I think I have a wasp problem

Have you ever walked out of your house and felt like you walked into a wasps nest? Well, for me, it happens at my front door, but it’s actually the opposite… I’m trying to get into the house. The other day I came back home from doing something awesome, because why else would I have left the house to begin with, ya know? So I walked up to the front door and there was a wasp floating around. He was a nuisance enough that I had to back up in a full-on retreat. And I was so close to making it inside, so close.

So there I am, standing in my yard, coming up with a strategy to get in my own house. And this time it wasn’t even because I’d forgot my keys! Note: this video below happens more than I’ll admit in writing.


I thought, “Maybe if I’m casual about it, he’ll let me by.” I walk up, no no, I stroll up to the front steps. And you know what I saw? This wasp was poised, if I can use that word here, he was poised in attack mode, and to be quite I honest, I was impressed. I was like, “Look at this little guy protecting his…well, “his” domain.” His front legs were slightly bent forward, his back legs cocked and ready to launch. I’m being all breezy and he wants to start a fight.

Every time I tried walking up to the door, even striking up a convo on the way, find some common ground  like “Hey, so you come here often?” or “Hey man, how’s your week been?” or “Can you believe the weather? Gosh it’s hot!”… but he just points his little body right towards me. And he never answered a single question. Rude. Try being a social butterfly once in a while, gee wiz.

Now anyone who knows me well knows I’m a pacifist when it comes to animals and things. I don’t want them to die, not really. Who am I to say, “You get to live. You don’t get to live,” ya know? But I found a stick and I had to beat him with it. I didn’t kill him, just sent him a message. And I was able to get by, rushing through the door before he rounded up his other wasp buddies.

I came back out about 20 minutes later, armed with wasp killing spray. Ok, yes I was a little sad about it, but I’m tired of waiting on the government to pass stricter wasp control policies. And the NRA– I mean the NWA (National Wasp Association) are millions strong! I would spray any wasp that I could… and feel bad about it later.

There’s one in the ivy, spray spray. There’s another hovering about, spray spray. Here’s one on the fence, sprayyyyyyy. This is when I realized I do have a genuine wasp problem and I might be bigger than that. The fence wasp fluttered around like a plane with one engine. He was going down. Sputter sputter and kaboom, he crash lands in the grass. You’d think that was satisfying enough, right? Nope.

I shot a wasp in Nashville, just to watch him die.

I stood over him as he crawled around haphazardly, just waiting for him to give up. So not only am I responsible for ending his life here on earth, but then to watch him suffer and die? That’s just sick. Now if I could just turn this whole thing into a country song, at least I’d have a way to pay for the therapy that I probably need for my sinister wasp behaviors!

-Out of the Wilderness

Advertisements

Kid Rock’s new video, and other puppets in country music

Kid Rock’s new video for “Tennessee Mountain Top” features a raccoon named Jackson. This is one of the better country music videos I’ve seen that feature puppets. Take a look:


But Kid Rock is not the first to join up with puppets. Take a look at the following collaborations with puppets and/or music videos that feature puppets. First up is one that was considered a swing and a miss, from Trace Adkins.


More recently you have Brad Paisley portrayed as a mascot among quite a few mascots from college sports.


Kacey Musgraves is accompanied by a puppet playing the violin in “Biscuits.”


Elvis Presley acted in many movies, one which included a song called “Wooden Heart,” in which he appears alongside a puppet.


This next one isn’t exactly country music, but in the Miley Cyrus video for “Younger Now,” she has a scene a lot like the Elvis clip above.


The Cadillac Three used puppets to announce their new album. Click here for the video.

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 9.09.01 AM

The Cadillac Three use puppets for announcement.

And you can’t have a list like this without including the Muppets. So here are a few notable performances featuring country stars along with the cast of the Muppets.

Loretta Lynn…


Willie Nelson…


Kenny Rogers…


Johnny Cash…


-Out of the Wilderness

My Beef With Christmas Music as Heard on Christian Radio

Since I was a little guy, I’ve loved Christmas music. From “Joy to the World” to “Christmas Canon” to “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” all of it reminds of why I love this time of year. Well, not because someone’s grandma got run over by a reindeer, mine certainly didn’t, but you know what I mean… being with family, creating memories, and of course, the history-altering birth of Jesus.

manger1What really gets my goat this season is the Christmas music I’m hearing on Christian radio. Here’s what happens… I’m driving down the road flipping through the stations. I hear “Joy to the World” which is my all-time favorite Christmas song. So of course I’m going to turn it up and sing along. Verse 1… awesome. Verse 2… awesome. Then as soon as I gracefully begin singing verse 3, I’m cut off by… what’s this? Different lyrics? And the melody doesn’t even sound the same! Now instead of singing about joy to the world, I’m asking “What in the world?”

I understand since American Idol came around, it’s popular to “make it your own.” I get that and for the most part, I like the idea. I still remember hearing Phillip Phillips’ version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” It was amazing. Or David Cook’s heartfelt rendition of Lionel Richie’s “Hello.” Plus, who can forget Adam Lambert singing “Ring of Fire”? I loved all of those. But when it comes to this issue I have with some Christmas songs, well, it’s a genre of music you don’t really need to change. It’s what the American Idol judges would say about a Whitney Houston song. Just sing it well. That’s all.

scene from A Christmas Story

scene from A Christmas Story

It’s like these artists took your favorite Christmas sweater, sewed in their initials, and now they’re selling it on Etsy. Or if I were to repackage everyone’s favorite movie “A Christmas Story” with an added scene I shot myself because, well, I wanted to call it my own. Then I sell it on eBay as the “extended version.” The most recent example I’ve heard this season is a song called “Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy).” Let’s not even get into the confusing conflict of a song with lyrics about something that’s unspeakable. That’s not the point. The point is they damaged a perfectly good sweater.

A wise man once said that if a person comes to him with a problem, they should also come with a solution. So I’ll take his advice. The solution to this problem is simple. Sing the songs as they were meant to be sung. Or come up with something original. I know it’s tough to come up with a timeless Christmas song… nearly impossible. But artists should try. Mariah Carey did it with “All I Want For Christmas.” Another instant classic was written by a comedian, “Mary, Did You Know?”

There’s more that can be said about this whole “repackaging” thought, especially in Christian music. But instead of repackaging that conversation, this site hits the bull’s-eye.

Merry Christmas!
-Out of the Wilderness

Music Roulette: 50 Songs in 1 Paragraph

How many songs can you identify? The first hint is that there are fifty songs listed, and each song lyric connects to the next through one or more overlapping words. Good luck! (you can look at the key words listed on this post for some help!)

I miss those blue eyes. How you kiss me at night, I miss the way we sleeps tonight. Aweemba wop, aweemba wop, a weemba wopbobaloobop a wop bam boom shake, shake, shake the room. She was struck down, it was her doom. Annie, are you ok? So, Annie are you still mine? I need your love. Godspeed your love to me, wanna talk about I, wanna talk about number one, oh my me my, what I think, what I like, what I know, what I want, what I see, by the dawn’s early light? What so proudly we hailed at the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart breaks, no, it don’t break even if he promised me the world. Just remember I’m forever your girl you know it’s true. Ooo ooo oooo, I love you every step of the way and I will always love you so, promise I’ll never let you go, in the still of the night. In the still of the Britney song was on, and the Britney song was on, and the Britney song was on a white, sandy beach of Hawai’i. The sound of the ocean soothes my name and it’s probably ’cause you think you’re cooler than me burn, but that’s alright because I like the way it hurts, I like the end. And you could have it all, my empire of dirt. I will let you down, I will make you wanna be happy for the rest of your life, never make a pretty woman your wife. Take it on the run, baby. If that’s the way you want it, baby, then I don’t want you around ’cause you know where I’ll be found, when I come around. And when you smile that smile the whole world turns upside down. Whenever you come around the corner when she comes. She’ll be coming around the corner. That’s me in the spotlight losing my song. It is my song. Now I live every day like there will never be a last one till they’re gone, like Frank Sinatra. Like Elvis and his mom. Like Al Pacino’s cash, nothing lasts in this life, back to reality. Back to life, back to me, will you? Baby, just come to my window, crawl inside, wait by the light of the moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart for the first time, and I was like baby, baby, baby. Oh, baby you, you got what I need. But you say he’s just a friend. But you say I only hear what I want to: I don’t listen hard, don’t pay attention to the distance that you’re running down a dream that never would come from, rain is a good thing. Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey. Whiskey makes my girl. Talking ’bout my girl. My chick bad, my chick hood. My chick do stuff that yo’ chick wish she could be the one. He’s lightning. Spark’s are flyin’. Everywhere I go he’s always on my mind. You were always on my minds. And we can’t build our dreams on suspicious minds eye, I see your face, you smile as you show me grace. In my woody I would take you everywhere I go. So I say from me to you, I will make your dreams come true. Do you still love me tomorrow? Tonight with words unspoken, you said I’m the only one life, but we’re not the same. We get to carry each other. Carrying your love with me. West Virginia down to Tennessee. Take me to another place. Take me to another land, this land is my land, from California, to the New York Islands in the stream, that is what we are. No one in between, how can we be wrong? Sail away with me, to be on the ground. Your head is there to move your around. So stand.

Move Me, Baby!

One observation I’ve made about Christian radio stations has really started to bother me… most of the music they play is deep, introspective, and self-denying. I support the mission of having positive, uplifting music as an option on the radio. I’m not knocking the radio stations. Deep, introspective, self-denying songs are great but do they all have to be so thought-provoking? I like to look inward and take personal inventory just as much as the next guy, but I’d be headed for a mental breakdown if this type of music were all I was listening to.

Sometimes the brain needs a break and lots of times the heart just needs to beat, not bleed. Perhaps that’s why I find my playlist full of the most random songs. For example, my most recent playlist includes:

Rock & Roll – Eric Hutchinson
Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley
Good People – Jack Johnson
Freedom – Amos Lee
The Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash
Tom’s Diner – Suzanne Vega
Bad (Live) – U2
Christmas Canon Rock – Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Good Good End – Waterdeep
Jump Around – House of Pain
Made To Love – TobyMac
Oh What A World – Rufus Wainwright
That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings
Awful Beautiful Life – Darryl Worley
Say Hey (I Love You) – Michael Franti
Body Language – Jesse McCartney
Ridin’ Dirty – Chamillionaire
Paradise City – Guns and Roses

We all have depth at some level and it’s true that our souls long for music that moves us. But we also need music that can make us move!

Mumford & Sons:

Zac Brown Band: