Comfest ... et.al.

Well, as expected, Comfest rocked my fucking ass off. For three consecutive days. And it was AMAZING. Saw some bands I love (Razorbliss, Ryan Smith, Megan Palmer, Jen Miller, Miranda Sound, Two Cow Garage, Paper Airplane), some bands I will love (The Lindsay, Pirate), and some that just blew me right away. (Paper Airplane, Pirate, Donna Mogavero).

I'm going to be a volunteer for Comfest next year ... of course doing photography ... but also I'd love to get involved with the group that puts on such an AMAZING festival.

I'll have lots of pics posted in a bit. I might just grab a bunch and put them on my flickr account until I can get them 'processed' the way I like. But raw images up on flickr are kinda fun! I'll post a link if I do. Meanwhile, here are two teases:

Two Cow Garage and Friends

Drake of Razorbliss

In other news, I totally kicked Lawgirl's ass in trivia tonight (Monday). Of the six matches we competed in, I outright won four, she outright won one and finished ahead of me the match neither of us won. But yeah, I beat her monkey ass, soundly. Not being mean, just reporting the facts. Oh, and one of my wins got me ANOTHER "Top 100" in the nation finish!

I'm not gonna be blogging much the rest of the week, I have my daughter for the week and Cammi-time is precious. Cause I love my bubby ... and she takes precedent over everything else.


Oh. Snap.

I think Brokeback Mountain was one of the worst movies, ever. Why?
  1. It was boring.
  2. As I saw the movie ... the whole gay sex thing was ENTIRELY the result of being alone on a mountain and being drunk. How anyone can say the movie was a good thing for the gay community is beyond me. It equated 'gay love' as a combination of date rape and Stockholm Syndrome (google it).
  3. It really was a boring movie. Had it been a man and a woman tending livestock on a mountain it would have been lucky to make it on PBS.
  4. It made women question their straight male partner's 'fishing' or 'camping' or 'poker nights' for no good reason. Sorry, I've been on lots of fishing and camping trips, a few poker nights. No gay sex occurred, despite the presence of alcohol and lack of female companionship.
  5. It. Was. Boring.
When it was over, I looked at my date and she said, "That's it? That sucked. I don't get the hype." Her friend was in tears. Her friend's boyfriend ... don't remember his reaction. I'm sure it was similar to hers ... or at least feigned to be similar as not to upset her. That friend would cry about damn near anything. And take offense to just about everything. Damn hippies.

To quote my original review ... where was the pudding? (And if you're wondering WHY I'm writing a blog about Brokeback Mountain now ... I just found this picture and it made me laugh and remember why I hated the movie.)


I should have lied.

I know ... the blog title is "Honesty is such a shallow grave" ... but fuck me running, I really should have lied.

Right through my teeth.

But no, I took the high road to avoid being an asshole.
I told her the truth.
And yet again, wound up the asshole.

I know two certainties in my life:

1. Someday, I will die.
2. Someday, I will figure at least one woman out. Before I end up in her version of assholeville.

I'm hoping that the latter happens many many years before the former.

I reached a point in my life where I felt ready to date again. With a purpose. I wanted to find my last first date. Because I'm ready for that. I'm back in the city I want to spend the rest of my life in. And I want someone to share this city - and all the other cities we choose to travel.

So I poke around a bit on line, go back to the tried and true Yahoo Personals. Looking around, I see a couple of women who catch my eye. One of them, we'll call her A, is really appealing in a lot of ways. We email, we chat on the phone, a date is set, she cancels. I extend an offer to reschedule. Said offer goes unanswered for five days. Okay, obviously something changed between her saying 'yes' to the date and her deciding four hours prior to said date she wasn't going to show. At least she called to cancel, didn't leave me to show up alone, wait alone, make some phone calls, get pissed off and leave, alone. Which is why I extended the offer to reschedule.

When she does call back, FIVE DAYS LATER, I'm not at a place I can take the call. It goes to voice mail. And really, after five days of no response, I'll admit I wasn't all that interested in trying to talk over a loud band (what? Me at a place a band plays loud? What are the odds of that?).

So I'm telling a friend this story. Said friend asks to see a picture of A. I send her a photo. She says, "Wow. She looks just like B." (B is an old girlfriend. We lived together for a while, then realized she wanted to get married, have kids, move back to her state of origin. I had no desire to get married, have another kid (or two) or move back to her home state. So those three things were the deal breakers. The long-term angle failed. The short term was great. So it's not like it ended for stupid reasons.)

After hearing friend say, "Wow. She looks just like B." I realized friend was absolutely right. I was attracted to her specifically because she looked like B. We all have a type, nothing wrong with that. However, when A and B could be sisters ... not good. And after I had that pointed out to me (that A looked like B) ... I could not look at her without seeing B.

Which I know is totally unfair to A. I'm sure, based on the hour we spent on the phone, and the couple of emails, that A is uniquely different than B in many respects, and if we had spent time together I would learn the uniqueness of A and see her as A ... not as B.

However, I was once the A in a very similar equation. And I found this out when I met her parents and her mom kept calling me ... the name of her daughter - my date's - B. I didn't answer, because it's not my name, and I didn't notice. It wasn't until said date (actually, girlfriend at this point) said to her mother, "His name is Eric, not 'B'" ... and her mother responded, "Well, he looks just like B."

I'll admit to feeling the fool for a while after that. Like her attraction to me wasn't based on who I am, but who I looked like. That stung.

And when I realized I was on the other end ... that I had the A who looked like the B ... I had to be honest. After a couple of weeks of no contact (ball was in my court, I didn't write/call/text), I send A a message saying this: "Sorry I didn't return your calls. Not going to give you some 'been busy' excuse or other line. I realized I was attracted to you because you remind me of someone else, and that's not fair to you."

Her response: "Well, if my resemblance to her concludes my chances of getting to know you then that is a shame. Because, while I may look exactly like her, who knows if I am remotely like her or not....I guess you'll never know. I hope you're not missing out on a great possibility. Either way, good luck in finding what you seek."

I should have lied. I should have told her I was busy. But no, I take the high road, once again, only to find it leads to assholeville. Where, apparently, I'm the mayor this month.

Seriously ... what should I have done? Waited for someone to tell her she looks like B ??

I'm thinking of going back to the hermit hole.


My 2008 Comfest Schedule

Friday, June 27

1:40 - Bozo Stage - The Brown Notes

2:30 - Bozo Stage - Judas Cow

3:00 - Gazebo Stage - Miss Molly

3:45 - Live Arts Stage - Brian Michael Murphy

4:10 - Bozo Stage - Shotgun McCoy

5:00 - Bozo Stage - The DAMNits

6:00 - Bozo Stage - Razorbliss

7:00 - Bozo Stage - Valhalla

8:10 - Offramp Stage - Two Cow Garage

9:00 - Offramp Stage - Brainbow

10:10 - Jazz Stage - Flypaper with Anna and the Annadroids

Saturday, June 28

12:00 - Offramp - RTFO Bandwagon

1:40 - Offramp - The Kyle Sowashes

4:10 - Offramp - Ugly Stick

4:55 - Bozo - Willie Phoenix

5:50 - Offramp - Miranda Sound

6:40 - Offramp - Red Dahlia

10:30 - Andyman's Treehouse Comfest After-Party with Judas Cow, Bookmobile and Two Cow Garage

Sunday, June 29

2:35 - Offramp - Paper Airplane

3:40 - Jazz - Jen Miller

4:10 - Offramp - The Lindsay

4:55 - Solar - Ryan Smith

5:50 - Offramp - Megan Palmer

6:40 - Offramp - The Fabulous Johnson Brothers

8:05 - Offramp - Pirate


Weekend Schedule

Lots of great shows as we ramp up for Comfest ... and this year is going to be a fun one for me at Comfest ... lots of bands I've been looking forward to seeing.

Last night was Micah of Two Cow Garage doing a solo acoustic set opening for the Evil Queens and Burning Brides. For the record, Micah stomps the stage, stalks the stage and rocks the fuck out acoustically the same as he does while plugged in, just with more room, fewer people and less noise. Evil Queens ... I'd never seen them live before. WOW. Very impressed. Burning Brides ... decent ... but I spent a lot of their set outside talking with Shane and Micah, listening to stories of the European tour.

Tonight is Willie Phoenix at Oldfield's on High, with a walk across the street to see Miranda Sound's CD release party for their fourth and final album, which is called "Miranda Sound" ... and it's one of their final Columbus shows, ever. Gotta love a band who writes about "The Lull of Youngstown" with the lines "If you stay you'll always regret it" and "Well John Young, your town's a disaster" and "the best of us won't dare to stay here" ... It's a disaster. I left. I don't regret it. I know lots of people who have left. Most of them good, too. You can download the song (and the entire Western Reserve album) for free, here, because the band, and their label, are just that cool. And Western Reserve is #82 on the Columbus Alive list of the Top 100 Columbus Albums of the past 30 years.

Miranda Sound's final show in Columbus is August 15th at the Ravari Room; they play Comfest at 5:50 on Saturday, June 28th on the Offramp Stage. (look for my Comfest schedule - and it's a full one - to post here soon)

Saturday - Matthew Hoover and the Super Saints at the Treehouse (not sure if they're gonna keep the Andyman's in the name since Andy and Quinn sold the Treehouse) with Greenhorn and Big Back 40.

Best. Headline. Ever.

click photo for larger image.
click here for proof it's not photochopped

(thanks to the genius that is Mark Nye for the tip)


The War is Over

Brian fixed relationship issue.

No, Brian is not my love.

Read the story.

(It was a simple thing to fix ... and yes, the war is over.)


Love *IS* War ... sometimes :(

When you're in love, there are always compromises to be made.

You like McDonald's, they like Wendy's. Pepsi/Coke; cats/dogs; etc. That's the joy of the compromise. Give a little, and rumor has it, you get a lot in return. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.

Then, there are those times when you don't want to give a little. You draw your line in the sand. You pick your fights, hopefully carefully, and figure out which one you feel is the appropriate battle to put your foot down, demand your way, and have the guts to stick out. You find, as a friend said, the mountain to die on, if it comes to that.

What I'm trying to say is every so often you have to say to your partner:


Regardless of the issue. Because we all have those things we need to have our way. And hopefully you have a partner who understands, and lets you have those things. And hopefully you're as understanding to the things your partner needs to have a certain way.

I'm presently involved in such a fight with the one I love. Sigh.

And it's a long, ugly, battle. Really long and drawn out. Unending, I fear. Because neither of us is willing to compromise on this particular issue.

It's not a full-time problem. There are many times - in reality ...MOST times - I'm more than fine with the way things are. To be completely honest, I often prefer it the way it is most of the time.

But there are a few times - and I do mean few - where I need this thing to be done EXACTLY the way I want. In fact, I HAVE TO HAVE IT one particular way, without question, compromise, or hesitation on my love's end.

And that's where the problem is. (And no, I'm not talking about anything sexual. Get your minds out of the gutter, ya freaks!)

I'm talking about one of those general things in a relationship that becomes a problem. It's frustrating me to no end because I can't give this up, and my love shows no signs of compromise.

As I said, most times, I'm fine with how things are, which I see as a compromise on my part ... but when it's my turn to have things my way ... I'm left holding my compromise as a shield that, sadly, defends against nothing.

Is that fair?

No, of course not. But how do I make that clear to the other involved party?

Why, my love, can't you see things from my point of view?

Why, my love, must you torment me by NOT EVEN CONSIDERING MY (infrequent) REQUEST to this one thing, this one way?

Why, my love, won't you even attempt?



Sigh. Anyone have any other suggestions? I tried taking a quick mini-vacation. to get my way ... including a nice rental car (brand new). Hell, I even bought my love a new outfit ... but no luck. My love will not budge.


I'm frustrated ...

(Oh, for the record, "my love" is my iPod Touch. The "problem" is it plays everything in shuffle mode.

As I said, shuffle mode is fine most of the time, and in the car, on the bike or at home, I usually prefer it that way; however, when I try to play an album in order, or listen to a comedy album, or spoken word, it's a problem. And it really sucks when you're TRYING to listen to a concept album when the songs don't line up in the order the conceptualizer had in mind.

Worse yet, when you're trying to play an audiobook and you hear Chapter 1 followed by Chapter 25, then Chapter 66, then Chapter 3 ... and so on and so on and so on ...

I'm thinking it's just a software glitch that a good reformat/resynch will fix, but I'm not ready to try that yet. I need to figure out the exact songs I have and want to keep before just wiping the solid-state hard drive and starting over.

But can you give me some points for this take on the whole relationship vibe? No? Please? I'll totally give you points when you have a cool misdirection for a blog idea. Really. Deal?)


Schedule & Links

This Week in Eric-Land

Tonight - Red Wanting Blue playing downtown Columbus at State & 3rd for a free, early evening outdoor show from 6-9; then home to watch the Ultimate Fighter.

Friday - Driving to somewhere else after work; but you should go the final weekend of Quinn and Andy owning Andyman's Treehouse to see the X-Rated Cowboys, the Whiles and a couple of other cool bands. Or if that's not your style, Razorbliss is playing at BoMA for Vampire Fest in celebration of Friday the 13th.

Saturday - Somewhere else. But you should go the final weekend of Quinn and Andy owning Andyman's Treehouse to see Willie Phoenix with his band, and a couple of other cool bands, and ghosts of Treehouse past playing that night; and do a zombie walk to raise money and collect food for the poor at Goodale Park with the Columbus Zombie Walk

Sunday - Somewhere else, then driving back to Columbus.

Monday - Fish, in Cleveland, at the House of Blues; but if you're in Columbus and don't want to drive, you should go see Megan Palmer and Alyson Greenfield at the Rhumba.

Links I like... and good reading for you
  • Things Overheard in the Office

  • Passive-Aggressive Notes (blank stare)

  • The best rant ever, and it puts mine to shame. It's one of many great reads from The Best of Craigslist

  • CNN calculates the economic stimulus of gay marriage in California. I bet a lot of wedding industry types in Ohio would love this kind of bling. After all, isn't Columbus one of the gayest cities in the US?

  • Esquire Magazine has a GREAT piece about Metallica will kill Bonnaroo like it's killed many other things. If you've seen "Some Kind of Monster" you know what a farce the band has become ... that was some of the best unintentional comedy ever put on film in my lifetime.

  • Speaking of a good laugh over a man-cry ... much like Dave Mustaine and Lars crying in Some Kind of Monster about Mustaine being kicked out of a pre-successful Metallica for his party habits, professional baseball player Milton Bradley broke down and had a good cry over something a TV announcer said about another player. What a tool. This guy has a history of stupid.

  • And finally ... Tastybooze gives us the three ultimate Chick-Repelling Tattoos. For reals.


Song of the Day - Fish - "Dark Star"

Dark Star
~ Fish

A naked man across the lawn
Ghosts of morning walk a carpet of tears
Croquet balls, scattered moons
Drowning sorrows on a sea of green

The fairy falls with broken wings
I hold it close to me and the let it fly
Another dream, another you
Shattered splintered shards explode into the blue

An open door, and empty drive
No kitchen drama, no final goodbye
You're making out, it's all my fault
You left to go in search of sympathy
You thrive on grief, on tragedy
You paint the pictures you want them to see

I'm just a dark star, inhabiting a silent void
Spinning in darkness, orbiting a universe
I want to be a meteor, I want to travel at the speed of light
Another dead star, silhouette against a pale moon
I want to crash into another world

That's how it was (or how you saw it)
You never talked (you never listened)
I beg to differ (I choose to disagree)
You wanted out (I couldn't take it)
You got no balls (Don't you know it)
That's my opinion (You're making that clear)
It's at an end (This thing is over)
You led me on (Tin pot poet)
I write the words down that you don't want to see.

I'm just a dark star, inhabiting a silent void
Spinning in darkness, orbiting a universe
I want to be a meteor, I want to travel at the speed of light
Another dead star, silhouette against a pale moon
I want to crash into another world

It ain't easy, it was never going to be
It's ain't no free ride, you don't get my sympathy
You should have realized you had to compromise
It ain't easy, was never going to be easy
You let my world explode into stars


All about Robots

Right now, there are more than 5,000,000 robots on the planet. I'm sure sex-robots (sexbots as they're called) aren't far behind. Which means that the few 18-34 year-old men video games haven't effectively castrated the social skills of will be joined by those who will get the sexbot because they never had social skills for video games to castrate.

For what it's worth ... which is very little these days, I do have a favorite sexbot ... and no, it's not Tricia Helfer's Caprica Six ... or any of the Boomer/Sharon/Athena modeled after Grace Park ... or Tory (but she's up on the list) ... or D'Anna ... nope. I'm old school ... way old school.

Firefox 3 has a funny robot tribute: (click to see in full size, or, if you're running Firefox 3, open a new tab and type about:robots into the address bar.)

(click the photo to see full-size)

Bonus points to anyone who can get the six pop culture references in the firefox about:robots without googling them. Extra points will be added if you're a hot woman over 35 who's single, has a great rack and sends me photos of aforementioned hotness and rackness with the correct answers. (If you're outrageously hot, you can google, but photos are required for all those who enter. Moobs=automatic disqualification).


Song of the Day

Somebody's Out There

Is it fate or random chance
How can I decide
Are we victims of circumstance
When destinies collide
All the odds are against you
But somehow you make it through
You can rationalize it away
But it all comes down to you
Half our lives we spend waiting
For the knock upon the door
When it comes, will it be the one
That I've been waiting for

Somebody's out there, somewhere
Waiting for someone to come their way
Somebody's out there, somewhere
I will somehow be somebody's someone

Standing in the shadows
Hiding from the light
Reach out in the darkness
And hold on for your life
All the fear of the future
All the loneliness inside
When the moment of truth arrives, hey,
You can run but you can't hide

Somebody's out there, somewhere
Waiting for someone to come their way
Somebody's out there, somewhere
I will somehow be somebody's someone

I can feel it inside me
I've been holding on so long
Something's tellin' me
something's got to give
'Cause the feeling's way too
strong, too strong

Somebody's out there, somewhere
Waiting for someone to come their way
Somebody's out there, somewhere
I will somehow be somebody's someone


This week in Eric-Land


  • Wednesday - BW3's in Worthington (just off Campus View) for a trivia challenge issued by Lawgirl.
  • Thursday - Rumba Cafe at 6 for Colin from Watershed doing some solo acoustic stuff; then to the Park Street Patio about 9 for Saving Jane; then over to The Outside Corner in Reynoldsburg for The Filthy HabitS
  • Friday - Park Street Patio for Red Wanting Blue
  • Saturday - Dayton (although you should go to On The Rocks in Dublin to see "Little Kids" ... that's a band)
  • Sunday - Recovery

R A N D O M . T H O U G H T S

  • Scientists have discovered where sarcasm lives in your brain. As if.
  • I'd read Garfield if this were how they're written (warning: filled with bad words, sexual innuendo and threats of biblical knowledge of ... uh ... a certain four-legged lasagna eating feline)
  • I wonder if Paul Orfalea is going to shave the rest of his head after this happens? He did get rid of the flowing locks when it was sold to CDR. As my friend Kym said about the founder of the company named for his curly red hair, "Never has one man smoked so much dope and remained upright." During my time in his indirect employ (franchise store), he was fond of traveling to various stores, unannounced, finding the good things they were doing, and then sending a rambling broadcast voice mail to EVERYONE in the company where he'd start to tell the story of what they're doing, then grab a person, and have them attempt to explain it. Huge on the unintentional comedy scale. Kym's quote came after she met him in Milwaukee. Orfalea later admitted to being dyslexic and having ADD ... “I get bored easily, and that is a great motivator,” he said. “I think everybody should have dyslexia and A.D.D.” (There's a reason they call it dope, son.)
  • That cool vitamin water you're chugging ... 33 grams of sugar. Snickers Bar - 30 grams of sugar. Drink up. That's good work, boys.
  • Get ready to fuck up ... or reformat or reprogram add additional third-party apps to your iPhones and iPod touches.
  • Here are 25 things businesses can learn from South Park episodes.
  • And finally ... here's a fun scary bizarre game ... and aptly named for the Wii Entertainment System.


"Hard Love and Free Luck" - CD Review

"And maybe this ain't no surprise..."
~ Aaron Lee Tasjan, Lil' Firecracker

No, it's not really a surprise I enjoy Hard Love and Free Luck, the latest CD from Brooklyn-based Aaron Lee Tasjan. I'm a huge fan of Aaron's lyrics, and guitar work, and have been since I first saw Autumn Under Echoes in September 2005, a few months before he packed up and moved from Columbus to the city that never sleeps.

What is surprising is how often I find myself listening to this album.

Aaron handed me a CDR of the untitled demos one night at Andyman's Treehouse in August 2007. Fourteen songs, roughly mixed, fresh from the board. And while they were as yet unmastered, they were masterful.

All the hooks, both lyrically and musically; great stories told in the songs, some of which were live favorites put to a full arrangement; other new songs I'd not heard before. The night I got it, a friend and I sat in the car, in the observation parking lot at the Columbus Airport watching planes land listening to the tunes. For months, I walked around listening to these songs on my iPod, laptop at work, in the car and played them for just about anyone who would listen.

Eight months later I was handed the finished, retail product. And was again amazed at how amazing these songs are. The album features a great mix of acoustic and electric guitar; well done harmonica spots (Lil' Firecracker, In My Hands) and a solid steady drums provided by Ramblin Rob Heath and Mark Stepro; and bass from former Bob Dylan bassist Tony Garnier and the mega-talented Catherine Popper (who's played with Ryan Adams and Jen Glass).

Tasjan is an amazingly skilled guitarist., that's not debatable. However, he stepped away and let Rich Hinman and John Kengla (Red Wanting Blue) do some additional guitar and pedal steel guitar work; and added Bruce Brody (U2, Patty Smith Group) on organ. Those musicians allowed Tasjan, in my opinion. to relax and concentrate on the vocals. That's where this album really grabs you. The words, the stories, just flow smoothly over the amazing music.

Recorded in Astoria, New York, by Kieran Kelly with assistance from Adam Block from Sony BMG and John Angello, who's worked with Son Volt, Dinosaur Jr and The Hold Steady, this is without a doubt my favorite album of 2008. The lyrics, music, delivery, production and recording are top notch. If you're a fan of great American music, this is not to be missed.

Must Have:

"Lil' Firecracker" • "Bedroom Door" • "Streets of Galilee" • "Hollywood Wives"

Skip: None.

MIA from the demos: "Johnny Darke, The Medicine Man." One of those story/songs that I just found fun to listen to. A throwback to the great 70's singer-songwriter story tellers.

Song by song breakdown:

1. Lil' Firecracker – This tune kicks the CD off with a great piece of American music. Ramblin' Rob's drums leading to harmonica, and pedal steel and acoustic guitar with love-song lyrics for a love neither returned nor appreciated. "And the freaks and the hopeless always know a good song."

2. Bedroom Door – A long-time live favorite; a throwback to those crazy teen-aged years of trying to find a place to get drunk and make out with your ex when you're both home for the holidays ... and really, wasn't that what most of us were looking for in those formative years? Kengla's electric guitar work here with the slide is such a nice mix with Aaron's acoustic plucking.

3. Sweet Angel – A nice sweet song about falling in love on the other side of the tracks ... "Record needle in my vein / I feel charmed / I haven't bathed / And I wanna start a family with you / I'm in the street / I'm in the grave / I'm not settled / I'm on my way / And I know how to sing those cocaine blues" ... Rich Hinman's guitars and Diehl's piano are amazing.

4. Streets of Galilee – Another long-time solo favorite that is recorded perfectly here as a solo acoustic track. And a great set of lyrics ... "But if you wanna feel the holy ghost then join the band and burn your clothes / The last great hope for rock 'n' roll ain't some barbie doll on a stripper pole / And I know every word to your first CD." Slowing down the bridge really hits the point, lyrically.

5. In My Hands – has a very unique lyrical pattern ... there's only line that's not three words long ... it has two. That rhythm keeps the feet tapping and the music just compliments the lyrics.

6. You Ain't Never Gonna Dance Like Me – A "Great Balls of Fire" type tune sure to get some feet moving across the floor featuring some great piano from Aaron Diehl and some of Rambin' Rob finest beats.

7. Hollywood Wives – Perhaps my favorite song on the CD. I love the acoustic intro, the band pickup, the way you can't tell if it's a story about living above your means, living with a porn star or being the fake husband of an older lesbian actress ...

"When they film you look so bad
Your make up runs but you're all I have
I love you for your money dear
Pearl earrings out from every tear
When we kiss it's just for show
Til it breaks my heart when you have to go
Your fur coat and your heroin
Your lipstick and your favorite sin"

This is one of two songs I always play for anyone I'm trying to make a fan ... along with Lil' Firecracker ... which became my daughter's favorite song and prompted her to ask me if Aaron is a professional harmonica player.

8. Queen of the Midnight Train – I like this song for lots of diverse reasons. I identify with it, I have those feelings of lost love and regret and uncertainty and those heart flutters when you see her again ... Heath and Popper set a great rhythm, Brody's organ is so silent it's barely noticable unless you're listening, and keeps a nice bed behind it all.

9. Valentine – Nice piano work here by Aaron. This is a great contrast and compare of a good girl and a bad boy in love ... and crisis. "And I can't seem to get you off my mind / But you can be my holy roller/ I would be your valentine" ... another classic story song here that just goes with the music to make a complete package. RIch Hinman, again, on the guitar just shines.

10. Ohio, My Dear – A nice solo acoustic album-ender that's both a tribute and nostaligic look back to growing up in Ohio ... featuring quiet shout-outs to freight trains, friends, shopping malls and tanning beds, harvest parades, and ice cream shops.

Aaron has Hollywood Wives, Lil' Firecracker, Streets of Galilee and Never Gonna Dance Like Me streaming on his Myspace page, as well as a link to purchase the CD.

You can catch Aaron live on his summer tour (dates), including at the Rumba Cafe in Columbus on July 18th