What’s a Hero you ask? Let me tell you, Chris Hayes from MSNBC…

A hero is someone who loves unconditionally.  Someone who loves not just enough, but all the way, no matter what.  As far as Chris Hayes is concerned, perhaps he should ask himself whether laying down one’s life is as unconditional as you can get.  To all those who died for our country, who served our country, who never got to see their kids, their wife, their life again because of their unconditional love for our great nation, I humbly salute you… Because the truth is… unconditional love is something we could all use a little more of… So the next time you see your friend or your husband or your child or dad, give them a hug and simply love them.  In doing so, you honor our nation, those who have died for it, and ultimately those you love, including yourself.

A Not So Typical Mother’s Day song list for the day after…

In No particular order but with equal parts love for mama, mother, mother to be and mother from another or not… check out these tunes and the reasons why they make the list…  (and before there’s any confusion, my Mom is the best.)

Mama, I’m Coming Home by Ozzy Osbourne – Because what doesn’t scream mother more than Ozzy screamin’ Mama!  Maybe it should be, “Sharon!”

Look Mama by Howard Jones – when I was in Middle School at Goddard in Glendora, CA, I put this song on for my mom in the mini-van and had her listen to the lyrics.  It was the first time I realized that music had the power to piss off your mom when you try to express yourself with lyrics from a song!

Mother by Pink Floyd – Such a brilliantly dysfunctional lullaby… “Mother did it need to be so… high.”

My Mother Was a Chinese Trapeze Artist by Tarkio (Colin Meloy’s pre-Decemberists jaunt) – For the title alone and the fact that everyone should know who the Decemberists are.  Now go check out their songs on iTunes.

Mother’s of the Disappeared by U2 – One of U2’s best songs ever recorded.  “Hear their heart beat… We hear their heart beat.”

Mother by Danzig – sing it with me… “Mother!”

The Coffee Song by Ralph’s World – For the lyrics… “Em Oh Em Em Why needs Cee Oh Eff Eff Ee Ee”

Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ by Michael Jackson – Mama Say.  Mama Saw.  Muh Mah Coo Saw.  Do you really need more than that?

Renegade by Styx – “Oh mama I’m in fear for my life from the long arm of the law…”  Cuz haven’t we all wanted to sing this to our mother’s and mean it?  No?  Oh, well, it’s a good song.

Brick by Ben Folds Five – Controversy.

Mama Said Knock You Out by Ladies Love Cool James – Every Mom loves the Ladies Love… and he’s been here for years so don’t call it a comeback!

Mother by the Police – Thank God I never felt smothered by my mother like the Police in this song.  “… the telephone is screamin’, won’t she leave me alone!”

Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice – “Word to your Mutha!”

Happy day after Mom’s Day to everybody.  

PK – Listen Up!

Good music is visceral.  It’s intoxicating.  It resonates.  It’s what the band PK rocks on stage with infectious energy and of all things, an unapologetic retort.  Like a bunch of punk rockers… only they’re not punk and they’re not indie either.  They’re sort of this amalgamation of different genres, like the missing link between the Shins and the Killers with a cocky AFI flare.  The sound is so unique and universal at the same time that one can’t help but to stop… and listen.

And then the beat kicks in as drummer, Rico Rodriguez keeps time and intensity like an old pro, and all of a sudden your body’s moving, your head’s nodding, and you’re swaying to the back beat of “Berelain,” one of PK’s most piquant tracks.  Check the lyrics, “How long must I wait… Oh I can’t take the spot light off ya now… ”  It might as well be a self proclamation of what’s to come for a band that is on the verge of stardom and discovery.  “Here she comes now, knockin’ on my door…”   Their abilities far exceed the venues they play… which is to say that they can command the attention of an entire arena.  It’s only a matter of time.  And to their credit, PK is being patient with finding the right record label.  As Bass player, Mikel Van Kranenburg (Vk) said at a show in Pacific Beach in March, “..we don’t want to sign with just anyone.”  The sentiment is echoed by the entire band and IMHO, rightfully so.

And as the music keeps on, it’s with a boyish charm that helmer Travis Hawley rocks his vox on stage.  His presence is powerful and pleading at the same time.  He touts a charisma that is one part british politeness, one part american confidence and two parts mischief… undertones that fall right in line with sing-a-long tracks like “Evana Carina” and “London.”  Mikel Vk’s tight bass line for the latter is the perfect compliment to Hawley’s punkish crooning and part of the reason that its a favorite of my ten-year old daughter.  Yes, PK is for all ages and they are ready for a record deal.  And it has everything to do with smart lyrics, Hawley’s clean voice (a recordable gem), Rodriguez’s angstful, straight forward, drum beat, Vk’s honest, steady bass line, and guitar rockers Nick Fotinakes and Matt DePauw with their delectably mad exchanges on the strings.  Their riffs play compliment to Rodgriguez’s fills making each track feel more like an event than simply the next song on the album.

So who are PK?  What does the name stand for?  Penalty Kicks?  Preachers Kids?  An online gamers abbreviation for Player Kill?  Alas, no… There is more to the name than a simple abbreviation.  When asked, Hawley noted that they like the mystery surrounding the name but that it’s origin comes from the story The Power of One about a South African boxer named Peekay.  In the novel, Peekay exudes an endearing vulnerability and sense of humor that makes it easy for readers to identify with.  Not a far cry from the likability PK the band projects from the stage that allows new and existing fans alike to connect with them.  So perhaps PK are a band of pop-punkish lyrical pugilists rocking music for all ages.  It’s up to their fans to decide, old and new alike.  One thing is certain… they are talented and worth the listen.  So take a moment and check them out because … to pull a line from their hit, London… “Hold up, cuz you ain’t never felt like this before…!”  And the truth is you haven’t heard a band like this before.  To their credit, PK’s sound is their own.  They are PK.

Links to PK:


Upcoming Shows

PK – Into the Roaring

Berelain Video

SeaWolves Video

London Video