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2/04/08 NAAM 2008
3/04/08 Allan Holdsworth

4/06/08 Takin' it all for Granted

5/14/08 Oil Trouble

8/26/08 The Olympics

10/30/08 Fiscal Castration

1/4/08

Well here we go again. Another year by the wayside. *cue soft lilting chamber music*.  Now is the time to reflect back on the year and see what we have done to make the world a better place. How we've improved upon mankind and how we have bettered our enviroment. Are we leaving a smaller carbon footprint?  Are we providing as noble an effort as the high priest of global warming Al Gore?...with his 20,000 square foot mansion and private jet?  Have we contributed enough to the "green" solutions so that they can take it upon themselves and outlaw incandescent lighting by 2012? (not sure if that made sense but I'm on a roll)  I really hate when people tell me how to live. How 'bout that $100 per barrel pricetag on oil?  God I love paying so much for gas!!  It just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside knowing that all those speculators on Wall Street are siphoning all the money out of my wallet. Oh and how 'bout the list of candidates.  Quite the bumper crop we have this time around.  I gotta tell ya I'm not feelin' it for any of 'em. The Iowa caucus proved to be interesting with Obama taking the lead for the Dems and Huckabee coming in first for the Republicans.  The race should be fun to watch, kinda like a car wreck in slow motion.  Another thing that's buggin' the hell out of me is how in the red ripening hell do you get in touch with a real person at optimum online?  Holy sweet and sour jesus!! I have barely any fucking service today and when I call there is no choice for tech support!!  There is no real fucking person!!  Push 1 for frustration, push 2 for absolute stupidity, push 3 for beastiality.  Where is push 4 for a carbon based life form!!  I can't even download the java to start a chat session with these boneheads!!  I guess I'm a bit testy today.  Oh well.

 

Off to the NAMM show in Anaheim on 1/17.  Full report to follow.

 

Chris, Nick and I will be heading to Jungle Room Studios (Bohemian Productions) on 1/5 to record bass and drum tracks for our track on the upcooming Jeff Beck Tribute CD.  Full report to follow.

 

Original project progressing.  Led Boots is tight and Protocosmos is gettin' there.  We'll be starting another original off Azrael Block called Difunckt, should be fun.  No further gigs lined up as of yet.

 

We will be hosting an improvisation workshop at UMusic on 1/26.  Students/$15, public/$20.  Start time is 4pm, ends at 5:30pm+.  Also on 3/9 we will be hosting another performance/clinic with the great Allan Holdsworth.  He will be bringing bass great Jimmy Johnson and drummer extraordinaire Chad Wackerman. There is only a select amount of tickets so if you are interested call us now at 914.736.7777 to get ticket info.  They will go very fast.

 

Found this on sevenstring.org, very funny!

HEAVY METAL:
The protagonist arrives on a Harley, kills the dragon, drinks a few beers and fucks the princess.

THRASH METAL:
The protagonist arrives, fights the dragon, saves the princess and fucks her.

POWER METAL:
The protagonist arrives riding a white unicorn, escapes from the dragon, saves the princess and makes love to her in an enchanted forest.

FOLK METAL:
The protagonist arrives with some friends playing accordions, violins, flutes and many more weird instruments, the dragon falls sleep (because of all the dancing). Then they all leave… without the princess.

VIKING METAL:
The protagonist arrives in a ship, kills the dragon with his mighty axe, skins the dragon and eats it, rapes the princess to death, steals her belongings and burns the castle before leaving.

DEATH METAL:
The protagonist arrives, kills the dragon, fucks the princess and kills her, fucks her again, then leaves.

BLACK METAL:
The protagonist arrives at midnight, kills the dragon and impales it in front of the castle. Then he sodomizes the princess, and drinks her blood in a ritual before killing her. Then he impales the princess next to the dragon.

GORE METAL:
The protagonist arrives, kills the dragon and spreads its guts in front of the castle, fucks the princess and kills her. Then he fucks the dead body again, slashes her belly and eats her guts. Then he fucks the carcass for the third time, burns the corpse and fucks it for the last time.

DOOM METAL:
The protagonist arrives, sees the size of the dragon and thinks he could never beat him, then he gets depressed and commits suicide. The dragon eats his body and the princess as dessert. That’s the end of the sad story.

PROGRESSIVE METAL:
The protagonist arrives with a guitar and plays a solo of 26 minutes. The dragon kills himself out of boredom. The protagonist arrives at the princess’s bedroom, plays another solo with all the techniques and tunes he learned in the last year at the conservatory. The princess escapes looking for the “HEAVY METAL” protagonist.

GLAM METAL:
The protagonist arrives, the dragon laughs at the guy’s appearance and lets him enter. He steals the princess’ make-up and tries to paint the castle in a beautiful pink color.

NU METAL:
The protagonist arrives in a run-down Honda Civic and attempts to fight the dragon but he burns to death when his moronic baggy clothes catch fire.

GRINDCORE:
The protagonist arrives, screams something completely undecipherable for about 2 minutes and then leaves.

INDUSTRIAL METAL:
The protagonist arrives wearing a greasy overcoat, makes obscene gestures towards the dragon and gets escorted out of fairy tale land by security guards.

EMOCORE:
The protagonist's mother drives the protagonist and his friends to the castle. He kills the dragon with some awesome arm-spinning and spin-kicking while his friends observe the scene with their arms crossed; then the princess laughs at the protagonists ridiculous hairstyle and the boys leave weeping.

PUNK:
The protagonist hitchhikes to the castle, asks the dragon for some bucks, buys some cans of beer, gets pissed, insults the princess as “monarchist cunt” and “commerce bitch” and leaves the castle in a black maria.

PORNO GRIND:
The Protagonist arrives at the castle without any clothes on and grunts loudly for a few minutes. Then he fucks the dragon in every body cavity it has, kills the dragon, fucks the carcass the same way again, grunts loudly again for a few minutes, grabs the princess and fucks her in every body cavity she has, kills her and fucks her in the same way again. Then he piles up the dragon’s and princess’s remains, fucks them in every body cavity they have, grunts loudly and screams senselessly for a few minutes. Then he leaves.

POP ROCK:
The protagonist arrives in a limo. The dragon lets them in as long as they sign an autograph for its mom who is a big fan. The protagonist leaves with the princess and they get married.

GOTHIC METAL:
The protagonist arrives along with a cold wind of winter in the middle of the night, frustrates the heck out of the dragon until it dies of fear and desolation, comes to the princess and discusses how to clean make- ups without inflicting skin irritation.

METALCORE:
The protagonist swings his feet and arms about wildly, accidentally knocking the dragon out. Then he storms off in anger that someone messed up his dance routine.

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2/4/08

January was a very big month. A lot of cool stuff went down but first I must refrain from the oncoming hoo ha with a little unvaluable insight that is known as the moronalogue. Lets talk bass. I play bass, and man I LOVE playing bass. What I don't get is why aren't there more bass players around? This question you will see is quite rhetorical. I think the major problem is that the bass players hold a somewhat non-glorious role in the traditional rock band.  Since most musicians have an inflated ego they go for the more "showy" type roles.  Such as lead guitarist or singer.  The drummer seems to get more attention than the bass player.  Hmmmmmmmmmmm... Quite unfair I think.  Could it be because of their dual roles? Playing both sides of the fence (rhythm, melody).  Could it be because the general populuous thinks that just because they play 4 string that are not "bright" enough for 6?  Maybe its the whole not playing chords thing.  Or not soloing maybe? All these are of course popular misconceptions.  Basses come with more then 4 strings. See below:

So you get the idea.  As far as soloing well, how 'bout guys like:

Jeff Berlin or Bunny Brunel.

These guys are absolute masters on their instruments.  And there are many more!  Guys like Gary Willis, Victor Wooten, Jaco Pastorius.  Hell if it weren't for players like John Paul Jones, Geddy Lee, Billy Sheehan, and Steve Harris nobody would even know the bass guitar existed!  Laying down a proper groove is an artform unto itself.  Soloing?  Well soloing on bass is just as challenging if not more so than on guitar.  Players like Jeff Berlin make it look sooooo easy but in reality its far from it.  Next time you're listening to the radio or your favorite CD turn up the bass and check out what that guy with the really thick strings is doing.  You may be pleasantly surprised. :-).

 

NAMM REPORT:

I want to say thanks to my cousin Neil for helping me out with the passes.  By the way it was totally amazing seeing him again after 34 years, yes 34 years.  It turns out that we are very very much alike.  First off we look alike, we both play guitar, we both drink nothing but seltzer all day and we both have a lot of the same mannerisms too.  Really wierd! For me, hooking up with him again was by far the best part of the trip.  Oh and check out his product PikCard. Very cool idea and he will be adding whole lot more to his product line very soon.

On to NAMM! What can I say? The NAMM Show is completely and utterly freakin' awesome.  As a first timer I was the guy with the mouth hanging open with the drool hanging down. First off the show is GIGANTIC.  Over 1600 exhibitors!  Over the course of the 3 days that I was there (Fri, Sat, Sun) I'm sure I missed quite a bit.  Believe me you need at the very least 7 days to check out the whole show.  Basically what you do during the show is walk around and whatever you find interesting you check out. You get a guide to all the exhibitors and where they are and who is performing where. Since I enjoy the technical aspects of music (recording, production etcetc) I visited a lot of the big names in that field, including: Steinberg, Digidesign, East West, Presonus, Roland, Korg, Mackie and Universal Audio.  All the booths (and I use that term loosely because Roland didn't have a booth, they had an acre), were well staffed and a lot of the bigger companies held clinics on their products as well as demos/performances. As a guitarist/bassist I spent a lot of time checkin' out all the new stuff coming out in "08 and all the one offs and wacky customs.  I spent a bunch of time over at the Carvin booth and seriously eyeballed a 6 string fretless bass.  They had a bunch of new guitars showcased and a few sevenstrings as well. We checked out a demo by Nevermore guitarist, Jeff Loomis, over at the Schecter booth.  Also watched Jeff Berlin jam with Danny Gottlieb.  Basically you can walk into any "booth" and pick up an instrument and check it out.  Very cool! It was very interesting to say the least to see so many of my influences just walking around and hanging out.  Very wild.  Click on the pics.  There all popups just so you know :-).

           
           
           
           
           
           
           

On Saturday nite Chris and I went to the fabled "Baked Potatoe" and saw CAB (Tony MacAlpine, Virgil Donati, Bunny Brunel, Mitch Forman).  Amazing performance and you could'nt ask for better seats (2 feet away).  Virgil was amazing, scary amazing. Tony and Bunny were playing their Carvin sig models. They played a lot of our favs and were funny and gracious.  It was a great time.

 

The session at Jungle Room for the new Jeff Beck tribute cd was semi productive.  The drums got done and Nick did a GREAT job. Me and Chris tried to lay down some stuff but it wasn't happening so we're going back 2/9 to hopefully wrap up rhythm tracks. I'll be doin the lead stuff at my place. 

The "Get The Led Out" cd dropped and should be in stores near you very soon.  The disk sounds great and everyone did such a killer job at interpreting their Zeppelin favorites.

 

UMusic recital coming up on 3/1.  Lots of great pieces going to be played.  Try and make it if you can.

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3/4/08

Well the ides of March are upon us so buckle up and change yer drawers 'cause who knows what's gonna happen this month.  This months moronalogue shall be dedicated to one of my favorite guitar players who has graced this planet with his sonic genius and totally unique approach to music...quite an intro, wouldn't you say?  And the absolute travesty that he is not recognized more readily with the substantial financial reward that he so deserves.  Pick up this month's Guitar Player magazine and you'll see who I'm referring to.  What is this? You don't have a copy ON HAND? Well if you are interested on finding out who changed the face of guitar playing on the planet I highly suggest you go to yer local Quicky Mart and pick up a copy...

Ok now that your back.  Lets talk about the guy on the cover, Allan Holdsworth.  If you've seen any of my other updates you'd know that I've been lucky enough to hang out with Allan quite a few times.  He's performed at UMusic 3 or 4 times now and is coming back in May.  We are psyched about that!  He is soft spoken and self depracating almost to a fault.  I'm quite sure he doesn't realize the impact he's made on modern guitar playing.  He's very self critcal and won't even listen to any recorded material of his more than 2 years old.  His equipment is really nothing out of the ordinary. In fact most of isn't even made anymore. That liquidy sound that you hear isn't from a bazillion dollar preamp or racks and racks of processing.  It's predicated on the Yamaha Magic Stomp. Yeah I know, Allans tone coming from a stomp box?  Well yeah, to a very large degree it is. Also he uses H&K Zentera Head and Switchblade combos with the obligatory 4x12 cabinets. This is pretty much off the shelf equipment.  Yet he still gets that singing sustain and violin tone that he has practically trademarked.  They say that tone is in the fingers, I'm beginning to believe that.

What's absolutely criminal in my mind is the fact that Mr. Holdsworth doesn't have the noteriety that he really deserves.  To be honest I haven't seen him in a guitar rag in a pretty long time.  Shame really.  While we see Hendrix, Van Halen, Slash, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Eric Clapton over and over again the less known but still paradigm alterning guitarists are sadly left out.  I wanna see guys like the late Shawn Lane, Frank Gambale, John McLaughlin, Brett Garsed, TJ Helmerich and Greg Howe get their due.  These are amazing players that deserve some press!  Anyway I'm ranting. So back to Allan.  The write up is great.  Reading about the history and all the amazing people he has played with is mind boggling.  Guys like the late Tony Williams, Jeff Berlin, Bill Bruford, Allan Pasqua, Eddie Jobson, and Jean Luc Ponte.  Also what's really cool is that they have quotes of some more "well known" artists and how Allan has effected their playing. Read on:

"When I hear Allan playing the guitar - besides being emotionally swept away by his use of melodic color-most of the time, I am utterly stunned and confused by what I am hearing. His chops and inner ear completely defy my own innner musical eye and reasoning, and I'm left in a blissful state of humilty and surrender" - Steve Vai.

"Hearing Allan's guitar playing for the first time was a cathartic experience. His guitar sang, it pushed musical boundaries, and it rocked. His brilliant apporoach to harmony is completely original, beautiful, and spellbinding.  His technique and improvisational skills make hinm a true guitar god-the jaw dropping kind that influenced many a player in all styles of music..."-Joe Satriani

"Holdworth is so damned good that I can't cop anyting. I can't understand what he's doing. I've got to do this (does two hand tapping) whereas he'll do it with one hand" - Eddie Van Halen

"Allan plays legato parts like a violinist. His right hand might as well be a bow because his left hand his like Paganini's.  You can call his playing whatever you want to, but it will still fry your brain if you try to figure it out. John McLaughlin, Michael Stern, John Scofield-all of us just scratch our heads and go '"Damn!"' - Carlos Santana

So it's nice to see that the more commercial artists see Allan as somewhat of a guitar deity :-). It would be nice if the mass populace did as well.  Then Allan would'nt have to worry about things like money.  Allan we'll be stopping by UMusic on 5/25/08 for a performance and clinic so if yer up for seeing the man himself give us a buzz at (914)736-7777 and reserve your seat.

 

The Jeff Beck Tribute release date has been pushed back a few months. Things are very busy over at BHP so scheduling has been hellish. Looks like a summer release. 

 

On an upside I got endorsed by Carvin! I'm very psyched about this 'cause I'm really diggin' their instruments. Been playing them exclusively since 2001 and now I have an excuse to git some more!

 

Me, Chris and Nick are starting to play out a bit more as of late. Our first official gig was at the Keltic House on 2/15.  Gig went pretty well.  I was damn jumpy so I unfortunatley sprinkled some bad notes around.  Nothing horrific but it still bugged me.  People say I'm hypercritical about my playing, I dunno, I think its ok to judge yourself harshly.  Makes you better. Anyway the second gig was at PJ's over in Mahopac on 3/1. This one went much better.  The first couple of songs were tough but once I settled in it seemed a bit smoother.  We did the gig with Sanction and they were great.  We all had a great time.  Next gig coming up is at The Chance on 4/4 and after that we're playing at Victor's in Hawthorne on 4/18.  Should be interesting.

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4/6/08

"Things taken for granted."  A pretty common phrase that is constantly thrown around.  Its kinda lost its potency over time. Since I'm sure your parents have said it to you as much as mine have to me.  Now that I"m a father its interesting how the torch is passed and now I catch myself saying it to my son. (and it ensues) It's funny, I grew up in the '80s and I managed to watch technology change over time at an alarming rate. I remember when I was little and seeing a calculator for the first time. It totally blew me away.  "you mean it adds, subracts, multiplies, and divides FOR you?" How cool is that!  I remember in junior high school going to video arcades and playing the "state of the art" games.  Games like Tempest, Galaga, Missile Command and Centipede.  Dropping quarters like they were going out of style. Staring into that black CRT screen testing my meddle against the best in vector and pixel based entertainment. Pretty cool.  I guess I'm bringing this up because I have interaction with today's youth through teaching and I watch these kids with the latest and greatest technogadgets ie cell phones, texting away to eachother.  Shooting videos and sending them via phone. Its truly amazing how far we've come in such a short amount of time. Heck I remember my first computer. Packard Bell 486 sx 25mhz with 4 megs of ram and 384 meg harddrive.  How's that for a boat anchor.  Granted the games I was able to play on that went far beyond my old Atari 2600.  Games like DOOM II, Rise of the Triad, and Duke Nukem.  Anybody remember dial up? How 'bout dialing in to Prodigy at 2400bauds.  It would take 30seconds for a picture to appear in your browser.  Everything was pretty much text based back then. How 'bout when personal computers first came out.  I remember back when my family got an Apple Macntosh machine. All in one with a monochrome screen. Pretty crazy. Alot of kids don't even know what it would be like to not have a phone, ipod, computer.  Would they resort to things like writing a letter to someone, maybe going outside and getting some exercise? Nah. I guess we all take things for granted.  I remember my great grandmother telling me how her family was the first to have a "water closet" inside their house. Running water, electricity, heat...these things I guess we kinda overlook.  Imagine what its going to be like when our kids are in our position.  They'll be looking back and saying how they remember their first cell phone was HUGE.  They had to actually carry it around instead of intalling the "communication mod" into the chip in the back of their head.

 

Just a reminder that Allan Holdsworth and his band will be stopping by UMusic on 5/25/08 for a performance and clinic. Call us at (914)736-7777 and reserve your seat because they will go fast.

 

I finally got my rhythm tracks done to Led Boots which will be on the BHP produced "El Becko" tribute to Jeff Beck. Chris laid down his bass tracks and I have to get my solos done. Hopefully this week.

 

The band is doing well.  We played the Chance on 4/4 and it was pretty damn cool.  There were a lot of bands on the bill so we all had around a half hour to play which kinda sucked but that's life.  I wanna say thanks to all who came down and supported us, meant a lot.  Also props to Panic Rev for being cool and hangin out. Great guys.

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5/14/08

Little late on the update this month. Thankfully Jeff reminded me. Speaking of Jeff he's got a new site up and I must say it looks pretty damn sweet. Have a look and stop by the "songs" section to check out some old RoadHead/CoAx tunes. It was great listening to those again!

So a week ago I looked at the old odometer on my wheels and it said that it was time to get the oil changed. Not one of my favorite things to do due to the waiting 'n so forth. (moronalogue ensues). So I head on down to the local "quicky oil change" joint and get ready to plunk down a chunk 'o change to extend the life of my vehicle. So I park my wheels, leave the key in and check in with the hostess. Nice enough girl, says it should take about 20 minutes. Cool. I brought a book, 'cause I'm a nerd like that, and sat down to go through a chapter. Well needless to say after 20 minutes one of the techs walk in and wants to sit down to talk to me about my car. I look up and say "yeeees?".  Well this dude is all about sellin' me this and that and how I need this done and that done.  If I did everything that he wanted me to do I would have been out at least $300.00...for a fucking oil change? I politley declined his offer and just asked for new wiper blades and went back to reading. Well after about 20 more minutes and my wallet becoming $60.00 lighter my chariot was awaiting me out front. I get in and drive away thinking how happy I am that that was over. Well it wasn't quite over yet. Now I'm not a car mechanic nor do I pretend to be one but as a couple of days passed my nose started to notice something that wasn't quite right. Everytime I stopped there was this hideous odor emanating from my car. I had no idea what it was. Then I figured that the guys down at the "quicky oil change" joint must have accidentally spilled some oil in my engine or something. I figured it would burn off in a day or so, so I ignored it. Big mistake. Well at band practice bass player/automotive technician/guru Chris Saas said "hey dude, you got some oil on the front of your hood. You'd best open that thing and see what's what". Well lo and behold those extraordinarily bright fellows down at the "quicky oil change" place forgot to put my oil cap back on. Now thankfully I don't have to drive far to the studio, only like 10 minutes. But needless to say I was fairly fucking pissed off. So Chris and I took his van to pick up some oil to dump in my vehicle. Nick (drummer) was also kind enough to run to work and locate a rubber stopper (he works in a lab) to plug up the gaping hole in my engine block. My wife was also kind enough to run out and order a new oil cap from our local autoparts store as well.

The next morning I figured I should probably stop by the oil change place and have a chat with 'em. Now initially I was going to be somewhat of a dick but then a cooler head prevailed and I thought that I would have better results if I was calm and somewhat rational. So I walk in and one of the techs comes over and asks if he could help me. (silly question). I said yes and told him my tale of woe. I made it short. He then proceeded to get the manager. Nice guy. Now this is the funny part. I explained what happened to him and then he had my car brought in to be checked. Yep, oil all over the engine. He then tells me, that it was probably the vibration from the engine that unscrewed the cap..................what? He says it again. I looked at him and started to laugh. Then I told him that if the vibration from the engine unsrcrewed that oil cap that the roads would be littered with oil caps. He then quickly back pedaled and had my engine washed, my account credited and gave me a coupon for a free oil change. Decent enough compensation.

 

Just a reminder that Allan Holdsworth and his band will be stopping by UMusic on 5/24/08 for a performance and clinic. Call us at (914)736-7777 and reserve your seat tickets because they will go fast.

 

Led Boots is now done. It just has to be mixed and it will be ready to go on BHP's "El Becko" tribute to Jeff Beck. 

 

II've been working pretty steadily (well as steady as I can) on my new studio build. It's goin pretty well. I have a the new wall containing the entryway framed, sheetrocked/taped and painted. I covered two of the walls in the room with 1x6 tongue and groove knotty pine. And I discovered a small room that was hidden behind a wall so I made a small hatch into it so I can use it for storage. I still have to put down a new floor and paint the ceiling and the two walls. So close yet so far...

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8/26/08

Ok, looks like I haven't been here in a while. *blows dust off of homepage*. Three months is a pretty long time, if your a gnat, but us humans can take it all in stride (look like I haven't lost my sarcastic edge :-), but I digress.

Geez where to start hmmmm...Hey how about those Olympics? Michael Phelps on the box of frosted flakes and everybody's bitching because he should have been on a more healthier type cereal like shredded wheat. Ever have shredded wheat? Don't 'cause it tastes like shredded cardboard. Anyway big congrats to him, 8 gold medals, good for him and I don't give a shit if he's on the cover of Count Chocula the dude kicked major ass. Nice kid too. No ego, no attitude. He's all about the sport, competition and fun of swimming. And to think that French dude was talking trash to him before the race..."how you doin?!"

Interesting correlation I picked up on as far as track and field. The farther the distance the runner has to run the more humility he has. Think on it. Mr Bolt while giving a spine tingling performance in the 100, man he just pulled away and even broke form at the end. While he was quite short on the time was quite long on the narcissism. Kinda disappointing. While the Gold Medal Kenyan marathoner was so humble and seemed very proud and appreciative. It seems the more you suffer the more modest you become. Also the US Gold Medal winner in the Decathalon seems like such a nice guy, Brian Clay I believe his name was. Again a 2 day grueling event and he totally kicked ass. Good for him.

The gymastics was indeed also fun to watch. I tell you the most intense thing was watching the men's rings competition. How in the hell do they make themselves stay in those seemingly impossible positions. Talk about strength. The girls to were cool to watch as well (easy there keep your mind out of the gutter). And I gotta tell you those Chinese girls were way below 16, no doubt about it. They were like 12 a the most. I thought Nastia Lukien (sp?) was spectacular. To be honest I think she got ripped off on the beam competition. She shoulda got gold.

Also the women's beach volleyball (again...how you doin?). They're in their 20's-30's so gawking can be done with no guilt or creepiness. The gold medal match against China was amazing.

This was the first time in a long time that I actually made it a point to try to tune in to the games and it was well worth it.

 

The Holdsworth show that took place in May was as usual awesome. The lineup was Allan, Chad Wackerman and Ernest Tibbs. Great bunch of guys playing other worldly music.

 

The Jeff Beck tribute is going to be available on 10/10/08. I heard a bunch of tracks off of it and it sounds great. Oh and Sony picked it up so availablility should be even better! We just finished our track on the Jimi Hendrix Tribute that should be dropping this year. We did "Fire" and it turned out very nice...very heavy :-). I used a talk box on it a la Peter Frampton. I had never used one before and it was a major pain in the ass. The premise is cool though. Basically you plug your guitar into the "box" and then you take the plastic tube (1/2" in diameter) and stick it in yer yapper. Then basically your mouth becomes the amplifier so you're obviously miked. So you then play the guitar while mouthing the words you want to say. Really strange, and takes a lot of practice, at least for me. Our next adventure is the Eric Clapton Tribute. We picked our tune and we're working on the arrangement now. Sounds pretty cool so far. Oh and we're going to be on TV come September, local cable show. If there are any details I'll follow up.

 

The studio is pretty much completed. Yay! What an absolute shit ton of work, but worth it...I hope. So where I left off was that I put up the new wall and put up some 1x6 knotty pine on two of the walls. Well since then I managed to put down a new floor (engineered laminate), I made 14 2'x4' broadband acoustic panels which are hung in the two back corners and liberally on the walls. Painted the ceiling and the other two walls. Made and installed the hatch door to the room under the stairs (which is where all my guitars are now. Put in a new 3' entry door, and trimmed all the windows and doors. Put together the new audio desk (Omnirax Force 12) and popped in some rack gear (still need to do a bit more wiring though). Everything is pretty much up and running and I'm actually tracking now. I'm running Samplitude and BFD2 for now. I'm hoping to get a couple of soft synths and a new controller in the near future.

That's all I got.

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10/30/08

Back in time for Halloween. I figured its time for an update since I haven't been here since the late summer.

With the election heating up and the economy firmly wedged in the shitter things have been very interesting.  I don't like to get political on the web 'cause it ain't smart and I consider myself not fully informed.  I can also be an opinionated bastard sometimes :-). I do think that this is a truly historic election on many different levels and that everyone should do what they truly believe in their heart is right. With that out of the way lets chat briefly about the economy. Ho boy look at what our friends at Wall St. have gotten us into.  We also can't forget about all the subprime loans given out either.  You know what really pisses me off is that these big Wall St. firms, AIG etc, are still spendin' the money. OUR MONEY!! We freakin' bail these idiots out and they're takin' vacations and getting massages. WTFWTFWTFWTF!!!  These guys need to be fiscally castrated NOW!

 

I finally finished my studio (for the most part). It came out pretty darn good, if I do say so myself :-).  I did bust my ass on it for 4 months of long weekends. I'll try and post some pics soon. Been trying to track consistently in it and have had some success. I have the basics (rhy guits, drums, bass, synths) down for 3 tunes. The tunes are pretty wacky.  Lots of odd time and weird changes. A nice dose of prog thrash as well. I think I'm gettin' feisty in my old age :-). Due to the band I've also been listening to a bunch of Yes lately (Fragile, Close to the Edge etc), and kinda been absorbing some of their influence. Not necessarily their riffs but more like their concepts.  The band has been working on putting together a series of medleys, one of them being Yes. All instrumental with the guitar playing the vocal melody. Anyway we've been dissecting these songs and I've really been quite fascinated by what I've seen.  The amount of counterpoint alone could be a course at any music school.  Also seeing how they float different time signatures on top of eachother is pretty cool too. I've been listening to these guys for years but I never really took the time to critically examine their music. Anyway I'm starting to incorporate more of these ideas into what I've been doing except in my style of writiing.  Should be interesting. At least I hope so.

Also starting to put together a free instructional video for strictly beginner guitar. This is for a complete beginner so it'll cover things like proper posture while playing, the proper way to hold the pick, the note system, basic open position chords and a scale or two. Should be entertaining since I've never really video taped myself. Its being edited now so hopefully soon I'll have something up to show.

 

Like I mentioned above the band is currently puttin' together some cool instrumental medleys that we are going to attempt to play out in the near future. Yes is the first, (the songs so far are Roundabout, Heart of the Sunrise, and Long Distance Runaround) then we'll start working on one for Rush. Later will come one for Zeppelin and then a funk type of revue. Should be fun. 

The Jeff Beck tribute that we played on has been released so it should be in stores if not now then very soon. We contributed Beck's famous "Led Boots". Be sure to check it out!

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