While the markets are pulling back a tad today, earnings results so far – from the likes of Intel, JP Morgan, and Goldman – have been encouraging.  Of particular note was a quote from Goldman this morning, which characterized the global economy as having continued challenges, but that “we are seeing signs of improvement and stabilization – even growth – in some areas.”  This latter comment regarding “growth in some areas” is what I expect to see from more companies in the coming two quarters.  First, cost cuts, then improving revenues and even more leveraged earnings gains.

On an altogether different note, I’m taking my 13 year old son to his first rock concert tonight, as recently inducted Rock Hall of Fame members Metallica thrash Cleveland with their particularly loud and driving brand of heavy metal.  Somehow I didn’t quite think my son’s first concert would be with a group that was around when I was young, but in a way, it’s cool.  Way cooler, in fact, than if it were someone like the Jonas Brothers.  I think Guitar Hero has done a lot to introduce classic rock to today’s youth, which can’t be a bad thing, can it?   

Although I’m not a metal afficianado, I like Metallica, particularly after having watched a recent rockumentary about the group.  I admire them for surviving rock n roll’s ever present dark side, which seems to feast on the souls of everyone in the business, regardless of style or genre.  Surely, heavy metal fits the stereotype more than most, but few musicians prove immune to the temptations that accompany extreme levels of fame and fortune.  Founders Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield strike me as two highly creative, intelligent and enterprising musicians.  They are likable not because they are rock gods, but because they have experienced what it means to be human, face one’s demons, and survive.  

At 7am this morning, I purchased several sets of earplugs, thinking that the one’s I use with my chainsaw might be a bit much and perhaps a tad embarrasing, at least for my 13 year old.    

Bring it on Metallica…I’m ready.