Thursday, December 07, 2006

Giant Shrimp Attacks Dog

This is a video of a flying giant shrimp attacking my dog Curry. This will be on the upcoming Crappy Kitchen episode "Trip to Tom's Cabin, Vol. 1" If you want to check out the "Spanish Rice" episode of the Crappy Kitchen, click on "September" under "Archives" and scroll down until you see it. Click on the forward arrow.


Back in May 2003, a couple months after I bought a digital video camera, I decided it might be cool to tape the leaves growing on a branch which hung over the railing of the deck where I lived. I would film a few seconds a day until the leaves were full.
On about the third or fourth day I discovered a Robin had laid 4 blue eggs in a nest that was tangled in black cable on a low shelf of a table on the deck. Needless to say the focus of the movie shifted from the branch to the Robins nest.
In about 9 days the chicks went from eggs, to fully grown Robins ready to take on the world. During that time I captured some insane footage, and learned how the Mother Robin keeps the nest clean. Here it is, finally! Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Cool guitar tunings to try

I love experimenting with different guitar tunings. It's fun to take everything you know about how to make chords in standard tuning (eadgbe) and throw it out the window. I began experimenting with different guitar tunings very soon after I started to learn how to play. One of the first I fooled around with was one I made up, although I'm sure it's been used before, I just have never seen it used anywhere else. It's (dadabe) The problem is tuning the g up to an a, careful, I've had the string snap many times when tuning up. The reason I ended up with this tuning is I couldn't reach a particular chord I was trying to hit unless I tuned the G up an A, and I was already in drop D.

One tuning that I've really enjoyed screwing around with lately is based on the G "mali" tuning. E up to G, A down to G, D,G, B and E stay the same. Pretty simple!(ggdgbe) This is basically a g-major 6 tuning and you can use both g's as a powerful drone while you go nuts on the strings above. Tweak the b down to a b-flat and now you have a g-minor with a mean sounding tri-tone on top(ggdg b-flat e) Now, for yet another cool sound, tweak the e up a half step to an f. Now you have (ggdg b-flat f) which is a g minor 7th chord.

I love experimenting with different tunings on a banjo as well, but I'm not going to go into that right now, just tune the b up to c for a sus4 sound known as the "high and lonesome sound." This was a common tuning used by pickers in the appalachian mountains around the turn of the century. (gdgcd)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tinarowen cool intro

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Tinariwen Web Site
Tinarowen is a super cool band that plays "Mali blues" in the vain of artists such as Ali Farke Toure and Lobi Troure.
The guitars are often tuned to open G tuning (gadgbd) and the music is usually fairly simple structurally, yet often times extremely hypnotic. Check out this brief example of one of their tunes, sorry I don't know the name of it, it's from a mix Tinarowen mix tape a freind gave to me.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The good ole'cell phoneless days

I decided to see how many people were on cellphones while taking my 10 minute walk to class. I decided to count the 1st 5 females and 1st 5 males. Out of the females that I walked by, 4 we're on their phones. Out of the 5 males, 1 was on his cellphone. It makes me miss the 80s because no one had cellphones then. I don't know why it irritates me, it just does. People were less oblivious to their surroundings and less likely to be tangled up in a pointless conversation while walking to wherever they're going. Maybe the conversation is meaningful and important, but I highly doubt it in almost every case. At least the person on the phone looks like they have something they need to talk about and someone to listen.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

2 great songs by Janes Addiction

I've got my negativity band bashing out of my system with the blog a few days ago. I will now begin a never ending series of positivity blogs entitled: "2 great songs by (artist)"
It will name 2 great songs by a particular artist and breifly, or maybe not so briefly, explain why I think they are great songs. My first entry is 2 great songs by Jane's Addiction. The first one is "Stop" off of " Ritual de lo habitual" 1990 I think. For me this song captures that fear in the back of my mind that I have had since I was about in 7th grade when I was told by someone that the USA and Russia have enough bombs to blow up the world many times over. In 8th grade in a political Science class we saw a film called "Fail Safe"
about the US accidentally dropping a nuke on Moscow, and them retaliating by sending a nuke to New York. From that day I could never get it out of my mind. It didn't leave me numb or anything but is was an unwaivering fear that I lived with. I would always have nightmares of walking outside and seeing a mushroom cloud coming from the direction of the Minneapolis skyline which was about 15 miles from my house at the time. I would hear a voice screaming, "France did it" Anyway to make a short story long, the song "Stop" encompasses that feeling of seeing the world heading in a direction where almost no one wants it to go and there ain't a damn thing you can do about it. Well maybe there is we just haven't figured it out yet. Luckily most of us aren't curled up in the fetal position in the corner of a room in a mental ward weeping "The End is near" So go on with your life and basically just don't be an asshole, you know like those EnRon ceo types. Anyway, back to the song, here are a couple lines in the song that are most memoreable for me... "Save the complaints for party conversation. The world is loaded. It's lit to pop and nobody is gunna stop"
and during the trippy slow part, my favorite line..."One come a day the water will run no man will stand for things that he had done, hurrah!! And the water will run"
The other great song is off of "Nothing's Shocking" called "Ocean size" I won't go into detail as much about this one, but I love the lyrics and what it symbolizes...
"Wish I was Ocean size, they cannot move you man no one tries" Anyway, that's enough for now.

Janes Addiction Web Site

Friday, October 13, 2006

Pop music at an all time low, thanks Clear Channel

I told myself I was going to avoid being negative and or cynical about information in my blogs but I can't help it, I have to vent. A theory has been forming in my brain lately and it goes something like this. Nirvana in my opinion was the most important band in terms of popping the hair metal band bubble of the late 80s. It had become so ridiculous by 1990 with bands like Cinderella, Europe, Sherrif, etc etc that it had become painfulfully obvious that something had to give, and it gave thank god!!
Nirvana was not however the only band to help put this metal pop hairband glam fake predictable horridness out of it's misery. Bands like Jane's Addiction, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden were all important factors in the hair metal demise.
This brings me to my theory, I believe we are now living in an era of equally pointless, predictable, unimportant, faceless, derivitive bands that sound like regurgitated corporate made to appeal to the mass insipid consumer pallette.
I really do not wish to offend anyone but I can't sugarcoat this. Bands like Knickelback, 3 Doors down, and Hinder are among the bands I'm talking about.
This music is not about chemistry, or creativite musical ideas or great lyrics. It's not about well crafted songs either. It's about music created for the sole purpose of following a sellable musical formula that will appeal to the masses and sell tons of records. For instance, the"new" Jon Bon Jovi? What is that? Have you heard any of it? It sounds like Brooks and Dunn or something. I could go on and on about this.
I'm just hoping that someone comes along to burst this "Wimp Grunge" or whatever you want to call it bubble. Something has to give. I'm not confident that it will though. It just seems that the masses are so clueless when it comes to music. One ray of hope though, of all the 57 kids in Central MN School of rock this year ages 11-18, not one of the bands wanted to do any Knickelback or Hinder. The thing is there are so many amazing current bands that are out there, they just never get played on Clear Channel radio. AHA!! Maybe that's it!! Clear Channel, it's all their fault. Just do yourself a favor and go check out some Modest Mouse or Radiohead. Two of the many bands that still make great music and write great songs in my humble opinion. If you're a big fan of any of the bands I dissed, I sincerely apologize.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

file size consideration & a good mix

When mixing music it's almost crucial that the listener/mixer is hearing the mix from multilple point of views. For example...
(1)Big stereo hi fi speakers.(2) Most importantly, reliable, true, unbiased, near fields like my favorite's, Yamaha NS 10s. (3)Last but not least, lo fi speakers via boombox or anything that's crappy that can be hooked into your current system. The listener should be able to toggle between these options, this way you can come close to covering the extremes in what is available in audio quality, from lo-fi to hi-fi, and keeping it as real as possible.
I feel the same theory should be taken into consideration when posting stuff on the internet...
Assume that what you want to make available can be accessed by anyone in some way shape or form.
Think about the person that has a weak pre-2000 computer. Can they access at least part of it? Is it impossible? Is there anything you can do to compress the space of the file so it will be easier to open on an old pc?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Kill Rock Stars

I was very curious and really wanted to hear some of these, but no luck. Hopefully by the end of class today I will know what I need to do to check this stuff out.

Kill Rock Stars

SCSU Podcast Resources

This is a local site which is a good guide to local podcast resources.
Once again had trouble getting anything to play that I checked out. Hope to get this cleared up in class.

SCSU Podcast
SCSU Podcast Resources

Monday, October 02, 2006


I was having trouble finding anything that would play, this loaded and played. I can't really get into music that literally screams with a bleeding heart, "the end is soon. what about the people that are starving and dying in the wars funded by giant corporate greed etc, etc." Art/Poetry/Music says much more to me if it doesn't simply restate the obvious. Leave a little to the imagination please. This is cool though, this is what I want to be able to do, as far as broadcasting live from a location.

gallery podcast

Neil Podcast

After reading up a bit on the subject, through a yahoo site, the first podcast I decided to check out was from my favorite songwriter, Neil Young

Neil Young

What I want to be able to do

What I want to be able to do by the time this class is over in December is this:

1) Be able to have every song I've ever written and recorded available on this blog site so anyone could at anytime click on the song title and hear the song, and download for free any song they want. If there is a way so that when they click on the song, the lyrics automatically appear as the song starts to play, that would be super cool. I know this would take a lot of work, but it's something I want to do. It would be cool if somewhere on my website,
Hazzy web site You could automatically link to this blog so I could put something like, "Hear my music" and click on it and it would bring you there. I'm still pretty clueless but hope to become progressivly less clueless as the weeks pass.

2) I would also like to be able to know how to do a live podcast so that if I'm doing an upcoming solo show, anyone in the world could watch and hear it live. I have no idea at this point how to go about this, but I hope to learn how, if it's possible and I'm sure it is. If anyone has any advice I would appreiate it.

This is really a cool class and I feel really fortunate that there are only 4 kids in the class. This is my final semester at St Cloud State, consisting of 2 classes. The history of R&R, the largest class I have ever had w over 450 students and this class, the smallest class I have ever had. That's it for now.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Creativity and inspiration during hard times

I wonder why, to me, some of my most productive periods of time writing songs were during some of the most difficult times in my life. I think it's true for many artists that some of their best material is fueled by hard times. I haven't really written any good songs as far as I'm concerned in about 2 years. The last songs that I wrote that I consider worthy of ears were written during a difficult time when I was going through a divorce from a 7 year marriage. I think inspiration for me comes in waves. The question is, would I rather be void of difficult times and not have the fuel for inspired music, or have hard times and as a consolation, great music coming to me from the sky. Well, I don't think you can think of it that way. For now, being a satisfied person void of hard times is fine. Let's just say I'm not going to look for a serious relationship and purposely sabatoge it, just so I can have some fuel for good music. Hard times come to everyone whether you like it or not. It's part of life and whatever constructive way a person uses to cope with those times with their art, music or whatever, that's a good thing. Knowing that creating a song or piece of art may help to ease someone elses pain a little, helps.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Mikes Guitar Site

Mikes Guitar Site

This blog contains links for guitar tabs from hundreds of bands, links to guitar videos, lessons, almost anything you can imagine that has anything to do with guitar

Fela Kuti, king of afro pop

Fela Kuti(1938-97)

Fela was one of the most outspoken african musicians of all time. It's amazing how few people have heard of him. His songs are very political, often exposing the corruption of the Nigerian government and in the process getting him into a lot of trouble. The tunes usually start with a bass line that repeats the same line, for sometimes up to 20 minutes while guitars, saxophones, percussion, keys and vocals build layers that lead the songs into dynamic crescendo's that leave fans spellbound. Check out this site and treat yourself to some of this hynotic music. For other sites just google Fela Kuti. Fela

Monday, September 18, 2006



Check out this band from the Southern sahara region called "Tinariwen." Their music is a combination of afro-pop and blues from the Mali region. Many of the songs are based on call and response where the lead singer sings out a phrase and then is echoed by a chorus of voices repeating the same line. Absolutely hypnotic, powerful music!! I wish I knew what they were saying, that would make it even more interesting for me. I'm not sure what language they speak, I think it's Algerian, but not 100% sure. Check it out!

This is a cutting edge site as far as seeing what's out their as far as new digital equipment goes. The site does a good job of explaining the capabilities and limitations of the technolagy available.

School of Rock

This is offered to kids n Central MN through the Central Mn Music School!
It's an absolute blast! This is the 2nd year for School of Rock!
It'.s for kids between the ages of 11-18.
Check out some of the video's from this years performance at Apollo High School.

Jimmyography is a site run by James T. Hoffman, self proclaimed "Jimmyography"
Jimmy creates videos for nite clubs, bands and also co produces the crappy kitchen

The Crappy Kitchen"/>
which is a cooking show that runs on cable access in the central MN area.

I'ts easy to get lost in "jimmyography" There are a lot of places to go to and check out. Jimmy also has many videos on you tube to check out.
Check out the "Spanish Rice" episode. Awesome dish!!

Soul vs Souless

I would say a couple of the bands that I like but consider fairly souless are Steely Dan and Yes. Both bands have incredible musicians and create arrangements that are mind blowing, but never seem to scream out to me from the soul. A funny quote from Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols that I heard one time was "they (bands like Yes, and Emerson Lake and Palmer) act like they are so sophisticated when really all they are are a bunch of college graduates twanging and bashing slowly and miserably!" It doesn't totally make sense but it rolls off the tongue pretty well.
As far as white bands/musicians that aren't really considered to be "blues" or "soul" music but still have soul and great dynamic intensity in my opinion are the Doors and Neil Young. There are many other examples that I could give of bands on both sides of the soul and souless spectrum, but this is just my mind wandering at 4:30 in the morning, and I don't feel like elaborating. I'll let these cuts do my elaborating for me. Good but souless..."Peg" by Steely Dan. Great and soulful..."When the Music's Over" by the Doors, especially live. I think maybe I'll talk about Bands that are great live but not in the studio and vise versa sometime, but not now. Gotta go.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

What makes a great piece of music.

I often find my mind wandering thinking about what exactly makes me feel that a particular song or piece of music is great. There is both the lyrical and musical aspect of it. As a songwriter, it's both inspiring and frustrating to hear an amazing song. For example, the song; "A Day in the Life" by the Beatles. In my opinion, this is the Beatles masterpiece. I find myself thinking, "How could anyone come up with a song that f'ing amazing?" The frustrating part is I'm also thinking to myself, there is no way in your wildest dreams that you will ever write a song that good. Sad but true.
I think the best songs are the ones that seemingly fall out of the sky into the minds of musicians. The key is having the ability to turn that moment of "insperation" into a great song. The polar opposite of this are songs that are both lyrically and musically predictable. Songs that follow an already exhisting template. Music fabricated by well to do uninspired musicians who's sole purpose is to make a bunch of cash selling their image more than making original music. It's like a Rubics Cube. They can change the colors, but it will always be a Cube.

I couldn't really grasp what this person was strving for. It seemed like I was in a booth at a restaurant having dinner wth people that really couldn't relate to.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

1+1 blog
Very insightful

city of sound blog
Didn't checked it out yet
crappy kitchen website


Finally learning how to do this. Nothing much more to say. Brain dead today.