Author Archives: JT

Random Awesomeness (part 2019.5)

Random Awesomeness

What I’m Reading Right Now: Firefight: The Reckoners, Book Two by Brandon Sanderson. (Yes, still working on it.)

Purchase Feral Roots from Rival Sons!
(Greta Van Fleet is great, no doubt, but Rival Sons rocks harder for my money.)


Fun Cards: 2019 Reds, 1987 Topps football style: Joey Votto


The Reds finally won their second game after eight straight losses. It may have come against the Marlins, but it still counts. Joey Votto hit a double and scored twice, while five of his teammates went yard. Luis Castillo has had three fantastic starts so far, and I would like to remind everyone that I predicted a Cy Young season for Mr. Castillo. I’m looking forward to seeing continued dominance from this young man.

Fun Cards: 2019 Reds, 1987 Topps football style: Mr. Redlegs

Mr Redlegs

While I prefer the mustacheless “running man” logo used from 1968 into the 1990s, I have grown to love Mr. Redlegs in recent years.

Fun Cards: 2019 Reds, 1987 Topps football style: Johnny Bench


One of the greatest players ever, Johnny Bench is rightly and forever will be known as a legend in Cincinnati.

Fun Cards: 2019 Reds, 1987 Topps football style: David Bell


Managers get cards in my sets. David Bell is the descendant of Cincinnati royalty; both grandfather Gus Bell and father Buddy Bell were popular players for the Reds. His little brother Mike Bell also played for the Reds, but that didn’t go quite as well. I’m hoping for the best for David. I was excited when they named him manager, and I expect him to continue the Bell tradition of excellence in the Queen City.

Fun Cards: 2019 ex-Reds, 1987 Topps football style: Jay Bruce


How about a little #TBT with Jay Bruce, former right fielder for your Cincinnati Reds? The Cincy fan favorite was traded to the Mets in 2016, then to Cleveland in 2017. He returned to the Mets in 2018, who then traded him again to Seattle. For some reason, I don’t think the Mets really want the guy. The Mariners have been using him quite a bit at first base so far this season, which is really cool to see. I remember when Joey Votto was hurt several years ago, Bruce volunteered to play first even though he hadn’t been there since high school. That’s called putting the team first.

Fun Cards: 2019 Reds, 1987 Topps football style: Matt Kemp


Another new face to the Reds this year is the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player Matt Kemp. He is hitless so far in Cincinnati, but any day now that 2011 MVP mojo will come back and he will lead these Redlegs to the top of the division…the league…the world!

Fun Cards: 2019 Reds, 1987 Topps football style: Derek Dietrich


The Reds often make the most of their bench players: Doug Flynn, Miguel Cairo, and now you can add Derek Dietrich to the list. They can give the big guys a rest with a solid bat, or come in to pinch hit and deliver big. Dietrich launched a three-run homer off Richard Rodriguez in the 7th inning to put the home team ahead and they never looked back. Does that qualify as a GW-RBI?

Fun Cards: 2019 Reds, 1987 Topps football style: Record Breaking Crowd

Largest crowd

The Reds hosted their largest Opening Day crowd on Thursday, but that was followed just a few days later with the lowest attendance in the history of Great American Ballpark. Opening Day is practically a holiday in Cincinnati, but it’s a short-lived fervor for America’s pastime.

JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Def Leppard Covered

Def Leppard covers

Congratulations to the great Def Leppard on the well-deserved induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight. A fantastic career, especially the first several albums. Their excellence should have been recognized long ago.

When I started building “JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Def Leppard Covered,” I was initially disappointed by the lack of eclectic selections available. The deeper I got, though, some real gems popped up. Load these into your player and realize the brilliance of the newest Rock Hall of Famers. Some are straight-forward rockers, while others are countrified renditions, and there’s even an a cappella styling thrown into the mix.

JT’s Ultimate Mixtape: Def Leppard Covered

  • “Rock Brigade” by Bang Tango from The Ultimate Bang Tango: Rockers and Thieves
  • “Wasted” by Seven Witches from Passage to the Other Side
  • “Let It Rock” by Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys) from Rock Anthems of the ’80s
  • “High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night) by The Gravel Pit from No One Here Gets in for Free: Rare & Unreleased. I’m not going to pull any punches here. This sounds slightly better than something my college band would have done in our dorm on our little tape deck.
  • “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” by Mariah Carey from Charmbracelet. It was either this or a Jethro Tull-ish Jed Davis version.
  • “Photograph” by Malibu Storm from Malibu Storm
  • “Stagefright” by Matt Nathanson from Pyromattia
  • “Too Late for Love” by Crease from Only Human
  • “Rock of Ages” by Kelly Hansen (Foreigner) from Rock Of Ages: Hard Rock Hits Of The ’80s
  • “Action Not Words” by Charlie Bonnet III from JukeBox Bluesman
  • “Billy’s Got A Gun” by House of Heavy from House of Heavy
  • “Love Bites” by Lucky Uke from Lucky Uke
  • “Pour Some Sugar On Me” by Emm Gryner from Girl Versions. If you didn’t click play on the YouTube video at the top of this list, do it. Now. There are a lot of straight-forward covers of “Pour Some Sugar On Me” out there. There are also a lot of off-beat covers. Emm Gryner’s is hands-down the most hauntingly beautiful version of this song ever. Her voice is powerfully soulful. Before I heard her take, I also considered Bristol Love‘s saccharine version and Ely Jaffe‘s toned-down acoustic rendition.
  • “Hysteria” by Daniel Flores from British Metal Invasion: The Greatest Hits Vol. 2
  • “Two Steps Behind” by No Strings Attached from Even Closer. A cappella hair metal, folks. Except not metal at all. I wonder how much Aqua Net they go through in a week.
  • “When Love and Hate Collide” by Patrick Dilley from Southern Sessions Live
  • “Long Long Way To Go” by Lionel Richie from Just For You. The Def Leppard version, released in 2003, was their last song to appear on the UK Top 40 charts. Lionel Richie took his rendition to 20th on the US AC charts in 2004.

Of course, there are a ton of Def Leppard tribute albums available. I am not familiar with any of these personally, but I present them here in a handy-dandy list if you want to give them a spin:

Can’t get enough of the cover songs? The Writer’s Journey has you covered (pun fully intended). Click on these links to check out some strangely familiar songs…

What band should we tackle next?

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