Music

My family had only been in LA for three hours before we wound up at Steve Vai’s house for a barbecue. Most of you probably don’t know who that is. Here’s all the information you need.

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He’s the reining king of progressive rock guitar and in case your eyes can’t see awesome stuff, he’s playing that guitar with his tongue. The sweet virtuosity of musical cunnilingus.

I imagine most stories about hanging out at Steve Vai’s house involve LA Gear sneakers and Tabitha Soren passed out in a hanging egg chair.

Not mine.

My wife, two small sons and I romped about Steve’s bachelor pad with two other young families —  including that of Mr. Continue…

Dear Pandora,

You took the idea of the human genome project and applied it to music, right? Songs have a certain genetic code that allows you to group them together in various ways based on their attributes. Say I put in “Manic Monday” by The Bangles. Your algorithm will search the DNA of all the songs ever recorded, find the other ones annoying enough to fuel a genocidal dictator, and create a radio station containing just those songs. Then if you play “Everybody Wang Chung Tonight” by Wang Chung on that station, and I click the thumbs down icon, you’ll adjust your math so it doesn’t play any more songs by bands with fans who drive Fieros and carry nunchucks. Continue…

I feel like Motley Crue, Ratt, and Metallica were the last decent bands. Is that pretty much the same as my grandpa claiming the whole world went to shit after Woody Guthrie died?  I’ve tried so hard. I feel like I’m supposed to like Mumford and Sons and Wilco and all that other stuff, but honestly, it just sounds like people telling long boring stories about growing up in the midwest while someone hits a banjo with a can of beans. I’ve seen bands like that live, and they all seem like they’re practicing for a different show at a later date. Continue…

Rush is realeasing a new album filled with previously recorded but never released tracks. As president of the Rush fanclub, I was provided a track list. The album is titled “Easels for Medusa” which is AWESOME. The track names are vintage Rush, and you can really see Neil Peart’s influence. I hope you’re as excited as I am about this album coming out. I’ve heard rumors that every song is in 11/8 time signature. I’m PUMPED.

EASELS FOR MEDUSA

  1. The Sumerian Hobgoblin
  2. Chronicles of The Owl’s Claw (Alternate: The Shrinking Talons of Lore)
  3. Blankets of Wise Men and Tribes I, II, III, and VII
  4. Barnstormers Pilots and Boysenberries
  5. Gifts of Giza: Ancient Times and Modern Morays
  6. Tears of the Wizard’s Wife
  7. Ricochet Magnets (Drum Solo)
  8. Chronicles of The Owl’s Claw IV – Talons
  9. The Irony Militia: Times and Words
  10. Reflections in a Jasmine Pond: Narcissus’ Ally

Buy My Book! Continue…

Sarah, our 29 year old babysitter, is friends with MANY Greenpoint hipsters. She walked in this morning and asked me, “Jason, who sings Iron Man.” I of course told her it was Black Sabbath. She said, “I knew it! My friend was convinced it was Iron Maiden.”

Huh? I’m sorry, but that’s just not something you’re allowed to screw up. The only thing that makes me more upset is when people think Asia sang Africa. I basically just go insane and start screaming Toto until everyone walks away whispering “He really thinks it’s Toto, but I’m pretty sure it was Asia”

Now I have a new infuriating mistake people apparently make. Continue…

The show lasted only 15 minutes. I knew I was in for something special when the band ran on the stage an hour late wearing only hockey masks. Have you ever seen a naked man in the hockey mask? Have you ever seen 4 at the same time? I pray you never have to. Most of us were more than a little scared. Those who weren’t were young men who had already died inside. They rushed to the front of the stage where one of them was promptly thumped in the face by a guitar that appeared to already be crusted with blood. Continue…

I didn’t think Fishbone had a prayer after Primus had just destroyed the room. This was right after “Suck on This” came out and I was punching myself in the face during “Jerry was a Race Car Driver.” There was about 18 months there in 1992 when Les Claypool and Jay Lane (drummer) were melting my soul nightly. So when I went to the Newport Music hall, I was there to see Primus, not the lame ass headlining ska band  Fishbone.

I nearly left after Primus made my music cock burst, but I was d to the drunk so I stumbled away from the pit and saddled up my attitude at the back bar.   Continue…

One ridiculous Wednesday night in 1992 my band in college was the opening act for Fugazi.

Her name was Alice Miller and she lived for any band on the Dischord Records label (a label started by Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye). She wasn’t a shaved-head straight edge chick with tackle dangling from her face, she was a doe eyed blonde liberal arts college student in Ohio, who just happened to be plugged into everything that was cool. Fugazi was always very selective about where they would play and Columbus Ohio never seemed to make the cut. At the time, they were one of the only bands that would circumvent Ticketmaster and sell tickets at the door of the venue for only $5. Continue…

This morning I had the pleasure of recording a Blue Potatoes show. I went to a concert at 9:30AM. Sure, it was a concert for kids, coordinated so as not to interfere with any napping schedules, but no one should be required to warm up their didgeridoo before lunch. Yes, there was a didgeridoo, and yes, it sounded out of place during a face melting rendition of The Itsy Bitsy Spider.

The best thing about kid’s bands is that they’re comprised of two types of musicians; those who actually tried and eventually gave up on a real music career, and those who never cared enough about the art to even consider playing music for adults. Continue…

The first time I heard it was in late 1991 in Brad Swiniarski’s Dodge Daytona. That’s pretty bold of Dodge to name their shittiest car after the world’s most famous Nascar race. Or were they being funny naming it after the world’s worst spring break destination. The Dodge Daytona was like the drunk shirtless rapey frat boy who ages really poorly. This particular Daytona might have even been a soft top. I know, just when you were thinking it couldn’t get more awesome.

Soundgarden’s  Badmotorfinger is, to me, the best album ever made. Yes, I understand there are other great albums, Led Zeppelin IV ( I know, it’s technically unnamed), Rolling Stones Exile on Main Street, Guns and Roses Appetite for Destruction, Gloria Estafan’s Greatest Hits. Continue…