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The Cliks are everything they are billed to be and more! I have seen some high energy acts in my day, but what The Cliks put forth in their show at The Knitting Factory (8/22/07) is incomparable (100_2136_edited.jpgespecially considering the miserably hot and humid conditions in the venue), and to have been witness the next day to seeing them taking the small, quiet Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson studio (before Craig had even come out) and INSTANTLY turn it into the most rocking, electrified space you could inhabit in a matter of merely one or two hits on the drum by Morgan Doctor, and the first lyrics by Lucas Silveira–well, it was nothing short of miraculous and memorable. I certainly hope you all got to catch their fantastic Late Late Show performance, but I’ll keep my eyes open for a replay for those who didn’t. (Craig is on hiatus for two weeks and they have a tendency to repeat the most recent shows, so maybe, just maybe it will air again soon!)

My best buddy Sheryl (who interestingly enough is also my ex-sister-in-law ;)), and I headed off for our 1 1/2 hour drive to Hollywood last Wednesday, with The Cliks blasting on the sound system and excitement brewing for seeing not only them, but also another band I’d just discovered that morning, Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast. Sadly the infamous Los Angeles traffic kept us from arriving at the venue until the last minute or so of Tanner and crew’s final song “Hole in My Soul” (sigh), but the 60 seconds that we did see made me realize we had missed out on one heck of a unique, exhilarating (and sweaty! ;)) performance. (For any of you in the LA area, Tanner Horn and the Astronauts Before Breakfast will be having their CD release party at 14 Below in Santa Monica, this Friday (8/30/07), with their CD being included in your $10 cover charge.  You can also get their 6-song EP on iTunes for $5.94!)

Can I just say again how unbelievably freaking-sticky-hot the Knitting Factory was?! I mean what the heck was the deal with folks having to feel like they were stuck in the middle of “Humidity Hell”? If we were sweating buckets, I can only imagine how the band felt, and that was actually pointed out by Lucas when he mentioned a couple times knitting-factory-hollywood.jpgduring the show that he had sweat in his eyes. The stickiness really left a bad taste in my mouth for driving all the way out to that venue again. Thankfully Sheryl and I did find what appeared to be the ONLY fan in the place (hence, the “heavy breathing” sound on the videos I taped…wasn’t me, was the fan :)), and camped out in front of it for the better part of the night. The only time we moved from it was to get some really good drinks from the bar (only $5 AND the cup was overflowing–woo-hoo!), or to head into the humid swamp known as the restroom…ick. Thankfully The Cliks were so amazingly powerful in their performances that you were almost able to forget about the beads of sweat finding their way down your body.

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To say Lucas, Jen (Benton), Nina (Martinez), and Morgan had the crowd wrapped around their collective little finger would be an understatement. I think Lucas could have asked the crowd to do more than sing along to “Oh Yeah” (not that anyone needed any enticements to sing along–just came naturally) and everyone would have done whatever the request, without batting an eyelash. This concert was truly one of those times where the musicians, the crowd, the music, and the energy all organically combine into one incredible force that just can’t be put into words—something you had to be there to experience for yourself. I’m so thankful Sheryl and I were there to share in it, and hope that all of you reading this and viewing the videos, get even an inkling of what a Cliks concert has in store for you.

Here’s one of the videos I took, but unfortunately the sound at the venue wasn’t very good, and the lighting was horrific. That being said, it’s the freaking Cliks, folks, so deal with it! 🙂

The Cliks “Back In Style” to “Oh Yeah” at The Knitting Factory 8/22/07

I also taped the encore of “Nobody Else Will”, but kept getting my shot blocked by the dancing head in front of me, and for some reason the middle part was really blurry (think I tried to zoom in too much under poor lighting conditions), so I opted to remix the 3 shorter videos into one using YouTube’s remixer. Unfortunately, despite SEVERAL attempts over the past 3 days, the YouTube remixer will allow me to create the video, preview it, then publish it–but no video ever shows up! ARGH! Went over to100_2150_edited.jpg Photobucket and used their remixer (basically the same one YouTube has by Adobe) and it worked. Sadly WordPress doesn’t allow for Photobucket videos to be embedded, and the Adobe remixer doesn’t allow you to save the final product to your hard drive, so if you’d like to see the video you’ll need to click here for “Nobody Else Will” on my Photobucket account. Again, it’s not the best image quality, but Lucas’ vocals are absolutely out of this world. The lyrics are as heartfelt as they get in the first place, but add Lucas’ intense, raw, sexy vocals and hot damn, one heck of a good performance.

the-cliks-rosie-self-pic-8-22-07.jpgJen, Nina, Morgan, and Lucas were so accommodating and kind with their fans after the show, as was Rosie from Tommy Boy/Silver Label records who jumped right in and took a couple pictures for us when the camera was acting up. As a matter of fact, Rosie snapped an overhead shot of herself while she was waiting for the band, my friend, and myself to pose. Wish it would have turned out better because it was pretty funny when she did it.

As if seeing The Cliks at the Knitting Factory wasn’t enough, Sheryl and I also had tickets to their taping for the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson the next day. So back into the car we went (diabetic dog at home, so couldn’t stay in LA for the night…the things we do for our poochies :)), facing even ickier Los Angeles traffic on Thursday since we were traveling during the day. We did finally make it to the studio, and were pleasantly surprised to land a spot in the CBS studios parking lot–usually not an easy task! We made sure to get in line more than an hour early since there was no way we were taking any chances that we wouldn’t get in, especially after driving so far. Thankfully there were no worries late-late-show.jpgon that front, and when we did finally get into the studio, we were only about 4 rows back on the aisle (hey, a gal with long legs just HAS to have an aisle seat…plus I wanted a better view of the band!), but of course we wished we were even closer. For those of you who have never been to a taping of the Late Late Show, it’s in a fairly small studio with an audience that Craig doesn’t want to exceed some odd number like 113. We were told the reason he likes to keep it so small is because he likes the feel of a comedy club atmosphere, and the connection he can have with a smaller audience such as ours. I went to a taping of his show last October and the intimacy of the studio does lend itself to having you feel like you really are an important part of the entire show. “Audience Enhancers” is what Chucky B. (the warm-up guy) calls the studio audience.

So we finally get into the studio, everyone is seated, Chucky B. is cracking jokes, videos of some previous musical guests are playing on the monitors scattered over the seating area, Craig’s desk is pushed off to the side, and the band equipment is set up already. (Sorry to burst the bubble of anyone who didn’t know this, but segments for the show are not taped in sequence, and quite often are taped for airing on subsequent days, hence Craig hadn’t even been on stage until long after The Cliks were…his loss!) Then a few minutes later, out of nowhere and without much ado, Jen, Morgan, Nina, and Lucas walk over to their equipment and start testing it all out. It was really quiet in the studio, so Chucky B. starts whispering, saying “This is what bands do, they tune up their equipment. I think I see them checking me out. Apparently they don’t see this.” (He then flashes his wedding ring to everyone.) Um, apparently Chucky B. knows diddley-squat about The Cliks since wedding ring or not, chances are slim-to-none any of them would be interested. 😉 So the other Cliks fans that were there (probably about 15 or so of us throughout the audience), Sheryl and I, are all on the edge of our seats, just waiting for something…anything. Then BAM, out of the blue, and with a not-very-enthusiastic introduction of, “The Cliks”, the band jumps right into “Oh Yeah”. Well, despite the apparent lackluster enthusiasm on the part of the Late Late Show‘s folks, there was no way in hell I was going to not show my excitement, so I was rocking out the whole time, as were the other Cliks fans, clapping, shaking our asses in our seats, hollering out, and hoping we were letting the band know just how much we enjoy and adore them.

(***Video below ADDED 9/6/07: Thanks to Silver Label for making this video available!***)

The Cliks on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson 8/23/07 (First TV appearance!)

I have to say it all seems like a blur, totally surreal, and WAY too short of a time to have the band play, but the short time they did was absolutely the most energized four minutes or so you could ever ask for. From the overhead lights to the microphones near our feet, and from the phony Los Angeles cityscape backdrop on stage to the bustling real-life LA streets outside the studio, there was NO WAY anyone within earshot could help but feel the energy and enthusiasm the band was putting out. When it came to the last notes on the guitars and Morgan’s last drum hit, the sudden silence was incredibly deafening and made your realize how much The Cliks had filled up that short time and space with most intense rhythm, vocals, and music possible. Talk about living in the moment! WOW!

I really do believe that those in the audience who had no clue who The Cliks were beforesnakehouse.jpg their performance (unfortunately that would seem to also include the majority of the Late Late Show staff), were definitely impressed with them afterward. A CBS page made sure to tell us (Sheryl and I were both wearing our The Cliks black t-shirts, so it was pretty obvious who we were there for ;)) how hard The Cliks rocked and that they were off the hook (or something like that), so we know they made at least one new fan–especially since we saw him a bit later at Barnes & Noble in the “C” section of the CD area, obviously looking for The Cliks “Snakehouse”.

Side note…Morgan’s parents were in the audience and were so morgan-the-cliks.jpgcute! After the band was done and they’d left the stage (after some seriously long and loud applause and hooting and hollering from the audience!) an older couple started walking down the stairs toward the stage, Chucky B. made some comment, then someone on staff said they were the parents of “the drummer”, so Chucky B. made nice, and we all clapped for them. When Morgan’s parents hit the stage, right before slipping behind the wall to find the band, they faced everyone and waved, and boy could you tell they were Morgan’s folks–especially her mom, who she really looks like.

Alas, the good times had to eventually come to an end…sigh. It goes without saying that I am beyond anxious to see The Cliks again and am going through some serious withdrawals in the meantime. There is just something so pleasing about finding a band that is so vested in not only their music, but also in their fans. Jen, Nina, Morgan, and Lucas, could NOT have been any nicer to everyone during and after their shows, and I think that speaks volumes about the kind of people they must be–very sincere and caring. This was especially evident when I explained to Lucas after the Knitting Factory show, that one of my best buds, who had actually met them a couple of times in Vegas and at True Colors, was unable to make it back to LA for the show. Lucas was kind enough to tape a short, sincere message to Jackson–something I will never forget. How unbelievably cool of Lucas to do that!

Thank you SO MUCH to The Cliks, for all you give to your fans, personally and musically. Now get your asses back to SoCal ASAP! 😉

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George W. Bush’s veto has elicited some powerful statements from six US military leaders. You know, the ones that actually SERVED in the military. The ones that have a clue what is going on in Iraq. Service members who are the exact opposite of our “Commander-In-Chief”.

From the blog of our Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi:

Military Leaders Against the President’s Veto

May 2nd, 2007 by Karina

“With this veto, the president has doomed us to repeating a terrible history. President Bush’s current position is hauntingly reminiscent of March 1968 in Vietnam. At that time, both the Secretary of Defense and the President had recognized that the war could not be won militarily – just as our military commanders in Iraq have acknowledged. But not wanting to be tainted with losing a war, President Johnson authorized a surge of 25,000 troops. At that point, there had been 24,000 U.S. troops killed in action. Five years later, when the withdrawal of U.S. troops was complete, we had suffered 34,000 additional combat deaths.”
– Lt. Gen. Robert Gard, USA, Ret.

“By vetoing this bill and failing to initiate an immediate and phased withdrawal, the President has effectively gone AWOL, deserting his duty post, leaving American forces with an impossible mission, suffering wholly unnecessary casualties.”
– Lt. Gen. William E. Odom, USA, Ret.

“The rhetoric of Congress not supporting our troops is pure ‘hogwash’. The real non support of our troops is the Presidential Veto. Vetoing this Bill sends a message to our troops, that the President will fund them to fight but is not concerned about returning them to their families.”
– Maj. Gen. Mel Montano, USANG, Ret.

“The President vetoed our troops and the American people. His stubborn commitment to a failed strategy in Iraq is incomprehensible. He committed our great military to a failed strategy in violation of basic principles of war. His failure to mobilize the nation to defeat world wide Islamic extremism is tragic. We deserve more from our commander-in-chief and his administration.”
– Maj. Gen. John Batiste, USA, Ret.

“This administration and the previously Republican controlled legislature have been the most caustic agents against America’s Armed Forces in memory. Less than a year ago, the Republicans imposed great hardship on the Army and Marine Corps by their failure to pass a necessary funding language. This time, the President of the United States is holding our Soldiers hostage to his ego. More than ever apparent, only the Army and the Marine Corps are at war – alone, without their President’s support.”
– Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, USA, Ret.

“Almost 5 years ago, Congress trusted the President enough to give him the power to transform Iraq. Bush violated that trust and deceived us with a misuse of force. Today, the President violated the trust of the American people, our troops, and their families by vetoing this bill and not choosing to do what is right. He has let us down.”
– Brigadier General John Johns, USA, Ret.

Check these out:

VERY powerful video put to John Fogerty’s “Deja Vu”:

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