Archive for February, 2008

Rock 4 Rookies Podcast: Episode 2

Posted: February 24, 2008 by Maximum Mike in Rock 4 Rookies Podcast

Sup rookies!? I’ve been getting great feed back from ya’ll. Some in person and some on the page!! Some of you have told me that the music is too hard for you. If this is the case then your not listening hard enough. The music has so much to offer you. This week we’ll be hearing from Coheed and Cambria, Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses, Rage Against the Machine, and maybe just maybe a little Maiden?

A Call To Arms

Posted: February 19, 2008 by Maximum Mike in The Rocking Chair Blog

After having read Jonny’s post, I decided to take some time out and think about what this show meant to me. My journey began much later in life than my compatriots. Its true that I grew up listening to Manfred Mann, Elvis Presley and the Beatles, but it was never a decision. My sister, at the time, felt that she had been born several decades late and made her life a hippies life. Her current status of life involves a spiritual fulfillment that has nothing to do with music. My parents took great pleasure in sitting around a fire place with me and telling me all about the music they listened to growing up. My mother used to dance with the best of them and my father actually saw both Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles perform live. Today, while both of them still love music, it is not an integral part of their lives. My teenage years, spent here in the Holy Land, were a whirlpool of different types of music. Even today while I have chosen Rock as my love, I still dance to Hip Hop and Pop music. Sometimes the best way to get yourself out of bed and into the right frame of mind to face the day, is to plug into Ludacris or get smooth with a little Michael Jackson (who is still the King of Pop and always will be).
It wasn’t until 12th grade that I discovered what would become an obsession for me and eventually have much to say about my general characteristic make up. The great moment that would be birth and passage into my new world, was the moment the I first heard Nothing Else Matters by the kings of metal, Metallica!! Because it’s not one of their heavier songs I can only tell you that it was a feeling of strength that captured my attention. When you are 17, you are still playing by someone else’s rules and I needed strength to start making my own. This deep soulful tune had strength I had never heard before, but still something was missing. Shortly after graduating high school, I discovered a genre of rock which had the missing ingredient I needed, Funk Metal. Limp Bizkit, in the year 2000, became, with all of its energy and rage, my strength and my power.
7 years later, I am much wiser to the roots of music and know where the anger and rebelliousness come from. The journey from being an angry little kid to the young man I am now began with Jonathan Davis’ cry of “Are You Ready!!!!!!” to a maturity that only comes with age and experience. Still, I have a long way to go and still sing along with the music pretending to be my favorite artists, performing in front of thousands of screaming fans. At 24, I don’t even come close to thinking that I have all the answers or that I know what I’m doing. That’s where the need for the rock still comes from. When you attend a concert with 60,000 people throwing their fists into the air, you ask yourself, “From whence does this energy stem? What do I share in common with these people?” The answer lies in the simple idea that we don’t know where our lives will take us and we don’t know what we have to do to get there. Music chronicles history better than the history books because while the books were written by people, the music was written by “The People”!! Rock4Rookies is my chance to show you a reality of magic, horror and beauty and guess what, you already live there. All I know is that the current status of the world hasn’t improved since the day’s rock began and until it does, my fist will remain in the air.

“If you’re going to do something wrong, do it right” – Me

Maximum Mik

I feel like I should start this off with a quote. Something iconic that Mick Jagger once said to Pat Benetar over beers at CBGBs. Maybe a line from an acceptance speech, or an appropriate bit of lyrics. The truth is that this is not about them, the Rockers and the Singers. Well it is about them, but it is more about us and how we feel when we rock. This is about you and me, the everyman fan and our attachment to the ones who live life as we can only dream it. For every Robert Plant or Steven Tyler there are millions of us who grew up singing with reckless abandon as we became bedroom frontmen shrieking away as we emulated the jockish posturing of David Lee Roth or the ethereal angst of Jim Morrison.
What is it that makes us rock? I will forgo the history lessons. For that you will have to listen to our radio show. The way I see it the emotions are all that matters. That is why a song like “Copperline” by James Taylor, can rock just as hard as Thunderstruck by AC/DC. The artist tells a story with their music, and if we are moved it rocks. It is that simple. I don’t think I am the only person who wants to get in a street fight every time I hear “Another one Bites the Dust” by Queen. I am sure I am not alone in my desire to rocket down a highway at 1,000 miles an hour when I hear “Running Down a Dream” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
What is unique about Rock music is that it is totally subjective while creating a sense of community across generations and social stratum. One of my first concert experiences was going to see Yes with my dad. It was a pretty good show, and for a bunch of old guys they could still play. What caught my attention was the fact that there were quite a few kids my age (about 14 at the time) out for some male bonding with their dads. The most prevalent community feeling is found in the festival going Jam Band crowd. They are a nomadic tribe of folks who travel following their favorite bands from city to city making friends along the way and trading stories. Within that culture however are some of the most rabid defenders of their own musical theories and opinions. It is awesome that music can be so contradictory, while being so unifying.
My father once said a band could sing about their grocery list and he wouldn’t care as long as it sounded good. I find this believable to a point. If a song has a killer riff, and a strong beat the listener might not get bogged down by the semantics of their lyrics. (scuse me while I kiss this guy) But what if the song “Cocaine” by Eric Clapton was called Orange Juice and was nothing more than an ode to his favorite breakfast drink? There is a style of poetry where you cut up an article and pull words at random out of a hat. I think that the success of that in creating words for a song would be inversely proportioned to the power inherent in the track. For example Metallica might have been able to get away with singing about bubblegum and fireflies given the power and complexity of their music. Joni Mitchell, on he other hand would probably have a hard time with songs about the death of the firstborn.
Rock music is a unifying, and dividing force. It is a window into our souls shown by the words of men and women who we worship for helping us understand ourselves better. I can only hope to impart some of this on my loyal readers every week as Mike and I, bring you along on our journey.

Welcome. I hope you stay a while.


Welcome Rockers and Rocketts to the first episode of Rock4Rookies, your very own Odyssey into the world of rock music. This week we’ll be hearing from bands like, Green Day, Soil, Eagles of Death Metal, Lost Prophets and many more!!