Hey everyone, I just left my brothers wedding. The reason I mention it, is because my brother asked me to perform at his wedding. He asked me to sing the song “Follow you into the dark” by Death Cab for Cutie. I agreed that I would sing the song. My brother gave me a good 8 months notice to prepare and that was pretty nice although with that much time my mind seems to obsess a bit too much about making it perfect. I practiced almost every day in order to make it “perfect”. The problem with that is there is no such thing as perfect. I recorded myself over and over to the point of excess. The day of the wedding I was very nervous because I had not performed in quite some time. Anyway, my brother was under the impression that I would be playing the song while using my cousins acoustic guitar. We had a bit of fun with that. When it came time for me to sing, my cousin started to walk up to the platform to hand me his guitar but when he got in front of me I waved him off with a smart ass look. I then proceeded to walk behind the stage away from the view of the bride and groom and the guests in their seats. When I appeared again I had a tiny blue ukulele strapped around my shoulder. The wedding colors were blue so it worked out pretty well. It was pretty cool seeing the look on my brothers face when he saw that I planned on performing the song with a ukulele. I proceeded to sing the song and I definitely started out a bit rocky but by the end I really think at least part of my family was pretty blown away. Overall the performance could have been a bit cleaner. I was a bit disappointed in myself that I was not as good as I would have liked but I was also happy to hear that everyone enjoyed it so much especially my brother the groom. I actually purchased the ukulele specifically for this performance. I learned it for that reason as well. It really meant a lot him that I wanted to make the song extra special. It goes to show you that it is not really worth stressing about things like that since I ended up messing up anyways and no matter what I would have done perfection is not attainable. Striving for greatness is something we should all do but obsessing about just causes more harm than good. I actually performed another song at the reception that turned out pretty well too. I decided after the wedding that I wanted to start a YouTube channel to post some of my ukulele covers. I even purchased a camera that is geared towards recording music. To be totally honest with you I have not followed through on that goal very well. I actually only posted one video in the last six months. I recorded follow you into the dark and it turned out pretty good. I am much happier with the video than I am with the performance from the wedding. I have over 200 views which is pretty cool, hopefully I can find a bit more time to record a few more this year. If you have any requests for ukulele cover songs feel free to shoot me message.
About ten years ago or so my band played a show at a seedy bar in my area. The bar was pretty popular but I would not go so far as to say it was a nice bar. The bar was named Griffin’s and it had a main floor and an upstairs. The hosted concerts in the upper level. They had a pretty decent sound system which is always a plus when playing a show. This show was probably the climax of our bands popularity. We hyped the heck out of this show. We told everyone that we knew and handed out a ton of flyers. To be honest we didn’t make a lot of money doing the show, I am pretty sure that we split the cover charge of 5 dollars with the bar owner. The money was not the reason that we played the shows anyways. What it really was….. The unlimited free beer for the performers! Ha. Seriously though, that was a big part of it. I remember getting pretty ham boned at most of our shows, although the show I am referencing was one of the few shows that I hardly drank at all. We showed up early to set up and nobody was in the bar. That started to change very quickly. As we continued to set up people started coming up the stairs at a pretty decent rate. By the time we were all set up and ready to rock the place was frickin packed. We couldn’t believe it. There were so many people that the bar had to turn people away because they had hit capacity. It was like every person that ever knew any of the band members had showed up to this one show. I remember being on stage that there was a huge window behind us that reminded me of being on TRL for all you 80’s or 90’s kids. You could look out the window and see the line going out the door of the bar along with all the other passersby. It felt pretty amazing. We probably only had about 10 songs but they were all pretty decent and people seemed to like them. I remember playing one song called Back Off F*** Off. People went crazy during that song, unfortunately I couldn’t share the full story on why I wrote that song since the person it was written for was actually in the crowd. As we played our set a small group of people were moshing in front of the stage. I have a vivid memory of one dude wearing a huge strap on dildo on the top of his head. Crazy stuff, I can honestly say that being on stage that day felt better than any drug or high that I had ever experienced. Hearing hundreds of people cheering and singing along with your songs is an experience that is hard to replicate. We played quite a few shows after that and we created a ton of awesome memories but none of the latter shows compared to the excitement of this show. Maybe for my next post I will tell you about the show where me and my Dad ended up taking home a mother and daughter and drank a shit ton of moonshine. Thanks for reading, make sure you check out my other posts.
Man! What the hell happened to rock and roll, it seems like everywhere I turn there is a new band that claims to be rock and roll but in actuality is just another reincarnation of Nickleback. It was bad enough when there was just one of those guys but now there are literally hundreds of them. I honestly can not believe that people love this dribble. It seems like every new song that comes out is just a continuation of the last song. I know that rock and roll is not the only genre to experience this phenomenon but I do feel that it is the most pronounced. As an example of this happening in other genres I will post a pretty funny video that creates a mash up of something like five songs in the country music scene and you honestly can not tell that there is more than one song in it. I laughed so hard the first time that I heard this and really wish that someone would do another one that includes all of the nickleback-esque bands, who knows though, someone probably already has. Let me know if you see one like that, I would love to see it. I remember back in high school, being able to go see my favorite bands for like 8 bucks, the bands that I listened to were only popular in the underground sort of way. The bands that I listened to had what I guess they call a cult following. This made for a pretty exciting concert because you would only be a few feet away from the band, much of the time they would not even be on a stage. Everything nowadays is just a bunch of recycled bologna. I hope that within my lifetime that rock and roll can get its shit together. I am ready for something different but unfortunately I am doubtful that it will come along. What is your least favorite band? My girl hates Tegan and Sarah but I do not think they are anywhere near as bad as nickleback and all of there sound alikes. Give us your least favorite bands in the comment section below.
One of my friends wrote a post about music and she gave me permission to share it here. She hopes you guys like it.
There are few things in this world of ours that can speak to your soul like music can. Some music you can feel deep in your bones. Whether you like classical, jazz, pop, rock, country, rap, whatever you listen to it because it speaks to you in some way or another. You can find yourself tapping your feet to the beat, swaying to the music, clapping along, whistling or just flat out busting a grove. You hear songs that take you back ten years and you can remember the time when you first starting listening to that band. You can hear a song for the first time and you’re hooked. Music is special, two people can listen to the same beat, notes, words, sounds and come away with two different meanings.
If you’re like me you love to sing. I love singing along with my favoite songs. Whether I think I know the words or not, I do not care, I just let the music take over and we are one. I usually sing when I’m by myself because honestly, I do NOT have a good singing voice. I believe you would call me “tone deaf”. That doesn’t bother me at all, just the people around me. So I try to only sing when alone. However there are plenty of times when I get the bug to sing and will just let loose.
I’m not very musically inclined, I cannot read sheet music to save my life but I don’t feel that you need that much knowledge of music to be able to enjoy it. Sure it helps, but not necessary. I just know what moves me. I can never be sure what will. There have been songs from bands that I would never have thought that I would enjoy and I do. There are some songs by certain artists that I love, I call them my guilty pleasures, that no one knows about. I’m too embarrassed of them. Maybe one day I’ll share with someone. Who knows, maybe not, people need their secrets.
There! I said it, if you need to make fun of me I can take it. I loved being in choir, to be totally honest, it was the only thing that I liked about school at all. I was good at it and I was recognized for being good at it. I know this will sound silly but being a choir kid in the high school that I went to was not a death sentence when it came to being a dork. It was quite strange, our choir was full of a wide variety of kids. Popular kids, nerdy kids, sexy girls, ugly and fat girls, heck even the star football player who went on to graduate with honors from Yale was in choir. Part of this had to do with the teacher/ choir director. He was awesome, his name was Mr. C. He was the kind of person that made you want to make him proud. He was respectful but he also knew how to push you because he knew when someone was talented and he knew what they were capable of. He even listened to Mxpx! Most of high school was consumed by choir and church. I was in two choir classes, one of which was the advanced group that only had 24 students in it. I was also in an all mens ensemble group that had a pretty cool reputation. When I tried out for the group I was the only sophomore to get in, so I spent 3 years in the group where as most people only got to spend one or two. I guess now that I look back I realize that I preferred not to be in the spotlight because it took me until my senior year to start performing solos in the group. I am sure a lot of that had to do with my upbringing and a lack of self confidence, but once I started performing solos I absolutely loved it. My favorite concert of the year was always the pops concert and we were doing it long before “Glee” thank you very much. Pops concert was the last concert of the year and we could do almost any song that we wanted. For my senior year my friend and I were the very first group to ever perform with a live band. Wouldn’t you guess, we did an MxPx song. There is nothing in my life that can compare to the feeling of being on stage and having an entire sold out auditorium cheering for me. It felt like being on a drug. I didn’t do drugs in high school so I guess I was just assuming at that point but I know now that I was right. On the final day of school which was also the last pops concert that I would ever perform in, I had no idea how emotional that day would be for me. The concert was great and everything went the way it was suppose to, but the very last song that we performed was Bridge over troubled waters and we always invited the alumni up onto the stage to sing along, I pretty much lost it. I realized that it was all over, and that the only time I would be on that stage again would be as an alumni singing that same song. After the concert I went around and said my goodbyes and I absolutely positively lost it.(whatever it is) I was crying harder than a newborn baby after coming out of the womb. I could not stop, I sobbed uncontrollably. To be honest, it was pretty embarrassing but at that moment I really didn’t care. I felt what I felt and had to let it out. My life has seen a lot of rough times since then and I have never quite felt the joy that I felt from being in choir. I have been in a few bands and they have most definitely been fun but just not on the same level. I do not want to make this post dark so I will not go into the things after high school, that will be a post for another day. I guess my word of wisdom is to do things that you love to do and find a place that you belong. Until next time,
So I have been meaning to write about a show that I went to last year because to be totally honest it was a pretty huge bummer. Initially, growing up I was brought up in a strict Baptist home, when I say strict I mean, no music other than hymns at church or on tape, no belief in Santa because if you switch the letters around they spell Satan, no Halloween because it was Satan’s holiday, no watching He-man because he claimed to be the master of the universe and of course no one is the master of the universe except god himself! The list is much to long to continue but needless to say I felt overjoyed when my parents finally loosened the rains a bit and allowed us to listen to some christian rock, (hardcore I know) Anyways, I started off listening to some pretty silly christian rock bands like DC Talk and the Newsboys but soon graduated to some pretty decent pop punk and ska bands. I understand that some of the bands I listened to were pretty cheezy but I still think they are pretty okay especially when you take into account the nostalgia that comes along with it. Some of my favorites were Five Iron Frenzy, Ghoti Hook, The Supertones, and the Dingees but MxPx came to be “my band”. The album Life in General was my shit, and I loved every album after that for the next several years. I soon after discovered a bunch of non-christian (or secular as the christians would say)bands like Less than Jake, Reel Big Fish, Blink 182 and my taste for regular music became much more veracious. I then got into some of the older punk/ska like Rancid, Operation Ivy, the Misfits ect. That being said, Mxpx was always one of my favorites and I believe a big reason why was for the simple fact that they never preached in any of there music, to be honest they rarely mentioned anything about god or christianity for that matter. Anyways, I obviously got off on a tangent so let me get back on track here. I will continue with my life story at a later time. haha. Fast forward to 20 years later and me and a buddy that I hadn’t seen in a good ten years decided to go see MxPx since they were coming to Royal Oak, Michigan. My buddy was into them almost as much as I was so it seemed like it would make for a perfect reunion as hokey as that sounds. We watched a couple opening bands that were alright but we were pretty much only there for the headliner. Finally after a fairly long set by the third opening band, out came Mike Herrera, lead singer followed by some dude I didn’t know, then followed by another dude I didn’t know, followed by yet another dude I didn’t know. My buddy looked at me and said”Who the hell are these guy?”. I responded with “I have no idea”. Needless to say, this band was hardly Mxpx, literally the only original member was the lead singer which happens to also be the bassist. This was a pretty big disappointment to me, I kind of felt lied to. There was no mention of this and when you go to their website it still shows all the original members listed as part of the band so I felt that was at least a bit dishonest. I am not saying that the band sounded bad because they didn’t, I am only saying that the band we watched wasn’t really MxPx, at least not the one I knew. They had three guys from Sweden filling in for the rest of the band which made it even more weird to me. We still had a good time and sang along with all of our cheesy pop punk anthems but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t bummed out. I wanted to see Tom, Mike, and Yuri not Mike with 3 Swedish dudes. I guess that’s all I got. What do you think about this? Do you think I am being a baby and I should shut my goddamn mouth or do you feel me and think I am justified in being perturbed? Let me know in the comments below or shoot me a message through my contact page. My next post might go into a bit more depth about religion and my story but only if you guys tell me that you want to hear more. I planned on sticking to mostly music stuff here but if enough people want to hear about it, I am not opposed to layin it all out there.