Category music philosophy and self reflection

A Veteran’s guide to dealing with the Cultural Appropriation of The Ramones

* My very first Ramones T Shirt from the Too Tough To Die 10th Aniversary Tour
I feel the need to address the reactions that some hardcore Ramones fans have when seeing how the band has achieved cultural acceptance
It is easy to feel like your culture has been yanked out of your hands and sold on E-Bay but read on and I will tell you that “It’s Gonna Be Alright”

There is a certain attachment that we ascribe to the things that help us deal with everyday life
We can all agree that music is the most accessible way to deal with your feelings and to express your own identity
There has never been a more perfect band to provide that kind of strength as The Ramones
Their minimalist approach to their songs also applied to the lyrics, which can range anywhere from hard and cold reality to complete...

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When Self Esteem affects Work Ethic

One of my biggest self esteem issues is that I think that I have a very lazy work ethic. It doesn’t take much to get me to walk away from a project or job when I find myself getting discouraged or distracted. Of course, I always seem to find plenty of energy for other people’s projects but that is because I am getting paid. My problem is trying to generate enthusiasm for a project that hasn’t made much of an impact over the last decade. I have made giant leaps and bounds in the technical evolution of my own music but I keep putting off booking Multiple Man for live shows. Conversely, I have poured hundreds of hours into the RAMONE because I knew that it would be a solid investment of time and emotional energy.
As it stands now, I have people who have never met me or even seen the Ram...

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The Rockula Update 3/21/14- Why injuring myself was the best thing that could have happened to me

Who would have thought that sustaining a deep muscle bruise and tearing several tendons would be the best thing that could have happened to me?
As many of you know, I was taking care of Tino (a parrot) during the December ice strorm
I injured myself when he flew down the hall and I chased after him
I tripped and knocked myself out for a few moments as well as falling on my shoulder and pinning my arm behind my back
This caused a great deal of stress and anxiety in my life because I consider myself to be primarily a drummer
It would take months for me to heal and I had to really limit the amount of time I played the drums
Many people advised me that it is easy to damage what takes weeks to repair so I had to completely change my drumming style
Luckily, GIRL is not a band that requires me to...

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The Rockula Update- A small slice of Validation

I was making final preparations for the San Antonio Loop Festival and my anxiety was creating reasons why I shouldn’t be going
First and foremost is money
I was literally spending money I didn’t have with a zero balance in my bank and a credit card
It is very lucky that my sister has allowed me to use her Mini Cooper for the trip because my other option is a van with terrible mileage
There was no guarantee of any kind of pay and I don’t have any kind of merch to sell
I was not even sure if I would have a place to stay

So why did I go?

I contacted Noah Peterson who ran the SA Loop fest and asked him to consider me
He wrote back that I wasn’t exactly conforming to the official parameters of the festival but he thought I was interesting enough to merit a spot so he asked me to perf...

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The Rockula update

It’s been about 4 months since my last update and my life has been a tumultuous one indeed
The biggest news being that I have parted ways with Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs
It was the result of a year long struggle of conflict and compromise that resulted in a stalemate that couldn’t be resolved
To put it simply, my playing style clashed with theirs
I was feeling constrained and they were feeling stretched thin
Or, to quote Mario “Your musical vocabulary is about 3 times the size of what the band can handle”
It happened a couple of weeks ago and, although I have told people the news in public and on social media, I have waited for a bit of distance from the situation so that I may comment upon it with a more balanced view
I can honestly say that this is the first time that I have left a ban...

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The Rockula Update- Pivotal point

Tonight will be the third show that I have played with Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs
This one is going to be much more challenging than the previous gigs
Those were 1 set shows that tend to go by very quickly and have a limited amount of technical issues that require me to pay attention
Most of the set so far has been songs with backing tracks and one transition
Tonight’s set at lee Harvey’s will be a 2 hour set with a completely different set list as well as several different transitions
All that require that I not make any mistakes

The steps leading up to this point have been hard ones indeed
Having to learn two sets of songs is stanard for the working musician and nothing too unreasonable but that’s when you have a whole band to rehearse and complete tracks to accompany the process

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Disconnect- Review of Gary Numan’s “Replicas”

One of the stronger emotions I encounter on a regular basis is the need to disconnect from the rest of the world
Things happen to frustrate or damage me and I just want to shut everyone out I’m sure that everyone feels like this but my problem is that it happens quite frequently
My recent bout of drama has been particularly painful and it that withdrawl urge has been kicking in again
This led me to listen to one of the most important albums in my collection
Gary Numan always seemed to tap into that  emotion (or lack therof) In an age where electronic artists were humans trying to sound like machines, Numan’s music seemed to assert the exact opposite It wasn’t the precision robot-like music that Devo was performing (which FUCKING RULES!)
It was as if machines were trying to immitate humans
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The Rockula Update- Scary Cherry Bang Bangs heads with Rockula resulting in an explosion

A few months ago, I was approached by Lezlie of Scary Cherry and the Bang Bangs to see if I would play drums for them
They had been tennants at my rehearsal space for a while and eventually I produced a background video for their live show
Ayo had quit and they were looking to take the band in a different direction
They wanted to flesh out their live show with backing tracks as well as video
I had shown them videos of PyroPlasticFlow and they asked if I could facilitate them going multi-media
I saw this as an opportunity to stretch those compromise muscles and this was going to be a compromise on one of my biggest predjudices
Being in a female fronted band

Here’s a joke I’ve been telling forever-
What’s the upside of being in a female fronted rock band?
You don’t have to worry about how...

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The Rockula Update- The Necro Tonz Reunion Blues

The prospect of The Necro Tonz getting back together gave me mixed feelings
When Colleen first broached the subject, it was that I would sit in on a few songs but I felt like I wanted more involement
I set about looking for ways to use my skills to do a variety of things
The first thing that came to mind was that I could provide backup vocals and harmonies
This was soon followed with the idea that I would use my Roland SPDS as a percussion pad (bongos, timbales, triangle etc…)
The ideas that I have been brewing for Tiki Torture would also come into play with video
This would give me a real world application for my ideas concerning backgrounds
In addition, I also recognized the chance to handle compromise more effectively
After all, these were all musicians with egos and quirks equal to my ...

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My first radio show

I had flirted with the idea of having a show on KNON for quite a long time
My first exposure to the station was when my friends Cabe Booth, Scott Miller and Danny Hollenbeck had a show
This was way back in the late 80’s and the station was very different back then
It was in a very rough part of East Dallas in a decaying old building that seemed on the verge of collapsing in on itself at any moment
There are too many examples to count when it comes to my musical education whilst listening to KNON
I always wanted a show but could never commit to the regular schedule

But then Dave Chaos called up two days ago and pretty much threw me into the deep end

He wanted to take the night off for the 4th of July and he thought I was ready to do the whole show by myself
Literally by myself because no on...

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