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Fun with a flute

I was messing around in my home studio this past weekend. Click through to hear the result.

I AM Free

You love music, and it doesn't get better than FREE! Click through to learn how to download my newest song "I AM".


Don't you think it's about time to find some place to heal? Lyrics for an upcoming song.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Be in my friend's video!

Jenn Franklin is an independent singer/songwriter out of Nashville who also happens to be a college buddy of mine.

Jenn is working on a new music video for her song "Ready As I Am", and you can be in it!  She says the song is about "taking chances now and forgetting about waiting until all those pesky ducks are in a row.  It's about the perfectly amazing things we can do as beautifully imperfect humans."  The song also touches on the pressures women face in our society to match up to the photoshopped images we're surrounded with daily.

If you want to be in the video, just send a photo of yourself holding a sign with the message, "I'm read to ________."  Just fill in the blank!  Empower yourself and others to be courageous, take chances, love yourself, love your body, etc.  Anyone, any age can participate (even your kids)!

For more information, to hear the song, and to submit your photo click here to visit Jenn Franklin's website.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

D'Ranged - Chaotic Vision

Once upon a time I co-wrote and played lead guitar for a speed/thrash/death metal band called D'Ranged.  Here's a link to our full-length CD "Chaotic Vision", recorded in 1995.

D'Ranged - Chaotic Vision

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Concert Report: Anthrax, Testament, and Death Angel

There are a few perks to living in parts of the country Alex Skolnick makes fun of on Twitter.  To folks in NYC, the reactions Wichita gets from residents probably range from "Where?" to the stereotypical Wizard of Oz joke.  But those same New Yorkers who would have to fight tooth and nail to work their way to the front of the stage don't realize how incredibly easy it is to do so here in the middle of the country.  And that, my friends, makes us lucky fucking bastards on occasion.  Hell, I've been sweated on by Chuck Billy and had the honor of introducing "Elimination" at an Overkill show.

Well, last night I didn't quite get sweated on (at least not by the musicians), but I was right up at the stage.  And I didn't have to fight to get there.  I literally walked into the Cotillion as Death Angel was taking the stage.  I walked right up to the front.  Only 2 people were between me and the stage.  Of course, after DA was done I wasn't budging, and neither were most of the people around me.  We're Kansans, but we're not stupid.  Testament would soon hit the stage.

Death Angel
I've been a fan of DA since Frolic, but have never gotten to see them.  They were the clincher that made sure I saw this show.  Mark Osegueda was more dynamic live than I anticipated, and it was awesome to see Rob Cavestany play.  The sound was crap up by the stage and I couldn't hear Mark very well, but it got better as the set went on.  The set was painfully short, though.  Maybe 5 songs.  But I'm pretty sure I smiled the entire time.

Their bassist clearly wanted to invoke the spirit of Cliff Burton, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.  If you're gonna have a white guy on stage with Death Angel, at least let him remind you of a badass mofo from the Bay Area!

Below are a series of videos I took.  My HTC Droid Incredible takes less than incredible audio at high SPLs, but at least it's something.  Enjoy them for what they're worth...or not.

I thought this was my third time seeing Testament, but rumination reminded me of this one time with it was the fourth.  Truth be told, I was there to see them.  I love all 3 bands, but Testament is definitely nearest and dearest to my heart.

It's almost unfortunate that Alex Skolnick has rejoined the band.  I'm sure many would disagree with me, but I lost a lot of respect for him when he left the band to do a jazz trio.  That is oh-so NOT metal, and neither was his rhythm playing last night.  While Eric was chunking away with fast downstrokes, Alex sort of half-assed everything with lazy, sloppy alternate picking.  He looked almost pained while attempting to play the two songs off The Gathering in the set.  Ultimately, I would have much preferred to see James Murphy.  That dude is badass.  And metal.  Alex? Meh.  I purposely positioned myself closer to Eric Peterson, because he has always been the heart and soul of the band's music.

After the first couple songs, Chuck encouraged the crowd to come forward for "Over the Wall" - and I knew the crush was about to hit.  I was right.  Within a few bars, I was smashed into the poor girl in front of me, and the body odor was, tremendous.  This scenario repeated itself, appropriately, for "Into the Pit."

Chuck was awesome.  Throat cancer apparently didn't hurt his voice any.  Eric was Eric.  It was so cool to see Greg again!  John Tempesta was okay.  I was hoping to see Bostaph, I confess.  John seemed to have a little trouble with Lombardo's stuff on The Gathering songs.  He literally had a pained face, clenched teeth, and his feet weren't as tight as they could have been. 

I was disappointed they didn't play anything from Low.  I really wanted to hear "P.C."  With everything going on with the Occupy Movement right now, I think the lyrics are particularly cogent.  My least favorite Testament album is The Ritual and I could have gone without hearing anything from it.  But it was apparent pretty boy had to have "Electric Crown" added to the set.  You should have seen it, he was practically conducting the intro.  The hand motions were borderline effeminate. It was as if the rest of the guys were rusty and ambivalent, but he really wanted to play that song. 

I bash Alex, but it was good to hear him playing his old solos.

After the awesomeness of the first two bands, I decided it was time to leave the front of the stage and get a beer.  I was at the back of the hall as Anthrax started, and they sounded phenomenal.  I had to move up for "Anti-Social", though.  I mean, come on.  It was the only song they played from State of Euphoria.

They played a LOT of material from the new album.  In fact, the first two songs were off Worship Music.  But that's okay, ultimately.  They stayed on stage a long time and played a lot of older songs, too.  Plus, the new album rocks.  I find that many of the choruses are really hooky and harmonically interesting.  Franky did a great job on backing vocals!  That dude is soooo fun to watch live, too. 

The funniest parts of the night centered around "Indians".  The band was halfway through the song when the power to the stage just blew.  Hilarious!  The guys regrouped at the back of the stage.  Eventually, Scott came out and tried to quiet the crowd so he could yell out to us.  That took a good minute.  About the time he was wrapping up with "Talk amongst yourselves", the power came back.  So they tried to pick the song back up at the bridge.  About a minute into that, they fell apart.  Well, Charlie fell apart.  Again, hilarious!  Which gave Scott an opportunity to have the crowd guessed it: "Chawlie fucked up!"  That never gets old.  Awesome.  Wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Another great moment was when the band broke into Sepultura's "Chaos A.D." 

The guys seemed to have a lot of fun.  In particular, Scott was jamming and grinning and moshing in place all night.  Frank was animated as ever.  While Testament seemed kinda disappointed with the crowd at the midweek midwest between major markets stop, Scott seemed to really appreciate how many die hards came to support and give love.

When Anthrax ended, it was over.  There was no chanting and cheering for an encore (like Testament gave).  They were done.  Off the stage, house lights up, music through the PA, time to go home.

All in all, it was a fantastic and memorable night.  My voice is hoarse.  My neck is sore.  My inner 17-year-old is basking in the afterglow. 

Life is good. 

Picks I caught from Rob Cavestany & Alex Skolnick

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blog is fixed...again

Okay, so after having to re-upload the theme for my blog I think I've finally gotten the major part of the coding all fixed.  Let me know if you find anything screwy, K?

There are still some little things I need to fix, like adding the donation button again.  We'll get there, by and by. 

Rock on.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fun with a flute

So I have a home studio and a Native American flute.  Thought I'd put the two together and see what I could do.  Click above on the title of this post to hear the result.  Think I should do an entire album?

Mostly kidding.  Mostly.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"I AM" free!

I AM finally finished with my debut single "I AM"!  As promised, you can now download it completely free!

How to download
See the player at the bottom of this post?  "I AM" is the first song.  There's a download button that looks like this: 

Just click it, and the song is all yours!  You don't have to join ReverbNation or become my fan on the site.  The track is yours to enjoy. 

A little about the song
"I AM" is my first release as a solo artist.  While I've written the vast majority of music an lyrics during my time as front man for TAINTED and Sons of One, I've always had to curb the message in order to make sure I didn't misrepresent the views and opinions of my band mates.  As a solo artist, I have complete freedom to express myself.  That's why I chose to write "I AM" as an introduction to what people will get from me.  

Also, this song is all me.  I wrote it myself.  I performed all the parts myself, including drums.  I recorded the whole thing myself, with the exception of engineering the drum tracks.  My band mate Moe Girard helped me with those, for which I'm extremely grateful.  He and TAINTED bassist Kevin Harman co-own the Quarry Studio where I tracked everything.  

Of course, I also mixed and mastered the track myself.  
(Special note to musicians: If you like what you hear, I'm available to mix or master your recordings as well.  Check out my business Bravo Productions.)

How you can help me
The songs is free as free can be.  You don't owe me a cent.  You can share it with anyone you want.  In fact, I'd love it if you did!  If you dig the music, do me a favor - LIKE me on Facebook.  Tweet this blog post!  Use the share buttons below to spread the word.  Fan up on ReverbNation if you're on that awesome site.  Are you still on MySpace?  Friend up with me there!

And ultimately, if you feel you really need to toss some money my way to help me continue to make music there's a free will donation button at the top of this page.  I'd be eternally grateful for whatever you'd see fit to give.  But my music isn't for sale.  It's free to you and everyone.  There's no pay wall to enjoy my stuff, and right now I'm pretty sure there never will be.  I don't make music to make money.  I make music to say what I need to say.

Thanks for listening.  Seriously.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Listen to "I AM" free online

I thought I'd give you guys a sneak peek at "I AM", my debut as a solo artist. While you're waiting for me to master this song, you can listen to the finished mix below. 

Step 1.  Join the mailing list.  Like everything else about my music, it's FREE
(You don't have to join ReverbNation to join the mailing list)

Step 2.  Go to the inbox of the email address you entered to confirm.

Step 3.  Listen to "I AM".  Enjoy!

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