Happy Mother’s Day


The best thing about having done a blog for several years is that I’ve already done the obvious songs for Mother’s Day. The past few years have seen the obvious choices from Danzig and Pink Floyd, but this year I had to dig deep into my knowledge of crossover punk/thrash to remember this great track from Suicidal Tendencies.

Share it with your birth giver!

 

 

The Best Guitarists


guitarist-on-stageI really enjoy “Best of…” lists. And I never shy away from the chance to do one for my blog. This one is rather difficult to pull off though. I mean, how do you compare Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison? They’re both great guitarists, but it’s like comparing your favorite burger to your favorite doughnut.

I’m going to try anyway.

I do realize I could just call this “My Personal Favorite Guitar Players,” but I worry that would take away all the controversy and I really enjoy when people comment about how I forget someone. Just rest assured that I did a lot of research into my personal preferences to compile this list. It was very scientific.

 

Johnny Ramone (The Ramones) – He may not have been the most skilled palyer, but not many musicians have had the impact he did. Before Johnny no one played guitar solely with fast down picking. After him, an entire genre of music that did nothing else was born.

Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Solo) – He’s definitely not a traditional soloist, but he stands out in a crowd.

Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains, Solo) – I’m sure being the primary songwriter for his band forces him to look at the guitar in a different manner than someone who composes as part of a group. His solos always feel like they belong in the song and were written to make it just a little better.

Dimebag Darrell (Pantera, Damageplan) – One of the best guitar solos of all time starts at 3:50

 

Randy Rhoads (Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne) – A Randy Rhoads solo disc would have been awesome wouldn’t it? He was amazing at writing these great instrumental songs – but within the songs that he was playing with Ozzy.

Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman (Megadeth 1990-99) I’m not sure who was doing what in the band at the time. I’m not that interested really, but I know they made one helluva team.

John 5 (Solo, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Two) – So far there’s only been one guitarist able to maintain my interest throughout an album and/or live show by just playing his guitar. I should probably check out Vai or Satriani sometime to see how they compare, but I’m pretty sure Mr. 5 will always be my favorite shredder.

George Harrison (The Beatles, Solo) – He’s definitely not the flashiest or speediest musician on this list, but he always seemed to know the right notes to play. Come on, could you imagine Mick Mars doing a solo on “Helter Skelter”? Or Steve Vai doing “Hey Bulldog”? Or Type O Negative doing a Beatles melody. (You don’t have to here)

Photo Courtesy of Aces High Photography LLC

Photo Courtesy of Aces High Photography LLC

Jimi Hendrix (Solo, Band of Gypsys) – It really doesn’t seem right to include Hendrix on this list. He doesn’t come off as a guitar player to me. He really just sang through the instrument and like it was a part of his body. His voice and gyrating hips were his instrument, the guitar was just an extension of his body.

Dave Gilmour (Pink Floyd, Solo) – “Dave Gilmore can do more with one note than most guitar players can do with the entire fret board” (That’s a quote I read from Dave Mustaine in an old issue of guitar world. Never have truer words been spoken.

 

 

For more of these lists check out:

The Best Bassists

The Best Drummers

Suicide Setlist


I recently stumbled upon some articles I wrote for Buzzbin a few years ago that were never published. Hopefully you will find them more interesting and humorous than that damn editor did!

Suicide Setlist

If you’re anything like me music is always playing in the background. You listen to music while you cook and eat, read and write, study and exercise. But while everyone knows that Ministry is one of the best bands to work out to and Al Green is the best for romance, what songs provide the best soundtrack for suicide? Here I offer several suggestions and hope you take me up on the advice if you ever decide to off yourself. So kick back, pop some sleeping pills, drink some wine, and enjoy my suicide setlist.

Celine Dion “My Heart will go On”– It should provide some comfort to know that even in death your heart will linger, much like a fart in a poorly ventilated room.

Kid Rock hangingKid Rock “All Summer Long”– The first time I heard this song I was cruising down the highway so I cranked it up to jam along with “Werewolves of London.” When I realized I was listening to Kid Rock I became so despondent I nearly drove my car off a bridge.

Nirvana “Milk it”– Yeah, you knew Kurt was gonna show up on this list. Anyone still thinking he was murdered should listen to the lyrics of this song where he sings “look on the bright side is suicide.”

System of a Down “B.Y.O.B”– The perfect song to pump you up for your mission after you strap that bomb to your chest.

Soundgarden “Ty Cobb”– If you’re angry at the world and want your last comment to be “Fuck you all” you should probably put this song on. You could just leave a note but I think hearing Chris Cornell sing the words packs a better punch.

Mudvayne “Dig”– If you’re not sure about how to do it, this tune offers plenty of great suggestions.

Loudon Wainwright III “Unrequited to the Nth Degree”– This song is about suicide, but it’s extremely funny so I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone planning on shooting themselves.

The Doors “The End”– Do I really need to explain this one?

Ozzy Osbourne “Suicide Solution”– Due to the subliminal messages hidden in this song which makes all listeners kill themselves I wouldn’t suggest that anyone not planning on killing themselves ever listen to it.

Nine Inch Nails “The Downward Spiral”– I’m not sure if this song is about killing yourself or killing someone else. Either way it seems appropriate for this list.

Anything by Alice in Chains– I love Alice but they are extremely depressing.

Deep Blue Something “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”- I just include this song because of my love of Audrey Hepburn, and the fact that I’ll never be able to fuck her without being a necrophiliac.

Jane’s Addiction “Mountain Song” or Red Hot Chili Peppers “Suck My Kiss”– Doesn’t it depress you to know that no matter how hard you try you’ll never be nearly as cool as these guys?

The Charlie Daniels Band “The Devil went down to Georgia”– If you kill yourself you’ll go to hell, so you might as well get used to Satan’s fiddle playing ASAP (I always thought he blew Johnny out of the water in this tune).

Bye bye bye cruel world!

Bye bye bye cruel world!

The Carpenters “Superstar”– Fucking rock stars and their one night stands. He said he’d be coming back this way again, baby…

NSYNC “Bye Bye Bye”– I refuse to live in a world where Joey Fatone is a millionaire.

Acid Bath “Scream of the Butterfly”– Wait… that’s the perfect song for an abortion, not a suicide.

Pink Floyd “Goodbye Cruel World”

 

So You Wanna Start A Band Too?


imagesI’ve decided to do a series of band tips. I figure my band is successful enough and I’ve learned enough to have some wisdom to pass on. I’ve been doing it for a while and notice a lot of awful things bands pass off as normal behavior so hopefully I can make the world a better place by helping to prevent this.

I don’t profess to know everything about ‘how to make it in the music biz.’ If I did I would be writing this from the lounge of a tour bus and not the free couch in my cheap apartment (Or maybe I would be writing it from this couch between tours). At the moment my band has 277 likes on Facebook, 273 followers on Twitter and 835 fans on Reverbnation. We do well playing out and people enjoy our stuff; however, if you disagree with my views I encourage you to share your own. This tutorial is intended to help people catch up with where I’m at or surpass me. If you have another way of doing things which will bring more success I’d love to hear it.

Part 3: Criticism

1ea803353adb5dee29eb63665e0529dfAre you familiar with the saying “Everyone’s a critic”? How about “Opinions are like assholes”? There’s a reason people say things like that… They’re true!

And both the best and worst thing about the internet is that people can now share opinions with everyone. They can even share them with the band. This often leads to confrontation, name calling and a few buckets of hurt feelings.

My advice: Get over it.

Every couple of weeks I see some band on my Facebook feed going crazy over a bad review or someone saying they don’t like them. Since when do local bands expect everyone to like them? I know people who don’t like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Simon & Garfunkel, Alice Cooper and Motorhead. Personally I’m not a big fan of Radiohead. And while it hasn’t been discovered ,the LHC is looking for certain particles believed to exist that don’t enjoy Pink Floyd, CCR or Faith No More. Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity mathematically proves that not everyone in the world likes Johnny Cash.

So what’s so special about your band that everyone who hears you must love you?

07fe17371518c179a78031fd3e7a97053c64392d40363f7b1c2769535b9f9e78I think one of the biggest problems with local music is the complete lack of constructive criticism about bands. Constructive criticism is one of the best ways for bands to learn, grow and become better. Yet, whenever I say “I don’t really care for your style,” “I’m not a big fan of the backing tracks,” “You guy’s fucking suck,”  or “You should focus more on the music than masks and trying to be Slipknot” I’m called an asshole.

I’m not an asshole, I’m just the only one saying what a lot of other people are thinking. Bands seem to only want to hang out with folks who blow smoke up their ass and tell them how great they are, but that’s just not healthy.

Don’t get me wrong, the musician in me knows the pain you feel when someone says they don’t like your music. After putting all that hard work into something it sucks when people don’t dig it the way you do. But you have to remember that yelling and name calling don’t help your case and only make you look like a total asshole.

The only band that managed to turn around a bad review on the Audible Stew were the Said So. I didn’t care for them the first few times I saw them, but after I wrote about them and they got wind of it they offered me their album to review. When I heard “Leggo Your Ego” I thought it was pretty good and my view of the band has changed since then.

But my views of the bands who call anyone who doesn’t kiss their asses and worship them only ever changes for the worse.

If you enjoy this post you may also enjoy So You Wanna Start A Band? or So You Wanna Join A Band?