Artistic Disappointment. ☠️


Wow. Did you see the Michale Graves Instagram post before it went down? I wonder if it was pulled out of regret or cowardice. It’s disappointing to say the least to see an artist you admire make such a disgusting reference to white supremacy. I can only hope he doesn’t fully understand the message that he was putting out there.

@officialmichalegraves | Instagram post- proud western chauvinist?
@officialmichalegraves | deleted Instagram post.

I don’t want to spend too much time on it, or harp on it. Michale’s former bandmates have been coming out to disavow his point of view. You can find that stuff if you’re in the know. Obviously Info Wars is crazy shit, and the Proud Boys are even crazier. I’m not gonna link to or even Google it to give it any sort of credence. Even this hand symbol has been co-opted.

I just want to express that it sucks. Does disagreeing with the artist so much ruin the art? Has he always felt this way? Does a chip on his shoulder allow him to be easily indoctrinated into what amounts to a cult?

Obviously Misfits™ is not The Misfits. They were two different bands. I really enjoyed Michale’s contribution to vocals, and the energy at those Misfits ’95 era shows. Michale hits some great notes, and never tried to be be Danzig. Chud & Jerry sounded great behind Michale. His harmonies worked well with Jerry’s coaching.

I appreciated his songwriting. I think he came up with “Dig Up Her Bones” among others, which is probably my favorite Graves-era song. I enjoyed his demos after the departure from the Misfits. I really enjoyed the Graves album Web of Dharma & the song “Casket.”

When AiXeLsyD opened for Graves in 2001 at the American Music Café, it had to be one of my all-time favorite shows to play.

I have only ever had a few conversations with Michale and they were always very cordial.

I dug the Gotham Road album and the song “Creo Burn.” Everything after that was hit-or miss with me. I feel like Michale does his best work when amplified by & reeled-in by a band.

Like everyone, I’m sure he has struggles. I’m sure he has his own demons to battle. I’m sure he has said things he wishes he had never said. I can only hope this is one of them.

I just wonder… do you let the artist taint the art? Can I listen to these songs and remember the good times without thinking that he is a terrible human being?

Not that they must answer for each other, but it’s not like the rest of the Misfits set an extremely high bar for behavior or loyalty. They are all human beings. They’re flawed human beings who happened to make some great music together.

I hope the man apologizes, but more importantly I hope he finds the peace that he needs to get himself to that point. Anyone falling victim to these lines of thought is filled with misguided hate or aggression.

Have you ever let an artist ruin the art? Can the music stand on its own?

Places where I have played.


Just having fun a while ago, making a map of venues where I have played. For no reason other than fun.

I may be missing some.  Not sure?  I have seen so many local shows, I don’t know if I ever actually played some oft-frequented venues. It’s amazing how many places I have played that are gone.

I know I am missing a bar in Kitanning, and the names of a few places.  Maybe even a private show or two?  If you know of some, help me out!

I have blogged about my old bands, my guitars, & guitar-o-batics. This was just a trip down memory lane.

Have you mapped shows that you have played or attended?  A touring map would be impressive!

Did you attend any of these shows?  Share some memories below!

I still have a guitar problem.


I have posted lists before.  Some, I have acquired.  Some I still yearn for.  These three keep popping up lately, and I have no viable reason to purchase another guitar and it saddens me.

🎸

That’s…

All fit my criteria of sub-$500 axes, all well under.  Usually I don’t go over $300.  I like them weird, and I like the cheap.  If I could monetize some weird guitar videos on YouTube, I could maybe buy more.  Watch my videos!  Share the link!

 

 

They would go well with my collection:

Sadly, that collage is not even up to date with all of the stringed instruments in the house. I should do another group photo.  I even need to grab back a project axe off of a friend!

Christmas YouTube Playlists – Naughty or Nice?


I have two playlists.

Which is better?

What would you add?

What am I missing?

…And Out Comes the Dookie.


...And Out Comes The Dookie

…And Out Comes The Dookie

It’s a new social media game.

Combine two albums you dig into one… just like some record executive or intern did once upon a time with Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, combining the “best” tracks of each to make one pointless album.

I would suggest that you do two albums.  It can be different artists or the same.

If you want to be crazy try to keep the run time to a “real” album length.  I think Records hold 44 minutes of music and CD’s 74 or so?  About an hour would be good.

You can keep the artists separate like a split, or mix it all up.

Hell, you can combine 3 or more albums.  I am a fan of anarchy.  Just play.  Here in the comments, or online.  Use PicsArt or something similar to make an album cover if so inclined.

You can explain why you chose the tracks, or just let the mix speak for itself.

Just play.  Spread it.  Have fun.

We used to do stuff sort of like this on PittsburghBeat.com.

Here’s my fist offering; Rancid’s …And Out Come The Wolves mashed with Green Day’s Dookie;

01. Rancid “Maxwell Murder”
02. Green Day “Longview”
03. Rancid “Roots Radicals”
04. Green Day “Welcome to Paradise”
05. Rancid “Time Bomb”
06. Green Day “Pulling Teeth”
07. Rancid “Olympia WA.”
08. Green Day “Basket Case”
09. Rancid “Lock, Step & Gone”
10. Green Day “She”
11. Rancid “Ruby Soho”
12. Green Day “When I Come Around”
13. Rancid “Journey to the End of the East Bay”
14. Green Day “Emenius Sleepus”
15. Rancid “She’s Automatic”
16. Green Day “In the End”
17. Rancid “Old Friend”
18. Green Day “F.O.D.”
19. Rancid “As Wicked”
20. Green Day “All by Myself”

I sort of mixed up the tracks because why not? They do appear in album order.  The run time is just over 50 minutes. (Thanks Wikipedia & Google Sheets.)

Now, you do one.  Encourage others.  Show me what ya got.  I feel like I sort of did this once before already.

Easy Guitar Chord Tools?


So, every once in a while, these gadgets pop up on Facebook guitar discussion groups.  You get a lot of people poking fun, you get some support.  I had to break it all down.  It’s easy to hate, but some of these may ignite a spark and only be training wheels.  Some of these may enable people with physical or mental disabilities to play some music.  Who should be denied artistic creativity?

 

Chord Buddy, ChorDelia, E-Z Chord, Ez-Fret, WESOLO

Guitar Chord Assistance / Learning Systems

 

Check out all the stats I could find & compile on the Chord Buddy, E-Z Chord, Ez-Fret, & WESOLO Guitar Learning System.

Check out all the details, embedded below:

 

 

Or, check out the full sheet here.  I have websites, prices, lists of chords, and even videos where I could find them.

There is a wide variety of options.  If you can fill in any of the blanks, that would be killer.  If you know of any other similar systems, I could certainly add them.

This doesn’t even touch the Guitar Barre or Hammer Jammer.

 

♪♫♬ 🎸 ♪♫♬

 

On a personal blogging note or two;  I need to update my guitar wish list (and the older list).  The wife got me a BOHO for my birthday!  I have been drawing more mazes.  I may have more time to blog coming up.  I should post some of the mazes.  Someone named Hope recently posted a solution to an old maze in the comments! That makes me super happy.  I’m glad someone enjoys them!

I know I have been bad at blogging.  Life got crazy busy as it does.  I do hope to blog more, not sure if many people read it… but it is fun.  Hopefully if you feel the need, you can keep up with me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

 

The Metallica Playlist – Part II


So, did you read my last post about making a playlist of Metallica songs so Bethany will be familiar with some of the music at the show?  l grabbed a few tracks from each album, popped them into a list, & mixed ’em up a bit.  It still seems a tad unwieldy.  It’s 47 songs, and I don’t even want to know what the run time would be.  (I still need to dig out all of my CD’s & rip some of these older songs.  I live in the stone age and listen to mp3’s saved to a thumb drive plugged into the car.)

Metallicollage

How would you pare it down?  Could you get it to 30 songs?  10 songs?  60 minutes?  What is the most essential stuff you’d need to grasp their overall sound and/or appreciate a live show?

I had Alexa playing some random Metallica this morning, and it wasn’t a bad mix.  This actually really has me appreciating Death Magnetic & Hardwired… To Self-Destruct more & more.

 

Metallica 101 Playlist…

  1. “Ecstasy of Gold” (We All Love Ennio Morricone) [Ennio Morricone]
  2. “Enter Sandman” (Metallica)
  3. “One” (…And Justice for All)
  4. “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (Ride the Lightning)
  5. “Whiskey in the Jar” (Garage, Inc.) [Thin Lizzy]
  6. “(Anesthesia)—Pulling Teeth” (Kill ‘Em All)
  7. “Whiplash” (Kill ‘Em All)
  8. “Last Caress” (Live Shit: Binge & Purge) [Misfits]
  9. “Master of Puppets” (Master of Puppets)
  10. “Cyanide” (Death Magnetic)
  11. “The Call of Ktulu” (S&M)
  12. “Nothing Else Matters” (Metallica)
  13. “Seek And Destroy”  (Live Shit: Binge & Purge)
  14. “Some Kind of Monster” (St. Anger)
  15. “Fade To Black” (Ride the Lightning)
  16. “Overkill” (Garage, Inc.) [Motörhead]
  17. “Hardwired”  (Hardwired… To Self-Destruct)
  18. “The Memory Remains” (Through The Never)
  19. “Four Horsemen” (Kill ‘Em All)
  20. “Creeping Death”  (Live Shit: Binge & Purge)
  21. “Until It Sleeps” (S&M)
  22. “Altas, Rise!” (Hardwired… To Self-Destruct)
  23. “Battery” (Master of Puppets)
  24. “Die, Die My Darling” (Garage, Inc.) [Misfits]
  25. “Frantic” (St. Anger)
  26. “Fuel” (Re-Load)
  27. “Orion” (Through the Never)
  28. “Unforgiven” (Metallica)
  29. “Unforgiven II” (Re-Load)
  30. “Unforgiven III” (Death Magnetic)
  31. “Sad But True” (Live Shit: Binge & Purge)
  32. “I Disappear” (Mission: Impossible 2 Soundtrack)
  33. “All Nightmare Long” (Death Magnetic)
  34. “Mama Said” (Load)
  35. “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” (Master of Puppets)
  36. “Commando” (St. Anger Single) [Ramones]
  37. “Now That We’re Dead” (Hardwired… To Self-Destruct)
  38. “Stone Cold Crazy” (Garage, Inc.) [Queen]
  39. “Wherever I May Roam” (S&M)
  40. “The Day That Never Comes” (Death Magnetic)
  41. “Tuesday’s Gone” (Garage, Inc.) [Lynyrd Skynyrd]
  42. “Disposable Heroes” (Master of Puppets)
  43. “Blackened” (…And Justice for All)
  44. “St. Anger” (St. Anger)
  45. “Low Man’s Lyric” (Re-Load)
  46. “Harvester of Sorrow” (…And Justice for All)
  47. “One” (S&M)

Would you skip songs & go to videos, live sets or clips, or documentaries?

 

 

Help me make a playlist: Metallica 101


So, Bethany is awesome and got us tickets to go see Metallica when they come to Pittsburgh in October.  We don’t have a whole lot of overlap in musical taste.  We have been to a bunch of concerts together, ranging from Flogging Molly, Rancid, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, & the Dropkick Murphys, to Willie Nelson, The Devil Makes Three, Poison & even (Lord help me) Kenny Chesney.  This doesn’t even count the dozens (hundreds?) of club shows we have attended for the local and national levels back when I was actively gigging… which was mostly punk or metal stuff on a more local-ish level like Omegalord and Peelander-Z.  I think I have successfully sold Bethany on the awesomeness of punk rock.  We haven’t really delved into metal past what I have played in the car.  Even myself, I have gravitated more in the punk direction than metal listening over the years.  Perhaps due to a shrinking attention span?  Metallica stands as one of those influential bands for me as far as it being one of the earlier things I “got.”  A kid in 6th grade lent me his cassette of …And Justice for All, and it was all-in from there.  It led me to stuff like the Misfits, DanzigMegadeth, Motörhead, & Black Sabbath.  I wore out multiple copies of the Master of Puppets cassette.  The black album is a hugely definitive and divisive album, but it hit right when I was headed into high school, metal ruled the airwaves and guitar magazines, and grunge hadn’t yet stomped all over the oft-mocked hair metal’s reign supreme.  A Year and a Half in the Life of Metallica and Live Shit: Binge & Purge made me want to be a rock star.  My aunt & uncle took a me and a friend to the Guns N’ Roses & Metallica concert at Three Rivers Stadium.  That was the first and only time I ever saw them live.  It was my two favorite bands at the time.  It was awesome.  I’m anxious to go again.

That brings me to this;  How do I bring the wife up to speed on multiple decades of Metallica fandom, some of which even pre-dated my time as a fan?  Dave Mustaine getting bootedCliff BurtonJason NewstedHaircutsThe Napster thingJames catching on fireGoofy psychologistsLulu?  Lars’ drumming ability vs. his business acumen?  Kirk Hammett’s appearance of total passive and obedient participation?  “Four Horsemen” vs. “Mechanix”?

If you were going to make a mix tape playlist as an introduction to Metallica, what would you include?  Jokes about St. Anger or Load/Re-Load aside, what is the important stuff?  Audio?  Video?  Live performances?  Documentaries?  Metallica covering their influences?  Other bands covering Metallica?  Related bands?  Originals that Metallica has covered?  What videos would you say are essential?  MTV IconBehind the MusicWhen Metallica Ruled the World?  I know “One” is up there in my all-time favorite songs.  Do I start there, or go in chronological order?  Which instrumentals?

So, I set up a living room rig. 🎸


This morning I felt like playing the guitar. I didn’t feel like jamming in the basement by my work bench where all my stuff is set up. I didn’t bring up the Laney 2×12 or the Orange Micro Terror. I brought out the Fender Blues Jr. & a Yamaha MSR100 powered speaker so I could run my new DigiTech Trio into two different outputs.

The Trio was a birthday present from my wife. It was on backorder from Sweetwater for a while & we have been really busy so this was my first chance to try it out.  I set it up like this…

Living Room Rig Setup

It started out as a pile of stuff in the corner.  Then I remembered that I had an old RCA-Victor TV cabinet in the garage purchased from our house’s previous owner that I thought about turning into an amp someday.  The Blues Jr. fit where the TV went, and the Yamaha PA fit underneath where the speaker grille is.

Then I had a cabinet and I pile of pedals.  So, I cut up a milk crate and made a goofy pedal board with a Donner power supply & some zip ties.  The “board” fits inside the cabinet with the blues Jr. too.  It was a morning long project but it felt good to get it done & know I can jam a lot more easily.  It may be tricky if I just want to use the Trio & some headphones.

I do have a Dirt & Ernie pedal & an A/B/Y that I use to run the Jr. & Micro Terror at the same time.  Maybe a board extension will eventually be in order?  How cool would it be if the doors came off & were the pedalboard?

Oh well.  Enough monkeying.  Time to jam.

I will eventually have to give a serious(?) evaluation of the Trio.  I do already know I want a looper now.  Ha ha.  It was pretty intuitive & loads of right out of the box.  My 4 year old told me to turn it down right away, so it had to be cool.  Right?

 

Monkeying with the DigiTech Trio:

I apologize for the “living room while the wife and kids are home” volume, and the Crocs.

 

My little dude seemed to like the idea.  He has all the moves down.  Maybe some day he will want to play too!

Do you have a living room, bedroom, or other small setup rig?  Share some in the comments!  Any thoughts on any of this equipment?  Any tips for the Trio?  You can comment below here at the blog with WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, or a Gravatar login.

Which rock docs you diggin’?


I liked & would recommend these rock docs, which other ones should I check out?

Rock Docs!

  • Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son Of A Bitch – This has to be THE rock doc.  It ought to be the standard to which all others are held.
  • Mad Tiger – I love Peelander-Z.  This is a story about art, music, choosing your path, and ultimately about the bond of friendship beyond being band mates.
  • Anvil! The Story of Anvil – This is wild.  You feel for these guys so much.  At least I do.
  • Sound City – What a cross-section of rock n’ roll history.  Dave Grohl is cool for putting this together.
  • Searching for Sugar Man – This is a crazy story about how music can transcend time and borders, and save the artists like it saves the listener.
  • It Might Get Loud – I wouldn’t list any of these guys in my favorites as far as guitarists go… but this was a damn good movie.  I mean, Jimmy Page is Jimmy Page.  How can you not respect his body of work?
  • Beware of Mr. Baker – Fabulous just because Ginger is a wild man.  Maybe even a wild animal in a man’s body.
  • Flogging Molly: Whiskey on a Sunday – Mostly about Dave if I remember right.  I’m a fan of the music, so it was nice to have a peek inside that world.
  • The Punk Syndrome – Finland has some cool-ass social programs, one that gave us Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät.  Follow a punk rock band formed by cats with Autism and Down Syndrome and realize that their struggles are a whole lot like yours.
  • FilmageALL gets such a bad rap.  Ha ha.  I really enjoyed this story.
  • Mission to Lars – Less about being in the band, more about fandom & brotherly love.

What other ones do you like?  I am sure I have missed a few.  I liked that one Rush doc, I need to catch all of it.  I caught the end on VH1 way back.  Bonus points if these docs are “free” on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.