See The Boss Pedal, Be The Boss Pedal: An Argument For Digital Effects In Normal Conversation

As a clear sign that I have been driven mad, I have permanently effected the affects of this particular medulla oblogata with my recording within Dante’s digital pit, I have come to the realization that digital effects are not just for music.

Furthermore, I need to make a miracle machine (which is tricky as the dog ate my engineering degree) that puts digital effects where they belong: conversations. This may require we all walk around with permanent earphones on to get the effect (big and fat), but what are words worth? They are worthless unless you can EQ them to a listenable form and then blast them through BIG reverbs.

Effects will be the new punctuation. They will say. When I create the machine. I will be hailed as yet another distraction (like iphones and Instagram and insulin) that is keeping us from becoming the species we should be, in our most perfect and docile form.

Dull. Dullllllll. Im So Bored with your plain, simply heard speeches. Do me a favor…ask me that in Flanger. Phase me, baby.

Consider how it can really emphasize the conversations you are already having?

Don’t you feel cheated when you are angry and yell at someone and it simply dissipates? Try that with a big hall reverb. Now THATS angry and impossible to ignore.

What about ordinary dull conversations with people in the grocery line? Slip in some Digital Delay…and slowly build it, so your words leave your mouth and are suddenly bouncing, bouncing everywhere, every direction, every corner and crevice of the subconcious till theres no option for anyone but to turn away and look at the Star or People Magazine.

Late night and early morning? Need to talk to people but your too wasted to form words? Compression. Everything you say will have more impact, even if that statement is ‘I’m sorry I dropped the ball on the Perkins account.’. Your manager can only admire your honesty, forthrightness and deep sonorous tones. And this is how you get a promotion.

Tryin to explain away a prior bad act? Speak clearly through a Heavy Metal distortion. Raise the gain. Speak slowly and stare directly into their eyes and watch as they get confused, a little sad and go away.

Need a lil pickup in the bedroom? Ladies love a good Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, brother. Get all Issac Hayes and shit and lay it down.

My point being that we short change ourselves in terms of appropriate dramatics. Sometimes it takes a bit o’ science.

The REAL point being this record is killing me.

(dictated but not read in Vibrato)


Lessons Best Learned Via Parasite

It is NOT a dog eat dog world. If it was, there would be many more half eaten dogs laying about. It IS a dog eat dog food world. But as axioms go, it’s a bit thin.

No, the world itself is a dog. Domesticated, generally, but still a wild creature. Unpredictable. It will greet you with slippers almost everyday. But will occasionally bite you. Hard.

No, if you want a lesson within the dog dynamic, let’s call it for what it is: you can’t find a better teacher than the tick.

This doggy world has two types of travelers: the fleas and the ticks. The fleas are not particular in their needs. They have abilities to leap into different worlds (like perhaps your needs would be best served by taking up residence on an Irish Setter?). They have no commitment to this dog in particular. They are shallow and light as air. Bright light would shine right through them.

You know fleas. They generally come up in cautionary tales. Someone who had such potential but they lacked patience. So they bounce. And they will forever bounce until their short life span ticks down. And in those last seconds they wish desperately to come back in some next life as a butterfly or a Datsun.

They lack the courage of their convictions. They bite and run. They irritate and….well, flee. And ultimately the endless fleas become a memorial roll who you barely bothered attaching names too.

Be the tick. Focused. Visceral. Get your hooks in and feed. Become part of your doggy world; let its blood flow into you, become one with it. Own it, at last. Own it. Have no fears of the cigarette end nor tweezer. When they come for you, dig in. And if you can’t stay, can’t outlast, persevere, leave something deep down to remind them of you.

Infect this world. Ride it out. Don’t let yourself be thrown away.

Do not let go. Never let go.


Fashionable Ways To Wear Your Albatross

What is it that keeps you from getting where you want too?

Is it time? Finance or romance? A small addiction? A big fear?

And if you slayed these private monsters…what then? Freedom. Right? Right?

Or do we look at…almost rely on…the daily millions of things that get in the way? Are you so afraid of reaching that potential? Why?

Perhaps to discover you never had a clue as to where your real place in the world was?

You have work to do and time to do it. This life limits us to the certain possibilities and creates words like ‘impossible’ to wrap around ourselves like a quilt when we stop trying.

And as much as you believe you’ll never stop trying, in time, you will. That’s not laziness. It’s mortality.

Tick Tick, MoFo.

Do you need these little glitches in your perfect machine? Are they valuable to create a needed alibi for the day you look back and said ‘it never could have worked…’.

Are you so confident of an afterlife that you can waste this One Night Stand we actually get? This is your headlining shot. Now. Today. And tomorrow if your lucky.

Your diagnosisable problems are public record. Your deep dark secrets are your crop to harvest or kill.

When will enlightenment come to you, anoint your lined forehead and set you free to reach your full potential?

There’s no answers here today. Just questions to consider. I am.



Sell Your Soul!!! Ask Me How!!!

Is it still ‘too soon’ to talk about it? It’s something I believe that counts as a global reasoning, something we can almost see at times but slips away like sand in a colander. It explain the Unexplainable things about fame and celebrity and hell fire and getting hits on the radio.

Is it because the majority of people who actually do discuss this are kooks and crackpots and Ministry hucksters? Wasn’t John The Baptist considered a kook? (I actually have no idea. I was young then.)

Is it the whole ‘moral panic’ thing? Or the idea that by answering these simple questions, the following questions get much more difficult and directly related to the state of your eternal soul?

Are you such a Zeppelin fan that you cant see the mystical forest for the burning trees?

Well I’m going to talk about it. People have sold their souls to some Unnameable figure (likely in black, cause all knowing entities are so big on flash) and have benefited from it. And we all know their names.

You know the scene, and perhaps some intimately. A lone figure with a clothesline strap acoustic sits on the crossroads and waits. And in time, he is approached. A bargain is struck. Fame and fortune commences quickly followed by bad luck and an early death. And an idea of what comes next for that man with the guitar, but not a scene that can be painted without offending most of your major religions. But lets just say it gets sulfur-y.

Myth? Sure, can be. A bad ass myth that brings together pop culture and cosmology and the gut level fear that we need earn what we get, there’s no free lunch. It’s a beaut.

Now…come with me along this particular path. Let’s chat.

Do you ever get the sense that you just don’t understand how something can be beloved or famous? Do you ever find yourself watching a band that everyone swears by and you just feel like it’s a grand prank played on you by all your friends? (That’s my Guns and Roses experience. And really….consider THAT in this context.)

You feel like you just don’t get it. In your most paranoid moments, you feel there’s an affliction of love that you are the sole uninfected. It’s puts you in a place similar to looking at abstract art: there’s something there that clearly isn’t interested enough in you to teach you.

It’s not simply to say the celebs who are famous for being famous…though some have clearly bought low. It’s people in your record collection.

Waiting out the death of vinyl so the backwards will never be unmasked.


All Kids Under The Age Of 12 Are On Drugs.

I’ve finally come up with my thesis for my imaginary college degree. Being considered a self genius does not go far enough. I needed to be heralded as a genius by non existent institutions and hit the lecture circuit, filled with tasty bon mot’s and something that sounds smart…but upon investigation is just literate.

And it all starts here…with the break though….right here…’s coming…..:

All Kids Under The Age Of 12 Are On Drugs.

Now, I hear gasps from within the also imaginary lecture hall. Harrumphing at a distasteful level. I whip off my lab coat to reveal my accurate to the stitch Dr. Frankfurter costume. And I strut. The room turns hostile. Someone lights a torch…

I don’t say this simply to shock. That’s only about 80% of the reason. I’ve done study. I’ve been a child under 10. And I’ve been on drugs. Things looked very similar.

Consider the dress. You ever see kids playing together in a mud pit? Now have you ever been to the Gathering Of The Vibes?

Consider the distracted nature of kids / drug doers. Want some attention? Shake some keys. Get a laser pointer. Watchem go! (note: which will be covered in the next semester ‘Cats and Kids Under Age 12 Are On Drugs’.)

Consider the moodiness. Having a party? Invite some children / drug doers. They will make you laugh and dance and deal with the small snatches of exhaustion that comes with dealing with people with problems (as to be considered in the end of my thesis trilogy ‘All Kids Are People With Problems’). But in the end, clown or not, someone is gonna lose their shit. And tears will flow.

Consider the diet. There is a number of foods that exist solely for children and stoners. I might suggest the whole of the sugary cereal industry rests on these brave and twitchy shoulders. And every year food gets more ridulous (and also awesome) with munchies being cross pollinated and mutated into new forms of ‘food’. And thats cause there is a market for it. And who makes up that market?

Consider commercials. Have you noticed that the role of the male in modern commercials is akin to the role of the tween in years past? ‘Jeff just won’t leave his new toy alone’ can equate to Lego’s and cellphones simultaneous. Why you ask? Drugs. (OK, I made that up. But it does irritate me.)

(Quirky Fact: This blog started out being about the band Yes)


Photograph By Def Leppard

Moon roof open, and the sun rides on our shoulders, a presence as physical as a particularly wise parrot, whispering suggestions in our ear, recalling stories of the last bikini you saw, the last time you were completely submerged in water, the last time you felt the sun burn your skin to red.

And we race to the shore. By we, I mean all of us, the suburbs have emptied and everyone heads south for the shore. It’s like The Great Expansion…if the settlers had fast Japanese cars. We pass people on the highway and they pass us again. Its like go carts, except everyone also keeps their eyes on the medians, the crossover strips, eyeing state cops, as they settle in for their particular brand of holiday cheer.

And the music is loud, it pours out of the open car windows, flows from the moon roof. It’s Def Leppard playing (her choice)…and it’s perfect. It brings me back to when I first heard these songs (for completists and time chasers, its ‘Pyromania’), when I was 18, when I wouldn’t be seen on a beach without a black heavy metal t-shirt and ripped flannel. It was an open challenge to the season, and we always won. Because the summer didn’t know it was playing. .

But that was years ago. And the landscape has certainly changed for the boy. Now, as we fly to the shore, I cast my eye to the passenger seat, and there sits the perfect summer girl. Long dirty blonde hair, makeup that gives a glimmer (gold, of course) to the flash of her blue/green eyes, a two piece bikini (hushed silver metallic), her hand hangs lazily out the passenger window…I allow my eye to follow her gold ringed fingers up her tanned arm, I watch how the wind blows her lace cover all around, a flash of skin, with a maddening repetition; the bikini top revealed, in time with every 10th white line we pass. In time with the kick drum, too.

The music, the clearly 80’s vibe of excess and a certain misogyny, big beats, processed guitars, too many vocals on the choruses, which made every song sound like a keg party you’re bored of. All irrelevant, as the boys from Brighton knew what they were talking about when it came to girls; I watch her sing along to every word, completely unaware that that is something she should be embarrassed of. Except the utter pretentiousness of this thought embarrasses me.

She is singing along, and now I am too…because I know every word also. They are part of me, much better remembered than the Pledge of Allegiance, the Lords Prayer and my mom’s birthday combined. We head to the beach, me and my summer girl, and we smile at each other a lot and kiss at the stoplights.

The question: Do your fantasies at 18, going to the place you never imagined with the company you never expected to have access to, maintain into your fortieth year?

The answer: Damn Fucking Straight.

Def Leppard  1983  on set of the Video "Photograph"  © Adrian Boot / Retna Ltd.

Everyday Is Record Store Day.

Not to critique the official Record Store Day, which I believe in and think is a fine DIY (though clearly some corporate blood money has been laundered through it, but that’s show biz!) movement. I became a man (OK, a elitist snot) in independent record stores. Starting in my gauzy youth at Earport in Fairfield where I purchased my first LP with my own money (‘The Grand Illusion’ by Styx. I was young.) I would go through the endless used LP’s looking at the covers, the titles, the artists, all while heady music played above me and cheap incense filled my virgin senses with images of rolling vans of rockers heading toward the sea shore: abandoned beaches white with frost.

I would judge records by there covers, as is the way of youth. It brought me to my first real Band love, Mott The Hoople via ‘Mott Live’ with its immensely creepy marionettes clapping and big ass H guitar that Ian worked in those glammy days. I saw the cover and it connected synapse in me from horror movies to ghost stories to comic books to the just sprouting seeds of raw lust. It was e;electric and almost instantaneous. I understood not the future, but the steps into a possible future.

Then it was Secret Sounds, Platters Plus, Brass City Records. Pilgrimages each. And multitudes of them. My tastes subtly change and I find myself shopping in sections I had never considered before. I started in Hard Rock but then Metal. Then folk. Blues. Hardcore. Punk. New Wave. And into the genre non specific place I come from now. Little treasure await those who go looking. That’s not only the larger idea of life, but the smaller concept of why records matter.

Records aren’t just history. The right records record YOUR history. Your first. Your worst purchase. Your best friends record that will always bring you back to them, whether they exist on this plane any longer or not. The first record you dedicated to a lover. The last record you ever need hear again.

Record are photos we were to distracted to take, to joyous to require, to sad to bother.

So I put forth this: Every Day Is Record Store Day.

You don’t need a logo to know where to go. The opportunities are all around you. Everybody is selling units. Your friends and their friends. Your town and city. Your state and the neighboring states. Amazon. Bandcamp.

Everyday you reach out beyond your collection to find some new shade to add is Record Store Day. Every time you hear something stream and write it down…or buy it immediately…is Record Store Day. Every Spotify playlist is a path to a larger purchase. Not financially, of course: Spotify is the devil. But you invest your time in something someone else took their time to make.

You need music. If you don’t, this is the wrong blog. Cause your author needs music.

We need not live out our best years nostalgic for the cheap vinyl bins of history. Everything you want (with the exception of Van Morrison) awaits you. And if your on a fence about a record, go on YouTube.

This blog is a celebration of a feeling. Its Tuesday and today the new Mountain Goats record is released. It’s awaiting me in my download folder, seductive, cruel, but deeply desired.

Today is my Record Store Day. And it’s yours too. If you want it.



The Best Heavy Metal Record You Never Heard

When I consider this music, this band, it always brings me back to a specific moment: 16 years old, steering down blizzard conditions on foot, and marching forward. The wind made tangles of my too long, too unkempt hair, the crunching sounds of boot to ice muffled by parka and hat and headphones. Being removed from the aural added a nice effect to the movie of a life I felt I was directing / living. (I was 16, remember. Self importance and staging was my bread and peanut butter).

The image brings forth ideas of Shackleton or Hillary, but personally it felt like I was living in a Rush CD cover. White on white whipping winds with visibility so low it turned inward. I felt like a viking, left abandoned by his brothers for being toooooo bad ass. Or maybe a rebel taking my one man army to the kingdom. Blood beat in my ears, sweat flowed beneath multiple layers. The perfect ending was a bloodbath where I killed the King and claimed the Queen. And the people chanted my name.

Alas, the reality of it was a kid with a cassette Walkman (but no car) heading towards his shift at Finest Supermarket for Bulk Food duties.

This is the power of music, yes, but specifically the power of heavy music, heavy metal to out a name to it. This was a Mind Over Matter matter. I’m convinced this walk would not have been possible if not for what particularly I had in the Walkman. The music made me march, made me put myself into these terrible conditions cause I knew I could take it. I knew I was more than the sum of those parts. And any other music would have faltered and had me running back home.

‘Fifteen thousand feet, danger all around us
Mother nature fights, will she ever rest
What is there to prove, climbing up a mountain
Why do we do it, Why do we suffer?
Just because it’s there…’

Raven’s ‘Wiped Out’ (and their near perfect debut ‘Rock Till You Drop’) was a product of the NWOBHM era scene, in the year of our Lord 1982. For those who appreciate Metal, it was truly the last Golden Age (till the next).Saxon’s ‘The Eagle Has Landed’, Accept’s ‘Restless and Wild’, Motorhead’s ‘IronFist’, Scorpions ‘Blackout”, Venom ‘Black Metal’, Loudness ‘Devil Soldier’. Iron Maiden. ‘The Number Of The Beast.’

Look at Heavy Metal from that year. I could go on for hours.

Meanwhile…in Newcastle…a dirty and classic low budget label (that’s ‘Indie’ to you kids) named NEAT was recording something that would never be bested in terms of the amorphous but specif category of ‘Balls.’

Find a picture of Raven (the brothers Gallagher and Whacko) anD that paints the picture. These were not your usual British Heavy Metal stars. No denim, no leather. They looked like Soccer Hooligans. They looked absolutely insane. Not even including the football helmet Whacko wore to keep from continually hitting himself in the head.

This was a power trio that didn’t come with that vaguely souring Cream influence of endless soloing and the bottom falling out with every bass solo. They were jet fueled, nuclear. tight. Absolute Madmen, perfect for tying any PYT to a train track.

‘Wiped Out’ is a perfect Metal record. I should note ‘IMO’ or some similar disclaimer.

But No. This is definitive fact. Doubt me? Find it.

This record is a collection of some of my favorite things about NWOBHM:

Best opening cut of the era? Yes. It starts like a strange sci fi engine with special effects audio (surely discovered drunkenly) and the creep and still absolutely baffling ‘Listen here, Mission Control…Einstein Was Wrong….’ and then rips the time space continuum with ‘Faster Than The Speed Of Light’.

Now…lets dial back…..what sorta hogwash was that opening line about? It has puzzled me more than actual astrophysics (which I have no hope of understanding, so why try?)

Best Song To Play Out Your Droogy Fantasies? ‘Bring The Hammer Down’ The beat is a natural rhythm for dancing around the burning homes of the rich and privileged.

Best Riff In Metal: I gotta go with ‘Star War’. That’s a hard one….Ive listened to a lot of Maiden…..but I’m sticking with it.

Most accurate psychopath vocals: John Gallagher, the whole record. He sings like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre family looks.

Just Do It: