Sunday, March 30, 2008

Good Show and Good Times

finished my initial run with Genre tonight at the Skybox. We had a really fun show. I think part of it was that we had a decent crowd there and they were pretty receptive. I even ran into a a Nelson V blog reader while I was getting ready. Overall, it was a fun run and I look forward to our full-time run in May!
Currently listening :
Moog
By Various Artists
Release date: 14 September, 2004

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=372420104&Mytoken=2D45BB8C-3BF3-4564-86FC62F1AEA43E449043548

Errrrweeoooooooooooooohhhhh!

fter years of pining for this wonderful instrument, a Moog Etherwave theremin has come into my possession! Some guy on craigslist let it go for $200 under the regular price for a new one. The thing is mint and sounds great! I can’t wait to put it on my next song which is just begging for either a theremin, violin, or trumpet to play on it!
Currently listening :
Lost Theremin Album
By Johann Sebastian Bach
Release date: 26 December, 2006

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=372120747&Mytoken=431740A7-D1D7-41EA-8373BAD2393DD7F831674483

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Surreal (After)Life

I went to my first wake this week. As a kid I avoided them because death wasn’t something I could face. My father was sick all the time and I figured that if I started going to funerals, it would bring the Grim Reaper to our front doorstep. I decided to go to this one to support family members and maybe bring a little bit of lightheartedness to the situation when appropriate.

We pulled up the funeral home where 4 other services were going on. The parking lot was packed and the wifey told me that not all the people were there for the service we were attending. She knew exactly what I was thinking. We walked in and passed the parlors where the other services were going on. As we passed one room, I saw an older lady lying in her coffin with about 5 people sitting in there. Right there and then I actually got the creeps. It was my first wake and the first time I’ve seen a real body in a coffin. I think it was the fact that I didn’t know the person or any of the other people personally that made the lady just seem more real.

The service we attended was really nicely curated and handled. There was a lot of family and friends there that I didn’t know but it was cool to see all these people pay their respects.

It got me thinking of my mortality and legacy. When I’m gone, what kind of service would I have? Would it be filled with a lot of people remembering the good things about me or would it be an empty room? The experience drove home to me to live each moment to the fullest. Life is a summary of each of those moments.

Currently listening :
Gish
By Smashing Pumpkins
Release date: 04 October, 1994

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=371166945&Mytoken=701AB44A-8B9D-4766-A8AF372D48405847115564

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Blog About Blogging

Have I become a slave to my own blog? I feel a tiny bit guilty that I’ve been choosing to do other things like watch TV, work on my band’s demo, spend time with the wifey, play with the dog, sleep, rehearse, perform, or spend hours on eBay, Craigslist, TMZ, dListed, and a host of other websites instead of blogging. In my day I say things like "Oh, I feel a blog coming on" but then I quickly dimsiss it. Perhaps I’m judging my topics to quickly or harshly, or they’re just not important things to share with the world. Only time will tell I guess.

Next blog: What French Fries and Elian Gonzalez Have in Common!

Currently listening :
The Very Best of Starship
By Starship
Release date: 15 September, 1997

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It Tastes Like Molasses

Luckily I have weird tastes in lots of things; women, food, drink, and humor seem to be my mostly controversial likings. Being couped up in the house from my return from New Orleans this weekend for two days drove me to find a reason to fly the chicken shack this evening after a much needed nap. I was starving so decided to allow my higher being guide me to wear to eat. I took Lola with me in the car (as she loves car rides) and we eventually headed south on Western Avenue.

I called my favorite Chinese place Chinese Lanterns, a hole-in-the-wall chinese joint on the northside of Chicago near the lake run that I fell in love with when I used to live around there. They, of course, pick the most inconvenient times to be closed. Like, every Tuesday. Every week. Like their menu says. Like I’ve known for the last 8 years. Yet I continue to want and call them on Tuesdays . I then got the idea of getting Puerto Rican food. I remembered seeing a Puerto Rican joint on Fullerton and Western so I headed over there. They were closed. WTF? OK. It was 9:30 PM on a Tuesday night . So, I then headed over to another place called Cafe Bolero. They were closed as well. So then I remembered I was by Cafe LaGuardia, a place I’ve eaten at many times before and thought that maybe they’d be open. They were!

As I parked my car across the street, I saw a huge banner on top of the building reading "Live Music Every Tuesday". Instantly I knew this was my beckoning and calling. Thank you higher self for guiding me here! The band was a traditional Cuban salsa group and they were really good. While I waited for my take-out order to be served up, I watched them play and listened to them all the while harking back to memories of listening to my Dad’s records (involuntarily) for years on end. These guys were the real deal, and they were tight as hell. The bassist played as if he could do all these songs in his sleep. Their harmonies were joyously good and the drummer/percussionist played the cowbell and guiro like a pro. I was incredibly inspired to come home and take the sound they had created and warp it into something of my own.

I waited by the bar/dance floor area and asked the waitress to get me a Malta. She was surprised by my order ,which in turn, surprised me. I figure this place would be selling out of this stuff. The best thing about Malta is that 99% of anyone I’ve asked to try it can’t drink it. Which means more for me! I’ve only met one person who likes it and she now lives in California (thanx Patty) and is far away form my stash. The girl proceeded to ask me if I was Puerto Rican. I answered "yes" to her and she asked, "Did you just have a sudden craving for it?" I laughed and told her I was waiting for my oder and knew they sold it there. Unfortunately, they ran out of cold Malta so they had to get me one from the backroom. Once it came up, it was warm, thus, I got it for free because the waitress felt bad it was warm. Holla!

So, try Malta when you get a chance. You can find it in every Chicago grocer. If you don’t like what you buy, put it in your fridge and call me to come over to finish the rest!

Currently watching :
Hustle & Flow (Widescreen Edition)
Release date: 10 January, 2006

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=368193529&Mytoken=701AB44A-8B9D-4766-A8AF372D48405847115564

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Eggasacha unda na na oh no eechee SPIDAH WOKEH!

I love Ninja Warrior! Its like the American Idol of Japan. They start each stage with people falling over themselves trying to complete the obstacle course. Then they show the people who make it with the occasional person failing somewhere in between. I love the translations, the enthusiasm of the announcer, and yes, the way people make it and don’t make it. I’m a glutton for watching other people’s punishment

Currently watching :
Ninja - The Warrior Art of Ninjutsu
Release date: 17 September, 2007

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=367141967&Mytoken=701AB44A-8B9D-4766-A8AF372D48405847115564

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Courageous E.P. now Available on iTunes!

Hi Everyone:

I’m excited to announce that The Courageous E.P. is now on iTunes! Go grab it and bump it in your white ear buds!

Get The Courageous E.P. on


Thanks,
Nelson V

Currently listening :
The Singles Collection
By Dropkick Murphys
Release date: 23 May, 2000

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Day Rap and Rock Collided

Back in high school, I had an ultra-elitist view of music. Pretty much , I knew everything there was to know about good music and everyone else is wrong. I would even go so far as to prove it to others if they challenged my supreme authority ! I still have a rather rigid view of music, however, I'm softening in my adulthood. I'm actually listening to NKOTB records now!

Anyway, my friend Ray was heavily into alternative music (pre-commercialization of the genre) and I was heavily into rap (before it was hip-hop, gangsta rap, underground, etc.). My favorite rapper at the time was Young M.C. One of his favorite bands was Faith No More. We would argue incessantly about how much each other's music sucked. It would get so heated we would turn the boombox on whenever each other's music came on. I actually started hating the guy for disagreeing with me! In my mind rappers and rockers didn't mix even though Aerosmith and Run-DMC had canonically proven me wrong.

Then one day Ray runs up to me at a party and goes, "Dude, you are so wrong! Even Young MC likes alternative! He just played a show with Faith No More!" I was crushed. The thought that rappers and rockers were mixing bothered me as well as the thought of being wrong! I just found video from that specific show he told me about:


About 5 years after we graduated high school, I ran into him while he was working at a pizza joint. I asked him what kind of music he was into. He asked me the same thing. I told him "Well, I'm more into modern rock right now. I've got a band now." He said, "I'm into hip-hop. I'm deejaying a little bit on the side."

Oh, the irony....

Note: This blog was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=365971476&Mytoken=701AB44A-8B9D-4766-A8AF372D48405847115564

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Too Many Cooks Part Deux Or Just a Bad Recipe???

Over the last year, I've seen what happens when you have a group of creative people vying for a say-so in a unified objective. Typically, they get nowhere fast with hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and animosity left on the path getting there. As much as I've learned form these endeavors, I keep getting myself into scenarios where the case brings itself up, and I get all bent out of shape about it.

My first instinct is to reflect on why I feel like crap whenever it happens. To me, it's tied to the perception of lack of control over involvement and creative expression. In this particular case, the objective is tied directly to what I feel is an area of expertise that I feel I am strongest in within the ensemble, thus, by matter of personal opinion, makes me the most qualified to run with the project from a technical perspective. I feel threatened by questions and disagreements as they affect my control over the current situation as well as the final product. As a result, I just want to drop everything regarding it and leaving it up to the universe to resolve. Yet I feel compelled to attempt to exert my control over it. Damn my ego for being so hungry to feed itself!

I've had a couple of discussions with the group to discuss my feelings on the matter. I feel a sense of balance and reason in weighing in their wants and needs with mine and the agreements we make reflect that when we meet. I've had a hard time dealing with anyone disagreeing with me on this one. My tongue has been bitten a few times to avoid confrontation and to allow time for me to explore my feelings to see if I was "in the right". Judgment is something I will rededicate myself to dropping, but I find it such a prevalent habit that it's difficult for me to do. In this case, I need to drop it as I won't get anywhere with these folks if I continue shooting down ideas for the wrong reasons.

Another challenge, another day.

Currently listening :
Saved By The Bell: Soundtrack To The Original Hit TV Series
By Various Artists
Release date: 11 April, 1995

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Still Got It

My band is in the throes of trying to put together a demo at this time. The drum takes were done about 2 weeks ago and the rest of the band laid their tracks on one song while I was out in Columbus. I took the tracks into my possession, compressed, eq'ed, chorused, and edited the tracks to get them into shape. Now the new version of the song is listenable It's nice to know I still know how to make magic happen.

Currently listening :
Night Ripper
By Girl Talk
Release date: 09 May, 2006

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=364514248&Mytoken=701AB44A-8B9D-4766-A8AF372D48405847115564

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

All-In-Wonderful

I bought an all-in-one printer yesterday. I already own a printer and a scanner. What I didn't own was a fax machine, hence, the decision to buy an all-in-one. The scanner is so old that it's a parallel port only scanner whose drivers are meant for Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 . There is no parallel port on my laptop and the parallel port on the other computer is connected up to inherited laserjet printer that weighs a thousand pounds. The other inkjet printer does it's job and does it well but it's reaching the 6 year old mark.

I went with a Canon MX300 printer since it was $80 at MicroCenter. I set it up and started playing with all the features. I've started scanning in pictures for websites, sending myself faxes just for fun, and printing out test pages. All that missing now is the built-in Starbucks Frappaccino maker!

Currently listening :
The Presidents of the United States of America
By Presidents of the United States of America
Release date: 25 July, 1995

Note: This was originally posted on Myspace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=364092094&Mytoken=701AB44A-8B9D-4766-A8AF372D48405847115564

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bad Boyz Bad Boyz

I live on the 5th floor in my building and occasionally at different times of the day and between many weeks, I occasionally hear the neighbors directly below me fighting about something. Today they slammed the hell out of all the doors in the place and all I could hear was the husband(?) yelling at the wife(?) at the top of his lungs.

I wasn't sure if I should call the cops or if I should let them blow off some (loud) steam. I hate hearing domestic disputes as a result of the ones I experienced in my own family growing up. My first instinct is to run over there to see what's going on. However, I also realize that yelling and slamming doors doesn't constitute domestic violence, and it could be their way of blowing off steam.

Don't worry. I've got 911 on speed-dial if they get too crazy .

Currently listening :
1999
By Prince
Release date: 25 October, 1990

Note: This blog was originally posted on Myspace with comments at:
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Top Reasons I’m Done With Winter

As I walked from my car to the door this evening after a double-header of rehearsals, I decided it was time for winter to be over for me. Here's no why:

  1. I hate having to wear more than one article of clothing to stay warm. I want to wear shorts to show my massive, muscular, lovely legs.

  2. I like to see the lovely young ladies jogging outside with their halter tops on/off/on/off/on/off/she getting a drink/on/off/on/off...

  3. The Ho-Ho's windows can't be rolled down all the way when it's cold outside. They get off the guidance track so then I really can't secure my car. As much as I like having an open-window policy for my vehicle, I'd rather it warm up so I can actually let fresh air into the car. It's also a bitch to order food through the drive thri when you can only crack the window to pass food through.

  4. My dawg really enjoys going out whenever it's incredibly late, cold, rainy, snowy, or just plain inconvenient. At least when it's warm it doesn't take 45 minutes for me to get ready to take her.

  5. The draft was given up in the '70s, however, it's still going on in my home. I may ask the wifey to burn her bras in protest. Let's get some heat up in this mother!
Alright, I'm tired. Time to go to bed.
Currently watching :
The Ultimate Matrix Collection (The Matrix/ The Matrix Reloaded/ The Matrix Revolutions/ The Animatrix)
Release date: 07 December, 2004

Note: This blog was originally posted on Myspace with comments at:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=16074757&blogID=363701060&Mytoken=701AB44A-8B9D-4766-A8AF372D48405847115564

Saturday, March 1, 2008