Degenerated


"Degenerated"

What’s Johnny doin’ out on a Tuesday night?

The song “Degenerated” from the movie Airheads is one of my all-time favorites.  If you’re a fan of the movie, you no-doubt know the song.  And if you’re a music nerd in general, you probably know that it’s a Reagan Youth cover.  I would love to know more about the song.  I have collected most of the “who,” but I would love to know the “why.”

Check out the two songs and then we’ll get into why I have so many questions & what they are.

OK, here are the players involved from the information that I gathered on Wikipedia, IMDB, Discogs, & wherever else I clicked;

Here’s what I want to know;

  • Who decided to use the song?  The director, the music guy, the writer, the musicians?
  • Why that song?  The running joke about Chazz writing the song for his girlfriend or before he met her makes it even funnier because I wouldn’t remotely call it a love song.  Did someone just really like the song?  Was licensing cheap all around?  Did they ask Paul Cripple for permission?  What does he think of the song?  Did Dave Insurgent ever get to hear it?
  • Why metal up a punk rock song?  They seemed like an 80’s holdover kind of band.  Was it a statement on Grunge being a punk n’ metal hybrid?
  • Why are there different chord changes?  The chord progression is different, but the melody (and I use the term loosely) is the same.  The cover may be tuned below standard if I remember correctly?  Someone more musically versed may be able to explain the difference I just know when playing by ear on guitar they’re totally different progressions.
  • Why the lyric change?  ( I assume to keep the movie rated PG-13?)  Most notably a removal of the F-word and references to constipation (Lone Rangers Lyrics/Reagan Youth Lyrics).  Who made the changes?
  • Who played drums?  Jay, Sean, Bryan, or were there other uncredited musicians?
"The Lone Rangers? That's original. How can you pluralize 'Lone Ranger?'"

“The Lone Rangers? That’s original. How can you pluralize ‘Lone Ranger?'”

I’m sure I have more questions that I haven’t thought of here.  Does anyone out there know the explanation?

It is 2017.  I may have to reach out via Facebook , Twitter, or email to all of the players involved to see if I can get an answer.  (If they even remember.)

Sadly, Dave Insurgent passed away in 1993 & Bryan Carlstrom passed away in 2013.

I just really dig both versions of the song, the movie, and that it led me to checking out more Reagan Youth.  Is it weird to be a fan of a song by a fictional band?  Hey, I dig “Three Small Words” too, and that was produced by Babyface.

Do you like either version of this song?  Do you have a song by a fictional band that you really dig?  Do you know any of the relevant information here?  Let me know in the comments!

Now I’m off to look at naked pictures of Bea Arthur and eat cottage cheese out of a football helmet.

Let’s start some #AxlRumors:


So, Axl is everywhere in the rock media world again and 15 year old me reads every stupid article like those it’s those goofy gossip columns in Rip or Metal Edge that used to be one sentence stories with bold rock star names jammed into one long nonsensical paragraph.  I’m actually excited to maybe try & see whatever version of Guns N’ Roses eventually ends up in Pittsburgh (if it makes it that long).

#AxlRumors

#AxlRumors

I even made a parody news article with my last post that fell super flat with no reads or comments.  Oh well, my bad.

I know I broke the one rule of blogging by never having regular steady content any more, but work with me here.  I want some interaction.  Maybe no one cares.  I guess we’ll see.

Let’s start some Axl Rose rumors.  Use the hashtag #AxlRumors on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or newer cooler social media platforms that I am wholly unaware of but still use hashtags.

You can post the url to your rumor(s) here in the comments, and we’ll see if it gets beyond this little corner of the internet, and if anyone finds their way back here.

Kapish?

I’ll start:

Now you.

⚠ Go! ⚠

(Don’t forget the #AxlRumors hashtag!)

Axl ‘Leaks’ Possible New GN’R Tunes


Recent reports have surfaced that Guns N’ Roses’ sole founding member and self-proclaimed demigod Axl Rose may have literally leaked tunes to the upcoming GN’R “reunion” album. TMZ has posted but since redacted an audio clip of Axl Rose passing gas taken via iPhone by a fan in an adjacent restroom stall at a roadside rest stop in Tennessee. Lucky listeners may note that the flatulence has a powerful sound that when transcribed as musical notes or tablature would make an incredible guitar riff hearkening back to the Appetite era, and sounds light years heavier anything on Chinese Democracy.

Axl squeezing one out on stage.

Axl squeezing one out on stage.

The fan asked Rose to autograph a sanitary toilet seat cover, but Rose declined stating that his new boss, Angus, wouldn’t allow it. Further investigation showed that someone had ripped the dispenser off the wall and urinated all over it anyway.

When Ultimate-Guitar.com reached out to Dave Mustaine for comment, Dave enlightened the all of rock and metal fandom…

“Axl and I had the same voice coach right around the time that I was kicked out of Metallica for writing better riffs than Jaymz and being a bigger douche than Lars. I’m great friends with Slash since we used to do heroin together, but I have to say that Axl’s farts make better riffs than the too-low-in-the-mix guitars the last Velvet Revolver album, whatever it was called.”

Dave went on to tell everyone that he wrote all of the essential building blocks for Metallica’s albums up until the black one, and that he could play all of the Metallica Metallica riffs and solos in his sleep with his balls on a Hello Kitty ukulele.

Izzy Stradlin recently came out of his hole, saw his shadow, and asked Blabbermouth.net to get off of his lawn.

Sebastian Bach tweeted about the news, adding that Axl’s farts not only sound great, but that they smell like fresh roses and have since 1997. He wishes he could maximize his own lower orifice potential and maybe that would finally convince the other guys in Skid Row to take him back.

Slash and Duff McKagan could not be reached for comment. Dizzy Reed and Gilby Clarke tried to comment, but no one would listen. Steven Alder has an upcoming exclusive interview with the every-other-week best-sale-ever flyer from Guitar Center, keep reading with us for updates when we steal that story before doing any fact-checking.

Matt Sorum still wants to punch Axl in the face, but would take the gig with Axl/DC if the current drummer tries to kill anyone.  He has been asking Rush if he can join their band.

Axl has also been rumored to be singing for Queen (to be billed as Rocket Queen), and for Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, & Jason Bonham in a project billed as Red Zeppelin since Robert Plant won’t return any of their calls.  Rose’s trash collector’s brother denies rumors of Axl fronting a Dio-era Black Sabbath/Heaven & Hell tribute tour which may or may not include Bill Ward.

In related news, a special episode of ABC’s Celebrity Wife Swap will have Joe Perry and Slash trade places for a week to see how the other guy deals with each other’s wives & bands for two weeks on tour.

So, I need help with my résumé.


I rarely ever blog about or post on social media about work.  My work life is work, and my personal life is personal.  I’ve never felt the need to discuss, vent about, or provide detail about my job.  I’m going to go ahead and break with that for this post.

Unfortunately, the time has come where I need to update my resume.  About a year and a half ago, the company that I was working for was sold, shut down, & liquidated.  A core group of people decided to try to move on & start a company in the same industry, and I was invited to be a part of it.  I was honored to be asked to participate, and glad to be gainfully employed.  Sadly, things didn’t pan out as planned, and the company is also in the process of shutting down.  Basically, I’m no worse off than I was a year ago.

At that time, I had an updated resume, and went on my first job interview in a long time.  I was offered employment elsewhere.  It may have worked, but the pay wasn’t where it needed to be for me to comfortably continue to pay rent and put food on the table.  I went with the group I knew & salary I needed.  I have no regrets, I’m just illustrating that I don’t have much job interview experience, but it has mostly all been positive.

Basically, I’ve been at the same job for 10 or so years.  In 2002, I started at an a/v integration company as the shipping guy.  That company was purchased in 2005 and I was hired by the new company, which closed in 2011.  Then on to the newest one where I was doing all slight variations of the same thing.  I liked my work, it was a nice mix of desk/paperwork & physical warehouse work sometimes, it was always different & challenging.  I have learned many rules, processes, & things about the equipment over the years.  I was able to adapt to many changes, and survived them all (up until now).

I need help with my resume.  I think I first updated this format in 2005, when it looked like I may have needed to search for other employment.  (Luckily, I was able to work temporarily for the new company, proved my merit, and was hired full time.)  In 2012 this format may be stale.  I’m not big on titles.  I call myself a “shipping guy” but I do much more than that.  I have more skills than a simple shipping guy needs.  I hate phrases like “team player”.  I am, but it sounds goofy.  Who reads that & doesn’t roll their eyes?  I’m generally not boastful (other than in jest), but this is one time when you need to be.  There’s a lot riding on a resume.  It gets your foot in the door.

I’m confident in my writing (thanks to this blog), but thrown into a resume it looks braggadocios, fragmented, & boring.  I love bullet points, but breaking things down into them, I feel like I lose cohesion.

I need this to grab someone’s attention, highlight what I can do & what I can offer, and get me a job.

Eric AiXeLsyD with the Batmobile

I have a lot of skills in my utility belt.

What do I want to do?  I’m certainly qualified for shipping, warehousing, and inventory jobs… entry level or supervisory.  Sadly, entry level pay may no longer be acceptable.  I could certainly do something else though.  I’m a quick learner.  I’d love to get paid for this writing / blogging / insanity thing (I mean… show/album/food reviews, photos, humor, goofy letters? I can do a bunch of stuff there).  Unfortunately I don’t have a degree.  Can you get one in shipping?  Certainly 10 years experience in shipping I would have learned anything that I could in 2 or 4 years of school?  I do have some training in graphic design & commercial art, I have experience in drafting (by hand even… does anyone remember that?), some talents that have yet to get me paid like drawing mazes and photography, and I recently completed classes in Microsoft Project… so I could even fill a “Jr. Project Manager” type role where I can learn as I go.  I’m certainly adept with computers, know old school (& also useless) html coding, and can pick things up rather quickly with any kind of program.  I can promote things like my band, the blog, and Food Allergies like mad online.  I think I’d be a good PR person, I just lack formal training or experience.  Maybe it’s time for something different.

So, I need help with my resume.  What works, what doesn’t?  1 page?  2 pages?  If  so, how do I fit it all on one or to pages (I think it kicks into an atrocious 3 now)?  What do I need to express?  Do I need a cheesy cover letter?  Do letters of recommendation help?  References right on the resume, or “provided by request”?  3 Personal/3 professional?  3 total?  Cover letter?  No cover letter?  Cover paragraph?

I’m laying it all out here and asking for your help.  Take a look at this resume and tell me what you think?

Please help me with my resume!

Click to check it out at Google Docs

Please excuse the format, it needs a new look… something anyway, and Google Docs may have messed with it a bit.  Other than that though… I ask you to be honest, brutal, constructive, and hopefully helpful.

Also… know anyone that’s hiring?  Are you hiring?  Point me in the right direction here.  I’m confident in my in-person interviews, and with anyone that already knows me or has worked with me.

Thanks in advance for your help.  I need to start hitting up InDeed, PA Career Link, etc. with my resume.  I know I have a lot of friends, family & readers that can help me out here.  It would be crazy to not use all of the resources at my disposal, right?

Everything Changes but Guitars? I disagree.


I saw this graphic online through Guitar Fail the other day, & again through Guitar Squid:

Stratocaster Evolution / Everything Changes but Guitars (I wish I knew the original source.)

Stratocaster Evolution / Everything Changes but Guitars (I wish I knew the original source.)

At first, it made me laugh and think “humph, yeah…” in agreement.  The more I thought about it though… it’s wrong. How is it wrong?

Well as far as concept cars go, it’s a whole different world from everyday-use practical cars.  Nothing has gone all that far from 4 wheels, 2 headlights, gasoline powered.  (Yes, there are hybrids and flex-fuel all over the market… but arguably people don’t like them unless they look like “normal” cars.)  But, this blog isn’t about cars.  I’m sure you knew I was going to talk guitars, because that’s what I do.

There are a ridiculous amounts of varying styles of guitars & guitar innovations out there.  Some of them may not be “reinventing the wheel” exactly, but there is always some great stuff happening, and there has been since the inception of the stringed instrument.  How do you think we got so many varieties?

Krank Amplification | Evolution Of The Electric Guitar

Krank Amplification | Evolution Of The Electric Guitar

I agree that too many axe-slingers fall into the Stratocaster or Les Paul shape trap.  For years I held a disdain for both shapes… but I come back to them.  Why?  Perhaps they’re good designs.  Perhaps they’re iconic.  Perhaps they sound incredible.  Perhaps they work.  There are many other options out there.  If you find yourself chuckling to and agreeing with this graphic, I challenge you to help me to add to my list of innovative guitars.

Any fans of the Guitarz Blog, Tone Fiend, Guitar WTF?, or gUitarREN should be into this.  (Any cool guitar blogs I’m missing?)

Let’s talk about how the guitar is ever-evolving… Shape, materials, string count, innovation, & general insanity.

Indy Custom - Flycaster (Tele-V) Telecaster Flying V Hybrid

Indy Custom Flycaster (or Tele-V?)

There are lots of shapes out there past the Stratocaster or Les Paul, whether it’s somewhat normal or custom insanity.  There’s the SG, the Telecaster, V’s (Flying, Jackson & more), hollowbodies like the Artcore or Gretsch models, the Explorer, the Ravelle, all the crazy B.C. Rich shapes, the Airline, even the Flycaster.  Are there really not enough guitar design shapes out there to satisfy you?  The Stratocaster doesn’t need to change shape, because there are plenty of other options out there!  I’m barely hitting the tip of the iceberg here.  I didn’t even touch on my B.B. Stone, FlipOut, or Batman axes.  How many distinct guitar shapes can you name in the comments?  (Actual produced shapes, not one-offs!)  Bonus for posting or linking to photos.

There’s also material.  Certainly guitars are mostly made of all types of wood, but there’s also plastic, graphite, Res-O-Glass (fiberglass), the Lucite / plexiglass / acrylic transparent guitars, aluminum necks, and so much more.

Once we get past the plethora of guitar makes, models, & shapes available… there are so many other innovations.  Some are great, some not-so great.  Just off the top of my head I can think of:  Synthesizer & MIDI Guitars, Fretlights, 7/8/12 strings, double neck guitars, the chord buddy, the Coral Sitar, built-in-wireless, the robot guitar, 3D printed guitars, Evertune… but none of them have really busted the mold (yet).  They’re all niche stuff.  This doesn’t even get into the many styles of bridges, tuners, tremolos, locks, and other parts that have been refined… or wiring.  You can get CRAZY with wiring.

World's Largest Playable Guitar being set up at the Carnegie Science Center (Pittsburgh, PA)

World’s Largest Playable Guitar being set up at the Carnegie Science Center – Pittsburgh, PA (Photo Credit: Kara / @ohidontthinkso)

The traveling guitar exhibit is at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh right now.  I can’t wait to check it out.  It’s got the world’s largest playable guitar.  I was lucky enough to get a preview the other day via Twitter.  Tell me that’s not an innovation?  It will no doubt inspire many to pick up the guitar, or dust off the one they already have.  The entire exhibit displays guitars, how they work, their history, & all kinds of fun interaction.

So, next time you think that the guitar has become stagnant, I ask you to go get your hands one one of the many non Strat options above… or even a non-standard Strat option… like a Fat Strat, hot-rodded wiring, or a backwards one.  There are plenty of different, innovative, and goofy guitars out there.  Rock out on something original!

Obey the Zone. (Rock Concert Etiquette)


So, I’ve been to many types of shows at many types of venues.  From stadiums to bars and from backyards to amphitheaters.  I’ve seen rock shows, rap shows, country shows, and even Weird Al.  Most of the shows I’ve attended fall in the punk or metal categories.  The crowds can get rowdy.  It’s expected, perhaps even demanded.  I’ve pogoed in a circle when commanded to by Joey Ramone, sat nearly motionless in a sea of silver hair at a Willie Nelson show, and lost my shoe once in a pit at a Misfits show (only monetarily, and it was the first & last pair of Airwalks I’ve ever owned).  I’ve been rubbed up against the sweaty shirtless guy, been flogged by the windmill hardcore kid, and burned buy the a-hole with a lit cigarette in the pit.  I chalk it all up to part of the experience.  Hell, I even had my nose broken in a stage diving incident.  I’m no stranger to the pit.

A man crowdsurfing in a moshpit, uploaded from...

The people are revolting, pushing the sweaty shirtless smelly guy out of the group.

I’m not saying that it doesn’t have it’s place.  I’m just tired of the people who don’t “get” it.  It always devolves into 2 or 3 probably drunken buttholes flailing around like fish out of water trying to start some kind of fight or prove their manliness.  Generally people have good manners.  Most people in the pit are just out to have fun bouncing around to the music, until it gets ruined by the few flailers.

It’s a weird topic to discuss.  Saying the word “mosh” makes it an instantly corny conversation.  I hate to say the word out loud because I’m old and it’s a young man’s (or brave young woman’s) game.  It’s just getting out of control.  I don’t want to see it stop, I just want to see it not be ruined by the few, the proud, the imbeciles.  This was all sparked by our recent adventures at the Flogging Molly show(Which musically, is a rather tame band… but crowd-excitement is off of the charts with them.)

We all know the “unwritten rules”, right?  The only one that I’ve ever seen obeyed consistently is: If someone falls down, pick them up.  This proves to me that we’re mostly all just out to have a good time & not hurt anyone.  As for the rest, I guess I’m going to have to write them for you.

The biggest one and my spark for writing this blog?

STAGE | PIT | CROWD

Fig. A

Obey the Zone.  This is the biggest rule that you need to adhere to.  You can see in figure A that there is a clearly defined acceptable zone for pogoing / slam-dancing / moshing activity.  It’s in yellow and black… for caution.  It can get a little bigger or even smaller depending on the ferocity of the act on stage.  The blue area is the crowd in general.  Generally, there’s a row or two of people up front really into the band or show and unwilling to move no matter how many goofballs are bouncing off of their backs. This spills out & around to people that are just trying to watch the band.  Is this that difficult?  Am I wrong here?

Please see my additional figures B & C to help drive my point home…

No means no.

Fig. B

Meathead Zone

Fig. C

In figure B we see the big red symbol recognized as “No”.  This is where you’re not supposed to flail, push, agitate, or try to cajole others into moshing.  The other night when we were safely in this zone, a chubby young ginger-headed frat boy was doing exactly that, and looking at all of us like we were crazy for not wanting to hardcore dance with him 1-on-1 when it was happening with willing participants mere feet away.  Was this kid afraid of the real pit?  I say put on your big boy pants & get in there, Skippy.  Or better yet, move into the Idoit Zone as illustrated by figure C.

NO HARDCORE DANCING

This unwritten rule is written for you.

The idiot zone is formed when the people who do know how to act at a show force out the people who don’t.  This is where the “too metal for you”, “hardcore windmillers”, and “guy with Greek letters on his hoodie & daddy issues” go to play.  They’re convinced that no one can have a good time unless you go home with bruises.  They feel that they are integral to your having the correct concert experience by placing an elbow repeatedly in your ribs or fist in your eye.  They’re irate when you don’t want to participate.  They go to the idiot zone to act like a wind-up toy and get out their frustration.  They just paid $30-60 for a ticket, $9+ per beer, and $10-$20 for parking to ignore the band on stage.

No moshing sign, Bumbershoot 2010

Weenies.

You have to understand that the whole floor has the potential turn into that zone, and accept your risk of taking a wild hit or someone landing on you if you’re going to get down there anywhere close to the action.  You most likely dropped some serious cash to see this show, and you’re there to see and hopefully enjoy the band… not to get distracted or assaulted by some self-appointed chairman of the mosh commission.

Well, that’s the big rule.  What’s your take on concert etiquette?  I’ll list some others, you give me more in the comments.

  • No lit cigarettes (or other burning substances) in the pit.  Most venues in Pittsburgh don’t allow you to smoke in the first place.  Besides billowing toxic crap into my air, burning someone while thrashing around like a toolbag is not cool.  If you need to get high, go do it in a dark corner.
  • Don’t scream off-key into your neighbor’s ear.  I paid lots of money for the people on stage to scream into my ear, not you.  Shut up unless it’s a sing-along rock anthem.
  • If you’re on the edge of the circle, keep it from spilling over.  Push the lugheads back into the fold.  Protect the people around you who don’t want in it, and watch out for that kid that’s way too young to be there.  Might be good to not trample him to death before he can drive.
  • You are not a windmill.  No one thinks this is cool.  No one likes getting punched in the head.  No one is more entertained by you dancing like Frankenstein than by the band on stage.
  • We’re there to see the band, not you.  You are not that guy on the runway, a traffic cop, or a cheer-leading coach.  Stop gesturing wildly at people trying to get them to go in a circle, spin you around, run into you, or do the safety dance.

Now it’s your turn.  While you think/type, please enjoy the following…

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Windmill

This is not a dance.

(Also, feel free to post other songs about moshing, slam-dancing, circle pits, pogoing, or any related ridiculousness.)

Also… to the people who drink in the parking lot through the opening acts, then come in during the headliner barely knowing where you are or that you’re alive.  Just stay home & get drunk.  It’s cheaper and safer, and you don’t have the potential to puke on my shoes.

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!