Sunday, November 10, 2013

Running for Lou

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Tribute to Lou Reed in Words and Song

Lou Reed's music has meant more to me on a personal level than any other music.
He had an unflinching openness to face reality, to take it in, to tell the story in a multi-dimensional, multi-layered universe that was at times piercingly shrill, and at other times, sublime and beautiful in the utmost. But whatever the emotional or sonic timbre, always inside was the great goodness of the loving soul of this author whose deep love for life and humanity could be felt in every note, and sometimes in one note over and over. Lou was a gigantic person, and that person was - if at times inertly so - always present in his musical universe. He was conscious, aware, and deliberate. I love Lou Reed. His passing screeches through my entire body leaving me dejected and sour. There will be all talk about drugs and bullshit, but to my mind, Lou Reed is anti-venom to addiction. His life and body of work is the most voluminous work of anti-escapism of modern times. He achieved a tone out of a guitar that was sweet and joyous - you can feel his glee in plucking, there's an immediacy to his performance unmatched by any other guitarist. Despite the received wisdom, Lou was a skilled craftsman on the guitar with hyper-delicate precision relating to his tone and sustain... And the result of hearing this precision might often by your flowing tears. He spent 4 or 5 decades refusing to be what he was supposed to be at every turn - he remained an artist at every step: Lou Reed never became a brand. His career was never made by music writers. It was followed. I suffered an anxiety disorder for much of my youth. And on many occasions, the music of Lou Reed was the only thing that could calm me down. I told him this when I met him at a poetry reading in 2003. He looked up at me in the eye, and said, "Thank you. That's a very sweet thing to say to me." Thank you Lou. Thank for your defiance, your realism, your humanity, and your rock-solid core. You gave me and many others a gift that led us be honest with ourselves, and to hold on to what makes us strong in the face of the onslaught. I will mourn this loss till I join you. The coal black sea waits for me me me.. I rewrote this song (which was already hugely influenced by Lou), and added his words and some of my feeling for him.

Monday, March 26, 2012


The Droogs (Adam LaMee, Bobby Wieboldt, Ollie Byrd, Michael Bundy)

This is the flier from my first "real paid gig." Bob, the second from the left, had a neighbor or something who was looking for a band to headline shows at a Daytona Beach club called 600 North. Bob just told the neighbor that he had a band, and that his band would do it. But Bob didn't really have a band.

The next day at school after Bob talked to this lady, I think it was September of 11th grade for me, Bob approached those people whom he thought would make a good band. I was put on guitar, Adam was put on vocals, and my good friend Mike was made drummer. Over a period of 3 weeks we practiced putting a set together. The set was really bizarre. We covered The Doors, Danzig, and the Violent Femmes. The lady came with a photographer to watch the set. That's the day this picture was taken. (We got the gig.)

This was remarkable for Bob to have accomplished all of this. He basically was a pro, Hollywood-style, wheeling and dealing player of the trade - as a senior in high school. And Bob accomplished putting together this band while also living a rich, complicated, and exciting social life. And he was a damn good bass player too. He played with punch, verve, and nuance.

Bob died this month after a long struggle with a chronic arthritis illness. He was a charming, loving, and very friendly guy. He was by no means perfect. But I know that my life would be much less interesting had he not been in it. I'll miss you Bob.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

50 Best Pop Songs of The DECADE!

1) Johnny Cash - HURT


3) Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys - EMPIRE STATE OF MIND

4) Eminem - STAN

5) Blink 182 - I MISS YOU

6) Gwen Stefani - HOLLABACK GIRL

7) Yeah Yeah Yeahs - MAPS

8) Outkast - MS. JACKSON

9) Macy Gray - I TRY

10)System of a Down - CHOP SUEY

11) Kanye West - Heartless
12) Santigold - L.E.S. Artistes
13) Jay Z ft. UGK - Big Pimpin
14) Natastha Bedingfield - These Words
15) Rihanna - Umbrella
16) No Doubt - Underneath it All
17) Outkast - Hey Ya
18) T.I. - Whatever You Like
19) Beyonce - Single Ladies
20) Outkast - So Fresh, So Clean
21) Kelis - Milkshake
22) Eminem - Mockingbird
23) 311 - Amber
24) No Doubt - Hey Baby
25) No Doubt - Hella Good
26) Eminem - Cleaning Out My Closet
27) Snoop Dogg - Drop It Like It's Hot
28) My Chemical Romance - Welcome to the Black Parade
29) Kanye West ft. Jamie Foxx - Gold Digger
30) D-12 - My Band
31) Kid Cudi - Day N' Nite
32) Interpol - Evil
33) Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
34) Lady GaGa - Paparazzi
35) Alicia Keys - No One
36) Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
37) Arcade Fire - Wake Up
38) Tool - Schism
39) Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
40) Vanessa Carlton - A Thousand Miles
41) Modest Mouse - Float On
42) Ludacris - Move Bitch
43) Miley Cyrus - The Climb
44) Soulja Boy - Crank That
45) Avenged Sevenfold - Bat Country
46) Jimmy Eat World - The Middle
47) Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten
48) Avril Lavigne - I'm With You
49) Missy Elliot - Get Ur Freak On
50) Sean Kingston - Beautiful Girls

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ollie's best and worst pop songs of 2009

some of these may be from 2008, whoops..

Best Pop Songs of 2009

1. Jay Z ft. Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind
2. Kid Cudi - Day N' Nite
3. Jay Z ft. Rihanna and Kanye West - Run this Town
4. Lily Allen - The Fear
5. Kanye West - Heartless
6. NE-YO - Closer
7. Alice in Chains - Check my Brain
8. Shakira - She Wolf
9. Katy Perry - Waking up in Vegas
10. The Veronicas - Untouched
11. Ting Tings - That's not My Name
12. Miley Cyrus - The Climb
13. Miley Cyrus - Party in the U.S.A.
14. T.I. featuring Justin Timberlake - Dead and Gone
15. Lady GaGa - Paparazzi
16. Linkin Park - New Divide
17. Kings of Leon - Use Somebody
18. Michael Franti / Spearhead - Say Hey (I Love You)

Worst Pop Songs of 2009

1. Muse - Uprising: did we really need another spirit in the sky?
2. 3OH!3 - Don't Trust Me: ugggh!
3. Black Eyed Peas - Meet Me Half Way: copying Cyndi Lauper's time after time verbatim in your pro tools session is about as lame as you can get!
4. Owl City - Fireflies: sounds cool... but the creative impulse is a bad copy of a bad copy.
5. Black Eyed Peas - I Got a Feeling: the lyrics and raps in this song are painfully decontextual... sounds like bad kareoke to mario brothers music.
6. Pink - Sober: does anyone really want to hear anything else about pinks hyper annoying personal life? the up high down low too slow chorus is straight out of the high five game.
7. Green Day - 21 Guns: all the young dudes carry the news.who sings that? mott the hoople?
8. Foo Fighters - Wheels: who really wanted to hear someone copy tom petty's learning to fly?
9. The Fray - Never say Never: these guys squeeze the last drop of juice out of the dead horse of radiohead... already sucked to the bone by coldplay et al.
10. Cobra Starship - Good Girls Go Bad: who let these guys out of the dance club?
11. Kelly Clarkson - Already Gone: did we really nead someone to copy Beyonce's copy of Rihanna's Umbrella?
12. U2 - Get on Your Boots: here, U2 sinks to a new low, and plagiarizes the already lame Escape Club's Wild Wild West.
13. All American Rejects - Gives You Hell: these guys put chumbuwumba's tubthumping in their protools session and copied it.
14. Jay Sean - Down
15. Pitbull - I Know You Want Me