Musings on music, sports, life in general from Quincy, Illinois.

Friday, November 30, 2007


Kudos to Jamie Busen of the Herald-Whig for an excellent story about downtown earlier this week.

One local blogger, happy holidays Tookie, has facilitated excellent discussion about our downtown -

I enjoy working downtown and wish we could make it better, but I agree with Tookie (shudder) in that we need to work together, not mindlessly complain.

Karol Ehmen did a good job for us during The Funions/Fielder World Parking Lot Tour show last summer. I'd love to do it again!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Links

Put three new links up.

All The News is Quincy's only rational blog about media coverage. Sometimes what he picks on is curious. We'll have a paper with several good stories but he'll talk about a photo or sports story with a strange headline. However, it's always interesting and sometimes leads to good discussion.

I hesitated to put Quincy Fire up here because the usual Web Warriors seem to flock to it. But it's not boring and it's probably the top site in Quincy for discussion.

Quincy Forums also generates traffic, but unfortunately it seems the same people bitch and moan about the same things. I respect the guy who runs it and he's doing a good thing.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bob & Doug

So I'm driving home from work after another meat-grinder of a day (try sitting through 75 minutes of yawn-inducing motion hearings and you'll know what I mean) and on the radio comes my good hoser buddies Bob and Doug McKenzie.

Takes a hoser to appreciate one, and my Canadian blood flows extra red when hearing Bob and Doug sing the "12 Days of Christmas."

"Quiz ... quiz for Doug!"

I can only imagine Rick Moranis and Bob Thomas laughing themselves silly doing this.

It reminds me of my hoser buddy Kenny VA and insane Calvin College parties. Not that we did any of that sort of stuff, back in the day.

"FIVE GOLDEN TUUKS ... four pounds of back bacon, three french toasts, two turtle necks ... and a BEER ON MY TREE."

I felt better when I got home.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Day

Incredible energy at the Cheeks/Fielder/Predawn Hour show.

I love about Fielder because they crank out one song after the other. That's a band that has practiced and played together for a long time.

I think the Predawn Hour guys have huge holes in their hearts and find it strange to play without brother Cory on guitar. But the place was packed and they delivered a great rock show.

Then I went out at behest of friends to one of Quincy's nightspots and there was a band playing great 80s music, and again, boom boom boom, one song after the other.

That's something I wish The Funions could do better.

I hit the wall about 12:30 and bolted. I walked out into the snow and there was a huge line to get into this place. Most of the people were already "happy" and didn't seem to care they didn't have jackets and would be waiting in 25 degree weather for at least an hour to get in.

Today is about coffee, watching the Lions, hanging out at the White House and with my surrogate family in Spring Lake, and just being mellow - and being thankful.

Have a great turkey day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Friday Show

Here's the lineup for the Turner Hall show Friday night ....

6 p.m. - Conspiracy Underground
6:45 - The Forgotten
7:30 - The Funions
8:15 - Guraja
9 - Atresia
9:45 - Sweet Diesel
10:30 - The Collapse
11:15 - Necebo

$5 at the door.

This is going to be one of those very interesting shows and it will be very curious to see what kind of reaction we get, because we're the old farts playing with a bunch of young bands.

But we'll try, and we're playing mostly original songs during our short set, so it should be fun.

Much thanks and love to Mike Breckenkamp for inviting us.

Heading off tonight to the Predawn Hour/Fielder/Cheeks show at the former Grifiin Centre, now Winter's West Wing next to O'Griffs on Hampshire.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Michigan Coach

Lloyd Carr is done, and it's sad, but the time was right. Mostly fond memories of a coach who did things right.

Intriguing names at the top of the list. Everybody is talking about Les Miles. I hope Michigan leaves him alone until LSU is done playing. Last year Brian Kelly bolted from Central Michigan after the regular season to take over at Cincy and it left a bitter taste in the Chippewa faithful mouths .... it's all I could think of when I saw his team get beat last Saturday.

John Gruden in Ann Arbor .... that would be interesting.

The most amazing name I've heard today? Bill Cowher. If you think Ohio hated him when he coached the Steelers ....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Farewell, Lloyd

Lloyd Carr has coached his last game in the Big House.

Fortunately I was too busy running around today, then over at QU for the women's basketball tournament, to watch much of it.

I hate Ohio State. They are the Big Ten champs, but they'll go to the Rose Bowl and get hammered by somebody, maybe Arizona State.

The short list for Michigan? Les and Miles, as Tookie likes to say.

I'm rooting for Missouri to beat Kansas next week.

By the way, it could be worse today. You could lose to something called UL Monroe.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Bass Player

And a very happy birthday Saturday to Funions bass player of doom Mark Brei, the absolute heart and soul of the band.

We celebrated a little too much after practice tonight, but that's OK ... we all have just a little less time left on this earth now anyway.

Fantastic practice tonight. Chris Cornwell is coming into his own as our new guitar player and Pat Cornwell's drumming kept us right there the entire practice.

Looking forward to the Nov. 23 gig at Turner Hall. The Funions play at 7:30 p.m. More on the lineup and other details to come.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Businesses

The new Starbucks on Broadway has opened.

It will be interesting to see how people react to $5 cups of coffee, and if other places like the awesome Coffee On Broadway see a change.

I miss Mugshots on Jail Alley, but Washington Perk has done a good job with their coffee lately and I love the Granite Bank Gallery building.

The sushi place at Fifth and Hampshire also opened recently. I drove past there Friday about 6 and it was packed. I hope it does well. Ate lunch with some gals last week who said it was really good.

Monday, November 12, 2007

New Blog

I've started a blog for the Quincy High School girls basketball team ....

First game is tomorrow night at Jacksonville.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


A huge congratulations to Coach Ron Zook and Illinois.

Along with the Cheesehead debacle today, takes a little luster off The Game next week, doesn't it?

Friday, November 09, 2007


Here's a question for you, at the end of a very long week.

Have you ever done something on the job that you haven't felt good about, but you had to do?

Do you really care if certain people get mad because you have done your job?

If the answers are yes and no .... we should get along just fine.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

MAC champs, good practice

How about those Central Michigan University Chippewas, YOUR Mid-American Conference West champs for the second straight year!

Had a great practice tonight at Dr. Brei's place, the first one with all six guys. Arranging the songs and not playing over each other is proving to be a challenge. It's interesting how the songs change when the drummer and guitar player are different.

Here's our upcoming lineup:

Friday, Nov. 23
Turner Hall, 6:30-7:30 p.m. with a bunch of bands.

Friday, Dec. 21
Elks Christmas Dinner/Dance
7:30 - 10 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 12
Oakley-Lindsay Center
Private Party

Saturday, Jan. 19
Turner Hall
7 - 8 p.m. with Cheeks McGee, Dog Daze, Kentucky Knife Fight.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Brien, DNA

Much fun Sunday making guitar noises with former Herald-Whig reporter Brien Murphy, back in town from Texas for a visit. Hooted and hollered at the palatial Busen estate on 22nd and Broadway, probably scared a few people, too.

The DNA results came back and much to my disappointment, Bob and Anne Mays are NOT my biological parents. But we've drawn up the paperwork and the adoption process is underway. I'm looking forward to eating turkey with my brothers!

Lots of Funions news to report later this week, shows this month, in December and likely two shows in January.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Paul Tibbets

Paul Tibbets died the other day. He was the pilot of the Enola Gay and was born in Quincy, though he moved at an early age.

I interviewed him seven years ago, which I think was the last time he was in Quincy. He was 85 and in relatively good health, and he was still sharp as a tack.

The thing I remember about him was how he simply didn't let what he did envelope or consume him. He let others define his actions. To him, it was simply a job, and he was more concerned about veterans and his country than his role in one of the most defining moments in world history.

It was an honor to interview him.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Guitar Strings

I busted the dreaded G string in church last Sunday. For all the glowing things I've heard about acoustic Elixer strings, they've never worked for me.

I prefer the medium gauges, 52 on the top E. My favorite strings are John Pearse. They last forever and they sound better and better the longer they are on the guitar. Eventually they get too stretched and quickly get out of whack, which is also a good thing and lets you know new strings are needed.

The only person in town that sells them is Al Barnard, but he's never open.

Mississippi Belles are also good strings.

I'd be curious to hear from other guitar players. Seems to me there just aren't that many acoustic players in town .... and what do the younger heavier players in town like to use?