Category Archives: List/Poll

Sunday confessional: least favorite live bands

I know. It’s been more than a week since my last post. I was on vacation in Outer Banks, North Carolina. But now I’m back with my batteries recharged and ready to bring you more of what you’ve come to expect from this blog.

Bless me, loyal reader. (Not that I’ve sinned.) It has been 28 days since my last confession.

Nothing beats live music…if you love the band. There are times when you go to see a band you love and you get some opening act that makes you wish you were wearing noise-canceling headphones instead of silicone earplugs. Here are some of the bands I’ve seen that made me long for the next band.

  • Limp Bizkit – Yes, I’ve seen Limp Bizkit. Twice, if I remember correctly. Once at the Hollywood Palladium where I went to see Clutch, who opened for Bizkit. That in itself is a travesty. The other time, a friend of mine had tickets to the Family Values Tour at The Great Western Forum. I didn’t have to pay to see Fred and the boys that night and I still felt ripped off.
  • Goldfinger – This is another band that I’ve seen twice…not necessarily on purpose. It’s quite possible that both times, the band opened for Bad Religion. I don’t really remember why I found this band so offensive, but then there is a lot about this band that I don’t remember.
  • The Vandals – Yeah, I know this is a legendary punk band, particularly in Orange County. Maybe it’s because I was waiting to see Dropkick Murphys, but The Vandals did nothing to grab my attention. But then, that’s not the first time that a southern California phenomenon has escaped me (see my post about In N Out).
  • Hum – A friend of mine talked me into going to see this band. The only thing I really remember is that we saw the two guitarists and bassist almost exclusively from the back. They seemed to turn their backs to the audience at the beginning of every song.
  • Slightly Stoopid – All I can say about this band is that after hearing three of its songs, I felt like I had heard the entire catalog.

There you have it. Five bands that I’ve seen (sadly, more than once in some cases) that left me thoroughly underwhelmed. What are some bands that you’ve seen but wish you hadn’t?

Sunday confessional: Why I don’t go to the cinema more often

Yes, loyal reader, I’ll admit that I am one of those guys. At least some folks routinely make fun of me for my lack of movie knowledge. You can quiz me about any movie in the last five years or so, and frankly, if I’ve heard of it, that’s a win for me. I haven’t always been this way. I used to love going to the movies. Now, I generally don’t even rent them from Redbox to watch in the comfort of my own home. So what changed? Well, here are some of the reasons I don’t watch more movies.

  • A two-hour (or more) block of time is as rare as a Yeti sighting on my couch. I’m not alone in this. Lots
    Have you seen this creature...on my couch?

    Have you seen this creature…on my couch?

    of parents don’t have blocks of time to squeeze in a movie. Now, I could stay up later than usual some night and watch a movie, but I already sleep about 5.5 hours a night and then I go to a job where on most days it takes a Guayaki energy shot to keep me from falling asleep on my keyboard. I guess the other possibility is that I could watch about 30 minutes a night over the course of four nights.

  • When the lights go down… I’ll just say it for the record. If you put me in a dark room without my sons, chances are pretty good I’m going to fall asleep. The first five minutes might be the only chance the filmmaker has to grab my attention.
  • When does this thing end? I have been to the cinema exactly twice in the past five years. In both instances, I wondered when the movie was going to end…for different reasons. When I saw The Dark Knight, I was wondering when it would end because the movie is soooo long. Then last year, I did a guest blogger spot on 3guys1movie and the film we saw and reviewed was Martha Marcy May Marlene. It’s not an incredibly long film, but I regularly checked the time on my phone because I kept waiting (and waiting) for something interesting to happen. By the way, I’m still waiting for something interesting from that film.
  • I paid $13 for that? I’m not alone in thinking that $13 seems like a lot to pay for a couple hours of entertainment. Although a movie is still way cheaper than any professional sporting event except baseball. The real trouble, however, is that when I do go to a movie, I often end up with more questions than answers. Look, maybe I don’t need all the answers. Maybe that’s part of the magic of movies. However, if I lay $13 down on a movie, is it too much to ask that the filmmaker answer some of my questions? So why not just wait and see it as a rental? I guess that’s because I rarely feel like I need to see a movie.
  • Alien drone: "Boss, you may want to rethink invading a planet that's covered with the thing that kills us." Boss: "Silence!"

    Alien drone: “Boss, you may want to rethink invading a planet that’s covered with the thing that kills us.”
    Boss: “Silence!”

    I can suspend my disbelief but not kill it. I know part of the magic of movies is that you realize you’re watching a story unfold. Not everything in it has to be believable. The trouble is that too many Hollywood folks put way too much stock in that. I know it was a while ago, but the movie Signs is a good example. So, these aliens are advanced enough to build ships to come from their world to ours. But…no alien in the development of this project said, “Boss, this planet you want to invade? Yeah, the thing is, most of that planet is covered with the thing that kills us.” Think about that. Excellent design, but no common sense. Shyamalan is basically asking us to accept that earth was overtaken by a bunch of engineers. Oh, and the fact that these aliens are completely stymied by plywood on the windows and doors. To quote Lisa Simpson, “You can’t expect us to swallow that tripe?”

Yeah, I don’t see a lot of movies. You could easily stump me on the topic. That being said, I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I will go to the movies with you…if I can bring my pillow.

5 great moonshine songs (part 4)

Well, the weekend is upon us and it’s time to forget about that crummy work week. Nothing is better at helping people forget than moonshine, which brings us to part four of our continuing list of great songs about moonshine. In case you missed them, here are:

Moonshine songs part 1

Moonshine songs part 2

Moonshine songs part 3

  • Old Corn Liquor” by Carolina Chocolate Drops – It’s about moonshine and it includes a jug. What’s not to like?
  • “Corn Liquor” by Buck Owens – What’s so great about corn liquor? The narrator of this song finds out.
  • “Corn Liquor” by The Hi-Boys – The intro to this song is classic.
  • “Moonshiner” by Uncle Tupelo – “If whiskey don’t kill me, I don’t know what will.”
  • White Lightning” by Federal Hog – In this bluesy tune, the shiner swears that he is making his last run. As an aside: I don’t know about you, but whenever I think of running moonshine, I think of Thunder Road with Robert Mitchum.

Sunday confessional: Led Zeppelin? More like Led Meh-ppelin!



I think this could be a new weekly tradition here at Incognito HQ. After all, it is Sunday, and if I’m going to step into the confessional booth, it should be on a Sunday. Mind you, I’m not asking for forgiveness, but this is a confessional nonetheless.

Bless me, loyal reader. (Not that I’ve sinned.) It has been (mumble mumble) days since my last confession.

I am not a huge fan of Led Zeppelin. I know as a music guy, I should like “one of the greatest rock bands of all time.” Yes, I know the impact Zeppelin has had on rock n roll. Yes, I know the story of rock n roll cannot be written without Plant, Page, and the rest. And yes, I know that the guys are extraordinarily talented. But you know something? The music just doesn’t grab me. That’s the best way I know how to put it. Maybe it’s an over-saturation problem. Maybe the music just doesn’t grab me because I have heard Zeppelin so many times on the radio. That doesn’t hold a lot of water though. I’ve heard AC/DC and Ramones loads of times too and both of those bands still get me moving and singing along. And it’s not just me either. I turn the radio on only because the CD player in my car doesn’t work. When I’m driving around with my four-year-old son (who is a real sound hound) and Led Zeppelin comes on, I’ll ask, “Do you like this one?” I don’t think he’s told me yet that he wants me to keep a Led Zeppelin song on.

I know what you’re thinking. Maybe I just need to listen to one of the first three Zeppelin albums on the right sound system for my mind to truly comprehend the genius of the band. Maybe that’s true, but I doubt it. If a certain band doesn’t grab me, it won’t be very easy to convert me to become a disciple of that band. Not that Zeppelin needs any more disciples. The band has plenty. You can tell me all you want about what a great band this is, but your argument will most likely fall on deaf ears. The best way I can think to describe this is to say that if Led Zeppelin comes on the radio, I’m more likely to change the station than crank the volume. Actually, that’s a pretty good question of the day.

What music is getting you through the day?

Well, we’ve made it through another week of:

  • staring at a computer screen
  • a to-do list that never gets any shorter
  • pointless meetings


  • horrible office humor (Yes, when I use the shredder I’m “getting rid of the evidence.” No, you’re not the first or even the 101st to use that lame line.)

So, what music do you have going to get you through this Friday? I’m starting my workday with 14 Blazin’ Bangers and Cookin’ Up a Party by King Salami and The Cumberland Three.

I am not a hipster: 5 reasons I’ve never been to Coachella

Coachella is this weekend and I have a confession to make. I have never been there. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. How is it that a music writer in southern California has never been to Coachella? Well, I’m glad you asked. Here are the top reasons I’ve never been to this event.

  • That's me after about 5 minutes in the desert

    That’s me after about 5 minutes in the desert

    It’s in the desert. Yes, I know it’s April and the temperature in the desert isn’t 120 degrees every day (yet), but the desert climate and I get along as well as any two “real housewives.”

  • The lineup. When I first saw the lineup for this year, I wondered if I had magically been transported back to 1994. Yes, I had The Stone Roses and Blur in my collection at one time, but I don’t to patronize some cheap reunion ploy. Call me a snob if you want, but generally fewer than 10 bands (don’t even get me started on DJs) at Coachella interest me at all. Which leads me to my next point.
  • I’m not agoraphobic, but…Even if I willingly went to the desert for a weekend to see the 10 (or fewer) bands that interest me, seeing them with a quarter of a million other people doesn’t seem like my idea of a good time.
  • Looking like this is a requirement for admission to Coachella

    Looking like this is a requirement for admission to Coachella

    I am not a hipster. Technically, I do have a mustache. But then technically, I also have sideburns and a goatee. I’ve never applied wax to my facial hair. I don’t have a beard because it scores me hip points. I have it because I don’t like shaving. Also, I don’t own a scarf. Or a pair of glasses (with or without lenses). Frankly, I think I’d be denied admission to Coachella. And I’d be just fine with that.

  • The parking, the restrooms, the food, etc. Every year when I read about Coachella in the OC Weekly, I read about how the restrooms and the food and beverages are something less than convenient. I also read a description of what a nightmare it is to get out of the parking lot (Duh! There are a quarter of a million people there!) once this hipsterfest is over. And I should go there…why exactly?

And this just in…a bonus reason why I’ve never been to Coachella.

  • Paris Hilton is excited about it.
She's excited about it. That makes one of us.

She’s excited about it. That makes one of us.

5 songs for national goof-off day

If you look long and hard enough, you can find some observance on every day of the year. Today just happens to be National Goof-Off Day here in the U.S.  And so, loyal reader, what better way to recognize national goof-off day than with five songs that can only be categorized as goofy (and of course I don’t mean that in any derogatory fashion).

  • Surfin’ Bird by The Trashmen – I know. I’m not exactly going out on a limb here, but this song is two and a half minutes of unadulterated madness. I think no song exemplifies goof-off day better than this one.
  • “Commando” by Johnny Cakes and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypso – No, it’s not about the Stallone movie. It’s about going commando.
  • “Hockey Monkey” by The Zambonis – Ummm…the song is called “Hockey Monkey.” If that doesn’t fit in a collection of goofy songs, I don’t know what does.
  • “Amazing Bigfoot Diet” by Mojo Nixon – Only Mojo Nixon could make an entire song from the headlines of trashy tabloids.
  • “Because Boobs” by Psychostick – Do I need to say anything else?

5 songs about hangovers

St. Patrick’s Day has passed but that doesn’t mean that all of you are done feeling its effects. I’m sure a good number of you loyal readers hit it a little too hard and are now feeling the flipside of the good time you had last night. As with just about anything, there is a song for that. Here are five songs that describe the condition you might be feeling right now.

  • “Bloody Knuckles and a Hickey” by Low Volts – This song doesn’t dwell on the drinking aspect (“should have stuck with just one beer”), but it sure is a good “morning after” song that describes not knowing how he ended up in his bed and “jackhammers in my head.” For all of you experiencing the jackhammers this morning, this one’s for you.
  • “Hungover” by The Hung Ups – This song describes pretty much every hangover experience.
  • “The Hungover Lowdown Beat Up Burnt Out Blues” by D.B. Rouse – Again, this is a pretty good description of the hangover experience, especially the line about “dead soldiers.”
  • “Hungover Together” by Supersuckers – This describes not only the dreaded feeling when you wake up, but also having to deal with that feeling when you have to get ready for work as I’m sure some of you dealt with this morning.
  • “Hangover from Hell” by Ride the Wombat – What makes a great hangover song? Well, like previous songs in the list it might sound somewhat familiar. Maybe you (or your friends) haven’t experienced everything in this song, but some of it will probably ring a bell or two.


5 great moonshine songs (part 3)

Another list of songs about moonshine? Yup. That’s right. It seems that some of the most popular posts here at Incognito HQ are:

5 great moonshine songs

5 great moonshine songs (part 2).

And so, here is part three, although this particular series may go way beyond a trilogy. Enjoy this addition to our list of great moonshine songs.

  • “Corn Liquor” by The Mother Corn Shuckers – This song catalogs both the good (it could start your car) and the bad (it can turn your stomach) of moonshine.
  • “Corn Liquor” – by Thistle! – OK, so this song wasn’t written by Thistle!, but still it’s entertaining to hear the singer speculate that he’ll be buried under a distillery.
  • “Moonshiner” by The Deadly Gentlemen – this is just a great story about someone who has been a “moonshiner since the day [he] was born.”
  • “Moonshine Mama” by Peewee Moore – “She’s my moonshine mama and she sure makes swell moonshine.” What more do you need to know about this woman?
  • “Moonshine” by Angie and The Car Wrecks – This is another one of those moonshine songs that is a direct challenge to the law.