John Herald RIP

John Herald, 65, died last week, a result of an apparent suicide. He was the leader of the Greenbriar Boys, who claimed to be the first Northeast bluegrass band. The Greenbriar Boys developed a following in the Greenwich Village folk scene of the 1960s, and they headlined a show reviewed by New York Times critic Robert Shelton, in which Shelton gushed about a young singer-songwriter named Bob Dylan.

Herald also released a solo album, "Roll On John" that I bought after he opened a show at Central Park Summerstage for Ricky Skaggs. I played it incessantly for most of that summer (a summer, it should be noted, that preceded the Great O Brother Bluegrass Scare that later swept the nation), drawn in by Herald's strong yet quavering vocals and a bunch of cool cover songs (including a version of Warren Zevon's "Carmelita" that I may like more than the original).

One of the most beautiful songs on the album is a cover of "Jumpin'" Bill Carlisle's "Gone Home." As Herald heads home himself, it seems fitting to quote the song:

"All of my friends that I loved yesterday
Gone home (they have gone home)
Gone home (they have gone home)
The songbird that sings in the dale seems to say
Gone home (they have gone home)
Gone home (they have gone home)

They've joined the heavenly fold
They're walking the streets of pure gold
They left one by one
As their work here was done
Gone home (they have gone home)
Gone home (they have gone home)"

RIP, John.


Free advice

In the new NHL, there is a lot of talk about making the game more exciting for "the fans." But when the new NHL says "the fans," they really mean "the people we want to be fans." After all, the rule changes being made aren't really the result of a great clamor from your average NHL fan; they are being made because they will make the game more palatable and exciting to Joe ShortAttentionSpanSportsFan.

Well, whatever. Welcome aboard, Joe. And in an effort to not be such a stick-in-the-mud, I'm willing to bend for you (not that way, perv). So, I've come up with some suggestions I think you'll dig:

***I know you'll love the excitement of 65 minutes of hockey being decided by breakaways during shootouts, but couldn't we make it even more idioti...I mean exciting? How about breaking ties with a hand of Texas Hold 'Em? That would be wicked cool, no? Plus, doing so would probably get the NHL a decent TV contract again.

***Everyone loves reality TV, so why not have "Hockey Idol," where players compete for a job in the NHL? They'll be judged each week by an all-star panel (with Don Cherry in the Simon Cowell role), and America (and, OK, Canada, too) will pick the big winner.

***I know that black-on-white dynamic of the puck on the ice is a big hassle, so let's just shut off all the lights in the arena and have the puck glow in the dark. The players' jerseys and the goals can glow, too, so everyone can see where they're going. It'll be like cosmic bowling! We can even play bad 80s music throughout the entire game! Awesome!

***Let's face it--we all love a good hockey fight. But sometimes it just takes forever to break them up. Enter JoJo the Hockey Fight Clown. Just like a rodeo clown, JoJo will throw himself right into the heart of danger, but instead of distracting a bull, he'll be trying to get the attention of Tie Domi. Think of the hilarity that will ensue!

***One word: midgets. And here's another one: chimpanzees. Every team has to carry at least one little person and one chimpanzee. This way, if there's a blowout, just put the chimpanzee in, sit back, and watch the fun happen. I mean, you've seen "MVP: Most Valuable Primate," right? Funny stuff. And the Rangers and Dale Purinton have already shown how well this can work.

There, you have it, NHL and Joe ShortAttentionSpanSportsFan. Free advice. See you at the rink.


Here we are, face to face

I'm a little late on this, but it needs to be said, so...

I'm not sure why I wasn't consulted by VH1 about their "100 Greatest Kid Stars" poll (see full list below), but I do know that if I had been, I wouldn't have given Alfonso Ribeiro the shaft. How, VH1, can a Broadway star ("The Tap Dance Kid"), commercial actor (Pepsi), and featured performer on two beloved sitcoms ("Silver Spoons" and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air") be below Jeremy "Ben Seaver" Miller? What else has that loser done? I mean, I liked "Growing Pains," but I would have voted for Boner before Ben. And Lara Jill Miller from "Gimme a Break"? Michael Oliver from "Problem Child"? What?

It's enough to make me want to stop watching VH1. But Gary Busey's on "Celebrity Fit Club 2," so all is forgiven.

1. Gary Coleman (DIFF'RENT STROKES)
2. Macaulay Culkin (HOME ALONE)
3. Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen (FULL HOUSE)
5. Drew Barrymore (E.T.)
6. Emmanuel Lewis (WEBSTER)
8. Corey Feldman (STAND BY ME, GOONIES)
9. Maureen McCormick (THE BRADY BUNCH)
10. Danny Bonaduce (THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY)
11. The Jackson Five
12. Brooke Shields (PRETTY BABY)
13. Jonathan Lipnicki (JERRY MAGUIRE)
14. Tatum O'Neal (PAPER MOON)
15. Kirk Cameron (GROWING PAINS)
16. Dustin Diamond (SAVED BY THE BELL)
17. Molly Ringwald (16 CANDLES)
18. Ricky Schroder (THE CHAMP, SILVER SPOONS)
19. Keshia Knight Pulliam (THE COSBY SHOW)
20. Christopher Knight (THE BRADY BUNCH)
21. Joey Lawrence (GIMME A BREAK!)
22. Barry Williams (THE BRADY BUNCH)
23. Kim Fields (THE FACTS OF LIFE)
24. Henry Thomas (E.T.)
25. Jonathan Taylor Thomas (HOME IMPROVEMENT)
26. Corey Haim (LUCAS, THE LOST BOYS)
27. Fred Savage (THE WONDER YEARS)
28. Alyssa Milano (WHO'S THE BOSS?)
29. Valerie Bertinelli (ONE DAY AT A TIME)
30. Lisa Whelchel (THE FACTS OF LIFE)
32. Malcolm-Jamal Warner (THE COSBY SHOW)
33. New Edition
34. Susan Olsen (THE BRADY BUNCH)
35. Soleil Moon Frye (PUNKY BREWSTER)
36. Linda Blair (THE EXORCIST)
37. Jaleel White (FAMILY MATTERS)
38. Sara Gilbert (ROSEANNE)
39. Sarah Jessica Parker (SQUARE PEGS)
40. Todd Bridges (DIFF'RENT STROKES)
41. Anthony Michael Hall (16 CANDLES)
42. Mike Lookinland (THE BRADY BUNCH)
43. Mindy Cohn (THE FACTS OF LIFE)
44. Joey McIntyre (NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK)
45. Butch Patrick (THE MUNSTERS)
46. Tina Yothers (FAMILY TIES)
47. Leann Rimes
48. David Faustino (MARRIED ... WITH CHILDREN)
49. Kristy McNichol (FAMILY)
50. Danielle Brisebois (ALL IN THE FAMILY)
51. Tempestt Bledsoe (THE COSBY SHOW)
52. Michael Fishman (ROSEANNE)
53. Mayim Bialik (BLOSSOM)
54. Quinn Cummings (THE GOODBYE GIRL)
55. Danica McKellar (THE WONDER YEARS)
56. Danny Pintauro (WHO'S THE BOSS?)
57. Danielle Spencer (WHAT'S HAPPENING!!)
58. Brian Bonsall (FAMILY TIES)
60. Jason Bateman (SILVER SPOONS)
61. Eve Plumb (THE BRADY BUNCH)
62. Wil Wheaton (STAND BY ME)
63. Peter Billingsley (A CHRISTMAS STORY)
64. Lara Jill Miller (GIMME A BREAK!)
65. Heather O'Rourke (POLTERGEIST)
66. Jill Whelan (THE LOVE BOAT)
68. Michael Oliver (PROBLEM CHILD)
69. Edward Furlong (TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY)
70. Jerry O'Connell (STAND BY ME)
71. Erin Moran (HAPPY DAYS)
72. Jason Hervey (THE WONDER YEARS)
73. Adam Rich (EIGHT IS ENOUGH)
75. Elijah Wood (AVALON)
76. Robbie Rist (THE BRADY BUNCH)
77. Diane Lane (A LITTLE ROMANCE)
79. Menudo
80. Justin Henry (KRAMER VS. KRAMER)
81. Nancy McKeon (THE FACTS OF LIFE)
82. Lance Kerwin (JAMES AT 15)
83. Jeremy Miller (GROWING PAINS)
84. Raven-Symone (THE COSBY SHOW)
85. Scott Schwartz (THE TOY, A CHRISTMAS STORY)
87. Jackie Earle Haley (THE BAD NEWS BEARS)
88. Cynthia Nixon (LITTLE DARLINGS)
89. Amy Linker (SQUARE PEGS)
90. Kris Kross
91. Dana Plato (DIFF'RENT STROKES)
92. Lecy Goranson (ROSEANNE)
93. Anna Paquin (THE PIANO)
94. Jenna Von Oy (BLOSSOM)
95. Alfonso Ribeiro (SILVER SPOONS)
97. Christina Ricci (MERMAIDS)
98. Hanson
99. Lacey Chabert (PARTY OF FIVE)
100. Candace Cameron (FULL HOUSE)


Get Out

Todd Snider and the Nervous Wrecks
Originally uploaded by MrBadExample.

Welcome to Get Out, a semi-regular feature about upcoming shows in New York City and the surrounding area. And maybe the not-so-surrounding area. It's my blog and I'll post what I want to.

And even if you don't live in the NYC area, pay attention. You might learn something.

TUE July 19--Elvis Costello and the Imposters with Emmylou Harris, Central Park Summerstage, 7 p.m.

I hope I don't have to tell you why you should go to this show. And though, technically, it costs $60 to get into this concert, don't sweat it. For why pay exorbitant ticket prices and support an increasingly poor concert series when you can sit just behind the bleachers for free? That's what I'll be doing, unless it rains, in which case I won't be out $60. Suckers. Philanthropic suckers.

The last time I sat behind the bleachers at Summerstage, a woman absently whipped a wood chip at my forehead and a dog devoured a baby squirrel. So, you might get a little extra, too.

THU July 21--Will Hoge, Mercury Lounge, 8(ish) pm

Will Hoge is from Nashville, but his music isn't country. It is, once again, rock--straight-ahead, sweaty rock (sensing a Tinsel and Rot theme?). Will and his bandmates used to hit the NYC area pretty frequently, but things slowed up for awhile. But with a new tour bus and some new songs, they're making more of an effort to move outside of their Southern fanbase. Hence, this show, where they're the second act on the bill. That will mean a short set (but an early bedtime), so you won't get the usual full-length set, which is too bad. They put on one of the best shows I've ever seen, at 12th and Porter in Nashville in 2002. And they're another band that gives everything they have, no matter the set length. So start the weekend early.

For the full Will Hoge experience, go to Maxwell's in Hoboken on August 9. No worries...I'll remind you.

FRI July 22--Rodney Crowell w/ Will Kimbrough, South Street Seaport, 7 p.m.

A free Rodney Crowell show would be reason enough to spend a Friday night at the Seaport. He's written a ton of great country songs ("Ain't Living Long Like This," "'Til I Gain Control Again," "Stars on the Water") and has actually hit his peak with his last two albums, "The Houston Kid" and "Fate's Right Hand." But you're also gonna get to see Will Kimbrough (pictured above), world-class guitarist, member of the first band whose live show really moved me (Todd Snider and the Nervous Wrecks), and all-around swell guy. I think he's also playing an opening set, but the Seaport Music Festival website is a little hazy on that. If he does do an opening set, your ass should be there. Watch the jaws drop when he does "Yo-Yo Ma." You'll see.

I've been looking forward to this since it was announced. If it gets rained out, I may cry.

SAT July 23--Maybe Pete, Pussycat Lounge, 8 pm

Guess what? I like rock and roll. No kidding. So, it would follow that I like Maybe Pete. And once again, they're not just good musicians; they're good people. Good people who go to as many Marah shows as I do. What's not to like, dammit?

I am slightly frightened about the place they're playing based on their website, and I may be fired tomorrow for looking at the site at work, but what the hell? We're all adults here.

The last time I saw Maybe Pete play, I was the crowd. That crap better not happen again. This is their first NYC gig in awhile, so they could use some peoples in the crowd. I don't know if there's a cover and, if so, what it is. But I'll pay it for you, you filthy mongrel. Just go to the show. You'll like it.

OK, that's it. I'll see you out there.



Love enough to cover the world

The Yayhoos
Originally uploaded by MrBadExample.

"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
Hunter S. Thompson

It's mainly a coincidence that the Yayhoos were the first band I saw after two tough-to-take events--9/11 and my dad's death (technically, Tony Bennett and kd lang at Radio City Music Hall was the first show I went to after 9/11, but the Yayhoos at Brownies were second...so, play along). But I'm glad it worked out that way. Because there are few bands that make me feel as glad to be alive as the Yayhoos do.

The Yayhoos are Dan Baird (former lead singer of the Georgia Satellites, whom you probably know best for "Keep Your Hands to Yourself"), Eric "Roscoe" Ambel (current lead guitarist for Steve Earle), Terry Anderson (writer of a bunch of Satellites songs and current head of his own band, the Olympic Ass-Kicking Team), and Keith Christopher (former Satellite, former bassist for Shaver, current man about NYC, who once accidentally walked in on me taking a dump in the Mercury Lounge bathroom...big honor). They get together and record whenever schedules permit, and they played a Father's Day gig at Ambel's Lakeside Lounge after doing some work on their next CD.

A Yayhoos show never lets up, with everybody getting their moment in the spotlight, switching instruments and lead vocals along the way. And they're not doing it because they want a big record deal or to get their songs played on the radio (though they'd surely take it). They're doing it because it's fun, dammit, and rock and roll is supposed to be fun. And not some cool, calculated simulation of fun with matching t-shirts, but the real, honest-to-God, sweat-drenched, mile-wide smile kind of fun that makes little kids (and grown men) want to pick up a guitar and play.

Every now and then, people will tell you that rock is dead or, worse yet, that U2 is the last great rock-and-roll band. They're lying to you. Rock is still alive; it might be harder to find, but it's still there. And thank God it was alive on Father's Day at the Lakeside Lounge, because I needed it.

The show didn't really wipe away any pain, and I still woke up the next day missing my dad. But as I walked out of the Lakeside, there was a beautiful ringing in my ears. And if that ringing in your ears can make you forget about what ails you for just a little while, then rock and roll has done its job.

Thanks, guys.



All Are Welcome!

The Tabernacle of Consuming Fire
Originally uploaded by MrBadExample.

Lately, I've been thinking that it would be nice to have someplace to write down thoughts I have about different bands and such. See, sometimes, like when only 10 people come out to see a band as good as Split Lip Rayfield (and then one of the guys in the band quits a few weeks later), I get a little angry. I'm not angry at anyone in particular, just angry. And that anger needs to be released. What better place to release that than on the Internet, our great marketplace of anger and self-importance?

So, because it's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, I present "Tinsel and Rot," a sporadically updated blog (I really hate that word, but I give up) about all things music (and maybe some things TV if something tickles my fancy...and how my fancy longs to be tickled). There'll be updates about NYC-area shows you should go to, maybe some reviews of shows, incessant pleas to buy Marah-related products, that sort of thing. I'll do my best to keep things interesting and to reveal as little about my personal life as I possibly can. I barely care about the daily goings-on in my life; I can't imagine you'd be much more interested.

Anyway, stop by when you can. Or don't. Whatever you think is best.