Thursday, October 12, 2006

Rejuvenate Your Tired Old Jukebox

Own a Jukebox? You win...

I've been listening to some new (to me) music lately and thought I would share it with you.

I don't feel that I'm some music expert or that my tastes are better than yours but this list of bands may be a little eclectic and isn't for everyone. Here is a list of albums that have been tickling my fancy...Which is kind of sore now...

Redeemer by Norma Jean.
My great friend Josh let me borrow this album and it's a fine piece of audio enjoyment. I have heard some of their other/older stuff from my friend Aaron, but I don't think I was given enough time to really understand them as a band. The album is pretty heavy with tons of screaming vocals-which is nothing new to my music collection-but their compositions are really interesting. These guys can play their instruments and have no problem putting every emotion into one song. If you want your face melted off, take a listen.
Listen to: A Grand Scene For a Color Film, Blueprints for Future Homes

Carnavas by Silversun Pickups
I found this band while listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Hi My Name Is Mark, which is hosted by Mark Hoppus-formerly of Blink 182. On the podcast Mark will play songs from bands that he's friends with and then bands that he has discovered. Usually I don't really like the bands that he plays. Since he's gotten into producing bands, he'll play bands that he is helping record and we just don't seem to agree. On the last podcast he played a band called Silversun Pickups. I loved the song right away. Silversun Pickups blend the atmospheric elements of Radiohead and loud guitars of early Smashing Pumpkins. Take a listen if you can.
Listen to: Three Seed, Well Thought Out Twinkles

End of The Heartache by Killswitch Engage
We'll now travel back to the land of loud. I had heard so much about this band but didn't really feel like a band called "Killswitch Engage" would fit into my CD collection...Even I can be narrow-minded. These guys have always been regarded as amazing musicians and I tend to enjoy bands that can play as well as write. I don't remember when I first heard and liked them but when I found out their guitarist produced one of my favorite new CD's, I thought I would give them a try. Their guitarist, Adam Dutkiewicz, produced the album Define the Great Line by Underoath. The album sounded amazing so I thought maybe his own music might be as amazing...I was right.
The End of the Heartache is full of tight guitar playing, amazing rhythms, spot-on vocals along with great lyrics.
The more I write this "review" of the album, the more I realize why I hate album reviews.
Listen, I really like the album, and I think you should at least give it a try...
Listen to: The End of the Heartache, When Darkness Falls

Here Come the Noise Makers by Bruce Hornsby
This guy has been around for a long time-not only in the music scene but within my musical history. Here Come the Noise Makers is a collection of live tracks that were performed over a two year period. There are many of his "hits" and a couple songs that he hadn't played in some time. I can honestly say that you will never hear Bruce play one of his songs the same way twice in concert. He has sped up some of his classics and added new life to some of his lesser known songs. It is a joy to hear him play with his band; communicating through their instruments. It's worth your time.
Listen to: The Road Not Taken, The Valley Road, Sunflower Cat/It Takes A Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry

Follow the links, hopefully some of the songs I mentioned are on the artist's myspace page. Let me know what you think.

Crafting my first Cornhusk flute,

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Story of a Small-ish Tattoo

Okay...So now that I've mentioned the Tattoo, I guess I'll talk about it first.

Yesterday, October 5th, I drove quite a distance (from my house) to Immaculate Tattoo in Mesa, Arizona. Two and a half months prior, I had set up my appointment with the brilliant Aaron Coleman. The two and a half month wait should be a glimpse at how good and in demand that he is.

When I first made the appointment, I had many ideas in my head-sexy nurses, cobwebs, the Carl's Jr. logo..But I had to focus myself, I needed something great. I really wanted Japanese waves and vines to cover the top half of my right arm. I already have a swallow and the word "saved" tattooed on the arm-both in a traditional style (Right- my second tattoo done by the wonderful Alex Empty).

I wish I could give you a better history of American/Traditional style and Japanese Style but it's just so long...use Google.

Since both of my current tattoos were in a traditional style, Aaron stated that Japanese waves and vines may ruin the theme I already had going. I really wanted to keep the vine idea-it stems from a bible verse: John 15:5

I also liked the way Traditional style roses looked-especially the roses that Aaron Does so we incorporated those into the vine idea. I also wanted Nicole's name on me so I thought a banner over the top rose with her name in it would be neat-o. She actually tried to talk me out of it- she thought it was kinda weird but I said, "Nicole, I really want to make this work, I want to make this last..." I won.

Here is a timeline of sorts:

Before the tattoo...A little worried

Getting the stencil applied

Getting the outline done

The outline is done...And so is my muscular physic. I did the "half shirt" because it was really cold in the room...yes...that sounds about right...

Onto Shading and making the roses red...

I'm not going to hurts...


The finished Product...well almost...two more sittings and it will be done.

Hope you all enjoyed that little recap.


Monday, September 25, 2006

I've Rediscovered the Internet...(UPDATED)

For a while now, I've gone through the same routine (as stated in a past blog) every day of going to the same internet sites and just refreshing, refreshing and more refreshing.

In the past couple of days, I've rediscovered the cornucopia that the internet truely is.

Here are some sites I've been visiting and LOVING:

For Musicians Only- I actually found this today. I'm constantly looking for music-based equipment online. I love finding little known boutique amp companies. I like finding sites that sell items that I would never find at my local music store. This site sells effects pedals, used guitars and amps, vintage gear and offers lots of vintage effects info. This site may not be for everyone (the title somewhat states that) but it's fun for me. This site is such a fun place to look for recipes. I like looking at all the show hosts and their take on food. Lately I've really enjoyed cooking and I have fallen in love with the idea of putting so many tastes and textures together to make wonderful food. Not that I'm an expert (yet) but constantly rejuvenate my love of cooking.

Brad's Page of Steel- After listening to a lot of Ben Harper, the Shins and Iron and Wine, I really wanted to learn how to play the Lap Steel guitar. Lap Steels aren't played like a conventional guitar. The strings are higher up (about 1/2 and inch off the fretboard) and the sound is typically more twangy and bright. To play a lap steel you usually use a bar and finger picks. Because of this site I was able to find out just about everything I needed to start playing the lap steel. Thanks to the site, I have also found some really cool lap steel recordings.

Trailer Trash Pedalboards- I found this site through Bogner Amplifiers-one of my favorite amp companies. These guys build transportable boards that you can put your effects pedals on. They not only make boards that hold the pedals, the create custom boards as well as wire the boards to your specific needs. Check out their gallery of all their custom boards...Amazing. Another example of art meeting necessity.

Craigs List- If you are super bored, this site is a water shed for selling anything and everything. You can even find people to barter with-you can trade services with people. Do you know how to install an irrigation system? You could help someone install one and in turn, they would come photograph your wedding...Come on! Put in your local city and see who is trying to give away a sun-rotted trampoline(s)!

The Smoking This is a great site, specifically for their "Backstage" area. The backstage area is a database of concert riders from your favorite performers. A rider is a document that states all the needs for a performer. It states the size of stage they need, what the sound system should look like and how many cases of beer should be back stage before and after the show. It's amazing how picky and ridiculous some performers are. Now you can look at all the dumb crap that Mariah Carey demands when she comes to you home town. Get an account and then tell me this isn't the greatest system ever. I dare you. Nicole and I have an account...It's so so so great. I get recommendations, I rate movies I've seen and I can set up my queue so that something new comes to my house as fast as I can send the last DVD back. They have just about everything.

Right after I posted this blog, I remembered this site:
To Write Love On Her Arms- I don't even want to try and explain this website. Please go and read the story. It's an amazing website and if you can, buy a shirt or something-it's a worthy cause.

Hopefully some of these can become YOUR new favorite sites.


Monday, September 11, 2006

My kingdom for a Warranty

It's been a while since anything I owned broke under warranty. It seems like everything I have breaks 2 to 3 minutes after the warranty has expired. Maybe the manufacture puts in a little explosive device that, after an exact year, destroys something that keeps the product working. Thankfully their are companies like Apple Computers that value the customer and make using their products easy and efficient.

For a month now my iPod has been freezing up more often and the screen has been doing this "scrolly" thing that doesn't hinder the devices productivity but man is it annoying. Here is a picture of the said problem:

As you can see, the numbers on the bottom are also seen at the top of the screen.

I happened to be by the Apple store in Chandler Fashion so I took it in.

The helpful lady in Apple said that they would wipe it of all it's contents and see if rebooting the iPod might fix the problem. She came back out and no dice...problem remained.

She then told me something so wonderful. She would give me a brand new iPod...right out of the box.

Now I have a new iPod and I'm loving it.

Now that I have talked about my iPod issue, I want to list a few of the greatest Audio/Visual inventions in my life time (1982 to Present):

1. iPod- People, this is the most amazing device ever created. I have EVERY CD I own and they all sit inside this little box of wonderment. I have about 300 CD's, songs that magically made their way onto my computer and quite a few podcasts; all equaling 3,334 songs.

2. TiVo- I don't own one but our friends have one and it's truly amazing. It stores all your favorite shows in it's little robot brain and lets you fast forward through commercials...amazing.

3. The Podcast- This really couldn't exist without the iPod, but it's so notable. To fully enjoy podcasts, you have to find one that really makes you want to listen. To fully explain, a podcast is a audio or visual "show" that you subscribe to. When the new show is released, it is updated on your iPod (or any other sub-par mP3 player). What I love is that if you stop listening to the podcast and move to a song or another podcast, you can return to the original podcast and you resume where you left off. The subscription aspect is also a joy because it's like getting a little gift every time a new one is released. Here are a few podcasts that you should check out:
Sound of Young America
The Best Show on WFMU
(These links are for iTunes. If you don't have it, please get it. You're doing yourself a huge favor)

Hopefully I have made your a little more aware of what's out there and I didn't sound like a spokes person for Apple Computers.

Until next time,


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Oh No! Oh My!

Going to concerts where you are unfamiliar with the performing bands can be a pretty risky venture. Also, if the venue is a art gallery, you could be stuck seeing some vaudevillian music performance where the singer is dressed like a rabbit and three people in white suits are just yelling into a microphone...could...

Last night Nicole and I got a call from her cousin, Nate, and he was coming up here from Tucson to see a band called Oh No! Oh My! He said the show was at the Modified, which is a performance based art gallery in downtown area. The Modified has a lot of cred in art circles but it also has a lot of character. One thing about the modified is that it attracts certain types of bands and certain types of people. The types of bands that it usually attracts are really artsy, avant garde bands that are all about the performance and not so much about the music. I don't want to sound snobby but I'm already an art student, I'm forced to see this stuff in school...a lot...

So, on the way to the show, I'm already a little leery. My band has played at the Modified so I'm bracing myself for all plywood floors and a rickety swamp cooler. We get there and watch one of the opening bands and they were pretty good-I'm sad I didn't catch their name. It was like a mixture of Iron and Wine meets older Shins. Next was Oh No! Oh My! so everyone walked towards the stage and the 6 man band started. The first song they played was "I Have No Sister" (at least I'm sure) and it was great. The band was really interactive with the audience and each other. They played for about 45 minutes to an hour and each song was great. In my opinion, they are a mixture of Atom and His Package, Death Cab for Cutie and The Format. They had a singer/guitarist, two guitar/keyboard players, bassist, drummer and trumpet player. Their music was upbeat, fun and poppy-a great mixture for a live show.

I really think all of you should go to their myspace site and check them out: Hopefully you won't be disappointed.

More to come later...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Vacation is Over

So...With the school year starting, my easy, TV-filled days are over. Between the classes that I have and my job, I'll be missing all of my favorite mid-day shows and won't be able to keep up with my empty myspace and yahoo inboxes.

My job, Classroom Technical Support, becomes the gripe/suggestion/help box of the school when classes start. For those of you who don't know, my duty is to deliver and assist with the audio/visual equipment at the school. If the instructor can't figure out the computer, I come and help them turn it on. If a instructor needs an overhead projector or a 16mm film projector circa-1972 for a course, I bring it to them. Unfortunately, now that classes have started and we have so many new teachers, I get calls every 3 minutes with questions, concerns and inquiries about my long distance carrier.

unfortunately I can't keep up with the Orange County Chopper family and will miss all my grill-inspired recipes from my friend Bobby Flay which all comes to me via electronic signals in the TV screen.

Oh well...


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Capitalized Numbers

Hey to those few that look at this.

I had seen the video for this cover song but wasn't able to get the mp3...until now. The band is Obadiah Parker and the song is called Hey Ya. Check it's one of my favorite cover songs of all time...not that I'm some cover song expert, but this one blows the original away. If you didn't see the links above...(shakes head in disgust)

Other than that, I've been getting ready for school. I've got some pretty cool classes this semester. Advanced Video Production, Advanced Video Production, American Military History, Visual Representation and Gallery Exibitions. I still can't believe that I can just be creative and get college credit for it. The only essays I see happening will be in the Military class but other than that, I'll have a lot of projects.

Okay, I'll be honest, I just wanted you all to hear the song...not a lot to talk about...

(runs away screaming),

Monday, August 14, 2006

I've found the end of the Internet...

I have two options at work in these slow summer times. I can either watch bad afternoon cable TV or cruise the World Wide Waste of time. I know, I know...this isn't a horrible job; actually it's a really really awesome job but the internet is too slow for my attention. All my favorite sites don't update hourly or sometimes even daily...poor me (insert emoticon holding flowers with it's heart beating in a cartoon fashion)

My choice of internet sites is pretty diverse and strange. Here is my usual routine when I get into work...actually; I just repeat this order every 15 minutes.

Come in, log on, clock in and then: for all my “normal” email look at all the messages I'm not receiving and then rifle through my "friend requests" that are mostly pornography or lame-o bands from the least developed parts of the U.S. for all the emo/harcore music news that can't be classified as "gossip" because the rumored death of From First To Last's singer isn't tragic nor news-worthy
My.Asu.Edu- this is my school email address. I get all the important news regarding my job and what I need to deliver next

Here are some sites that I visit intermittingly between the above sites: This site has a lot of hilarious videos of crotch shots from shopping carts and model airplanes going 200mph I need to know what's on! I watch Boy Meets Grill every day at 11:30am. I need to know what's cooking that day Everything I can't afford. My latest searches have been Roswell DVD (show that was on's brilliant, you just don't know it yet) and a Gibson Firebird Studio I'm getting my half-sleeve finished on Oct. 5th. Aaron Coleman is a genius...example of his work:

I'm sure I'm missing some more websites that I find along the way.

Again, if you think this Blog is too random for your tastes, stop coming. But to all that actually read this...your prize is in the mail. No need to tell my your address, I already know...(insert emoticon wearing an eye patch and punching a parrot)

Stand on the New Mexico and Texas state line and tell me it doesn't hurt,

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Gotta get this started...

Hey all. I just wanted to comment on another page but through a serise of events, I've started my own blog. I don't know how full/eventful this blog will be but hey, I don't have much else to do. If you are at this blog, leave a comment of how much better your blog is.

Here is a picture of some christmas-song playing.