Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Place on Thorndale Recommends - Grinder Blues

dUg Pinnick has a new side project. Which in and of itself isn't terribly big news, he seems to release a new side project every six months. I have liked most of these, but I really long for more King's X. Of course, with drummer Jerry Gaskill's current heath situation...that may be a long time coming.

Grinder Blues is Pinnick's latest jam, and I am quite impressed. As the title alludes, the emphasis in on blues forms, progressions, and lyrical tropes. Lest anybody think this is some sort of throwback, nostalgia trip, the project does re-evaluate the form through a hard rock, even metallic, lens. It's good stuff, and Pinnick has found good collaborators in drummer Scot Little Bihlman and guitarist Jabo Bihlman, a brother act known for TV work, as I understand it. The trio plays well together, and the spirit is loose, with a solid groove.

Of course, as with most of Pinnick's side projects, I do hear more than a little King's X in it. However, I don't think it's quite as direct and obvious a comparison as from the KXM material earlier this year that paired him with George Lynch (Lynch Mob, ex-Dokken) and Ray Luzier (Korn). Yet, it's not as distinctive as the Pinnick Gales Prigden records with Eric Gales and Thomas Pridgen.

I think , however, that we can be clear that Pinnick enjoys the trio format.

as to if you will like it, the first single, Burn the Bridge  (see the video below), is pretty indicative of the project and the direction. Although my favorite track is probably the last on the album, TX to CA. I'm loving it with only a couple of plays, you might too.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Stuck In My Head - 10.10.2014 - Run Runaway

Run Runaway
by Slade

Hold on!
I like black and white
(Dreaming of black and white)
You like black and white
Run run away

See chameleon
(Lying there in the sun)
All things to everyone
Run run away

If you're in the swing
(Money ain't everything)
If you're in the swing
Run run away

See chameleon
(Lying there in the sun)
All things to everyone
Run run away

If you gotta crush
(Don't beat about the bush)
When I gotta crush
Run run away

See chameleon
(Lying there in the sun)
All things to everyone
Run run away

Oh now can't you wait
(Love don't come on a plate)
Oh now can't you wait
Run run away

See the chameleon
Lying there in the sun
All things to everyone
Run run away

Run run away
Run run away
Run run away

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's my Boss' Birthday




Happy Birthday Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen; born September 23, 1949

Monday, September 8, 2014

Electronics...AmIright?!?!

I think my guitar amplifier is not long for this world.

I was in the middle of re-recording rhythm tracks for "Burn" on Saturday, when it started acting crazy. The tuner wouldn't read, the tones I had stored all went to strange places, and the bottom fell out of the sound.

Suffice to say I was beside myself.

I fiddled and prodded, tried to login to Line 6's online tool for problems...didn't work. Finally, I did a factory rest on both the amp and the footboard. The thing reset, the tuner was working again, and it seemed to be OK.

Except I'd lost about 6-7 years of stored guitar tones. I'm also still not convinced that all is right with the amp. It feels like the distortion settings are "breaking up" (more than they are supposed to) in high-gain situations. It doesn't sound like guitar distortion, it sounds like...a possible malfunction.

I'm gonna work with it some more. Hopefully, what I'm hearing is just the preset tones, after years of my settings, and not a real problem. Even if it is, I have to push through. The Hayoth work is coming along, I don't want to kill my momentum, and I don't have the $$ for a new amp right now.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Comic Review - SOUTHERN BASTARDS

I have spoken to friends about this Image comic, Southern Bastards by writer Jason Aaron and artist Jason Latour.

I described it as an awesome Lee Marvin/Charles Bronson picture. Sort of like Walking Tall, if Burford Pusser was 60+ years old. It was a book that really hooked me with that sort of macho ass-kicking that ends with our hero ordering a plate of ribs.

Well, issue #4 came out this week, ending the first arc of the book, "There Was a Man."

You all need to go seek out the first 3 issues, read them in order, and DO NOT SKIP AHEAD. Seriously, DO NOT do it. (Apparently a trade paperback will be out later this month). If you wait for that, DO NOT read spoilers.

Because this book just took a turn that floored me, and moved it in a whole new direction that will make it, I daresay, totally unique in it's genre. Because I don't see any sign of the book changing, but the rest of the game is gonna play totally different.

All this would be useless, of course, if the writing and art weren't top-notch. They are. Four issues in, I have no complaints, no qualms, and no criticisms. Aaron and Latour are, no other way to put it, KILLING IT.

I have been a bit sad at losing my beloved Jonah Hex, as All-Star Western rides into the sunset. This book will make a nice replacement.

Holy crap, it's good. In ways I never, ever expected it to be.
 
 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Stuck in My Head 9.4.2014 - Resist


Resist
by Rush

I can learn to resist
Anything but temptation
I can learn to coexist
With anything but pain

I can learn to compromise
Anything but my desires
I can learn to get along
With all the things I can't explain

I can learn to resist
Anything but frustration
I can learn to persist
With anything but aiming low

I can learn to close my eyes
To anything but injustice
I can learn to get along
With all the things I don't know

You can surrender
Without a prayer
But never really pray
Pray without surrender

You can fight
Without ever winning
But never ever win
Without a fight

I can learn to resist
Anything but temptation
I can learn to coexist
With anything but pain

I can learn to compromise
Anything but my desires
I can learn to get along
With all the things I can't explain

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Best Laid Plans....

So, I have converted my master WAV files for the two finished tracks, Burn and Warp, to MP3, and given them some listens....

They need to be re-mixed and mastered, at the very least.

I have found the tracks from ...And Getting Dollars Back ended up being quieter than I'd like in their finished versions. My intent was to try to rectify this by pumping the sound up, recording at a higher volume. What I've ended up with is a very brittle, harsh guitar sound.

Granted, both of these tracks have intentionally more treble-end guitar tone. Burn is, basically, a metal track, and I wanted the guitar to cut through. I think I just went too far. I need to tweak the EQ on the track, and definitely bring down the guitar in the mix. Maybe re-record the guitar part. I have to admit, I am somewhat regretting dumping the previous version.

Warp is much less of a problem, instrumentally. Everything sounds pretty good. I still think I went too far with the loudness. I do need to re-do the guitar solo...I don't even know what the fuck I was thinking. It's terrible.

I also...as is my eternal problem...need to fix the vocals. It's partially a mixing problem, but I could sing this stuff better. I still struggle with finding "my voice" for vocal work, and, frankly, I'd still love to find a real, and like-minded, vocalist to take a run at some of this stuff. Same with the drumming.

But we do what we can with what we have.

Fail/Safe rehearsals have started. I am very, very excited.

Great cast, fun people, and if we get half the technical whiz-bang that's been discussed, it's gonna be a super-cool looking show. Everybody's loose and ready to have fun, which is fairly essential, in my mind, with such heavy subject matter. We've only had two rehearsals, but I feel very welcome. A lot of openness to what I can bring to the table.

And, flat out, I love this character. It's not quite the level of my love for Milt Shanks, but Copperhead was something special. General Bogan is who I would hope I would be in this situation, and I feel like I carry a responsibility to the men an women who do this sort of work in how I play it. I think of that often as I go over lines, or work scenes, in a world where I feel like the baseline inclination is to demonize any sort of military or authority figure. I am often asked to play those roles. I am not blind to the weaknesses, but my job is to understand that life, that world.

I hope you all come and see it in September.