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My Latest Obsession: Sam Hunt

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People who read this page often may have figured out by now that I like to listen to a variety of music. I like pop, alternative, 80’s country, and white boy rappers (see my past posts on Kid Rock and Vanilla Ice).

But I usually am not that interested in current country music. Once Garth retired and I discovered Good Charlotte and Kid Rock, country pretty much fell off my radar entirely. I knew that I liked Joe Nichols, purely because many of his early songs I kept mistaking for George Strait. But I figured the King wouldn’t sing a song called “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off.” And since when did George become the King anyway? He was just another artist (albiet the awesomest one) when I was still listening.

Last fall I found an affection for Luke Bryan’s “Play It Again”. And I played it again and again. But I didn’t search out any of this other songs.

This spring, I was lucky enough to be invited to a Garth Brooks concert. It reawakened my love of the country I grew up on.

While removing wallpaper with pink roses on it (a very long process), I tuned to a country station. I realized they played the same songs and artists over and over again all day long. But that forced me to begin to recognize the voices of Blake Shelton and Florida Georgia Line. I became familiar with some of Tim McGraw and Brad Paisley’s previous releases.

Sam Hunt

Sam Hunt

But there was one song that didn’t fit with the others. Because it was better. And many of the lyrics were talked, rather than sang.  It got stuck in my head. I heard the artist’s name, then instantly forgot it again. I can still only remember it by thinking of how it rhymes with a swear word.

The song was “Take Your Time” by Sam Hunt.

I watched the video, which is powerful, but doesn’t specifically match the lyrics of the song. I learned that Sam is hot. And I can’t believe they let guys with weird Macklemore hair have hit songs on country radio nowadays. My, how times has changed while I wasn’t paying attention.

Doing a little wiki research on him, I learned he is a pretty accomplished songwriter. I found out that his influences include R&B, but he wanted to write about the themes of where he grew up in Georgia, which led him to country. While I believe “Take Your Time” works on country radio, I thought to myself that it could be played on adult-contemporary as well. And then I found an article where it appears that exact thing is happening in some markets.

I am still mining through his songs on YouTube, but one called “Speakers” is particularly edgy and sexy.

“You Can Leave The Night On” is another good song of his. “House Party” and “Raised On It” are kind of generic to me. I think he excels when he embraces his uniqueness. I realize being different is a big risk in any music genre…but it is also the one that can pay off the most.

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!

PURCHASE as a Paperback or eBook on TODAY.

Cracking Nuts

I asked for two things for Christmas this year. And I was so happy to get them both.

Works of Ahhh... Nutcracker Prince kit

Works of Ahhh… Nutcracker Prince kit

One item was a Decorate-Your-Own-Nutcracker kit. A number of years ago, for some strange reason, I became very fond of nutcrackers as Christmas decorations. At one point, I even had a six foot tall nutcracker, but I had to kick him out of the house. He was always breaking everything.

You are such a pig!  Leaving nut shells all over the floor...

You are such a pig! Leaving nut shells all over the floor…

I debated how to personalize my little hunk of wood. I am sharing the results with you here, honestly, because it seemed like a really easy blog post.

I present to you, Nutcracker Kid Rock.

I'm a pimp, you can check my stats.

I’m a pimp, you can check my stats.

Also, I wanted to give props to “Works of Ahhh…”, the makers of the kit. The nutcracker is a nice size for decorating, the paints cover in one coat, and the paint brushes are a nice enough quality to save for use on future artistic creations. The stickers included were useful, with details such as eyes and a mustache. The worst part of the project was the patience required to wait for paint or glue to dry before proceeding on to the next step.

It stinks that now that I have him all done and he looks so cool, I have to pack him away for next year. I will forget where I packed him among my dozen plastic storage boxes of Christmas decorations. I probably won’t lay eyes on him again for three years.

Now I am thinking it might have been fun to make a Hello Kitty nutcracker. Amazingly, that may be the one item that I have not seen her feline face plastered on.  Sanrio, get on that.

What was the other thing I wanted for Christmas, you ask? Here it is…

My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!

PURCHASE as a Paperback or eBook on TODAY.

Yes, Kid Rock, I Have Stalked You, Part 2

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This is part two of a long post.  For part one, please visit:

So, that video shoot my friend told me about? Turned out, the video shoot for “Forever” was going to be held at the Michigan State Fairgrounds (now extinct) the NEXT weekend, and it would be widely announced by the local media. It was also being filmed by MTV’s Making the Video show. I was so psyched!

My friend and I went to Meijer late the night before so that I could buy one of those red markers to draw on your car windows with. I also bought stuff to make sandwiches for lunch for all of us the next day. Then I drove all the way home. By then it was the middle of the freakin’ night, and I had to turn around and get up early and pick up my friends and drive to the Michigan State Fairgrounds.

While it would be 30 degrees warmer in 4 days, it was only around a high of maybe 40 degrees that day at the wide open fairgrounds.  The wind whipped through. The thrill of being at an actual music video kept us going for a while. First thing to be filmed was some monster trucks. Then we finally got to see Kid Rock, as he rode out on his own Monster Truck. My husband ran up with the rest of the crowd and took a picture.

Kid Rock on a monster truck

Kid Rock on a monster truck

Then there was more time waiting while they set up the stage for the performance scenes. I think we snuck off to our car to try and find some respite from the terrible windchill. We ate our sandwiches. We never really warmed up. We returned to the set.

The band finally came out and started getting set up. Uncle Kracker came out at the far end of the stage from us. By this time, he had already released his own album, toured, and had a few hits (depending on how you define a “hit”). And yet, no one was saying anything! So, my green-haired friend and I started chanting “Kracker! Kracker! Kracker!” The crowd picked it up. Then Kracker looked up at the crowd and smiled a big, goofy grin. We all cheered. That is my most favorite memory from that day. Uncle Kracker doesn’t know it, but that smile was for us, because we started the chant.

This is where we started.  Trust me, we got closer.

This is where we started. Trust me, we got closer.

Then Kid Rock came out, explaining that they have to do several takes while lip-syncing to the original track. If I stood on my toes, I could see Pamela Anderson at the side of the stage. After that, he performed some of his hits for us. There was this group of young kids in front of us, 17 years old maybe? The one girl in their group had obviously never been in a pit before and just complained about EVERYTHING!  “Oh my God, stop pushing!” I was a concert veteran by now. I knew by now, you had to accept the pushing and shoving or get the f*ck out. Eventually, that party left, helping us to move closer to the stage. I may have pushed her a few times, on purpose, to speed that along 😉 Yup, Kid Rock had helped me find my inner American Bad Ass.

Kenny Olsen and Jason Krause of TBT, center

Kenny Olson and Jason Krause of TBT, center

After that, they shot a scene where a girl in a bikini was supposed to be thrown in the air off of an American flag. My husband was holding onto the edge, but somehow he did not end up still holding on to it when the cameras started rolling.

By the time that scene was over, it was dark. I was so cold and starving, that Kid Rock himself probably would have had to come out and convince me to stay. We got in the car and left. By that time, there were very few people still there.

When we watched the finished music video later, we would see that we probably missed our best chance at meeting Kid Rock. The final scenes shot were those of him actually walking through the crowd. And I can tell you, the people you see in the scene are the ONLY ONES still there. Everyone else had left due to the cold.

Here is the “Forever” music video. Try to find me in it. I still do…

I can’t believe that none of the four of us ended up in the finished video OR the MTV Making The Video. And my green-haired friend’s brother is like 7 feet tall (not quite). How does that not show up in every shot?

I saw Kid Rock on the Cocky tour three times in 2002. I stood in line to buy tickets when they went on sale to see him at the Palace of Auburn Hills. By then, there were so many people in line, Ticketmaster was doing a stupid random number draw to decide where people fell in line. I ended up purchasing my tickets about ten minutes after they went on sale. The seats I ended up with were clear up by the ceiling. It was RIDICULOUS! That would have been a miserable show, except for there were two college guys in the row in front of me who were dancing and singing along with every word, just as I was. That made the bad seats a little easier to take.

That same week, I bought tickets for Kid Rock at the Toledo Sports Arena (a MUCH smaller venue) four days after they went on sale. I was still able to get General Admission tickets. By the end of that concert, I had pushed my way up to second row from the stage. When Kid Rock came out with a shot gun to shoot out the lights, I was just a little scared! It was impressive. I was so close to my obsession, but there was no way to get closer.

In September, I saw him at DTE Energy Theatre. We only had lawn tickets. I had come to the conclusion that there was no way to get close tickets for Kid Rock in his “hometown” of Detroit. My green-haired friend and I had been to that venue many times by now. I knew the back way into the place that usually resulted in quick parking. But this show had a problem. People were coming and tailgating in the parking lot–PEOPLE WITHOUT TICKETS TO THE SHOW!!!! It caused a horrible traffic jam. It was then that I decided never to buy tickets for a Kid Rock show in Detroit again.  It was throwing your money away.  There was just no way to get close to him.

We were late. We ran as fast as we could from the gates to the stage. We could hear Kid Rock and Run-D.M.C. performing together. They left the stage just as we rounded the corner in view of the stage.  We never saw them.

Jam Master Jay would be shot and murdered a month later. We had missed one of the final performances of RUN-D.M.C. by 60 seconds. It haunts me still.

Somehow by the end of that concert, my friend and I made it into the top of the pavilion seats. Which was awesome, because during his performance of “Early Mornin’ Stoned Pimp”, when Kid Rock wears his long fur coat and pimp hat with the feather in it, metallic confetti was dropped from the ceiling. It may have even been one of his encores. It was just such an awesome and moving experience. Part of that could have also been that the people in front of us were smoking pot.

The following is a journal entry about the show.  Remember, I had already disclosed that I was obsessed…

Kid Rock @ DTE 9/13/02

I have been to church*
It has been such a long time.
Look at my fellow followers.
The congregation. Up at the sky.
We love our god. He gives us power, energy, life.
He is so trashy/rude-but at the same time points out things in our society that we take too seriously. He reminds us life can be fun, in addition to the misery. He melodically puts us on a higher level.

Look at the clouds. Look at the sky. Look at the congregation grooving en mass. Feel the worn but wonderful as it courses through our bodies. This may be my last chance for awhile to chant in unison with my god. I am at church.

*I think “church about every Kid Rock show I go to.

It was such a great show. On the way out, I found a Kid Rock wife beater laying in the parking lot, fresh from the souvenir stand. That was probably a $30 value right there. I would wear it to many future concerts.

In November 27, 2003, we went to see Uncle Kracker perform at the Emerald Theatre. And yes, I was hoping Kid Rock would make an appearance. It was a great show at a great theater, but no Kid Rock.

At some point in all this, my crazy friend’s best friend did the hair of someone who knew what road Kid Rock lived on in Ortonville. (It was pretty common knowledge that he lived in Ortonville, Michigan at that time.) So, we all planned a weekend field trip to try to find his house. Except, well, the best friend couldn’t remember for sure what road the customer had said. We saw lots of scenic Ortonville. We took pictures of the different roads and houses we found, in case they were it. We unknowingly drove past a bar he regularly visited like six times and never stopped.

My crazy friend had access to online real estate records at the time. When she got home, she did a property search. She emailed me both the parcel info, and an aerial picture of the house. I won’t include those here. I also won’t tell you the address, but the road rhymes with my maiden name. Here is the picture I took of Kid Rock’s front gate:

Kid Rock's front gate

Kid Rock’s front gate

It is my pride and joy. I used to display it proudly in my cubicle at my old office job. We didn’t try to go past the gate because we did not want Kid Rock to shoot us.

Although, that would have been a GREAT story!

I have no idea if he still lives there or not. That was over ten years ago.

Sadly, I have not seen Kid Rock since 2002. I saw him a total of six times.  I loved the rap rock thing, but I always liked the rare song on a CD where he sang, especially a dark version I have of the Hank Williams Jr. song “A Country Boy Can Survive”. I always wanted him to sing more. On his newer albums, he did just that. But, then, I wished that he would rap more.

I still love his old stuff, but my obsession has faded. I don’t follow his new stuff. I had to get rid of my cardboard standee. It took up too much room in my one bedroom apartment. All my concert T-shirts got worn out. My husband and I moved into our house, and my CD collection got stashed in a chest that gets cluttered on top, making it hard to access my CDs.

I have met a lot of celebrities. Probably more than my fair share. Check out my “When Stars Align” page if you don’t believe me. I wish I had met Kid Rock before he was famous. I am sure he was playing little dive bars in Detroit. It was possible. I just didn’t know that he existed. That is the dream, I guess. To meet a famous person before the fame sets in and they become unreachable.

I did actually get to meet the band Good Charlotte at the height of their fame. But, well, that is a story for another day.

At this point, I am waiting for Kid Rock to lose popularity. Maybe someday he will come to the county fair and I will be able to meet him when no one else wants to.

Yes, Kid Rock, I Have Stalked You, Part 1

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I have previously written posts about both Macklemore and Vanilla Ice.

Macklemore, Ricky Nix. Kid Rock. Vanilla Ice.

What do all these guys have in common? They are all white rappers.

And I love them all. And no, Eminem is NOT included on my list. He only has ever recorded two singles that didn’t sound like the beat was from a Casio keyboard and he was trying to do a cartoon voice. Those two decent song are “Lose Yourself” and “Stan”.

It was 1999.

I had my first “real” job post-college in an office, sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day doing monotonous work.

I was miserable.

Luckily, they let me listen to music while I did my boring data entry work.

At this same time, there was a song on the radio that I really liked. I didn’t know the name of it or who sang it, but I was pretty sure it went as follows:

Break it up let’s tie one on
I gotta get set to go and cut the lawn
So I grab my Walkman but before I cut
I go behind the garage and fire it up
Cause I’m the pool guy
You understand

I thought they were weird lyrics, but I definitely liked the Rap Rock mix. At a chance encounter hanging out at a bonfire, I got to hear more of the album. I liked it a lot. I found out the song above is actually called “Bullgod”, and I had misheard the lyrics.

I went out and purchased the CD (Yes, people did that back then): Kid Rock’s “Devil Without A Cause”

I listened to it every day for the next year. While I was a good little obedient worker typing away, I was listening to wonderful lyrics about drugs and violence and sex set to a pounding beat on my headphones.

My Kid Rock standee, with Hogwart the hedgehog

My Kid Rock standee, with Hogwart the hedgehog

I fell in love with Kid Rock’s music. I bought all his previous CDs that I could get from online auctions. I never managed to get Fire It up, an EP that was released in 1993. I liked listening to his early stuff to hear how he evolved, but I still loved Devil Without A Cause the best.

Kid Rock has a great saying that perfectly describes how his music affected me:

If it looks good, you’ll see it;
If it sounds good, you’ll hear it,
if it’s marketed right, you’ll buy it;
But…if it’s real, you’ll feel it.

At this same time, I started attending rock concerts regularly, which I had never really done before. But I suddenly had opportunities (on rare occasions, we got free tickets at work) and people to attend with me. I learned that some people require alcohol to have a good time on a night out, and some do not. I mostly went to concerts with my green-haired friend, her brother, and my crazy friend. They did not required alcohol to have a good time. We could end up laughing until we couldn’t breath with no help from outside substances whatsoever.

The first time I saw Kid Rock in person was at a Top Dog showcase at the State Theatre (Now known as the Fillmore Detroit) in Detroit, Michigan on July 27, 2000. Top Dog is Kid Rock’s own record label. Kid Rock wasn’t scheduled to perform, but I hoped that he would. I also hoped that he would be there, and maybe there would be a chance to meet him. My green-haired friend, her brother, and I stood in a line that ran down the side of the building, waiting for them to open the doors. We were apparently standing right near a stage door, because guys kept going in and out with guitars and speakers and stuff. I told my friends that I thought the guy with the bright orange dyed hair was in Kid Rock’s band, Twisted Brown Trucker. They did not believe me. Until later, when he was on stage with Uncle Kracker. The orange haired guy was Jason Krause. Although we didn’t get an autograph that day, we would ten months later.

Kid Rock didn’t perform at that show, but he did emcee, announcing the three acts before each one performed. Paradigm, Howling Diablos, and Uncle Kracker performed. I believe Joe C. was there too. We would all go on to become big Uncle Kracker fans, and attend many of his concerts.

The first time I actually saw Kid Rock perform was at Pine Knob (Now known as the DTE Energy Music Theater) in Clarkston, Michigan on August 25, 2000. My green-haired friend and I had stood in line when tickets went on sale early one Saturday morning. It was an outdoor venue, and we had been lucky enough to get pavilion seats, although they were 48 rows back from the stage. The local radio station was having a contest to win tickets. I thought they might have closer seats, so I called and won. Alas, what I won were lawn tickets. So, I invited my boyfriend (now husband) and his best friend along with us.

To my delight, and many other young people’s confusion, David Allan Coe was the opening act. I grew up on 70’s and 80’s country. “You Never Even Call Me By Name” is one of his biggest hits, and one of my favorite country songs. Sadly, that is about all I remember from that concert.

It would be the last time we would see Joe C. in person alive, as he died on November 16, 2000. Eerily enough, my husband and I were driving through Taylor that very evening, coming home from another show. Because I worked with people who worked with record company people, I actually knew the time and location of Joe C.’s funeral, but I didn’t go. I do have SOME stalker morals.

I started to watch Kid Rock on every TV show that he performed on. I started a scrapbook of magazine articles about him. I dressed as Kid Rock for Halloween, and wore it to work. I made a collage on my bedroom door. I hung up posters of him in my cubicle at work. One of my co-workers started to call me Kid Jen. I had a giant cardboard standee of him in my living room. I was obsessed. Which is unfortunate, because there was a lull in Kid Rock activity in the time until his Cocky album was came out in late 2001.

Me, Halloween 2000, as Kid Rock

Me, Halloween 2000, as Kid Rock

On May 27, 2001, my green-haired friend, her brother, my now-husband, and I went to the 89X 10th Birthday Bash at a venue called Phoenix Plaza. I always get lost in Pontiac. And Phoenix Plaza is a big park on top of a parking garage. All sorts of bands that really have no relation to this story were performing that day. Sum 41 (who we MISSED!), Rehab (who got booed), Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Cold, Staind, Puddle of Mudd, and Dope. Right when we got there, two members of Treble Charger (who we had seen in concert a few weeks prior, also the concert where I obtained most of my current hearing damage) walked right by us. By the time I convinced my green-haired friend that that is who the guys indeed were, they got on an elevator and left. With later Internet research, we found out one of those guys from Treble Charger sometimes produces Sum 41 albums.

Jason Krause's Autograph

Jason Krause’s Autograph

But that would not be the first of our celebrity encounters that day. There was a whole area where the bands would come and sign stuff. Jason Krause, orange-haired guitar player from Twisted Brown Trucker, and Stefanie Eulinberg, Kid Rock’s drummer, were also there. They weren’t performing, just watching the bands. Jason happily signed an autograph for us. We ran into Stephanie in the crowd. She was super nice, then proceeded to work her way forward toward the stage. She was shorter than me, and having trouble seeing the performances.

Stefanie Eulinberg Autograph

Stefanie Eulinberg Autograph

According to my ticket stubs, next we went to see Uncle Kracker at Freedom Hill Amphitheater on August 24, 2001. It was a beautiful outdoor venue, but VERY far away from my house. Uncle Kracker’s debut CD contained a song with Kid Rock on it. I hoped Kid Rock would appear to perform it with him. He did not. Although, Ron Jeremy introduced Uncle Kracker that day. How many people can say they have seen Ron Jeremy in person?

The concert had an official After Party at the Emerald Ballroom in Mount Clemens. I fell in love with the Emerald Theatre (Now called the Macomb Music Theatre) and its cozy leather chairs. But alas, it was even FURTHER away from my house, and not optimal to frequent for concerts.

Yes, we went to the afterparty, hoping to see Kid Rock. We did not. We did get to see Uncle Kracker’s very attractive guitar player from just a few feet away though. The ride back to Belleville was very, very long. Everyone fell asleep except, luckily, the driver.

Someone at work informed me that Kid Rock was doing a video shoot at the Palace of Auburn Hills. We tried to stalk it.

Come back on Thursday for Part 2 to find out if we ever did find the music video shoot, and if I ever got to meet Kid Rock…

Part 2 can be found here:

If I Had The Guts To Karaoke, I Would Sing. . .

Ice, Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice

While to the world I just look like a little geeky white chick with glasses, I am secretly an awesome rapper. Well, for that one song anyway. And a song called the “Punky Power Rap” I invented in the 6th grade. But no one should ever really hear that song beyond my asbestos friend and my husband. And even they just smile and nod.

How did I get so good at singing “Ice, Ice Baby” around my house? Because I have been practicing for 20 years, that’s why. Several years ago I even bought the music-only karaoke track off iTunes so I could practice in my car. The problem with that is that I didn’t have a copy of the correct lyrics in front of me at all times. I am pretty sure that over 20 years I have mutated some of the lyrics from their original form.

The other night I dreamed that I was writing rap songs with Vanilla Ice. I woke up with “Ice, Ice Baby” stuck in my head. Now, I totally realize that Vanilla Ice is a kinda skeezy, dumb guy. But “Ice, Ice Baby” is still one of my favorite songs after all these years and I believe that it stands the test of time. Especially since it is sampled from another successful song.

If you want to see a funny take on a very Vanilla Ice-style character, head on over to to watch webisodes of Stupid Hype, starring Wilson Bethel from Hart of Dixie (he of shirtless Wade fame). I am Wilson’s friend on Facebook. His actual friend. Mostly because no one apparently told him to make a separate Fan Page for his fans.

Wilson Bethel as Wade on Hart of Dixie
Photo: The CW

For a short taste, check out the official music video here:

What would be my second song I would karaoke if I was brave enough? Why, “Picture” by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow. Who would I duet with, you ask? Isn’t the answer obvious? Myself:)

Being a Kid Rock AND Sheryl Crow fan, I can easily mimic either while singing along to my car radio. (Note: I never said that I did it well!)

But, alas, my gifted performances will never touch the world, because I am not brave enough (and I generally don’t drink) to perform in front of other people.

If I had my own karaoke machine in the privacy of my own home? THAT might be fun!

Yup, yup.  Word to your mother!

[What does that even MEAN?!]

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