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Mike Gregory

Currently eight months away from a degree in communication Journalism. Using the GI Bill from my time in the Marines to pay for school. Would really like to start my own organic food company. Playing guitar, playing with my kids, spending time with my wife.

The Mekons Announce Rare, Full-Band Tour

Celebrated British musical miscreants, The Mekons announced they will tour select U.S. cities in July as a full band. The group will make stops in Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and more during the two-plus-weeks stretch.

The Mekons are the most revolutionary group in the history of rock ‘n’ roll” legendary rock critic Lester Bangs

The genre-defying collective Mekons emerged from the 1977 British punk scene, and progressed from socialist art students with no musical skills to prolific, raucous progeny of Hank Williams. Theirs is an improbable history: a surprising and influential embrace of folk and country music, with occasional forays into the art world.

The current lineup has remained intact since the mid ‘80s marked by defining releases The Mekons Rock ‘n’ Roll, Fear and Whiskey, I Love Mekons, and their most recent Ancient & Modern in 2011.

July dates for the full-band lineup can be found here: https://www.bloodshotrecords.com/tours-events/6864

7/11 The Hideout (SOLD OUT) Chicago, IL

7/13 The Poetry Foundation Chicago, IL

7/14 Mineral Point Opera House Mineral Point, WI

7/16 Music Box Supper Club Cleveland, OH

7/17 Herr Street Stage Harrisburg, PA

7/18 Dogfish Head Brewing Rehoboth Beach, DE

7/20 Boot & Saddle Philadelphia, PA

7/21 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY

7/23 Jalopy (SOLD OUT) Brooklyn, NY

7/24 3S Artspace Portsmouth, NH

7/25 Middle East Upstairs Cambridge, MA

For those who can’t make any of the shows, Revenge of the Mekons, a documentary about the band, is being screened at select theaters across the U.S. For more information and to watch the theatrical trailer, click here:


Grey's Anatomy Loses McDreamy


For fans of ABC’s hit show “Grey’s Anatomy”, if you didn’t see Thursday night’s show yet, read no further. Grey’s Anatomy killed off a character! For the fans of Dr. Derek Shepard, there will now be an emptiness about the show. Dr. Shepard was kill in a car crash during Thursday’s show. Perhaps not in real life, but to some social media users, he was so real. Twitter users said,

I can’t believe you would do this to me #GreysAnatomy …. can’t believe I’m crying over this show
— ★ Jesse A Garcia™ ★ (@_JesseG) April 24, 2015

I’m now comforting my sobbing girlfriend. This was supposed to be a relaxing night. Thanks Grey. #GreysAnatomy
— Dr.D (@BaldwinRichy) April 24, 2015

#McDreamyForever was the trending hashtag on Twitter. Tweets from “Grey’s Anatomy’s” official  Twitter account were filled with emoji of sad faces and broken hearts, as well as images from the show.

Show creator, Shonda Rhimes, said in a statement,  to The Hollywood Reporter. “I absolutely never imagined saying goodbye to our ‘McDreamy.’ Patrick Dempsey’s performance shaped Derek in a way that I know we both hope became a meaningful example — happy, sad, romantic, painful and always true — of what young women should demand from modern love. His loss will be felt by all.”

As “Grey’s Anatomy” is set to conclude its 11th season this May, Dempsey’s passing leaves his TV wife, Dr. Meredith Grey behind. This season has shown Dr. Grey as able to be dependent, while her husband tended to his duties as a presidential aide.

However, as sad as it may be to see Dempsey go from the show, as a mainstay, he has a developmental deal in the works, with Grey’s producers. So even though he is gone from Grey’s Anatomy, you might be able to see “McDreamy” sooner than you thought.

Doldrums New Album

Air Conditioned Nightmare

“The Air Conditioned Nightmare is the name of the new album by Doldrums.

“The title was spawned by Henry Miller upon his return to the US after ten years as an expatriate. Keen to rediscover the country he left behind, Miller found it a stifling place of big business, pollution, credit, misinformation and prejudice. In short: a spiritual, moral, cultural and aesthetic vacuum. “Nowhere else in the world,” he wrote in his 1945 collection of essays “is the divorce between man and nature so complete”. The Air Conditioned Nightmare.

“Seventy years on and the book lends itself to the title of the anticipated second album by Doldrums, the band lead by 25 year old musician Airick Woodhead. On the follow-up to the 2013 debut Lesser Evil, the DJ, producer and performer makes a sizeable leap from being darling of the same fertile Montreal warehouse creative explosion that gave the world the likes of Grimes, Majical Cloudz, Blue Hawaii to simply being a stand-alone artist and composer on the cusp of something quite special.

“Doldrums craft musical montages, paint sonic pictures from a new palette, construct sounds using leader, Airick Woodhead’s own unique architectural blueprint. He applies punk rock ethos to electronic music, creating songs using samplers and DJ gear in place of guitars. Bold, anxious, dream-like, uplifting, glacial, hypnotic, constricting, expansive, alien – this is an album that is ever-changing. “Conflict is at the heart of this album,” explains Airick. “There’s a lot of paranoid sentiment and dystopian imagery in there. The threat of a mundane reality ties it together, as does an obsession with plasticity. Songs come from specific feelings or images. Anxiety is my default state (read more at Sub Pop).”

Songs To Check Out:

My Friend Simjen




Rosie the Riveter Passes Away

Mary Doyle Keefe was 92

A 19-year-old telephone operator posed for artist Norman Rockwell, for a portrait that would become the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on May 19th, 1943. The woman in the portrait would forever come to be called, Rosie the Riveter. Rosie the Riveter was actually Mary Doyle Keefe, who died on Tuesday, the 21st of April, at the age of 92.

Rockwell’s painting of Keefe was a testament to the strength and courage of America’s woman during World War II. Keefe, who happened to be the neighbor of Rockwell at the time, was offered $10 for her time, and sat for the picture in the artist’s Arlington, Vermont home. The picture of Rosie the Riveter, shows a red-haired woman, eating he sandwich, clad in blue jeans, her rivet gun on her lap, and her feet resting on Hitler’s autobiography “Mein Kampf.”

Rockwell sent Keefe a letter later, stating that he was sorry for making the petite Keefe a little larger than she actually was. In his letter, he told her, “I did have to make you into a sort of a giant.” Keefe didn’t mind. She went on to receive a degree in dental hygiene from Temple University, got married, gave birth to four children, had 11 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, before passing.

What Did You Do For Earth Day 2015

How did you spend your Earth Day? For many people, there was no deviation from their daily routine. Earth Day, April 22nd, was the 45th anniversary of the annual event, which is held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year.

I didn’t go overboard, I simply planted a tree. I honestly can’t even tell you what kind of tree it is. I found the small sapling, growing in a Pennsylvania forest that I regularly visit. The saplings around here have a hard time developing throughout the year, due to the thick canopy of the trees. I gently pulled the small sapling and its roots, via digging tool, from the soft, dark, earthen forest, and placed it in a container that I’d brought with me.

It was a ceremony to end all ceremonies. I walked out into my large backyard, alone, and planted the tree with some fresh, store bought, soil. That was it, my contribution to Earth Day, 2015. Though it seems insignificant, it really does mean something to me. The woods that I brought it from, are woods that I grew up in, woods that I hike, woods that I hunt, and woods that I love. That little tree might grow into a 50 footer, or, it could just turn into a short shrubby tree. Either way, I am happy to now have it as a part of my property.

The reason I am writing this, you ask? Well, it makes me think of how we treat this planet on a daily basis. You have to admit, Mother Earth is one tough mother. We constantly send our smoke and fumes into her atmosphere, wipe out her forests in which we then build a newer, more improved, Wal Mart, and on top of it all, we wipe out her natural habitats.

I am no fanatic of defending the earth, I contribute to her degradation every day, just like many of us, by driving to work in a V8 Ford (it is a van-pool however). I am writing to see how you spent Earth Day 2015 as well. Feel free to Email me, and if you did something above and beyond, perhaps I’ll write about it.

Take Care,


What is Jade Helm 15

Many Concerned Over JH15 Exercise

What is Operation Jade Helm 15? Set to begin in the Southwestern United States, Jade Helm is said to be a drill to see how Special Operations Forces from our four branches can handle, and conduct, a hostile take-over scenario, with regards to world-wide U.S. interests. The problem is that it is on U.S. soil, and many U.S. residents are left to believe that there is something more going on.

Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria told the Washington Post that, “The nature of warfare is always changing and U.S. Army Special Operations Command’s mission is to make certain the Army’s various Special Operations Forces are trained, equipped and organized to successfully conduct worldwide special operations in support of our nation’s interests,” and that, “Training exercise Jade Helm is going to assist our Special Operations Soldiers and leadership in refining the skills needed against an ever changing foreign threat.”

However, many people believe that there is a darker side to this exercise. On Twitter user tweeted, “”While we’re obsessing about the Walking Dead, Martial Law is coming to fruition in the US,” and some have brought up the recently-reported closures of Wal-Mart super stores in Texas, as being suspicious. Wal-Mart has addressed these concerns by stating that they are fixing ongoing plumbing problems within these stores and that is all. Conspiracy theories have evolved over the last few weeks, claiming that the U.S. is rehearsing for the enactment of martial law across the nation, a belief that has come from the creation of The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allows the detainment of U.S. citizens for an indefinite period on the mere suspicion of involvement with terrorist activities. The Patriot Act, which was brought forth with little disclosure is different from the NDAA, which was enacted in relative secret.

The operation is to begin in mid-July through September 15th, and will be conducted throughout California, Colorado, Texas, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. The realistic military training or RMT, is designed to ensure proper coordination between Department of Defense representatives and local and regional authorities. The process includes the following measures:

– Risk Assessment, Medical, and Communications Plans
– MOU, MOA, and Licensing agreements (training areas, staging areas, role players)
– Legal Review
– ID of training, staging areas, role players, airfield, drop zones and landing zones surveys
– Letters of Invitations obtained from the local officials (Mayor, County Commission)
– Coordination with local, state and federal law enforcement
– Public Affairs Review

Full House Returns

As a “Fuller House”

Watch out all you die-hard fans of Full House, Uncle Jess and the crew are coming back! No longer a rumor, John Stamos announced the news on Jimmy Kimmel Live that Netflix bought the Full house Franchise. “We’ve been working on this  for many, many years,” he said.

Fuller House will hit Netflix next year with Stamos producing the series, and making some guest appearances. He explained that it will begin with a one-hour reunion and then turn into a spin-off series. The show will feature Candace Cameron-Bure as DJ Tanner, who now has three children of her own. Her TV sister Stephanie will be played once again by Jodie Sweetin, and even the annoying neighbor girl, Kimmy Gibler will be played by Andrea Barber. Stamos says that he is hopeful that everyone will return for the new series.

Bob Saget told PEOPLE Magazine, “Five years ago, I said, ‘hey, everybody looks pretty good. I kinda still look okay,’ “We should Hurry.” Stamos and Saget have both talked with one another about the importance of doing a spin-off, and both agreed that is should respect the original series. “It’s such a sweet thing, nobody should mess it up,” said Saget, now 58-years-old.

But Cameron-Bure has even stated that it will have a sort of a present day feel to it, saying, “It’s kind of like the flip of what the original show was about. So it was three men raising these three girls, but now it takes you to the present day and my character D.J. has two boys, one baby on the way, and she’s just lost her husband. And so she needs help so she asks her sister and her best friend to come back and help raise her kids,” she said.

Look out for Fuller House to be on Netflix in 2016.

Leaks and Piracy Can't Stop Game of Thrones

HBO Series Premier a Success Despite Leaks

Despite the leak of season five’s first four episodes, Game of Thrones has broken its own audience record, with the premier of season 5. This is major, concerning that the Thrones franchise is one of the most pirated series. It seems that illegal downloads, and illicit press leaks just can’t slow them down.

According to Variety, the shows initial airing garnished over 8 million viewers, which is a 17% rise from last year’s premier of nearly 7 million. The show’s success has risen every year, and shows no signs of slowing down. In 2011, Game of Thrones brought an estimated 2.2 million viewers. Now it has nearly quadrupled.

The Game of Thrones’ showrunners said that they had initially been considering 7 seasons, but with its success, HBO would like to see that raised to 10 seasons, which some say, with the rise in viewers, it is a no brainer. This would make for one of the longest running HBO series in its history. The piracy issue has been addressed on many levels, HBO is not happy with the recent leaks either, but the success in the show is revealed by the fact that even with piracy and leaks, they’re still gaining viewers.

HBO has sent take down notices to Periscope, after the users of the live-streaming app broadcasted the Game of Thrones premiere, Sunday night. Periscope is owned by Twitter, and it allows people to live stream video, directly through their phones and HBO is clearly not fond of this. But with records like this, it goes to show that leaks and piracy can’t stop Game of Thrones.

R&B Legend Percy Sledge Dead at 74

The soulful, R&B legend who brought us “When a Man Loves a Woman” which topped the charts back in 1966, has died, sources say. Percy Sledge, who had liver cancer, died Tuesday in Baton Rouge, LA, at the age of 74. “Mr. Sledge died of natural causes,” said East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William Clark. “He had been in hospice care for cancer,” Clark said as well. Born Percy Tyrone Sledge, on November 25th, 1940, Sledge honed his skills, early in life, by singing in his church’s gospel choir.

Sometimes referred to as the King of Slow Soul, Sledge was one of the first, major stars of the south. His fame came after years of working as a hospital orderly, picking cotton, and playing at colleges and clubs on the weekend. “I was singing every style of music: the Beatles, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Motown, Sam Cooke, the Platters,” Sledge once said.

Sledge rose to fame after a patient at the hospital he worked at introduced him to record producer Quin Ivy. After signing to Atlantic records, he released “When a Man loves a Woman,” which reached number 1 on the 1966 pop charts, was written by Sledge about a woman who’d left him for another man. It went on to sell over a million copies, and became Atlantic’s first gold record.

He went on to release a total of four albums for Atlantic in the 1960’s, but aside from his first release, also the same title as his hit song, he never achieved the same success as he first did. The aforementioned song ranked at 53 on Rolling Stone’s top 500 songs, and has been featured in many movies, and covered by Michael Bolton in the early 90’s.

Percy Sledge was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, and his final album, “The Gospel of Percy Sledge,” was released in 2013. The next year he had surgery, while battling his cancer.

Jodi Arias Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Possiblity of parole

As the details of Jodi Arias’ violent crime scene emerged in the courtroom, the story was broadcast live. Spectators traveled, from all over the country, to Phoenix, in the middle of the night to get a hot-seat in the courtroom, hoping to catch a glimpse of what had become to many, a dramatic reality show. They came for the trial of Ms. Arias, whose boyfriend, Travis Alexander, 30, was found dead in the shower of his Mesa, Ariz., home in June 2008. Details emerged that he had been shot in the head and stabbed almost 30 times, and his throat cut.

For nearly seven years, the legal battle for Jodi Arias continued and it has ended Monday as a judge sentenced Arias to life in prison, for killing her ex-boyfriend, and the victim’s sisters openly expressed their pain over the 2008 murder. Before the sentence was finally handed down, Arias gave a rambling statement in which she stood by her original testimony and accused the police and the prosecutors of changing their stories during the ongoing investigation. Arias said she was sorry for the pain that she had caused Travis Alexander’s family and loved ones. Arias, wearing striped prison black and white, looked away from the victim’s sisters as they spoke to the judge, but she looked at her own mother as she pleaded for the judicial system’s leniency.

Eleven jurors voted for the death penalty, while one juror spared the accused’s life, by insisting that she be sentenced to life in prison. Three of Travis Alexander’s sisters urged the Judge, Sherry Stephens, to impose the most extreme penalty available against Arias. They described Arias as “unrepentant” and “evil” and they lashed out at her. As Arias was leaving the courtroom, Alexander’s younger sister, Tanisha Sorenson, said loudly, “Burn in hell,” prompting her sister to try to quiet her down.

Now, Arias will begin serving her life sentence in a maximum-security prison, 30 miles west of downtown Phoenix. If prison officials eventually deem her behavior as good, over time, she could be moved to lower-security units.