Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Real, Live Show! On Film!!

Hey, dearest readers!  I dunno if everyone who hasn't been blogging is still standing quietly in the background and reading, but if they are then this is for them.  I've been trying to comment on posts to show that I'm still alive and reading blogs, just not writing my own.  Well, until now, that is.  Anyhoo, let's get started!

I've been quite busy lately, musically.  Last Tuesday was a big event at my school, our annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the local charity Julie's Kids.  At this dinner, student musicians are invited to perform and entertain the people eating their spaghetti, so of course I jumped on the opportunity to play!  Bobby and I prepared a nice, happy set to play, and generally got ready.  We learned a Christmas song to play for everyone, my favorite, "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)" by The Ramones.  If I'm gonna be playing a Christmas song, I'm going to do it up right!

We used Tanner's drumkit for the show, because it's way nicer.  However, transporting the kit involved tearing it completely down and cramming all the pieces into the back of my car, along with all my guitars and amplifiers and whatnot.  I arrived at the school about half an hour before the show, planning on having ample time to set up all our gear (including Bobby's equipment and Stephen's PA system).  Sadly for me, when I walked in I discovered a list on the wall with the order everyone would play in, and saw Crush Of Society listed as the first act.  And the last act.  And an act for somewhere in the middle of the show.  We weren't at all prepared for being the openers, or the longest total performance there.  Fortunately for the organizers, we WERE prepared to be awesome, so we managed to set everything up in time for the start of the show, and we split our set up and lengthened it to their needs.

Let me tell you - I was PUMPED for this show.  When the MC, Tessa, was introducing us, I was behind the curtain doing jumping jacks and crazy kung-fu kicks in the air.  My warm-up method seemed to work fairly well, because our set went AMAZINGLY!  My guitar was obnoxiously loud for the first song, but I honestly didn't care very much.  My only concern with the set was that we were too noisy for the people eating their spaghetti, and that some boring old person would ask us to not go back on for our other two sets.  Fortunately, my fears were unfounded.  Tanner was a hero and recorded all of our sets, so you'll get to see them too!!  here they are:

The last set we played was probably the tightest in terms of performance, but the levels were off and the only people still at the show were the volunteers cleaning up.  Like I say towards the middle - we played music for them to clean up to!

Other than my musical endeavors, I haven't been up to very much.  My mom had leg surgery on the day of the show, and since then she's been recuperating at home.  I took two days after her surgery off from school, which was a nice little break with virtually no missed work.  I managed to get a post written for ZME during that time, which is about the first free album I've received from a band!  It's The Dead Milkmen's first album in an incredibly long time, The King In Yellow.  I was super happy to get it, actually, because the lady who sent it also included a bunch of EPs from other, lesser known artists.

All in all, things are going quite well.  I'll try to post more, but I shan't make promises.  Hopefully, we'll talk again soon!!  If you don't mind me basically advertising about my band, I'll post more about what we do musically.  Let me know what you want to read!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

School Bloggin'

Hey, everyone!  I'm lucky, because with all of my 3rd hour off, I'm able to blog during school.  Also, I can write my music reviews during this time!  I've posted a new one, an album review of Tom Waits' new album Bad As Me.  It's my first album review, so it was a bit different to write than the concert ones.  I actually preferred it, I think.  It's more poetic to write about listening to music, and the impressions I get.  I sat in the school's library and listened to it for two days straight, taking down notes and researching lyrics and who played what on which songs.  It was surprisingly intense, but it worked.  I never even looked back at my notes while I was writing the actual article, but I think they helped.  I'm actually listening to the next album I plan on reviewing whilst typing this, but I don't think it necessitates notes on every single track.  By the way, the album is The Black Belles' self-titled debut album.  I saw them live at MI-fest, and they were amazing!  They're like The White Stripes, but with organs, bass, and four goth girls playing all the instruments.  Here's a picture of me with the keyboardist!

Apparently, her name is Lil'Boo.  Weird.

[Can't post the picture until after I get home.  If you're reading this before then, check back soon!!]

This week is the tech week of our school's fall play, Granny Smyth Goes To Washington.  Trust me when I say that it's going to be terrible.  Tonight is the dress rehearsal, and most of the actors still need scripts for the second half.  We've only been onstage since Monday, and we haven't run the last two scenes onstage yet.  Lights (my task) are going to be iffy, though Bobby (who's helping me) and I are doing our best.  Tonight's practice will probably run until 8 or 9, and it's gonna be one long and painful crunch.  Still, it's terribly fun!  I'd be more worried about embarrassment if I was actually in the play, but since no one sees the light guys, I'm not too concerned about the play's quality.  I'll have fun either way.  Not to mention Denny's!!  We're going there after tomorrow's premier, like we do every time.  I'm gonna drink ALL the fruity drinks!!  Don't judge me.

After drama's over, I won't have anything major going on for about two weeks, until quizbowl starts up again.  What will I do with my time?  Who knows!  I haven't been able to see Gabby at all lately, other than at drama and while hanging out in her kitchen.  Maybe (cross your fingers) we'll get to hang out!  Along with that, I'm going to try and make it to band practices.  I haven't been to one in three weeks, and it's upsetting.  They've been getting stuff done without me, but I want to be involved.  What if they discover they don't need me??  Haha, I don't think that will happen, but...I'd be best off making myself useful and showing up to practice!

The school's crappy WiFi keeps fading in and out...since I'm streaming the album, it's really annoying.  The school's new I.T. guy is far better with the internet than the one who retired last year, but it turns out that's a bad thing.  Unlike our old guy, this one actually knows what websites to block.  He's even gotten to...*GASP*...Grooveshark!  Not the entire website, mind you, just the songs that are deemed offensive.  I have no clue how he did it, but that's what it seems to be.

Wow, this has been the longest hour ever, for some reason.  It's finally coming to an end!  Well, 15 more minutes.  I must say, this is an excellent album I'm listening to.  My last concert review, the Mustard Plug show, mentioned all the opening bands as well.  My favorite of the bunch, Ego & The Maniacs, was a local ska band that found my article via Google Alerts.  They posted a link to it on Facebook, all happy and whatnot, and emailed me a thank you.  They had about the same number of fans as The Black Belles, so hopefully they'll talk to me personally about the review too!  I'd love for anyone associated with their label, Third Man Records, to hear about me.  What if *LOUDER GASP* Jack White himself reads it??  That'd be amazing!!

Well, I've got to get going.  I'll probably be writing the album review over the next couple of days, so I'll keep you updated!  Until then, keep on blogging!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I Apologize, My Friends

Hello, dearest readers. Christopher reminded me that, "Oh yeah, I have a blog that people read occasionally," so I shall post. I'm not really sure why I haven't been, other than business and laziness (neither of which is a decent excuse). I haven't been up to terribly much, since the ska concert that was a month ago...I finally got my ZME article about it posted, though!! It's right on over here.

Two weeks ago was homecoming, which could be seen as rather significant. I had a lot of fun at the game and dance, particularly the latter. Tanner and Charles came!! They were the dates of Kaylee (my bandmate), and our friend Saraha, who we needed to keep from bringing a 20 year old (like she did last year). I was super-glad they were there, and it was a blast. We went to dinner at a local steakhouse, Lucky's, where Tanner works. I got a burger, and nearly exploded! Not a good choice right before a dance, shockingly. Gabby looked beautiful, and I was really happy to be her date.

She was really sad when the dance ended, and cried because it was her last homecoming dance...this year will have a lot of that, I think. Oh well; I shall try to be as supportive as possible!

I've been forcing myself to play more music lately, because I have been slacking a little. Team Fortress 2 and various academic things keep getting in the way!! Screw 'em, I want to be a musician. I Eat Stickfigures has been practicing weekly, with various combinations of the entire band in attendance. We've had one full-band practice, which even had a guest appearance from founding drummer Damien!! He can't actually play drums, so he's not too bitter about not being in the band (his fault, because he moved an hour away!). We've got one ska song that we're working on, called "Shivering." It's awesome!! I'm playing a pretty boring rhythm guitar part in it, but that's okay, because I also get to harmonize during parts of the vocals! I can't wait until it's done, and show-offable.

My college class has been a complete waste of time. For three weeks in a row, the longest class period was 45 minutes. I drove 30 minutes just to get to the college, so I end up using an hour's worth of gas to learn nothing for a couple minutes. I've given up on learning, although I can program in Python now. Is it useful? No. Next semester, I'm taking photography. Something that will enable me to use the school's cameras, at least!

Well...I will try to post more frequently, so Christopher doesn't get sad!! I have an hour off of school thanks to college, so I need to utilize that time more wisely. Does anyone have any writing prompts? Things for me to try and be humorous about? Your suggestions are always welcome!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Story Of My Life (A Small Piece, Anyway)

Hey!  Yup, it's a Saturday night, aaaaand...I'm sitting in front of my computer!  Before you cry, "Go do something, you're a teen!" remember that I do have the excuse of having spent the past week ill.  I'm enjoying some well-needed rest, particularly after only getting 5 hours of sleep each night.  I think I'll tell you guys about how my life has been going in general, with school and whatnot, rather than talk about concerts and stuff.  Although, just so you know, I DID get within 20 feet of Jack White two weeks ago, and it was amazing.

Anyway, school has been picking up and falling into routine.  It doesn't feel like the beginning of the year anymore, which is nice; I tend to feel like the first two or three weeks are a waste.  I dunno if I've mentioned it, but I started doing dual-enrollment at the local community college.  I'm replacing one of my elective classes with a college course, and the school is paying for it.  This semester, I decided to take Programming Concepts.  It's a decent class, though I haven't learned how to hack into the CIA's databases, which was my goal. [NOTE: to any CIA agents reading this, I'm joking.  Don't taze me, bro!!] The biggest bummer is losing an elective class.  At the beginning of the school year, I still had all six classes I'd originally signed up for.  I was quite happy with this, and hoped no one would notice.  Yesterday, I finally got a call down to the counselor's office, and she made me drop a class.  I was quite snarky and irritable with her, because I'd already had a bad day.  I really liked speech class, and after four weeks of doing all the homework, taking the tests, etc., I didn't want to leave.  I'll try to blackmail them into giving it back to me, though...I'm crafty and persuasive enough!

Last Saturday was Gabby and I's one-year anniversary!!  I'm incredibly happy to have made it this far with such a wonderful girl.  We went to dinner at Applebee's to celebrate, and got all dressed up fancy for it.  Both of us were just coming down with colds though, so we didn't have too big of appetites.  Still fun!!  We also went to an orchard the week before, and got pizza from the local, unfrequented pizza shop.  It was a blast as well!

The band has been having practices regularly.  I'd say "COS" or "I Eat Stickfigures," but it's hard to tell which band is which anymore.  We're kinda just playing each other's songs, trying to get stuff written for each other.  All four of us (not counting Stephen, who hasn't been practicing lately) are writing our own songs, and each song kind of requires different people playing different things.  However, we have been working on some awesome stuff!  Kaylee has a cool Metric-esque song that demands electric guitar, which I gladly supply.  Tanner, Bobby, and I have been doing various goofy things, like playing a weird hard-rock version of "The Cha-Cha Slide", which I love playing.  We also worked on a blues song called "The Stalker Blues," which I suggested and Tanner took running.  I tried singing it, but my voice was completely shot from my illness.

Actually, that song was inspired by personal events of mine...I have a bit of a stalker.  I met her at Math Field Day last spring, and she looked me up on Facebook via the programs that listed every single person that went.  I added her, we started chatting, and I soon gave her my cell number for texting.  We texted quite a bit for the next few months, which progressed into phone calls and eventually Skyping.  She actually sent me the money to buy the webcam (which I used in my vlog), along with two Queen CDs.  Unfortunately, things took a downward turn.  She started getting more and more dependent, and quite needy.  For a while I suppose I didn't discourage that, which I feel bad about.  However, it started to get ridiculous.  I got sick of the drama that seemed to constantly surround her, and I got sick of getting non-stop calls from her.  At breakfast, while I was in school, during times I'd made it clear I didn't want her calling.  She got super-defensive when I called her out on it, and things eventually climaxed with her telling me "You're an impatient ass."  In response, I quit responding.  Period.  I've gotten about eight or nine texts from her since then, spread out over the past four weeks.  They swing between lonely, angry, and dramatic.  I don't plan on responding, no matter how immature that is.  I think a clean break is what's best, and that's what I'm going to do.  I don't miss her, and I'm relieved to no longer feel the pressure, stress, and obligation that texting her made me feel.

Anywhoo...that took an odd turn, eh?  In totally other news, here's my first article as a music journalist!!  It took a really long time to get it posted, but it's there!!  I talked to some guys from Creem magazine while at MI-fest, and apparently it's going back into print.  I told them I was reviewing the concert, and they told me to contact them about being a writer for them!  I'd freaking love to write for a real magazine.  *GASP* What if they paid me??  That'd be amazing!!

Haha, I'm done geeking out now.  Actually, I think I'm done with this post.  It was nice to touch in with everyone; thank you for sticking around despite my infrequent posting!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Concerts Every Which Way

Hey, everyone!! How's it going? Well? Awesome!!

I just wanted to say that school is going swimmingly, but definitely keeping me busy. Hey, first year without terrible allergies!! *knocks on wood* Perhaps the high-strength medication they've had me on is FINALLY kicking in...

When I'm not at school, I'm still going to concerts. On Saturday, I went with Kaylee and Stephen and a few other friends to see some local punk bands play, which was totally sweet! We went to a local coffee shop called The Raven, which is the only oasis of classy culture in Port Huron. I'd say it's the only oasis of culture, period, but there IS The's just not classy. That's the "venue" we went to for the bands' show, which is pretty infamous 'round these parts. It's an abandoned looking building, with a tiny empty room that has wood paneling and no windows. The band plays on the floor with the fans; stages are too fancy for this place. The place was sweet, but there weren't enough people for some good moshing to go on. None of my friends moshed or jumped around with me, though I don't blame them...not their kind of thing to do, and apparently it looked like I was gonna get hurt the whole time I was out there. Not surprising, since (loose!) fists were flying and I kept slipping and falling on my butt. It was still awesome, however, and we plan on making this a frequent get-together!!

Sunday was the Honda Civic Tour, with Blink-182 and My Chemical Romance. I'd write all about that here, but I already did for my JOB as a music blogger. Yeah, you heard me right!! I'm writing for the website ZME Music, which is so freaking awesome!! I don't get paid, but as soon as I've proven myself I'll be given an email address with which I can request promotional CDs, merch, and concert tickets! More than adequate compensation, for something I'd be doing anyways.

Tomorrow is the MI-Fest, a new festival they're trying to start. So far, nothing's going too well, but I'll talk about that once I've been there and can give you the whole story. Actually, you'll get the personal side of it, and ZME is gonna get the music portion (with linkage provided on here!!) I'm actually hoping to apply to Creem magazine tomorrow, which has apparently re-booted and is gonna be at the show tomorrow. Wish me luck at looking like I know what I'm talking about!!

Finally, next Friday is going to be another Ska concert, with Tanner and Damien and Cheyenne. We'll be going to see Mustard Plug, a Grand Rapids-based band. Oddly enough, we'll be seeing them in Toledo, OH...weird, but totally awesome!! Once again, I'll be talking more on that when it happens. I dunno if that'll be going on ZME, but if it does, it'll just be a description of how it sounded; I'll tell you about what I do, and how I feel.

Well...I have to get some sleep, since MI-fest is 3 hours away tomorrow morning. It'll be great!! I'll keep you updated!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Last Week Of Freedom

Hey!! I was excited about writing my first post in the new, improved version of Blogger, with the fancy new layout and whatnot; sadly, the post-writing page refused to load for me. Of course, it did taunt me with a "loading" icon, but there was still empty nothingness once that went away. Thank goodness the old interface still works!

This week, I've done...well...pretty much nothing. I've worked, but in terms of "interesting-ness," that's still definitely not noteworthy. School starts next Tuesday, because Michigan schools don't start up until after Labor Day (it's the law!). My mom, a teacher, went into work for the first time last week, so when I wasn't also working I did some musical stuff whilst home alone. Specifically, I recorded a new song!! It's called "Sneaking Around," and it's up for you to hear on our Facebook page. I was proud of it, because it's WAY more in depth than anything else I've recorded. 3 guitars, a bass line, 2 guitars on the solo, and a vocal track consisting of multiple takes layered together. Oh, and the DRUMS. I can't drum at all, so in order for me to play drums on the track, I had to play each part of the kit separately - one recording of me wailing on the cymbals, one of me tapping the snare drum, and one of me playing the bass drum with my hands. My legs aren't strong enough to play bass drum consistently for 2 minutes, so I had to get down on my knees and press down on the pedal like I was performing CPR. Funky, eh?

Oh yeah!! I went to the hospital yesterday. Seriously, that didn't once cross my mind of things to blog about...haha! I got stung by a bee in the afternoon, and about an hour later I started getting hives and bumps all over my body. Of course, after Googling my symptoms, my mom and I decided that it'd probably be wise to visit the hospital, just in case. It was a slow night in the ER, so they basically took me in and gave me Benedryl and a steroid shot to reduce inflammation. I think I may have been a bit of a hypochondriac, but better safe than sorry!! It smelled like old people in's been a long time since I've been to the hospital...last time was when I was 10, and sliced my knee open on a piece of glass - yeah, I'm pretty hardcore.

It's gonna be pretty weird in school this year - lots of my friends graduated last year, like the illustrious Tanner Simmons. Also, this is my first year since starting Junior High that I won't be in band. I know, I know...crazy, right? My school's band is terribly dysfunctional, and not in a good way. All the real musicians at the school tend to drop out, with only a few exceptions. This year, I'm gonna carry on that legacy! It'll still be weird to not have Marching Band at the beginning of the year though... that was basically the structure of my social life for a good 3 months. Ahh well, there'll always be Drama Club!! grandparents are headed to my house currently, to take me into town for a little back to school shopping!! nothing fancy...just a nice, functional outfit. I hafta the meantime, develop a new passion!! Or something. I feel like I should give you all assignments, like Christopher does...that'll have to do for now!

Friday, August 26, 2011

He's Alive!!

Hey!! Who's that? Drew?? I'm back!! I have a multitude of videos for you, to kind of catch you up on what has been going on for the past month.

First up is a vlog I made, which explains pretty much the rest of this post. It's a wee bit long, so I will give a brief summary of what all the other videos are. Of course, for the full, unfiltered Boyd's World! experience, you're gonna need to click on that there play button. Go for it!

In addition to my vlog, I have a few videos of me performing for everyone! First up is me playing rhythm guitar for I Eat Stickfigures, at a local benefit concert:

Ehh? Pretty rad, huh? COS also had a 30 minute set there, but the dude who recorded it hasn't gotten it up yet...something about the audio. Apparently it sounds bad? I coulda told him that, haha!!

Up next is me playing my acoustic at the open mic I went to this last Tuesday. Kaylee didn't capture my last song, but that's OK; I wasn't terribly happy with it anyway.

...Hmmmm. It was posted to Facebook, which means I can't embed it. Here's a link to it on the COS page, anyway!! Ya might just wanna hit the "like" button to the side...but, you know, that's up to you.

Finally, here's a link to Kaylee's Youtube channel. Her newer stuff isn't up yet, but the song "Pursuit" is freaking amazing!! It gives me goosebumps every single time I hear it.

Anyway...I'm gonna be blogging more again. I'm really, terribly sorry about my absence!! I'll do my darnedest not to wait this long again. Until next time, though...stay golden!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Let's All Skank!!

Dang...yet another super-eventful week!! Actually, I guess it's been two since I've actually told you what has been going on, but I can only remember back a few days.

I was gonna write a post outlining each day of the week, but I can already tell that'll just be too freaking long. I will, however, tell you about the new guitar I got!! I know a dude who owns a weird memorabilia store that's about an hour away from where I live. He had this AMAZING vintage guitar there that I fell in love with upon first sight. I decided I would bring my rarely-played hollowbody bass guitar in there, and offer a trade.

Sadly, on the day I brought the bass down, he was in the back room, playing the vintage guitar for the last time before he sold it. To someone else. Argggggg. I still sold my hollowbody bass, and made $130 off it, more than doubling what I bought it for, all broken and whatnot. I made sure to ask for more than the other guitar was priced, just in case the sale fell through.

And what do you know, it did! My mom got a text that morning, saying the dude didn't buy the guitar after all. Guess what he bought instead?? My bass!!! Crazy coincidence, eh? Needless to say, I headed back there that day, and bought the super-amazing guitar. So far, it hasn't disappointed!!

It's a hollowbody as well, but this one's a six-string. It's a Penncrest, which was basically the J. C. Penney brand of guitar, made by Kay guitars. It has a Bigsby-style vibrato arm, and a little lever-thingy that will palm-mute the strings. It sounds delightfully echoey, and it feeds back very nicely. that I've raved about guitars, we can move on to the next item of business. Tanner, of blogging fame (his post about the same thing I'm writing about), as well as our friends Damien and Cheyenne, have been planning on going to see Reel Big Fish and Streetlight Manifesto for quite a while. Of course, upon hearing about their plans and noticing that there would be an extra seat available in whatever car was taken, I had to ask if I could go. Long story short, that concert was on Thursday!! It was at Clutch Cargoes, an excellent venue in Pontiac. RBF and Streetlight co-headlined, with two opening bands: The Maxies, and Rodeo Ruby Love. The Maxies went first, and they were pretty freaking sweet. They were a violent, mean punk band, FROM GREENLAND (as they reminded us in every song.) Damien pretty much immediately pushed his way to the front of the crowd to skank (ska music's trademark dance), and the resulting skank pit quickly turned into a mosh pit. I hopped right in, and held my own pretty damn well.

The next band, Rodeo Ruby Love, was a nice, relaxing indie band with love songs and a synthesizer. They were nice, although they didn't fit in with the rest of the bands and got booed a little. I liked them, even though they were hard to hear at times.

Towards the end of their set, the crowd started packing back in. In a few minutes, my (probably) favorite ska band took the stage: Reel Big Fish. The crowd immediately started rocking back and forth, and it was *almost* frightening. I realized pretty quickly, however, that if I fell over I'd probably be able the just catch myself on one of the people less than 6 inches away on all sides. As the music started, the moshing began. Now, you might not realize this, but I like to consider myself a bit of a punk. Yes, I have long hair and I listen to mellow, happy music, but inside of me is a leather-clad punk that just wants to slam-dance and mosh the night away. And boy oh boy did I.

Within five minutes of RBF's set starting, I saw Damien go floating by on top of the crowd. At that point, I decided I MUST crowd-surf!! I asked him how he got up there next time I bumped (slammed) into him, and he told me to just shout at the people around me, "I'm going up!!" Apparently, they'll give you a boost. And they did!!! It was EXHILARATING. The crowd's hands were surprisingly gentle, and it was so incredible to look out and see the entire venue underneath me. I went up again during Streetlight's set, and almost got dropped (still amazing!)

Ahhh, the time Reel Big Fish left the stage, I was kind of exhausted. I went and paid 3 bucks for one of their waters, which I immediately downed. At this point I should mention Thursday was the hottest day of the year, and it was around 100+ degrees on the floor. I was drenched with sweat, and all my clothes were soaked completely through. People on the balconies kept throwing water and ice down into the crowd, and it was WELL APPRECIATED. Damien observed taking off your shirt lowered your body temperature by about 20 degrees, despite making you look like a tool. Actually, almost everyone in the audience was shirtless by the end of the show, including some of the women. When I took off my shirt, I seriously wrung out about a gallon of sweat and water. Dis-gusting, hahaha!

After the show, Tanner was kind enough to buy me a T-shirt. He's kind of my hero now, of course! I am now the proud owner of a Streetlight Manifesto shirt! He told me to repay him when we go to see The Flaming Lips. Cause, ya know, it'll happen eventually!

All in all, it was a freaking amazing concert. I came home covered in bruises, and my feet hurt so bad by Saturday that I could barely walk, but it was amazing! I need to go to many, many more ska concerts with the crew.

Well...I have another story about the next day, Friday, but I'll make that my next post so I can share all the videos! (spoilers much??) Until then, try to go to an awesome concert!! Then blog about it so I can live vicariously through you!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Obligatory Chicago Post: Pt. 3

Ahhh, we move on to Sunday, the second day of the DMB Caravan (technically the third, but I wasn't there on Friday)!! It was the most excellent day as far as music goes, although work was a bit harder.

See, Sunday was far hotter than Saturday, as well as way more oppressively hot and humid. Also, the concert-goers were somewhat annoyed with us, because for 3 days we'd been bugging them. All their money had gone to beer, and they didn't want to hear about some sticker. Still, we sold more on Sunday than Saturday! It kind of got confusing, though, because when I turned in a portion of our money to the organizers, I accidentally gave them some of my own money. Then, to make things worse, we counted the stickers wrong, so I thought I'd given them considerably more money than they were owed. Eventually, after nearly having a breakdown in the intense heat, I realized I had only given them $5 - as much as 1 sticker cost, which I would've eventually given them anyways. Still, after that incident, we just stopped selling them for the last hour. We sat in the mulch, got Cokes, and watched The Wailers play.

After our shift ended ("ohh, you didn't sell anymore? That's a bummer!"), we went and watched a mariachi band. Now, I'm not a huge fan of mariachi music - although it HAD been blasting all around the house we stayed at, all weekend. No, we went there because the next band that was playing there was important enough to me for us to stand around an hour early, just to get an amazing place to stand. Yes, that's right: THE FLAMING LIPS!! And get an amazing place to stand we did; we were only about 4 people back from the stage. Just so you get an idea, here's the road crew and band setting up the stage:

Crazy close, right?? The dude in the silver pants on the right was the guitarist/theramin player, and the guy you can just barely see on the left was the guitarist/keyboard player.

Wayne Coyne kept coming out onto stage, waving and staring intently at various things. Despite the 90+ degree heat, he had on a fur stole. Weird? He shot a confetti cannon at the audience at one point, and apparently tested the wind. (You know, for FUTURE confetti cannons.)

Finally, after about an hour of standing there, the show began. Wayne came out while the band was finishing up with testing their equipment, and said that they'd be covering Dark Side Of The Moon in its entirety, along with a few songs from The Wizard of Oz mixed in for good measure. But first, of course, he had to roll out on top of the audience in his giant plastic bubble!!

Yeah, I totally caught the bubble. He basically throws himself against the crowd, and it HURT to catch him!! I thought I had thrown my shoulder out at first. Also, that was the beginning of the literal crush of society that was the concert. I thought it was kinda cool, though - except during the song "Money."

At the beginning of that catchy tune, he brought out a huge, 10 ft. balloon, with a huge dollar sign on it. Inside, floating around, were bills of some kind. Upon closer inspection, it was all real money - lots of it!! He lectured the crowd about greed, and how "You shouldn't lust after this shouldn't trample your friends, for such a minor amount!" Yeah, that "minor amount" was supposedly $10,000, gifted to us by Dave Matthews himself. With that said, the band kicked off the song and he flung the balloon into the crowd. There were actually a bunch of balloons just like it back stage, each with money in it, and he kept throwing them at us. It was quite terrifying - with each one, the crowd lurched around and moved collectively towards it. One popped right above me, and people around me got money; I saw one dude stuffing a $20 into his wallet!

The whole concert was INSANE. Words cannot describe it accurately, despite my attempts. There were about 30 girls, all dressed like Dorothy, all dancing onstage. Joining them, there were very stoned dudes in costumes representing the Tin Man and all that. Also, at some point, a giant, inflatable dolphin and sun-head-thing came out and added to the weirdness. It was just...crazy. Awesomely so. I know it wasn't the best they could possibly be, because it was a festival environment, so I NEED to see them at their own concert now.

Ohh, one other thing. You know the song Great Gig In The Sky, which is basically just a woman vocalizing for about 6 minutes? I wondered how they'd do it, but there's no way I could have ever expected their solution.

That's one of the press photos of the woman they had sing it...apparently, her name is Lizzie Allen.Her freaky huge moth wings kept flapping throughout the song. She ROCKED it!! I wasn't a huge fan of Great Gig In The Sky before, but now I'll picture their awesome re-imagining every time I hear it.

All in all, it was an INCREDIBLE show. Pink Floyd couldn't have done it up better, I guarantee! It was so good, in fact, my mom suggested we left immediately afterwards. I was glad she did, because I'd been thinking the same thing as her: how could anything else that evening possibly top that?? It was better to leave then, with my insane, trippy memories.

As for the rest of the trip...not too much eventful happened. I still need to update you on Bobby and I's time in the studio, and on my fun time at The Stars and Stripes Fest, a weekend concert festival I went to the 4th of July weekend. Ahh well, we'll save those for the next post!! IN the mean time...make sure to check out COS's Facebook page!! And, if you aren't already a fan, you MUST listen to The Flaming Lips. Go. Do it now!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Obligatory Chicago Post: Pt. 2

Ahhh, I'm at home again. I love the Windy City, but sitting in my glider rocker in the living room still wins (for now). I'd have updated you sooner, but we had no internet Saturday or Sunday...our friends were on their own trip, and we weren't home enough to get the problem figured out ourselves.

So...not much else happened on Friday, so I won't worry about keeping you updated. On Saturday, however, our main purpose for being in Chicago kicked into action: The Dave Matthews Band Caravan, a travelling 3-day festival. Obviously, we couldn't afford tickets to see it, so we went with the eco-group Reverb. That's a link to their website, in case you're interested in free concert tickets and helping the environment. We only worked on Saturday and Sunday, because we didn't care much about any of the acts appearing on Friday. Plus, it'd be super exhausting, as we'd later find out.

Anyway, Saturday. We took the Metra train to the show, and discovered all city employees hated us. Not my mother and me in particular, just the concert-goers in general. Also, the train was completely full of us. When we got to our stop, we had to walk about a mile through a semi-frightening south-side neighborhood to get to the staff entrance. Once there, the guards pointed us down a dusty little road. Did I mention the show took place where a steel mill BLEW UP 20 years before? Let that set the scene a little. We took the dusty dirt road 2 miles in, turning tan-red in the process. When I say dusty, I mean blinding and choking dust. People going by on golf carts all had bandannas over their mouths, causing us to realize we needed some for ourselves.

After trekking our way to the check-in point, we met up with the Reverb employees and got our jobs. We were selling carbon-offset stickers, a job that sucked last time we did it. Basically, you have $5 stickers that people can buy. The money goes towards research and education concerning alternative energy, and each purchase offsets 300 miles driven by concert-goers. They're cool, and worth the money (some of the cheapest there), but people still hate you for selling the things. We were at least allowed to wander throughout the venue to sell them, so if we got tired we didn't have to keep doing it. Also, we got in about an hour before the doors were opened, so we could just wander around and check out vendors. During that time, I got a pair of cheap sunglasses, and a bandanna. The bandanna was from some Deadhead vendors, who gave us a staff discount. We thought it might be because we walked into their tent while they were all smoking pot, but it turns out they kept that up the whole day. The bandanna is pretty sweet, with a bunch of Grateful Dead skulls on it like paisley.

When the gates were opened, the main stage's PA started playing the Pink Floyd song "Run Like Hell." That seemed odd, until we saw the stampede start coming down the hill. It was INSANE!!! We got a video of it the second day, which I'll post soon. When the mad rush had subsided, we started selling. We sold 13 stickers the first day, which wasn't too bad. Actually, other people sold quite a few less, so I was pretty happy. We did spend quite a bit of our working time watching shows, and enjoying food and drink. They had frozen Keifer there, which ruined all other frozen treats for me it was so good.

Once we were done, we sought out shade and enjoyed some Diet Cokes. G Love was scheduled to play soon, so we went by his stage. Actually, we first stopped back by the Deadheads' tent and got a huge tapestry to sit on. It has (once again) a huge Grateful Dead skull on it, and looks really really sweet. Once again, I'll post pictures and videos in my next post.

We went and sat down, and then got back up again to watch G Love's set. He was pretty awesome!! We only heard him play songs from him newest album, but only the best from it. We left him early, to go sit down and wait for the next act I wanted to see, Ben Folds. I've only recently started to listen to him, but I REALLY enjoy his music!! Sadly, he was somewhat drowned out by idiot, drunken frat dudes. He did a hilarious cover, though, of "Sleazy" by Ke$ha. I've never heard the original, but now I don't need to...he did it up better and more amusingly than I could imagine.

After his set ended, DMB came on. The second song they played was "Burning Down the House," which I LOVE to hear them play. Honestly, it's my favorite song to hear them play. We stayed for about an hour of their set, hearing quite a few new songs. They seem to have a new album's worth of material, and played most of it during the course of the festival. After about an hour, we took off, because of A) the drunken asses EVERYWHERE, and B) we wanted to make sure we got home at a decent-ish time for work the next day.

When we did get home, we were starving and filthy. When I washed my hair, the water was brown with dust. Not to get too gross, but my snot was totally black straight into the next day. Actually, there have been many, many complaints on Twitter and IRL about "mud boogers." Needless to say, it was bogue. I slept like a rock, understandably.

So that's pretty much how the first day went. This post is already pretty long, and Sunday's experiences deserve an entire post. Man, just The Flaming Lips' show deserves an entire post!! Yeah, we saw them. Stay tuned for more fun and excitement, coming your way!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Obligatory Chicago Post: Pt. 1

Hey, readers!! I've put off blogging about all the exciting things that have been going on lately, and I now see where that was a mistake. I'm gonna have to put off posting about those things for a little while longer, because I'm in Chicago right now and feel obligated to post about my experiences so far.

My mom and I took the train here, which was very nice and relaxing as always. We were only 2-ish hours late this time, which isn't too bad as far as the train goes. When we arrived, we walked down to our Chicago friend's office building to drop off our bags. At this point, my mom and I know our way around the city pretty well.

Once we were untethered by our possessions, we wandered around downtown for a few hours. I stopped at a Reckless Records, and got a Flaming Lips CD and 2 Beck CDs. That store is amazing!! Used CDs are automatically better than new ones, because they're cheaper. Afterwards, we went to Buckingham Fountain and watched a dude blow bubbles. He was pretty talented; he had two sticks, with a string web between them. The bubbles produced were HUGE, some bigger than my torso. Of course, those were the bubbles that killjoys liked popping the most.

Later on, we went back to the friend's (Rachel's) office. Her husband Christ picked us up, and we went to Gino's East for some authentic Chicago-style pizza. If you're not familiar with that establishment, let me tell you: it's pretty amazing!! They let you write on all the walls, which creates an interesting look.

We brought 2 Sharpies, but they didn't work terribly well. Next time, I'm gonna bring a paintbrush and model paint...that'll do it. Some friends of Christ and Rachel were meeting us, and we made the mistake of waiting for them to get there before we ordered. Our pizzas took about an hour, but they were TOTALLY worth it. I had some of the Bacon Cheeseburger pizza; my two favorite foods, combined!!

Today, we've so far just taken the train places. We're here in town for the DMB Caravan, which we have tickets for tomorrow and Sunday. of course, I'll fill you in on that much more once it happens. Anyway, We wanted to make the train trip once before hand, so we'd know we could successfully navigate there. We have to take the Metra, which is a high-speed train that is somehow different than the subways and the El. I think it has fewer stops. We got to the venue successfully, and Christ picked us up from there to take us back home. Now we're just chilling at their house, and I'm blogging. nifty, huh?

Ohh, by the way. One of the posts I have yet to write is concerning Crush Of Society, and a trip we recently took to a REAL STUDIO. More on it later, but I wanted to share with you what we got done there so far. They're just instrumentals right now, and they haven't been mixed. Here they are on Bandcamp, where you can download any of our posted songs. Here they are on Facebook, which I strongly encourage you to like. Please!! Also on Facebook is a little bit about our T-shirts. They're $10 if you're local enough I can get them to you without an issue, or $15 if they need to be shipped. Check the stuff out!!

Anyway...I didn't use the Internet AT ALL yesterday, so I have a bit of catching up to do. I'll let you know about the rest of my trip soon!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Busy Makin' Stuff

Hey everyone!! I've had an unproductive weekend, but all weekdays so far have been the opposite.

On Friday I went to see X-Men: First Class, which was EXCELLENT. I don't know what it is, but there's something about modern movies taking place during the 60's that I love. Definitely my favourite X-men movie yet...And I'd know, considering the next day I watched 1 and 2!!

Also on Friday, I went shopping for, wait for it, circuitry supplies. I got a book at the library called Homemade Electronic Music, which is all about how to electronically alter household objects to make music. It also has some stuff about building equipment like mikes, and making distortion-type things for guitars, which I'm extra excited about. ANYWAY, in order to make the stuff, I had to get supplies. Namely, a soldering iron and solder, as well as assorted wires and cables and resistors and capacitors and blah blah blah.

To get my soldering iron, I went to Harbor Freight. For the first time ever. That place is insanely amazing!! I got one for 4 dollars. At RadioShack, they were 20 bucks for the cheapest one. Is that crazy or what? I kept going through the store, saying "it's only TWO DOLLARS!! Might as well get one..."

So far, I haven't got much built. I tried to make a contact microphone, for recording acoustic guitars and stuff. It wasn't successful, but only because of the fact I bought cheap parts. I did everything else right, and it's actually pretty legit looking. Hopefully, I'll have some more related projects to tell you about in the near future!!

As for today's productivity, first I went to work. Actually, that's how pretty much every day starts off, but it sets the scene decently. Anyway, for the last hour or so I was there, I printed up an image of Crush Of Society's logo. Specifically, the words on it. I took the piece of paper, and cut out each of the letters so I had a stencil. Then, I headed home with a plan in mind. A plan to build...A Crush Of Society screen printing template!!! You know, for T-shirts and stuff.

I found a big 1x3 board, and cut it into four equal pieces. I made a square out of them, and then found some window screen. I drove back to my grandparents' house, to use their staple gun to affix the screen to the frame. I did, with the help of my grandpa. Seriously, without him I wouldn't have thought to hammer in the loose staples, and I wouldn't have stretched the screen enough. After that I headed back home, and taped the stencil I made to the screen. I colored it in with Sharpie, so the logo would appear on the screen. Finally, I found some duct tape, and taped all the parts of the screen I wouldn't want ink to go through.

Now, I have one (1) completed shirt. It's actually not dry, but it's already EXCELLENT looking!! In my opinion, anyway.

I did all this because someone asked for a shirt on our Facebook page, and I suddenly remembered my plans to make some. And since it's summer, I just went ahead and did it!! I'm quite excited about having these, because we'll be able to sell them at our (currently unbooked) shows!

Anyone want one? Seriously, if you'll pay for the shirt and shipping, I'll totally make one for you. Custom!!!

Anywhoo...I'm gonna go check on the shirt. Stay excellent!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer (Woo?)

Woo, Summer!!! I've been on break for about a week now...and despite my enthusiasm in the previous sentence, it's been pretty boring so far. I've mostly been working, and running, and that's about it. I've been getting up really early to do both those things, so once they're done the rest of my day is more or less spent online. And no one is blogging...but neither have I, so I can't complain too much.

Fortunately for my sanity, I've been making plans. Next Thursday, Tanner and I are (hopefully) going to hang out. On Friday, Bobby and I will be heading to a local free studio for teens, and recording. The place that it's at is actually pretty amazing. I guess the best way to describe it would be a youth community center? Apparently other places have them, but I've never heard of one other than the one we'll be going to. If it was in my town, I'd probably spend all my time there, because it's pretty sweet. They have art classes, and a huge drama club, and stuff like that...and, of course, a recording studio!! They book shows for bands too, both for the teens in bands and the teens who want to see those bands play. I'm definitely going to try and organize a show for us there, once we've recorded. From the pictures I've seen, their previous concerts' audiences are mostly shrieking teen girls, which will be a major bonus, hahaha!!!

Well...I'm afraid I don't have much more to write about. Hopefully I'll have some excellent insights for you soon, particularly ones concerning circuitry and whatnot (hint hint!) It'll be very awesome, I hope...until then, have a less boring summer than me!! And blog about it, please!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

End Of The School Year!

Hey, everyone!! Sadly, I've been distracted by finals for the last week, so I haven't blogged. Luckily for you, right now I'm just chilling in my mom's classroom after school. It's an excellent excess of time, perfect for updating everyone on how things are going.

First things first, for all of you Crush Of Society fans, our upcoming concert was cancelled/postponed. The school gymnasium they were going to hold it in backed out, saying they were afraid of being liable for anything that may happen. I suppose they have a good point, as my fast and loud music is likely to start a mosh pit. wouldn't want anyone's toes to get crushed...of course, I doubt the school would really be liable. STILL, Bobby and I are going to try out a new temporary drummer, run a few practices, and book a few shows in the greater Detroit area. Lucky for us, we both have some good connections. Also, there's a Facebook page that's dedicated to booking concerts in the area, and all you really have to do is ask them to play. Convenient, right?

Back to my exams, so far I've taken 4: Econ, English, Chemistry, and French 1. I got a 99% on the first two, because they were both insanely easy. The Econ test was 120 questions, but every question was repeated about 3 times. I was pretty confident about Chemistry for the days leading up to it, because the teacher let us make a one page cheat sheet. Mine was insane; I practically needed a magnifying glass to read it, hahaha! Unfortunately for me, it was due at the end of the day Tuesday. guess who forgot to turn it in? This guy.

I realized I'd have to study a bit, so last night I pulled out my notes and started reviewing them. Cue panic, when I realized I didn't remember anything. I had a mini-panic attack, but I managed to calm myself down after awhile. I played random chords on guitar, and sang what I needed to remember, and it worked well. I didn't remember anything I sang, but the things I studied stuck with me. the grade isn't posted yet, but my teacher stopped me in the hall to tell me I had the highest grade out of all the classes so far. I figure it's because I got rid of my crutch, and used only my own brainpower. Can you imagine what it'd be like if I studied for every test??

Ahh well...I think now is the time to study for my last exam tomorrow, Algebra. I have a note card cheat-sheet, but now I'm wondering if I really need it...anyway, wish me luck!! And of course, stay amazing!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


GUESS WHAT? I got my Level 2 license today!! For those who don't have to deal with Michigan's graduated license system, that means I'm now able to drive alone!! Of course, there's a catch: only one other minor in the car with me, and no driving past 10 (there are exceptions to both if it's for school or work).

Passing my road test was, to be honest, ridiculously easy. I showed up 20 minutes late, partly because of an accident at an intersection right outside of the testing place. Because of the delay, my actual drive was only about 20 minutes. It was a little freaky, though - the roads I was on were WAY more congested than what they normally test people on, but I had no choice because of the accident (a tipped semi, no injuries).

In celebration of getting my license today, we ordered a pizza. A pizza, my friends, that I picked up myself. Alone. In my car. Blasting The Pixies. Know why? Cause I have my license!!

...And that's about it for this post. I still have an entire week of school left, PLUS tomorrow and Friday. My teachers are still introducing new lessons...bogus! Anyway, have fun not being in school!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Weezer-Themed Post

Hey there, everyone. I know that I told you I'd have some of the demos up, but unfortunately I still don't. However, as compensation, here is the video of me playing "Put Me Back Together," like I said I would make after the collage concert!

The reason I haven't posted the demos is, well, because I didn't like them. They were really hard for me to listen to, and the first time I did I had to skip over a few tracks. They had many problems, with blame spread out evenly. The instruments, vocals especially, were not played well. That's the band's fault, and I'm willing to accept that. Also, they didn't blend very well in the mixes; the vocals sat on top of all the other instruments, and guitars were too quiet. I understand that with some musicians, vocals should be higher up in the mix. However, our songs are mostly written with vocals as just some words to go with the music. We're not focused on highlighting our voices, because they're not good enough to do that with.

We're just going to focus on getting ready for the show in two weeks, and stop worrying about making something to sell. I know we play well live, because I've seen video proof. Therefore, we're just gonna have to please them in person.

On Wednesday, I had a persuasive essay assigned to me, on the topic of my choosing. Of course, being the music nerd I am, I decided my thesis would be "Pinkerton is an extremely important album, both sonically and culturally." Yes, I wrote a three-page report on an obscure emo album from the Nineties. What of it? Here it is, in case you'd like to read it! I have to deliver a speech on it Tuesday. Am I concerned? Not at all!!

So, that's about all that has been going on. Ohh, by the way, stop by and check out Lemons Don't Make Lemonade!!! It's an excellent blog, and whenever I see a new post from Jessica come up in my reader, I know I can look forward to laughs for the next few minutes! Her posts are terribly inappropriate, yet very intelligent at the same time. She's nearing 100 followers, so I had to help her out with a name drop.

Okay, then...I really hope you all like the video!! It took all of 45 minutes to make, you know...tons of effort!!! *sarcasm* Anyway, I have to go do musician stuff now, so stay wonderful until next time.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Locked In The Studio

Ahhh...what an exhausting, productive weekend it has been. Thank goodness it was 3 days long!!

This weekend, in an effort to finish COS's E.P. in time for our upcoming concert, I hosted a 2 day, monster recording session in my basement. We were scheduled to be down there 7-8 hours both days, with non-stop working. We were trying out a new guy on drums, a friend of Bobby's named Anthony.

Sadly, Anthony hasn't worked out too well yet. We're going to try practicing a bit more with him before the concert, because we'd like to have him on drums. However, putting him behind the drums and immediately setting the tape rolling (figuratively) wasn't too great of an idea. We wasted about an hour trying to get the drums right on one song, and Stephen was getting super frustrated. The next day, we just had Steve do the drums on the song.

The first day, we got 2 songs completely done, plus part of a 3rd, the one with the drumming issues. We did Good One, Zen Stereo, and Camel Holocaust (the ill-fated one.) Seriously, Camel Holocaust has given us SO MUCH trouble. At our last session, we spent 3 hours on it, and ended up scrapping every track. This time, it did turn out better. Good One was recorded pretty painlessly, once we got Anthony on track with drumming to it.

Really, the biggest success of the first day was Zen Stereo. I'd never been happy with the song, and I was really wary of recording it. However, when we sat down to run through it, it sounded INCREDIBLE. We had Bobby on lead and vocals, Anthony on rhythm, Steve on drums, and myself on bass. I'd improvised the bass line right before the run though, and Anthony and Stephen had never played the song before. Still, somehow it all clicked. With the extra parts, a slower tempo, and an impressive solo, the song ended up sounding incredible. As I'm typing this, Stephen is IMing me about the finished mix. I'll have it up soon, for you dear fans!!

After the first day, Stephen and I were picked up by some friends and headed to The Raven, a VERY cool coffee shop nearby. It was my first time being there with other teens, which made it neat. Also, I liked the company quite a bit, which helps. The one guy, Scott, had just graduated, and it was the first time I'd seen him since then. Very fun!!

On the second day, Anthony wouldn't be getting there until 4. Steve, Bobby, and I finished up what had to be done on Camel Holocaust first thing in the morning; overdubbing my guitar solo, re-recording the (terrible) vocals, getting Stephen to do the drum part, and recording the bassline Bobby made up for it. We slapped some effects on it, and the rough mix sounded pretty excellent.

After that, we recorded a short, punk song that I wrote. No solo, no bridge, nothing; just verses and choruses. It's called "I Need A Life," and it started with some lyrics I wrote while working at a gym last summer. We rushed through that one, because Stephen had to leave to take care of his 4H animals as soon as possible. Once he left, Bobby and I just chilled. I taught him the basics of playing Minecraft, so he did that while I played Pokemon Silver on my Gameboy Color. Seriously, I've re-fallen in love with my Gameboy. It's so retro, and hipster-ish, but I also love the gamplay. Of course, this is coming from someone who hasn't seriously played videogames since 6th grade, so take it with a grain of salt.

All in all, it was a great weekend. Working in the studio is super-exhausting, and sometimes frustrating, but in the end it's going to be worth it. Stephen's going to get me the tracks tomorrow, and I'll try to have them up on here as soon after that as I can!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Viva La Revolution!

Hey there - big things have been happening today!

To answer Julia (and Christopher)'s question, I'm from Michigan. Currently, the political situation in good ol' MI is "business-ruled oligarchy," with our new governor Rick Snyder and Congress ignoring and abusing the citizens. They're also trying to bust the unions, and are hurting the middle class by doing so.

What I mean to say is, they've eliminated all business taxes, and they're replacing that money by attacking teachers. I don't want to get into all the minuet details of how exactly that's happening, but it is happening - as the child of a teacher, it's scary as all get-out. As a high school student, it's scary. As a citizen, it's scary. If you're wondering about why I feel this way, check out some of the things that have been written on it; check out the laws that are taking away from my education.

ANYWAY, my point is that I went to a rally at the capitol building today, held by the Michigan Educator's Association in Lansing. That's the state teacher's union, of which my mom is a member. I thought it would be sweet to go to an actual protest, and hold a sign and whatnot.

The rally started with a huge picnic at the MEA headquarters, which was sweet. Everyone wore red, and it was a huge festival-type thing. The people were all nice, although we encountered a pretty weird situation at one point. This dude walked up to my mother and me, and started asking all these questions about what was going on. He said he was from out of the area, and was interested in the details of what was going on. We talked to him for around 20 minutes, and it started to seem a little strange. All of his questions were very professional sounding, and they did a good job of getting us to keep talking. Once he left, my mom told me that she was pretty sure he was recording the conversation; he was fiddling with something in his pocket the whole time (his jacket pocket, weirdos), and the leading nature of his questions suddenly made sense. We saw him talking to other people later, presumably doing the same thing with them. I know we both answered his questions intelligently and well, but it was a bit unsettling that he was (illegally) recording us. Oh well...we sounded too knowledgeable to be used for slander.

At 3-ish, everyone headed down to the capitol building lawn. By the time we had found a parking space, the protest was in full swing: a massive sea of red, with people lining the streets and waving signs. There were tables set up with petitions to recall Snyder from office, and people leading cheers. We stood by the road for a while, waving our signs and encouraging people to honk for us. It was surprising how many people took pictures of us - they seemed to like our signs!

At 4, people began speaking. There were about 10,000 people by that time, mostly from the teacher's union. However, there were also lots of United Auto Workers members, and Teamsters driving their semis around the block honking. The candidate who ran against Snyder was there, and his speech was pretty great. It did get slightly boring after a while, but it was really hard to not get caught up in the spirit. A reporter for some website interviewed me, and said there'd be some quotes from me in her final article. I'll definitely be putting a link up when it's published!

All in all, it was really cool to do. I had a lot of fun, and I felt really important. I've heard that protests "don't do anything," but I disagree. I went out there with 10,000 other people, and told my government that they haven't been listening. I felt like I was part of something big, and like I was taking an active role in determining my future.

I've gotta say...protesting does wear you out!! I have to go get some sleep - have a good one!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Drew Morgan, Live!!

Man, too long since I've posted...

Last week was my school's spring concert, the Collage Concert. It's a chance for students to show off their talent playing apart from the band, which I did. Since this will be my last year in band, I knew I absolutely had to do something for myself there.

I had planned on doing a cover of "Hallelujah" with my vocally talented friend Leah, and myself on guitar. However, as time went on and I was playing and singing more and more, I decided to do something completely solo - guitar AND vocals. I helped Leah get "Hallelujah" ready for her to do without me, and worked on finding a song for myself. For a while I was considering "Whole Wide World" by Wreckless Eric, because A) it's the first song I ever learned to sing and play, and B) it's incredibly freakin' easy. However, I figured some of the lyrics weren't the best, and worried it would start to get repetitive. So what to play?

Eventually, I landed on the perfect song - "Put Me Back Together" by Weezer. I'd been trying to learn it for a while, but I couldn't find a completely accurate tab out there. I finally found a couple that were half-right, and combined them. Then I played it like crazy, until I had it down pretty well. I took my guitar to band class and played it for a group of 10 or twelve people, and it went down pretty well. Therefore, I was READY TO ROCK!!!

At the concert, I used all my own equipment. Well...sorta. I used a school amplifier, but nothing of mine was plugged into their worse-than-terrible PA system. I had my friend Jarred, a professional musician, do my soundcheck. He went as far up into the bleachers as he could, as far from me as possible. He then told me when it was loud enough, and then had me turn it up MORE. I felt bad for the people in the front, because it was LOUD. Not obnoxious, just a clean guitar and mic turned up to 10 - literally.

[This is where I'd normally post a video, but the one my mom took on her crappy cellphone camera is unlistenable. I can tell that I did well by watching it, but it's horribly static-y and clippy. My bad - I'll have to film myself playing it again sometime and post it!]

My performance went excellently. I think I was the most audible person there, because I was the only person with foresight enough to not use the PA. Also, this was the first time I'd sang to an audience this large, and it was a good choice to wait. Instead of making people listen to me start at terrible and get progressively better, I got really good privately and tried to blow their minds away my first time. Hopefully, that's what I did.

I did screw up a few times, but only one was slightly noticeable. I changed to the wrong chord on the guitar, and then shifted to the right one really fast. I might have gotten away with it if I'd stuck to my mistake, but it a bit more blatant the way it was. Still, I'm so incredibly happy with how I did. Not many people have come up raving to me, but the ones who have are very adamant, and people I virtually never talk to. They're the people who have no reason to fib and tell you you were better than you were, right? All in all, this performance got me really excited about playing for larger crowds. Which segues into my next paragraph nicely...

I found out about a benefit concert in a nearby town this morning, and signed myself up to perform. It's to raise money to pay for a cancer patient's medical bills, which I'm happy to help with. It's June 17th, so I'll be keeping you posted on that.

Woo!! Getting all of this written has re-kindled my excitement, hahahaha! Yeah...sorry about the enthusiasm, you'll have to watch out. Anyway - have good weeks! And to those who are lucky enough to be getting out of school already, don't have too much fun in the sun!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Most Of My Post Titles Involve Exclamation Points!

Holy crap - I just had a double-sneeze. A sneeze within a sneeze, if you will. Like, not one after the other - two at THE SAME TIME. It was slightly terrifying, but also exhilarating.

Anyway - this past week has been my birthday week! With the actual day falling on Tuesday. My family celebrated Sunday, because I was coaching JH quizbowl Tuesday. OK, let me get it out of the way - my mom gave me a refurbished laptop with Windows 7, my uncle got me a wah pedal for my guitar, and my grandparents gave me my grandma's old car. Phew...I dislike telling people about stuff like that, due to a fear of sounding like a braggart. Not my intention!

The laptop has been occupying large amounts of my time. I couldn't play Minecraft on our old family computer, but I now can. Guess who is addicted? Not me, actually, but it is really fun!! I've also decided I want to learn a programming language, so I've been messing around with Just BASIC. so far, I can write a program that holds a short, stilted conversation with the user...not useful in any way, but it is kinda cool.

Was that game, the one where everyone says the word "penis" with increasing volume, around before the movie 500 Days of Summer? I just ask because I remember that game from Jr. High, but I don't think the movie has been out that long. Also, I figured this would be the most socially acceptable way for me to meet That Blond Guy's challenge to say penis in my next post. Bam! Challenge met.

Well, if you'll excuse me, I must get back to eating leftover Chinese and watching Scott Pilgrim for the nth time. Drink your milk!