Tag Archives: guitar

May I Have Your Attention…

Hi! I’m creating a new blog. I hope you all will follow me over at that blog. I’ll post links to it here for a while before I stop posting altogether on here. The new page is spellboundscribbler.wordpress.com and please feel free to share it. I just posted my first blog at spellboundscribbler. Come on over and take a look!

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Review: Armand Rosamilia’s Chelsea Avenue

Chelsea Avenue reads like your favorite crime drama. A quick pace chelseaavetakes you through the events of Murphy’s Law Club and its deadly history. Characters are in and out quickly, but painted in such masterful strokes that you recognize them instantly. You’re inside the head of the good guys, see glimpses inside the bad guy and cheer and shout when the end game plays out.

Armand Rosamilia writes crisp images with a minimal of fluff, evoking emotions from his readers like an elder god calling across time and space. If you need something to read, you have found your new favorite author. You can find Armand at http://armandrosamilia.com and at http://www.ragnarokpub.com

 

The soul of an artist

images (4)I found a picture today in my Facebook feed that made me stop scrolling. Not this first pic. He’s further down the page. It was a photo of one of my favorite musicians and it got me thinking.

There’s a lot of talk about separating the art from the artist when we find out one of our idols from stage, screen, or airwave has different views on some topic than we do. Those of you up in arms about Ender’s Game and Orson Scott Card know what I’m talking about. The truth is that each of us is entitled to our own opinions on politics, religion, sex, birth control, gender equality, all of these and more.

As fans, we do need to separate the art from the artist sometimes. Each song/book/painting/movie touches each of us in a unique way that only we understand. What we have to remember is that it happens for the artist, too.

I’m particularly into music. It feeds my writing ideas, both fiction and nonfiction. Sometimes it’s the phrasing of lyrics. Other songs it’s the feel of the music itself. And sometimes you find an artist that you just can’t get enough of. Everything they touch turns to gold.  I have been addicted to music since I was a kid listening to my dad on the radio. Dad would quiz me on artist and title when we were in the car with the music on. I love everything from Albert King to Rob Zombie and back around twice more.davegrohl

Of all the artists I’ve found in my 42 years, Dave Grohl is one of my all-time favorites. He has an appreciation for the music that more musicians need to develop. His love of music is so profound that he bought the sound board from the Sound City Studio to preserve the history captured in all those miles of wire.

Grohl personifies what music does to the soul. Watch the video for Pretender by his band Foo Fighters and you’ll see what I mean. Many of the bands videos include cheesy costumes and campy themes behind deep, heavy grinding rock beats. But Pretender starts slow, just a voice and a microphone. Then Hell breaks lose. Pretender has both those moments of intense quiet and raging, balls-to-the-wall energy that drags you through the song at mach 3 with your hair on fire.

Watch not just Grohl but the entire band in that video. The song would be intense even of there wasn’t a riot squad involved. That intensity is evident in everything Dave Grohl does. Sometimes it’s just under the surface, others it breaks free. It is always glorious.

Since learning to play guitar at age 12, he has become one with the music and its power. That’s the point where the artist is so connected to the art they become inseparable. When you listen to an artist of that caliber, it sets your soul on fire.

 

 

 

And we’re waiting for…

I came across a meme on Facebook recently that credited Carl Jung with a quote.  I haven’t been able to confirm that, but I do like what it says.  The quote reads:  Life begins at 40.  Before that you were just doing research.

If you’ve followed my blog a long time (did I really start in 2008??) you may recall that it’s not been all sunshine and roses.  For those of you newer to the blog, let me recap.  I’m 42 years old, happily divorced, no kids, raised to be a wallflower by a mother who had her own truckload of baggage.  There were many things I learned from my mother that I have spent the last several years trying to unlearn.  I’ve been what you’d call a late bloomer to doing that research mentioned in the meme.

The question is what do I want to be when I grow up.  The answer: I still don’t know.  I have a few ideas that I feel quite strongly about.  The problem is that I’m still letting my mother’s lack of confidence hold back my own.  You see, Mom didn’t let me explore a lot of things to figure out who I was and what I wanted.  I did get to try a few things if I made enough noise about it.  But in general, I had to rely on my librarians to help me explore.

I have a news flash for you: reading about great adventures and amazing experiences is not the same thing as living those adventures and experiences.  So I come across this meme and I start thinking, what am I waiting on?  What are the things I want to do that I’ve not tried yet?  What do I want to be when I grow up?

fender_stratocaster_guitar_3The two constants in my life have been music and the written word.  Currently I write my blog (yes, I know, need to more often) and I’m editing for Voluted Tales Magazine.  I also have my own writing that I’m working on.  I’m shopping around for a guitar to start learning to play.  And I’m working on a steampunk-styled Adventure Time cosplay for the St. Patrick’s Day party I’m having next month.  I LOVE making clothes and costumes and props.  I’m a very crafty wench.

So that’s writing/editing, playing guitar, and cosplay.  I’m not waiting any longer.  Mom died in 2002.  Sometimes I still feel her influence, but it’s not as strong as it used to be.  Me…I’m getting stronger every day.  I’m trying to make good use of the time I spend in my chair and find new adventures to draw me out of it.

What haven’t you done yet?  What are you waiting for? …

One more thing…

Several people helped participate in my first Rock Blog Tour.  Much thanks to Whitney Coble, Tim Marquitz, Kristyn Phipps, Glenn Walker, Robin Renee, and Jennifer Cardonick Walker.  All of these wonderful people helped boost the signal for the band Skinn Jakkitt.  The band is keeping busy.  They have a CD trailer now airing on several satellite TV channels, but I have it for you here: 

The guys are getting ready for their tour that begins in Chicago in February.  Rock blogger Hellion Rocks had a round table discussion with members of Skinn Jakkit, Death Rattle, The Black Cross Brotherhood, Final Curse and Stevil Helmer of Helmer Management.

Check out the discussion in its entirety here:  Hellion Rocks.  You can find Skinn Jakkitt at the following venues:  

Jan 18th @ The Sand Shack, North Charleston, SC – The Helmer Management Show

Jan 25th @ The Wizard Saloon, Hickory NC, with Bonz from Stuck Mojo, and  Nefarious

Feb 7th Knoxville Tn tentative

Feb 8th @  Bada Brew, Chicago, Illinois with Final Curse and more.

Feb 15 @ St Valentines Massecre in Charleston, WV with Black Cross Brotherhood and Final Curse

March 29 @ The Drunk Horse Pub, Fayetteville, NC

June 21 @ Main City Cellar, Hickory, NC, for the Hillbilly Beardsman Club’s beard competition

 

The Rock Blog Tour was a lot of fun and I hope to do it again soon.  Who knows what music you’ll see here next?

 

 

 

Rock Blog Tour presents Skinn Jakkitt

bed13cb4962672dc2bab365a2f983a43I am very happy to be today’s stop on the Rock Blog Tour.  I have seen several shows with Skinn Jakkit and they are a hard rocking band with a lot of energy.  Their self-titled CD went live on November 5 and covers a range of topics in some really interesting, relevant, and sometimes surprising lyrics.  You can find the CD on Amazon, iTunes, Tate Publishing, and ReverbNation.  You can also find the guys on Facebook  and at their SkinnJakkit page.

Skinn Jakkit is Greg Stephens on vocals, Barry Sams at lead guitar, Shane Farris on rhythm guitar, Jeff Hayworth at bass, and Jeff “Pup” Price pounding the drums.  I had the chance to ask the guys a few questions…

 

Describe your writing process. Is it lyrics first or does a particular melody catch your attention?

 Jeff Price: Melody First

Barry Sams: A cool riff usually sparks the writing process. Me, Shane or Hayworth will toss around a few notes till one of us has a spark that will ignite a song.

Greg Stephens: Barry and Shane are the masters of the riff. They usually jam and I start trying to formulate a lyric pattern. Sometimes I have some lyrics but most of the time I write them at the same time.

 

Who are your musical influences?

Barry Sams:   We have the late 70’s- 90’s metal influences, I myself prefer bands like Fear Factory, All That Remains and GZR.

Jeff Price:  Tesla, Stryper, Metallica

Greg Stephens:  My influences are all over the board. I love Iron Maiden, Clutch, COC, Alice In Chains and Megadeth. New bands I love Eye Empire and Kill Devil Hill.  Guilty pleasure would be Journey.

 

Who would you most like to perform with?

 Barry Sams:  At this point Fear Factory or Five Finger Death Punch.

Jeff Price:  Shinedown

Greg Stephens: Id say Clutch, Megadeth or hell I said it Metallica.

 

What are your favorite and least favorite songs to perform?

Barry Sams:  Favorite song to perform is a new one we wrote “Cover Story” and       then “Farther” off the album. Least favorite is none of the above 🙂

Jeff Price:  Shame 🙂 / End of the Line 😦

Greg Stephens:  Id favorite is a tie with Shame the brand new one and Change. Least I really don’t have any.

Jeff Hayworth:  favorite any of ours ,/ least favorite anyone else’s. (covers)

 

Tell us about your experience shooting the video for Epiphany.img_22161_005

Jeff Price:  Difficult, wasn’t able to have much volume to the playback so it made it hard for me, the drummer to really show much energy or aggression in my playing. Still was a great experience.

Barry Sams:  You have to be still, then more energy, then don’t look at the camera, then the cops get called, then break, then change clothes, more pictures. Its cool I like it!!

Greg Stephens:  It was a very overcast day. Industrial park, old steel mill. In the shadows of downtown. Had people driving by and watching. Got the cops called on us for noise. Funny enough we had a hard time hearing the music. Lol, the noisy one was Mr. Price. Trouble maker. We had a scene that is only briefly in the video where I had to walk down this fence line while all the band members were scattered along the fence line. I walked slooooooow at their orders we did it a few times. Price says man there is a bag at my feet and something stinks. We go look and it’s a dead animal. Ewwwwww true story.

 

Let’s talk tour riders: what is the one thing you MUST have when on the road?

 Jeff Price:  Peace Tea, BBQ or Hot Pork rinds, Granola bars

Barry Sams:  Nothing but the essentials for the road. Well…maybe Diet Sundrop.

Greg Stephens:  Water, Juice, Fruit and some Cheerwine as a special

 

Any road stories you can share without incriminating anyone?

Barry Sams:  Scaring Price into thinking he was late for the plane. Being laid over in Chicago for 9 hours. Hayworth scaring the hell out of convenience store patrons hollering WHAT THE F*%K!!!  [He’s over 6′ tall.  Would scare me!]

Shane Farris: ( The Quiet One)  Yeah I would agree with the WTF story.

Jeff Price:  Getting woke up abruptly while sleeping on a bench while waiting on the flight to leave for Oklahoma.

Greg Stephens:  Welllll, we pull a lot of pranks and Price is a common target but the best prank was one I Orchestrated in the studio on Barry.  Barry took his prized “never take it off the wall don’t even look at it” Schecter guitar to OKC to record and do the video.  I immediately started to scheme.  He is laying down scratch tracks for Price to do his drum tracks and he has to go to the restroom.  I get Shane to be lookout and to let me know when Barry is coming, I have Price lay in the floor and he wraps Barry’s guitar chord around his leg.  I litterally take about 5 mins to carefully lay the guitar down on the floor.  Shane gives me the high sign and I kick over an empty guitar case and Price starts with the “OOOOOooo Ooooo.”  The look on Barry’s face was priceless, if you will.  He is gritting his teeth taking it all in.  After about 3 or 4 mins he’s like “are you ok” with gritted teeth.  “Because if you are I’m gonna kill you.  Of all the things to happen,  you and your big clumsy feet.”  “Hey Barry” I’m pointing to the guitar case.   “I swear I should have never brought it.”   “Hey Barry,” the case. “You are so damn destructive.”  Finally I drop the case again. “You sorry Son Ofa”…and he walks out of the room!

 

Sounds like these guys are as much fun off stage as they are on stage.  They are based out of the Hickory, NC area but are about to start touring to promote their CD.  Be sure to check them out!  The next stop on the Rock blog Tour is on Thanksgiving, November 28 at Kristyn Phipps blog.  Here is the video for Epiphany to whet your appetite:

 

 

 

A Quickie

Just an update today.  I mentioned a couple posts back that I was returning to college, online.  That’s going well.  I’m getting back into the swing of things and enjoying class immensely.

Coming soon I will have a review for you.  Zombies, romance, erotica… A little something from Angelic Knight Press to warm your heart, tingle your naughty bits, or maybe just activate your Ew response.  Fifty Shades of Decay is now available on Amazon.  Look for the review soon.  november2012

I hope you have a great day.  It’s cold and rainy where I am.  But the day is what I make of it.  So far, so good.  🙂