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Showing posts from October, 2011

RIFed

Six years ago this month, I found myself without a full-time job. Last Wednesday, the same thing happened again. Only this time, I sensed the position termination coming, per acquisition by another company over the summer, and I thought about my options with moving forward. Now I'm considering what to do next -- and if ever there was a time to try something outside of the field I've been in, well, it's time. I could reflect on this like Charlie Brown foolishly believing Lucy was going to hold the football long enough for a kick. I could lie on the ground asking myself why I believed this time would work. But that's not what I've been thinking. For many reasons, the story met a natural conclusion -- and I have the desire to write another story. The advice I like to give to anyone considering entry into a field where it's hard to find any work: get experience, even if it's not exactly what you imagined yourself doing. Know your limits, but be unafraid to fi

My first show

My First Show this week is with Johnette Napolitano from Concrete Blonde. Definitely one of most fun interviews I've done this year. A longer Q&A on the band's legacy and her solo work will be online later. For now, enjoy this week's edition .

We'll have Halloween on Christmas

There was a time when the thought of not trick or treating on Halloween saddened me. It was when I watched an episode of Our House and Chad Allen's character opted out of the activity, claiming he was too old for it. I couldn't fathom turning down the opportunity to get free candy from the neighborhood and dressing up in a costume. Couldn't fathom it at all. And yet I haven't done it since middle school. These days, I love handing out candy, within reason, on my street. My neighborhood is inundated on Halloween night with families and we run out of candy very quickly. As much as I enjoy Halloween, I don't celebrate it like Christmas. I know people who decorate their downstairs and front doors with witches, skeletons, and jack-o-lanterns. Aside from the pumpkin carving party Matt and I help host, the most Halloween decoration you see is the plastic jack-o-lantern filled with candy. Yesterday, on a trip to find certain pieces of the costumes we'll wear this

DOMAXXIII

Everybody -- freelancers and staffers -- chipped in to write about the winners of this year's Dallas Observer Music Awards. I wrote about three acts: Warbeast, Ducado Vega, and the House Harkonnen. Read the whole enchilada here .

My first show

When I do My First Show, all that I ask for is somebody who's willing to share with me about first show experiences. I know many people scoff at 3 Doors Down's music, but when Chris was willing to answer my questions, I couldn't say no. So, here's this week's edition .

Moving (and not moving)

I helped a friend move over the weekend, moving her only a few streets away from where she was. It was a smart thing for her to do -- going from a small apartment complex in a sketchy area to a chilled-out carriage house in a pretty quiet area. As I helped lift some rather heavy boxes and figured out ways to get some of the furniture out of the old place and into the new one, I thought about when I'll be moving next. It's been seven years since I had to do that, and I'm in no rush to pack up and move away. If I were to move, it would have to be in a better living situation than the one I'm in now -- and I'm pretty happy with the one I've had for seven years. I can understand the desire to own less if you move every couple of years. I moved ten times in college. Prior to that, I moved twice. Huge difference. And in the college experience (and post-college), I was ready to settle into a place and try and stay there for more than two years. But now I'm becom

The Power of Myth (monoculture edition)

Steven Hyden recently wrote a spot-on piece for Salon.com on how monoculture is a myth. As I read it, I thought about how glad I was that somebody wasn't falling in line with a context-free, romantic view of the past. I wished there were more speaking up and saying this. Especially lately with all this grunge nostalgia. Hyden and I are close in age, so when he talks about being young and seeing an album like Nevermind have a monumental impact on pop culture -- and not just the music industry in the early nineties -- I can relate. He also remembers the other big names in music during those times. Names that are not as celebrated these days. Once my classmates did see it, a number of them purchased “Nevermind,” as I did. But many of them didn’t. Some preferred Pearl Jam. Some liked N.W.A.’s “Niggaz4life.” Some didn’t care about music at all; they’d rather play Tecmo Bowl. Then there were the millions and millions of Americans who bought Garth Brooks’ “Ropin’ the Wind,” the best-se

We got stars directing our fate

There are times in my life when people run into each other when there is no scientific way of explaining how. A lot of people take the easy way and proclaim it's God while others can claim it's pure luck. Somehow, it seems like a mixture of both to me. Yesterday, had it not been for a large family taking multiple pictures of themselves on the midway section of the State Fair -- the spot where Matt and I wanted to take pictures of ourselves -- I would have never run into my longtime friend Tim, his wife-to-be, his cousin, and his cousin's parents. Three of these five live in Houston and I rarely see them these days. And these were five people I didn't know were going to be at the fair at the same time Matt and I were to be there. Usually, I hear about how someone was at the same show I was at, but we never saw each other. You see a check-in via FourSquare on Facebook after you've come home and realize, "Hey, we missed each other. Shoot!" Say it's the

Overblown

Grunge nostalgia is a mixed blessing for people like myself. I weigh pros and cons -- hoping to not minimize or over-embellish the impact. Sure, it's great to remind others how important bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden were to me and people my age (as well the people at MTV and the journalists who covered what we saw and read). But it would do a disservice to younger generations by claiming this time in rock history was the greatest ever. I wouldn't say there has been a massive flood of grunge nostalgia in terms of products to buy, but it has made a lot of people talk, write, and think about it. Which I find healthy, in general. For me, as a consumer, I have a lot of hesitation towards checking out the various permutations of the Nevermind reissue. While it might be nice to sample Butch Vig's mix of the album, I don't think it's something worth owning. And with the B-side bonus tracks? Well, they can be found on other releases (and not just the Out

My first show

This week's edition is with Ed Breckenridge from Thrice. I've had the pleasure of seeing these guys play three times in the DFW area, including that first show at Rubber Gloves with Red Animal War and Samiam. I remember how some people laughed when Teppei brought out his BC Rich guitar for a song, since it's such a "metttttal!" guitar. A few years later, when I saw them open for Dashboard Confessional, there was a girl behind me constantly calling the band "T-rice."

Use Me

I might not be playing in a regular band these days -- and probably won't be playing with a regular band for the foreseeable future -- but that doesn't mean I have given up the drums. Hell no. For as long as I have working limbs and a desire to tap along, drumsticks will be nearby. Last week, I took up an invitation to play on a jam night at a small bar a little north of where I live. I'm happy to say that I had a wonderful time and will be back. Playing old school blues and R&B is not something I've ever done in front of people. But like I realized when I played southern rock songs at Rock N Roll Fantasy Camp last year, if you've played something John Bonham and Bill Ward have played, you've received a partial education on the blues. All the years I've spent watching a guitarist motion around, whether on the neck or with the foot going towards a distortion pedal, came in handy for this jam. Playing a slow blues song that I was not familiar followed