Saturday, May 29, 2010

Epic Rave Birthday Party

I went to an amazing party this evening! You may recall (but probably not) a bassist friend of mine named Jared. He's only a Junior, but he's in a band, 34Bliss, who are already playing paid gigs. Anyway, his birthday was yesterday, and he threw a sweet party today.

Now, Jared's a bit of a frightening character. It's not that he's a bad guy or anything, he's just a very hardcore metal fan and dresses that way. I wasn't too worried about his party though, because he has a sister in my grade who is semi-preppie and quite nice. She invited friends as well, so she wouldn't have to hang out with her brother's friends all night. Also, Jared hangs out with some "normal" (because who really is?) people, and a lot of them would be there. In the end, both he and his sister's friends mingled and hung out together.

When I got to his place, I headed out to his shed (featuring an all-out studio for his band), where there was some intense guitar hero playing was going on. Some of my friends were there, and one whom I hadn't seen since he graduated. For a while, we just hung out and drank a ton of soda and listened to metal at insane volumes (did I mention he has most, if not all, of his band's stage speakers?). After a bit of time, some pretty awesome people showed up that I got to meet.

Lets see...there was Izzie (I assume that's how it was spelled), who was a guitar player. When he showed up, he was wearing a skeleton face-mask and a duster jacket with flame embroidery, complemented by his waist length hair. I knew he'd be a cool dude right away, because anyone who can wear that and have a sense of humour about it has to be pretty sweet. There were also some people from school I'd seen before at the party, and it was nice to get to know them.

Before the sun went down, the party was pretty mellow. They have a pond in their front yard, where most of his sister's friends were, and one of my good friends (Leah). They begged me to come in, even though I had no bathing suit or a change of clothes. Eventually, I decided to go out to the platform they were on in a paddle boat. To make a long story short, Jared's sister (Taylor) cannon-balled into the water right next to me, getting my clothes soaked. I had to walk around the rest of the night with no shoes, my flannel shirt off, and my pant legs rolled up like a hipster. It was refreshing, though.

After the sun went down, the real fun started. You see, Jared has a lot of money (did you pick up on that yet?) and he had his shed completely decked out for a rave. There were 8+ strobe lights, the huge speakers I mentioned before, a smoke machine, and 68 glow sticks. Everyone grabbed a ton of glow sticks, the lights went out and the strobes went on, and we started dancing. Let me tell you, rave-dancing is my kind of dancing. At school dances, you're always goofy looking when you jump around like crazy and flail your arms about. Not at a rave, with a glow stick in each hand and music made to jump to. I was full of insane energy, and probably danced the most.

After one song, Jared turned down the music and said, "[so-and-so] requested we moshed to this song. If you don't want to, go outside." Well, I wanted to, despite the fact I was barefoot. Moshing is...intense. It was totally fun, too. Everyone was slamming into each other, bouncing off the person next to them and knocking each other over. All my fellow mosh-ers had to pause a few times to catch their breath, but I kept on jumping and waving my glow sticks around. I knew doing it barefoot would be a horrible idea, but I felt nothing the entire time I was dancing. Afterward...well, let's just say I had to use a flashlight to make sure my feet weren't bleeding. Still, it was amazing.

In between rave-sessions we went and hung out by the fire. Jared played some of his band's songs, which were awesome. They're a great sound, which is really hard to compare to another band. The best I can do is say they have semi-mellow, almost acoustic sounding verses, with punk or grunge-ish sounding choruses. I was a bit surprised, because they sounded nothing like what I would imagine Jared playing. Anyway, I'm going to see them next month, on the 19th, with Leah and a few other people who were at the party.
All in all, it was an awesome party, possibly the best I've ever been to. I had a ton of fun, and for those whom I wish to inspire, all this fun was created purely through my own mind and no "chemical influences". I think it was a great way to spend a Saturday night, and I really enjoyed hanging out with new people, as well as my tried and true friends.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Shopping Trip

Today after school I went to Utica and went shopping! If you'll recall, Utica is the odd city made up completely of suburb-hell and retail stores. Despite the suburbs, it's a great place to go shopping. Shopping may not seem like a huge event to some, but it's been quite a while since I've been. Trust me, I'm not a bubble-head who's obsessed.We went so we could visit Dick's Sporting Goods and see if they had any roller skates. Notice the emphasis; I want nothing but the most vintage of items. Long story short, they didn't have them. It looks like we'll have to order them online...hey, what's one more week?

However, there was a huge thrift store right next door. We headed in, and spent about an hour and a half just looking around. Apparently, my pant-size is very uncommon (30-32). Furthermore, those that are in my size are never in any style I like (boot cut or skinny). They did have a few Oasis CDs, a band I've wanted to get into for a while now. I also got something else very awesome: non-prescription glasses! They look totally real, too.

The only problem is the fact that they pinch my head after a while. Oh well...it's not like I can wear them to school anyway. Why, you ask? People would constantly say, "Oh Drew, I didn't know you wore glasses." I'd say, "I don't," and be all witty and sarcastic and whatnot. Then the person who asked would continue asking stupid questions, like "Wait...so why are you wearing them then?". What isn't clear about the first answer? People don't think enough and talk too much sometimes.

After we left the thrift shop, we headed to dinner at a cool Italian restaurant who's name I know I cannot spell. We had a thin crust pizza, which was delicious. Their cannoli was really expensive, so we went to a local grocery store and got some bakery cannoli.

Eventually, we headed to our final destination: Old Navy. I needed a new pair of jeans (my reason for looking at the thrift store) and I figured they would have what I needed. They did, and more. I got a sweet pair of boot-cut jeans, as well as a button-up shirt that's made of corduroy.

All in all, I'm happy with today's trip. We didn't actually spend too much, which was nice, but it was fun. Someday, perhaps I'll even post a picture with me wearing any of the three items I got today! (Of course, I'll be playing guitar in it.) Did you have an awesome Friday? Please, do share!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Trip To Cleveland

As many of you know, I've been training for yet another half marathon - since the last one, actually. Well, it was yesterday, in Cleveland. We drove down on Friday with my mom's friend Juliet and wandered around on Saturday.

When we got to Cleveland, we set up in our respective hotels and then walked down to the House of Blues for dinner. Our waiter was a really cool dude, who took his time conversing with us. He approved of my Velvet Underground T-shirt, and supplied an anecdote about seeing Lou Reed in concert recently. The food was pretty good, as well. I got one of my standards, a bacon cheeseburger. After dinner we visited their store, which, despite having a cool denim jacket, held no special appeal to me.
During dinner, I had approximately five diet cokes. I visited the bathroom once or twice while we were there, but obviously didn't take care of the liquids in their entirety. My foolishness quickly became apparent while walking about the town, which seemed to close down around 7 P.M. I could find no open stores with public restrooms for me to use. I became very agitated, and was probably a pain to be around. We finally made it back to the hotel, and just in time. I was very angsty/depressive for about ten minutes after, lamenting my stupidity and complaining that "I'll never be as awesome as I could be because I'm such a stupid idiot and have such a small bladder." I stopped after my mom started crying, because she was upset to see me upset with myself.

The next day we went to the race expo, where we got lots of free goodies and listened to an inspirational speaker. After the expo, we checked out a cool submarine tour, which featured the USS Cod, a WWII sub. It was shockingly tiny, but it supposedly housed 97 men. Crazy...
Sunday was, of course, the marathon. I had a goal for my time, which was 2 hrs 10 min. My actual time, measured by the chip located in my bib, was 2:07:45. Basically, that means I rock. I ran the entire race, only stopping at a few water stations because I'm unable to drink and run at the same time. I had a great run up until about the sixth mile, and after that it was just mildly uncomfortable. The worst were the last three miles, because they were on a freeway. I saw the tenth mile marker and thought, "Great, only 30 minutes left!" After 30 minutes passed (or so it felt), the eleventh mile arrived. Yes, they were very long.

After I finished, I was able to head back to our hotel that was a block away and take a shower. My mom texted me at the twelfth mile, and I had just enough time to limp back to the finish line and take her picture. A bit after that, I got a terrible, splitting headache and was forced to head back to the hotel for a long, long nap. When I woke up and my headache was gone, we went to eat at Fat Fish Blues, a great Cajun restaurant that let us sit right next to the sweet blues band that was performing.

Today, we visited the best part of Ohio - The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. I actually got to see props from The Wall concert!! We also saw U2 3D, which was sweet. Walking around hurt (a lot), but it was worth suffering through. I also got to see cool stuff like Jim Morrison's Cub Scout uniform, and one of Kurt Cobain's custom guitars. At the gift shop, I got the CD Rust Never Sleeps, by Neil Young. I've started to really get into his music for some reason, probably because it's fun to play on guitar. I also got a sweet poster of Kurt Cobain playing guitar, which will look great in my room.

All in all, it was a really great weekend. I'm proud of myself for running the entire 13.1 miles, and I had a lot of fun doing tourist-type things. Now I have one question: when's the next one?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

COS Show, And My Party

The party was great! Bobby and I played a show, I dominated at pool, and we rocked out to records and told jokes the whole night.

Obviously, the show is the main thing I want to talk about. Okkayyy, maybe it was more like us saying "Hey, we're playing a song, so shut up!" in the middle of a much larger and longer jam session. Five of the eight people there play guitar, and we were all making tons of noise and banging on the drums and what-not. Fortunately, my awesome bass amp totally overpowered everything else, so I could be star of the show whenever I wanted. Don't worry, I wasn't too much of an attention whore.

The songs we played were "Basement Song" and "I Don't Know", plus an as-of-yet unnamed acoustic song by Bobby. The first two, despite having lyrics, were sans-vocals. The third did, but they were almost impossible to hear if you didn't know they were there (Bobby sang them). "Basement Song", which Bobby wrote and I penned lyrics for, went OK-ish. We've never played it 100% perfectly, because we both seem to have slightly different mental concepts of how the rhythm should go.

"I Don't Know", which I wrote in its entirety, was a bit better. I was on guitar and Bobby was on drums, and we put on a good performance. We actually had to play it the whole way through twice, because during the first time through someone else had a guitar plugged in and they were standing right in front of their amp, causing terrible feedback towards the middle of the song. We were recording the show, otherwise I wouldn't have cared. The recording is our first "official" one, because we played the entire song through without stopping for mistakes and we were in front of real people.

The rest of the night was pretty chill. We sat around and told funny stories while listening to "Hunky Dory" by David Bowie, then a live album by the Dropkick Murphys. After all the funny stuff we could think of was exhausted, we employed George Carlin's "Class Clown" to keep us amused.

All in all, it was a great party. I had a ton of fun, and I think everyone else had a great time too. In fact - let's do it again real soon.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Daily Anecdotes

So, interesting anecdotes from my day.

My mom and I went running today, because the half marathon is in nine days. I came home from school, changed into my running shorts and crappy T-shirt, and packed clothes to put on after (because I wanted to go to Barnes & Noble). I knew my mom wanted to go pick up some new shoes, but I thought she would go to a stand-alone sporting goods shop. Turns out, she intended to go to the mall.

"What are we doing here?" I asked, somewhat panicked. I did NOT want to go into a mall full of my peers while wearing shorts that come up to the middle of my thighs and act nonchalant. However, she was very insistent. I swallowed my pride, got out of the car, and headed in. It was pretty early in the afternoon, fortunately, so there weren't too many teens yet. Still... To make matters worse, my shorts had severe static cling and were sticking to my legs, accentuating my odd-looking quadricep muscles.

I managed to make it out alive, thankfully. The run went pretty well, and my mom's new shoes worked great. I changed into my casual, not obnoxiously short clothing, and got all excited about going to B&N. Sadly...as we went down the main road, my mother observed a lack of working traffic signals. The power was out all across town, and the store was closed. We had to go out of our way to get gas for the car, but were fortunate in that our house (25 min. out of town) had power.

Although these stories seemed much more relevant in my head, they don't look it written out. Still, it's my opinion that a crappy post is better than none at all. And who knows? Perhaps you, the reader, will find relevance in my day-to-day activities.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Concert, Basement Practices, And A Birthday!

Hey hey, what's up? The concert, as well as band practice, as well as my birthday, went great. In order? Okay!

The concert was actually somewhat non-eventful. I played my two songs for jazz band perfectly, "Green Onions" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". I had intended to get video of me playing, but my mom and I forgot the camera, so no dice. My friend Nick played with me on 'Green Onions", and it was cool sounding with two basses. A guy name Jared, an amazing bassist at our school who is actually in a ''real" band with a record deal, played an amazing bass solo that just showed why he's a professional. Of course, he had thousand-dollar equipment and pedals, but still...what he played took some skill.

Band practice was very awesome. Turns out Bobby can sing! Well! He had a few new songs to show me, and one of them we worked on quite extensively. He's described it as sounding very much like Neil Young, which I agree with. I made a sweet bass line, and we recorded it a few times.

He also took a look at my new stuff, and at some lyrics I've been writing. Some of my songs have both lyrics and a guitar part, some are just guitar, and a lot of the lyrics are without music. He came up with a melody for one of my songs, Zen Stereo (mad props to the blogger I borrowed that name from!). We also just chilled and played video games while listening to George Carlin records, which was really fun. It's been a while since I've just chilled and hung out with someone, so it was nice.

Have I mentioned that today is my birthday? Well, it is! Woohoo! I didn't tell anyone, but a lot found out through that darned facebook. My mother got me a pair of old-school roller skates, but the store was out of my size so they are a bit delayed. Ah well, no matter. she also gave me a $25 discover gift card to use when we go to Cleveland for our half marathon in 2 weeks. Keeley (my girlfriend) made me 3 mix CDs and got me a bunch of really cool guitar picks. They're really nice, and very thoughtful. Joe got me a Barnes & Noble gift card, which is great considering I really need something new to read.

My grandparents got me exactly what I requested, which was a really big bass amp. It's 100 watts, and it has a bunch of effects built in (that I can't seem to get to work yet). My uncle got me a new gig bag for my bass because my old one is broken, and a pack of new strings. Those, along with my new amp, are making me sound better than ever. Seriously, the amp is intense. I can out power pretty much any guitar amp, and when I use it in our living room ant about half the max volume, the house shakes and pictures wobble threateningly. it's sweet.

So...I've talked about me; how are all of you doing? Hopefully well! See you soon, but I have to go to bed now.