Archive for the ‘Killiam’ Category

Let’s Talk Turkey

Want!

I did my usual southern trip to Virginia for Thanksgiving recently and hit all the major tour stops: my grandmother’s house in Harrisonburg, my brother’s house in Arlington, Mom’s house in Woodbridge, and both Cassie’s parent’s house and Dad’s house in Clifton. Yep, as usual, it was a whirlwind but I had a lot of fun.

Right after work Wednesday (the 24th) I grabbed a MegaBus for DC. Yes, I’ve commented in the past about my woes with this infernal franchise, but all of the Bolt buses (my preferred means of travelling between states) were booked and I wasn’t about to pay $200 for an overcrowded train ride. Luckily, we didn’t crash into any bridges and I made it to downtown DC in pretty decent time.

El Stevedore did his usual bang up job of picking me up and we crashed at his place. Then it was a crack-of-dawn drive to H-burg where we met up with all of the Mills. We played a lot of tv show trivia games (Seinfeld, Full House and Saved by the Bell) and I ate a ton of stuffing and then I drove mom’s car back to her place (where I fed Mila and then promptly fell asleep! What a cool Thursday night!!!!!).

Maybe it was for the best as Friday was designated TJHSST reunion night! I had gone to my tenth year reunion last year and this year was Cassie’s so a lot of the pressure was off me (I admit to a last-minute 3-mile run before heading out last year), but I still recognized many faces and found myself in awkward conversation. Unfortunately, the class of 2000 had a strange and contested history of getting this bash together and, with such little planning, had only managed to book the event for 3 hours. So, at the strike of … 11pm (!?!?!) the place closed and everyone was pushed out into the cold Clarendon streets.

Of course, the drunk Colonials demanded more reunions so Cassie and I shuttled between several bars (in freezing weather, may I remind you!!!) to continue drinking and socializing. It was a fun night out, but I definitely broke my no-cold status of 2010 (that’s right, I went almost 11 full months without a cold).

Saturday was reserved for the Man Cave – where Steve(r) and I tried out Dad’s new PS3 move. I have to admit I liked it a lot better than his old Wii, even if it does reek of “late to the party.” But, it’s just another display of how Sony makes video games and Nintendo is in the toy business. Anyway, after a couple hours of revelry we went to his local haunt, the Bonefish Grill with Cassie and Karen in tow. Then Steve, Cassie and I headed back out to Clarendon where we grabbed a whole bunch of friends (the Cretzes, the Joneses, Michelle and Richard Killiam 🙂 ) and had an awesome night. Yes, even though Richard spilled his beer into my chair!

My final day in Virginia was spent shopping with Mom and making the obligatory pilgrimage to the Olive Garden. Then, one final sleepless night with Ripley later, I headed back to New York. I was exhausted, but glad to be back in the Big Apple.

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Virginia: Ever Been There?

Over the weekend I traveled down to Virginia (again) for a wedding and to hang out with as much people as I knew down there (a lot). There’s just to much to tell really, and it’d make a long, boring blog so I’ll do a few, quick highlights:

Virginia! Home of the Bowman!Bolt Bus: Always an Adventure!
Whenever taking a busride you’re really taking sanity into your hands and this trip was no different. The guy sitting next to me and his friends sitting in the seats in front of me proceeded to get drunk for the entire 5 hours we were on the road. Luckilly, I came equipped with both my iPod and laptop to distract me from their rowdy revelry.

Virginia! Home of the Bowman!The Hechtman Nuptials
The reason I left New York in the first place! Cassie and I arrived at Cherry Hill farmhouse in Falls Church, VA (didn’t know it even existed even though I used to be in the area all the time visiting Brandon’s first apartment) actually on time (!!) and proceeded to watch David Hechtman – yes, this same David Hechtman – get married! It was wild, but actually a very easy, breezy wedding. In fact, as soon as the ceremony was over it was instantly the reception! And, unlike most of the weddings I’ve been to, even though I didn’t know many people there, I actually had a pretty good time.

Virginia! Home of the Bowman!The Justice League of Couples
As famously named by El Stevedore, Cassie, Brandon and I set up a meeting of the couples for after the wedding. We three met up with Stever, Elise and Katie (Anthony and Joy were unable to come) at Faccia Luna in Arlington (“right by Dr. Demo’s (sic)” quoth the Jones). It actually was pretty shitty pizza but great company. After about two hours of eating and gabbing, we decided to carry the party back at the new Casa de Jones. Even though this was my first time seeing the new apartment, I actually had been to their building before – visiting someone some years ago that I know forget.

Virginia! Home of the Bowman!Enter: Killiam!
And it wouldn’t have been a party at the Jones’ without a little French injection (if you know what I mean 😉 )!!! Richard showed up wearing a velcro shirt that he alerted everyone to, and too-tight pants that Cassie alerted to him. We all wasted many hours swapping high school and college stories, surfing the YouTube internets and drinking many a Brandon Roman Coke! It was a great time, and ended on a high note when Richard passed out with one eye open!

Virginia! Home of the Bowman!The SteverUnderground
I was lucky enough to score a couch in the famed basement in which Stever dwells. However, there was a steep price to pay for this luxury as I was bombarded with 3 episodes of late-season Full House. Using this subterr-steveran area as a Virginia headquarters I was able to come and go as I pleased, including a mother’s day visit to Woodbridge.

Well, I survived yet another “trip around the corner” to Virginia. How’d you guys fare through this boring blog?

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Current Mood: Lookin’ Your Way, Big Boy! emoticon Lookin’ Your Way, Big Boy!

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This Game is Stupid

Foursquarin'

… but I’m playing it. In foursquare, all you do is check into places you go to – your house, restaurants, parks, etc. The GPS functionality of the iPhone verifies your location and you use these check-ins to earn achievements. If you are the person who has checked into a place the most you become the mayor of it (I’ve heard some establishments will grant their foursquare mayor with discounts). You can also earn badges which is the only game-like characteristic of the game (and what’s keeping me “playing” it) – where you have to check-in at 4 bars in one night, or 10-gyms in a month, etc. It’s all really stupid, but it’s simple and addicting.

Besides that stupid little video game, though, I was in a life of hell. Luckily, that hell is over – I think – and I can begin to breathe again. I actually worked 12 days straight on a project at work (which has to be my career high) and finally had this weekend off. Almost immediately after discovering I’d have this weekend actually free from work I was notified Hurricane Killiam was going to be blowing into New York. Even though I was pretty tired, we still had a good time.

Friday night we met really late since I had band practice (I swear I’ll do a band report post soon!) and didn’t get home until 11ish. Then Richard, Cassie and I hit up a nearby place called Swig and, of course, got drunk and talked about old high school and college gossip. The next day, Richard went to grab some brunch with another friend of his but returned to our apartment to do some more bar hopping.

Before we left, however, Richard demanded to pull out year-old foie gras that he had gifted to us during his last visit. Along with some fig bread (regular bread with figs in it … why do the French love to mess food up by inserting disgusting items into good-tasting food?) my mouth was in for a wild ride as the foie gras looked exactly like Gatito’s wet food. For all of the obstacles it had to overcome, the meal wasn’t bad at all, actually. Sure, not really my thing since I’m a texture guy and can puke on any slimy-type of food – but at least I tried. Then we escaped to our rooftop to overlook the Upper East Side and drink a few beerskis.

After we were good and “pre-gamed,” we made the trek towards Soho for barhopping. This was actually a mixed bag as the entire area is way preppier than I’m comfortable with, but we still managed to have a good time (perhaps the continuous amount of alcohol pumped into our systems had something to do with this fact?).

Finally, Sunday morning we got down to business. I finally introduced Richard to the PS3 and we played Soul Calibur IV for a bit. It would’ve been cooler to have more recent games (hell, it’d be nice just to have more games in general) for my PS3, though. I’m still kinda finishing up all the PS2 games I had on my list to play/beat. I’ll make the move to PS3 soon, but feel like once I go PS3 I’ll never come back to PS2. Anyway, it was a low-key afternoon that reminded me of the many college weekends we had destroyed, sitting around, eating crappy food and playing games.

Alright, there you go: a shit-load of working, a stupid new social game I’m playing, and a weekend de Killiam. Hopefully I can get back to some interesting writing here now that all of that backlog of items is out!

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  • Monday, April 5th, 2010 at 23:31 | #1

    Have you tried Gowalla?

  • Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 at 00:31 | #2

    Nope. Never even heard of it 🙁

  • Sunday, April 11th, 2010 at 11:29 | #3

    It’s a competing service, very similar. Check out their app.

MINI BLOG: Josie Maran

Saw Josie Maran at the make up store next to Barnes & Noble in Union Square. She’s way shorter than I thought, but is obviously still in love with Richard Killiam.

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Mini Blog: Liesel Clone

I saw a Liesel Eby clone today while walking to work. But, at the last second I realized it wasn’t her as she didn’t immediately want Richard Killiam.

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I Watch The Watchmen

Photo © 2009 Warner Bros.

Sunday night I found myself in the office, putting in some weekend time into a project that wouldn’t go away. After only a handful of hours, I couldn’t take it anymore; I couldn’t bring myself to put any more work into the project and Watchmen had already been out (and unseen) for 2 days! I hurriedly gathered my possessions together and rushed over to Regal Union Square Stadium 14 to catch the 10:30 pm showing. There was a surprisingly long line waiting for me, but it moved quickly and I parked myself into one of those single, wheelchair-companion seat to watch the film adaptation of one of the most influential stories I’ve ever read.

Almost three hours later I was exhausted. I found myself conflicted in how exactly I felt about the movie as a whole, but I was also thoroughly entertained. In the days since, I’ve discussed the film with a couple people, so to blog a little quicker, I’ll just paste my comments here.

E-mail to the webmaster of the SteverOnline
I’m going to blog about it a little later today, hopefully. I’m still formulating a definitive opinion, actually, but here just 10 of my initial thoughts.

  1. The main three (Ror, Owl, Silk) looked exactly like the comic characters. I especially liked Steve Nash’s rendition of Rorschach (was it just me who thought that actor looked like Nashy?)
  2. I thought the effects on Dr. Manhattan were lame and so … obviously cgi. It didn’t look like he was actually in the scenes.
  3. I actually liked Ozymandius being super tall and thin. He looked like the next generation of man which is sort of what he is.
  4. I also actually liked the change of the ending. The whole space alien/psychic terror infliction never really resonated with me in the comic. Making it appear as if Dr. Manhattan just goes nuts actually makes a lot more sense. Plus, it’s nice and quick so audiences don’t have to sit through all of that build up, the pirate comic, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I like all of that stuff, but in the interest of time I thought the decision was fine and even enjoyed it.
  5. I thought the violence and nudity were gratuitous. I always found the nudity in the book jarring (Dr. Manhattan’s peenie being the lone exception, oddly) but at least it seemed kinda ho hum. Here it was like a porn all of a sudden! And the porn kept going and going. I mean, the comic interspersed the sex with allusions of other stuff going on. Here it was just man and woman butts pressed onto the camera.
  6. Like so many creative endeavors I think they hit it out of the park with the opening. The comedian’s killing and the credits … though I wish the credits had remained semi-still instead of eventually turning into full motion. Maybe it was depicting passing of time, but I really thought the semi-still was a great effect.
  7. The movie never seemed bigger than the comic! That was weird. Maybe that was the ultimate thing that I couldn’t grasp. It’s like reading a novel version of Indiana Jones … I want to just see the damn movie cuz it’s cooler. Here, it was the exact opposite.
  8. I have read “WATCHMAN” so much now that it was like watching Spaceballs or a good Seinfeld. I knew all the dialogue and could even tell when they changed 1 or 2 words. That actually wasn’t fun but I got over it after a while
  9. Too god damn long. Even though it seemed like a feast … at one point I went “fuck there’s a lot more story left! Awesome!” I did have to leave to pee once and I was exhausted near the end. Maybe they should’ve done a 12-part mini series or something.

 

After a couple of hours to let it sit, I came up with this conclusion:

IM conversation with the French Tickler, Richard Killiam
the thing is the comic is done in a cinematic fashion, so the movie feels more like a remake rather than an adaptation. the comic is a better movie than the film!

 

I was thinking about going into a whole thing about my history with and love for Watchmen the comic, but this post is really about the movie and I’ve said my peace. If you haven’t already seen it, maybe wait for the DVD to come out. But it’s definitely worth seeing once.

Current Mood: Geeking Out emoticon Geeking Out

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Beer, Shame and Breasts: My Christmas Vacation

Photo © 2006 Cassie Melnikow

Just like my Thanksgiving wrapup a few weeks ago, I find myself in the terrible position of having a lot to say but not wanting to write any of it down here. The inspiration well is just totally dry at the moment. But, I’ve been blogging for so long that I know it will be back sooner or later … I just have to force myself to continue onward instead!

The Killiam OrnamentThe Killiam Update
Richard – of Hibernation Sickness infamy – graced the United States with his presence this Christmas holiday and I was lucky enough to host the French gentleman for a couple of nights. Although he touched down on Monday the 15th he was super busy running around and meeting up with family that I didn’t see his beautiful face until Friday the 19th. UPDATE: We tore it up at a few places in Yorkshire including a comedy club (where we saw a comedian throw a guy out during his act), a bar where the cops came in demanding to know where a patron’s jacket was, and another bar where we saw a huge fight that consisted of basically everyone in the bar except us three. It was actually nice for once to not be involved in any of the Yorkshire bar scuffles! Though I did end up puking that night 🙁

The Netflix OrnamentDoing My Best Impression Of The 2004-Post College Me
We all took buses down to Virginia and even though I had to wait 45 minutes in the freezing wind to board it the Boltbus was worth every penny of it’s $25 cost! I got the absolute furthest seat back and slept for the entire 4-hour trip. When I had finally unpacked and settled into my mom’s home again I suddenly became the laziest motherfucker of all time. Basically, I reverted back to the 2004 version of me. Though I had packed my PS3, a whole list of creative pursuits a week off would do wonders for, and a phonebook full of old friends in the area, all I had the energy to do was go through my Netflix instant queue and my mom’s DVD collection and watch movie after movie. I guess I was a little more burned out from work than I had thought and needed to just veg. Anyway, for you stanus.nut completists, here’s the movie schedule:

The Fantasy Football OrnamentX-Mas Results (Subtitle: I Hate Brandon Jones’ Blind Batshit Luck)
In between all of this movie watching I slipped in some Xmas time with the ‘rents. Steve and I woke up Christmas day and opened gifts at my mom’s place first. The big gift was my college diploma frame … which I had unknowingly discovered a month previous! I’m not sure why my mom felt the need to still wrap it but it will look great on my wall besides my somewhat less classy giant Mavericks flag.

Then it was off to the Z-News headquarters for Xmas Round 2! There we exchanged gifts and met the new member of the clan: a huge, mean-looking but super-friendly pit bull named Amos who my stepbrother and his wife adopted recently. I was advised not to attempt to pet him or even look him in the eye until he got used to my presence! After we all became friends, we passed around gifts and found out that between three of us we had received four copies of the new John Lennon biography. Herr Z-News had the whole day off (he’s been quite busy recently) and after gift-giving we witnessed his emotional return to the virtual links of Tiger Woods: Ass-Play for the Wii. We laughed at this sad hobby of his and then headed back for Xmas dinner at mom’s.

… where I discovered that Brandon had won both of the fantasy football leagues we were in together 🙁 Sure, I came in last place in one of the leagues. Sure, I was in first place for the vast majority of the season in the other. Yes, Brandon missed one of the drafts completely and had to rely on Yahoo’s autodraft feature. But none of these were what stung the most. Nay, the shame was heaped upon me as I realized I made a fucking [stanus.net] banner about my previous fantasy football wins in the last two years. Ah, stats curse!

The Janelle OrnamentA Jan-Yell Afternoon
I had been such a bum all week that my body became accustomed to my behavior in just a few short days. In fact, Cassie had to convince me to go out and meet up with several of our high school friends in Arlington for lunch and drinks. Even though it was Janelle’s birthday celebration and would mean I know everyone there, I grumbled and had to force myself out of bed to show up on time (fun, not-so-surprising note: I was half an hour late). However, as soon as I arrived I wondered what made me think this wouldn’t be a fun time in the first place. It was cool to see old friends who now all lived multiple states away from me and exercise slightly more control over drinking with them! After a quick lunch, we all decided to stay and drink a couple of rounds and shoot the shit for a couple of hours.

The Jungle Bean OrnamentA Quiet Evening Out With Jeff C[removed] and Kachold
… but the drinking didn’t stop there! And the Jeff C[removed] was just starting! I had stopped by Jeff’s new Arlington pad for a total of five minutes at one point during Janelle’s lunch. Thinking I had to drive back to return a rental car I hurried out of there, but when I decided upon an alternate plan Cassie and I stopped back at Chez Jeff C[removed] after Janelle’s party moved to the hotel lobby.

After catching up with each other’s adventures who but old college pal (It’s) Rich (Bitch) showed up. He and Jeff were heading out to DC to see some rockabilly/burlesque show and I got talked into checking it out as well. UPDATE: Rich knew one of the dancers and demanded we go there to check her out. To tell you the truth, it was a hilarious night. For example, Rich got so trashed he was thrown out of the bar before he even walked into it. UPDATE: The rockabilly band was forgettable, but it was a strange site seeing 3 guys who looked like the Stray Cats in the middle of ghetto DC. The burlesque dancers were slightly better: Rich’s friend was attractive but the other dancer was HUGE! Unfortunately, their strip teases just seemed so out of place. I dunno. I really was more interested in discussing Jeff C[removed]‘s mole’s return than watching them strip. Unfortunately, I’m just not up to telling anymore of the night’s story right now. I do have a whole bunch of pictures from the night, however. Maybe I can put together a quick photo essay or something. Or not. Actually, bet on the “or not.”

All right, I hope everyone else had a great vacation, too. L8r!

Current Mood: Drained emoticon Drained

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  • Cassie
    Monday, January 12th, 2009 at 00:45 | #1

    Yorkshire, home to such notable people as Emily Bronte and Dame Judi Dench! That is where we live!

  • Monday, January 12th, 2009 at 10:37 | #2

    Yorkshire … Yorkville. Same thing, right?

In A (Basement) Jam

I hope you all have taken the necessary precautions in order to hear the latest band update! I last mentioned how I had visited Eric’s pad in The Bronx for an initial jam/writing session. He returned the favor later in the week by checking out the famous Bergen Basement where we worked a little more on our song, tentatively titled “You Always Get Your Way.” Then things got very quiet.

The following week I was sick and had to miss out on my band and Zog duties (though I heroically found the strength to play video games). The next week was just extremely busy for both Eric and I what with El Stever visiting New York, the Jeff C[removed] Bowl, and a lot of other nonesense.

Finally, though, I made the trek back up to his place Saturday and knocked out a complete song from scratch. A pretty impressive feat even if the results were a still a little mixed. Seeing as I have trouble finishing anything (exhibit A, exhibit B, exhibit C) I’ll call it a huge win. With the session coming to a close, Eric mentioned he had a friend who was interested in jamming with us on Monday. When he let it slip that the gentleman in question was a drummer I became a swooning, little girl inside.

Monday came and I was, once again, just scrambling to get home on time. John, the drummer, arrived shortly after I did and we decided to not fuck around and just start directly in on things: what we were currently playing on our respective video game machines. John seems pretty cool and, though he has been playing for quite some time, casually warned he might be a little rusty due to some recent time away from the drums. I had similar reservations in my own present chops but by the end of the night those old jamming muscles had been warmed up and were flexing like Arnold in ’77.

To wrap things up, we jammed out an early GNR-esque song and had really started to feel each other out and come together towards the end of the night. Time will only tell where any of this goes, but until then, one thing is for certain: there is still no Dohblog in 2008!

PS. Interesting parallel blog: Almost exactly three years ago to the day, a jam with the same instrumentation as last night occured as Richard and I visit a drumming coworker of his. Oh, except the result was on the opposite side of the rock meter than last night’s jam.

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Mic Check

When last we left, our hero had uploaded some of his songs to MySpace and reposted his Craigslist ad for musicians. For this second ad, I made sure to be clearer with what I was looking for so, consequently, I received far fewer responses. However both were way better than any of the replies I received in the first round. (UPDATE: I just located a MySpace message from a band, so the official count of responders from the second round is 3!)

One of the replies was from a 26-year old singer named Eric. He cited his influences as Guns N’ Roses, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and U2 and even sent his reply from an email address comprising a variation on “gunsnroses.” He sent me a couple of his songs that he was working on but they suspiciously didn’t have any vocals on them. So, with some reservations, I decided to meet up with him two Fridays ago.

We shared a few beers and talked musical experiences and expectations and pretty much realized we were on the same page, goal-wise. He said all the right things, but I still hadn’t heard him sing or jammed with him so even though our personalities were clicking I knew it didn’t mean much if we couldn’t gel musically. So, we picked a date to jam and a few covers to play and set out on our separate ways (mine got a little surreal as Richard was in town to hang out).

Well, this past Sunday found me on a D train going up into the crevices of The Bronx to meet at Eric’s place. When I arrived at his abode my surprise was equally distributed amongst three things: how much nice equipment he has; how he could fit it all into his tiny, cramped apartment; and how I was introduced to his mom who was visiting. It felt like date! When she left, we got down to business, ripping through “Tie Your Mother Down,” “It’s So Easy,” “Communication Breakdown,” and “Patience” – a few of our selected covers. Things went so well, though, that we also just started jamming on other songs: “Hey Jude,” “Mr. Brownstone,” “Live and Let Die,” and “Since I Don’t Have You.” What was interesting is that all of these songs have been in heavy rotation during my practice sessions for the past decade – yet he selected them all!

After our covers jam, we decided to push our luck and try writing a song together. I pulled out the latest gem I was working on (just an intro I called “You Always Get Your Way”) and we added a pre-chorus and chorus to it. About 2 hours into writing I was exhausted so we laid down our work to mp3 and I headed out.

But not before committing to a second jam session scheduled for mañana! This time Eric will be hopping a New Jersey Transit bus to my stomping grounds in North Bergen where things might be … awkward for a minute or two. Turns out he actually auditioned to be the singer in my roommates’ band several months ago (both parties had nothing but good things to say about each other – they just were too different musically).

Prepare for further updates to this exciting turn of events! Who knows? Perhaps my goal of moving to New York (putting together a band) will actually be met 16 months after relocating!

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Taking MySpace Somewhat Seriously …

Well, it took me long enough!

In the last installment of my Making The Band series, I mentioned how I had already sent some YouTube videos to my first Craigslist ad posting responders. The next step was to let them hear some of my actual songs. I was hesitant to just send out mp3s or to place them on my website for people to download. My first concern was bandwidth, though I hardly think that would really be any problem at all.

The second (and truer) concern I had was control of my music. Essentially, I’m not at the point where I’m totally comfortable with random people having their own copies of my songs. I’m cool with people listening to streams. But I currently only have a handful of “finished” songs and they’re either really old recordings (with horrible productions) or terrible recordings. Also, there’s a small little voice deep inside my brain that doesn’t want people stealing any of my ideas. Now, I love listening to old demos and recordings from huge bands (most notably Weezer), but it’s after years of listening to their polished, completed material as a sort of balance.

Anyway, it seems like MySpace will serve that purpose ok for the time being. They allow anyone to create music pages and upload songs (limit of 6) for streaming and/or download. This way, I can point potential bandmates to this site to get a glimpse at what I write while maintaining my musical integrity (paragraph above). The songs would also not be living on my server, so I wouldn’t be wasting my own, purchased bandwidth. It’s a win-win for the moment … until six songs isn’t enough.

So, I will be re-posting my Craigslist ad with my YouTube and MySpace links (and make some of my bandmate requirements a little clearer), but in case any of you out there would like to hear my two newest songs here’s the link: Stan Syckes at MySpace.

    Notes:

  • Cut It Off – I spent 6-7 hours a couple of weekends ago recording this update of an old song I wrote for my Songwriting 101 class back in 2003 (which was based on a MIDI I wrote back in 1999). It’s cool though the tempo runs away at a few points, and I didn’t get to record the melody for the chorus. A work in progess, but I thought it was a good enough indication as to where I’m heading right now.
  • Livestock – Part of my mission to re-record and finish all of my old back catalog. This is based on the (absolute god awful) first “song” I ever wrote – way back in March of 1995. Yes, it actually incorporates the amateurish melody and chords I originally composed!
  • Brent – a song I collaborated on with Richard back in 2005. I wrote the music while he did the melody. I’ve presented just the music here.
  • Love In Doses – take three of a cool, Slash-type riff I came up with over a blues progression.
  • Hesitation – everyone’s heard this, I’m sure. My Songwriting 101 teacher liked it back in 2003, so I thought random listeners would, too.
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  • Zepmoon
    Thursday, December 20th, 2007 at 10:50 | #1

    I like Livestock. Boy I never thought I’d type that sentence.