Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Lip Shredding

One of my favourite things to do while I'm driving is crank up the tunes and sing along.  In this way I provide myself (and anyone nearby) with entertainment making an otherwise mundane task (driving) more enjoyable.  My singing would not even stop when a guitar solo would occur.  Rather than singing words, I would just try to sing the melody of the guitar solo.  Now, my singing at best is not that good so you can imagine what it sounds like when I start to sing solos...  Lots of "bedelebedelebeeee" and "wah wah wah" and "WOOOAAAYAAHH"'s screeching higher than the top of my vocal range... Not Lovely.  Anyway I was hanging out with one of my friends one day and he showed me this video on youtube and I am convinced, that if you are going to lip shred, you are a hero if you can sound like this guy.  Enjoy.  

Friday, 12 August 2011

The Need of Hair to Properly Rock

Let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time there was a guy named Samson, or Sam, for short.  He was really tough but his strength wasn't attributed to his muscles, but his hair.  One day this girl that he liked asked him why he was so strong and after the little lies that we tell the people who we like, he came out with the truth.  After she found out, the wench cut it all off!  When he woke up Sam found out that his strength was gone and he was a wimp just like everyone else.  When everyone found out that he lost his strength, they poked out his eyes and then made fun of him every night until his hair had grown back, and guess what.  With the re-growth of his hair, his strength came back and he used it to collapse the building he was in, killing himself and all the people who were picking on him. Tragic eh?

Now let me tell you another story.
A couple of weekends ago, I was in Edmonton with my family and they conned me into getting my haircut.  They presented good reasons why I should have one; my hair was getting a little long, my sister has a wedding in a couple of weeks and she wanted me to look presentable, you know, the list that the relatives make up...  So I put some conditions that I thought were impossible on a haircut and to my surprise, my family filled all of the conditions, so my hair was cut.  I remember sitting in the chair, tears flowing from my face thinking
"How can I rock with short hair?
I play guitar in part so that I can swing my hair around.
My Rock Strength will be Gone!
Just like Sam!
They are going to poke out my eyes and make fun of me!"
Yes, I was a sorry sight.  Sitting in the middle of the mounds of what used to be my long beautiful golden locks, shivering in the cold, until I went outside that is, then I promptly sun burned my neck and ears.  After I returned home, I picked up the guitar to see if all of my chops were gone, but to my delight, they were still there!  My guitar stills were still intact and  I was elated!  Upon further contemplation on this matter I realized that there was really no need to ever be alarmed.  After all there are pleanty of great rock musicians who have (or have had) short hair and still rock! For Example:
Synister Gates - Now Despite the cheese of Avenged Seven Fold, this guy knows how to play guitar.  It can't be denied.
Matt Heafy - Same story, say what you will about Trivium, Matt is a great guitarist - Even with his short hair.
Rob Halford - Now he doesn't play guitar but This guy has been Rocking with No Hair at all for a LONG time!
Kerry King - Same Story as Rob
Joe Satriani - He had long hair but as it started to thin, off it went... ALL of it!  Even after that, he was (and is) still amazing
Steve Vai and John Petrucci both have had points in their careers when they had short hair and did they suck then?  No.  They didn't.  Ever.
These aren't the only ones either!  You can still rock even if you have short hair.  And that is that.  (Sorry about your bad luck Sam)

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Rock and Roll and Old Man Strength

Does anyone remember long ago when we would play games like capture the flag or doing some other physical activity.  Maybe you remember helping on the farm while you were growing up.  Do you remember how much stronger the older men were?  Not just because they had a more advanced muscular development than you, it seemed that they were given a special "old man strength" that made them stronger than their physique could allow...  Last weekend, I found out that "old man strength" was not limited to physical activities but is equally applicable in Rock and Roll.
This past weekend I went up to Edmonton to visit with family that I have there. On the Saturday I was there, my cousin and I went to the Capital X (formerly known as Klondike Days), which is the carnival that passes through Edmonton every year.  To my delight, I found out that Chilliwack and Blue Öyster Cult were going to perform there and the only cost was the admission to get through the gate to the carnival.  I paid my $12.00 and made a bee line to the stage and waited.  Presently the members of Chilliwack came on the stage, tuned their own guitars and played one of the best sets that I have ever seen.  None of the new rock n rollers that I have ever seen have anything on this classic rock group.  Like I said, they knew how to tune their own guitars (and they didn't have a zillion of those either, they only had one electric guitar and an acoustic guitar each, Not a new guitar for every song), they played together and everyone stayed in their own pocket.  The sound was tweaked perfectly, they interacted with the crowd well and were a general pleasure to watch.  Sadly their set ended.  After a few minutes of waiting, Blue Öyster Cult came on stage and I was again blown away!  They were very entertaining and sounded excellent, despite having to play the show on borrowed gear, since the airline lost theirs.  Both of these acts were excellent and thinking back on it, I have seen lots of old acts that were likewise great: Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Def Leopard  just to name a few, and each time they were way better than their younger counterparts.  Maybe its just coincidence, or maybe its the Old Man Strength manifesting itself in Rock.

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