Music

My Music, My Bands’ Music, Friends’ Music, CD and Concert Reviews

Face-Melting Rock N’ Roll and a Break-In

Last night was so very bittersweet… I got to see and meet one of my favorite horror rock bands, CALABRESE!!!

Headlining the show were Rezurex, whose music I never heard until earlier that day. The night started with a couple bands I can’t even remember, then up were our friends, Stellar Corpses, and then Calabrese!

Before all the face-melting happened, we met the band at their merch table as we tried to decide what we wanted to buy. I became total fanboy… awkward… not knowing what to say except, “You guys, ROCK, dudes!” They signed a picture my daughter drew of them, which I’m going to frame and give to her for her birthday.

My girlfriend and I got pictures with them. I tired to look all bad-ass, like Bobby, but über-fanboy-ness would only allow me to make a dumb grin. =/

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Their show absolutely kicked ass! We saw them a couple years ago, but this time, we were more familiar with their songs and I even had a couple favorites that I could really sing my heart out to (“Coffin of Ruins”, “Ghostwolves”, “Vampires Don’t Exist”). Such great showmen,… totally cheesy and hamming it up. Love it! It was such a treat for us to see them! Damn, those guys, I wish they’d come here more often!

Anyway, here are a couple videos I got of them… The first, their Haunted Mansion Intro and “Death Eternal.” The second, their personal, Calabrese brother introductions.

And a shot of each!

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Oh, YEAH!! I amost forgot! So that was all the “sweet” part of the night. The “bitter??” Well, all elation was killed as we reached my truck and found it was broken into… again. :( Glass EVERYWHERE!! >:-(

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Still, it was worth it to see Calabrese! Rock N’ Roll!! \m/

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SoundCloud Test – Music From My Recent Past

Several months ago, I opened a SoundCloud account… and I did absolutely nothing with it. Sure, I had big dreams that I’d start creating all kinds of crazy music and start uploading tunes on a weekly basis and have a HUGE catalog within a couple of months of stuff I can share with people.

Then I had to go to sleep and go into work the next day… And that was that.

Lucky for you, I had to test something today and I just so happened to upload a couple of things I worked on years ago!

Soundcloud Test – NIN “Me I’m Not” Remix

Alright, here’s a Nine Inch Nails remix of “Me I’m Not” I made about three years ago…

But really, I’m just testing the Soundcloud embed code on my blog…

“Every Rose Has Its Thorn” – Poison Cover from an Abandoned Project

Here’s a track from project I worked on that never came to fruition. It’s Poison’s (yes, that Poison) cover of “Every Rose Has Its thorn.” It was meant to be a scratch track to which the rest of the band would record their parts, but the project seemed to be dropped. Soooo, here’s what’s left!

I was only able to record late at night in my apartment; I couldn’t “sing” out loud, so I had to whisper most all of the parts. lol

There you have it! I feel like I made musical progress today with just a few simple clicks of the mouse!

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Blaqk Audio Live at The Blank Club!

Saw Blaqk Audio last night at The Blank Club in San Jose…. AWESOME (SOLD OUT) SHOW!

Blaqk Audio is 2/4 of AFI (Davey Havok and Jade Puget) and they know how to put on a show! They’re currently on your in support of their new album, Bright Black Heaven. We really wanted to grab a CD at the show, but they hadn’t received them yet!! >.<

I never got into AFI, (I’m traditionally more industrial) but I really got into the tunes of Blaqk Audio’s dancey beats. Some of it was even VNV Nation-esque to me. lol

Here are a couple vids I got of the show…

Stiff Kittens and A Little Respct (Erasure Cover)

The Witness

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Missed Combichrist at the DNA Lounge

All Pain Is gone
Today I Woke To The Rain Of Blood
This Is My Rifle
Kickstart The Fight
I Want Your Blood
Get Your Body Beat
Scarred
Deathbed
Electrohead
Blut Royale
Shut Up And Swallow
Sent to Destroy
TSWFYUI stayed home due to slight illness, but watched the show on the DNA Lounge’s webcast. Seems as though I missed a rather epic Combichrist show!

Here’s the setlist:

  • All Pain Is gone
  • Today I Woke To The Rain Of Blood
  • This Is My Rifle
  • Kickstart The Fight
  • I Want Your Blood
  • Get Your Body Beat
  • Scarred
  • Deathbed
  • Electrohead
  • Blut Royale
  • Shut Up And Swallow
  • Sent to Destroy
  • This S**t Will F**k You Up
  • What The F**k Is Wrong With You

Some highlights:

  • They actually played “Deathbed!” I’ve always wanted to see that live!
  • They had some little girl come up on stage who chanted, “This s**t! This s**t! This s**t will f**k you up!” O.o What was up with that??
  • It was Joe Letz’s b-day and Andy force-fed him vodka!
  • Joe got drunk and threw his drums… and looks like the whole stage was destroyed at the end.

I Have Joined the Ranks of Crimson Ivy

This is from the horse’s mouth! So it is now official… I am Crimson Ivy’s guitarist!

We had our “band camp” over the weekend and drummer, Karl Holtz, flew out from New York for our three-day rehearsal. These guys were great! I love ‘em! The band currently consists of PunKture (lead vocals, programming, guitar), Karl Holtz (drums), Dennis (electronic percussion and samples) and myself, Drakyh (guitar).

I am honored tohave been picked up by these guys and enjoyed our intense, three-day rehearsal period. It was very open and not run like am iron-fisted dictatorship (I’ve had some experiences with those… =/).

As far as annoucements go, I haven’t mentioned that I’ve been picked up by Crimson Ivy as their new guitarist, but got the go ahead from them to let the world know I’m their new guitarist!

I’m very excited about the show this August 22nd and will get the word out so that we’ll have a great turnout at our show!

Until then,… stay tuned!

New Project In The Pipes

Someone reached out to me via Twitter a few days ago and we’ve sent about two messages back and forth. He tells me he could use a guitarist for a show this August 22nd. Interested? Yeah! I haven’t played a live show in about 12 years. Their band (which I won’t disclose at this time) hasn’t played a live show in about 15 years either.

What intrigued me is that they seem to have had a following here in the Bay Area in the 80s and 90s. They’re “awakening” now for sort of a reunion show from what I gather, for people to have a chance to get creative and have fun in a live environment again.

Their music was enjoyable; especially the electronic stuff. It’s a bit heavy on guitar, which I’ve been getting away from, but being asked to play guitar, it seems like it will be fun!

I agreed to join (though they’ve never heard me play!) and have recevied confirmation that I’m in.

Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted on how all of this unfolds! Could be interesting… I actually have a buzz of excitement and anticipation going through me right now. :)

Getting Used to FL Studio

I had my second lesson with Rick Walker last week, but was too ill this week to go. I’ve spent time learning my way around FL Studio learning what it can and can’t do. It’s so different from Reason!

Being so engrossed in learning FL Studio, I’ve neglected any photographic work that typically fills up my spare time, but this is something I want to nail down in terms of understanding the basics. Learning FL Studio is like learning another language when you’ve dealt primarily with Reason for years. Having a solid background in Reason, I find usability in FL Studio a bit counter-intuitive. I’ve heard the exact opposite with native FL Studio users crossing over to Reason, though. I guess it boils down to what you’re used to, just like anything else in life.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve cranked out about a dozen *ideas* in FL Studio. Nothing complete. I’m mostly getting used to the program itself and how it works. I’ve got a good feel for it now, but have a long way to go to unlock its potential.

Below are some likes and dislikes I have with FL Studio with my limited knowledge of how to us it so far. My thoughts may change as I continue to use the software…

Things I like about FL Studio:

  • FL Studio’s concept of a “playlist“: Makes track-building more straight-forward than in Reason.
  • Color-coding of tracks in the playlist: Ahhh, very similar to how color-coding works in Reason!
  • How you can stack effects in the mixer: The interface for stacking effects is much more straight forward than in Reason, but this will probably also limit how effects can be used/customized.
  • Use of desktop space: I like how you can drag everything around in FL Studio. With Reason, you’re limited to the linear rack space. Though a great concept that relates to physical hardware, sometimes, I wish I could spread my synth modules and effects across my desktop. If you could have two or more racks side-by-side in Reason, that would be great!
  • Unified step sequencer: The step sequencer-based creation of bars is fantastic. The fact that it’s unified into one element makes it easy to keep track of all your instruments.

Things I don’t like about FL Studio:

  • Control of how your various synths and effects can be wired: I miss being able to turn the “rack” around to modify the routing of your signals.
  • Picking of instruments and samples: I much prefer how you can select and add instruments in Reason and how you can audition them with your midi controller before committing it. Which leads me into the next one…
  • Auditioning instruments: In reason, while searching for a patch, you can simply select it and key notes with your midi controller to audition the patch. I haven’t found a way to do this in FL Studio without first committing the patch/sample into the sequencer.
  • The way “undo” works: Is it just me, or does undo only seem to work for sequencing in FL Studio?? If I accidentally drag an instrument into the sequencer, I can’t seem to undo it. I have to go back, find the synth/sample and re-drag it back into the sequencer. In Reason, with each “undo” it literally undoes ANYTHING you did, including instrument creation.
  • Going back to step sequencer from piano roll: This one is minor, but drove me nuts the first hours of using FL Studio. Once you get something into piano roll, there’s no way to get it back to regular step sequencer mode. =/ I struggled with this for the longest time and have come to the conclusion that you just can’t do it! Some things, like drums, are easier to work with in step sequencer mode, but having sent some drums to experiment with, I preferred to have them in step sequencer mode and had to do a work-around to get it back that way.

It’s only been a couple of weeks, but as I learn the program, I may have second thoughts about the above likes and dislikes. I do like the software and am glad to be learning it. I’ll see if I can crank out a simple tune in the next few days.

A New Musical Journey

I’ve embarked on a new musical journey today starting the first of four musical lessons from a dear friend and extremely talented musician, Rick Walker.

I spent a good chunk of money for the lessons, not that I have much right now. But I’m confident these lessons will get me motivated to turn out some work (recently, my biggest dilemma has been the inability to finish works I begin),  and I believe learning from a great musician such as Rick is actually priceless!

We worked with a digital audio workstation called FL Studio (formerly FruityLoops). My how it’s changed since I last used it 5+ years ago! I’ve always been partial to Propellerheads Reason myself, but FL Studio seems to have a lot to offer, too.

Now, I’m staring at the first page of Rick’s lesson which begins with a chameleon and a fly on a stick. The lesson ended with a story about an imaginary caveman called “Thag.” I have some homework now, so I’m going to get to it!

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