Sounds Like Saturday or: The New Guy


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Yesterday we found out that we lost one of the most prolific, and in my opinion, greatest drummers in rock or otherwise, Neil Peart of Rush. I have always had a respect for Rush and he has always been one of my favorite drummers, even if I’d never say I was a “fan” of the band. Drums have always been the one instrument that can really “wow” me if they’re done right and he did it right, every time. And, he was more than just a drummer, he wrote most of the lyrics for Rush songs and incorporated a lot of musical styles in his repertoire.  Here’s Neil in action. Rest in peace, New Guy. Oh yeah, f*** cancer!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“Too much attention and hoopla doesn’t agree with my temperament.” – Neil Peart

Friend Friday or: Beans and Beer


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Remember when you used to do the #FF on Twitter just a few years back? It stood for Follow Friday or Friend Friday (according to who you asked) and as far as I can tell, no one really does that any longer and whilst I’ll admit I was slack on that on Twitter, I will also say that Twitter isn’t my main social media platform and I just didn’t do it. But, I think it was a good idea and I’d like to pick that back up, except do it here on this blog.

I have a slew of friends that are interesting folks. They may have businesses, they may be musicians, they may just be eclectic as heck, whatever! I just think they need to be highlighted more because they bring awesomeness to the world and we’re lucky to have them here in WSNC.WashingtonPerk_logo_250px

If you’re in the Downtown WSNC area and need to get your milk, sugar, peanut butter, beer, wine, soft drinks, napkins, paper towels, fresh fruit, potato chips, toilet paper, coffee, a latte, a good sandwich and many other “provisions,” then there’s really one place you need to know about. That place is Washington Perk and Provision Company.

Washington Perk and Provision Company started in the Washington Park area and expanded into the downtown area when an art gallery became available in the Chatham Building at the corner of Fourth and Cherry. They sold the original location and are focusing on the downtown location.

They buy fresh fruit several times a week. They have a wall of beer and wine, much of it locally brewed and fermented. Ashe County Cheese can be found in the coolers at the Perk. Mexican Coca-Cola is sold at the Perk and that’s made with real sugar, not that nasty high-fructose corn syrup that most of our Cokes have. Le Bleu water in various sizes. Milk, butter, cheese and probably other dairy items from Homeland Creamery.

All the toiletries that you may need are available at the Perk, too. Get toothpicks, napkins, hot sauces and canned goods right there.

They have a full coffee shop for your latte and Americano needs. This includes various teas and drips, too.

There are several varieties of potato chips, cheese puffs and other bagged goodies in the back of the store. They have dried fruits, bread and other various munchies.

One of the best parts is the deli counter in the back that can make you a fantastic sandwich and they’re really affordable. One of my faves is the “Italian Stallion” which is a few Italian-style deli types of meat on a hoagie roll with cheese and whatever fixings you want.

Lastly, but not least(ly?), there’s Wolfie’s Custard. They purchased the company a few years back and they have around 15-20 different flavors. Most of those you can get in cold weather as well as always in the warm weather.

Washington Perk and Provision Company is located at 401 W Fourth Street in Downtown WSNC.

Full disclosure, Washington Perk and Provision Company has the distinction of being the only dual sponsor of both The Less Desirables and The Man Who Ate the Town podcasts. So, I may get compensation from them, however, this is an honest and heartfelt (and was not asked to make it) recommendation.

Around the corner from the Perk, on Fifth Street, is Small Batch Beer Company.

Small Batch BeerSmall Batch started back in 2014 and before they opened, the (then) three partners Ryan, Tim and Cliff contacted The Less Desirables about coming on and talking about their beer and brewery. They were one of the pioneers of the downtown beer scene (after Foothills, of course) and took an old favorite location and turned into a modern place that brings liquid goodness to the masses.

They started a little smaller and have grown to 12 taps of both “favorites” and rotating varieties. They started serving food after a year or so of being open and then expanded to a whole new joint that focused on burgers and fancy milkshakes. They pulled back on that and now have a “ramen” place in the former burger space that is open a few days of the week. But, they still have some burgers on the food menu and you can order from them via Uber Eats, DoorDash and other delivery services.

Tim has bought out Cliff and Ryan and has kept the beer going strong. Their brews are solid and being in the location is pretty cool, too. It’s easily accessible from the Marriott, Embassy Suites, the Benton Convention Center, and everywhere downtown.

Small Batch Beer is located at 241 W Fifth Street and is waiting to serve you a great “cold one” as well as wine and a full ABC selection.

Small Batch was the first presenting sponsor of The Beer Dads podcast. I appreciate them and their support. They are no longer that sponsor so everything I say about them is an honest and unsolicited recommendation. Give them a shot!

I hope you’ll visit my friends soon, not just Fridays, and help local businesses and local business owners and hey, you can get good beverages and delicious pies! Thanks for reading about my friends.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“Small Batch Beer Co. is a brewery and handcrafted cocktail bar in downtown Winston-Salem, NC. We screen the beautiful game (soccer/futbol) on our projector every weekend.” – Small Batch Beer

Another Happy or: The Bestie


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I have a few people that I call my bestie. Today, though is my pal Paul, aka Beer Dad Paul’s birthday! And since I did the one yesterday that matched up musical birthdays, let’s try it again.


Paul and some goof ball…

John Knowles Paine (was the first American-born composer to achieve fame for large-scale orchestral music). Kenny “Klook” Spearman (jazz drummer and bandleader as well as a major innovator of the bebop style of drumming). Joan Baez. Roy Head (“Treat Her Right”). Scott Walker (teen bop-turned-avant-garde singer). Jimmy Page. Bill Cowsill. David Johansen (singer of New York Dolls and sometimes known as Buster Poindexter (“Hot Hot Hot”)). Eric Erlandson (founder of the band Hole with Courtney Love). Haddaway (“What is Love” from A Night at the Roxbury). Dave Matthews. Carl Bell (founder of Fuel). Alex Staropoli (co-founder of metal band Rhapsody of Fire). Sean Paul (rapper). Hayes Carll (singer-songwriter). AJ McLean of the Backstreet Boys (Paul’s favorite, just kidding). Drew Brown (One Republic).

That’s a lot of folks!

Happy birthday Paul. Love ya buddy!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!!

“Me mind on fire — Me soul on fire — Feeling hot hot hot” – “Hot Hot Hot” (Cassell)

Happy Birthday, Pops or: A Cool Bday Share


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Today is my dad’s birthday. I got to talk to him a little bit and I’m glad he’s here for me to do that. He’s a great man and no matter how hard I try I’ll never be the man he is. But, he lets me be the man I am and that’s awesome, too. But, he shares a birthday with several names in music.

Luther Perkins (who was guitarist for the Tennessee Three, Johnny Cash’s band), Shirley Bassey (singer of three James Bond theme songs), Cristy Lane (country and gospel singer), Robbie Krieger (guitarist from The Doors), Terry Sylvester (The Hollies), Mike Reno (singer from Loverboy), Paul Hester (of Split Enz and Crowded House), Dave Weckl (drummer for Paul Simon, Madonna, George Benson, Michel Camilo, Robert Plant,  Anthony Jackson and Chick Corea Elektric Band), Andrew Wood (Mother Love Bone), R. Kelly, Torry Castellano (drummer of The Donnas), and probably a few more.

The two big ones, though, in my opinion, are Elvis Presley and David Bowie. That’s the two that I always talk about, but that list is pretty impressive. So, since it’s Bowie’s birthday, too, well, here’s a little something for you. Enjoy and happy birthday, Pop!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“Ziggy played for time, jiving us that we were Voodoo. The kids was just crass. He was the naz. With God-given ass. He took it all too far, but boy, could he play guitar.” – “Ziggy Stardust” (Bowie)

Funky Lipps or: Mouth to Mouth


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Today is the 40th anniversary of… well, no it isn’t. One site I use to get my music history/releases said today was the anniversary of Mouth to Mouth, the album from Lipps, Inc., which is only really an EP and has the song “Funkytown,” probably the only hit the group had. Turns out, it’s not, but I spent time looking for it and then realized it was wrong. Anyway, this young lady does a good job. So, enjoy!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“Gotta make a move to a town that’s right for me. Town to keep me movin’, keep me groovin’ with some energy.” – “Funkytown” (Greenwood)

In Through the Out Door or: As the Stile Turns


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So, here we are at my favorite time in the NFL season. No, not the playoffs, although that is exciting, especially Whiney Tom Terrific is out of the picture and possibly out of New England, although I’ll believe that when I see it. So, my favorite time of the NFL year is the offseason. I know that sounds oddball and counterintuitive, but hear me out.


Top 2020 Draft QB prospect Tua Tagovailoa (©Getty Images)

Yeah, I love the games. I love watching NFL games even when I can’t stand the teams. Cowboys vs. Redskins? Yeah, I watch that. Browns vs. Bengals? Yeah, I watch that. Panthers vs. anyone? Yeah, I watch that, too. I love NFL games. But, what really gets me going is the “behind the scenes” and sometimes even non-so-behind-the-scenes activity. You know the Monday after the regular season, and sometimes that Sunday night, some coach is going to be fired. It happens almost every year. And you can almost predict which ones with near accuracy.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like people losing their jobs but this is a business and big money at that. The goal is to win, not just contend. So, no, I do feel for those losing their jobs but let’s move on already.

The past offseason we saw seven new head coaching jobs. Adam Gase in New York, Kliff Kingsbury in Arizona, Zac Taylor in Cincinnati, Vic Fangio in Denver, Freddie Kitchens in Cleveland, Matt LeFleur in Green Bay, Brian Flores in Miami and Bruce Ariens in Tampa Bay. All of them had been either head coaches or assistant coaches of some sort.

On to this year… Of that crowd, Adam Gase is on thin ice and Kitchens is already out in Cleveland, as of last Sunday. Ron Rivera was out in Carolina and Jay Gruden out of Washington with a few weeks left in the season. Pat Shurmur was the coach for two years for the Giants and was fired last Monday. Jason Garrett who had been the Cowboys’ head coach for 10 years was fired and the next morning it was announced that former Green Bay HC Mike McCarthy was the new coach in Big D. McCarthy has won a Super Bowl.

Rivera is now the coach of the Redskins and like with McCarthy, we’ll see if their owners can let them run the team or stay hands-on and make their jobs even more difficult. The Panthers haven’t yet filled their vacancy and neither has the giants.

And, it’s not just the head coaches, either. Many assistant coaches are making moves, either by choice or not. Vagabond Wade Phillips, who most recently was the defensive coordinator for the LA Rams was let go this morning. Former head coach of the 49ers, Mike Nolan will be the DC for McCarthy in Dallas. These are just the big names that I’m seeing.

And, let’s not forget GMs. Bruce Allen out in Washington and John Dorsey out in Cleveland. Who knows who’s next.

Then there are the players, old and new. Ones that were out from surgery, are they coming back? Who will be traded? Who will be cut? Who will retire? Who will be drafted? Who will move via free agency that starts March 18?

I don’t watch a lot of college football, but I like to keep track of the names and see where they may end up come April in the draft.

There is a lot of speculation about Tom Brady’s future. He voided any contract extensions, he put his house up for sale (as did his personal trainer), he can’t be tagged as “franchise” to keep him there. Do I see him in another uniform? I don’t really know. He has said that he wanted to play until he’s 45 but he looked all of 40 (he’s 42) whereas he looked like he was 35 last year. Sure, he doesn’t have all the personnel around him. Gronk retired (thank any deity here) and the only thing he really has going for him, with any experience, is Julian Edelman. He didn’t look right all season either. I hope Brady retires. Move on, let someone else dominate. Watson, Wilson, Jackson, Josh Allen, Mahomes (my fave of the bunch), who knows, but let someone have the spotlight. Your age is showing.

Anywhat! I just wanted to mention how much I love this part. I love free agency. I love trades. I love the personnel changes. I love the draft. I love the NFL. The games are pretty good, too.

Until tomorrow… hike!
Scorp out!

“Though the loss wasn’t entirely the fault of Brady’s, there was reason — including his career-worst marks in key passing categories down the stretch — for folks to view his play and wonder if Father Time might finally be catching up to him.” – Nick Shook on Tom Brady and the Patriots’ loss this past Saturday

Spinning Sunday or: The Haul 1/4/20


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A fun Saturday that was a little late starting (just like today) but we had breakfast (or lunch) and then went by to see Jonathan at Underdog Records. Good listening, too. Here’s the haul:

  • The Police – Synchronicity — Yep, I found another. This was one of the 2019 reissues, but it had a variant cover that I didn’t have, so I bought it. Someone got it for Christmas and decided they didn’t like it and sold it to Jonathan. One listen through so it’s NM.



  • Touré Kunda – Casamance Au Clair De Lune — According to Wikipedia: “Touré Kunda is a Senegalese band noted for their musical versatility and political activism. Their 40-year career encompasses recordings in over six languages and collaborations with well-known musicians such as Carlos Santana and Talking Heads. They have had considerable success in Africa and Europe and are active in social causes such as Children’s rights and advocates for the homeless.” It’s good stuff. We enjoyed listening to it as we are fans of the world music genres and we have a few. This was a really good listen. VG+.
  • Squeeze – Babylon And On — There were five singles released on this album and I’m not sure if I know any of them. I don’t know if any of them get played on 1st Wave on SiriusXM much. I’m indifferent to Squeeze. I like them, but I really don’t pay a lot of attention to them. The singles are “Hourglass,” “Trust Me to Open My Mouth,” “The Waiting Game,” “853-5937” and “Footprints.” VG+.
  • Graham Parker And The Rumour – The Parkerilla — I think I’ve said this before but Parker reminds me of a mix of the new wavy side of Elvis Costello and the punk aspects of Joe Jackson. This is a live album and it’s actually pretty good, for a live album. VG+.
  • Heaven – Bent — I believe this album has been known as three different things, HeavenTwilight of Mischief and Bent. The band, as far as I can tell, is Australian and the guitarist, Bradford Kelly, designed the “Kelly” guitar for Jackson, which was probably most famous as being the guitar of choice of Marty Friedman in his Megadeth days. I always loved the design. I don’t know what it sounds like but it sure looks like something that my pal Bobby Richardson, the drummer from Heavens Sake (how coincidental) would love. We always joked that he would go through records (or CDs) just to find some band with a lot of hair. That was his thing. VG.
  • Boston Pops / Arthur Fiedler – Star Dust — An album of “pops” music by the Boston Pops Orchestra and conducted by Arthur Fiedler. VG+.

Yep, a good time in the record shop, snotty weather and all. I wish I had the money but he has a beautiful Kenwood receiver in the store that looks beautiful and he says it sounds beautiful. It’s probably mid-80s and is in pristine condition. Good stuff. Listen to each new episode of The Less Desirables to hear the TLD/UR special. Use Discogs to track your music collection, no matter the medium.

Until tomorrow, keep spinning…
Scorp out!

“The hourglass has no more grains of sand. My watch has stopped, no more turning hands. The crew have abandoned the ship. The lights are on but no one is in.” – “Hourglass” (Difford/Tilbrook)

Friend Saturday or: Hey(day), Let’s Get Graphic


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Note I did this on Saturday this week so I could give a good write up…

Remember when you used to do the #FF on Twitter just a few years back? It stood for Follow Friday or Friend Friday (according to who you asked) and as far as I can tell, no one really does that any longer and whilst I’ll admit I was slack on that on Twitter, I will also say that Twitter isn’t my main social media platform and I just didn’t do it. But, I think it was a good idea and I’d like to pick that back up, except do it here on this blog.

I have a slew of friends that are interesting folks. They may have businesses, they may be musicians, they may just be eclectic as heck, whatever! I just think they need to be highlighted more because they bring awesomeness to the world and we’re lucky to have them here in WSNC.20200104_123044-01

When I’m in my “The Man Who Ate the Town” persona (which really is all the time, but when I’m out in public with it), I like to wear one of my custom made t-shirts that bear that name and my likeness. Those shirts were made by Machine Gun Graphics. Well, at least the printing on them. Also, the extra-large wall decal that we take pictures in front of after every episode of The Less Desirables was printed by Machine Gun Graphics. I have a banner that bears the logos of TLD, TMWATT, Fan Interference, The Beer Dads, Apartment 5B and Beeswax Vinyl & More that I’ve never gotten to use (and that I need to upgrade) that is quite large and that, too, was made by Machine Gun Graphics.

Kyle and Nikki over at Machine Gun Graphics are awesome to work with. Their product care and quality are unmatched. The shirts that I had made and the ones that bear their name (MGG) are high-quality material, comfortable to wear and fit me great. Having to have 3XL sizes makes getting clothes that fit an ordeal at times, but their sourced shirts are great. They have taken several of my logos and made great things for me.

MGG_LOGO1Do you have a logo that you need to be printed on something? It would look great on shirts but it’s not exclusive to shirts. How about sweatpants? Hoodies? Banners, buttons, caps, koozies, and so on? They do that! How about embroidery? They do that! Get something directly embroidered or make an embroidered patch that you can put on yourself.

Let’s say, though, you don’t really know what you want but you just need some stuff printed up? Well, fantastic. They have a free design studio right on their website. You go on there and mock up some fun stuff and see how you like it. If that’s daunting to some (which I can see where it could be) then start working with it and let Nikki or Kyle help you do the finishing touches!

Machine Gun Graphics is eco-friendly and eco-minded. They try to keep the shop as eco-friendly as possible and use sustainable garments and materials any time they can. They do large-scale printing, discharge printing and basically, if it hits your brain, they can print it on something. Machine Gun Graphics is located at 610 Cotton Street.

And, to any TLD listener (or reader of this blog) if you have some printing that needs to be done, once you’ve made your kick-arsed design, when you checkout on their website use the discount code TLD15. That will get you 15% off your order (before taxes of course).

Full disclosure, Machine Gun Graphics is a sponsor of The Less Desirables so I may get compensation from them, however, this is an honest and heartfelt (and was not asked to make it) recommendation.

This brings me to my full-on “Unsolicited Recommendation.”Heyday Logo

Right up the street from Machine Gun Graphics is my pal, Michael Slawter. Michael owns Heyday Guitars, a neighborhood guitar shop that well, sells, guitars. But, it’s not like some guitar shops that just get new inventory or may have a trade-in or two. Nope, Michael specializes in both electric & acoustic guitars as well as tube amps, be they vintage, new or used. He really focuses on guitars and amps from the 50s through the 70s.

Michael also does guitar setup, specs, modifications and if something’s going wrong, he’ll do some repair/troubleshooting for you. He’s worked on a few of my basses in the past.

Heyday Guitars’ shop is quaint and in the warmer months, he’ll roll up the big garage door and let nature in while folks are strumming along, tinkering with a potential new toy. It’s not unusual to catch live music there, either. The BCPF and I got to check out one of her musical faves, David J from the band Bauhaus and Love and Rockets. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t a ton of room in there, so it will be packed, but that’s what we call in the biz, intimacy!

Michael is a musician and has put out some music in the past. I know he has a record at Underdog Records because I’ve seen it! This brings me to the point that he is a vinyl fan, as well and has a turntable in the shop that you can go by and listen to some tunes, talk music (or shop), strum some stringed goodness or just hang out. Michael is cool and will have a grand conversation with you. He has been on The Less Desirables a few times, as well as The Beer Dads. Heyday Guitars is a great shop and is located at 414 Brookstown Avenue. For more info visit their website or heck, even better, just go by there.

I hope you’ll visit my friends soon, not just Fridays Saturdays, and help local businesses and local business owners and hey, you can get good beverages and delicious pies! Thanks for reading about my friends.

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“Cool, old and weird is what we like!” – Heyday Guitars

Sounds Like Friday? or: Yeah, Because…


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I’m moving the Sounds Like Saturday to Friday this week only (I hope) and doing Friend Friday on Saturday because I was busy today and want to make sure I dedicate time for the FF thing.

Sunday is the 46th anniversary of Bruce Springsteen’s Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. and as most know I’m not a huge Boss fan. But, there are moments that I really dig. A few years back VSS did a whole Summer of Bruce thing and I did “I’m on Fire” (from Born in the USA), “If I Should Fall Behind” (from Lucky Town), “Because the Night” (from whatever that’s from) and my favorite from Greetings… “Spirit in the Night.” Here’s Bruce, himself, doing it from 2013. Enjoy!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“Crazy Janey and her mission man were back in the alley tradin’ hands. ‘long came Wild Billy with his friend G-man all duded up for Saturday night. Well Billy slammed on his coaster brakes and said anybody wanna go on up to Greasy Lake? It’s about a mile down on the dark side of route eighty-eight. I got a bottle of rose so let’s try it. We’ll pick up Hazy Davy and Killer Joe and I’ll take you all out to where the gypsy angels go. They’re built like light.” – “Spirit in the Night” (Springsteen)

An Old Favorite or: Bringing the Magic Back


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I know I talked about this on Monday, but this is the official announcement.

One of the best things that we have ever done on The Less Desirables is a segment called As Ardmore Turns. What it was was a skit/sketch where we took Facebook’s Ardmore Neighborhood’s ramblings, arguments and so on and we just read them straight through. Then added some old-timey organ “soap opera” music, a few pop culture drops (like songs or movie clips or something) and made it into a thing.ardmoreturns

It took me a long time to do them, upwards of four hours, and it got tedious. Plus, the page settled down some and I was forcing content. I have talked before about how I hate that. So, I stopped doing them.

People have been asking about them for a while now, like the old episodes or even new ones. I did one this past week and it was a grueling, five-hour process. Not that I minded that, but the episode went on for almost 40 minutes, too. I don’t like doing that.

The Less Desirables is long enough now without adding another 10-40 minutes to it. So, I’ve decided that I am going to let AAT be a stand-alone beast and it is a beast. I have a lot of old episodes to post and I will do new ones when it is feasible. I even started a whole new website just for the skit. I haven’t decided whether it will or will not be on the TLD Network, as of yet.

There’s only one episode, so far and you can find that HERE.

I’ve submitted them to Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify and Google Play. They’re in review right now. But, here’s hoping that you all dig them. Let me know!

Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
Scorp out!

“…for our almost-true-to-life soap opera that practically writes itself… As Ardmore Turns.” – AAT Narrator