Christmas Playlists


Despite Halloween and Thanksgiving being more my favorite… I do enjoy Christmas & Christmas music, both traditional and decidedly not-so.

I resisted streaming for a long time, in favor of just popping mp3’s on to a thumb drive & listening in the car/truck. I’m still in a lot of remote areas, and I think I clung to a desktop setup for a while longer than the rest of the world.

Someday, someday, I will rip all my CD’s, corral all of my purchased mp3’s or FLAC files, & pop the stuff on some kind of server so I can call it up at will.

I use Spotify occasionally. I would use it more, but I refuse to pay for a premium account, and sometimes I swear songs vs. commercials are 1:1 if not 1:3. I refuse to pay for Spotify premium account because we have whatever all-encompassing Amazon plan gives you Prime and Amazon Music.

I’m still building my Amazon playlists… I may pay for one to move to Spotify lists over. Maybe. I’d rather just by records, CD’s, & downloads directly from artists.

I haven’t dipped into YouTube Music yet. I think I have 2 or 3 Pandora accounts, but they’re just frustrating these days when you can actively pick a song with other services.

I just reached out on a couple of FB forums asking for suggestions, and I’m still pouring through, but these are my playlists across different platforms…

I ‘m still adding/shuffling on the Amazon lists and they’re good for all-day playing. I might have to make one narrowed-down with my absolute favorites.

So, what’s on your Christmas playlist? Any glaring omissions? Any you love or hate with a passion? Tell me about your holiday music in the comments. Am I missing any good Festivus or Hanukkah songs?

AI Generated punk rock Christmas art.

Metallica – “Lux Æterna”? I like it.


So, I’ve written about Metallica before (twice). I can see all this shenanigans about the new single. Honestly, I like it. Hating on Metallica has become low hanging fruit at best to edgelording or gatekeeping at worst, As fans, we all poke fun at our favorite stuff. I’m looking at you, Star Wars and Danzig people.

Metallica Fans:  We want more sounds that sound like Kill 'Em All."

Metallica: [Releases "Lux Æterna"]

Metallica Fans:  NO, NOT LIKE THAT!
Lux Æterna

I found the new one to be a banger. It feels thrashy like KIll ‘Em All, with pop sensibilities like the black album.

I recently posted a reply to a comment of my posting of the video on Facebook, but the original comment was deleted by the author and my subsequent reply has been lost to the 1’s & 0’s I guess.

The gist of what I was getting at was as follows…

To say metallica has lost or hasn’t been good for decades? I get it, and it’s certainly a valid opinion. People have been saying they “sold out” since Ride the Lightning.

Metallica didn’t hit my radrar until …And Justice for All came out. I hadn’t listened to anything much beyond Top 40 radio or oldies at that point. I worked backwards and was caught up in the magic of Kill ‘Em All and Master of Puppets. I wasn’t aware of the punk scene in 1977 when I was born, but I wouldn’t call myself less of a Misfits fan because I wasn’t around? You could probably assume with great certainty that each Metallica album brought in new fans upon it’s release.

I could also argue that Metallic’s output is quantifiably better than most when compared to their peers or contemporaries.

Say in sheer influence in heavy music, Black Sabbath comes the closest. (OK, maybe Led Zeppelin too, but I’ll go with Sabbath here as Zeppelin ended.) You could say that there drop-offs in interest post-Ozzy & again post-Dio. Does that mean that Iommi and Geezer are any less lauded in the riff lord category? I don’t think so. Their early output is so epic and influential, they could release an album of pip farting on a snare drum and it shouldn’t detract from their legacy. James still writes killer riffs. Kirk is still a master of stringing together wah-fueled madness. Lars is a great arranger and cunning businessman. I wish they hadn’t done Newsted dirty, but Rob seems like a great fit.

In 1991/1992, Metallica and Guns N’ Roses where arguably the most lucrative and widely known hard rock acts on the planet. They were two of my favorites at the time and I still have fond memories of that epic show at Three Rivers Stadium. Look at what both bands have put out since then. Sure, Metallica dropped a Lulu turd in the sandbox, but you can scoop that out and keep playing. Guns N’ Roses pissed into the swimming pool with Chinese Democracy and everyone had to get out of the pool. This is coming from a guy that liked The Spaghetti Incident?. I liked Death Magnetic & Hardwired to Self-Destruct. Even St. (B)Anger got better with time. James, Lars, Kirk, & Rob seem on top of their game. Maybe the rhythmic chugs are more of a gallop these days. Slash has improved so much over time, Duff got sober. Axl’s voice went out the window with his grasp of reality & last vestiges of sanity. I couldn’t even tell you who else was in the band, to the end that I actually just miss Velvet Revolver at this point.

Megadeth? Sure, Dave Mustaine can arguably play guitar better than James or Kirk… may be better at writing or arranging songs… has definitely put out more albums in the same timespan… But who has heard them? There have been a revolving cast of players, each successively thrown under the bus, probably the same Greyhound that drove Dave from NYC home to San Francisco. Seriously, the only press that they have received in the last decade that wasn’t Dave commenting on Metallica has been Dave Ellefson’s whacking it on webcam. This led Dave M. to discount all of the former’s contributions over the years.

AC/DC can make the same album over & over again for decades and it can be great… but not everyone can get away with that.

I’m anxious to hear your thoughts in the comments. What do you think? I’m looking forward to the new album. Will I still poke fun at Metallica? You bet I will. Will I enjoy the rest their new stuff? I sure hope so.

Check out my Metallica related playlists. I had a good one on Spotify that I am in the process of rebuilding for Amazon Music.

Halloween Playlists.


Halloween has the coolest music. I have made some playlists on various platforms over the years, Amazon & Spotify being the most recent. I thought I’d not only put them all in once place, but also share. I’m always adding to them and changing. I’m listening to the 1st list now.

So what are your go-to’s? What would you add? What would you leave off? Share your playlists!

🌽Maize Maze, 🦃Turkey Maze, & 🙁August is Falling Maze ✍️


I can’t stop. Ha. I’ve been in a maze mood apparently. Someone complete some of these damn things! Here they are from Instagram.

Mike Duke requested a maize maze.

Thanksgiving is my favorite.

Have you heard about August is Falling? See the Gloom O’ Lantern.

Collage of recent mazes.

Streaming related bands automatically?


This stated as a Twitter post/thread, and is ending up here.

Am I weird for thinking this?

Streaming services like Spotify and Amazon Music need a feature that adds in related bands. I can tell Alexa to play Rancid, but I also wouldn’t mind Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards being in there, or Transplants, or Tim’s solo stuff.  Or even Rancid covers.

Streaming needs to get smarter already.  The Spotify “super grouper” feature picks the absolute worst songs from each selected artist.

Of course, I could just make a playlist.  But, with a band like Blink-182 in the news, I wanted to dig into Angels & Airwaves, Boxcar Racer, & +44.  I don’t know which songs to add to a playlist.

Also, if I want to listen to ALL, I could want to listen to the Descendents too.  What about Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds, Loaded, Neurotic Boy Outsiders, Slash, Slash’s Snakepit, Miles Kennedy & The Conspirators, all of it.

Snuff, Duncan Redmonds, Dogpiss, Guns ‘n’ Wankers would be another example.  As would Misfits, Danzig, Samhain, Son of Sam, etc.

Saying one phrase or typing one into a searchboith to be able to bring them all up.

Is that bandtoband.com still a thing?  That could be a reference for connected bands.

Teenage Bottlerocket & the Lillingtons.  Screeching Weasel & The Riverdales.  Ann Beretta, Foundation, Rob Huddleston, & Sixer.  Metallica & Megadeth.  Green Day, Foxboro Hot Tubs, The Network, & 300 other bands.

Even unrelated bands.  Can I just say “Alexa play songs by Flogging Molly and The Dropkick Murphys” and not confuse the shit out of it?

I have an Ozzy/Black Sabbath playlist on Spotify with a ton of great stuff, including a plethora of killer covers.  It took time to curate.  I have similar ones for Metallica, Misfits, Guns N’ Roses, & Rancid. I need to transition them all to Amazon Music… we have the family account there since we’re using the firestick. I like Spotify’s suggestions better… but I can listen to Amazon sans commercials. I refuse to subscribe to another service, sorry Spotify. Oddly, most of those transfer services have a paywall once you surpass an unreasonably low amount of songs. I don’t even my remember my Pandora logins.

I would think AI could have probably pretty quickly picked up what I was putting down & fleshed it out.

I wouldn’t expect it to go this deep, but it could link Flogging Molly to Fastway.

With Hip Hop too… say all the solo projects of the members of N.W.A.?  All that in one would be awesome.

Does something like this exist and I’m just not aware of it? I miss WinAmp.

I need to rip all kinds of older, local, & obscure stuff and put it on my own damn streaming server. I understand Google Music would let you do that before it collapsed? There is really a lot of stuff out there that you can’t stream, and some of my favorites don’t have their entire catalogs available to stream.

Help me out, audiofiles, music nerds, and techno geeks!

Spotify Pie & Iceburgify for AiXeLsyD13
AiXeLsyD13 Spotify Listening Habits

August is Falling :(


If you don’t know about Pat Finnerty, you should. He has a YouTube channel and he does a series of videos titled What Makes This Song Stink? among others (Now there’s a podcast too!). He has some witty observations, harsh truths, and is just lampooning guitar guy videos on YouTube. The pedal mobile is a thing of genius and pure hilarious delight. He says what a lot of us are thinking. He catches some wild connections or callbacks. He takes a joke way too far, which has always been something I am a fan of. It’s defiant. It’s hilarious.

As someone who has made art for it to mostly serve as a creative outlet that happens to have a very small circle of people who may have enjoyed it to varying degrees… It’s nice to see this guy get traction.

Writing, recording, and performing your own stuff lends itself to a certain level of judgement of others’ art. There’s probably some narcissism in there, but not at an unhealthy level. It’s not necessarily mean spirited, but it can be. I remain humble and understand that my creative output is not for the masses. I cater to a very small crowd with very similar tastes and no hang-ups about production quality. You have to wonder though… on some stuff… Why is this objectively certifiable crap popular? It’s hard to pin. It’s hard to point out.

I have played with some awesome musicians that “get it.” I have encountered many who do not. We are not on the same page. You’re not wrong in your opinions, but then again… you are. Pat gets it. Pat & I would probably disagree on a lot of things…. but we’d both have arguments to back it up. I appreciate his overall music nerdiness.

August is Falling started as a joke, and took off. I am in awe and a bit jealous. I bought a T-shirt and downloaded the EP though. This “joke” output is quality stuff.

Do yourself a favor and dive in.

Need help from those of you that sell art and/or merch using fulfillment services. (𝘢.𝘬.𝘢. The return of A-Maze Mugs & more?)


So, Ci3 closed up shop… and with it went A-Maze Mugs. Not sure that any were actually sold anyway? I know I have 2 prototypes and we did work up art for the box. I posted about them a few times. I also did a (very) poorly recorded jingle.

I feel like I just sit on all my maze art, while others are able to monetize their art projects. This is me reaching out for advice from my creative peeps.

I know there are no-money-up-front printing/fulfillment services. Does anyone have good (or really bad) experiences with any of those? I clicked a link on one, and 30 are showing up in my FB ad feeds. Are any more reputable/profitable/flexible than the others?

Even better, does anyone local do printing & fulfillment services, like Commonwealth Press?

Would it be worth it to save & invest some money into it?

I would like to put my mazes on all kinds of stuff. I get likes on my mazes on Instagram. Occasionally someone sends me a solution. Maybe T-shirts would be useless… unless you had one on the back and wanted someone to complete it as a sort of massage? Ha ha.

Tiles may be interesting. The socks that Mike worked up were super cool! Mugs seem to be out but those new stainless steel tumblers are in. Maybe a beer stein? Maybe just a book of mazes? My thing though, is most of my stuff has no theme. They’re just mazes. I have a TON drawn. They just need scanned & maybe cleaned up a bit.

I’m not looking to get rich, but creativity funding more creativity never hurts. Right?

These look like a fun product IMHO, anyway. Finding someone to ship a mug and a dry erase marker AND do the printing may be tough?

The 4 initial maze mugs maze ideas.

I’m open to any and all suggestions and solutions. I feel like I’m just sitting on these, have been for years, and should be doing something with them.

Cargo Shorts: Uniform of the Useful


Recently, while camping at a local Jellystone with the family (awesome for young kids, by the way!), it occurred to me just how awesome cargo shorts are. Luckily I have a fashion sense unfettered by current trends, or perhaps a complete lack thereof. Why are they so vilified?

My cargo shorts were the hero of the day for a Saturday camping adventure.

My shorts in the course of the day, at one point for quite some time, contained all of the following…

  1. Car keys
  2. Cabin key
  3. Wallet
  4. Cell phone
  5. Wife’s cell phone
  6. Wife’s lip balm
  7. 4 golf balls from Putt Putt that we need to return for a refund across the camp.
  8. The contents of one “fossil” mining sluice bag.
  9. The contents of one “gem” mining sluice bag.
  10. Tummy medicine.
  11. Campground map.
  12. Multi-Tool pocket knife thing:
    • Plyers
    • Cutters/Strippers
    • Knife
    • Saw
    • Ruler
    • Phillips-Head Screwdriver
    • Flat-Head screw driver
    • Can-opener
    • Other Can-opener
    • File
  13. Epi-Pen.

Tell me that’s not awesome. See the above FB post from my friend Dave, and the photo of backpack shorts found from the bowels of social media? Perhaps that is the only possible evolution to something more useful. Are you brave enough to try?

So, cargo shorts dad, or just cargo shorts man… you continue being you. Cargo shorts mom or cargo shorts woman? You be you too! Fashion will circle back around. Or not. Who cares? We stand the test of time.

I also wear high-top Chuck Taylor All Stars with shorts, which my wife erroneously and hilariously thinks is a faux pas. I mean, what?

I have also noticed that socks with Crocs is a thing. I got into Crocs almost like I imagine someone succumbs to an addiction. I thought they were dumb. I got some for creek shoes at camp. They were really comfortable. I got some fur-lined ones for slippers at home. I wore the regular ones into the yard to garden. I wear them to cut grass, take out the dog, take out the trash. I wore them for a quick run to Rite Aid. Wore them for a longer run to Giant Eagle. Wore them with socks while gardening or mowing the lawn to keep the dirt from getting in between my toes. Will I be wearing Crocs in socks to the kids’ school and sports activities soon?

Tell me in the comments what you store in your cargo shorts. What should I be keeping in mine? I didn’t even get into how different shades of camo PERFECTLY compliment my band T-shirts and Star Wars or Batman T-shirts.

You probably shouldn’t take fashion advice from a guy with lambchop sideburns anyway.

SPAMP+ :|. ¼” Stereo to Mono Adapter Cable!


So, remember the SPAMP+? It was a ton of fun. I wrote to ask the SpampMAN if I could get a ¼” stere-to-mono adapter for the headphone jack to make the headphone jack essentially an “out” for a guitar amp so I could use the Spamp+ as an effect or pre-amp.

Dude is solid, and sent me one! He may include it as an option with future builds! The grilled, chilled, & fried all work as you would expect and sound gorgeous coming through my Blues Jr.

Here I used my New York Pro StarGazer (with GFS Lil’ Killer Rails) into the SPAMP, then my Fender Blues Jr. The tones are still awesome! the volume differences are there, but if you pick one & go that rally shouldn’t be a problem. This is totally cool as a pre-amp effect! There’s no on-off, but I do have an A/B/Y switch that I could maybe use to put it in & out of the loop. At any rate, this is still super fun, and that’s what it’s all about!

I would say this cable is a resounding success!

Check out the Spamp page and Spamp Etsy Shop!

Jamming with the Spamp+ right out of the box.


I always forget to post YouTube videos here. Here I am, reminded, and on a New Gear Day!

Got a new fun little toy, and ran it through some paces.

I ran a few of my guitars into the Spamp+ to see what’s up. Check them out: https://spamp.com & https://www.etsy.com/shop/SpampMusic

I dimed the SPICE and HEAT knobs, but left TASTE at 12:00. Why? I always dime all the knobs. I like gain and dirt and punk rock. I ran each guitar through the CHILLED, FRIED, and GRILLED settings.

I like FRIED and GRILLED, but there was a noticeable volume drop with Grilled with all the guitars/pickups. This is a super fun little amp. I may get the normal one to use as a distortion pedal… as I don’t think this headphone out is suitable to run to an amp.

I will eventually get to using a 9V & rocking the headphones. This was plugged into a 9v power supply for the video.

I did test a 9V in it, and it had the same volume drop to GRILLED. Of course I used the oil can guitar in the Spam can amp first.

The guitars…

❶ Bohemian Moonshine 🎸 https://www.instagram.com/p/B_gCZ35Dz4_/

❷ New York Pro Stargazer 🎸 https://wp.me/pwqzc-1qP 🤘 https://www.instagram.com/p/B_OMXvwjDxa/

❸ Indy Custom FlyCaster 🎸 https://wp.me/pwqzc-2z4

❹ No Name LP Copy 🎸 https://www.instagram.com/p/B_Vs6BtDLFv/

❺ Russ Lorenz Shitar 🎸 https://wp.me/pwqzc-2AJ

❻ BC Rich Dagger 🎸 https://www.instagram.com/p/B_QfM3TDnZm/

You can see what kinds of pickups they have and if not just ask me in the comments. You get single coils, humbucker/single split, lipstick, humbuckers, hot rails, and P-90-ish ones. I think the SPAMP+ sounds absolutely killer with the P90’s.

I try not to ruin my guitar/gear videos with talking.

Should I explain things for the 3 of you that watch? Lemme know what you think. Do I need the one that acts as a pedal?

Send me a pedal and I will demo it with all the knobs or almost all the knobs dimed.

Spamp+ Mini Practice/Headphone guitar amplifier.
Spamp+

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