So, recently turning 40 has me reflecting on life in general (which is pretty damn great) & on my accomplishments as a “musician” even though I’m not actively gigging right now.
I’m pretty self-deprecating of my musical talents, but I am proud of the major part of the aural art that I helped create. I compiled and uploaded a few of my favorites after using Audacity to clip out some silence and mp3Gain to try to get all the volume levels somewhat similar.
If you’ll indulge me I’d like to give my thoughts & memories on each of these songs that I was proud to be a part of with AiXeLsyD, Gasoline Dion, & Ernie and the Berts. If I have any of the stories, names, etc. wrong, please correct me in the comments. Being that these are punk rock(ish) bands, you may find the content explicit and/or objectionable. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Gasoline Dion – “Shameless Plug”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy came up with this cool shuffling progression and I played a super easy solo over it. I believe we kept the first take of the solo even though at the time I thought I could do better. It’s not perfect, but it’s fun. It was cool to open shows with this then rip into something completely different. It was called “Tommy’s Jam” until an inside joke on a local message board inspired the new name.
AiXeLsyD – “Wait”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Probably the first song that I wrote that I liked, and probably the first original that we worked on in the band. We dug on this & recorded it a million times. It morphed a bit, but was basically the same simple jam. Ben doubling the vocals an octave lower and the guitar part at the end really fills it out.
Gasoline Dion – “Pickle Farm”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy had recorded this song solo, and it contributed to the itch that I needed to scratch when we formed Gasoline Dion. I really liked the melody. I think he stole the lyrics from Space Ghost or Brak. This song to me is about not being a square peg that’s forced into a round hole. I liked singing background vocals & playing guitar.
Ernie and the Berts – “Toybox”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Erin wanted to start a band to play rocked-out Willy Wonka covers. That never happened. This did. It was the first original that stuck, and an early recording became the soundtrack to a friend’s video project. Dave learned to play drums in/for this band. This is a nice simple driving groove and is the perfect vehicle for the introduction of Erin’s gnarly gravelly voice.
AiXeLsyD – “Hopeless & Heartless”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I wrote this on the outside of seeing someone with a broken heart. I thought it was pretty catchy. The “whoa-oh’s” are overkill but oddly necessary in my humble opinion. I think An-Die, Ben, & I are all singing on multiple tracks here.
Gasoline Dion – “Cold”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | This riff was a leftover AiXeLsyD riff that almost became part of two songs but never really went anywhere. Mike had some leftover Who’s.Keeping.Score? lyrics that Dave & I re-arranged. Dave & I work really well on arranging musical parts & lyrics. I really really dig Tommy & I singing together on this one.
Ernie and the Berts – “Fred Rogers”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Erin supposed that a local hero may not really be a hero on this one. Maybe he read that weird urban legend. I really like the guitar part here, although it’s missing some kind of effect in my head. Wah? Phaser? Not sure. Erin let me just go goofy with background vocals here. I felt like Danzig or that Not-Danzig guy in the Cult. I love how this song builds into chaos.
AiXeLsyD – “Stand Up”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | This is where it all pulled together, and it was the last proper thing we recorded. Ha ha. An-Die wrote the riff & lyrics, I arranged them. Ben came up with the guitar noodling& octaves riff. I think I came up with the stupid guitar part for the verse. I really dig my guitar solo here,even though I went too long. (Oddly, this sounds a lot like “Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You)” by Dramarama as played by Buckcherry.)
Gasoline Dion – “Political Songs (With Deep Meaning)”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I was listening to a lot of the Unseen, I think. I don’t really write political stuff that often. This was taking the piss out of that genre. Dave sounded better on it with vocals. I scream “feet” in the background and give the creepy laugh at the end. We lost the original lyrics, so Dave used what he remembered and made the rest up on the fly. I don’t really think any one ever tried to intemperate a deeper meaning. If they did, they didn’t tell us.
Ernie and the Berts – “Don’t Fuck With Ernie”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | It was hard to tell if Erin was serious or joking a lot of the time. He had a deadpan delivery, and it was hilarious. To deliver this ridiculousness so seriously is hilarious to me. I think I sort of came up with this riff over top of his bass line.
AiXeLsyD – “Dave Ugly’s Girlfriend”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | It’s “Dave Ugly’s Girlfriend”, not “Dave’s Ugly Girlfriend.” People always seemed to get that wrong. Dave Ugly played bass & sang for one of our favorite local bands, Useless Torment. I don’t tell the story as well as An-Die, but Dave was apparently saying he loved him, and An-Die was playing the “even if…” game, and arrived at this. I remember being “mad” when Sum 41 came out as a punk band rapping. I think Boner played guitar on this one and Ben played Drums?
Gasoline Dion – “Bitch Pants Opera”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | I don’t know if we could do this one today. People seem so easily offended. It’s just a joke. We don’t really care if you wear girl pants. We’re not insinuating or implying anything. We look ridiculous too. Another Dave vocals song, I am screaming the high parts. All of us are in the beginning. I think the breakdown was inspired by hardcore /screamo kids in skinny jeans doing the windmill and Peelander-Z’s “S.T.E.A.K.”
Ernie and the Berts – “Ikea”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Dave suggested I try a little more dynamics with space and clean. Dave is usually right. You can do a lot with the same 3 chords over & over. This was a slice of Erin’s life, full of his observations. We almost got permission to go in & shoot a video there. Somebody must have really listened to the lyrics. He had “nicer” ones prepared just in case we needed to sell out.
AiXeLsyD – “Love, Hopes, Dreams, & Smiles”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] |I think An-Die hated this one. I liked the noodling& the melody. The lyrics are super dumb & trite. The song was made infinitely cooler when Ben put in that volume swell in the final mix. That was never there, then we started doing it live after he did that to the recording. This could probably be punched-up a little bit more.
Gasoline Dion – “Two of a Kind”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Tommy sings like an angel. I have no idea what in the hell he’s talking about here. I think Dave & Mike made this honky-tonk-ish. I played a little solo under Tommy’s vocals at the end because nobody ever told me not to. The end sounds like the Misfits’ “NY Ranger.”
Ernie and the Berts – “I Don’t Wanna”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Erin stole this one from a band called Suck-Your-Brains-A-Go-Go. I don’t know if they ever recorded it. I should ask the man who wrote it some time. We made it ours. I think Bengt punched-up some of the guitar & added a bit of harmonies during the recording process.
Gasoline Dion – “Shameless Plug (Reprise)”
[SoundCloud/YouTube] | Same thing as the first track, second solo take by me with a wah pedal this time. Dave is also on guitar making crazy noises and soloing in between all of my notes. Ha ha. If you don’t “get” the speaking part, watch the Josie and the Pussycats movie some time.
I’d love to know what you think, or to read/see/hear your own memories about these bands or in any bands or projects in which you have participated. Did I miss a song or two that you may have remembered or liked? Comments (or likes or whatever is deemed social-media-appropriate) on the songs on SoundCloud or YouTube would be awesome and greatly appreciated, too.
Check out the playlist on SoundCloud:
Check out the playlist on YouTube:
Can you Dig it?
I think you should be able to download a zip of the collection on Google Drive or SendSpace if you’re so inclined. If you can’t get it there, let me know and I can email it to you.
The AiXeLsyD stuff:
The Gasoline Dion stuff:
The Ernie and the Berts Stuff:
Check out some related posts:
NOTE: Edited to correct links to YouTube videos, made new ones for some slideshows that were too short. Also, check the comments!
Posted in Dad Stuff, Disbanded Bands, Free Music, Guitars, I Need Your Feedback, Inspiration, Life, Pittsburgh, Your Band, \m/
Tagged & Smiles, AiXeLsyD, AiXeLsyD13, Audacity, Bitch Pants Opera, Blog, Blogging, Cold, Cuts From the Crap, ǝʌıʇɔǝןןoɔǝɹ ǝʌıʇɔǝdsoɹʇǝɹ ǝʌıʇɔǝןɟǝɹ, D.I.Y., Dave Ugly's Girlfriend, Don't Fuck With Ernie, dreams, 🎸, ERiC AiXeLsyD, Ernie & the Berts, Ernie and the Berts, Fred Rogers, Gasoline Dion, gig, gigging, gigs, Google Drive, guitar, Hopeless & Heartless, Hopes, Hugs Taken By Force, I Don't Wanna Fuck You, Ikea, Learning Disabilities, Loading Noise, local, local band, local bands, local music, love, mp3gain, Music, Musician, Pennsylvania, Pgh, Pickle Farm, Pittsburgh, playlist, Political Song (With Deep Meaning), punk, punk rock, Reflective Retrospective Recollective, RRR, SendSpace, Shameless Plug, Shameless Plug (Reprise), sloppy pop punk rock, SoundCloud, Southwestern PA, Southwestern Pennsylvania, Stand Up, SWPA, Toybox, Two of a Kind, Useless Torment, W(aL)D, Wait, Who's Keeping Score?, WordPress, World (and Lunar) Domination, YouTube
So, tonight for dinner I made a new (to me) one. The wife has made it several times and it’s always a hit with the kids. I think her original recipe was entitled Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers. This takes out a bit of the spice and she’s not a huge fan of black beans (which I would have included). Everything here came from Aldi, except the slices of white American cheese. We just had that on hand, and no shredded cheese. It worked well.
Our 3 year old daughter wolfed down about a pepper and a half worth of filling, skipping the outer pepper for some reason. (She would possibly eat it all, or just the reverse tomorrow.) She said that we should have it every night for dinner. I noted that she really likes these, and her mom’s homemade Manwich-like sloppy joes, and that we should start a food truck that specializes in ground meat and call it “Ground Around Town.” She said we have to paint it pink. I asked if she wanted to cook or wash dishes. She chose cooking.
Out of all the stuff you think kids might be picky about, they gobble this up. (3 yo & 18mo). I like these better than the more traditional meatball w/ rice stuffed in a green pepper & covered in spaghetti sauce or tomato soup. For some reason, I can dig the rice & ground meat mixed… but I do not like rice in meatballs. The red, yellow, & orange peppers are very sweet too. I like them more than the green ones. Also, if you mention that you like your peppers stuffed with sausage, you can just close this tab and move on.
These were really easy to make…
All I did was…
Cook the rice & set it aside. I used the liquid from the can of tomatoes & a beef bullion cube in the water.
Cut the tops off of the peppers, pull out seeds & weird white stuff off of the inside. (Bethany parboils them first, I didn’t. I liked them a bit crunchier.)
Brown the ground beef, season to taste. I added onion powder, garlic powder, & seasoned-salt. (We have also used ground turkey for this. It’s delicious.)
Mix the fire-roasted diced tomatoes into the ground meat after draining the fat off.
Mix the rice & beef/tomatoes together.
Put the peppers in a glass baking dish. Pack the peppers with the tasty rice & beef goodness. Two didn’t stand up well on their own, so I made little foil stands.
I cooked them in a preheated oven at 375° for 20 minutes, then added the slices of cheese for 5 minutes.
Like I said, Bethany parboils the peppers so they’re a bit softer, so she cooks it at 325° for 20-25 minutes.
Next time, if I make this, I may cook the rice in tomato paste or other tomato flavoring, and add the black beans. Not sure what the kids would think. Maybe a little bit of heat would be nice too? This reminds me of Spanish rice in a pepper.
Do you make anything similar? Do you do stuffed peppers a different way? Do you stuff acorn squash like this? Do you do different seasonings? Make ’em meatless? (Toasted garbanzo beans & black beans might be really good in this!) Let me know in the comments!
Posted in Dad Stuff, Food, Recipes, Retailers
Tagged 325°, 375°, acorn squash, Aldi, Aldi USA, american cheese, °, bake, Beef, bell pepper, brown rice, bullion, Cheddar Cheese, Cheese, cheese slices, Cook, dinner, directions, fit & active, food truck, garlic powder, Giant Eagle, ground around town, Ground Beef, ground turkey, Happy Harvest, ingredients, Joke, Manwich, onionpowder, orange, oven, pepper, preheated, Recipe, Red, rice, Sausage, seasoned salt, shredded cheese, Sloppy joe, sloppy joes, Stonemill Essentials, stuffed, Stuffed Peppers, turkey, white american cheese, yellow
I’m on a few super gear-nerdy and G.A.S.-educing groups on Facebook. To the Awesome Cheap Guitars group, I recently posed this question:
So,what awesome cheap guitar moves have you pulled on stage? I’m a horrible guitar player, but I can wow a crowd with some flash, flair, and goofy-looking guitars. I’m guilty of the checked following…
☑ Playing behind the head.
☑ Playing while squatting with guitar in between knees, reaching arm through legs from behind.
☑ Playing while falling/laying down.
☑ Dropping-trou and continuing to play.
☑ Playing on knees bending back until head almost touches the ground.
☑ Sad 80’s dance move with shuffling feet while playing.
☑ Playing on chairs.
☑ Playing on tables.
☐ Playing on the bar.
☑ Walking outside & in another door if possible with a wireless.
☑ Sitting in a seat with a wireless.
☑ The Chuck Berry/Angus Young walk.
☑ Switching instruments mid song.
☐ Using a beer bottle as a slide.
☑ Using a mic stand as a slide.
☐ Blowing bubblegum bubbles. (Like Doyle.)
☑ Drinking mid song.
☑ Injuring a band mate by accident. (I chipped the lead-singer/bass player’s tooth.)
☐ Injuring a band mate on purpose.
☑ Improvising a mic stand out of duct tape, a hockey stick, & gatorade bottles. (Hey, we were playing at a dek-hockey rink.)
☐ Playing on someone’s shoulders.
☐ Playing while someone is on your shoulders.
☑ Playing from behind a wooden bear statue with the guitar on the front of the bear.
☐ Putting a lit cigarette under the strings in the headstock.
☐ The amp-hump. (Like Jimi.)
☑ The guitar-as-a-phallic-symbol air-hump. (Like Rex from the Lone Rangers in Airheads.)
☐ The guitar toss – Badass edition. (Like Prince – also, check out the falling into the crowd move!!!)
☐ The guitar toss – Oops edition. (Like Prince with the borrowed Epiphone or Krist Novoselic on MTV.)
☐ The guitar toss – Someone else catches & starts playing.
☐ Smoke-bombs. (Like Ace Frehley.)
☐ Set Fire to the guitar. (Like Jimi.)
☐ The windmill. (Like Pete.)
☑ The powerslide.
☑ The failed powerslide.
☐ Swinging from the rafters. (Hard to do while actually playing? This dude did it.)
☐ The “‘round the world” spin.
☐ The failed “round the world” spin.
☑ Yelling out a second story window mid-set for people to come into the bar.
☐ The “nyah-nyah you can’t see me” EVH turn-around.
☐ The flying karate kick.
☑ On the knees.
☐ On top of a piano. (Like Slash.)
☑ Dancing with the crowd.
☑ Duel of the Fates – using another musician’s fretboard as a slide.
☑ The salute – All in the air.
☑ The Poison-ish choreographed lean.
☑ Lean on a bandmate.
☑ Lean into a bandmate.
I know there are more. I know photos & videos exist of some of these with me. I know this post can get goofy. Please, I implore you to share your moves, including videos, animated gifs, and photos in the comments! This kind of stuff is hilariously entertaining to me.
What’s your favorite to do? What’s your favorite to watch? What have you copied? What have you invented? What did I miss on this list? Share your stories and images and favorite stuff from your favorite performers!
Now, for the self-indulgence:
Listen to that sustain
Under the nuts.
On yo’ knees.
Three Axe Salute
Dance with the crowd!
Attention, bear-f__ker, do you require assistance?
Through the legs!
Push n’ shove
The Choreographed Lean
Duel of the fates
The other choreographed lean
Wireless Table Dance
Like a turtle
Behind the dome.
Lean back ’til you can’t no mo’
The campfire solo
Sweep the leg.
Behind the Dome (Again)
Lean on me
Posted in Disbanded Bands, Funny Stuff, Guitars, I Need Your Feedback, Life, Your Band, \m/
Tagged Ace Frehley, Airheads, AiXeLsyD, AiXeLsyD13, Angus Young, Awesome Cheap Guitars, ☘, Chuck Berry, comment, dancing, Degenerated, Doyle, Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, 🎸, Eddie Van Halen, Epiphone, ERiC AiXeLsyD, Eric Clapton, Ernie and the Berts, EVH, facebook, feedback, G.A.S., Gasoline Dion, Gel Eyeliner, guitar, Guitar Acrobatics, Guitar Moves, Guitar Spin, Guitar Toss, guitarist, Guitarobatics, guitars, Guns N' Roses, Interaction, KISS, Lit Cigarette, Lone Rangers, Misfits, Pete Townshend, Poison, post, Prince, punk rock, Rex, ridiculous, ridiculousness, Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, share, shenanigans, show-off, showboating, showmanship, showoff, Slash, Stage Moves, staged moves, Steve Buscemi, Table Dance, The Eyeliners, The Lone Rangers, The Misfits, Ugly Guitars, Van Halen, wireless