Saturday, July 2, 2011

Quick blog for Saturday morn...

"Life... is like a bowling alley. Oh, you make some strikes... if you're lucky, a couple of spares. And nobody knows how to keep score. But, in the end, you have to rent ill-fitting smelly shoes that squeak." - Stimpson J. Cat

Just a little something for this morning. I thought maybe I could post other, lighthearted things on this blog, too, aside from just attempts at musical journalism. =p

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fair Use

My apologies, I usually try to post something everyday, but today I was a little side tracked. 'Went and saw my brother and law, and watched Pet Semetary, and left my unfinished blog open in a window on my computer. It was kind of a lengthy piece, so I won't be able to finish it tonight.

Until then, I'd like to share a video, which I thought would be appropriate after reading some... policy agreements. It's pretty self-explanatory.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Short and Sweet

Sorry, guys, I have nothing too lengthy today. I wanted to say that I really appreciate the comments I've been getting, and I hope I don't disappoint you guys!

Today is the birthday of a friend, and fellow local musician, Amanda P. aka If Humans Could Fly. She's a lone musician, who plays 90s and 00s rock covers, along with her own unique brand of original music. In our town, it's hard to get booked, if you're not playing the same imbecilic modern country songs everyone's heard a billion times, or if you're not playing incoherently screamed "metal" while dancing around like a jackass. To play music you personally think is good and actually get booked to play it is no small feat - and one If Humans Could Fly has most certainly accomplished.

Amanda is, by all accounts, very ambitious, and true to her own sense of aesthetics. If there were more people like her(*coughandmecough*), perhaps the scene in this city would be different.

Here's my favorite song of hers, dig that kick as intro:

Happy b-day, Amanda! And check out the rest of her music on her youtube channel! (same channel as the above video)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kitty cats, possums, and... country fusion?

We brought in this little kitten, the other day. Apparently, it was the only one out of the litter to have survived. The mother cat was long gone, possibly run over(we live near a busy intersection). It had been raining, so we decided it would be best to bring the cat in, even though it was pretty feral.

We feed a lot of cats around the complex. I have mixed feelings about it; we honestly shouldn't do it, because if we feed a few cats, then a bunch more are gonna start coming around, and that's not good. Still, it feels pretty cold blooded to let them go hungry, or die. Especially when you see them everyday.

On a funnier note, I was outside talking with some of the neighbors, and a possum comes out of nowhere! You'd think they be rummaging around at night, but apparently this one just couldn't wait! It gave my next door neighbor a scare, then ran off into the crawl space. Possums are generally harmless, but if they have rabies, they could bite and infect some of the pets around here. I suggested we call an exterminator to come take care of these things.

This kooky-looking group is the prodigious 70s/80s fusion group The Dixie Dregs. Now, if you're like a lot of people, you might not be into "country" music, because of how banal and insipid it can get, especially with modern country music. The Dregs, on the one hand, are a strictly instrumental group, with a rock n' roll jazz twist to the hoe-down madness.

The group was formed in Augustus, GA(my home state =p) in 1970 by Andy West and virtuoso guitarist Steve Morse. The line-up would change many times over the years, with even the great violinist, of Mahavishnu Orchestra fame, Jerry Goodman joining their ranks.

The Dregs pieced together a tight groove, with bluegrass, rock n' roll and funk overtones, blended with the then popular fusion scene, made popular by the likes of Miles Davis and John McLaughlin. Their music varies from incredibly technical, and diversely musical pieces, to more chilled-out commercial oriented, but still interesting, opuses.

I will say that my interest in this band comes in part from my geographical placement. I grew up surrounded by bluegrass/country stuff, so my liking this bands feels only natural. For those of you who are of the Yankee-urban persuasion, you might not like it, but can hopefully appreciate the talent and hard work these craftsmen put into their, admittedly, somewhat niche music.

For those of you who are into the Progressive Colossi who form the group Dream Theater, you might be interested in knowing that the Dregs were a primary influence to their music - especially to that of their guitarist John Petrucci.

Tomorrow i'll!

Probably my favorite youtube video. xD

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A bit cranky... but so what!

Jeez, I don't know if I just need to quit smoking(I only smoke a few a day, anyway), or something, but I was really kind of pissed for no reason today. 'Got up on the wrong side of the bed, I guess.

So, there's this strange guy hanging around my apartment complex by the mail boxes, just loitering, and talking to himself! I mean, I guess there's nothing wrong with that, if he's not bothering anyone, but he doesn't live here, obviously, and it's kinda awkward for people getting their mail. Who knows what the guy will do! We called the police, and they talked to him, but they didn't ask him to leave, or anything. Some help they are...

Today I felt like maybe discussing music theory, again. This blog is slowly turning into a music blog, but I do have other interests. Not sure how you guys would feel about reading a blog on Sumerian Archaeology, though. =p


This one's for you geetar players out there! So, you've been playing for a while, you know some theory, and hell, you can probably play some pretty challenging stuff! But, you feel like you're in a rut. Maybe you're playing the same patterns over and over again, maybe it's just the same scales, or the same chords. Perhaps it's time for a routine switch up. Check out this website:

There's a scale and chord calculator, and all kinds of neat stuff on this site. You can see which chords sound good with other chords, and learn scales and modes in any particular key center you like. It's a great way of exploring guitar playing, if you don't want to get bogged down in a lot of theory. I used this site a lot when I was first starting out, and it's still useful to me.

If you'd like a suggestion, I would try the Bebop Dominant scale. It's really outside, and sounds awesome, when applied correctly. Here's the Memphis Monster, himself, to show you a neat pattern you could learn:

Yeah, this one is really, really challenging. Pretty much an expert level lick. You need to have practiced a lot to play something like this. But, it's cool - even if you find this lick impossible to do, you'll still learn a lot from trying to play it, trust me. Sometimes, you got to really push your limits, and get out of your comfort zone to get better. I've been meticulously scoping out this entire Instructional for the past week, or so, and the licks Shawn Lane plays in it are BLISTERING! King Kong ain't got shit on Shawn Lane.

Powdered Toast Man!