Thursday, December 30, 2010

Time suck...

I wonder how much time I wasted on the internet, tweeting, trolling facebook, watching TV this year...

Enough time to:
- learn how to do a proper drum roll?
- figure out how to format the metadata of an mp3 with album arwork and track details?
- write 30 more songs?
- read Chase 100 more books?
- take Rachel out to dinner 26 more times?
- write 50 more blog posts?
- see 15 more instances of live theater?

...

I should rethink the next time I want to use the excuse, "I didn't have enough time"...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Shopping

'I have only been to the mall once this holiday shopping season.  And it definitely felt different than years past: not as crowded, no urgency, more people just looking instead of ponying up and buying.  Times are tight.  And it shows...

The thing I love the most about Christmas shopping is people watching.  There's a desperation to Christmas shoppers.  Is this the right gift?  I hope they have the right size.  Man, my kid is gonna hate this toy.  Crap, they don't have the earrings my girlfriend wants.  I never get the right gift for my husband...

I'll be in the thick of it again later tonight.  Christmas shopping on the 22nd is going to be pretty rad...

Hopefully, I won't have the deer in the headlights look that a lot of other shoppers have...

And hopefully, I remember that it really is the thought that counts.  If you have a story behind your gift, then it's the right gift.  If you're just going off a list, you might as well just get gift cards.  Gifts should have personal touch and love all over them.  I don't want to know what you want for Christmas.  I want to come up with it myself.  Because you're my friend, brother, sister, mom, dad, son, fiance... and I love you and want this gift to be a symbol of that love.

Sure, you can tell me what you want.  But, if we're really as close as I hope we are, I should already have a pretty good idea...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Oh Girl is recording soon...

The stars have aligned.  The planets are in all of their correct houses.  And adulthood has opened a tiny window of opportunity...

Oh Girl is tracking drums on Saturday.

And I'm very excited to finally start doing more work on the singles we'll be releasing next year.  Like everything else Oh Girl, it's happening when it can, we're not forcing it, organic, organic, organic, "Hey, you wanna record?", "Sure, I'm down", "Sweet, let's make it happen"...

Oh yeah, we have a show, too.  With this band, when it rains, it pours.  And it literally might be pouring on Sunday.  So say the meteorologists...

Goals for Saturday's tracking session:

- Focus on the feel not the technique
- Have fun
- Document for posterity (not just the tracks, but the actual recording experience)
- Lots of pictures

That is all.  I'm so excited.  I can barely contain myself... ;alsfkhgpaoisrhgpoadjnbaowripghpaowt120389tru

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Beginning...

... is always fun.

The puppy love stage.  The making up the band name phase.  The learning everyone's name in the office time period...

It's easy to stay motivated during the beginning, too.  You need to impress your new love.  Shit, I've gotta make sure all these songs that I introduce are good.  I better double and triple check these emails so I don't sound like an idiot.

But then, the beginning turns into... everyday life.  And that's when it gets hard, when you need to focus, when you pass or fail.

You don't succeed in the beginning.  You succeed when you realize that everything after the beginning still needs the emotional investment you made in the beginning.

That being said I love my job, my band, my fiance, my son, and my family.  Even more than I did "in the beginning"...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Patience

I have a lot... and at times, none at all...

Now, now, now, not later, just now, no waiting, stop stalling, get off your ass, get it now, don't wait, don't put in the time, just win the lottery, just get the raise, don't pay your dues, stop practicing, stop paying attention to details, fly by the seat of your pants, now, now, now...

Easy to say when you're 19 and living in the dorms and getting a check from financial aid for books and food and housing and all you have to worry about is finishing the paper and learning the lines and remembering the choreography and the directions to the party...

Not so much when you're 29 and living with your fiance and 1 year old son and driving to work and trying to write music and chase a dream and put food on the table and keep the apartment clean and not drive your love crazy and keep your love safe and still get up in the morning and live up to your own expectations...

Patience.  Because it gets easier, but only if you put in the time.  And nothing worth having ever comes easily (or quickly)...

Wow... a profound quick stylee lunch post... (smirk)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Weezer...

8 days ago I saw Weezer's first of two nights at the Gibson Amphitheater.  It was an absolutely amazing show.  I hadn't seen Weezer for 9 years (the last time I saw them was in 2001 down at UC San Diego).  I remember them being very, very boring.  Not this time around, though.  Rivers was non-stop energy.  For their greatest hits set, all four members were up front with Josh Freese drumming... so eggin' food.  And their blue album set was just like being able to worship at the altars of all things I enjoy in an album.  I was transported to 1994, and I didn't want to leave at the end of the night...

Here are some pics from the show:

 Best Coast was great.  Solid set, no frills, just good rockin'...

Rock for the masses

 The crowd in the palm of her hand

 Right before Weezer hit the stage

 Light show, rock show, please no, don't go

 Rivers a couple yards from me.  I shoulda ran up for a high five...

 Making his way back to the stage.  Give the man a hand

 Webmaster and Weezer guru Karl treated everyone to a killer slide show in between sets.  Here's an early Weezer flyer.  Karl explained that Club Dump went on to notoriety as the Viper Room.

Kiss Medallions but for Weezer as made by Mykel and Carli back in the day

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Larry David is a genius...

Curb Your Enthusiasm is on in the background, and all I can think is that Larry David is a genius.  I don't even watch this show... I've never seen an episode... I don't know the characters or any of the plotlines... but there's something about Larry David yelling at kids selling lemonade because their lemonade sucks that lets me know that he's a genius...

Is genius learned or are you born with it?  My educated guess is a little bit of both.  And a lot of luck.  And good timing.  And plenty of desire, latent or obvious...

I'm a genius.  You're a genius, too.  The only problem is that our brand of genius isn't popular yet...

I'm tired.  This genius is tired...  Larry David probably never gets tired.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's Already December?!?

Today is the last day of November.  The cliche "Where has the time gone?" holds particularly true for me this year...

I have a one year old son.  I'm engaged to get married in 4 months.  I'm beginning to enjoy when things slow down as opposed to always trying to keep things at light speed.  But I'm also pleased with the knowledge that when I need and want to get things going, I still can.  Just not every weekend...

December is always a bittersweet month.  One year ending and another beginning.  Relaxing in the excess of the holiday season before the eventual countdown to the youthful rush of spring and summer.  "This portion of Glynn's blog has been brought to you by schmaltz (and it's connotation not denotation)..."

I'm wearing my Weezer t-shirt.

Chase is crying downstairs while Rachel is working on origami flowers for the wedding.

Glee is on in 52 minutes and Sean and Candace will be over soon to watch it with us.

I like facts.  They're easier to make up than interesting stories and far more entertaining, too...

"What's the point?" 

"... there's supposed to be a point...?"

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cleaning...

... is very tiring.

Especially when done correctly.

Rachel and I don't clean very often, which is a bad habit I'm hoping to break.

It's amazing how many old memories you come across while cleaning.  Receipts that take you back to a specific time in your life.  Old mail that jogs your cranium into nostalgia.  Knick knacks that you acquire without even thinking about it.  In my case, there are plenty of guitar picks and old show tickets and memorabilia from Chase's first couple weeks that send me strolling down memory lane...

The guitar pick that I used for the OC Music Magazine showcase at the Yost in Santa Ana while I was playing with Gregory Brock...

My ticket for the Pixies Doolittle show at the Palladium last November...

Chase's pictures from the newborn photoshoot we had while we were still at Hoag over a year ago...

I guess that's one of the positives of cleaning so infrequently.  All those memories lying around, just waiting to have the dust swept off of them...

*sidenote: When the heck did it become almost DECEMBER!?!?!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving

The giving of thanks.  To whom are we giving said "thanks"...?

I'm thankful for:

- Rachel and Chase and my family.
- Oh Girl
- My health
- My job
- My friends
- Being alive during an age of such amazing opportunity
- Everything I have, everything I want, and everything I'm working for
- The moments when I stop and realize how lucky we really are...
- You.  Thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stuck on the 405...

Mike saved me.

Okay, maybe that's too dramatic. Too hyperbolic. Too Hollywood...

Mike helped me out a whole lot.

My car broke down on the southbound 405 just north of Fairview. And I tried to get over but the closest I got was 3 lanes from the shoulder (which in the grand scheme of things might as well have been the fast lane). I called my Dad to see if we still had triple A. I called Rachel to let her know what was going on. I called a tow truck service.

"30 to 45 minutes."

Rad.

30 to 45 minutes of dirty looks, near accidents, whizzing cars, Colin Cowherd (not a bad thing)... 30 to 45 minutes of being "that guy" and inconveniencing everyone's morning commute.

Then Mike showed up. And stopped on the shoulder. And got out of his truck and stopped traffic and walked over to my car and helped me push it over to the shoulder.

What's your name?

"Mike."

Thank you so much. Do you have a card?

"No. Don't worry about it. Just do something nice for someone else."

Rad... Pretty much left me speechless.

So yeah. Mike helped me out a whole lot. And, hopefully, I can make someone else's day some time soon...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Slow Down... and Manny Pacquiao... and Oh Girl...

My dad is a genius.

He has always maintained that the usefulness of going to Church on Sundays is not to celebrate religion or rack up spirit points or even socialize with all the other Joneses.  The usefulness of going to Church on Sunday is that you get to slow down.

We all clip along at a mile a minute throughout the week.  Deadlines, homework, babysitters, clocking in, lunch break, traffic, road rage, groceries, dinner, dishes, diapers, meetings, outlook reminders, post it messages, voicemail, away messages, to do lists, newsletters, bosses, managers, employees, co-workers, coffee, Kings run... head spin, head spin, head spin, soul fatigue, head spin, head spin...

Then...

Sunday.  And Church.  And slowing down...

I don't go to Church much anymore.  At all, really.  And I don't feel as if my life is any less complete from all the missed sermons and readings and Our Father's...  But I do feel like I could use a gentle weekly reminder to slooooooooooooooooow down...

Oh yeah.  Pacquiao beat the shit out of Margarito last night.  I watched the fight replay tonight, and it was very entertaining.  Manny got hurt in the 6th but still won the round with a flurry at the end.  Margarito almost went down in the 4th and the 11th, but the man has a crazy strong chin.  They're showing the Clottey-Margarito fight later this week on ESPN Classic...  I need to record it so I can study it over and over.  Thank you, sweet sports fan OCD...

Oh yeah.  Another Oh Girl show this Friday, which is also my 29th birthday. 

Oh yeah.  I plan on having my cake and eating it, too.  You know, American Dream styleeeeeeee...

Oh yeah.  Wait.  That's it...

Where do I even begin?

Chase turned one on Thursday.  That was 2 days ago.  Already, I'm thinking to myself, "He's only 363 days away from turning two."  And he realizes I'm typing about him... so he just woke up and is now crying... 12:17am

Now it's 12:26am.  Pretty good, all things considered.  Chase is starting to wake up a lot more throughout the night.  Part of this is probably my fault for always holding him till he goes to sleep.  I need to break that habit...

Anyways, here are my 10 favorite pics from the last couple days... all courtesy of Hipstamatic... in no particular order...

This picture captures so much... curious, whatcha doin?, almost in Disneyland!


I like the wood grain in the foreground and "Birthday" barely peeking over the tray...


The little smirk on Jane's face says it all, "It doesn't get much better than holding my grandson."


So staged, it's almost too contrived, but it's still a great picture...


This was taken while Rachel and her parents were on Soarin'.  I'll always remember this time of the day for how much Chase walked around.  He literally grew right in front of me...


I love my family so much...


Couldn't decide between the two feeding pictures...


Three generations of Montemayors on one couch...


Just a good effin' pic.  Diggin' how in focus the toy table is in the foreground...


He went from barely crawling 10 weeks ago to being able to navigate a party and still have the wherewithal to stop and watch Sesame Street...

Happy Birthday, Chase.  I love you so much...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

1:53 am...

... and I'm up.

Chopping up Oh Girl videos from our show at the Blue Cafe in HB.

Possibly booking another show there soon...?

Oh Girl is rock, improv, funny, accessible, clever, unique, fearless, rude, careless, carefree, careful, honest, contrived, fast, slow, soft, loud, easy, difficult, probably crazy, definitely crazy... 

Chase turns one in 2 days.  He's asleep in his crib right now.  The last couple weeks he's been getting up much more frequently throughout the night.  And I used to just go pick him up and sit in the rocker with him on my lap till he fell asleep again and I could place him back in his crib.  Which isn't good because he shouldn't get used to being held to fall asleep.  Apparently, it's a hard habit to break.

Great.

I'm already having trouble letting go...

Monday, November 8, 2010

12 Minutes Left on my Lunch Break...

Capitalization confuses me sometimes...

I can already tell I'm gonna love this post.

Oh Girl show at the Blue Cafe in HB last night.  Rousing success.  Much fun had by all.  Songs about Dr. Rockzo, Pee Wee Herman, Bun Crumbs, Combovers, Sesame Street...

MUCH fun was had by ALL...

Turkey chili was very fulfilling. 

There are 2 guitars trapped in my trunk.  They'll escape soon, but I'm sure they're both sweating bullets...

I have a long drive ahead of me after work to pick up Chase from my parent's house.  I think I'm going to listen to... Death from Above 1979...

...and MSTRKRFT...

...and Mastodon...

...and, hopefully, Muse...

Lotsa "M's" going on up there...

pausing tends to make you think too much which can't always be a bad thing but sometimes you get interrupted and need to push through in order to make it worth your while instead of waiting you could just get up off your ass and make things happen instead of waiting you could have an iota of bravery and be the impulse that starts the pattern of change...

Or not...

Don't go back and read it or you'll never post it...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fall Back

It's 8:57... on the clock, but in my head and to my body, it's really 9:57...

Fall always reminds me of certain things:

- my birthday
- meeting Rachel
- doing community theater shows with Tim Nelson
- Hockey and Basketball seasons starting
- the beginning of the holiday season
- wearing pants everyday instead of shorts

Now, fall will remind me of even more things:

- Chase's birthday
- when Oh Girl started

It's weird, but it never really occurred to me that Chase's and my birthday were so close together.  And now that I think about it... I wouldn't want it any other way.

Oh Girl show tonight.  Our 13th show in 13 months.  We've come a long way, but we've done it right this time.  Just let things happen.  There are too many things to try to bottle up and control and keep on a leash.  Would that we could all be so lucky to have something so out of control and fun in our lives...

Chase turns one in 4 days...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I've been a dad for 51 weeks...

My son Chase turns one a week from today.

Howzabout a recap of some things I've learned in the last 51 weeks...?

- Sleep can wait.
- The days you want to wake up early are typically after the nights that end up being difficult.
- Every parent becomes "that parent".  You know, the "let me show you the latest picture/ video of my kid because he/she is the cutest thing ever and can do no wrong" parent.
- I love Rachel more than anything.
- Chase is a closer than close second.  I'm talking billionths of a percentage point... (It hurts to admit that)
- Every child bruises the heck out of himself/herself within the first couple weeks of walking.
- My best songs are about my family.
- I totally get why my dad would just let my brother, sisters, and I cry some times when we were younger.
- It's really hard to not hold Chase until he falls asleep...
- Time flies... so fast...

You're almost one, bud...  I love you...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It strikes at the strangest moments

And you just have to hope and pray that you're in the position to capture it...

Now is not one of those "strangest moments".... (or maybe it is...)

Now is the middle of a workday in the middle of a work week in the middle of a season that urges us to be aware of everything we shouldn't take for granted.

So in honor of that season...

This is what I'm thankful for...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lack of running but not of moving

Oh Girl is chugging along.  2 shows booked for the next 2 months.  That will be 14 shows in the last 15 months.  Not bad for a total fly by the seat of our pants throw shit at a wall and see what sticks take things as they come maybe we should practice more band...

I have not been running as much as I should.  I'll be ready, though.

Chase turns 1 in 2 weeks.  Chase turns 1 in 2 weeks.  Chase turns 1 in 2 weeks.  Chase turns 1 in 2 weeks.  Chase turns 1 in 2 weeks.  Chase turns 1 in 2 weeks.  I wrote it 6 times, and it still blows me away every time...

Okay.  Time to go pick up my guitar...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

OC Weekly

Oh Girl is in the latest issue of the OC Weekly...

It's funny how the one project I've taken the least seriously has cruised along the most easily.

It works because we're having fun...

It works because there's no pressure...

It works because we can take it or leave it...

It works because not working is no big deal...

It just works...

Recording will be an ongoing process and will happen when it happens...

10000 hours... We're not quite there yet...

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Used to Hate Rain...

And I still kinda do.  I don't like getting my clothes wet and having wet socks and having to sit in a car while being all wet and driving to the next place where I'm just gonna get wet all over again...

In short, I'm a baby.

But I appreciate rain now.  Everything feels more fresh after a good rainfall.  And it's easier to dress nicely when it's colder.  Sweaters and hoodies and jeans and shoes and scarves and beanies.

In short, I'm a wannabe fashionista.

Blogging on the lunch break is fun.

Running tomorrow morning in the rain?  Hopefully, not full blow rain, just misty kind of get you wet but not really because you're already wet from sweating kind of rain...

Checking out laptops at Fry's after work?  Sure, even though I'm not even sure I need a laptop, I should just fix my existing computer, but where's the fun in that and it would be nice to not have to share Rachel's computer at home...

And mobile recording would be sweet...

And I should get an acoustic open mic night performance off my back sooner rather than later...

Lots has happened in the last 2 years.  A lifetime of changes in 24 months...

Hey, 2008 Glynn... meet 2010 Glynn and how much cooler/ less cool he is than you...

Song title ideas:

sleep and dream
g is for dad
lucky than good
what can you do

I forgot what I started this blog for.  Which is okay because some times you need to forget to remember...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Gear Slut

I love looking at new gear. 

Gear related to any of my interests.  Guitar stuff.  Recording gear.  Golf clubs.  Running shoes.  Vans for touring.  Lockouts within which to put gear.  Drum hardware.  Computers.  Video games...

Ok.  Maybe I just like looking at... stuff...

Craigslist gets me in trouble.  Especially since I've found out how easy it is to trade stuff on there...

I like this guitar...

And this one...

And I really, really like this one.  Especially since I've been wanting an acoustic that plays more like an electric...

In other news, I haven't written a new song in a while.  Or posted an acoustic video on YouTube in a while.  Methinks this is an issue...

Things don't always go as planned

Training for the Carlsbad Half-Marathon is proving to be more difficult than first anticipated.  With the sun coming up later, waking up early to run is a chore.  So much easier to curl up in bed and catch an extra 50 minutes of sleep...

Oh Girl plays a show in a week and another show in three weeks.  And we have our first feature article coming out next Thursday in the OC Weekly.  But I'm not as excited as I as 2 weeks ago because...

I have tunnel vision.  And work is smack dab in the middle of that tunnel right now.  But it helps to have creative releases and distractions so...

It's good that I was able to trade my Mesa Boogie Nomad 100 for an amp that I'll actually use: the Marshall DSL401.  A nice 40 watter that I'll probably use as the dirty channel to my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe's clean channel.  I also got a Morley ABY pedal, so I am stoked...

Deadpan works so much better...

Chase turns one next month.  Chase turns one next month.  Sorry.  Had to write it twice... think of it as a literary blog post double take...

Yeah.  These type of posts should proliferate.  My voice is stream of consciousness.  Nice to meet you, honest self-evaluation.  Where have you been all my life???

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hello? Blog? It's me, Glynn...

Ah... an obscure Judy Blume reference.  This is going to be a good post...

I haven't blogged in a 43 days.  What a shame...

Cliff's notes RECAP (bullet style)!!!

- Our wedding is 183 days away!!!

- Chase is 10 months and 14 days old and is almost walking... 

- I'm running a lot now.  I've decided to run in Carlsbad in January, but I need to choose either the full or the half marathon.  I'm leaning towards the half only because...

- Oh Girl is starting to hit its stride.  We're playing shows regularly (well, once a month, which is regularly enough).  We're FINALLY heading into the studio.  We're having fun and taking steps and keeping it loose but also, strangely, progressing more quickly than any other band with which I've played.  The harder you try to hold on, the more quickly it slips away... so we're learning to let go with this one.

That's pretty much been my life in the last month and a half.

And now I can sleep tonight without feeling the guilt of having not posted on my blog in a long time...

Schizo wedding-baby-running-recording posts will continue to proliferate more frequently from now on...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Schizo fits me...

I haven't been running (FAIL).  Tomorrow, hopefully...

But I have been playing music...

And thinking about playing music...

And listening to lots of music...

And looking at awesome blogs including http://st00pidjesse.blogspot.com/...

That is all...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Run Log #11- Running Fits Me

I will gloss over Run Log #11 because I should have posted it on Thursday when I actually ran.....

No, wait.  Scratch that.  I will describe how I somehow put my iPhone into airplane mode which disabled the GPS which meant that Runkeeper didn't keep track of my route or my pace.  So I manually entered it using MapMyRun.com.  Sweet...

Which brings me to another point. I'm slightly neurotic.  I have semi-weird, occasionally OCD tendencies.  I always eat my burgers in a circle (outer crust first, then slowly whittle it down into ever smaller circles till one bite is left).  I listened to the same Helmet album every time I went to watch one of my high school's football games.  I have a thing for odd numbers and have seen a pattern in the important dates in my life (11-19-81: birthday, 7-5-09: re-Anniversary with Rachel, 11-11-09: my son Chase's birthday, 3-27-11: wedding date). 

All of this detail-oriented, anal-retentive behavior gives me a personality that it is well-accustomed to running.  When I found out that I had put my phone into airplane mode, I obsessed over not being able to track that run.  I needed to know what the specifics were... what were my splits?  Did I improve?  What does it mean...?

I'll admit I'm an addict when it comes to looking at my Runkeeper profile and seeing how far I've run, how quickly I ran, how many calories I burned, the routes I take, etc., etc., ad nauseum, ad infinitum...

Which is why running fits me.

There needs to be something a little bit off inside you if you actually enjoy putting your body through pain for long periods of time while listening to the lonely thoughts droning inside your head.

And I'm beginning to really enjoy it, to need it, to feel antsy if I don't get it, to dread rest days, and look forward to discomfort because I know I can push through it and better myself in the process.

Thanks, running.  For letting me find you.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hipstamatic Set #1- Daily View

Hipstamatic rocks my socks...

And, so, I shall start another set of posts to go along with my album reviews and my YouTube vid posts...

Hipstamatic Photo Sets!!!

The theme of this Hipstamatic photo set is "Daily View".  As some of you may know, I am the Prescription Customer Service Manager for Kaenon Polarized.  It's a job that I love for a company I believe in.  And my desk is where I spend every day on the phone, on the computer, on the grind...


sustenance 



potpourri



reorder  



communication helix



yes, this is an exit
 



clearly sticky



purpose




Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Run Log#10- Silence is Golden

Soundtrack:

Nothing.  Literally nothing.  Except Runkeeper updating me every 2 minutes on time elapsed, distance traveled, and average pace.

I felt good today.  2.25 miles in 25 minutes.  11:14 per mile (which is under my average pace for the last 3 weeks).

I counted backwards from January 23rd to find out when my actual training will start.  September 27th.  Just under 11 weeks away.  11 more weeks of base fitness training before jumping head first into a more focused marathon training program.  I better get some mountain biking and weight lifting in before I need to cut those out of the routine.

But, oh yeah... Silence is golden.  I didn't set-up a playlist for this morning's run.  I figure I'm not going to listen to music during the marathon, so I should get used to the silence.  And it actually helped.  I was able to focus on my body more, feel how my arms swinging helped the perpetual motion of my legs and how changing my breathing affected the ease or difficulty of my pace.  I'm looking forward to being able to zone out while running, without being distracted by the music I love so much.  There are better times to listen to music.  Running should be about escaping for a bit, and being able to do that in silence will be comforting.

Rest day tomorrow, then another 25 minutes of running on Thursday morning.  I'm tempted to try for 2.5 miles, but I know that I need to take it slow.  There will be plenty of time for speed work later on...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Run Log #9- Slow and Steady Wins the Race...

Slow and steady wins the race.

I've been running for the last three weeks.  Focusing on timed runs to build up my stamina.  Started with 10 minute runs and hope to build up to 40 minute runs by the end of next week. 

Over the course of my first 8 runs, I've been averaging about 11:30 a mile.  Not horrible, considering I've never been a runner and I'm in the worst shape of my life.

11:30 a mile turns out to be just north of 5 hours for a marathon.  (*sidenote: I'm planning on attempting my first marathon January 23, 2011.  That's why I'm doing all of this running.)

So, today I graduate to a 30 minute run after two 20 minute runs this week.  And I figure a solid pace would be 12:30 a mile, which would mean I would run 2.4 miles in 30 minutes.  Achievable, right?

Definitely achievable...

... if I had run at 6:30am, so I could avoid the heat...

... if I hadn't run at 1:21pm in close to mid-90 degree temperatures...

... and if I hadn't started my run at 9:30 a mile!!!!!

I went out too fast.  I played checkers, not chess.  I got ahead of myself, and shot myself in the foot.  I was that hare, sprinting past the tortoise, yelling back, "See ya at the finish line, you slow poke!", burning out at 25 minutes, and panting, gasping, dredging to the finish line as the tortoise lounged in triumph...

I was very disappointed today.  If I had just stuck to the plan, I would have run 2.4 miles in 30 minutes, and I probably would have felt fine...

Lessons learned:

- NEVER skip the morning run.
- If you skip the morning run, definitely don't run IN THE MIDDLE OF THE EFFING DAY...  Just wait for dusk.
- Stick to your pacing.
- Set-up Runkeeper to update every 3 minutes, so I can adjust my pace if it's off.

2 rest days, then 25 minutes on Tuesday.  GOAL: 2 miles.

Now off to watch Spirit of the Marathon on Netflix...

Soundtrack:
With a Heavy Heart (I Regret to Inform You)- Does It Offend You, Yeah?
An Autopsy- The Faceless
Whatever Happened to Pong?- Frank Black
Turned Out- Helmet
He Feels Bad- Helmet
Obnoxious- Immortal Technique
This Is F*****g Tragic- The Impossibles
The Boys Are Leaving Town- The Japandroids
Blood of the Scribe- Lamb of God

Friday, July 16, 2010

Oh Girl

Oh Girl played at Clancy's tonight.  And there were a couple songs that absolutely felt "spot on in the zone audience in the palm of your hand" good...

And this was after 3 weeks of not practicing. 

It's in our fingers and our brains and our hands and our toes and our brains.  We just need to let it out and be true and genuine and authentic.

Dynamics...

I love being in a band that is a true extension of myself...

August 5th in San Diego...

Run Log #8- Goal accomplished (kind of)

I wanted to run 1.8 miles in 20 minutes today.  And if you look at my Runkeeper Profile, it says I did. 

But I know the truth..

I ran 1.79 miles in 20 minutes, then walked .01 miles in an extra 22 seconds.

And, yes, it matters.  Because I want complete transparency throughout all of my training.  And because I need to stay focused and hungry and focused and willing to put in the work.

30 minutes of running awaits me on Saturday morning.  It would be nice to get in 2.4 miles.  12:30 a mile would be pretty stellar...

Since I started running two and a half weeks ago, I've run 10.32 miles in about 119 minutes.  That's about 11:30 a mile.  Which would be about a 5 hour marathon...

My goal is to run a 4:30 marathon, which is 10:20 a mile.

I have 2 more months of base training before starting a pretty intense 4 month training program, which is focused on getting me to a 4:30 marathon.  Depending on how I feel after the next 2 months, I might try to actually focus on a 4:15 marathon... or even a 4:00 marathon...

One thing I know for sure.  I never thought running would be so fulfilling...

Soundtrack:
Blood On Our Hands- Death from Above 1979
The Ghost of a Stranger- The Faceless
Freedom Rock- Frank Black
Do It Again (feat. Ali Love)- Chemical Brothers
Stockholm Syndrome- Muse
I-E-A-I-A-I-O- System of a Down
Cicatriz ESP- The Mars Volta

Random thought... I wonder how my runs would go if I didn't listen to music..... ?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Run Log #7- Routine

Up at 6:30.

Get dressed.

iPhone into armband.

Shoes laced.

Make sure GPS is working.

Start Activity...

Soundtrack:
There's No Home for You Here- The White Stripes
Great DJ- The Ting Tings
Bounce- System of a Down
Killing in the Name- Rage Against the Machine
The Stalker- Piebald
For Sunday- Name Taken
Helena- My Chemical Romance
Blood of the Scribe- Lamb of God

Stop Activity.

Walk to cool down.

Shoes off.

Socks off.

Onto yoga mat.

3 sets of 10 sit-ups alternated with 3 sets of 10 push-ups.

Calf stretch.

Quad stretch.

Hamstring stretch.

Groin stretch.

Showerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

I like my running routine.  But I need to push harder.  Stress and recover...  Rest day tomorrow.

Lyrics:
(instrumental)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday Song #9- Crunk on Fools

It's been far too long since the last Saturday Song. I'm going to make it a point to try to at least post something every Saturday, even if it's a cover... or just a snippet of a song that I'm working on. I should set up a Soundcloud account so I can post mp3s on here...

This is another rambly stream of consciousness free form folky acoustic song about Chase.  Enjoy!!

Run Log #6- It's a mental workout...

I wanted to stop.

Multiple times.

At 4 minutes when my iPod told me I'd only run .32 miles and was on a 12:30/mile pace (I was hoping for around 10:00/mile)

At 8 minutes when I realized I still had 12 minutes left instead of 7.

At 13 minutes when my stomach began to cramp...

Luckily, I didn't.

Today, I realized that training for a marathon is going to be about much more than just getting my body into shape.  In fact, it's probably more about getting my mind into shape.  Learning how to rely on keeping my form to push through the cramps.  Pushing my body farther than I thought I could and realizing that it's not that bad.  Focusing on how much it would suck to pull up and walk only to find out that I'm still tired, only now I'm tired and a quitter and depressed...

I have a long way to go.  But I took an important step today.  I began training my mind to will my body to its best.  And it felt really, really good... 

Soundtrack:
Betrayal is a Symptom- Thrice
Misteryo- Slapshock
Bro Hymn- Pennywise
Linoleum- NOFX
School- Nirvana
Break Stuff- Limp Bizkit
Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine- The White Stripes

Thursday, July 8, 2010

LeBron

I'd be remiss if I didn't join the millions of people that will be writing a LeBron James blog post tonight...

The Decision brought to you by Bing... (awesome)

There's a part of me that:

- hates LeBron for stabbing Cleveland in the back
- knows that LeBron didn't owe Cleveland anything
- wants to wholeheartedly jump on the Miami bandwagon
- knows that the Lakers are still the favorite for the NBA Championship in 2011
- admits that if Miami makes 3 more good moves, they have the potential to win A LOT
- marvels at the media hurricane that was stirred up by a guy that puts a ball in a hoop for a living
- remembers that a similar media hurricane was very recently stirred up by a guy that rolls a ball into a cup for a living
- realizes that in America, the amount of excitement surrounding LeBron tonight will never surround the World Cup, at least not in my lifetime
- can't help but think that David Stern orchestrated this whole thing, knowing full well how huge it would be for the league
- can't wait for Christmas, so I can sit back and watch the Lakers play the Heat...

Run Log #5- One step at a time...

I feel a little better every time I run...?

Question because I can't really tell.  I think I feel better, but I could be trying to delude myself.  I'm up to the 15 minute stage of my base fitness training, and I can't help but think that running eighteen 15 minute stretches in a row (a 4:30 marathon) is going to be next to impossible.  Which is complete bullshit because I know that if I stick to the program, I'll be golden...

"It was your 5th running session, Glynn.  Take it easy and give yourself a break..."

Soundtrack:
American Hearts- Piebald
You Know the Story- Ozma
Landing of Yuri Gagarin- Ozma
No Support- It's Casual
Going Steady- Death From Above 1979
Dead End Friends- Them Crooked Vultures
Right Hand on My Heart- Whigs
Joker & the Thief- Wolfmother

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Things I Love

Rachel

Chase

My family (Moo, Daddy, Ricker, Julie, Sha, AD)

Guitars (especially my Ibanez acoustic-electric and my Gibson Les Paul Jr. Lite)

Drums

Songs that make my head nod

Golf

My job (sometimes)

This blog

Interestingly enough, each of the things I've listed, at various times, can elicit a much more negative emotion, bordering on hate (but "hate" has such a strong connotation...).  It's in their abilities to bring out the worst in me that makes me most sure that I love them.

Except for "Songs that make my head nod"...  I don't ever really hate them.  Which is why I've stricken them from the list...

don't make me feel pain
unless you want me to want to forget
don't give me too much
unless you need me to never need you

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Run Log #4

Soundtrack:
Treat Me Like Your Mother- The Dead Weather
Saturate- Chemical Brothers
When the Sun Goes Down- Arctic Monkeys
Daft Punk is Playing at My House- LCD Soundsystem
Know Your Enemy- Rage Against the Machine
Streamline- System of a Down

Morning runs might not be the devil after all...  I bought some Clif Bars today, which will forever remind me of when I was in the best shape of my life: spring of 2003.  I cut class almost every day to go mountain biking, and I'd always have a Clif Bar before riding.

Looking forward to Thursday.  One more 15 minute run before graduating to 20 on Saturday.  Maybe I can go for 1.66 miles, i.e. 9 min/mile...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Rest Days in Life

Sooooooo...

I'm thinking about signing up for the Carlsbad Marathon. It's on Sunday, January 23rd, which gives me just over 6 months to train. I've got 2 months of base fitness training (a necessity considering I'm in the worst shape of my life), then 4 months of marathon specific training.

In reading up on training for a marathon, rest days often arise as an important topic. "You want to make sure you reach the starting line healthy...", "Skip a run workout, but don't EVER skip a rest day..." It makes you wonder about the importance of rest days not just during marathon training, but during everyday normal life.

How often do we feel burned out? As if we've just hit a dead end? Overwhelmed by everything? In this day and age, I'm guessing these feelings arise more often than not.  Deadlines, kids, wives, husbands, traffic, co-workers, bosses... plenty of sources of stress.

Sure there are the weekends; those are rest days, right? Well, there are chores like cleaning, laundry, yard work...

What's the age old Monday morning exchange?

"How was your weekend?"

"Too short..."

What's the point of all this you ask? Maybe there is no point. Maybe I'm just trying to find out why we spend so much time trying to get ahead, fill the bank account, buy the car, watch the TV show, keep up with the Joneses and less time trying to actually improve our lives.

Funny, really...

The days I spend training for the Carlsbad Marathon...

Those are my "life rest days"...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

This is how I pass the time on a Sunday morning

Watching this rad vid by the talented S. Huberts.

Contemplating signing up for the Carlsbad Marathon.

Listening to Last Five Years from Rachel's iTunes.

Eating pancakes.

Watching Chase fuss on the nursery monitor.

Oh yeah.  Happy 4th of July!  Happy Birthday, Dana Pull!  Happy Birthday, Dad!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Run Log #2 and Run Log #3

7/1- Soundtrack: Can't remember because I already switched my on the go playlist... pretty sure Dead Weath- Cut Like a Buffalo was on there and Japandroids- Heart Sweats...

7/3- Soundtrack:
Charmer- Kings of Leon
Leviathan- Mastodon
Paris- MSTRKRFT
Deadbolt- Thrice
Song for the Dead (Live)- QOTSA
With a Heavy Heart (I Regret to Inform You)- Does It Offend You, Yeah?
We Are Rockstars- Does It Offend You, Yeah?

Now 2 more rest days... then 20 minutes of running on Tuesday...

Lyrics:
So close yet so far
Eyes on the prize, feet on the ground
Grass, concrete, and tar
Earful of buds, escape in the sound

It hurts and that's okay
I'm the only thing in my way

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Death (and Rebirth) of the Attention Span

Netflix, DVR, Tivo... all let us skip commercials.

No one listens to full albums anymore.

Reality shows offer opportunities for fame based on nothing.  (For the record, I recently auditioned for a reality show.  And it was one of the best experiences of my life.  And I am supremely happy I didn't get chosen.  And I am horribly disappointed I didn't get chosen.)

Bloggers jump from subject to subject and digress to ever longer unrelated tangents in their own posts...

Ke$ha... Justin Bieber... 3Oh!3... will they be remembered or will they just live in infamy for being able to strike while the iron was hot and eke out a modicum of success?

Now, now, now... me, me, me...

I don't even have the patience to finish this blog.

But if you go through the motions and keep pushing, eventually something good will happen.

You'll stumble upon a good song.  Or you'll make a customer happy at work.  Or you'll find a way to make your son laugh.  Or you'll learn how to make really good pancakes.

There are several goals in mind that will require my utmost attention:

- Finish a Marathon in Less than 5 Hours
- Record and release an EP with Oh Girl
- Record and release a solo album

Goals 2 and 3 are closer than goal 1.  And somehow all 3 goals are connected...

Run Log #1

Tuesday, June 29, 2010, 21:30

Soundtrack- Battles

10 mins of easy jogging.  Getting back into the swing of things.  Building a base before starting a 4 month marathon training program.

GOAL: Carlsbad Marathon on Sunday, January 23, 2011.

lyrics:

warm up
cool down
push through
look around
and see
everything

left, right
take a breath
keep track
of the mess
inside
your head

run fast
run slow
get off your ass and go

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Subject Matter for Songs

The inability to not mimic my baby son while he's eating...

Proposing on a Sunday while watching the Office

Vegan babies ftw

Foursquare, angry birds, and twitter have stolen (saved) my life...

Running is the best and worst idea I've ever had

The hipstamatic app doesn't mean I'm a photographer, but it sure is fun to pretend...
Main Street at night is Rachel's favorite

Chase is wearing the pajamas that are like crib sheet camouflage


My jingle moves more units than yours...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This Whole Writing Something Worthwhile Thing is Difficult...

The only difficult thing is sticking to your guns.  Making sure you know what you're trying to do. 

But what if I don't want to stick to one thing?  What if what comes out naturally is always different?  What if I just want to half-ass everything and dupe people into thinking I'm talented when it's all just a farce?

Why would anyone want to do that?

Sometimes when you plan it out, it all goes wrong, and when you shoot from the hip, it goes so right?

The point is being in the right place at the right time is better than being in the right place but being unprepared and not being confident enough to say, "This isn't the right place yet, but it sure is fucking fun being here right now, and even if this is never the right place, at least I was here once."  Or something like that...

And sometimes not making sense is all you can hope for...

I'll tell you all the things I'm not
I'm not the guy who follows through
I'll tell you all the things I want to be
I want to be the one for you
It's easier in the middle of night
When you're asleep and there's a cat in the way
But almost there is not quite good enough
I just don't want to make the same mistakes...

Friday, June 11, 2010

iTunes on Shuffle

Last couple bands to pop up on my iTunes while it's on shuffle:

Helmet
The Postal Service
Elvis Costello & the Attractions
Of Montreal
The Offspring
Muse
The Subways
Annuals

This is the most attentive and excited I've been while listening to iTunes in a long time...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Snippets of lyrics

there's six strings attached to you, and i'm trying to do the best that i can do.  please believe me...

i'm a mess.  i confess that the rest of my night will be spent surreptitiously stealing a view of you

i had a girl.  she went and spent me.  if she hadn't, we might never have ended.  we played some games.  stuck to what was easy.  thought that we were happy.  what did we know?

you know where to go when you're trying to run, don't you?

you hold your head up by yourself, i hoped that it would last longer than it really has...

i bought the friends box set just for you, and then a penguin that you could wear around your neck...

i'm sitting naked in my bedroom on a saturday morning writing a song about you

don't tell me things i already know.  i'd much rather be surprised than placated.  do tell me how you'd feel if i throw away one more day.

uh oh.  he's up again.  time to clean shit...

**********************

You can hear almost all of these lyrics in video demos of my songs at my youtube page.

And here's a picture of my feet on a guitar case:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Solo Album Inspiration

Moldy Peaches

Ben Kweller

Rivers Cuomo

Glen Hansard

Calvin Harris

Calvin and Hobbes

Hobby horses

Liar, liar, liar (Me, of course)...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I'm Too Tired to Blog...

... which is normally the best time to blog.

Taking a shot in the dark is okay sometimes, right?  If it could lead to a lifetime of food from that caribou taking a bullet to the noggin, it's a good thing, right?  What...?

I listened to Ben Kweller for the first time in a long time today.  I should definitely review Sha Sha some time soon.  My review of Loveless by My Bloody Valentine has been put on hold indefinitely.  In fact, this whole blog was put on hold for a while.  This is one of the first nights I've been on my computer past midnight in a long time.  Which is a good thing for getting sleep and not getting tired at work; not so good if you are used to posting super late at night...

I want the new Dead Weather album.  The new LCD Soundsystem sounded pretty rad, too.  One of my friends just got me the new Black Keys.  Is piracy a bad thing?  I don't think so.  I think every artist should give their music away for free, then charge through the teeth for live performances and merchandise.  Then the proof would be in the pudding, in your live chops, in your ability to genuinely connect with an audience in a live medium.  No fakers... just artists and entertainers that have that intangible "it" factor.  Sorry, Ke$ha, but no one wants to see you live cuz you suck.  You've already proven it on American Idol and SNL.  Lady Gaga, I would gladly pay a boatload to see you live because you have actual talent.  Same with the Dead Weather or Tegan and Sara or Atmosphere or BLOK.  Talent live is hard to come by...

There are sores on my tongue that have made talking unbearable for the last couple of days.  This also means that singing is painful, too.  But you can still pick up your guitar, jackass... oh yeah...

We're a couple games away from a rematch of the 2008 NBA Finals.  I hope I didn't jinx anything just now.  And is this blog turning into a write about anything blog or is it still focused on music?  I'd like to keep it focused on music, so I'll turn the NBA talk into music talk by saying the fact that John Tesh wrote the former NBA theme song for NBC is effin' awesome...

Growing up in high population urban areas jades you... especially Los Angeles and New York City... Los Angeles needs an anthem like that one song by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys is an anthem for New York City.  Maybe I'll write the LA anthem?  More than likely no, but a man can dream, can't he?

On that note, I'm going to youtube that Jay-Z and Alicia Keys song now.  I want to go to Detroit Bar some time soon...  Hmmmmmm...

Monday, May 17, 2010

I feel so guilty...

... for not having posted in over a week...

Investing the time in a blog makes it blatantly apparent when you don't post.  Especially when you're grading yourself, to fail at your own test is... (shakes head)... pretty pathetic...

On a positive note, I made an audition video for a new Bravo show about singer/songwriters called Hitmakers.  Take a watch and a listen and please wish me luck!!!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Music Monday #4

In the Dark by The Whigs

wednesday, 4/28/10, 21:19

I love epic beginnings.  Dynamic first impressions that leave you thirsting for more.  Especially if the drums are a prominent facet of said dynamic first impression. 

"Shock me into town.  Everybody wants to take me down... There's a hundred million people in my mind.  Which is me and which is not?"  In their third album, The Whigs are taking on the world, an older dog learning new tricks and perfecting old ones.  The first track of this album for some reason reminds me of the first track of KOL's Only by the Night: solid band takes the step to a bigger, fuller, more confident sound.  And just like Only by the Night, In the Dark delivers cut after cut...

"Free my brain, burn away these chains, there's a light from the sun begging me to come on up and try to unleash the person you see..."  Power trio: powerful bass rhythm, drums on lock (wearing cargo pants and filling every pocket), guitar and vox intertwined, simple but diverse, revealing more and more layers with each layer.  You could spend each listen of this album paying attention to a different facet of the production and arrangements and find something new every time.  "Take my mind and erase it please..."

"Kill Me Carolyne" gets played a lot on the satellite radio station we play at work.  It's the deserving lead single from this album, elbowing its way to the front of the line with a catchy chorus, a repetitive guitar hook, verse drums that crescendo to the chorus, and self-deprecating lyrics that focus on that age old subject: love.


friday, 4/30/10, 00:00

Yes... I stopped writing last night to lie down for a little bit... and ended up falling asleep.  So sue me...

 Where was I...?  Ahhh, yes.  "Kill Me Carolyne".  A love song.  A plea for murder.  Makes sense if you ask me.  If you're in love, you definitely feel like killing someone... at least a little bit... at least...  This is a head nodder, a body swayer, an "Ah ha moment" song.  "And you give me authority to lie. Heeey, kill me, Carolyne.  I know you love me, but you'll feel better if you just suck it up and kill me, Carolyne."  Longing and pleading and I'm not worth it and you're everything so I want to die at your hand so I know the last thing emotion I feel on this earth is because of you.  "You give me eternity to die."  It's coming up on the end of the song, and I'm curious to see if it follows the 2:30-3:00 rule... hahaha... 3:36.  But they squeeze in at least 8 "Heeeeey, kill me, Carolyne"s, so it's forgiveable.

In all honesty, "Someone's Daughter" is the true "Ah ha moment" for me on this album.  "How did I get back her again?  I know what she wants from me.  How can I forget that she is someone's daughter?"  Bittersweet and bitingly honest and I'll take advantage or let her take advantage but she's someone's sweet, little symbol of innocence.  I hope this is the second single because I like this song even more than "Kill Me Carolyne".  It's a song full of testosterone with acutely aware lyrics that communicate such an... ambiguity.  Who's the victim?  The male protagonist or the chick he just slept with?  They're both getting something.  They're both being taken advantage of...

I like tambourines.  Parker Gispert has a knack for guitar riffs and ... "Hey, I don't wanna break down why I'm feeling so lonely when you're around."  These songs are so layered, lyrically, musically, emotionally, dynamically, theatrically.  Storytelling at its finest.  Every song pulls you in and gets you to stay a while, sitting at the foot of that rocking chair, listening to stories around the fireplace.  "Put out the fire now.  I'ma take it higher."  And crescendo to instrumental solo... not really a solo though... more like an instrumental aneurysm.

"Dying" is the departure.  We've gotten catchy and guitar hooks and memorable choruses.  Now let's take our time, delve into the music a little, add some organ in the distance, layer the lead vocal, add some reverb, shaker, and harmonized "oooooooo"s.  And tremolo on the guitar.  "It used to be right in front of you but now it's gone".  Fleet Foxes feel... and now it starts to build... "Somebody better come speed up your heart cuz it's dying" times 3... and build the drums Mr. Julian Dorio... and pan the lead vox left... and bring in the experimental delayed, flanged, guitar notes, staccato... and tweak the delay knob... and layer the instruments... yeah, now we're giving you a different side... and the song will melt into an acoustic being fingerpicked...  and a sitar??

Back to a riff and those sweet pocket drums.  This feels like Spoon's "Cherry Bomb", and I love that effin' song.  The Whigs have a lot of different tricks up their sleeves.  "I don't even care about the one I love, and there's a black heart inside of me."  These songs are sad.  Road weary, much?  Having the time of your life but longing for that stability, that shoulder to cry on, those arms that envelope you when you're at your lowest point... Longing.. joyous longing...

"I won't get caught but I'm runnin' now".  Hahaha... Sugarplastic feeling...  "I'll take my mother's name and I'll paint it on the back of my arm".  Another "Ah ha moment" song.  I want to live this hero's life... and at the same time not at all.  He's really lonely, but leads an amazing life with adventures and freedom and pressure and expectation and longing... always that longing.  This is a great album.  It shows tremendous growth but leaves space to evolve even more...  I'm gonna stop this session now, but can't wait to come back!!!

Starting with "I Am for Real" next time...


sunday, 5/2/10, 00:22

hmmmm... probably gonna fall asleep before actually getting around to listening to In the Dark again... at least I'm being honest...


sunday, 5/2/10, 08:08

Starting with "I am for Real"... Hmmmm... "I am the Walrus" much?  Then the guitars kick in, and it's anything but... The memorable factor of the riffs on this album is through the roof.  "I don't need to kill anyone to let them know that I am real.  I don't need to walk in your backyard to let you know that's where I stand."  It's the hipster beat slowed down, which makes it more masculine, if that makes any sense...  Let's add the shaker on the second chorus to set it apart a little bit.  "I respect your home and what you say when you're speaking to me, and when it's time to look you in the eye, do you know where I'm coming from?"  The dynamics on this album are what make me so viscerally attached.  The arrangements begin simply then build a little and by the end of each song, you realize that you've been taken somewhere, lyrically, musically, emotionally... and you may or may not like where it's taken you because the songs are that honest.

God... it's the 10th track and it hits as hard as the typical 3rd track "single"...  "How am I gonna see where you're coming from if you keep keeping me in the dark?"  Another "ah ha moment"... it's the title track and it deserves every bit of this distinction.  Added harmony on the second chorus, again building upon that solid foundation, steady backbeat.  This song moves you... and makes you move...

Yessssss... song outro into song intro and added epic-ness...  6:24 for the last track leads me to believe that The Whigs are going for some finale fireworks.  "Her naked body shivers cold.  She keeps it safe beneath her clothes.  A prisoner in her skin she hides.  It locks away her bones inside."  Very KOL... until the chorus which is vintage Whigs, if a little wordier... I like muted glockenspiels in between chorus and 2nd verse.  Parker Gispert's voice fragility on the verses draws you in...  I'm not sure if I'm a fan of the chorus after the dynamics of the verse... too many words... but it might just be because I don't focus on lyrics initially... maybe this is an "ah ha moment" in waiting... are those sleighbells on the bridge?  And there are some guitar effects that I can't quite place... some sort of modulation... not a flanger or phaser... something that combines tremolo, delay, and, I guess, phasing...?  Yeah, I think this track deserves a couple run throughs before final judgment is passed...  I do like the piano chords at the end...  Annnnnnnnnnd... I'm going back to sift through the choruses...

"In my soul, I feel, I don't think I know I don't think I ever know
I don't think I want my clothes back anymore
It takes time, I think, to make it all the way to make it all go away
I don't think I want my clothes back anymore"

Hmmmmm... the final cut starts off promising enough... but melts into a forgettable track for me... who knows maybe it'll grow on me...


monday, 5/3/10, 21:15

Overall, I absolutely love this album.  'Nuff said.

Next week, I'll be taking on Loveless by My Bloody Valentine.  Thanks to my co-worker Liz for the recommendation!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Saturday Song #8

Do you continuously track and record over and over until it's perfect?  Or do you accept the initial version as something special?  A moment in time impossible to re-create, forever the blueprint for everything that follows...?

I almost re-recorded this, but I like that it's not perfect and that it's slower than normal and that it sounds more like a lullaby than a pop song...

Thanks for reading and enjoy...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Oh Girl and Bottling Lightning

Lightning never strikes the same place twice.  But every once in a while you can anticipate when it will strike.

I've been in a music project for the last 7 or 8 months called Oh Girl.  We play at Clancy's in Long Beach about once a month and make up songs on the spot and turn some of those made up songs into actual written songs by messing with the arrangements, actually setting lyrics, etc.  We practice every so never, but when we do, something inexplicable happens.  We actually pay attention to each other and have fun.  And forget about being so perfect and well-rehearsed and knowing the parts and making sure everything lines up just right.  We groove and experiment and fall flat on our faces sometimes, but every once in a while we come up with something that makes us supremely happy.  And even more rare are those times when we're actually paying attention and documenting.

So without further ado... here's some documentation of Oh Girl.  "The Hills" with jazzy intro.  Enjoy...

Oh yeah, we're playing at Clancy's tomorrow night if you're so inclined to check us out in a live capacity.  Much thanks to be playing for peoples in a live setting...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Music Monday #3

Contradictions Collapse by Meshuggah

----- tuesday, 4/20/10, 00:10

I'm not a metal kid.  I never have been a metal kid.  But I admire the precision with which metal is executed.  And it is executed.  You don't casually play metal.  You wood shed and learn your instrument backwards and forwards and sideways and in weird time signatures and over strange chord progressions and you drill until it's second nature and every hammer on and false harmonic squeal and blastbeat is executed to perfection.  That's what I admire most about metal.  In it's precision, there is a beauty and a frailty.  Because any misplaced note is anomalous to the whole. 

For the metal albums I review, it seems like it will be easier to focus on moments rather than songs on the whole.  Meshuggah for me equals odd time signatures... damn... the bridge in "Erroneous Manipulation" is ridiculous.  2:34... layers of guitars and drums and musical theory that I barely understand but I can feel it, imperceptibly.  Drummer Tomas Haake is indescribable.  It saddens me to think that people who categorize metal as "the same aggressive jock bullshit over and over again"... if that's all you think metal is... listen to the musicality coming out of the guitar solo at 3:44... dynamic, sparse, thematically transitioning until the song returns to the verse.  Meshuggah's instrumental breaks keep me coming back.

A huge part of metal for me is that I can zone out on lyrics and concentrate solely on music.  I'm most likely missing a huge part of the point by ignoring lyrics, but I'm okay with that.  I nod my head and air drum and lose myself in the inability to articulate but regain composure in the fact that it still makes me feel.

"Abnegating Cecity"... best song title ever.  Aggressive, more so than usual.  This is a "horse" song... a term I've coined for metal songs that follow a "gallop" rhythm.  BadaDUM badaDUM badaDUM badaDUM... There's plenty of group chanting on this album... I'm gonna have to google lyrics.  2:37... more polyrhythms.  I wonder how they hell they would keep track of all of this playing live.  3:07... impossibly complicated rhythms meshed with a quickened pace and a more urgent vocal yell.  This album has so many moments that take you out of straight forward and bring you back to a smooth head nodding in the groove I could almost choreograph a hip hop routine to this feeling...  The outro of this song is beyond description.  4/4 guitars (feels almost like 2/4 guitars) repeating a 4 chord theme with Tomas Haake octopus polyrhythms underneath... Oh, sweet multi-limbed genius-ness...

I'm so happy that I decided to review a metal album.  It's been a long time since I sat back and really listened.  There's a musicality to all of this aggression.  I would liken the poetry of metal to a mama elephant protecting its young by any means necessary.  Beautiful violent aggression for the sake of survival.  One thing that Meshuggah always accomplishes: under all the polyrhythmic impossibility there are still moments you can just sit back and nod your head to...  The dynamics of metal are unparalleled.  A lot of times there are upwards of 10-15 musical themes in one song, so you set them apart using dynamics, different strum patterns... Fredrik Thordendal's solos are so distinct and his guitar tone on this album is amazing. 

Half past midnight... I should so go to sleep...


----- wednesday, 4/21/10, 23:15

"Qualms of Reality"... Meshuggah is one of those bands that makes me think about math while I'm listening.  The time signature manipulation of this band is one of the reasons I love them so much.  I'm also realizing that it takes a certain mood for me to really be able to digest metal.  I'm not so much in the mood for that tonight so this may or may not be a fair time for me to be reviewing this album.  Another thing I admire with Meshuggah is that it never seems to be overkill when they're playing.  They're not trying to fit as many notes as possible into a finite space.  Their virtuosity and complication serves the songs and the genre.  And their dynamics proves this point.  They know when to go a mile a minute and when to take their time and flesh out a more musically subtle theme.  At 3:45 of "Qualms of Reality" is a perfect example of this.  A jazzier, neoclassical feel punctuates the straight ahead aggressive metal in this song.  Then when the driving blast beats return, it's that much more vicious, dripping with that much more animal aggression.

"We'll Never See the Day" might have my favorite metal intro ever.  And not because it's complicated or catchy, but because it builds so well.  It builds steadily with a medium tempo theme, then gradually builds into a more hyper pace.  If there was a "poppy" single of a song on this album, this would be it.  It's one of the more accessible songs, which means that it maintains the same tempo and time signature for more than 45 seconds.    But then at 2:45 it jumps into overdrive and begins to travel the normal Meshuggah time signature shuffle and Thordendal solo work.

And... that's enough metal for today...


monday, 4/26/10, 21:10

Soooooooo... I've learned two things over the last week:

1.  Metal albums are hard to review.  At least for me they are...  Or maybe I just need to be in the right mood...  Hmmmm...

2.  Vacations make reviewing albums difficult.  Especially if the album you're supposed to be reviewing is not particularly liked by the person you're on vacation with...

I'll squeeze in a couple more comments on "Contradictions Collapse"...  "Choirs of Devastation" is so schizo, it's amazing.  Mellow intro, followed by staccato double kick drum and eerie lyrical reading...  There are those polyrhythms again.  The guitar solo that begins at 2:16 is perfectly placed.  Once again, Meshuggah figures out how to squeeze notes in but not make it seem like overkill.  Then the return to the staccato theme... it's really, really haunting.  It reminds me of the latin chanting from "Event Horizon"...

"Cadaverous Mastication"... and the award for best song title goes to...  Tom intro... I'm pretty sure Tomas Haake also writes all of their lyrics, which is pretty impressive.  Drummer/ Lyricist... sweet.  Too bad I can't really understand anything sung on this entire album.  I did google the lyrics and they were semi-interesting from a metal standpoint.  Okay... I'm really just not in the mood for metal right now.  Which may or may not dictate future Music Monday review selections...

Fin...

Routine and a THANK YOU

I was having a conversation with a good friend earlier this week, and the topic of routine popped up.  Getting into a routine has its pros and cons.  Routine is good when it comes to efficiency and accuracy.  Warm-up routines, the routine of a daily task at work, a routine oil check, routine physicals... all of these things are necessary and extremely useful.  But sometimes falling into a routine can mean falling into a rut.  You're no longer challenged.  You're able to go on auto-pilot.  Hitting a plateau after keeping the same workout routine too long, failing to learn new things musically after you've fallen into a practice and songwriting routine... this last example is of particular interest because I hope that it doesn't happen to me...

But, cons of routine aside, I do want to get into a blogging routine.  I want to have scheduled blog topics because it will make it easier to keep this blog up, easier to maintain it with updated content, easier to garner fans who keep coming back because they know what to expect from me.  I already have two weekly features:  Saturday Songs and Music Monday.  Well, I have a couple different ideas regarding weekly features, and I'll be trying them out over the next couple weeks.  And don't worry, I'll also still be just as random when it comes to other off the wall topics.  As long as I'm stricken with insomnia, my late night ramble sessions will not ever go away...

I'm going on 3 months of blogging, and I just want to make sure I keep it fresh and exciting and new and worthy of your attention. 

Also, a hugely gigantic and appreciative THANK YOU to Marti for all of her comments.  I'm so happy that you take the time to read my blog!!!  I might have to write a song about you soon.  Just let me know what you'd like me to incorporate into it, and I'll get started.

Thanks to all of you for reading.  I'll be here for a while... :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Saturday Song #7

Another Saturday Song that's coming to you on a Sunday.  This latest Saturday Song is the first recorded out of the state of CA and also is the first hip hop offering.  Well, as hip hop as a white guy and an Asian guy can muster...

A big shout out to Ben Hammond for writing the first verse.  Man, that was an amazingly creative night...

Enjoy!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Vegas Road Trip Soundtrack

I'm driving to Vegas with Rachel tomorrow.  4 hours in a car means a perfect opportunity to become more intimately acquainted with amazing music.  These are the albums I plan filling the aural space with... (preposition at the end of a sentence... yuck...)

In alphabetical order:

- All the Leaves Are Brown - The Mamas and the Papas
- The Big Come Up- The Black Keys
- Complete "B" Sides- The Pixies
- Hold on Now, Youngster- Los Campesinos!
- In the Dark- The Whigs
- Polly Brown EP- The Sugarplastic
- Sound of Silver- LCD Soundsystem
- Teen Dream- Beach House

Pretty sure that's enough music to get us there.  Not gonna lie.  I'm probably most excited by The Mamas and the Papas.  Home Run Throwback (bonus points if you get the reference).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bad Days

Everyone has them.  Lawyers, doctors, janitors, teachers, electricians, computer programmers... you get the idea.

It's really easy to keep your head up when things are going well.  But what about when they suck?  What happens when the songs you loved now sound like a total waste of time?  How do you carry yourself when you feel like there's no light at the end of the tunnel...?

Well... you write a blog about it.  Then you pick up your guitar and play and love the fact that you have this amazing life.

Sounds like a plan...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Myspace (any social network, really) has so much potential in the right person's hands

But Myspace isn't in the right person's hands.  It's in the general public's hands.  And the general public is an inconsiderate, selfish, impatient, rude, ignorant mass of humanity...

Think about the power of Myspace (or Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn or tumblr or chatroulette or YouTube or...).  Millions of people interconnected.  Opinions and ideas freely exchanged instantaneously.  If you wanted to you could literally find someone in Brazil or Germany or the Philippines or Arkansas and ask them what the weather is actually like.  Not a forecast or a loose prediction based on meteorological hypothesis.  The actual weather.  Which is super trivial, but you can extrapolate to a grander scale.  Ask a government official about the ramifications of the new health care bill.  Put a white collar wall street man on the spot and ask them about the ethics of insider trading.  Ask a doctor a question about that ache in your right knee.  All of those possibilities are right there in front of us...

But that type of exchange of ideas isn't happening on the internet.  Instead we have a video of a kid after a trip to the dentist office.  Or a story about a lion purchased and raised by two teenagers then released into the wild and then "Look!!  He remembers them!!!"  Or Perez Hilton.  Or TMZ.  Or aplusk translating tweets from every country in the world (wait, that last one is pretty cool).  Anyways, there is so much potential online.  And it's squandered because people are too short-sighted to maximize it's potential.

And I'm not saying I'm the right person to change things.  Wait.  Maybe I am the right person to change things... Or maybe just the recognition of what can be done is enough.  If I can instill these ideas in my son's mind and teach him to use these amazing technological tools for something more than midnight youtube searches, then maybe I can change things...

Wow... I just wanted this blog to be about connecting with each fan on myspace or facebook or twitter in a very real and authentic and genuine and symbiotic way.  But it turned into something very different.  And I'm glad...