Do you recall when I posted the Botch art that currently graces the top-left corner of this site? It was generously commissioned by Carcass and beautifully illustrated by Laurent Libessart. Well, here comes the follow-up to that: CASSETTE MODE!
As with the original piece, the new one is AWESOME.
I love how Laurent chose to maintain the subtle fissures where the pieces separate during transformation.
You may notice this cassette is not blank, but actually labeled. That's right! He made this into a cassette for Vices & Virtues, the album of my last band, I DISAGREE. It's even got the track-listing on there for the "Vices" half!
Of course, I couldn't resist using this cassette mode as the top-left mascot for my Music page, where, by the way, you can listen to Vices & Virtues in its entirety.
So thanks to Laurent and Carcass for another fabulous piece of Botch art!
To see some more Botch art, check out the About Botch page.
Tonight was my first night in my new $83/month rehearsal studio with my new Schechter guitar and my new 350-watt Marshall Mode Four amp with 4x12" speaker cabinet. How was it? Let me tell you.
My original instrument is electric guitar [(distorted)]. I picked it up when I was 16 and played the shit out of it with my high school band ("Crayola Death") and my NYC band ("Brompton's Cocktail"). But after that band broke up, I played a lot more keyboards and piano than before. Upon moving to Portland four years ago, I decided to dump my two electric guitars. Seeking simplicity, I joined a band as a simple vocalist ("I Disagree"). Most all the music was written by the other guys, but I did write one heavy metal song for the band ("Two Arguments"). I composed it on my acoustic guitar, but that's probably when my appetite for playing sludgey, grungy, crunchy metal guitar began to resurface. Plus I've been listening to a lot more Sabbath-esque doom metal than ever before...
My band, I DISAGREE, recorded a double-EP: an album consisting of two half-hour discs respectively titled Vices & Virtues.
You can listen to the entire thing for free on my Music page...
... but you should purchase a copy of the album, because it's pretty unique.
I wanted to do something interesting with the packaging.
Something thematic. Something lo-fi. Something compelling, but just a little unsettling.
Let me show you...
I love lists. I love them. I love itemization, quantification, prioritization. I love efficiency and thoroughness and accomplishment. I try to resist absent-mindedness, forgetfulness and especially slothfulness, and lists help me do that. Online lists of music recommendations compete with the stack of CDs on my desk; a small collection of to-watch DVDs are outgunned by my Netflix queue. To-read books are a foot thick, to-read comics as long as my arm. Emails that need attention are starred or labeled PRIORITY or both.
But it's my personal To-Do list that intimidates and exhilarates me. Historically I've maintained several lists in several places, presumably because I just jot down reminders on whatever's handy, electronic or otherwise. Now I'm trying to keep everything in my Google Tasks list, accessible on iGoogle, Google Calendar, and Chrome extension. Gawk in horror as I share some of these items with you. :)
I know, it's been three weeks. I just haven't been in a "blogging place." Let me catch you up.
Um. Well, I got a cavity filled. As in a tooth, not butt sex. I'm not into that.
Imagine my surprise when I opened the mail yesterday and found another mailing from Nielson, this time containing a booklet for recording a week's worth of television viewing -- and $30! Amazing! I was so appreciative, I immediately filled out the whole week's television viewing in advance (nothing! nada! zilch!) and used the "additional comments" field to reiterate that while I still don't/can't watch television, I am only too happy to keep taking their free money.
I have convinced my band, I Disagree, to start learning and performing some cover songs. In addition to being great crowd-pleasers, a well-chosen cover hones our musicianship skills. It's an exercise in learning and interpreting someone else's parts, as well as crafting the song's dynamic path as a band. And they can be fuckin' fun as hell!
That said, whenever I start examining the vocal lines of prospective covers by our favorite artists, I'm struck by just how many of these rock vocalists are tenors, i.e. the highest singing range a man can have. Nearly every song we/I have considered covering was sung by a tenor, including the works of Tool, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Journey, Radiohead, Pink Floyd, and nearly all of the Beatles.
I haven't been very lyrically inspired of late, and perhaps arguably not as musically or compositionally inspired because of it.
Granted, I'm reading Atlas Shrugged, which is, like, twelve million pages long (if a little preachy), and sometimes books can dominate my mental space. I write lyrics in-between when I'm reading things; otherwise what I'm writing may be confused with what I'm reading, in some weird way that only I understand. The point is, mentally, I don't want any steaks or chicken curry on the stove when I'm trying to bake some cookies in the oven.
Last Sunday had two events that I could not help but correlate insofar as they were great disappointments of what I had hoped to be cool events. I had been looking forward to a gig my band, I Disagree, was scheduled to play down the street at the Hawthorne Theater. It was only a Sunday, but we were finally on the marquee outside! I had printed up several dozen flyers with our logo brazenly displayed for our bassist, Skot, to put up in the area. From the beginning we agreed that flyers did little in the short term to get people to come to gigs, but that through repetition they can help build name recognition and eventually get people to come to one of our shows. Especially if they see our name on a marquee!
But first, I had learned of a comic book convention in Portland that afternoon which was supposed to also feature a lot of toy sellers. Great! Right? Right? Well....
And this is where everything comes full circle. My extensive ruminations on the fine art of lying (part one, part two) began while writing the lyrics for a new song for my band, I Disagree. At the time I was reading Shakespeare's Richard III, whose villainous title character is a consummate and very practiced liar, describing himself as "subtle, false and treacherous" in his very first opening monologue. Here's the tune: