New pickups for the Annihilator!


This is a copy of the Annihilator guitar developed by Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein and his brother Jerry Only of the legendary horror punk band, the Misfits.

Annihilator copy from AliExpress - A copy of the infamous guitars of Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein.

I ordered it from AliExpress. It seems to be a copy of the Oktober version. I think Jerry & Doyle originally worked with Rand to build the guitars… then Oktober made a run but Doyle has publicly and often decried their quality. Word on the street is that Dean will be making a production model. Doyle’s have been made from wood, graphite, and metal… with bolt-on sides since he can be a bit rough on them.

I had my go-to guitar guru (the inimitable Aaron Hutzel of Empire Music) recently do a setup and drop-in some Dragonfire Crusaders humbuckers. It sounds glorious through my Orange Micro Terror & a Laney 2×12 cab.

Here is a video of me playing it:

Here’s a short version of the video with annoying filters and stickers on TikTok:

I love it. I know its not “real.” I know it’s ridiculous. It’s fun. I’m too punk rock and too old to care what anyone thinks of the look, legitimacy, or irony of it all. Ha ha.

You can read about my first impressions here: My Guitars | The Annihilator Guitar

You can get one here if you have mad patience and expectations that match the sub-$200 price point: $189.0 US | Factory custom unusual shape Bat body Electric Guitar with Rosewood Fretboard, Bat inlay, Black Hardware, offer customized

Check out Empire Music if you want to see some really nice high-end Fender, Gibson, Martin, Taylor, & more guitars. Check out some of Aaron’s work on his Instagram, he gets to see some beautiful axes! If you’re in or around Pittsburgh, I highly recommend him for all your guitar repair, revision, and setup needs.

Check out a bunch of my weird guitars here on the blog and here on my playlist:

I may eventually set up a website just to catalog/showcase my collection. I have it, I just need to populate it. Would anyone be interested in that, or just me?

My Guitars | The Annihilator Guitar


Well, I did it. I bought a copy of Doyle’s Annihilator off of AliExpress. Hey, it was on the list. Twice. I have knocked others off the other list. Are you really all that surprised?

If 1999 me had been able to get a hold of this, I may have went down an entirely different path. I would have surely journeyed down some sort of horror punk and goth rabbit hole.

ERiC AiXeLsyD & DOyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein (outside Metropol some time in the late 90's or early 00's.)
ERiC AiXeLsyD & Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein
(Outside Metropol in Pittsburgh PA some time in the late 90’s or early 00’s.)

I have been a fan of the Misfits ever since a buddy of mine played a Collection I CD for me. I think we heard of them through Metallica and backwards from Danzig. When I started to play the guitar, I just gravitated towards the “Well, I could do this!” vibe of the stuff. The melodies. The campy lyrics. It takes itself way too seriously. I love it though. Doyle has been a huge influence on my in style and even stage presence. (Although my friend An-Die once remarked that when I stood next to Jerry Only & sang “I Turned Into a Martian” with my recently broken nose still in a cast… I had stage presence, and Jerry had stage presence, but they did not mix together well. I guess I will never know what that means unless video of that day at the Crowbar in Penn State surfaces!)

I dug the OG stuff, and I was a fan of the Misfits ’95 era stuff too. Those were some of the most memorable and entertaining live shows I have been to, and I saw a lot of them. AiXeLsyD & Gasoline Dion regularly covered “Dig Up Her Bones” and “I Turned Into a Martian” among others. I was even part of 2 different Misfits cover sets, the latter being captured on video in 2004.

An-Die Dyslexic, Jerry Only, & ERiC AiXeLsyD
An-Die Dyslexic, Jerry Only, & ERiC AiXeLsyD

Doyle has one of the coolest guitars that fits him perfectly. I look like a doofus with it no doubt. It elicits pure joy when I play it though. Doyle’s originals are one-of-a-kind. They have gone through several incarnations over the years. From graphite, wood, to bolt-on metal wings so they aren’t so easily destroyed. One of the original Rand Annihilator guitars was put back together with something that you’d find in a hardware store. There are many legends about the real thing that Jerry & Doyle crafted at Pro Edge. He has a unique rig for sure. BC Rich was going to make one I think? Ed Roman has one listed on their page, but only as a reference to the weird stuff they can make. Oktober Guitars did make some, but Doyle has stated publicly several times that he was not impressed with their quality and craftsmanship so they’re no longer a thing. It’s an open secret these days that Dean is next on the list to make a production model.

Doyle & his current Annihilator
Doyle & his current Annihilator

Weirdly, I think this AliExpress guitar is a copy of those Oktober guitars, but different enough that they can be spotted as not authentic easily. There must be fans out there, because their is a Facebook page for the Annihilator, and an Annihilator & Devastator owner’s group.

I knew I was getting a potential turd. I just wanted the shape. Luckily, I know a guy who has polished many of my proverbial turds (guiturds?) with great success, and he’s now at Empire Music. I feel a visit coming after I get some new pickups and maybe pots & other hardware.

I had issues with ordering in October of 2020, not getting it & cancelling by December. They kept sending photos of an unpainted guitar saying it was almost ready. I asked them to reach out when it was complete so I could reorder. They did in February 2021, and I had it in my hands by mid March,

All I know is I think I am too stupid and impatient to use a Floyd Rose system (even a crappy imitation).

Here are my first & second impressions:

I did it. Thanks, @aliexpress.

This is probably the most ridiculous #guitar I own at this point, and I have one made out of a toilet seat.

Initial reactions: About the quality I expected for the price paid, albeit smaller and lighter than expected. The real thing is much more intimidating.

There is something jingling around inside.🤦‍♂️

The pickups are definitely not Seymour Duncan Invaders (or even imitations) at first scan, and I may want something else in there anyway. I have some quad rails that need to go into something.

I broke the A & D strings trying to tune it (to a half step flat).

The allen wrench that came with does not fit the locking tuners. 🤣

I need to open it up and see what’s inside and try some new strings when I have time to mess with it.

@ironhead_guitar_works, I may be bringing it in to you soon at Empire!

What songs should I play first?

#NotQuiteAnnihilator#FiendClub#Misfits#AllMyAxes

Pardon the terrible video, but I was in a rush to get to playing it:

My comments when posting on FB:

Well, then. This thing is FUN to play. Needs a lot of work! Luckily, I know a guy.


☠🎸☠


The (terrible) video;


https://youtu.be/RRKH9P2vt_c


I bought an AliExpress copy of Doyle’s Annihilator guitar.

These pickups are terrible.


The neck feels great. The guitars hangs perfectly. It could stand to have more heft, but a lot of people out there like light guitars.
The action is HIGH.


I can hear it going out of tune as I play, but that may be my own ineptitude at the Floyd Rose system.
Played through a Positive Grid Spark on the “Metal” setting with the bass all the way down and the treble cranked.


(Played a regular axe right after to make sure the amp wasn’t shitting out. 🤣 Also put it into the Orange Micro Terror and the sound did not jive. 🤣)

☠🎸☠


I have a quad-rail bought cheap online that I was itching to have dropped into something… but I feel like I need some real metal-y pickups in here. Do I get real Seymour Duncans? Who besides GFS does quality affordable pickups? Maybe I will just go with GFS. 🤷‍♂️

So, what kind of pickups should I have dropped into it?

Do you have an Annihilator? Do you want one? What’s next on your guitar list? What’s an axe that an influential player to you uses that you would also like to have? Is it crazy, or normal? Share in the comments!

Top 25 Albums?


My cousin recently made a Facebook post asking for your top 25 albums. No restrictions. Just the thought that 25 is easier, yet more difficult than a top 10.

He’s right you know.

Opening up the post top 10 or eve 15 tier really digs into stuff. There are a LOT of great albums that I skipped that really deserve to be on here. This is what I was feeling recently. This may be a slightly different list tomorrow or a drastically different list next year.

I took it as 25 albums that I dig, that I like to listen to the whole way through.

Top 25 Albums (Right now, anyway.)
Top 25 Albums (Right now, anyway.)

They may not contain my favorite songs from the artist, or may not be my top favorite artists, but these are 25 dam solid albums that I have enjoyed end-to-end on multiple occasions and sometimes on repeat.

Because I like to talk (type/read) about music on the internet, here we are. I’ll drop a short explanation. They’re ina alphabetical order, couldn’t begin to order them. Please, share yours in the comments.

25 is harder than you think!

💿

  • 12 Hits From Hell – The Misfits | This was the album that never was, that should have been. Is it the ultimate bootleg? Bobby & Doyle on the same tracks? Probably Glenn & I think the producer too? At any rate, the songs shine. It’s inherently an unnatural entity, but isn’t that in the spirit of melding dark campy lyrics with poppy melodies over distorted guitars and driving rhythms? I wish this got a proper release.
  • …And Out Come the Wolves – Rancid | This album is frantic and melodic and gravely and beautiful. How do you not like the unapologetic frantic pop punk shenanigans infused with a bit of street and reggae and ska? I know this is the album that “cool” rancid fans pretend is not the best. Listen to it. It smacks you around for less than an hour and makes you happy about it.
  • American Cheese – Nerf Herder | I had a hard time picking, because How to Meet Girls could easily be here too. I think “Jacket” is my favorite track, so that slightly tipped the scale. These guys are fantastic, and Parry’s solo stuff is a trip. You can tell they’re fans of a lot of the same stuff I grew up on. It doesn’t take itself too seriously. They can really craft a powerful melody.
  • Appetite For Destruction – Guns N’ Roses | I wore out this cassette tape at least 3 times. I have bought the CD more than a few times. A friend gifted it to me on Vinyl. I bought the digital version of the new 8,479 “disc” set… even though I may or may not have had decent quality bootlegs of 99% of it. I think it’s the first album I dove into head first. Just listening to how Slash & Izzy play off of each other, Axl’s layers of vocals octaves apart with Duff & Izzzy singing, Duff’s guitar-like bass grooves locking into Adler’s swing. Lightning in a bottle may be a cliché, but it totally fits here. These guys had their finger on the collective pulse of punk, metal, glam, hard rock, classic rock, and pop culture. They rocked harder than most of their peers and these are great damn songs. The arcing overall crescendo of “Sweet Child of Mine” was just epic, and definitely contributed to my itch to pick up a guitar.
  • Bitter Tongues – Ann Beretta | I heard “Bottlecaps” on a Lookout! or Asian Man or some other comp and just had to know more. I think pretty quickly, I acquired all the albums and even Inquisition and eventually Sixer, Foundation, and Rob Huddleston’s solo stuff. It reminded me a lot of Rancid, and obviously pays homage to the Clash and some more street punk stuff, and even folk or honky-tonk. These guys took their influences and blended them together so well to make something in a voice all their own. It’s anthemic. It feels working class-ish and just relatable and super catchy.
  • Bloody Kisses – Type O Negative | It doesn’t sound like anything else. I think I heard the “Blood & Fire (Out of the Ashes Mix)” on the Mortal Kombat soundtrack first. It was dark. It was Sabbathy and Misfitsy and Metallicish. I needed more. I think there was about a year where 90% of what I listened to was Black Sabbath, the Misfits, and Type O Negative. I used to put this on low on repeat when I went to bed at night. It is best enjoyed as a whole album. Even within a lot of the songs, it’s like there are movements. The metal guitars and incredible bass vocals are fantastic. Again, they had an incredible balance of humor, a dark scary tone, and it’s just… fun. Don’t tell anyone the goth kids are having fun though.
  • Boogadaboogadaboogada! – Screeching Weasel | If the Ramones created the pop-punk template, these guys stole it and ran. This is just a fun, snotty, whiny, poppy, witty, and goofy album. What a great sense of melody mixed with suburban angst and sloppy buzzing guitars.
  • Chimborazo – Foundation | Rob can really craft a song. This is a beautiful stripped-down heartfelt collection of stories in song form. It’s awesome how much emotion can be conveyed with a few lines. Rob is definitely up there as one of my favorite song writers.
  • Countdown to Extinction – Megadeth | I know. this is the “sell out” commercial album. You can’t deny that every track is killer metal while also being commercially successful. It represents a time to me where the “underground” stuff that I was aware of became mainstream. Why not celebrate more people being able to discover something you already know is great? Dave is a monster on the fretboard and sounds like an unhinged maniac on vocals. These songs are put together really well.
  • Danzig – Danzig | When you’re 15, Danzig is the coolest thing on the planet. Punk. Goth. Metal. Badass. He reads weird books! He reads comics! Rick Rubin probably deserves a lot of credit for image crafting and turning Samhain into this. John, Eerie, & Chuck provided a killer band! John definitely had an instantly recognizable sound. It sounded like metal, but it was clearly channeling the blues and hard rock. Danzig does not seem to have a sense of humor about his music, but that makes it humorous.
  • Dookie – Green Day | This was a solid album. Again, it brought stuff I liked to the masses. It took me a while to realize what a solid album this was. I don’t even know if I’d put Green Day at the top of my Favorite Bands list… but an this is a great pop punk album. Those drums! That wild bass! The vocal harmonies are perfection. Mike Dirnt is the yin to Bille Joe’s yang. You can tell these guys loved what they do. You can tell that subject-matter wise, they’re not the Sex Pistols or the Ramones… but they loved all that stuff. Is this skate punk? I don’t care about labels. This is well-crafted end-to-end and hit the right place at the right time.
  • Energy – Operation Ivy | A great example of working backwards to find gems. Like the Misfits, it has some Lo-Fi appeal that is just hard to quantify. Energy is so appropriate. It’s like they had to let it out before it became destructive. It sounds so sloppy but it is so tight. It’s chaos. It’s chocolate and peanut butter. Watch the East Bay Punk documentary!
  • For Dancing and Listening – Guns ‘n’ Wankers | I wish more people knew about Guns ‘n’ Wankers. I wish I knew more about Guns ‘n’ Wankers. This album stands alone as incredible. It’s a bit of a mish-mash as Fat Mike could not leave it alone for the Fat Wreck release. It’s missing a few of the more metal tracks. I don’t know if Duncan Redmonds wrote all the songs, or what. His sense of harmony is fantastic. The song structure is just great. The tone is great. I love where the vocals sit in the mix. It’s another example of great storytelling with just a few lines.
  • Good Company – The Dead South | Usually I like loud distorted guitars. I like them clean too. This is clean acoustic guitars, as well as some more traditional stringed instruments, and just powerful melodies and vocal arrangements. Some of the vocals almost sound painful and sorrowful. I dove pretty hard into their discography after hearing the first few tracks.
  • High Risk Behaviour – The Chats | These kids are what I wish AiXeLsyD was! Ha ha. They are cheeky, hilarious, and totally serious. Ha ha. These songs are super fun. I need an Australian to English dictionary. This is another one that I heard an instantly wanted more more more.
  • Kill ‘Em All – Metallica | What can I say about this album that hasn’t already been said? It is the template. It is the sum of its ingredients and the sum of it’s strong-willed creators. From start to finish it just assaults your eardrums and raises your heart rate. Those riffs! That bass solo! Is he singing about the apocalypse? All killer, no filler. I think the first time Metallica hit my radar, it was …And Justice for All. When I worked back to this my mind was successfully blown. It was SO HEAVY at the time, which seems almost quaint now. Again, they get hate for success, maybe borrowing too hard from their influences, or for not being cool to Mustaine, to selling out, but… you can say they have ever compromised.
  • Licensed to Ill – Beastie Boys | The kids that are too cool for school or old heads will give you Paul’s Boutique for sure. I get that, and respect that. Again, this album brought it to the masses. This made music fans give a resounding collective “What?” Hardcore kids rapping? Sampling? Playing guitars? I don’t care if it’s hip hop or punk or pop. I love it. Another Rick Rubin album on the list? He must be on to something.
  • Master of Puppets – Metallica | This album could be included for just “Orion” and the “do-do-do-do do-do-do” double-lead part in “Master of Puppets.” This is another cassette tape that I wore out at least twice. I remember it being a go-to when I used to mow lawns for cash. Metallica matured here, but they weren’t yet racked by tragedy or swelled with excess. You could feel what I think was Cliff exerting guidance & expertise. All these songs felt great together. My favorite Metallica songs mostly reside on other albums, but this album makes a great statement as a whole piece of art.
  • Ramones – Ramones | Again. This is an iconic no-brainer. Did the Ramones start punk? People will argue to the end of time citing earlier examples. Are they what you think of when you think of punk? They are to me. It’s either that or the Sex Pistols. This album is fantastic. Guitar panned hard to one side, bass to the other… so you can play along! Cranked out in just a week, it’s frantic. It’s intimidating. Its 4 guys that have no idea what they’re doing while simultaneously knowing exactly what they’re doing. It’s loud, it’s catchy, it’s funny, it just rocks.
  • State of Discontent – The Unseen | Yeah, another “sell out” album. The dirty street punks found a producer so they must be inherently evil and capitalist and whatever other darts you can throw. Regardless, it’s an album full of screamy-yet-melodic shenanigans and I’m all for it. It’s catchy without losing it’s edge in my opinion. These guys spit fire and you’re either flammable or not.
  • Static Age – The Misfits | It’s got “Last Caress” which is probably one of their most covered songs. It’s got a bunch of stuff that is lo-fi on its way to becoming hi-fi. It’s catchy, it’s campy, it’s sort of funny, it’s melodic, it has loud guitars, it checks all my boxes. It’s just fantastic.
  • The Impossible Kid – Aesop Rock | I don’t even know if I can do this album justice by writing about it. I don’t have his vocabulary. I got this album and could not stop listening, on repeat. It’s layer upon layer in between level upon level. It’s an introspective and deeply personal look at anxiety and artistry intertwining, but it is so incredibly relatable. The tracks flow right into each other. You don’t want to stop. It lacs the guitar presence of every other album on this list… but we need a little variety, right?
  • The Ozzy Osborne Years – Black Sabbath | Admittedly, I cheated. I could not pick a Sabbath album proper and I graduated from listening to the Bootleggy-ish We Sold Our Sul for Rock ‘N’ Roll to this all the time. This collects all the Ozzy stuff. The one sentence in the Wikipedia article about it is “This box set includes all songs from Black Sabbath‘s first six albums, excluding the songs without vocals.” It’s dark. It’s doomy. Iommi’s riffs are just massive, Ozzy melodies with Geezer’s lyrics and thunderous bass lines all marching along to Bill Ward’s inimitable swing is just crushing.
  • Tweet Tweet My Lovely – Snuff | This is definitely top 5, probably top 3, or even 1. Snuff have mastered sounding like snuff whether they’re playing punk, metal, ska, or anything else they want to play. Duncan Redmonds is a mad genius. Loz’s guitars sound beautiful… jangly almost. There are horns and keys throughout, and they’re not jarring. The vocal melodies and harmonies are epic. (Green Day cites them as an influence and you can immediately hear how.) I like everything Snuff has put out, but this was my first from them and it really encompasses the gamut of their sound.
  • Within a Mile of Home – Flogging Molly | I could have probably picked any Flogging Molly album. This is where my taste in music & my wife’s taste in music overlaps. (Although, I have brought her more into punk rock and metal than she has pulled me into pop and top-4o-ish country.) We always end up with Flogging Molly, Willie Nelson, or Johnny Cash on road trips… usually all 3. Flogging Molly definitely has a punk rock ethic and bent. They have beautiful tales set to music in a traditional Irish vein. It’s sentimental. It’s raucous. It makes you tap your feet. This is a collection of bangers that also tug at your heart strings.

Honorable mentions would probably have to go out to The Sword, The Bloodhound Gang, Masked Intruder, Aerosmith, Avenged Sevenfold, Graves, Gotham Road, Dogpiss, Duncan Redmonds, Rob Huddleston, Wat Tyler, Crotchduster, ALL, Descendents, Poison, The Devil Makes Three, Alice in Chains, Warrant, Peelander-Z, Willie Nelson, Def Leppard, Johnny Cash, AC/DC, Teenage Bottlerocket, Ozzy, Jimi Hendrix, and so many more that I am probably momentarily forgetting. Don’t even get me started on greatest hits, compilations, and soundtracks.

What are you waiting for? Leave yours in the comments!

I know I just said these are solid albums, but it doesn’t negate the fact that they contain solid songs too. Check out 2 tracks from each album!

Finally set up a place to rock.


I finally got a permanent place set up to rock. All my guitars, ukes, amps, pedals, and even an electric kazoo are easy to quickly access and just start rocking when inspiration hits.

AiXeLsyD13's Guitar Room
Axetopia? CBGB’s (Carroll’s Big Guitar Bunker)? The Guitarmory?

I have talked about it, or even blogged about it for years.

It still needs a name. I haven’t officially decided. I have been calling it “the music room” or “the guitar room.” Both of those seem boring. Maybe this? I find it amusing but clunky.

I may make some videos of guitar shenanigans as a creative outlet. Not sure what direction they’ll take. I’m not a particularly good or technical player, but I can demo some gear or do some fun silly stuff. I do already have a YouTube playlist started for my guitar-related videos.

The Postitive Grid Spark amp & app have really made jamming quick and fun… they have a cool in-app video feature, but it’s not much different than recording straight-up with the phone’s camera.

I have been having a blast playing along to stuff on YouTube… from stuff from my old bands, to Black Sabbath, to Snuff, to the Ramones, and my new favorite song to play along to; “Bigger than Kiss” by Teenage Bottlerocket.

More setup inspires more setup. I need a way to store my physical media (mostly CD’s) so it’s easily accessible. I have a lot. Too many probably. I need to build some shelves and the stuff I’m finding online seems painfully expensive and not quite a fit. And I’d like to dump that all on a personal media server. I have a lot of stuff not available on Amazon or Spotify.

The next itch I can already feel will need scratching is some kind of recording setup. I’d like to layer stuff I can hear in my head, without the aid of a looper. I miss the days of a Tascam 4-track with a cassette tape. Maybe I’ll delve into a nice simple digital version of that.

The kids have guitars, ukes, and a keyboard too… and now we almost need drums and a bass or too, right?

At any rate… it’s important to have a creative outlet. Live isn’t conducive to me jamming regularly with a band right now. I only seem to do mazes when the inspiration hits, and I blog pretty randomly. Music is one more option for expression, creativity, and constant learning/exploring. I hope to foster the kids’ musical expression and drive home how important it is to remain creative themselves and appreciative of art in general.

Keep watching the blog, social media, and YouTube if you’re interested in the musical stuff.

View this post on Instagram

Train your miscreants young.

A post shared by Eric Carroll (@aixelsyd13) on

View this post on Instagram

Making progress.

A post shared by Eric Carroll (@aixelsyd13) on

View this post on Instagram

Gonna need more walls.

A post shared by Eric Carroll (@aixelsyd13) on

View this post on Instagram

👽

A post shared by Eric Carroll (@aixelsyd13) on

View this post on Instagram

Green LED's! #AllMyAxes

A post shared by Eric Carroll (@aixelsyd13) on

View this post on Instagram

'MURICA. 🇺🇸🎸🤘 #SparkAmp

A post shared by Eric Carroll (@aixelsyd13) on

So, I’ll take your suggestions in the comments!

  • What should I officially call the axe-cave?
  • Where can I get cheap media shelves for over 1500 CD’s & other assorted media?
  • What do you want to see in guitar videos?
  • What’s a good cheap recording solution?

Share your space to create in the comments too!

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!

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.

🎸

  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.

🎸

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!

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:

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

Related articles