Mmmm…new gear.

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30th, 2006

I present to you, with great pride, the Colon Blower:

New Cab!

The Ampeg SVT-410 HLF. 500 watts. Can go as low as 28Hz. 110 fucking pounds (ouch, my back!).

I’m in love.

I’d been playing through a couple of Carvin cabinets for…i dunno, the past 6 years, and while they’d done a decent job, i’d become unhappy with the tone, had already blown two speakers (the 18″ i replaced, the tweeter i never bothered with), and overall wanted to step up to something better- especially with more shows and time in the recording studio coming up.

With some assistance from Paige, i picked it up from the store, Gelb Music, last Friday, and took it directly to the studio. Of course i hooked it up and tried it out…just to make sure it worked properly and everything. Ended up playing for about an hour. Man is that thing loud. And balanced perfectly. Whereas before, i had to really tweak my EQ settings on both my preamp and head to get any sort of good sound, now i barely have to do any adjusting at all. Amazing.

Other stuff…Zept and i had a nice, low key Dead Turkey Day- cooked for ourselves, had a very nice dinner, watched movies, etc. Later in the long weekend, we caught Casino Royale. I was prepared to be disappointed, but it was rather damn good. Been doing a little writing, some other art project thingies for the band, and plowing through work.

Wow.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 11th, 2006

After being at work for 11 hours, and then having a rather crappy practice as far as my playing goes, i’m in a foul fucking mood. I wonder if i’m PMSing or something.

Okay, it’s geeky.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6th, 2006

But so what. I’m not that into cosplay (although some may argue that point since i tend to go a bit nuts during Hallowe’en), but i gotta admit that these look waaaay cool:

Armoured badasses

More badasses

Black Snake Moan- Johnny V’s, San Jose, CA – 10.1.06

Posted in Uncategorized on October 4th, 2006

Hm. Really not sure where to start with this gig. There had been a cloud of uncertainty regarding it for a while, mostly involving the question of what other bands, if any, would be playing on the bill with us. The only other act more-or-less confirmed was a band from the east coast called Isadora. But we’d been confirmed, so off we go. Johnny V’s (i’d never heard of the place before) turns out to be a (very) small club in downtown- like, 48 listed capacity small. We load in, noting that we’re the only people there besides the soundguy (very affable gentleman named Eagle) in the club. Hmm. No matter. We hang around a bit, and we’re then asked if we wouldn’t mind setting up, since we’re the only band at the club. We leisurely begin to get our gear on stage.

At one point earlier in the evening, Aki had mentioned reading somewhere that Isadora was actually scheduled to play in Ventura, CA. Which is, uh, definitely not San Jose. It’s soon obvious to us that, not only is Isadora not coming to play here, *no* one is playing with us that night. All right…

We set up, and start playing. 9 song set, with a new tune, “The Slow”, right at the beginning. The 8 or so people who were there seemed to dig it. We did okay, not our tightest set, but we had good energy. Extremely small stage, so there wasn’t anywhere to move. Once we were done, and began to break down, we were asked to play our set again! We politely declined, but it was flattering. In the end, whilst this may not have been a great gig as far as attendance goes, we made good contact with the club (who wants us back on a much better night) and with a friend of Aki’s who’s putting together some goth/industrial shows in the south bay.

Oh yeah, one last thing- SJ pigs still suck ass.

Any more Gwen Stefani, and people will die.

Posted in Uncategorized on September 6th, 2006

Starting with her. I will then proceed down the food chain, killing her publicist, producer, handlers, PR company, etc. Just wipe out the whole lot. Fer fuck’s sake, is she trying to out media-whore Paris Hilton? Because i read today that Stefani now has goddamn *dolls* of her coming out. Okay, she has some talent, but she’s only got so much credit with that, and she used it up a loooong time ago.

BSM- Cheers, Vacaville, CA – 8.10.06

Posted in Black Snake Moan on August 24th, 2006

First time playing in this town. We were asked to do this show by the guys in Malcontent, whom we played with at our last show in Concord. We do the load in dance, this time commuting (thanks goes to Gavin and Aki for letting us use their trucks for this), as the drive out there was about an hour each way. Thankfully traffic was light. I was worried that it would be hot enough to boil a monkey’s bum (i’d been checking the temps all day for Vacaville, and it had peaked at 102), but by the time we got there, it had cooled down to a pleasant, warm evening.

Cheers was what you’d expect- a bar with a small stage. Though this time the stage was sort of a blunt cone shape, which the sound guy assured us would allow us to hear each other just fine. Only problem is, we’d have to put our rigs *behind* Gavin and his drum set. Hmm. It ended up working, although later, Aki reported that he couldn’t hear me at all.

The first band was Suffocate the Creep, who unfortunately were lacking a bassist- they attempted to make up for this by doing a more or less acoustic show. Despite this, you could tell that they were really good, and it really made me want to hear them with a fleshed out line up. Next was Forcefed Trauma, who was more of a hardcore act. Really tight. I wish i could’ve heard the bass player more, but his rig was all the way in the back, and he was competing with two guitarists with stacks as big as his.

We were next. Things went a lot smoother this time out, tech-wise. I think we’ve gotten all that stuff ironed out. It’s fun to see how fast we can set up/break down. Playing-wise, too, i think we’ve gotten a lot better in a short amount of time (this being our 5th gig, not counting the Stork show)- we’ve gotten much tighter on stage, and there’s some good interaction going on. It was difficult, though, to judge the crowd reaction.

Would i play there again? Yeah, i think so. It turned out to be more enjoyable than the Concord gig as far as the crowd goes, and the place seems to draw plenty of people.

Vincent is dead right now…

Posted in Uncategorized on June 28th, 2006

Two Saturdays ago, whilst coming home from getting some music gear, Vincent’s engine temp needle started acting weird, jumping all the way to the red and the dummy light started beeping. WTF? Two months in, and i’m already having car problems?

I took Vincent in to our local reputable mechanic (Royal Auto Repair on Lincoln) on Monday morning. They weren’t able to get working on it until Tuesday afternoon. At first, it was suspected that the non-functioning thermostat was the source of the problem. Yay- easy fix, inexpensive parts. No problem. I can pick it up Wednesday. Except that the mechanic discovered that a new thermostat *didn’t* solve the problem, that coolant wasn’t getting to the engine, and it was still overheating. Uh oh. More bumming of rides ensues. Fretting over what may be wrong with Vincent. I get another call Thursday from the shop, saying that they think they’ve figured out what the problem is- another bum sensor in the car. A $12 part, but they’ve got to order it. Crap.

Then Thursday morning, another call- MY HEAD GASKET IS BLOWN AND NEEDS TO BE REPLACED. $1200+ price tag for this repair work, am not getting car back until some time later this week.

AAaaahhHHAAh!!!

However, i remain calm (except for that short outburst). Why? Because the entire thing, except $100 for deductible and $63 for a new timing belt, will be covered by the extended warranty i was smart enough to get when buying the car. Even the towing. Even the rental car i have (just procured today).

Still, i worry. What if this isn’t the last of it? Is this the reason why it was used? I bought it from a dealer, so i shouldn’t have to worry…right? But now i’ve got that seed of doubt in my head. I hate that.

Black Snake Moan- Blake’s, Berkeley, CA – 6.17.06

Posted in Uncategorized on June 23rd, 2006

Car trouble not withstanding, this was a pretty smooth show. I must give a hat tip to Aki for giving myself and my gear a ride to the gig, as my car was mysteriously “overheating” (i suspect it’s really not, but that’s what the idiot light said). We arrived in plenty of time, hauled our gear in, checked in, etc. Usual routine. There was a lot more space in the side area than last time, due to the fact that there were four bands that night instead of five. I quite enjoyed that- none of us felt rushed to get on or off the stage, which is how it typically goes.

It was very nice to see my friend Eric show up- he’s seen me through every single band i’ve been in, and tonight was his first chance to check out BSM. He dug it a lot, and says that he’ll definitely be back for more (he conspicuously never said that when i was in SIFT ;) ). Having him there, and sharing HWB war stories with Steph, Paige, and others was a treat. A weird synchronicity going on, that.

There were less people that night, but those who were there were really into it. People dancing, headbanging…i even couple a couple people who i didn’t recognize singing some of the words. “Tension” got a nice cheer when we started it. The new songs are going over well, too. I didn’t play my best, which pissed me off, and i was slightly out of tune for a couple of songs with my low D string, but i was told after that nobody could notice. I think we got the technical issues licked (although Aki was having some guitar problems as we were starting, but he was able to solve them, so nothing serious).

A Band Called Pain was on after us, and this time i was able to catch their set. Man, those guys are fookin’ good. Really nice people too. I got to chat with a couple of their members, Bryan and Alan, before and after their set. They dug us a lot- i could see all of them watching our set from the side, getting into it. We had some serious talk about doing another show with them, and i hope it happens. They also get bonus points due to their bass player being left-handed too. ;)

All in all, a good night.

Catching up on Memorial Day weekend

Posted in Uncategorized on June 10th, 2006

Had a busy busy busy weekend over Memorial Day. Hookers and blow and martians and bricks and jam…no, wait. That was something else.

WARNING: here be a lot of game geekery talk. Feel free to skip from Friday to Monday if you’re worried your eyes might glaze over.

Friday: Spent the morning doing Con weekend prep- packing, sorting supplies, etc. Then it was off to meet Fergie at Chaosium at around noon. There was already an SUV waiting for us, so i loaded it up with boxes of books and other such goodies whilst Fergie took care of some other stuff. Couple hours later, we arrived at the hotel, unpacked the truck, and got to work at setting the booth up. This time out, we had two large tables- very nice. We ended up using all that space, too.

Now that i’ve been helping out with Chaosium’s booth for the past 2 years or so, i’ve really gotten a sense of the camaraderie that exists between most of the dealers there. You get to know familiar faces, and there’s (by and large) none of the backbiting and petty squabbling that exists in, say, Corporate Slavestate #34. Everyone is working together two common goals: make some money (duh), but more importantly, Have A Fun Time.

At any rate, after about 4pm i took off for home- time to get ready for the Ministry/RevCo show! Dinner and a change, and we were ready. We got to the Fillmore at around 8, parked, and walked in. Not a lot of people when we showed up, but the venue filled up quickly. We met up with a few of our friends there, and at one point saw Jello Biafra walking around! I thought of going up to him and saying something, but at the time the opening band was playing, so i figured we wouldn’t be able to hear each other anyway. Still, i had hopes that he would get on stage at some point, since he’d appeared on both the new Ministry and RC albums, but alas, it was not to be.

RevCo was swell. Al didn’t sing, just played guitar, and had three guest singers join him- one was Luc Van Acker, not sure who the other two were. They put on a great set, though it was mostly comprised of older material- “Beers, Steers, and Queers”, “Let’s Get Physical”, etc.

Ministry was plain brutal. Better than when they played in ’04. Getting Tommy Victor to play lead was a damn smart move on Al’s part- the guy can still shred with the best of ‘em. A good number of songs off the latest album, some from House of the Mole, and some old classics like Stigmata, So What, Pslam 69. I didn’t go into the pit this time- just wasn’t feeling it. I did stay at the edge for part of it, and saw a couple guys go down pretty hard. Ben came away with a swollen jaw and a limp, so it must have been good. And man am i damn glad i remembered to bring my earplugs. Holy FUCK were they loud. Afterwards we hit the “Official After Party” at the DNA…hmmm, sleep?

Saturday: ACK! FUCK! SLEEP! Getting up at 7 to be at KublaCon at 8:30 after not getting to bed until 3am means…uh, 4 hours. Ouch. But dammit, there was a game starting at 9am i wanted to hit, so i dragged myself out of bed, and got to the hotel in plenty of time. Mike Siverling always runs a fun game, and this one was no different. I usually don’t play Traveller anymore- in fact, i never play it except when Mike is GMing one at a Con. Next up was Duane’s “Shambles” RPG game at 3:30. Shambles is essentially a game where you play the part of zombies, and it’s quite a lot of fun. I managed to squick Duane pretty well (he doesn’t have the stomach for most horror movies, yet he writes a game about zombies. Go figure) by taking out some high school cheerleader in a particularly gruesome manner. Once that game finished, i was thoroughly wiped, so i checked into my hotel, wandered around for a bit, and then passed out.

Sunday: Next day was booth duty for me. Fergie was as mellow and as congenial as ever. Lots and lots of people, all of them very nice and…well, they’re gamers. Rare that you’ll meet an asshole amoung them (although they do exist). Tons of t-shirts sold this time around. We had almost 15 different designs to choose from- very popular. I was happy to see many people picking up Secrets of San Francisco (the book i just finished working on). Hell, i even had a few people ask for autographs. Okay, one of them was Damon, but i didn’t know the others, honest!

Once the dealer room closed up at 6, i had time to kill before Duane’s ParanoiaXP session at 8, so i tried a demo of a new board game called Redneck Life. Quite a fun little game, i gotta say. Object of the game is to have the most teeth at the end, as you end up losing teeth through your life path of graduating from school (you could get as much as a high school education, or be as dumb as a 4th grader), geting hitched, divorced, hitched again, spawning multiple kids named Daryl or Bettie Sue, and buying an atrocious car (complete with pix of real vehicles!). Couldn’t finish the game due to time constraints, so i zoomed off to Paranoia. I think about 14 of us were there waiting for him to show up- when he did, he was dressed in lab coat, goggles, the works, completely in character from the start. There was some mass confusion as to who could be allowed in the game- keep in mind that games at cons cap at 8 players per session, and even that is stretching things for a GM. But Duane, ever the trooper, decided that he would forge ahead with 13 of us (kicking one guy out for lying about which order he showed up). Even with some players with no prior Paranoia experience had a grand time. I can’t remember the total number of clone kills, but i believe it was in the neighborhood of 46. Zap!

Finally…sleep, blessed slee- aw shit! Have to get to the dealer room to help Fergie again. Bad night of sleep, so i think i was running on 3 hours. Oooof. Thankfully it was a short shift, as the room closed at noon. Packed up, and just like that, another KublaCon was over and done with. And again, i was left with the feeling that there was so much more i wanted to do, but i just didn’t have the time. One of the reasons why i keep on coming back to KublaCon (and the other two cons that happen locally). Plus it’s fun.

But wait! The weekend STILL isn’t over! Zoomed home, unpacked my crap, then it was off to S.F. to get my left arm filled in by Idexa. Went well, and my forearms are now complete! At the end of the session, i found myself wanting to schedule another session, even though one wasn’t needed. Weird. With that the weekend finally came to a close. And a damn good one it was. I didn’t end up spending that much money at the con- mostly food and hotel. I bought one book (and that was discounted), and one new card game.

Next time, though- no damn show before a con (or in the middle of one, like the last DunDraCon!!)

Dammit.

Posted in Uncategorized on May 25th, 2006

Steph and i just finished watching her DVD of The Dresden Dolls live show. Seeing stuff like that always makes me want to get on stage RIGHT FUCKING NOW AND START PLAYING.

But then i realized that i have a show on the 17th, so i calmed down a bit.

Oh, and DD’s drummer is really fucking good. Amanda ain’t bad either. Good use of dynamics, which hardly anyone seems to know how to use anymore.