Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Dream Team

The Aero-Zep Chili Rose Beatles

Montage © 2010 Stan Syckes

I went out with coworkers last night and got to talking about a favorite subject of mine: the ultimate band lineup. When I woke up this morning I was still (soberly) thinking about it, so I decided to commit my opinions here on record! I’m filling out a five piece band: one lead singer, one guitarist, one bassist, one drummer and a utility member. I’m also deciding on a specific year of each member. Enough introduction, here we go …

Vocals: Steven Tyler 1987
I don’t think he’s the best singer – he’s nowhere near as versatile as Freddie Mercury, as raw as Mick Jagger, or as gifted as Michael Jackson – but I’d argue Tyler is the ultimate frontman. He’s flamboyant, he’s sexy, he’s intelligent, he’s mysterious – he’s really the total package. Add to that he’s also got a great set of pipes and I think he’s a pretty solid choice. Though I’m a fan of the earlier period of Aerosmith’s career, I think Tyler was a little too reserved in his singing, so I’m going for a more recent version of him. “Permanent Vacation” was the band’s second album after coming back in the 80’s and I think he’s at his peak here – “Dude Looks Like A Lady” and “Rag Doll” (the singles from this album … though I love the whole album) show off both his unabashed wildness and peak vocal mastery and is still raw enough to matter in rock.

Guitar: Slash 1986
Picking a singer was the hardest selection of the bunch … and here’s the easiest. The only other person who could possibly give Slash a run for his money is Jimmy Page but Slash is essentially Page on steroids. Page was my hero when I first picked up the guitar but everything went out the window upon my first real listen to “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” There really is no better tone in rock guitar – it’s smooth, bluesy, and utterly unique and the man is both technically and melodically gifted. Hell, he’s also one of my favorite rhythm guitarists, too! The real battle isn’t which guitarist would be in my dream band, but which Slash! It comes down to 1986 or 1987 for me – but I ultimately chose to side with the year “Appetite For Destruction” was recorded over the first huge tour. He’s probably a better guitarist in ’87, but I want that iconic sound from Appetite in my band.

Bass: Flea 1991
Another easy choice – Flea is not only my favorite bassist but he’s also a huge influence on my guitar playing! The Red Hot Chili Peppers were my first modern band that I saw in concert, and I’ve seen them a handful of times since, as well. Each time I just stuck my eyes on Flea and never left – he’s just a phenomenal musician and showman. I’m picking up Flea from the year “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” was recorded and released. It’s one of my top 5 albums of all time and Flea is the main reason why. Also, the man’s innocent silliness would be a nice balance to Slash’s serious rock and Tyler’s wildman hedonism. The only other challenger on bass that I could think of was Paul McCartney, but I get the feeling he may still have a chance to make the band …

Drums: John Bonham 1973
Ok. I lied. THIS is the easiest choice. Slash had a close second with Pagey, but there is just no other drummer that comes anywhere near Bonham’s talents. Now, which Bonham do you want? Hungry 69 Bonham who knocks out both Led Zep I and Led Zep II? 71 Bonham who’s laying down one of the greatest albums of all time in Led Zep IV? The great touring Bonhams from 75 or 77? Well, I’m going with 73 – the version where Bonham has just recorded and released my favorite Zep album, Houses of the Holy. He’s got a great repertoire built up with all of these albums, he’s still hungry enough (it’s all kind of downhill after Houses, in my opinion) and on the top of his game.

Utility: Paul McCartney 1973
And batting cleanup for this all-star band will be … Sir Paul, himself. Sure, I already have a better bassist, better singer, better guitarist, and better front man than him, but McCartney will provide the songwriting, backup vocals and other instruments better than anyone else. You could easily argue that some Beatles-era version of McCartney would be more prolific and inventive than the 1973 one I’m taking – but I want him at his most confident and rocking. “Band on the Run“-era McCartney could cook up heart-tugging ballads, pedal-to-the-metal rockers, and anything really in between (and outside) and has the experience of his legendary years without needing the teeny bopper bullshit.

Got a better line up? Yeah right … but I’d love to hear it!

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  • Friday, October 15th, 2010 at 19:14 | #1

    I was going to post a long-winded post here, but honestly, the Dream Team actually happened! 2 words: Led Zeppelin

    Interestingly, I recently read McCartney’s own “super group” idea in Mojo Magazine. Himself on bass, John Lennon on rhythm guitar, Billy Preston on keyboards, Eric Clapton on lead guitar, and John Bonham on drums.

  • Friday, October 15th, 2010 at 19:33 | #2

    Copout! You’re saying you wouldn’t replace any of the Zeppelin members with Kurdt Cobain?

    Now that I thought of Nirvana … I guess Grohl is the closest drummer that could challenge Bonham. Bonham still “shits on his face” though.

  • Saturday, October 16th, 2010 at 00:10 | #3

    This is a harder question that it appears. If I’m just listing my favorites then it’s Kurt Cobain (1993): vocals, rhythm; Paul McCartney (1969): vocals, bass, keys; Jimmy Page (1972): lead guitar; John Bonham (1972): drums. But that’s not a great band. That’s a cool band with great musicians.

    Super-groups always seem silly to me. Whenever “legends” get together no one is able to direct, they all respect each other too much and everything comes out watered down. And then music-personalities won’t really mesh. Think about your super-group. You can’t have a lead singer AND have Paul McCartney. The only person he’s ever played second-banana to was John Lennon! Also, both McCartney’s bounciness and Flea’s rubbery bass lines would make odd choices as a rhythm-compliment to Bonham’s hammering drums. You need something way more tasteful (aka John Paul Jones!)

    Honestly, I think Led Zeppelin is the closest we’ll ever get to a super-group/perfect band that was actually a real band.

  • Zepmoon
    Monday, October 18th, 2010 at 09:35 | #4

    I like the picks as is – good job. It would be interesting to see what songs would come out of a collaboration of those guys. Glad you left Lennon out (he couldn’t sing): neither could JPJ. If you were’nt limited to 4 I’d throw in some keyboards -Elton John (1972)and do you think Elvis (1956), Carly Simon (1971), and Robert Plant would sing back-up? Oh, and for numbers where you wanted a little brass backing – Blood Sweat & Tears!

  • Tuesday, October 19th, 2010 at 14:03 | #5

    Lennon couldn’t sing? Oh it’s on now! His voice is so awesome! He has a great range too, from low/regular (just about everything) to that awesome scream (“Twist And Shout”), and amazing falsetto (“In My Life”). Just listen to how he uses his voice as an instrument all over “You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)!” Steven Tyler is great, but I’ll take John Lennon’s voice any day.

Birth Of A Hero: Part 4

Bad asses

© 2010 Honora K.

Man, I’ve really got to get these Rusted Hero updates out the door. These updates are nearing two months old already!

Sunday, August 15

Day 2: Overdubs, vocals, Dr. Pepper
– 10:49 AM Aug 15th @rustedhero

We started day 2 slightly earlier than day 1 as everything was already set up for us. On the agenda was to overdub the guitars to thicken out the sounds of all songs and to finish all of Matt’s vocals. It seemed relatively easy in theory, but I would soon find out how fast time flies when the spotlight’s on you.

My first mission was to set up a new amp for this day’s recording. For the previous day’s live, full band recordings I used an amp that had less distortion. This was due to the fact that I wouldn’t have time to switch out amps and sounds for each song and since each tune has slightly different requirements as far as heavy and light guitar sounds I just chose a middle-of-the-road approach. For overdubs, however, I’d be dialing in either super heavy distortions, crystal clean tones, or atmospheric effects.

The Dr. Pepper reference is about Adrien who consumed something like 5 or 6 Diet Dr. Peppers during the previous session and was whacked out of his mind by the end of the night. While Matt had been “laying down some tasty pipes,” Adrien was kicking, jumping and singing risque, alternate lyrics in the control room to hilarious effect!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0YI0UUazkU&feature=fvsr http://fb.me/xyabKevO
– 11:24 AM Aug 15th @rustedhero

I set about recording guitars to all of the songs in the same order that we had recorded them the first day. For “Beg” and “Haunt Me Still” I went with the default distortion from the new amp I was using (can’t remember what it was … but it was some old beast from the 70’s). I also convinced the co-engineer to bring in his exhaustive guitar pedal collection and added a watery, phased tone for the dream-like bridge to “Haunt Me Still.”

Meanwhile, Adrien was being the social media maven that he naturally is out in the hangout room. He set up Rusted Hero on six or seven social media sites and was keeping up the live-tweeting. Here, he sends a link to a YouTube video he was enjoying.

Stan’s laying down some more guitar tracks. You know what time it is…
– 12:03 PM Aug 15th @rustedhero

“Shine On You” is the closer to our gigs as well as the demo CD, but it was actually recorded second (after “Beg”). I used the same distortion for “Shine On You” as I did for “Beg” (and would for “Haunt Me Still”) and luckily knocked out the solo in only two takes. I have been playing the song since 2003, though …

The “you know what time it is” reference is to a Flight of the Conchord’s skit entitled “Business Time” that Matt and Adrien turned me on to. Emphasis on the words “turned me on!!!!”

I posted 6 photos on Facebook in the album “Recording. Aug 13-15, 2010” http://fb.me/Eu1Ma3ug
– 12:51 PM Aug 15th @rustedhero

“Lit Up, Let Down” is a song of ours that has a very different beginning – the chords, melody and lyrics are the same as the chorus but everything is slower and clean. So, I had to do a couple takes for this one to handle everything. I had constructed the solo to be a blistering run a la Jimmy Page mixed with the melody of Slash (high hopes, indeed) and I hadn’t really been practicing it in rehearsal (or anywhere else for that matter). So it took me several takes before I was happy to get through this one.

Outside, Adrien began posting pics up to our Facebook page.

Holy crap…Stan just laid down the solo for “It’s a Trap”. BLAZING!
– 1:34 PM Aug 15th @rustedhero

For “It’s A Trap!” I wanted the dirtiest guitar tone we could muster. Ryan, the assistant engineer, concocted this really distorted, clunky sound that also would clip when pushed to the extreme. I liked it! I was getting into the recording groove at this point – I was knocking take after take out on the first try and probably pulled off the ad-libbed solo to this tune in 2 takes.

Adrien actually lived in Albany for a long portion of his life and had a few friends visit this day. My plan for the session was to get all of my overdubs recorded as fast as possible to give as much time to the vocals that we could get. Unfortunately, this meant I didn’t really get to meet or interact with any of the visitors. At one point during my overdubs Adrien came in with two guys, they looked at me for a while (I was in mid-recording with headphones) and then left. I wonder who they turned out to be …

Just uploaded a video from the past couple days of recording! Check it out: http://bit.ly/aG3zmX
– 3:07 PM Aug 15th @rustedhero

Here was the official posting of our recording session behind-the-scenes video. While I was recording guitar overdubs all day, Adrien had put together this five-minute montage from all of the video we shot. It turned out great.

I was finishing up the final two songs, “Safe In My Skin” and “Sun Kissed Sky.” Both were our slower, quieter songs so I just picked a nice sounding clean tone and knocked both out quickly. “Sun Kissed Sky” would need an acoustic track, as well, but that would have to be recorded in the vocal booth. Since it was nearing 5pm, however, (and I had originally planned on finishing at 4) I decided to wait until Matt had completed all the vocals before adding it.

Guitar tracks done. Matt’s in the booth belting out the vocals. Every layer added makes this sound even more… http://fb.me/FFjUpUyV
– 5:47 PM Aug 15th @rustedhero

Matt set up shop in the vocals booth and started down the line of our songs again. He wasn’t too happy with his recordings from the previous night so he did several of those takes over and then added harmonies and doubles. It was a painstaking process and one that I tried not to get involved in. Instead, I went outside and just explored the area, I goofed around on the computer, and I just played the guitar for fun. The last thing I had wanted while doing my guitar overdubs was for people to be sitting and watching me so I wanted to give the same respect to Matt.

At one point, Matt took a break so I jumped into the vocal booth and did my background vocals and acoustic guitar in two takes. Both were quick as I knew exactly what I had wanted to do for the acoustic part and I was still in the zone while my vocals weren’t going to get any better with further takes.

I posted 2 photos on Facebook in the album “Recording. Aug 13-15, 2010” http://fb.me/Foi0IeYl
– 9:02 PM Aug 15th @rustedhero

Around 9pm we had finished recording and started to pack up. John and Honora had to head out so we all did a group photo with Brett and Ryan (above). I made a quick statement that I’d be showing off my guns like Adrien was in his sleeveless shirt and suddenly that became the theme to the entire photo shoot. It was a funny way to officially end the weekend of recording. Oh, and then Adrien revealed his ass to the camera in the “outtake.” Unfortunately, that picture shall be kept from the public!

It’s a wraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap!
– 9:53 PM Aug 15th @rustedhero

I typed in the final tweet – words sung to the tune of “It’s A Trap!” Matt, Adrien and I packed up our stuff, grabbed the preliminary mix CDs that Brett had burned for us and headed out. We waited a good half hour before throwing one of the CDs in and listening to the fruits of our labor. Rusted Hero had been born!

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Birth Of A Hero: Part 3

The mixing room at North Sea Studios

© 2010 Adrien G.

Saturday, August 14

7:30am wake up call to “Elmo in Grouchland.” Our gracious host happens to have a 2-year old! Rock begins at 11 …
– 9:53 AM Aug 14th @rustedhero

I woke up with a hungover singer next to me on the pull out couch. The mattress was pretty thin so I was a little sore but the worst part is I had fallen asleep directly beside the air conditioning unit so I was frozen upon waking up. Still, I was actually rested and glad I hadn’t gone out to drink the night before. I was ready to rock!

Well … as ready as I could be at 7:30am! Amber, our host for the weekend, and her little daughter were up and watching a Sesame Street movie as three grumbling musicians (and weirdly morning-person, Adrien) slowly got up and shook the dust of sleep off. We split up into two cars – John and Honora would hit up Dunkin Donuts while Matt, Adrien and I drove to a Wal-Mart. I had forgotten to pack socks and desperately needed some. We also decided to stock up on some serious recording snacks while there.

Enjoying Adrien’s blistering set of beginner guitar songs as drum tech and engineer set up the recording room!
– 11:52 AM Aug 14th @rustedhero

Even with all of the shopping, we still beat Brett to the studios. We finally got inside at 11:30 and then just kind of hung around for a while as Brett, Ryan (assistant engineer), and the drum tech guy who’s name I forget set up the recording room. The band hudled around my computer watching funny YouTube clips, ate breakfast, and listened to Adrien playing my acoustic guitar. It was interesting that every song he played was a song that I had learned during my first year of guitar. Including “My Friends” – the first full song I learned!

Laying down the first tracks …
– 1:53 PM Aug 14th @rustedhero

The decision was made early on to record all seven of our songs with instruments live, so Adrien (bass), John (drums), and I (gut) set up shop in the recording room. Even though we had been playing for months, the songs felt alien to me as soon as Brett said “go” – I was a little intimidated and uncomfortable by the recording process. It was strange to focus so intensely on the songs – in practice, we’re trying to hear ourselves, rehearse the performance and have a good time. This was serious and we were making sure all of our parts were as perfect as we could get them.

We’d run a song until we felt we had a good take. “Beg” was the first song and took about 4 tries, followed by “Shine On You” which took about the same amount. By now, I was starting to settle into the process even though I was still a little uncomfortable. We decided to stay “heavy,” so “Haunt” and “It’s A Trap!” were next. They each took maybe 2 or 3 takes.

I’m sure Matt was pretty bored as he had to just chill in the hangout room for most of the morning, but there were times when we asked him to come into the studio and mime his parts. You notice a lot of things while recording that you take for granted when just practicing – for example, we take queues from each other at certain spots in songs and we were missing things without Matt being in the room.

Food break. We’ve got the live tracks to 4 songs in the can!
– 4:09 PM Aug 14th @rustedhero

With more than half of the songs in the can (instrumentally), we took a much needed feeding break. Ryan ran out and grabbed us all subs and we once again camped around the computer and talked music.

Live tracks for all 7 songs: DONE! Up next is punching in a few parts
– 6:34 PM Aug 14th @rustedhero

It’s inevitable. After a little while of being in the studio you hit “the zone” and start to just knock out tracks. It had taken us nearly four hours to go through the first four songs. When we returned to the recording room after lunch we breezed through the final three songs in two hours.

During the last few practices leading up to this weekend I had started to notice that my playing was very sloppy. I don’t mean that I was hitting wrong notes, but that I was starting to get a little wild physically. I was banging my hand around the guitar and had a few, small injuries. Realizing these injuries would only get worse with two straight days of playing, I concocted a plan to armor my fingers!

I found some tape in the studio and covered my thumb, pointer finger, middle finger, and edge of the palm on my right hand. It looked a little like the infamous Michael Jackson tape-job. After a while I realized I was over thinking things and took most of it off, but the damage was done. Little specks of the tape had come off and now coated my strings. This wasn’t a problem now but would come to haunt me on the second day of recording.

Ladies, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Matthew Jones is in the vocal booth!
– 8:13 PM Aug 14th @rustedhero

I actually don’t remember doing any overdubbing this night even though the tweet says so. Instead, Matt finally got into the separate vocal booth and started to record. Unfortunately, as a result of drinking and not sleeping well the previous night, he wasn’t totally up to his usual standards and started to get frustrated. We called it an early night around 10pm and headed out to a nearby diner. Then, Honora, John and Matt went home while Adrien and I went to see The Expendables: a ridiculous ending to an awesome day.

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Birth Of A Hero: Part 2

The North Sea Studios recording room

© 2010 Adrien G.

When last we left, two of our Heroes had arrived in Albany safe with musical equipment – but devoid of shelter! The other two would have to brave the working world for one more day. Would the band survive? Would the recording session even begin? Would Matt and Adrien ever leave their love nest that is the Albany Holiday Inn?

Here’s part two in this exciting series to answer some of these questions and raise just as many more!

Friday, August 13

Follow my band’s twitter account … I’ll be tweeting all the action from our recording session this weekend in Albany @rustedhero
– 1:03 AM Aug 13th @stanSyckes

Pretty early on I knew I wanted to live-tweet the entire weekend. Finally, I had something worthwhile to blab about on Twitter and I wasn’t going to let this opportunity escape me! Plus, this would give me something to do during the downtime as well as keep me inspired and motivated. Therefore, my laptop was a definite travel companion for this trip.

Another item that I tagged to come with us early on was a video camera. I wanted to capture a few, random candid moments throughout the recording and also wanted it in HD in case it ever went on YouTube. Luckily, John had one and brought it up.

Anyway, I’ll cut most of this boring day out as John and I worked a little and then made our separate ways up north. John drove up in his truck with fiancee, Honora, and our guitars while I took an Amtrak train. I have nothing interesting to report from my trip and it sounded like John’s was equally as uneventful. Meanwhile, Adrien was attending his father’s wedding while Matt slept all day (a common theme?).

Adrien picked me up from the nearby train station and we arrived at North Sea Studios at around 9pm. The building looked like a giant, run-down warehouse from outside but was pretty newly decorated upon entry. Walking in through the front door brought you directly into the hangout room – complete with two couches, a table and some lamps. We used this as our main headquarters while we weren’t recording. This room branched off into three exits – one to the mixing booth, one to the recording room, and one to a closed-off kitchen. There was also a small bathroom in the hall leading to the recording room. Everything had a half-finished, do-it-yourself charm as the studio was the weekend passion of Brett – our record engineer for the weekend and owner of North Sea Studios.

I got to talk to him while John – who had just arrived before me – was setting up his drum kit. Brett was a slightly older (than me) guy who dressed like an upper-middle class musician: basically looked like he just rolled out of bed and went to work, but managed to have really nice clothes on before he had fallen asleep. He was really easy-going and knowledgeable and didn’t seem to mind my complete lack of knowledge in the hardware department. After helping me try out a few amps and picking the one I liked we headed out.

Tonight we set up the gear and will be checking out the Albany nightlife. Tomorrow: demo recording begins!!!
– 12:12 AM Aug 14th @rustedhero

We drove to a local brewery where we met up with Amber, our innkeeper for the next couple of days, and pigged out. Afterward, we drove back to our room, passed around a bottle of whiskey and got ready to go out. Then, age struck! First, Adrien decided he was going to just grab some sleep as he had been running around all day and wanted to be fresh for the morning. Then, at the very last moment, I decided to bail too as I didn’t want to be hungover for the long day of recording ahead of us. So, I drove John, Matt and Honora to a nearby bar, headed home, and passed out.

The morning’s session was to start at 11am and, damn, that was approaching fast! I huddled under a tiny blanket on the pullout couch and tried my best to fall asleep.

    Site Updates:

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Birth Of A Hero: Part 1

A fisheye fly on the wall in North Sea Studios

© 2010 Adrien G.

Remember how last time I promised you all some actually interesting blog posts? Well, here they be!

Rusted Hero, my band of gentleman musicians, was essentially born two weekends ago. First we tripped up to Albany to record our 7-song demo album and then Tuesday the 17th we had our very first live performance at Otto’s Shrunken Head. It was an intense, exhausting and ultimately fulfilling couple of days but it took me a week away from it all to finally process everything.

Now that all of that nonsense is done, however, I’m going to shit it all out for you in a couple of awesome* posts (* validity of this adjective to-be-determined). We live-Tweeted the whole weekend so I’ll throw those in to sort of drive this narrative, but I’ll make sure to populate all of this with my legendary witty commentary. Ahem. Let’s begin!

Thursday, August 12

Practice just ended. Adrien’s car is loaded up. Recording weekend has officially begun!
-10:54 PM Aug 12th @stanSyckes

We had our regularly-scheduled practice this night, running through the set a couple of times and working on some last minute preparations. Afterward, we loaded up Adrien’s car with John’s drumkit and John’s truck with our guitars and other equipment. Adrien and Matt took off in Adrien’s car to reach Albany early Friday morning. They would meet up with Amber, our saintly shelter provider for the weekend (saintly because she offered her 2 bedroom apartment to us just days before our arrival when our original plan fell through).

Unfortunately, Adrien and Matt got in so late that Amber was passed out. And she was in such a deep sleep she never heard her phone so the two Heroes had to pony up cash for a romantic hotel room! It was an auspicious beginning (for them!) to the weekend but more (or less) interesting things were to come!

    Site Updates:

  • Added The Music Business (Explained In Plain English) (2009) to Currently Enjoying
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Albany Beckons

Some random band in the studio

Have I mentioned that I’m in a band?

Well I am … and I have more news regarding said organization! We’ve officially secured a weekend at Max Trax Studios in Albany, NY to record our demo. HOTNESS!

We’re heading up the weekend of August 13-15th (you know just days before our first gig). Adrien (bass) and Matt (singer) have that Friday off so they will drive up together in Adrien’s Bronxmobile with all of our equipment and set up for a couple of hours before working stiffs John (drums) and I (NBA Sim) follow by train/bus. The plan is to stay with Adrien’s brother who lives up there and record for a total of 16 hours over the next two days. I’m hoping to bring up a camera to capture some impromptu, romantic moments whilst recording and hanging out to share with everyone while you patiently wait for the music, itself.

Three nights recording, one day off and then our first gig … damn, this should be cool! I’m really excited to get the band up and running – ready or not, in those five days come mid-August, Rusted Hero will be born.

    Site Updates:

  • Updated recording information to Rusted Hero sidebar section
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Gig Coming Your Way

Future historical landmark

Alright, so you’ve listened to the practice recordings over at RustedHero.com, become a friend of the Rusted Hero Facebook and MySpace pages, and are an avid follower of the Rusted Hero Twitter account. But what about seeing these guys live?

Well, your wish (and ours) has come true!

Our first gig has officially been confirmed. We will be playing Tuesday, August 17th at Otto’s Shrunken Head on E 14th St and Ave B at 11pm! HOTNESS! I originally heard of the place when my New Jersey roommates’ metal band played there a couple years ago (I showed up just in time to not see them, though) and my coworker’s jazz band performed there as well. I’ve also just hung out in the place a couple of times on my own – it’s a wacky, weird bar with a great vibe. Hell, they played “Temporary Secretary” the last time I was in there – that’s gotta count for something!

Anyway, everyone, there’s no cover so I’m sure that’ll offset the fact that it’s a little late on a weekday. Who the hell cares, though, with a chance to be a part of history!

    Site Updates:

  • Altered Rusted Hero section of sidebar to stand out more and provide more information
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A Little Rust

RustedHero.com

© 2010 Adrien Goulet

What a difference a day can make … 7:30am Monday morning I was asleep with no band name and wondering if we would ever come to a consensus on one after our voting debacle from last week. By 7:30am Tuesday we had a name, a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a MySpace page. By this morning we now have 3 songs up recorded from Monday’s rehearsal.

Hot!

I’m a bit of a foot-dragger and perfectionist when it comes to music – I admit this – so I’m still coming to grips with all of this web presence and available music even though we only have 4 practices as a four piece (and that’s including the bassist’s audition and catching him up on all the songs). Still, I’m super stoked and equally happy to have a progressive presence in the band, now. I get the distinct impression my social media activity, and just web activity in general, is going to skyrocket exponentially pretty soon as a result of all this musicness.

Get ready …

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What’s Our Motherfucking Name?

A bunch of interesting events have been happening in my life recently (and by interesting I mean painfully dull), so I’m going to try to do a series of quick, small blogs to catch everyone up to date on everything.

First off – a band cliffhanger!

We tried upping our band rehearsals to twice a week but it was starting to prove kind of difficult for whatever reason. So, to counter our natural laziness, we’ve upped the length of each rehearsal. Monday we met for our first 3-hour long practice. It was awesome because the pace was leisurely enough so we didn’t feel rushed and it also gave us enough time to hit up our secondary goal for the night: naming the band!

We really have been going for too long without a name – it’s usually the first thing people ask you when you’re in a band – and it might even be holding us back, even if just from a psychological standpoint. Adrien, our new bassist, came up with the following naming process:

  1. Each member would come up with 3 band names for a total of 12
  2. Each member would have an instant veto, bringing the total down to 8
  3. Each member could vote on as many names from these 8 as he wanted
  4. If there was a consensus winner it would become the name
  5. Otherwise we would take the top two and do a head to head vote off

We all showed up to practice with our 3 names and began the crazy, Survivor-type method. But, to make things more interesting, we’d do just one step in the process, play a song, do another step, play another song, etc. At the end, there was one name with 3 votes and 3 other names with 2 votes so we moved all 4 onto another round. We were only allowed 1 vote each and whittled down this to 2 names – however the band was split! Two of us liked one name, the other two liked the other. So the final round we decided to have a debate-off with each person getting 5 minutes to say why they thought the name was better.

Even though I’ve always kinda wanted the other guys to come up with a name for the band, the ones I suggested did pretty well for the night with two of my three reaching the final four, and one of mine being the ultimate winner. We selected “Wasted Days” and all loved it. We played out through our set and went home for the night, satisfied that a huge obstacle had finally been conquered in a team effort.

… That is until we woke up the next morning and hated “Wasted Days.” Oh, well, I was foolish to think it would be this easy. When we finally do come up with a name I’ll let you all know here first.

    Site Updates:

  • Updated blog IDs for June 2009 posts
  • Removed Superman in the Forties (2005) from Currently Enjoying
  • Added instrumentation, time worked, genre and lyrics data to recordings on Bowmans Crossing in musicDB
  • Removed Soundgarden – Ultramega OK (1988) from Currently Enjoying
  • Removed Deep Purple – Shades of Deep Purple (1968) from Currently Enjoying
  • Added Lost Via Domus [PS3] (2008) to Currently Enjoying
  • Added Superman in the Fifties (2002) to Currently Enjoying
  • Added Bumping into Geniuses (2008) to Currently Enjoyin
  • Added The Clash (1977) to Currently Enjoying
  • Added Whitney Houston (1985) to Currently Enjoying

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Got Your Bass Right Here

JPJ: Led Zeppelin's secret weapon

LATE BREAKING NEWS (had this been a week ago): We’ve got a bassist!

After a long, fruitless search for a low-end player, the three mainstay members of my still unnamed band had decided to move on without one. We began to look at recording studios to pump out an EP and also started looking into playing live. We figured with those two items under our belt, we’d come across a bass player the old fashioned way.

Well, just like golf and free throws, when we finally stopped trying to control the bass-finding process we finally lucked into one. I randomly came across an ad on craigslist that sounded good. This was random because most of the ads marked as “bass” on this infernal site are other bands LOOKING for a bass! And those few and far between actual bassist posters are usually of the above-50/for-hire type.

When Adrien sent back a reply stating he liked our music and wanted to jam he also mentioned he was into video games and was a web designer. That situation sounded too good to be true, but John also gave me his usually dead on psychic premonition: “I have a good feeling about this guy.” We all met up for an audition jam two weeks ago. Adrien was confident on his instrument but not flashy which was great. Even better, the songs sounded like they were being played by a real band and not just three dudes! When he left John immediately said “I’m a yes.” Matt concurred. I, of course, was already taken by the video game comment in the email!

Anyway, last Monday we had a second jam and officially offered him a role in the band afterward. Adrien accepted and now, as my evil high school band director would say, we’re really cooking with gas!!! Hopefully some exciting things will be coming soon to a [stanus.net] near you!

Also, on a programming note, I’ve finally finished the last part of the Best/Worst of 2009 feature and am pretty much up to date with The Shack 10th Anniversary piece. That’s what 3-day Memorial Day weekends are for, peeps!

    Site Updates:

  • Removed Kanye West – Late Registration (2005) from Currently Enjoying
  • Removed The Cranberries – Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (1993) from Currently Enjoying
  • Added Superman in the Forties (2005) to Currently Enjoying
  • Added Soundgarden – Ultramega OK (1988) to Currently Enjoying
  • Added Deep Purple – Shades of Deep Purple (1968) to Currently Enjoying
  • Added Amazing Stories: Season 1 (1986) to Currently Enjoying
  • Removed Dog the Bounty Hunter: Season 6 (2010) from Currently Enjoying
  • Removed NBA Street Homecourt [PS3] (2007) from Currently Enjoying
  • Posted May 24 through June 1 journal entries to The Shack: 10th Anniversary | 2000-2010
  • Added Blogs to Best/Worst of 2009 feature

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