Monday, February 23, 2009

Guitar Hero For Only A Moment

I got the chance to bond with my MIHE castmates over Guitar hero tonight.  We played the Rock of the '80s and GH2 discs.  I play "The Warrior", "What I like About You", and I think a couple of others.  While others played YYZ by Rush, i played what I could remember of it on an acoustic guitar.  It was a lot of fun.  It was interesting seeing how that game is one that really allows you to free up your mind becuase if you think, you play crap.  I zoned out, let my contacts dry out, and clicked away on the controller to some of the songs.  Just wait until I get around to playing Pumpkin songs on it.

Currently playing:
Guitar Hero 2
Release date: 2006-11-07

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ten - Twenty Years Later

Pearl Jam is reissuing their seminal debut Ten in a deluxe package to include a remastered version of the original mix (which probably means brickwall limited, over compressed mastering) and a companion remix of the record done by Brendan O'Brien which is supposed to be a much rawer, earthy feel to it.  Now, I'm kind of hit-and-miss with Brendan O'Brien's production.  He's produced a lot of records I've liked but also has made a few records with good songs sound like complete crap as well.  He did produce my favorite Pearl Jam album record of all-time Yield with awesome success (I haven't liked an entire Pearl Jam record since that one).  So, when I heard this guy was going to helm the remix, I was pretty skeptical.  Surprise, Surprise!  He may have done a good job.

On Pearl Jam's MySpace their streaming songs off the various discs/cassette that comes in the package.  I listened to the remix of Once and it sounds pretty freakin' good!  I'm now intrigued to hear the rest of the remixes.  They're also releasing their MTV Unplugged performance as well.  I caught only a part of it when it aired originally and would love to have this on my iPod to bump as it features PJ when they were rawer and aggressive.  They're also releasing some live tracks in addition to these gems and duplicate of their original demo that snared Eddie Vedder as their singer.

Overall, it's nice to see a lot of value-add to this reissue.  Good job guys.

Currently listening:
Ten (Deluxe Edition) (2CD/1 DVD)
By Pearl Jam
Release date: 2009-03-24

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at

Anger and Fear

Current mood:  thoughtful
I'm thinking about making the title a new ringtone since everybody pretty much now has a cellphone to play it on and everybody has "issues".  That term has been overused by me and many others to describe characteristics of others that we don't like or approve of.  Should it be more like "I've got issues with you"? 

Every time we get angry, hurt, sad, happy, or jubilant, it's our own internal emotional response to something going on in our lives.  No one "makes" you feel the way you feel.  You encountered a situation, chose an emotion to attach to it, and responded according to how the emotion drove you.  As my vocal teacher told me, "Every time someone makes you angry, thank them, because you have something with yourself you need to work on".

I'll admit that the last few months have been incredibly difficult to keep my emotions in line.  It's like the deep understanding of the paragraph above went out the window, and anger has been my go-to emotion.  A lot of my anger is counter-weight/cover-up for the underlying fears I have - fear of failure and non-acceptance.  If I fail at any given task or opportunity, I won't be accepted by others.  I want to be accepted by others all the time even though I play it off like I don't.  So, to deal with it, I get angry about situations I cannot control nor need to worry about, thus, I am spending way too much energy on things that are inconsequential.  Why spend that energy feeling awful when I can just focus on the things that make me feel good and appreciate them?  It's because I got myself into this bad habit of going negative first and not having a core belief in my own value and worth.  That has got to change immediately.

What drove me to write this blog is knowing that I'm being perceived as having problems such to the point that they're counterproductive.  Yes, I do have them, however, I recognize them and everyday am working on being a better person by exploring the genesis of my most deep-rooted emotions; working through the core problem erases any chage to subsequently associated/similar situations in the future.   For as any problems folks perceive as me having, perhaps others should also look wihtin themselves and explore what's driving them to point the finger.

Currently reading:
Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires
By Esther Hicks

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blogging Vs. Tweeting

I started using Twitter after reading an article where this dude used his cellphone and Twitter to let people know he was being held in an Egyptian jail and needed help.  I was on like it dogs on peanut butter and signed up.  the basic gist of the service is to let people know what's going on in between blogs.  However, I now have a new dillema where I'm getting lazier about blogging because I tweet too much and figure I have nothing left to write about.

I have Twitter updating my status on Facebook (really wish MySpace would allow for it natively...GET WITH IT TOM!) and have this blog mirrored to my other websites.  Since everybody I know of is using Facebook much more now, people comment on my statuses and never on the blogs .  So, I know my messages are getting out there.  This phenomenon adds to my reluctance to blog more often.

the reason I started blogging was to share some of the most personal parts of my life.  I guess a blog is most suited for that vs. a bunch of status updates.  I need to figure out how to balance the two parts and not get lazy.

Currently listening:
MACHINA/The Machines of God
By The Smashing Pumpkins
Release date: 2000-02-29

Friday, February 13, 2009

Selling A Ticket To Monopolies

With the DoJ investigating the TicketMaster/Live Nation merger, I am going to be a bit pessimistic.  When's the last time a merger has been blocked in the last 20 years in this country?  Now we're going to see ticket fees skyrocket due to this merger as they will have a monopoly.  The problem with monopolies are that those who have them can block entrance into the marketplace by others by changing the laws via extensive lobbying of lawmakers or by pressuring venues to retain exclusive-only contracts with them.  Those who do enter exclusive contracts wouldn't have a choice but to go with TM/LN as there would not be no other competitor either in existence or in the same league who can provide the services needed. 

What can be done about it?  I  have no idea.  I'd love to tell you to boycott TM/LN but like I said, they are in just about any major venue (plus I'd miss out on some acts that I love myself ).   Perhaps this is the next music industry-related area that needs to meet a force so powerful that it dies as well.

Currently listening:
Ticket To Ride
By The Beatles

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at

Monday, February 9, 2009

Return of the Real

Last night I got to open two shows - Award Show and the weekly Infinite Sundaes.  It was fun as hell!  It was awesome to finally see AS go up and try an improvised musical that has elements we hadn't ever tried yet; we had audio, video, and choreography that was all new and ridiculous.  I liked the fact that I finally got to play the host character of my dreams, Russell "Russ" Williamson.  It was fun to channel the darker side into that host and I feel people really responded to it.

The show with IS was fun and fast.  I got to play Battle Rap, One word serenade, and Freeze Tag.  It was over before it even started.  I'm in an incredibly talented group of improvisers and look forward to hanging with them.  I feel blessed!

The best part of the night came was when I got out of my mental creative slump and remembered I could totally do this work.  It came when at the end of AS when I come out to break up a fight between the folks on stage.  I yelled out "HEY!" a bunch of times and it got a little rhythmic.  I then realized it was like a James Brown band sting and used that to my advantage.  I almost broke character cuz I was so happy about that little ditty and I wanted to chuckle my head off!  BRILLIANCE!

I'm back and ready to do some massive damage to the haters out there. 

Currently listening:
Ice T VI: Return Of The Real
By Ice-T
Release date: 1996-06-04

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at