Reflective Retrospective Recollective


AiXeLsyD 🎸 Gasoline Dion 🎸 Ernie and the BertsSo, 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.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.)

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.”

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.”

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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Check out the playlist on SoundCloud:

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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.

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The AiXeLsyD stuff:

The Gasoline Dion stuff:

The Ernie and the Berts Stuff:

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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!
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Guitarobatics 🎸


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…

Dancing E.

Dancing E.

☑ 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.
☑ Stage-diving.
☑ 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:

Someone did a crazy search for mazes…


947 views on one maze in one day?

947 views on one maze in one day?

Looking at my WordPress stats, I found a really weird day on Feb. 27th, apparently Yahoo! Image Search was inundated with the word “maze” that day.  Check out all these crazy hits, click on the image to the left for the full size.

Weird.

It’s cool that one of my mazes shows up on the first page when you do a Yahoo image search for “maze”.  (Google too, just lower down the page.)

Did I miss national maze day or something?

Was there a maze in the news?

I really need to work on putting together a book, or trying to sell some prints online somehow.  It would be nice to do something productive with them.

1053 hits in one day?

1053 hits in one day?

 

Zombie Apocalypse Playlist?


So Ultimate Classic Rock came up with a Zombie Apocalypse 2012 Playlist (in “honor” of the face-eater in Florida).  Great idea.  OK list.  Granted, the name of the site is Ultimate Classic Rock, but let’s add some more zombie songs.

Their list?

Tom Petty, ‘Zombie Zoo
Alice Cooper, ‘Zombie Dance‘ and ‘I Love the Dead
The Ramones, ‘Pet Sematary
The Zombies, ‘Time of the Season
Jonathan Coulton, ‘Re: Your Brains
Rob Zombie, ‘Living Dead Girl
U2, ‘Wake Up Dead Man
The Hooters, ‘All You Zombies
Michael Jackson, ‘Thriller

Let’s expand our list to cannibalism, face-eating, and general insanity or gore.

I’m sure there are many many more.  Help me list ’em?

Shaun of the Dead Zombies

Ultimate Classic Rock | Zombie Apocalypse 2012 Playlist

Youfest, Youapalooza, You’d Tour, or Youstock.


Just over a year ago, I tried out a blog post asking for your input.  It totally didn’t work.  No one tried it.  So I’m gonna try it myself, and you’re going to hopefully reply this time.  I think I have a few more regular readers now.  Here are the rules as I set forth before…

Okay.  You just found out that you’re secretly related to Oprah, and since she knows you’re a huge music fan… she’s letting you put together the concert of all concerts to celebrate.  Since you have Oprah money, you pretty much have no limit there, but you are limited to bands that are alive and actively together, or that you believe could be reasonably brought back together with a little grea$ing of the wheels.  Example… you’re probably not going to get Guns N’ RosesAppetite or (even the Illusions tour) lineup to get on stage together… but you probably could get Steven Tyler & Joe Perry in the same room.

Put together the whole thing…

  • The Venue: A small club?  A stadium or amphitheater?  Your living room?
  • The Run: Is it a one-night-only deal, or is this a 3-day festival?
  • The Name: Every killer show has to have a killer title.  No “w00t-stock”, please.
  • The Bands: Who’s playing & in what order?  Bonus points for linking to ‘em.
  • Added Insanity: Want a 20 minute drum solo with Neil Peart & Lars Ulrich?  Want an unplugged duet with Danzig & Shakira?  Want GWAR to disembowel you on the stage?  A guitar battle between Eric Clapton and Slash?  Want all the bands to do nothing but Black Sabbath covers?  Can’t hurt to throw the idea out there!
  • Micro-Manage: If you really want to get nuts, what do you want to see in each performer’s setlist?  Either highlights or the whole thing.

I’ll think about mine while you post yours in the comments below, and in a few days or so I’ll revisit the whole idea in another blog post.  Links to bands’ websites, videos, and music strongly encouraged!

Got it?  I’m working under that set of guidelines.

I’d have just 2 sages, going back-to back with maybe 10 minutes in between each set.  None of this bands playing at the same time crap like I’ve seen at some festivals where 2 of the 5 bands I came to see are playing at the same damn time.

I narrowed it down to 6 days with 10 bands each day.  I didn’t work out set times… and the order is more random than I’d like.  Pairing bands can be difficult.  One one hand similar stuff sometimes pairs well… on the other it sometimes gets boring.

My problem is that I like a lot of bands & they constantly go in & out of rotation.  I’m always forgetting & adding.  This list might change if I were to start it all over tomorrow.

I’d like to see all the bands in their current incarnations as per the rules.  I’ve seen some of them and they’re great live acts… I’d like to see what the others can do live.  And, of course, if I had Oprah money, I’d put my bands in there too.  Who wouldn’t?

I’d need 2 equal size stages… something like a parking lot venue where the crowd just turns around.

I’d call it AiXeLFest 3.0, because it would kind of be like Leonard Part 6.  No one would have remembered 1 or 2.  Well, some people would.

AiXeLFeSt 3.0

Band [ Stage # ] Why?

  • “Hit List”

Day 1

AiXeLsyD [Stage 1] Why not? You’d put your band on too, if you could, right?

The Legendary Hucklebucks [Stage 2] These guys are ridiculously entertaining. As for the Metallica cover, they played it live once and the crowd went NUTS.

Michale Graves [Stage 1] Dude works hard, writes some good stuff.  I’d like to hear some Graves & Gotham Road stuff… plugged in.

  • “Casket” (Graves)
  • “Creo Burn” (Gotham Road)
  • “Saturday Night” (Misfits)

Locksley [Stage 2] Killer live band that I’ve had the honor of playing with, and damn nice guys.

  • “The Whip”
  • “Darling, It’s True”
  • “Don’t Make Me Wait”

Enemy You [Stage 1] I have one of their albums and I need more.  It’s ridiculously catchy.

The Nobodys [Stage 2] These guys are hilarious potty mouths, and I bet they’d be a great show.

BARS [Stage 1] I can’t seem to find much about this band online. Did they even tour? Do they still exist?

Fist Fight in the Parking Lot [Stage 2] Prepare to have your face rocked off.  You can claim it later at the lost & found.

  • “Side Steppin’ Ninja”
  • “S&M”
  • “Something
Willie Nelson and his guitar "Trigger"

Willie Nelson and his guitar "Trigger" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Willie Nelson [Stage 1] One of the coolest concerts I’ve ever seen was Willie Nelson.  The dude is a natural entertainer & such a great songwriter.

Motörhead [Stage 2] Have you seen the movie Lemmy?  Who wouldn’t want this guy to perform?  They rock harder than most bands can even imagine rocking.

  • “Ace of Spades”
  • “Sacrifice”
  • “Enter Sandman” (Metallica Cover)
  • “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.”

Day 2

Secrets Lie Within [Stage 1] These dudes are great friends that AiXeLsyD & Gasoline Dion played many shows with. I dig their sweet sugary sound.

Duncan Redmonds [Stage 2] The man is a genius. So many bands, so many songs.  His acoustic gigs look great on YouTube.  I’d like to hear stripped-down stuff from any of them.

I Voted For Kodos [Stage 1] Never had the pleasure of seeing them live.  They were a ska band, and then they weren’t, I think.  Ska is generally a fun time, and these dudes wrote some catchy songs.

Steel Panther [Stage 2] Why wouldn’t you want these guys at an almost week-long party?

The Misfits [Stage 1] At least someone is playing the songs.  I’d like to get as many of them as possible in one place and see either  a reconciliation or a brawl.

Reel Big Fish [Stage 2] One of the better bands I’ve seen live… they’re all kinds of crazy & fun.

  • “Beer”
  • “Everything Sucks”
  • “Another Day in Paradise” (Phil Collins cover)

Guns ‘n’ Wankers [Stage 1] I love the self-titled CD, it’s absolute genius.  Both versions.  I’d love to see this band live.

Mighty Mighty Bosstones [Stage 2] These guys are high-energy awesomeness live.  Must be that dude that just dances.

NOFX [Stage 1] I’d love to see them again.  They have an insane back-catalog of songs and I like most all of ‘em.

  • “Mattersville”
  • Woah on the Woahs”
  • “We Threw Gasoline On The Fire And Now We Have Stumps For Arms And No Eyebrows”
Flogging Molly performing live at Rams Head Li...

Flogging Molly performing live at Rams Head Live in Baltimore, MD (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Flogging Molly [Stage 2] Ridiculously awesome live show.  Ridiculously catchy easily accessible songs.  Ridiculous ability to get the crowd pumped.  I’d go see them any time I can.

Day 3

Gasoline Dion [Stage 1] Again, if you were doing it & had a band, you’d put yourself on too.  Or maybe I just have a big rockstar ego.

  • “Cold”
  • “Bitch Pants Opera”
  • “She Shits in Stereo”

Screeching Weasel [Stage 2] They’re the “hey those aren’t the Ramones?” of my generation.  I know they don’t play much.  I’d make them.

  • “Celena”
  • “Cool Kids”
  • “My Right”
  • “I Wanna Be Naked”

Ann Beretta [Stage 1] One of my favorite bands.  There was some kind of split, but Rob & Russ soldiered on to make more killer music.

  • “Bottlecaps”
  • “Love’s Easy Tears”
  • “Russ’ Song”
  • “Efforts Wasted”

800 Octane [Stage 2] Don’t know much about them other than I found them online many years ago & totally dug all their stuff.

Tom Green [Stage 1] Listen to this. This dude is a great rapper, and bound to be wildly entertaining and unpredictable. His Prepare for Impact album is incredible.

Dropkick Murphys [Stage 2] Great live show.  Catchy songs.  Celtic.  What more do you need?

  • “I’m Shipping Up to Boston”
  • “Amazing Grace” (Traditional)
  • “Dirty Glass”

ALL [Stage 1] ALL!  Oddly, I like ALL better than that other band that they’re almost all in.

Band of Skulls [Stage 2] I bought this album recently and couldn’t get it out of the CD player.  I kept letting it play.

The Offspring performing lite in Fortaleza, Br...

The Offspring performing lite in Fortaleza, Brazil, November 15th 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Offspring [Stage 1] Another memorable live show.  These guys are pros all the way, and quite memorable.  I saw this tour where they had this “intermission” with bubble machines and inflatable furniture… it was hilarious.

  • “Total Immortal” (AFI Cover)
  • “Self Esteem”
  • “The Kids Aren’t Alright”
  • “Bad Habit”

Avenged Sevenfold [Stage 2] I liked this band the instant I heard them on a Hopeless Records comp.  Then, they blew up.  Good for them!

Day 4

Sing the Evens, Play the Odds [Stage 1] Fun fact: I named this band. They’d do it if I asked nicely. They were a killer live show & great friends.  I feel like they had another album in them somewhere.

The Bloody Seamen [Stage 2] You need to see this band.  Everyone needs to see this band.  What are you waiting for? Go!

The Eyeliners [Stage 1] Beautiful girls playing poppy punk rock songs with mad skills?  I’m in. Gel is one of my favorite guitarists!

  • “Destroy” (an appearance by Joan Jett would be killer!)
  • “Think of Me”
  • “Do The Zombie”

Transplants [Stage 2] I liked the first album, and I’d love to see how they do it live.

Marky Ramone’s Blitzkrieg [Stage 1] This has to be a great show.  I wanna hear all these Ramones Songs.  Marky is a space cadet.

  • “When We Were Angels”
  • “Pet Sematary” (Ramones)
  • “R.A.M.O.N.E.S.” (Motörhead Cover)
  • “Bop ‘Til You Drop” (Ramones)

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes [Stage 2] They’ve got to be a great time.  They were booed at PNC Park once because Yinzers are dumb.  They need to come back to an appreciative audience.

  • “Country Roads” (John Denver cover)
  • “One Tin Soilder” (Original Caste cover)
  • “Goodbye Earl” (The Dixie Chicks cover)
  • “Hello” (Lionel Richie cover)

Poison [Stage 1] Balk or scoff if you want, but I’ve seen them a few times, and they’re a great light-hearted rock n’ roll show.  Brett Michaels & CC DeVille are great entertainers.

Beastie Boys [Stage 2] I’ve never seen them live, but I’d love to.  They are incredible at defining what they do, and then doing it.

Velvet Revolver [Stage 1] Their records are over-produced, but they’re a great dirty live rock band.  I don’t care if it’s Wieland or whoever the new guy will be.

  • “Set Me Free”
  • “Slither”
  • “Negative Creep” (Nirvana cover)
  • “Mr. Brownstone” (Guns N’ Roses)
Prince playing at Coachella 2008.

Prince playing at Coachella 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prince [Stage 2] Absolute genius.  Incredibly insane.  I’d love to see this in action.  Ever see Purple Rain?  If he brought out Morris Day & the Time for a few, it would also be incredible.

Day 5

Exclusion Principle|45 min.|1|My favorite local band ever?  Probably.  These dudes gigged with AiXeLsyD all the time, and were awesome.  For Oprah money, I want a recording too.

Bastard Bearded Irishmen [Stage 2] If you live in the burgh, are at all of fan of Celtic stuff, and haven’t seen them… please kick your own ass now.

  • “In Heaven There Is No Beer” (Ernst Neubach & Ralph Maria Siegel cover)
  • “Drinkem’, Drankem, Drunkem’ “
  • “Black Velvet Band” (traditional)
  • “Float” (Flogging Molly cover)

Dethlehem [Stage 1] If any orcs show up to this gig, these guys will have it covered.  They also slay eardrums with magical sweeping.

The Unseen [Stage 2] These guys are a great live show.  I’m not sure who’s even in the band any more.  High energy songs, high energy show.

Omegalord [Stage 1] “Not. Gonna. Die.  …With bullets in my gun!”  Badass biker metal like Motörhead meets Black Sabbath, cool live show.  Oprah money may convince them to reunite.

Nerf Herder [Stage 2] Hilarious songs, great hooks, and goofy premises…  I wish this band churned out more albums & toured more.

Tenacious D [Stage 1] These guys are awesome.  With Dave Grohl on Drums and or additional guitar it would rock that much harder.

Dr. Dre [Stage 2] Musical genius.  Lyrical genius.  Production genius. Marketing genius. Hasn’t made kid movies.  I’d like to see Ice Cube, Eminem, MC Ren, DJ Yella, & Snoop do some guest spots.

  • “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang”
  • “Natural Born Killaz” (Dr. Dre & Ice Cube)
  • “Keep Their Heads Ringin'”
  • “Straight Outta Compton” (N.W.A.)
Slash playing a show with Velvet Revolver

Slash playing a show with Velvet Revolver (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Slash, Miles Kennedy, & the Conspirators [Stage 1] Slash & Miles Kennedy go well together.  They ought to keep doing it.  Slash digs his touring band.  They ought to keep doing it.  I need to see this band if/when they come through the ‘Burgh.  Slash has a great body of songs to pull from.

  • “Back & Forth Again” (Slash’s Snakepit)
  • “Starlight”
  • “Rocket Queen” (Guns N’ Roses)
  • “Ghost”

Aerosmith [Stage 2] I’ve never seen them, I’d like to before someone dies or they hate each other forever (again).  I bet it’s a hell of a show.

  • “Mama Kin”
  • “Walk This Way”
  • “Big Ten Inch Record”
  • “Love in an Elevator”
  • “Train Kept A-Rollin'” (Tiny Bradshaw cover)

Day 6

Ernie and the Berts [Stage 1] Yup.  I was in too many bands, and I self-promote way too much.

Peelander-Z playing at the Asian Heritage cele...

Peelander-Z playing at the Asian Heritage celebration in New York at LaGuardia Community College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Peelander-Z [Stage 2] These guys are pretty much inexplicable as a live act.  It’s an experience.  It’s like you’re on another planet.  There’s so much interaction & participation, it’s hardly like watching a band… it’s like being in one.

The Bloodhound Gang [Stage 1] Such a fun live show.  It’s like a dirty dirty potty-humor filled  circus.

  • “It’s Tricky”
  • “Mope”
  • “Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss”

The Sword [Stage 2] These guys are so heavy, they might cause the stage to collapse.  These are the coolest riffs you’ll get outside of a Sabbath album.

AFI [Stage 1] So many different sounds, and I like them all.  I caught the very end of their set once at a Warped Tour.  I’d like to see a full set.

  • “I Wanna Get A Mohawk (But Mom Won’t Let Me Get One)”
  • “Totalimmortal”
  • “Kill Caustic”
  • “Days of the Phoenix”
The Drummer is the main vocals. Can't think of...

SNUFF: The Drummer is the main vocals. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Snuff [Stage 2] Such a great band.  So many albums, so many songs, so many related projects, and I love them all.  They need to come to the US so I can see them!

Rancid [Stage 1] So catchy, great live band, and all kinds of fun.  Rancid is a great gateway into ska & punk rock.

Danzig [Stage 2] Badassery abounds from the great tiny one.  If only Danzig could learn to not take himself so seriously.  Great live show though!

Green Day [Stage 1] I’ve never seen them live.  I’d love to.  I enjoy many of their albums & have for quite some time. They’ve become incredibly successful just doing what they do.

  • “2,000 Light Years Away”
  • “She”
  • “F.O.D.”
  • “Church on Sunday”

Metallica [Stage 2] METALLICA!  Even without Jason Newsted, and even after a few blah albums… I’d like to see them again.  They’re still THE metal band.


Son of Sam would be cool too if Davey Havok were to sing… or a Samhain reunion, or even the Teen Idols or The Donnas.  Then there’s, Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards, The Foo Fighters, Psychostick, Green Jellÿ, The Aquabats, The Phenomenauts, Head Cat, Sixer, Warp 11, The Distillers, Weird Al, Electric Eel Shock, and so many others..  I could easily add another day & lots more locals like The Cheats, Undercover Saints, Scratch ‘n Sniffs, Trash Magnet, Black Casket, maybe even Anti-Flag.  Maybe we could reunite the Satanic Bat?

I wonder how much money or money to a charity it would take to get Ozzy Osborne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Bill Ward all to get on stage together?  Think I could get Dave back into Sum 41?  Then there’s Duff McKagan’s Loaded or Izzy Stradlin (& maybe even the Ju Ju Hounds).  Could I pay enough to bring Bobby Steele and The Undead out of retirement or for Danzig to play with John Christ, Chuck Biscuits, & Eerie Von?  Maybe a Pinhead Gunpowder or The Network appearance could happen?  I like the weird/quirky stuff.

I’d like to see all the bands in their current incarnations as per the rules.  I’ve seen some of them and they’re great live acts… I’d like to see what the others can do live.  And, of course, if I had Oprah money, I’d put my bands in there too.  Who wouldn’t?

As far as the “hits”, I tried to include rare stuff or stuff that I’d go just nuts without hearing.

So that’s my list.  Today.  Obviously, I find it hard to narrow down.  Now, make your own!  You don’t have to get as detailed as me.  You can list your favorites in the comments below.  You could post it on your own blog or as a Facebook note & keep it going.

Would you come to my show?

Super old music scene rant… Unprofessionalism [2005]


I just mentioned this in a blog, and then I found it.  I think this was on my MySpace blog, but I can’t find it there.  It’s an old rant from 2005 that I emailed to myself for some reason.  I don’t know if I ever posted it anywhere?  Maybe I did then deleted it?  It’s incredibly whiny and laced with profanity.  I sound like a little crybaby.  That’s what happens when you go on the internet & rant, I guess.

Русский: Jim Dunlop - Original Crybaby (GCB-95)

Wrong kind of crybaby...

I felt like posting it since I did reference it.  It wasn’t exactly on the same topic, but it is a guy in a band whining about stupid show-related problems.  When it all comes down to it, I just have fun jamming.  None of this trivial BS outweighs that.  I can’t express that enough.  I’m glad to have a current band that rocks & is a continuance of such fun.

Maybe I made this private or didn’t post it because I named names.  None of the band names or venues exist, or are at all relevant any more, which I guess says a lot.  Maximum effort, minimal results.

-✍-

Unprofessionalism

Is that even a word? Well, now it is. Everyone’s always complaining about the Pittsburgh “scene”, and stating what the problems are or what-not… Okay… not everyone… just people involved in it who like to complain I guess. Well, I have another complaint to add to this mysterious master list that bites my ass… and I don’t know how to put a tag on it other than “Unprofessionalism”. Really, before you pick the term apart… I realize that most bands on the local level & most bands that we deal with aren’t doing this “professionally” per se… they’re not making a living at it, they’re doing it more as a hobby or fun activity. Well, good for you… I do it because I love it too. Sometimes, some people (musicians & booking people) make it hard to love.

People, unintentionally or not… can be assholes. Now, I’m a very laid back kinda guy (ask anyone). Although, I guess I get uptight at certain things… like when I can’t get straight answers… and when things that my name (or my bands’ name as an extension of that) are attached to go otherwise than according to plan.

Two ball-breakers hit for this weekend’s double header.

First one, not so big of a deal, but annoying as all hell in my eyes. We’re put on a last minute show. Okay. No biggie. No notice? Someone pulled out? Okay. All I ask is that I get the details, as I guess I’m the self-appointed show-pimper(-nazi). When I mean details… I mean time, cost, address, website and/or phone # of venue, name of venue, name(s) of band(s) playing, and said bands’ website url’s. Not particularly toilsome information to provide, right? Well, apparently this is the most difficult task to ever assign anyone who calls themselves a musician, booking agent, or club owner. No one ever knows the ☠⚡☣☢ing answer to anything. The ‘confirm the date and I’ll get back to you’ shit is stupid… they get back to you the week before hand, and expect you to have a place packed with your fans and friends. People need to know what the hell is going on before they commit to something. People (me) need to know what the hell is going on before the show… a month before… so they can advertise, flyer, talk about it, get the word out.

Why are the other bands important? Well… people are more likely to go out to a show if there’s 3 bands they like vs. just one. Which brings me back to the point where I think I was going before I got to a rant inside of a rant inside of a rant…

The early show at the Spider Lounge… we were given a list of bands that’re playing. I start promoting on last minute notice that there’s a show going on, we’re playing, & this is who else is playing… The Abbitoir Murders see said advertising… and they’re like… “Hey, we’re not on that…” Apparently, one guy is even going to be out of town, so there’s no way they could. Turns out they were asked the vague ‘wanna play a show’ question, never heard anything as far as details, and assumed it went kaput. Now, this is not their fault. It’s the fault of whoever set up the show. Who did set up the show? I dunno. I thought we had set up a central booking guy in order to keep all of the shit in line… so all details & info could go through him and he could ask the right questions… but apparently no one passes show info to him other than me. There was a reason for my madness that apparently no one else sees here. The way I see it though, I’ll play anywhere… so I go along with this, even though I have no idea what the ☠⚡☣☢ is going on. Don’t blame me if we can’t bring any people out because I can’t answer any detailed questions. One thing I hate more than other people being dumb, is looking dumb myself. I get word out on everything I know… then everything changes, and I look like an idiot that doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.

In with this gripe goes websites… I ask for band or venue urls.., and I’m surprised at how many have none or incredibly out-dated information. It’s 2005. Everyone knows someone with the internet. There are free sites out there, like this one, that can get information about your place up & out. Message me if you want help with this. I’ll do it gladly. That way… when people are like “I don’t know”, we can go to the website to check out times, directions, schedules, lists of bands, etc… but even at that, the shit changes so often because bands are pulling out, or people are saying the so-and-so band is gonna be there when what they meant is that they were thinking about asking that band to maybe play… so what’s the f’n use I guess? Then I get the band’s “too new” to have a website. Well, if you’re too new to have a website, you’re too new to play a show. Get the word out there before you play. Start some hype. Tell people about yourself.

In with all the above is what I call the AMC/Club Angel’s Phenomenon. This includes some strange practices indeed… the AMC part is where you book three bands after telling the club you’ll take care of it… then you get there and 3 more bands have been added to the show, yet it’s set to start at the same time as previously advertised… and somehow, the bands that were added go on 1st, take way too long to set up, play for 45 min., and the bands you’ve booked & your bands get ☠⚡☣☢ed into short sets and playing after PA’s teen-driving curfew time so no one’s left to watch you anyway… not even the fans that were pissed that they came out too see you & had to leave before you went on, or face the possible wrath of a bored state trooper, or irate parent. The Club Angel’s side is where they call you and put you on a show… tell you the names of 2 other bands that’re playing… so you advertise those bands… get there, and find there’s five other bands on the show… none of which are the two you’ve been advertising.

Wow… all of that ranting and confusion from one little show?

The next show… we’ve had planned for how long? I dunno… a long time. Us, Moment of Tragedy, & the Have Nots. This show? Jason booked it so we have all the bands set, all the details set, things were confirmed, flyers were made & put up, and all is good to go. No problem, right?

Well, today… (the day before the show) We’re informed that the Have Nots are no longer a band. Okay. The Have Nots are a great band. They’ve put us on shows before. I love to watch them play. They all seem like nice guys. But, seriously… WHAT THE ☠⚡☣☢? I know, shit happens. You might not get along anymore. You might not have practiced a lot lately. All things that don’t happen overnight… so this falls under “Things that should have been brought to our attention prior to yesterday” (to paraphrase Robbie the wedding singer). And… again… this show has been planned for a while. Is there no such thing as being honor-bound to play, or finding someone to take your place? We still haven’t gotten “official” word. Were they just gonna be a no-show tomorrow had Mike not talked to Ed?

I’ve only ever backed out of a show one time… that’s when Boner & Ben quit AiXeLsyD the morning of a video shoot that we were to have at Angry Johnny’s for “Stand Up” in order to appear on Pittsburgh cable show The Venue. There was a whole lot of chaos going on that day, so it was understandable IMO. Other than that, any time shit arose… we either played w/o a band member, got someone to replace a band member & learn a set within weeks (Thanks Jake, now of the Last Hope, for helping form the Fismits and opening for the Undead when AiXeLsyD couldn’t do it!), and An-Die and I have even played acoustic sets when a drummer bailed. The Rally Ally loved that shit. Even that day we cancelled… I called around like a mother-☠⚡☣☢er trying to get someone out who knew our drum parts… and then, eventually called everyone putting the show together and told them we couldn’t make it. I’d never just bail & not pass the word on.

Is there no code of honor among musicians? No common bond? No feeling of being on the same team or striving for the same goal? Get some convictions, people.

The whole booking thing before… I could get involved in our whole deal with Shadrag’s Entertainment, but I digress… and we’ll save that story for another day.

So… in conclusion (you were following that I was making a point here, right?) maybe all the Pittsburgh scene needs is for all of us to get our shit together. We need to plan, organize, and follow through. It’s not that hard. Well, I know it’s hard for artists of any type to do anything so regimented… but if you stay regimented in this facet, maybe it will push you to be even more free on the artistic side. Who knows? Try it, you might like it. If we all got our facts straight before we answered questions, if we all advertised the same shit for the same day & time, if we all stuck to our commitments, and if we all communicated better… we’d have a hell of a lot more fun in a less stressful environment.

The night view of Pittsburgh skyline from Moun...

Yinzburgh

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Nostalgia…


So, I upped a bunch of old songs to SoundCloud.  Some aren’t bad.  Some are terrible.  (There’s some AiXeLsyD, some Gasoline Dion, & even some Ernie and the Berts for good measure.)  Feel free to enjoy and/or ignore.

AiXeLsyDI have had many many fun times writing songs & jamming with all of these cats over the years. We have recorded some good stuff, met interesting people, and played some absolutely wild parties & shows.  It’s awesome to have played at parks, in basements, on small stages, in garages, in countless dive bars, on big stages, in back yards, a sports bar, band battles, in cool rock bars, an Elks lodge, a dorm room, American Legions, skate parks, VFW’s, theaters, Fire Halls, and even live on the radio.  (Places I haven’t played yet… on a boat, under-water, on a moving flatbed, outside of the U.S., on TV – Ernie, can you get on booking that?)  Some people even dug our stuff.

Gasoline DionI’m glad to be able to continue to rock out with some old faces & some new faces.  I enjoy that I’m still playing shows, going to shows, rocking out with talented dudes, & continually meeting & being influenced by local musicians & those that are just passing through.  We get together to rock out & have a great time doing so …all while trying to be as goofy as possible.  I’m glad I fell into punk rock as there’s a sense of humor about it all.

Ernie and the BertsI enjoy the exchange of knowledge, whether it’s music trivia geekery, guitars & amps & how they work & how to play them, or just general rock n’ roll legends.  I enjoy being obsessed with goofy guitars yet able to appreciate a nice normal axe.  I enjoy making fun of bands that are doing absolutely terrible things, taking too long to set up, playing too long, or have terrible names.  I enjoy being the target of the same kinds of jeers.

In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day coming soon, I’d like to toast my fellow musicians whether I’ve been in a band with you, shared a stage with you, or just been to one of your shows and told you how much it rocked.

☘  Here’s to cheating, stealing, fighting, and drinking! ☘

If you cheat, may you cheat death.
If you steal, may you steal a woman’s heart.
If you fight, may you fight for a brother.
And if you drink, may you drink with me.

Please, share with me some memories of the crazy paces you’ve played, the fun (or terrible) times you’ve had with your bands… whether you were in one with me or not.  Share some of the music too!