Tag: Music

Drum Time Playlist

I decided that for tonight (and Saturday’s) drum time (my affectionate name for when I play my drums), I will make a special playlist, containing some of my favorite songs, and some that I haven’t played before.

I know you’re dying to know, so here’s what I’ll be playing along with for my next two sessions:

  • Passenger – Deftones & Maynard James Keenan
  • Come Undone (Cover) – Adrenaline Mob (featuring Lzzy Hale of Halestorm)
  • Brother – Alice in Chains
  • Breathe (2 A.M.) – Anna Nalick
  • Cover Me – Candlebox
  • Far Behind – Candlebox
  • Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen
  • The Red – Chevelle
  • She Said – Cinder
  • Clean My Wounds – Corrosion of Conformity
  • The Downfall of Us All – A Day to Remember
  • Arterial Black – Drist
  • Barely Breathing – Duncan Sheik
  • White Rabbit – Egypt Central
  • Where Did You Go – Full Devil Jacket
  • Levitate – Hollywood Undead
  • 2 Minutes to Midnight – Iron Maiden
  • Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson
  • San Francisco – Madam Adam
  • Dyers Eve – Metallica
  • Everywhere – Michelle Branch
  • Cemetery Gates – Pantera
  • Purple – Pop Evil
  • Look In My Eyes – Rains
  • Bully – Shinedown
  • Wait and Bleed – Slipknot
  • What do I Have To Do? – Stabbing Westward
  • 22 – Taylor Swift
  • If You Could Only See – Tonic
  • Not Enough – Van Halen
  • Fallen – Volbeat
  • Shoot It Out – 10 Years

As you can see, quite the eclectic playlist.  I jump from Taylor Swift to Slipknot to Metallica to Michelle Branch.  Why? Glad you asked.  For one, it keeps a drummer versatile to be able to play along to various styles of music. Sure, I could just slam my head to pure metal the entire time I’m playing.  But there’s only so far that style of music can take you.  By adding in some pop and mellow tracks, it helps me be improvisational.  I don’t play those types of tracks note for note, but instead put my own spin on them, making them more fun, but also keeping me on my toes.

Classics like Dyers Eve and Cemetery Gates are just fun to play.  Of the 33 songs I put on this playlist, 22 I’ve never played before. So this should be interesting!

Have any suggestions that I should add?  I’m not leaving for drum time for 6 more hours, and will gladly take requests. (You’ll just have to trust me that I’ve played your requested song, unless you want to hike into the city at 5pm.)

Drums = Exercise

Ever since I moved in May of last year, my drums have been at a music complex about half an hour from my apartment. Not ideal, and certainly not as cushy as I had it when I lived in my house. But it is what t is, and that’s the best I’ve got for right now.

Up until this week, I’d only been going there once a week, usually on Friday nights after work. They recently changed their hours, so they’re open much earlier all the time, so it’s slightly easier to go on Saturday morning. It’s also a lot quieter on Saturday mornings, too. Friday nights are hit or miss. Since there’s close to 100 rooms in the place, sometimes I get there and there’s no bands rehearsing. Sometimes there’s a bunch. And as soundproof as they built the place, it’s still pretty loud. Thankfully once I put my headphones in and start playing, it’s tough to hear any other musicians, so that’s okay. I think, but haven’t confirmed, that I’m l the only musician there that’s not in a band and just plays for fun. That’s probably because of the fact that the place is kind of pricey if you’re by yourself. Since most of the other renters are in bands, they get to split the costs between them, whereas I’m by myself.

Starting this week, I’m going three times a week. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning. Not only does this make financial sense, but it’s good for my mentality and physicality, as well. It’s no secret that I’m out of shape, and have been for years. And it’s also me secret that I can’t go to the gym consistently. The only form of exercise over the years that I’ve ever been able to manage has been my drums. So why not take advantage of it?

I got myself an iPad mount a few weeks ago, which has worked wonders. I used to,play along to my iPhone in my pocket, but that wasn’t working out so well. If a song came on that I didn’t want to play, I’d have to reach into my pocket and take the iPhone and change the track. Which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when you’re trying to play along to songs that may start instantly, it’s too to get the iPhone back in your pocket before the song starts. Now the iPad sits gingerly to to the left of my hi-hats at a height that I can not only always see what’s playing, but I can reach over and swipe to the left or right to change tracks. It works out way better this way.

Here’s a gallery of my drums. Because this post is really long right now, and your eyes could use a break from reading. And because you’re probably curious about what it looks like if you haven’t seen it before.

I’ve also been experimenting trying to play some songs that I’ve never tried before. I’ve always tried to stick to albums and songs that I was confident I could play, but that’s getting kind of boring. So why not try new stuff? I’ve got a playlist on the iPad that’s just called Drums, with tons of songs that I either know I can play, or that I want to try to play.

People often ask “Can you learn to play this song?” And drumming isn’t really something that you can learn. Either you hear what the drummer in the song is doing, or you don’t. Granted, you could read the sheet music, and play it note for note the way the composer did, but that’s usually not likely. More often than not, you just play along to what you hear. You may get to a part that’s hard to hear or too complex, and you improvise. Most of drumming is improvising. At least the way I play it is.

I’ve had this particular drum kit for almost a year and a half now. I bought it for myself in September of 2011, as a birthday gift to myself. It’s my dream color, Pearl’s Ocean Sparkle. I’m a hit miffed that there’s two different shades of blue, but it happens. I got such a good deal on Craigslist, I couldn’t really complain. Perhaps some day I’ll replace the mismatched drums wit matching ones. The issue is that they don’t make this particular line or color anymore, so I’d have to custom order them. Price isn’t a big deal, but there’s around an 8 month wait for custom ordered drums from Pearl.

In short, or to sum this whole thing up rather, I’m going to start playing more. Not just because it makes me feel good, but because its good for me. I love drums.

New Design, New Content

I’ve been looking for a new theme for this site for a while. And I’m honestly too lazy to make my own from scratch, so I found this one. Modified it a bit to suit my needs, and voila. Here we are.

I’ve added back in the “Music” section, which isn’t complete yet, but it’s almost all of the lyrics to songs I’ve written in my lifetime.  I haven’t written in years, and I’m hoping seeing all of my past stuff on the site every time I come to will inspire me to write something new.

So, there you have it.  Read away. Comments are turned off for the lyrics, but feel free to send me a message if you’ve got any feedback, or even comment on this post.

Note of warning, try not to read anything from the ’90s, I was just a kid and wrote cheesey meaningless crap back then.  2000 and 2001 were good years for me, at least I think so.  Anyway, enjoy. Or not.

iTunes Genius Mixes

As big of a music fan as I am, I’m horrible at using the “features” of iTunes.

I use it to rip music, and store it.  Between Christine and I, we’ve got just over 80 gigs of music, which is all digital now. (I’m sure there’s plenty more CDs I opted not to rip, when I ripped ‘everything’ we own.)

I have one playlist, and I only created that so I could sync it to my iPhone.

I’m a terrible iTunes user. I know.

I’m home alone this weekend, and just upgraded to iTunes and decided to give this “Genius Mix” thing a shot.  I’m usually too impatient to wait for it to finish “delivering” results.  After all, it takes a while for iTunes to index that much music.

I let it finish (it took about 6 minutes or so), and have to say it’s pretty accurate.  It created 12 playlists for me. 12 Genius Mixes, I should say.  Here’s what it grouped, based on the 4 albums it makes thumbnails out of:

  • Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Green Day, Nickelback
  • Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Aerosmith
  • Disturbed, Dream Theater, Metallica, System of a Down
  • Foo Fighters, No Doubt, Lifehouse, (more) No Doubt
  • Kelly Clarkson, Christina Aguilera, Madonna, David Cook
  • Bon Jovi, Tesla, Firehouse, Poison
  • REO Speedwagon, Billy Talent, Waltham, Hits of the ’80s
  • Van Halen, Queens of the Stone Age, Journey, Guns ‘n’ Roses
  • Linkin Park, Papa Roach, Limp Bizkit
  • Katy Perry, Jason Mraz, Howie Day, Teddy Geiger

Not bad mixes.  It’s certainly better than just playing all 13,000 tracks on random and skipping ten in a row, till I find something I like.

I’m gonna give the Genius Mixes the benefit of the doubt and let them play for a while.

2009 is here

It’s true what they say, the older you get, the faster the years go by.   I can barely remember 2008. It seems to have gone by so fast.   I’m not complaining, just pointing it out.

Another new year brings all sorts of new things, for a lot of people. New Year’s Resolutions are a big thing, of which I made quite a few, and am doing okay 6 days into the year.   That’s a good thing.

I’ve begun the official job hunt yesterday.   Now that the end of the year’s happened, more people will be filling open jobs, and I’ve got to get one pretty soon.   As much design work as I’ve been doing the last 6 weeks, I’m getting pretty bored sitting at home all day.   Hopefully something good comes along soon.

As you may have read in an earlier post, I’ve been typing up buttloads of lyrics over the last few months.   I’m about halfway done.   I think, at last check, I had completed the J lyrics.   And am going alphabetically. So it’ll be a while longer before anyone can get to that page, and read some of them. (Unless Google already indexed the hidden page, and you happen to search for something I’ve written about.)

There’s still been no update on the Peerflix/LiveUniverse situation.   I’m giving them to the end of the month to contact me to pay me, or I’m going to Channel 5’s “Buyer Beware” to see if they’ll do a piece on the situation.   From what I’ve read, there’s at least 60 people that have been vocal about being screwed out of money.

We launched the new design on MovieSnobs back in late December, ahead of schedule. I think it came out pretty nice, and there’s a bunch of new feature which I’m proud of.   It may look pretty similar to the last design we had, and that’s intentional.   It’s just more streamlined now, with more information, and a better UI to help find stuff faster on the site. (At least I think so, anyway.)

That’s about all I can update on my life right now.   Not much else is going on in the life of me.

Another Year

Another year’s passed, another birthday has hit.   Man, time flies.

You may have noticed that the “music” section of the website’s gone.   You’re not dillusional, it really is gone.   I took it down, while I redo it.   I started typing up the lyrics to all of the songs I’ve written.

It was misleading before, since there were only 12 songs up there, that were the 12 most recent.   In actuality, I think I’ve written well over a thousand.   I’ll know for sure, once I’m done typing them all.

As it stands now, they’re in various manila folders and hanging file folders on the floor in our office at home.   I’ve typed up about 30 so far, and haven’t had time to keep going, with all the other things going on.   I’ll get there, I promise.

Other than that, status quo.   Websites are still going well, working a redesign for MovieSnobs that’s about 70% done.   Rock Band 2 still kicks ass.   Christine still loves her job.

Life is good.   Nay, life is great.   And “Chuck” comes back tonight, and I love that show.   Now, if I can fix my internet at home, and get onto XBox Live to see what this big update today was, I’ll be happy.   Hopefully it’s the Netflix integration, which’d rule, since I just signed back up last week.   Online streaming is pretty bad-ass.

Thank You Harmonix

I’ve been waiting for the day that Harmonix would realize that releasing a Dream Theater song for Rock Band is a good idea.   That day came yesterday, via downloadable content (not to mention that there’ll be a Dream Theater song on the disc for Rock Band 2, according to the website.)

As any good Dream Theater fan would (I’ve got 30+ of their CDs), I immediately turned on the XBox 360 when I got home from work last night, and began feverishly downloading the new track pack (as I do most every Tuesday.)

My cockiness got the best of me: “I can do this on Expert, no problem.”   After all, John Petrucci’s only one of the best guitar players on the planet. No problem.

Saved by the wife.
Fail again.
“I can’t friggen do this, I gotta practice it.”

Dream Theater – Constant Motion is not for the faint of heart.   If you download it, good luck.   If you’re not a full time Rock Band pro, don’t bother trying expert on any instrument.   It’s not happening.

Why did Harmonix make some of the new downloadable songs so difficult? Simple.   Because they can.   Making songs that are extremely difficult, that don’t impact the outcome of the actual “career” mode of the game, make people strive to be better without making the game impossible to beat.

Well done, Harmonix.   I look forward to Rock Band 2.   Oh, and please hire my wife for the Production Assistant job she interviewed for.   Thanks.