:  mission truly accomplished.

The rain is quite refreshing and I’m far from miserable.  It didn’t last long so I decided to crack my first high quality gourmet beer and wait for the  pit to dry enough to get the fire going.

Beer in the woods is a wonderful thing.

I heated up some frozen lentil soup for dinner,  stews are the best for camping.  I know for most people it’s all about marshmallows and hot dogs, but eating as healthy as I do at home really makes me feel good and enjoy the trip more.  Plus since I’m not sweating out sugar and nitrates, the mosquitoes don’t seem to bother me as much.  

Not sure what time it is, but the sun is starting to go down.  I haven’t said or heard anything in hours except for birds, burning wood, wind and my occasional belches.  I hang my food in the tree and commence getting fucked up by the fire. 

It’s really like I have the forest to myself, no one around and the rangers seems to be leaving me alone.  I figure it’s naked time, which is a great time to have deep thoughts… like “next time I should really bring a variety of beer and not just pbr”.

It goes from light to dark really fast and being alone is wonderfully creepy. My feet stink, I’m going to bed.

Day 2

I slept for 11 hours, minus pee wake ups and the monster movie like moment when 2 raccoons actually tried opening the zipper of my tent.  That’s probably the longest I’ve ever slept camping.

Remember what I said about beer?  I trumped it.  Fresh coffee in the woods is a beautiful thing.

It’s my workout day but I’m worried about doing some of the circuits on the rocks, so I use the table of the lot beside me.  It takes a little longer to balance, but I get the job done.  I’m feeling really good, lots of fresh air and my body is feeling solid.  Super chill.  I finish my book and start looking through my kobo for something appropriate for the woods…

I pack a  light lunch and spend the entire afternoon on the beach.  I come back to find my privacy invaded.  The entire area is free and they put people on lots right next door to me.  So much for naked time….   There’s a single mom with her son right next door, and 2 lots of college kids right beside them.  If I look to any other side I still see just forest so I move my position.  I realise that the college kids are here to chill, not be loud so it’s gonna be ok.  And it’s pretty funny that I worked out on the table next door with my stinky feet just a  few hours ago.. bon apetit!

Cooking by the fire in the camping clothes I’ve slowly adapted to, I realise how funny i must look to the newcomers.  Dinner is the best tofu I’ve ever made in my life, with sweet potato, roasted zucchini and roasted, skinned green pepper.  Eating while camping is amazing because there are no distractions, it’s one of the few times you are really focused on your food.    The mom and kid couldn’t get a fire started so I helped them out, total boy scout.  Now I’m gonna get fucked up.

Day 3

I’m pretty sure the lady next door caught me running around enjoying naked time last night.  I was sure they had gone to bed until I noticed the cherry of her cigarette and some really loud coughing.  No clue how strong the light from my fire was either, but it’s all smiles this morning.  I’ll just make my coffee and enjoy my last day.  I need to know the time so I can plan out my day and not miss my shuttle, as soon as I turn on the phone a ton of text messages come in, I feel the desire to read and respond but I just shut it off.  I’ll have enough city stress in a few hours. 

My big fear is never putting up the tent, it’s taking it down – they really should put instructions on how to properly fold and pack these things,  so I decide to get it done before heading back to the beach.  It somehow only took me fifteen minutes – success!

I stay at the far end of the beach away from the camp kids so I can enjoy my seculsion a  little longer. 

I was about to say that day three wasn’t very exciting until I made a discovery while reading Deliverance.  The famous “squeel like a piggy” line was written just for the movie, however my favorite line is taken right from the book:

At least in the book, he has an answer…

I head back to camp and start my final fire with a single match just to prove I can.  I clean up and eat and say good bye to the shirt…

It takes me about 45 minutes to juggle my equipment to the shuttle stop.   As soon as I leave the heavy forest I notice how hot and humid it is.  Proof of global warming.   Montreal’s insane humidity is because it’s dead.  300 years ago it was all forest, take away all those trees and build a city and this is what we end up with.

I have some time to kill till the bus arrives so I have one last hobo beer  by the side of the road… for old times

 

 

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Iron Maiden with my unedited Alice Cooper interview

I don’t really need to talk about the show, Maiden are always awesome and last night was above and beyond.  Just incredible.   I would like to point out that these guys have never had regular airplay on the radio, yet they continue to sellout everywhere they go.  Not a crossover band, nor  a retro act, Iron Maiden is a very relevant band, currently on their fourth generation of fans.  The youngest group love the new albums as much as the grey-hairs love the old ones. At the shows you see kids at their first show, and dudes who have been seeing them for 20+ years (guilty).  Very few bands can pull this off, think about that.

Apparently I scared someone during the show… this dude behind me kept patting me on the shoulder to sit down during Alice Cooper.  I understand sitting in Place Des Arts, or when an old person rock band is playing a show – but nobody tells Mike Metal what to do at a metal show.  By the third time I apparently turned around with fire in my eyes and yelled “I AM NOT SITTING DOWN DURING ALICE FUCKING COOPER”.  He didn’t bother me again.  

It was a really good feeling to know that people were listening to the metal file in their cars on the drive home one last time.   Alice was my guest halfway through the show – but he likes to talk.. here’s is our complete conversation, raw and unedited – including things that didn’t make it to air.

I must admit that the sound wasn’t up to Bell Center standards… too many mids and the levels were a little wonky.  Bruce’s voice would jump up and down as would Steve’s bass.  I was really sad leaving my spot at the jazzfest last weekend, but I don’t think I’ll really miss the cramped seats and spilled beer of le Centre Bell.  Not to say I haven’t had amazing times there…  but other arena’s around Canada use a special lid on the cups that you can drink from without spilling all over yourself or the beer going flat.  It’s the little things that we don’t do here for some reason that really make the difference.

this is the most I’ve ever spent on a bootleg t-shirt

for seven bucks it better last long enough for me to pass it down to my children.

Comments?  Reviews?  General hate or admiration?  Post them on my facebook page.

Aerosmith in Laval review and Iron Maiden preview

First I want you to notice that there are no pictures in this blog entry.  I know I’m crazy but when the band is playing I don’t have the desire to take a terrible picture to preserve the moment, I prefer to enjoy the moment.  Apparently these new inventions called newspapers have beautiful professional photographs the next day and they are way nicer than what you can take with your cell phone. Who new?

The Centre de la Nature is an amazing venue – it’s dug into a bowl and surrounded by trees, so unlike Parc Jean Drapeau the sound doesn’t travel and annoy the neighbours and it stays a lot cooler thanks to the forest.  I have a feeling that this concert series was a test by evenko to check the area out.  Next year we’ll probably see Heavy MTL and Osheaga moved – and trust me, they’ll both be a lot more pleasant. 

The sound was the best I’ve ever heard for an Aerosmith show – the rhythm section was nice and loud so the backups and keyboards were just accompaniments rather than all you hear.  Aerosmith isn’t about who’s soloing, their strength is Tom Hamilton, Joey Kramer and Brad Whitford.  Actually, when Brad took the leads on Last Child,  Joe Perry finally started to kick ass.  

If you know me well then you know that every time Aerosmith have toured recently S.O.S (too bad) has been on the set and I always get excited to finally hear it live  only to find that they drop it by the time the tour reaches Montreal.  They hit the stage about 5 minutes late last night which forced them to drop one song… too bad Mikey!  My disappointment was quickly turned around when they played the James Brown classic  Mother Popcorn out of Joey’s drum solo into Walk This Way and You See Me Crying into Dream On.   The Dorf would have been very impressed. 

Back to the venue.  It really felt like an outdoor concert is supposed to – the surrounding forest really pushed it to the next level.  If they want to sue it next year they need to install more lights surrounding the place and a better system for finding where you parked your car but even walking out fo the show into darkness added to the ambience.  Lot’s of people were apparently complained about traffic after but my buddy and I found a great system:  get lost after the show and circle the park twice before finding the car. Absolutely no traffic when we drove out and I got home nice and early at 2 in the morning. 

Tonight is Iron Maiden with Alice Cooper opening at the Bell Center.  Maiden are paying tribute to their Seventh Son tour and Coop is just being Coop.  Gonna be a great night, especially if it’s my last at the Centre Babins (insert ironic foreshadowing music here).  Make sure to turn on CHOM 97.7fm on your way home.  I’ll be hosting a one hour metal file playing only Maiden and Coop.  The man himself, Alice Cooper will join me on air to talk about the gig so tune in or I’ll cut your legs off. 

Make sure to check my facebook page tomorrow as I’ll be posting the entire unedited chat with the Coop

Montreal Jazzfest wrap up review and thoughts

It’s over… well technically there is still the Battle of the Bands this afternoon but unless you’re 90 and want something familiar, that doesn’t count.

Here’s something I love about the fest:  two weeks ago I didn’t know who Tord Gustavson was, now I’ve seen him three times.   Last night he was with Solveig Slettahjell, a singer who can only be described as “haunting”.  

I had to leave that early as I was taking my mom to see the Free Flamenco trio in the new Maison Symphonique.  Truthfully, I only went as an opportunity to see the new room. 

You can still smell the fresh wood, and the fresh white seats are still comfortable even at the end of the show.  I can only imagine how filthy the place is going to get in the winter… slushy February is gonna be nasty in that place.  Classic Montreal architecture, looks really impressive the first time you walk in but gets functionally less great as time goes on.  The sound is very boomy, lots of reverb.  Probably very good for symphonies but for jazz it sounds awful.  Unfortunately I’m not surprised.

I wanted to pass by the big closing party so I watched about 45 minutes of Chromeo.  Their electro-funk was lots of fun, however when you compare them to last year’s B52s or even last Tuesday’s Escort they fall a little short.  The billions of people in the crowd loved them so what do I know?  Like I said, I had lots of fun.

My 2012 jazzfest ended with one last Jazz Dans La Nuit in the Gesu which I found very fitting.  Seeing Lorraine Desmarais mad it feel like a combination of Jazz D’ici, Jazz Beat and Jazz Dans La Nuit.  She’s great, her trio is awesome and the songs from the new album are very satisfying. 

Here’s some random thoughts and observations from this year’s fest:

I can normally tell which metal bands are popular with the kids by seeing which t-shirts are most prominent.  This year’s most popular t’s were Ghostbusters and superhero shirts from jackofalltrades.

When I see someone I dont know in a Motorhead shirt, they no longer give me the metalhead nod of acknowledgement.

20 years later, no matter how crowded the fest is, no one is ever sitting in my “spot” when I get there.

At first I was concerned about writing this blog rather than doing my regular on-air updates but truthfully, I really prefered this in the end.  Being able to get enough sleep and arrive when I wanted was a very nice luxury.  When I do radio hits I’m always being reminded to mainstream my picks which is the exact opposite reason  of why I got into radio in the first place.  I know less people are reading this but you are truly paying attention to what I’m writing rather than just having it on in the background.  If I can turn one person on to some hip music then I’ve done my job. 

Finally, if this happens to be my last jazzfest as a Montrealer (insert ironic foreshadowing music here) then I’m really glad I documented it.  Thanks to all the awesome press staff for putting up with my daily requests.

I truly enjoyed writing this blog so I’m going to keep it going – not nearly as often as I did during the fest but I will randomly add entries.  I’m also thinking of moving the metal file here in the future (insert ironic foreshadowing music here) so follow this thing and like my facebook page.

So long suckers!

 

Day 10: Montreal Jazzfest reviews and previews

I can’t believe it’s already the last day of the fest – ending on a Saturday instead of the Sunday really makes it feel shorter for some reason… 

 either way it’s my last day of sitting like this

while looking at this

I’m keeping up my streak of seeing solid shows,  I went back to the invitation series last night to see Tord Gustavsen playing piano solo, although he did whip out a melodica at one point.  He has a way of playing spacey music very straight-forward, which sounds odd but it works.  I had a great jazz-nap during one of the songs.  Don’t know what  a jazz-nap is?  It’s something that hardcore music fans know well.   during a great concert you find yourself nodding off,  but it’s not out of boredom, it’s out of comfort.  An amateur will fight it and bob their head up and down.. but the jazz fan knows to let it happen!   It’s a weird half-sleep where you completely hear the music.. when the song is over you open your eyes fully refreshed and totally feel great.  Ask anyone, we all do it.

I was watching the Samel Blais quartet  outdoors last evening and noticed the bass player looked familiar.   Still can’t remember his name but I’m pretty sure he owes me money.  Never hire a bass player to paint your fence, trust me.

Orgone played twice on the big stage, I saw most of the first one, killer funk band.  Super solid.

Maestro Fresh Wes played at 10, I made sure to see the first ten minutes of his set.   His set was great, but it wasn’t very good.  Let me explain before you start yelling at me…   it was a lot of fun and memorable, but the band was awful and he was huffing and puffing between lyrics, flow was off and he didn’t really do much with it.  Just a retro show, but the people enjoyed it.  One of the great things about the fest is that mainstream people will see something new and out of their comfort zone and realize how great it is.  This was the opposite:  not very good but familiar so enjoyable…. meh

Cedar Walton at the Gesu was incredible.  A full on no-nonsense bop show.  Not a lot of banter either, quick song intro’s with a short joke and they’d play.  Truly  a special night for me.

I need  to see Tord again tonight – this time with singer Solveig Slettahjell (it hurt my eyes to write her name). I’m going to try again to see Misja Fitzgerald, Chromeo is the big closing party on the main stage, and I would have liked to see Dirty Projectors, however they are on the same time as Lorraine Desmarrais and as always, I will be spending my last moments of jazzfest 2012 in the Gesu.

Make sure to post your reviews on my facebook page and tune in tomorrow for my recap, thoughts, and general ramblings,