Thursday, December 18, 2014

Apocalyptic Bloodbath

So I was watching the show, "River Monsters," on the Animal Planet channel.  It was this episode:

Anyway, I was watching when he started talking about piranha fish.  They kept taking his bait.  He mentioned that when the water would get low, the fish would be pooled together, and anything that fell in would get destroyed in a apocalyptic bloodbath.

And that's when it hit me.  That would be the name of my new speed/death/thrash/etc. metal band.  But first I had to see if anyone already had that name.  It seems that there was no band with that name, but there was a song with that name.

So it looks like I am safe.  But will the album be called?  I kept watching.  Since he was in the amazon, he was in a region called Obidos.  He then talked about "The Rivers of Obidos."  And that was it.  I knew that would be the name of my album.

There would be an endless supply of ideas for my album cover.  Seriously, I put in "Apocalyptic Bloodbath," in the Bing image search, and came up with this:

Really, after 25 years of death metal it's like shooting fish in a barrel. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Adrian Goes To The Nikki Lane Concert

Right now, my favorite new artist of the year is Nikki Lane.  She plays Country/ Americana, and is from South Carolina.  She has been getting a lot of attention for her latest album, "All or Nothing."  Here's her latest video, "Right Time."

As luck would have it, she jumped on tour with a band called, "Trampled by Turtles."  And even better luck they were playing at Jannus Live in St. Pete.  So I had to go.

This lead me to thinking, should I bring her album with me in hopes that she could sign it?  Or would I just be stuck holding her album for three hours, and being resentful that I couldn't get her to sign it.  I had the album with me as I drove over to St. Pete.  In the end I left it in the car. 

So as I am standing in line for the concert, guess who walked two yards in front of me?  That's right, Nikki Lane.  I could have kicked myself.

Anyway, fast forward to the show.  She played awesome, and her band was also just over the top great.  Right at the end of her set she said she would be over by the merch booth, so stop on by, and she would sign stuff and shoot the breeze.

So I really began kicking myself.  But I went over, and she was full of energy talking to everyone, and signing stuff.  I was holding out my ticket stub and she signed it while talking to other people.

Once we began talking she was talking to me four times faster than I could get my own words out.  Here's kind of a sad fact.  I suck at girls and especially really pretty ones, and so I wasn't really sure what to say to her.  I told her about me not bringing her album with me, and I felt like an idiot.

She suggested I buy her first album and she would sign it.  I asked the merch gal if they took cards and she said yes, so I bought Nikki's first album.  She was then happy to sign it.

It says, "Adrian, thanks for the love.  I'm stoned, I signed twice."

In all fairness, I think that's a put-on because she was super hyper taking pictures and signing stuff.  Stoned people tend to be more laid back.  I thanked her, and was able to leave the concert with a signed CD.  I guess I was able to accomplish my mission in a different way. 

I hope to see her play again.  I had just missed her playing at Skipper's Smokehouse in Tampa, not four miles from me a few months previous.  So I'm sure she will swing by the Tampa Bay area sometime in the future.  Maybe I will be a little better when I talk to her next time.  Oh, and I will make sure to have her album with me.

Friday, December 12, 2014

I Got The Phone, Now I Need A Ringtone

So I finally dragged myself into the new decade, and upgraded my phone.  Really, all I needed was a flippy phone for years.  I only used a phone as a phone.  I never took pictures with it, or needed to use the internet on it.  But even flippy phones are getting hard to find as technology has moved us forward to the newer smartphones. 

So with the new plan I was able to get a Nokia Lumia 635 free (using the rebate.)  Now came the fun part.  Setting the darn thing up.  I had to go online and open up the instruction manual on most things.  I'll admit, I'm still trying to figure out what's going on with it most of the time.  However, to truly make the phone mine, I needed a ringtone. 

At first I thought I would use the Tom Araya yell from Slayer's "Angel of Death."

But I decided that having my phone scream at me every time someone calls could get a little old.  So I decided on something just as angry in Slayer's "Seasons in the Abyss."

But enough about my phone, let's talk family plans.  Yes, the whole family got pulled into the future.  We all got phones (with rebates.)  Dad needed something for him that was loud, and could be heard over the sound of his friends and chainsaws.  Seriously, he does woodworking. 

He decided on his favorite Led Zeppelin song, "Immigrant Song."

Mom decided on the Brian May solo from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"

My sister decided on something from Daft Punk.  But honestly, I don't know anything about Daft Punk.  So normally I would put their song up here, but I have no idea what song she chose.

So that's as far as I have gotten with my phone.  Well, I did manage to put in my phone contacts, but I haven't even gotten on the internet yet.  Honestly, I'm not in any hurry.  I don't really have any use for any apps yet either.  But once I have a few things suggested to me by friends, I'm sure I will start to try and figure my phone out.   

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Dog Wants What He Wants

This is a funny little story.  I'm not sure why I didn't write about it when it happened a few years ago, but I guess as time goes on, certain things stand out. 

So my then girlfriend at the time, Lili, had a service dog named "Monster."  Actually, his full name was Cookie Monster "Muddy" Fourpaws.  Here's two pictures of him.

When we were first dating, Lili came over to my place and we made popcorn.  She said that Monster liked to eat popcorn.  I thought, "really?"  I didn't know if dogs should eat it or not.  But she said it was okay.  So I get a pie plate and put the popcorn on it for him, and put the plate in his food spot.

He sniffed it, and looked at me.  Then he looked at Lili.  I said, "I thought you said he liked popcorn?" 

Lili said, "Well, did you put salt and butter on it?" 

I said, "No of course not."

To which she said, "Well you have to put salt and butter on it."

I thought about that for a minute, and then said, "okay."

Well, I put salt and butter on Monster's popcorn, and put the pie plate back at his place.  He then sniffed it, and started eating it.  I guess a dog knows what he wants.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

I've Got The Blues From All The Bad "Folsom Prison Blues" Covers

I try not to get too mad about things I can't control in pop culture.  I realize that modern music has gone to crap.  I accept that.  However, as a musician I can't stand it when someone covers a song, and gets the whole concept of it wrong.

Case in point, "Folsom Prison Blues," by Johnny Cash.  For those who don't know the song, listen to this.

Just so you know that this song can be done differently, here it is live.

So you can hear it's a little more upbeat in it's live version.  However, the mood is still dark.

Then you get crap from American Idol like this:

Really asshole?  I mean, Johnny Cash would shoot you in Hollywood just to keep you from playing his song like that.  What the Hell man?  Instead of solemn and sad, it's completely upbeat and exciting.  This guy isn't the only one to do this.

It's not just men.  Women can screw it up too.  I mean, do you not know what it means to "shoot a man in Reno?"  It's nothing to get happy about!

So I know what you might be saying/thinking, "Well, after a few years I'm sure Johnny Cash changed it up so as to make it more upbeat or different.  Well check this out from Johnny Cash near the end of his career:

Still, 40 years later, it's not that different from his live version all those years later.

Still, I see it in local bands when playing out.  I don't want to name names of amateurs, but I've seen too many try to play "Folsom Prison" fast, upbeat, and all happy like.  It's just very irritating.  Actually, I saw one guy play it with so much gain, I thought he was trying to play something from Social Distortion.  In other words, these guys:

It actually reminds me of something someone did to R.E.M.'s "Losing my Religion."  The guy, I should call him a genius, never changed a lyric, a beat, or the instruments.  He only changed one note from a minor to a major, and completely changed the song.  Really, listen to this.

See what going from a minor key to a major key will do?  It changes everything!  And that's the point I am making with all these "artists" screwing up Johnny Cash's best known song.

The only band I've ever known to sing it upbeat, and get it right is the Gin Blossoms.

I think the reason they got it right is they have the Tempe, Az. sort of rock going on.  They also sing songs about being depressed so it kind of fits right in with what they're doing. 

In closing I want to say that I understand trying to make a song your own.  But just destroying it to force it in your style is just too much.  Better yet, if you are going to sing karaoke, just skip "Folsom Prison Blues."

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hunting Adventures, 2014

Every year I take pictures and video of my experiences out hunting.  I have been getting better at my movie making computer program, so I think this is my best yet.  It is also my longest yet.  I split it into three parts of about seven minutes a piece.

Part 1. 


Part 2. 


Part 3.


Friday, October 24, 2014

The Bass! Part 4,

Part 1:

Part 2:
Part 3:

So I had been waiting on the bridge to arrive, and it finally did. 

While it was not an exact replacement of the old one, the saddles lined up just fine.  And in the end, that's what's important.

I then had to deal with the pickguard not lining up exactly.  However, the use of a long screw took care of a, now, tiny problem.

As you can see, it worked out pretty good.  It holds rather nicely.

However then came a problem I did not forsee.  This happens with older guitar or bass necks.  With no tension on it, the neck is straight.  But with the strings at full tension the heal kicks up.  So I am torn between having insanely high action, or the frets not being playable from the 12th fret up. 

Now, the normal way to correct this is to yank out the frets below the 12th fret, shave the fingerboard, and replace the frets.  However, the fingerboard is maple, and if I shave it I will have to re-finish it.  Right now, I don't have time for that.  I have to make the bass somewhat playable for the next gig. 

Once we cross that bridge, I will go back and start work on it.  I might be able to shave the frets down, and make it playable.  But I'll deal with that when I get there. 

I knew I would be a pain to put this thing together, but I didn't think it would be "THIS" much of a pain.  I did a lot more work on this thing than I had planned to. 

But here's the result.  Not too bad.