El Monstero drops by We Are Live! to chat with Chris Denman

Pink Floyd Tribute Band, El Monstero drops by prior to their run of shows this December at The Pageant in Saint Louis, MO. The guys talk about the production aspect of their shows, is there a legal element to covering another bands work? Great time with the guys. 

On Itunes: HERE! 

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On the Pod Page: HERE!

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Dylan Palladino, "He's in town from New York."

Dylan Palladino, "He's in town from New York."

Dylan Palladino experienced a lot from the STL comedy scene on his trip in from NYC. A WWE style feud, German beer, fried chicken, and lots of love. 

Target Practice Live! A summary of the live roast tourney, also... someone ruined comedy.

Target Practice Live! A summary of the live roast tourney, also... someone ruined comedy.

Target Practice Live was a 2 night event with 2 Champions, 1 WWE Style feud, and lots of happy attendees. It featured head to head roasts, where'd you go to high school commentary, and even the time honored comedy classics like roasting Sacagawea, JFK, and Ghandi. 

LouFest Prep with Nick Freed

Special Contributor and 'Consequence and Sound' writer Nick Freed gives us the rundown for LouFest 2016 and showcases the bands that are sure to make an impact during St.Louis' biggest music festival. 

 

Lower Tier Bands to Look Out For

When it comes to festivals, the strength of a line-up isn't in the headliners, but in the middle to lower tier bands. In my six or so years of covering festivals, including a stint at the third year of LouFest, I quickly learned that the most dynamic performances come from a band you might not have heard of who's playing an early afternoon set. When I covered the Toronto Urban Roots Festival, it was Pokey Lafarge on a side stage at 2pm that stole the entire festival. I remember The Walkmen playing at 3pm at Lollapalooza more than My Morning Jacket headlining. That being said, here are five day-time options for the this weekend's festival that are sure to deliver a stellar set and gain a whole new legion of fans.

 

Anderson.paak and the Free Nationals

The artist with the latest time slot on this list belongs to California's own Anderson .paak and the Free Nationals who are performing Sunday the 11th at 6:00pm on the Tunespeak BMI stage. Anderson .paak is part of what I like to call a “new wave of hip-hop positivity,” along with artists like Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper, .paak is releasing music that speaks of his upbringing and tribulations with a soul and jazz backbeat. The incredibly talented drummer, rapper, and singer combines the feel good vibes from early pioneers like Tribe Called Quest and Talib Kweli with the social awareness of Kendrick and Chance, and the smooth croon of Marvin Gaye. His set backed by his band, the Free Nationals, is sure to be an uplifting, soul affirming adventure made even more entertaining when .paak takes his turn behind the drums. If you're not sold yet, check out his recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to seal the deal.

 

 

Twin Peaks

For a 60s garage rock dance fest, get to the grounds early on Sunday for Chicago delinquents Twin Peaks. They play at 2pm on the Bud Light stage, and they'll be the perfect band to help you shake off your Saturday night Chris Stapleton whiskey hangover. Their sloppy, Replacements-esque take on punk rock has been taking the Chicago-area and critics by storm over the last few years. They're three albums deep into an exceptional career highlighted by no holds barred live shows that are sure to make an early trip to Forest Park well worth it. Check out their newest video for their single “Butterfly” for a little peak at the madness.

 

Vince Staples

Before you dive into the feel-good soul of Anderson .paak, head to the Forest Park stage at 5pm for fellow Californian, Vince Staples. Flowing into the public consciousness via the lunatics in Odd Future, namely Early Sweatshirt, Staples is a pure product, like Snoop before him, of Long Beach. Staples has the laid back flow of Snoop with the hard tales of Dre. His multiple mixtapes and debut full-length, Summertime '06, feature a who's who of rising hip-hop talent including Schoolboy Q, A$ap Rocky, and Mac Miller. His powerful verses about street life in the LBC, and beats from DJ Dahi, Clams Casino, and No ID put Staples in a class of his own. His late afternoon set should be a perfect way to ring in the sunset. Check his pounding “Norf Norf” for a preview.

 

Diarrhea Planet

I know that day one of a festival is sometimes met with trepidations, especially when it comes to the first bands to play. However, the LouFest bookers have made sure the festival starts with a bang by slotting Nashville's Diarrhea Planet in the 1:30pm slot on the Forest Park Stage. Don't let the name deter you from seeing them. This six-piece group brings the rock with influences ranging from AC/DC to Dokken. There's something so refreshing seeing a band fully enjoy themselves during a live set, and Diarrhea Planet is no exception. With plenty of face melting solos and upbeat sing-alongs, they're THE band to start your weekend off right. It also may be the last time you have chance to see them in such an small setting because they're on their way to selling out bigger houses in no time. See their bizarre video for their single “Babyhead” here. 

 

Frightened Rabbit

Speaking of bands on the verge of bigger things, the best band with the earliest time slot has got to be the Scottish boys of Frightened Rabbit. Their 5:30pm slot at the Forest Park Stage is one of the biggest short changes at this year's festival. There are few bands active today that deliver the kind of powerful and thoughtful live shows you'd expect to see closing out major festivals. Their most recent album, Painting of a Panic Attack, is filled with boisterous arena anthems and lush, multi-layered ruminations on addiction, relationships, unknown lands, and more. They've been releasing incredible albums for ten years, and the latest is their best one yet. Missing their first night set would be a disservice not only to this remarkable band on the rise, but to your own enjoyment. Do. Not. Miss. Frightened Rabbit. Here's the video for their most recent single, “Woke Up Hurting”. 

 

Honorable mentions:

Charles Bradley – Amazing James Brown-esque soul

Buddy Guy – Classic Chicago Blues from one of the greatest guitarists of all time

John Turturro, HBO's The Night Of, and the best scene of the year

By Dan Buffa, Special for We Are Live Radio

Can I talk to you about John Turturro's performance in HBO's The Night Of?

Get a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and let's talk about the best performance given by a male or female actor on television or film this year. Sorry movie roles, but Turturro's gone for broke lawyer kicked your ass six ways from Sunday, which is where the miniseries concluded this past weekend. 

The show may have been about the presumed innocent yet jail bound college student Naz(the superb Riz Ahmed) who may or may not have killed a young woman, but Turturro's Jack Stone is the heart and soul of this show, which is based on a BBC series named Criminal Justice. and adapted by two of Hollywood's best writers in Richard Price(The Color of Money, The Wire, Sea of Love) and Steven Zaillian(Schindler's List, American Gangster, Mission Impossible). A whodunit became a showcase for Turturro Street.

Why is he so good? What sets his work apart from the work from the rest? It's the way Turturro tackles the role head on in a way few actors can without overpowering his audience. His technique is the opposite of flashy. He doesn't rely on gimmicks.

Turturro shows us a measure of a guy who buries himself in his work because the other avenues of his life are too dark to stare at any longer. His feet are covered in rashes. His love life is wrapped up in a few twenty dollar bills. His independent lawyer business is essentially him pleading his cases out. e is in no shape for an extended trial in court. Against those odds, Stone throws himself into the case of Naz, a man he believes in his bones is innocent of the murder charge. 

This isn't a knocked over dripping bottle of cinematic syrup here. Stone isn't going to do whatever it takes, but he has a special interest that starts out as opportunity knocking and develops into something personal. He is driven to not only win his first big case in decades but also save himself from a personal life that includes getting rid of a cat he is allergic too and finding a cure for his skin. The result is a masterful piece of work. 

It's touching, poignant, badass, and to the point. The actor has portrayed close to 100 different characters over a career that stretches back 40+ year. Jack Stone may be Turturro's best work in 20 years and should be remembered easily come Emmy award time. In fact, let's just send him the award now. Let me rename the award. 

"Best Performance by a Seasoned Pro in a dark ass series that may have turned off others if it weren't for this man's work". Sound good? No? Let's try harder. 

"Best performance by an actor in a film or TV series this year."  I have a knack for these things. 

The series takes expected turns and is twisted around multiple corners. It becomes more than a murder mystery drama and extends into darker areas of the human psyche. Why do we do the things we do and how one must face the fact that no matter what choice you make, good or bad, a repercussion will occur. 

The best part of the series was the smooth riding finale, which climaxed with Stone's closing argument to a jury of 12 semi angry men and women. Let's talk about that scene that put gold on the ceiling.

You put that monologue, which was brilliantly written by Price and Zaillian, in another actor's hands and it may become an instant ham job. In the 57 year old actor's hands, the scene joins the best courtroom moments of all time. 

For five minutes, Turturro and Stone became one guy in front of our eyes. A desperate lawyer taking a case so close to his heart that it may become life threatening. A wet conscience sticking to a dry presumption. 

It was no longer a mere job for Stone to save Naz's life, but a necessity. A man beaten to his knees by a life and profession cloaked in loneliness and hollow success. This was Stone's last real shot at truly saving a life. While the story machinations worked overtime to get this character in front of a jury, Turturro's speech cleared those doubts with how he handled the scene. 

It wasn't Newman in The Verdict. It wasn't Peck in To Kill A Mockingbird. It was even better because Turturro took a secondary character and made him the headline with this pivotal moment.

Turturro, pulling a page from his tragic Millers Crossing character, basically pleads for the jury to look into their heart. He uses a mix of facts(the mistakes, laws broken, and charges) and reminds them of a man who had NO priors and is presumed innocent beyond a reasonable doubt to get his point across.

The most provocative part coming at the end. "Reasonable doubt doesn't really have a definition. It's what we believe." A great performance doesn't really have a clear definition either. As an audience, we just know it when we see it. We believe in the person and wonder if he really exists somewhere in the world. 

It was the kind of scene that makes you wonder after the director said "CUT", did the rest of the cast and extras on set turn to each other and say, "Holy Shit"? I bet they did. If not, they should have. It was a perfectly rendered scene made all the more powerful by the real emotion on Turturro's face as he sat back down after the speech and was on the verge of tears. 

The Night Of was outstanding, and a huge part of that success goes to John Turturro. He played a flawed man with a good heart who was walking on easy street until he met Nasir "Naz" Khan. Sometimes in life an unlikely soul is required to spark something new in our life. It may be dangerous and overpowering, but the lasting effect is easy to notice. 

Give Turturro all the damn awards for his work as Jack Stone. Watch the series and find out for yourself. 

Interview: Campfire creator Steven Harowitz

If someone walked up to you in the street and asked you to get on a stage in front of strangers and tell your story, what would you say?

Campfire aims to bring interesting people with unique stories and project their tales onto others with the hopes of creating something amazing. You can find their action at the St. Louis Public Library, where they combine improvisational skills with their pasts and purge their demons in the hope of connection. 

Director and Creator of Campfire Steven Harowitz is the bold soul who organizes and runs this community organization. He brings the lonely souls together, gives them the tools to be brave, and has helped many people find something in themselves that may have stayed hidden if it weren't for the right navigator and coach. 

I spoke with Steven about Campfire's endeavors and hopes on Friday. Here is what transpired.

Buffa: How did Campfire get started?

Harowitz: We did a test run during St. Louis design week during October of last year. We wanted to do something where we brought components of people's lives and connected the storyteller to the audience. We took a pause from it for a while afterwards. Some life stuff happened. I then wanted to play with the concept again and the St. Louis Public Library reached out to collaborate. We did it the way I'd always dreamed it would be.

Buffa: Rafe Williams is a comic on the rise in St. Louis and one of your coaches at Campfire. What makes him an asset to your team? 

Harowitz: He's a stellar presence and a good person. You want people who are going to be great team members. He has a ton of experience and knows the technical skills it takes to be on stage. He's got a good blend of being a good human also what it takes to be on stage. 

Buffa: What do you expect to gain from this long term?

Harowitz: I'm one of those people who is very future thinking but with this I have tried my hardest to turn that off and just enjoy it. Let it grow as it might. There's still things we can do to bring it more to life. Workshops and sharing it with the community. Honestly, I don't know and I kind of love that.

Buffa: I spoke with Bronwyn Ritchie and she told me Campfire was similar to theater because it was cathartic. 

Harowitz: They are supposed to feel whatever the story wanted to make them feel. With each storyteller, we chose one main statement. For Bronwyn, it was how to build a home. I want the audience to find themselves through someone's narrative. Everybody takes it differently because we don't force a perspective. Everything has a falling action and there are no answers.

Buffa: If you are on the street and trying to sell this to them, how do you get them in the door?

Harowitz: It's hard to explain. That is something the team is really working on. How to explain it. A storyteller's friend told us that it defies definition. It's like a church without the religion. A tech spot without data. We are figuring it out as we go. 

Buffa: Is it engineered towards a 62 year old man or towards the younger crowd?

Harowitz: It started out as something targeted towards the millennial crowd, but it's become something that anybody can come to. If you boil it down past details, it's the same struggles. These people are regular people and not trained speakers. They are the people in the car next to you at a stop light. While we have a target audience that we like, at the same time things cross generational boundaries. 

Buffa: When I saw the Facebook page, I saw something that reminds me of improv as well as what actors define as "method" approaches. 

Harowitz: Team members have backgrounds in improv. The vague discipline that we've blended together was journalism on the front, wrap in production, and then we put in some of the improv pieces as well. It also becomes guest services. We blend a lot of random stuff into this thing. 

Buffa: What's one of the memorable stories you've heard?

Harowitz: It's hard to pick one. I'll pick one from the original story. The first time we ever test ran the event. A story about name and identity. A story from Cintas. Someone saw the speaker's name, which was Keisha Mabry, and made a huge snap judgement. They immediately asked her how many kids she had and are you on welfare? If you know this person, that is her name. You make snap judgements and they have no idea. That name was given to her. 

Buffa: St. Louis is going through a harsh phase with all the violence and turmoil. Is Campfire something that can balance it out and give people an escape?

Harowitz: Hopefully. When folks have seen it, they say that it can be something that works towards creative change. If you give people an hour to make the best version of themselves, I think you can help people change from an individual level. That can maybe spurn more change. You can help on an individual level and hope it grows. 

Steven Harowitz is trying to change the world, one person at a time and it's working. Speaking to Bronwyn Ritchie a couple days before my chat with Steven, one could tell she was enlightened and bolstered by a newfound purpose. Something that she may have found on the stage downtown at Campfire. An organization that tries to mend the broken wings of people with a story to tell but no place to purge. 

Keep an eye on Campfire by liking their Facebook page and reaching out to connect with its creators and members. Some things are slow moving yet change lives one soul at a time. Campfire is trying to do something incredible and the more people who know about it, the faster those baby steps become a steady strut towards positive outcomes.

Interview: Campfire Speaker Bronwyn Ritchie

Bronwyn Ritchie is just like you. She is a vulnerable yet talented human being with a story to tell. Campfire, a community organization in downtown St. Louis that treats the Public Library like a confessional, gave her that opportunity. 

Getting up in front of people on a stage and talking about yourself is a form of therapy, but for Bronwyn Ritchie, it was more of a purge. She hasn't had an easy life, and grew up this "awkward genius", but couldn't find the platform to properly tell her story before she found this community.

Campfire is designed to do two things. Bring different types of people together through their stories and create not just one line of communication, but various links that can spread around the entire city. 

I spoke to Ritchie this week about her experiences, conquering the fear of public speech, and what Campfire can do for all the wandering souls out there who need to get a few things off their chest. 

Buffa: Tell me about Campfire. What does it mean to you?

Ritchie: It's an immersive storytelling experience. The goal is to take people who don't normally do these things a chance to share their experiences. Having a larger conversation instead of someone talking at you. They try and do stuff with music and touch. 

Buffa: You were one of the storytellers. 

Ritchie: I just told a story. I'm a nobody. I was the season finale. The fourth person to do it, all time. I got an email that said, "Do you want to tell a story? You don't have to be good at it." They let me get on a stage for an hour. 

Buffa: What is the allure of a live Campfire event?

Ritchie: There wasn't a dry eye in the house. If you want to feel the feels, it draws the feels out of you. Plus, it's for free. We sat down for an hour while I rambled for my life. They record it and look for a theme. For me, it was home. We then work on for two weeks, and build the spine of the story. They coach you. 

Buffa: They take a person and basically direct them. You are the script. 

Ritchie: They direct you about your life story. Your car crash wasn't sad enough. Make it worse. 

Buffa: What do you gain from something like this?

Ritchie: I've gotten several date offers out of it. Somebody hears your entire life story and wants to get a cocktail with you. Otherwise, there's no agenda behind it. It's been a really intense process. Being on a stage has made me reevaluate my entire life. There's been a positive growth in my life due to this experience. 

Buffa: How many times did you want to run off the stage?

Ritchie: Frequently. The people who work on the project are dudes, so I didn't want to cry. There's some pretty emotional stuff in my story. The day of, I didn't even want to leave the house. Someone called me and kind of helped me get there. 

Buffa: Rafe Williams is a coach there. How was it leaning from him?

Ritchie: Super fantastic. He knows his stuff. He gives good feedback. He means it. If there is a suggestion, you should take it. He's very funny. He told me about points in my story where I could tell jokes. I actually told my own jokes and he was proud of me. He's impressive. 

Buffa: Do you think this kind of upstart thing can truly help people? Is it an escape or more of a rebirth?

Ritchie: For audience members, it's more of a rebirth. The thing about St. Louis is that it's a segregated town. People in Dogtown only want to go to bars in Dogtown, for example. You put them in a room in downtown St. Louis, and there's a lot of renewed hope. It's this really unique thing that Steven(the creator) has done. Very positive for folks.

Buffa: What's some of the saddest stories you've heard?

Ritchie: I've never been to any of them before my own speaker session, so anything I say is going to be about my life. I skipped the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh grade. I ran my car into a telephone pole at 80 mph, and flipped it 97 yards. Then, my whole life got better. I was an awkward smart kid, so it wasn't easy. That's pretty crazy, right?

 

Buffa: If I'm a 62 year old man, does this appeal to me or is it mostly for younger people?

Ritchie: Steven told me it was something for millennials made by millennials since the library is trying to reach the millennial crowd. 

Buffa: You need to sell Campfire to a stranger on the street. What do you tell them?

Ritchie: The original point of theater was catharsis for the audience. An escape and place to release. That is exactly what Campfire is. If you are sad and lonely, you can come be sad and lonely with others. 

What you see with Bronwyn is what you get. She wears her vulnerability like a shield covering her innocence but through Campfire was willing to lower her guard and help others with her stories. 

Think about the places you go to for escape. The movies. A concert. The bar. All those things cost you and never really help. Campfire is free and real, and it heals. Give it a shot and you may meet another Bronwyn Ritchie. 

Hollywood, stop the reboots and remakes!

By Dan Buffa, Special for WAL

Attention Hollywood: Let's put an end to the bad idea train of thought. It shouldn't be in the best interests of the make believe land to resort to the recycling bin to create a piece of entertainment that they expect the cinema addicts to dish ten bucks for. This is becoming a real problem. 

Who am I to complain without citing evidence or providing examples? I may not be a lawyer but I can probably play one for a 10-15 minutes here. I OBJECT! You see, I got the hang of it real quick. 

Exhibit A: Point Break

No one and I mean no one screamed for a Point Break remake but Hollywood said why not and made a trashy hollow piece of garbage and just for kicks, they released it on Christmas last year. They couldn't even show self-respect and cast the lesser Hemsworth brother, Liam, and instead put a guy in there for Keanu Reeves' part that should be selling me board shorts in Santa Monica instead of acting. Edgar Rameriz isn't a bad actor(and plays Roberto Duran this weekend), but he didn't do Bodhi any better than the late Patrick Swayze. The man was rolling in his grave thinking of a remake. 

Why mess with Oscar nominated director Kathryn Bigelow's pulpy action flick that was so good that Gary Busey still gets work based off his wild FBI agent? No need. Stop it. 

Exhibit B: Ghostbusters

First of all, Melissa McCarthy isn't that funny. She's built a career off fat jokes, and let me tell you Chris Farley did this gimmick way better. The rest of the cast is a big old batch of "meh" and the studio lost so much money after its release that a sequel was cancelled. Good or bad flick, move on. Stop remaking or rebooting. Get creative.

Exhibit C: Ben-Hur

The film crashed immediately after takeoff this past weekend. It cost over 100 million to make and grossed just 11 million domestically. You don't release summer films with Jack Huston(Boardwalk Empire) as the lead and you don't remake films that won Best Picture! It was a bad idea from the start. Stop it. Imagine if this money was put to better use than remaking or rebooting good to great films. 

There's more. Lethal Weapon is getting rebooted for a TV show. Sickening. War Games is getting remade. The Arnold Schwarzenegger cheeseburger Commando is getting a remake. Jumanji. Who will tell these people these are bad ideas? 

Why not make small films with big hearts like Hunt for the WIlderpeople. Captain Fantastic, and Midnight Special? Real, fresh, and original pleasures. Well, a need to remake a good film made that way 20 years ago is why folks. It's troubling and a sign of why film is overall taking a hit. 

Sequels may not be a good idea for some franchises, but at least they are continuations of a story line and not recycled clumsy money making pretenders. 

Ben-Hur will be an abomination at the box office and even worse, it's just a bad movie. 

Where is the white towel, Hollywood? Please throw it into the ring right now. 

HBO's Hard Knocks recap-The Jeff Fisher gong show

By Dan Buffa, Special for We Are Live

"For the first time in 20 years, touchdown L.A.!" 

The sound of those words sprung from the potent narrating engine that is Liev aka Ross Rhea aka Ray Donovan Schreiber on HBO's Hard Knocks shouldn't sting as much as they did, but damn it they made me angry. Let's rewind a bit while you leave the house to go buy a six pack of Stag. Shitty teams deserve the same quality of beer. 

Talking about the Rams in St. Louis seems to land one on the bad list these days. Whether it's radio, print, or word on the street, mentioning the football team that played the 2015 season right there in downtown St. Louis seems to get eyeball dismissal. My response to that is shut it down, former football team police. I'm not done yet. It hasn't been years. It's been just over eight months since Stan Kroenke, Roger Goodell, and NFL owners stabbed the Rams in the back like Caesar. They can't even remake this film yet. 

Episode One of Hard Knocks recap is simple. The Jeff Fisher Gong Show. Fisher spits senile nonsense like a crazy old uncle wondering around the porch in the middle of the night after a bar fight with his brother. Watching the richest coach without a winning season say things like, "I have a plan and we are NOT going 7-9" makes one think he's planning a backup career in stand up comedy.

Every time he unleashes words out of that overcooked tanned skin covered mouth of his, it elicits laughter. What Fisher deserves is to stay on that river the series opens up with and think about remaking The River Runs Through It with his son. He doesn't deserve anything. I hope his mustache turns into a feathery snake and swallows his oversized ego. 

The hard parts of this series don't revolve around seeing #1 overall draft pick Jared Goff look like a blonde Houdini in the pocket and blaze a trail as the Rams future QB even though his dumb ass doesn't know where the sun sets. It's not seeing a new offensive lineman discuss his extravagant amount of tank tops. It's not the prop fans being carted out to the practices. It's not the idea of no football in September. 

The painful part is watching Aaron Donald prepare to own Los Angeles. The best defensive tackle in the NFL at a young age looks like The Hulk on a football field and plays like it. Donald may dominate at the game of ping pong in his leisure time, but his ferocious ability to get behind the O-Line like a man merely opening the refrigerator is something to cherish. He's a stud and I couldn't care less about Stan K, Fisher, Kevin Demoff, Goff, Brian Quick, or the Leg. I'm mad that Los Angeles got Aaron Donald like Fisher got another lottery ticket contract extension. 

USA Today

USA Today

Todd Gurley is also gold on the ceiling, and now wearing gold on his helmet out west. He walks around the field like Dylan at a recording studio. He could touch a desk and make it come alive. The man singlehandedly picked up a snooze fest of an offensive attack last year and will only get better if his knee stays intact. (Drink)

Donald and Gurley. That's it folks. That's all it is. Forget everybody else. LA doesn't deserve those stars. After the Rams go 7-9 in 2016, they will go back to checking Clayton Kershaw's twitter account, watching the Los Angeles Kings in May, and only randomly checking the Rams box score. That's what will make me drink an extra glass of whiskey this fall. People under-appreciating a player like Donald and Gurley. 

Watching the Rams beat the Dallas Cowboys in a preseason game made me feel nothing but contempt for fans getting duped by Sean Mannion leading a fourth quarter comeback against Dallas' fourth stringers and Jerry Jones nodding to Stan in "I got you man" approval. 

After the win, Fisher went into his drunken uncle stupor again like it was the uncomfortable speech after a wedding reception. Talking about putting a football taken from a preseason game on the wall as a sign of inspiration isn't just funny. It's sad. A sign of how low the Rams sit and how far they have to go in order to accumulate a small fraction of respect. That's the part I don't worry about. That's a problem that no longer belongs to St. Louis football fans. 

Here's the important part folks. Watch the show if you like great behind the scenes entertainment. The show isn't about the owners or the NFL. The goodness of Hard Knocks is the same as Showtime's retired baseball series, The Franchise, or EPIX's Road the Winter Classic. It's about the players and their dreams. Donald, Gurley, and company didn't punch the clock on St. Louis and head west. They were simply doing their job. Nothing more or less. Watch them grow during these episodes. It's still a fun ride and NFL Films is state of the art. 

The show is about the undrafted college talents trying to crack the roster. It's about great hometown stories like Nelson Spruce. Whether it's been the Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans. or New York Jets, it's about the coach and his players. With Fisher, you will get comedic phrases. With the players, you get entertainment and juicy stories. 

At the end of the day, you may consume more alcohol and get angry. That's okay. When Hour #2 concluded, I told my wife the Rams didn't deserve Schreiber's narration. More like Adam Sandler. 

Comedic entertainment deserves comedic dispensers. 

Watching Hard Knocks will make a true Rams fan hurt, but that doesn't mean some fun can't be had in the process. 

8/15/16 Express Dose: Tyron Woodley stands tall for Ferguson and MU

By DAN BUFFA, Columnist  

Let's not waste any time this afternoon with this latest Express Dose. 

~All hail Tyron Woodley, the University of Missouri, Columbia fighter who just flipped the UFC on its head with a surprising victory over Robbie Lawler. Woodley didn't just beat Lawler, who is known for having a chin partially made of concrete. He knocked him out in the first round, kicking off another round of uncertain future fights for Dana White to deal with. How about this 34 year old kid from Ferguson, Missouri?

He doesn't just win but he wins big and shines a fine light on MU as well as his violence torn hometown. Woodley is the third MU wrestler to win a world title. Michael Chandler, a native of High Ridge, won a title for Bellator MMA earlier this summer. Former Bellator title holder and current ONE championship welterweight champion Ben Askren, a 32 year old MU grad, is 15-0 and thriving. Great MU fighters winning world titles on a global scale is the proper way to salute the school where it all started. 

~Cancer sucks. Truly. Yesterday, my dear friend and trusted rebel Troy Siade would have been 51 years old if Non Hodgkin Lymphoma didn't take him over 10 years ago. Siade loved the Cardinals and more importantly, loved watching Jim Edmonds play center field. The two of us ruled over the old Busch Stadium from the Manual Scoreboard up top the terrace level. We saw it all and had the best of times. In his regular job, Troy was one of the best lawyers in St. Louis.

After the 2003 season ended, Troy started to feel very sick. By April of 2004, he was gone. That's how quick cancer can become a real asshole and create all kinds of pain. Wherever and whenever you can donate to fight it, do it. Whether it's buying a shirt, wrist band, or participating in a run, don't hesitate. Young kids dying from cancer is the worst. Losing trusted friends in the their 30's is just as bad. I wish Troy was around to see these Birds win two World Series championships. 

~Ron White makes Showtime's Roadies great whenever he is on screen. The comedy legend plays a veteran know it all story filled stage hand who spins tales about old rock n' roll bands such as Lynyrd Skynyrd. During Sunday night's episode, White's Phil told the young crew about his friendship with Ronnie Van Zandt, the lead singer who died in that 1977 plane crash that claimed three members of the original band. It was a highlight of the season and another reason why Cameron Crowe's ode to the hard workers on the road works so well. It's a sleeper hit because no one's life is in jeopardy and there are no swords and high drama. It's a simple pleasure show about life on the road and the immortal love people have for music, whether it be a new band or an old departed group of musicians. Crowe may or may not get a second season, but Roadies is a true pleasure and White is one of the big reasons why. 

Showtime 

Showtime 

~Joe Maddon isn't an asshole, folks. He's simply playing a heel to the end of the road and back. As the captain of a young rebellious Cubs team, Maddon has left his old warm and fuzzy grandpa Tampa Bay routine in the shed and pulled out this pop culture activated skit that plays so well in the Midwest. He enrages Cards fans with his comments and fires up Cubs fans. The National Media loves him so much they would gift wrap a World Series to the Cubs just so they could start production on the Netflix original film about his 20 year coaching career. I don't hate the Cubs, but Maddon appropriately pisses me off. He's playing a role and playing it well. 

~Who gets the bottom of my boot this week? Drivers who slow way down before they change lanes or make a turn. Please, for the love of The Nutcracker's scotch bar, make the move. I am not a road warrior. I don't drive 20 over the speed limit. I mostly obey the rules. No one completely follows suit out there but I try to every day. These asshats try to slow it all down while they depart the road into the nearby parking lot and guess what? Most of the time, they slow down on purpose just to make the person in route behind them mad. It's true. It shouldn't take an act of Congress to make you change lanes. Be better tomorrow. 

That's it. Five quick express doses. Boom! A final word of advice for my We Are Live Radio Live Blog reading homies: Don't let uncertainty drown your ambitions. If we were all unafraid of uncertain futures, nothing would get done. Dreams would be complete fairy tales. Keep pushing, lady and gent friends. Nothing is handed to you in this life or guaranteed. You have to go out and get it. You have to work hard and bust your ass in the pursuit of something others will you is unattainable. Forget tomorrow. Win today. 

As the great Henry Rollins said, "There's no such thing as down time. There's only life time."

Thanks for reading and do me a favor. Go kick Monday's ass. Tuesday may just blink.