Haven't done one of these for awhile. Life, as they say, has gotten in the way. I went full-time at work, got a new girlfriend and got caught up in things like books and movies. Anyway, here are ten random things that are on my mind:10.
I'm going to be twenty years old in seven days. I'm having a hard time coming to grips with this. On the one hand, I know very well that "me at twenty" will be exactly the same as "me at nineteen"; I pretty much know what lies ahead. It's the past I'm leaving behind that now bothers me.
My teen years are gone. Just like that. Yesterday I'd just turned sixteen and went down to Guitar Center and bought a used Fender Squire for ninety bucks. Bought it right off the little stand and was overjoyed when the guy behind the counter gave me a handful of free plastic picks. Now I'm turning twenty, and I can't help but feel that my teen years went rather unfulfilled. There were no long nights out partying (I hate parties), no run-ins with the law (I play by the rules), no Prom Night pictures or Homecoming memories (I never went to either one)... in short, I'm sad about leaving behind an unremarkable decade of my life. I can only hope that my twenties will be much more fulfilling.9. The Answer
's new album, Everyday Demons
, was pretty well worth the wait, in my opinion. Though it's not as good as their debut album Rise
(especially the two-disc edition), The Answer managed to avoid that sophomore slump album that plagues a lot of new bands. "Demon Eyes" and "On and On" are obviously the two single-worthy songs on the album. Other songs like "Too Far Gone", "Walkin' Mat" and "Dead of the Night" fatten out the album with some nice old-school rock tunes. Then there are the ballads, "Pride" and "Comfort Zone", that show these Irish boys have dynamic writing abilities.
But above all the other things Everyday Demons
does, it announces Cormac Neeson as the Golden God of my generation. The dude's voice is simply amazing, with that high Percy-esque range and the Rod Steward-like whiskey rasp to it. I saw The Answer opened for AC/DC back in November when they toured the States and yes, Cormac Neeson holds up in concert just as well. He's got a weird twitching move that he does, but he definitely controls the mic and his vocals with seemingly effortless precision.
Paul Mahon's guitar work was about what I expected it to be: not too much different from the first album, though there's a few riffs that are a bit "muddier", so to say. But the crunch of Rise
is still there, and the face-smacking solos are still all over the place. In short, Everyday Demons
keeps the Answer going in the right direction, and establishes them as one of the leaders of the NWOCRB.8. The what??..
The NWOCRB... New Wave of Classic Rock Bands. This is a term I'm trying to get going. There is a trend in rock music right now of bands emerging who not only pay homage to the classic bands of yesteryear, but play in their style as well. The leaders of the NWOCRB are starting to become familiar names by now: The Answer, Airbourne
, Stone Gods
, Joe Bonamassa
, Heaven's Basement
... the list goes on. You could include bands that have already broken up like The Darkness
, too. If you consider the 80s to be classic, throw in bands like Endeverafter
and Sister Sin
Here's to the NWOCRB
So far, I've only got two concerts on my schedule this year. I'm going with a group of people from work to see Def Leppard
and Cheap Trick
on July 15th. That will be an outdoor concert for which we have lawn seats.
Then, of course, there's Metallica
again, on September 15th. The first time I saw them this past November was easily the best concert experience I've ever had. Easily
. I know I'll be getting the same experience again later this year and I can't wait!
Might be going to Cruefest in August, too. I want to see Motley Crue
, of course, and my girlfriend wants to see Theory of a Deadman
, one of the opening acts. I almost saw them one time; they were the headliner when I saw Airbourne but I didn't stay to see them after Airbourne blew the walls of the club half-way across town.6.
Today, for the first time ever, I played on an actual drumkit. My dad and I went to my friend Don's graduation party today, and Don's dad let me get on his drumkit down in the basement. He'd heard that I only played the drums whenever I played Rock Band or Guitar Hero so he told me to try out his kit. Surprisingly, I was able to sit right down on the stool and get straight into a rhythm. My skills from playing the four pads and one pedal on my Rock Band kit transferred over very nicely to an actual kit.
I now know what it feels like to play the actual drums. Unlike the Rock Band kit, you get a little bounce-back when you hit the real drums, which is nice. The bass pedals weren't as hard to do as I thought they'd be, and the cymbals were louder than I expected. He had a blue Pearl kit with various Sabian and Zildjian cymbals. I was hesitant to hit the drumheads really hard, but he told me to just wail on them so I did. Awesome feeling!
If I had any spare room in my apartment or my parents' house I'd get a kit, but I really don't have anywhere to put one. Guess I'll wait 'til me and my girlfriend get our own house, lol. She's gonna love that.5.
Bands I've started listening to lately: Thin Lizzy
, John Lee Hooker
. Lizzy is one of those classic bands that's somehow avoided me for the longest time. Phil Lynott is a DARN GOOD songwriter, and Lizzy's got some horribly overlooked anthems.
I'm a sucker for Nickelback. "Photograph" and "Rockstar" get me every time. This is the genius of Nickelback's (and particularly Chad Kroeger's) songwriting: every song makes me go, "Hey! That's me!" Their new album Dark Horse
is pretty good; Mutt Lange (of AC/DC and Def Leppard fame) produced it and did a pretty good job. It's full of radio-ready anthems, much like Back in Black
Johnny Lee Hookah. What can I say? I loves me some blues...
CAKE write some funky, catchy, danceable rock songs. I guess you could say their one of my guilty pleasures, though I don't feel too guilty about admitting it...4.
I feel this deserves its own topic:Link to trailer for Madden 2010, FEATURING AIRBOURNE'S NEW SONG "HEADS ARE GONNA ROLL"
Let the heads roll!!!!!! \m/>.<\m/3.
*Holds up shield to block body*
*Flips down faceguard on helmet*
*Crouches in defensive position*
*Braces for onslaught of flaming internet arrows*
... I've been listening to Dane Cook
... and I like it
As mentioned earlier, I've got a new girlfriend. For anybody who remembers (see: 'nobody'), I spent most of last summer in a state of depression after my first girlfriend refused to see me but also refused to let me go. For anybody who cares (see: 'no one'), she ultimately left me for dead without so much as a good-bye or "thanks for the memories." But I quickly got over it once I started dating my new girlfriend, Amber, in mid-December.
Amber is my boss's daughter (and my roommate's sister), so I've been developing a second family lately, so to say. Amber and I went to the Metallica concert back in November (she pulled us right up to the rail; thanks to her, I was mere feet away from Metallica!!) We flirted with the idea of dating for about three months before she finally just grabbed me and kissed me (literally!) We've been dating for five months now and all is well. She's twenty-three (four years older than me) but that hasn't been a problem at all.
Interesting side note: The first night I stayed over at her house (Christmas night), I awoke the next morning to find my car broken into and my wallet gone. Yep, that was my last Christmas gift: a jolly ol' robbery! We joked about it being a bad omen for us, but it wasn't. We're still happy, and we're going to see Metallica together again this coming September. I like to think that that first Metallica concert is what truly brought us together :)1.
For anybody who remembers (see: 'not a single soul'), I have finished my first draft of my novel Tran Zam
. In case you don't know, Tran Zam
is about a group of guys who work at a fast food restaurant and decide to start a rock and roll band one summer. It's partly a diatribe on the fast food industry, but it's largely about disaffected youth finding salvation in good ol' rock and roll.
The guys in Tran Zam basically spend the entire summer before their first term at college traveling around, playing as many shows as possible between shifts at the fast food joint. They play cover songs of bands like The Who
. There is no grand plot or anything, more or less just a documentation of a young traveling band, teenage love and the grind of working in fast food.
Of course there are allusions to rock bands all over the place (I'm a rock and roll fanatic!) as well as some pretty intense, epic arguments (see: 'Peart vs. Moon vs. Bonham'). The Tran Zam boys get into some Spinal Tap moments along the way, too (see: '"I didn't mean to make the entire front row bleed!"') All of it leading up to the cliched Battle of the Bands that could set them on a road to superstardom! It's a work in progress...Tran Zam is:
- lead guitar, sandwich assemblerJeff Barton
- bass guitar, grill cookShayne McGinnis
- drums, drive-thru order takerDakota Jones
- lead vocals, unemployed
(Here's a drawing that my friend from work, Casey Thomas, drew for me. It's his awesome pencil sketch of what I have in mind for the front cover of Tran Zam
. It's Brian doing a Pete Townshend windmill while fireworks go off on the end of his guitar, like Ace Frehley used to do.)