Category Archives: Random/off topic posts

Scored a Couple of Vinyls today…

Went to Barnes & Noble earlier today and walked out with these three vinyls… look at the post above to see what I got.

I’ve always been a huge Queen fan. Never got any of their studio albums so I figure I would start getting into them. I do have a greatest hits album by Queen but that’s about it…

I already have the Judas Priest and Allman Brothers albums on digital but I wanted the vinyl versions for the better sound.

I’m gonna give these a listen this weekend.

Kev

It’s Disgusting that the music industry still dominated by pop, Rap and Country that don’t sound like country… But Rock & metal Is Still alive and well…

Well it’s nice to see that people in America are fed up about how this country is still dominated by pop, rap and country that don’t sound like country. What do I mean by country that don’t sound like country? Well today’s country don’t sound like the way country sounds like anymore. If you want good examples of what “true” country sounds like listen to stuff like Hank Williams Sr., Patsy Cline, earlier Johnny Cash, earlier Dolly Parton, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Waylon Jennings, etc. If you want music that sounds like real country you also listen to stuff like Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Reba, Randy Travis, Clint Black, Hal Ketchum, etc.

Those are country singers that sings with a real southern accent and there’s table slide guitar in the background with light acoustic playing. They have songs with a deep meaning and all that stuff.

Today’s country don’t sound like that anymore, really. It’s sounding more and more like pop music than country than anything and I’m noticing that real country fans are fed up with it all too. Examples of country artists that don’t sound like country are artists like the Rascall Flatts and Florida Georgia Line, The Band Perry, blech… not my cup of tea.

As for pop and rap music, that is still dominated in the industry too and we’re fed up with it all. Lefties are such hypocrites when they campaign for women being sexualized when sexualized women is all over the pop music industry with artists such as Madonna, Cardi B, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj and Beyonce sexualizing themselves by shaking their booty, showing off their cleavages and all that crap.

Plus the songwriting in pop music is getting horrible too. They don’t make pop music like they used to anymore… I miss the old days when pop music used to be great. You want to hear great pop music listen to stuff like the Bangles, old Pat Benatar, Bananarama, Berlin, Paula Abdul, Blondie, The B52’s, earlier Stevie Wonder, earlier Elton John, Marvin Gaye, Berry White, Michael Jackson, George Michael, Prince, David Bowie, Tina Turner, Hall and Oates, etc. I can go on.

Nowadays pop music is all electronic music… stuff that you would hear in a nightclub. That dance bass thumping techno kind of stuff. We’re pretty fed up of that stuff taking over the music industry all the time.

As for rap music, that genre is getting worse too… keep in mind that I don’t hate all rap music… rap music in the 80’s and 90’s were really good stuff but there’s no good rap music anymore either.

The thing is a lot of us want rock & metal to come back to the mainstream. It’s trying. Rock music does top the Billboard charts sometimes but not as much as it used to in the old days. The Billboard charts is still dominated by pop, rap and country that don’t sound like country.

Don’t let it fool ya… rock and metal is still alive and well. There’s still plenty of rock and metal out there… it’s just that rock and metal is no longer mainstream anymore like it used to be. We all do want rock and metal back in the mainstream and those genres deserve another comeback for sure.

People are waking up about this finally ’cause of award shows like the Grammy’s and the MTV VMA’s and shit like that. All these pop stars getting themselves rich by shaking their booty, twerking and singing songs about their private parts. Uggghhh, what has the world come to?

We just want great music back. We had great music in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s but in the 2000’s… the music industry has all gone to shit. What happened? LOL…

Don’t get me wrong, I love all sorts of music even pop, rap and country (some of it) but I want a rock comeback myself. It may take a long time but I think it’ll happen. We’ll get a rock & metal comeback real soon. The genres are still alive, don’t let it all fool you.

I’m glad to finally see people discussing this, it’s awesome. Keep it going. We need kids in America listening to real music… like listen to bands that play real instruments and not listening to fake artists that lip syncs on your TV.

Kev

5 reasons why Vinyl is special!

So vinyl has made a huge comeback just recently and it’s getting even more and more popular. It’s crazy. Why is that you may ask? Well I’m about to explain 5 reasons why people love vinyl.

As you see in the post above from my Instagram, I got three vinyls dropped off yesterday. Samantha Fish, Jimi Hendrix and Motorhead. Can’t play ’em yet ’cause I need a replacement needle. Ordered that too which will be here next week.

Anyhow here are the 5 reasons why people love vinyl and why it’s special:

  • Better sound quality: Yes, people love vinyl ’cause they really do sound way better than CD and digital. You can hear all the instruments better and especially the bass. Love hearing the bass loud & clear and the drums are louder too. You can hear music better on them too.
  • You get to have the album cover and art work: In digital platforms you can’t really have the cover. We want the physical album cover with album artwork and vinyl sleeve and all that stuff ’cause it’s all cool.
  • It’s the best way to have a music library: On vinyl, you get to own the album yourself. It’s yours completely and it’s a great experience to collect all the albums you want by your favorite bands & artists. It’s about the buying and collecting experience.
  • It’s the best way to support the band & artist: Sure vinyl is more pricier but it’s the best way to support the band & artist you like. Forget online streaming, forget buying the CD, forget Itunes… get the damn album on vinyl.
  • It’s a learning experience: It really is if you think about it. Your tastes in music will improve and get better. You can learn more about your favorite band & artists just buying their albums on vinyl.

My vinyl collection is really small for now but looking to build it up. Vinyl is cool and proud to be getting into it finally.

Kev

Just bought some more music albums this weekend, a combination of both vinyl & Digital…

While NY is still under this dumb lockdown, I decided to get some more music albums and get some on vinyl since I have my own vinyl player now. I also got a few other albums digitally via Itunes as well…

Here are the list of albums I got:

  • Samantha Fish “Kill or Be Kind” (vinyl)
  • Jimi Hendrix “Are You Experienced” (vinyl)
  • Dio “Holy Diver” (vinyl)
  • Motorhead “Ace Of Spades” (vinyl)
  • Alice Cooper “Detroit Stories” (Digital, Itunes)
  • Dio “Holy Diver” (Digital, Itunes)
  • Black Sabbath “Heaven and Hell (Deluxe Edition, digital, Itunes)

Why did I get the Dio “Holy Diver” album twice??? Well I wanted to get both the vinyl and digital versions of that album so I can listen to it on vinyl at home and I can have it digitally when I’m on the go. That way I can listen to it at the gym and stuff, ya know???

I’ve always wanted to get into Ronnie James Dio music so I’m just starting to get into him. Speaking of Ronnie James Dio, I bought the Black Sabbath “Heaven and Hell (Deluxe Edition” that just came out… the Black Sabbath Dio fronted album.

As for Alice Cooper’s new album “Detroit Stories”, I wanted the vinyl for that album but amazon was totally sold out of ’em so I grabbed it from Itunes instead but I will get the vinyl version sometime down the road, though.

I’ve always liked Motorhead a lot, never really got their studio albums so I’m gonna start. “Ace of Spades” is a great record so I went with that one.

Jimi Hendrix “Are You Experienced” I already have on CD but I wanted the vinyl version for the sound quality. The same reason for the Samantha Fish album “Kill or Be Kind”, I have that album from Itunes and wanted vinyl version for better sound. Samantha’s album “Kill or Be Kind” is a sick album, I love it so much so I had to get the vinyl version as soon as possible.

I don’t have the vinyl albums yet from amazon but they will be getting dropped off tomorrow. I meant what I say when I said I was gonna start buying mostly vinyls from now on. I’ll still buy albums digitally from Itunes ’cause I gotta have music on the go and stuff, ya know???

I’ve been getting into Alice Cooper music more and more. Admittedly I’m real late getting into his music. He has always been extremely popular and he still is. I can see why ’cause he’s fucking awesome! \m/

Kev

Got My Stereo system all set up, new speakers and vinyl player!!!

So from Amazon, I ordered new Yamaha book shelf speakers. They came yesterday afternoon and I was surprised how big they are ’cause the pictures made them look small. The speakers sound surprisingly good so they are definitely a keeper for sure. Great sound quality and the bass sounds great too. I wanted speakers where you could hear the bass really good as well and these speakers are perfect. They are also loud enough for a room as well which is what I wanted.

Along with the speakers, I re-bought Ac/Dc’s latest album, “Power UP” on vinyl. I listened to some of the album on vinyl yesterday and yes, vinyl does indeed sounds way better than CD and digital platforms. I can see why vinyl has gotten popular again and made a huge comeback ’cause vinyl has a huge sound.

Now I’m gonna really start my vinyl collection this year. I’ll get vinyls from amazon and I’ll get vinyls from Barnes & Noble and any store that sells vinyl really. I’ll also go to record stores that sells used vinyls and guitar shops around here sells vinyl albums too.

I only have 12 vinyl albums for now… a small collection but I’m gonna look into building it up this year. There’s a record store out in Troy called “The River Street Beat Shop” that sells vinyls and I want to go there sometime. Whenever I go to Cape Cod, Mass every summer there’s a great record store in Hyannis called “Spinnaker Records” that sells vinyls. I can also get vinyls at Antique Fairs and Flea Markets and things like that.

I’m planning to re-buy a lot of albums on vinyl that I already have on CD and digital so I can get a better sound on the vinyl. I’m also planning on buying newer albums that just came out. Doesn’t matter. I’ll buy old vinyl and new vinyl.

I’m definitely planning on re-buying all the Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead and Metallica albums on vinyl, I’ll do that with AC/DC too.

I like to buy music on all platforms: CD’s, digital and vinyl. Now that I have a vinyl player finally, I’m probably gonna collect vinyl more than CD/digital from now on.

I love vinyl ’cause not only do they have the best sound quality, it’s also cool to have an album cover, ya know??? There’s something special about an album with a cover on it ’cause if you get an album digitally, you don’t have a physical album cover. It’s good to have an album cover to appreciate the art. What’s cool about vinyls is that you can flip through and admire the cool album cover art.

I’m a music addict. Gotta have music in my life. I listen to a lot of music ’cause it helps solves everything in life and makes you a better person. Music helps changes your life for sure.

Kev

Good Video: “This is why You Suck at Guitar, You Don’t Play Enough sOngs”…

I just watched this video and it kind of hit me. If you’re too lazy to watch the full video well it basically says that the reason you’re struggling on becoming a better guitar player is because you’re wasting your time noodling in front of a metronome instead of playing actual songs.

I’m totally guilty of this, admittedly, I’ll confess it. Playing exercises, learning guitar techniques and tricks are all important but you don’t want to obsess with that stuff too much. What about playing actual music is what this video is saying?

Yes, most famous guitar players out there learned by sitting in front of their record players trying to learn songs by ear… that’s how all the greats learned to play pretty much… Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, etc. You can learn to play songs either by ear or by online tablature, it’s your choice really but… if you want to really get good at “improvisation” and “ear training”, figuring songs out by ear is the trick. That is pretty much how guitar geniuses like Hendrix, Page, Clapton, etc. all became master improvisers ’cause they learned by playing by ear.

They never sat there wasting time trying to figure out perfect pitch and all that shit.

It’s good to learn other people’s songs. When I was younger and when I was first starting out, I think my first song that I learned on guitar was Aerosmith’s “Dream On”. I thought it was a pretty good idea to learn something challenging first and go from there.

If I want to become good at metal and hard rock guitar, I gotta start learning metal songs. Learn songs by Metallica, Black Sabbath, Megadeth and Judas Priest might be a good place to start ’cause their songs aren’t too hard really. I’ve already learned some metal songs in the past, though. I should really get into that a lot more.

The guy in the video is right that if you really want to improve your rhythm chops, gotta be learning songs and not sitting in front of a metronome for hours and hours. People wanna hear a guitar player play music, not sitting there noodling.

Good advice in this video and I’ll take all of it.

Kev

What it takes to make your own original hard rock & Metal music… It’s not all that complicated really…

So what does it take to start making your own hard rock & metal songs when it comes to songwriting? Well, from what I’ve learned over the years that all it takes really is knowing the scales, modes, rhythm and maybe some music theory knowledge. Most of the metal make riffs comes from the 7 modes really… that’s most common in metal songwriting. When they solo, they always use the modes and the major/minor pentatonic scales.

Making metal riffs doesn’t look all that hard… gotta know your intervals too but the most common intervals used in metal are mostly 4ths and 5ths and sometimes they use other ones.

Most importantly, if you really want to become a metal guitar player gotta be good with rhythm and timing ’cause you’ll get nowhere if you don’t do that. If you want to play those headbanging fist raising guitar riffs, gotta learn how to gallop rhythm is what they call it. Gotta get good with time values and rhythm to learn to stay in the pocket if you want to play fucking TIGHT and hard.

If you really want to play metal, one way of becoming a good metal musician, one way to do that is listening to as much metal music as possible and I have been doing that ever since I was a kid. Over the years, I’ve listen to so much of that stuff… mostly 80’s metal, 90’s grunge (yes, grunge is metal) and I listened to a lot other types of metal over the years. I listened to Metallica, Soundgarden, Megadeth, Slayer, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, AC/DC, Korn, Alice In Chains, Ghost, Opeth, etc. The list is endless really.

I want to make heavy music of my own and I’m learning and practicing. Trying to improve my rhythm chops and get better at playing riffs. I’ve also been trying to learn other metal covers too ’cause that would also help is by learning other bands songs on the electric.

Metal isn’t that complicated to learn, the hard part is the rhythm and timing ’cause metal plays so fast. If you want to play fast like Slayer and Metallica it requires fast speed picking skills of the right hand. That’s what I’ve been trying to improve lately. I can’t play fast electric guitar yet but I’m working on it and I want to get there.

When I start writing metal songs of my own, I’m not gonna growl and scream, I’m just gonna sing regularly like James Hetfield.

I’ve listened to so much metal over the years that I figure it’s time I want to play that type of music myself which was why I had finally got a solid body electric guitar. Playing metal doesn’t work on a hollow body or a Fender Strat. Gotta get a metal guitar like an Ibanez or a Jackson… I didn’t get either of those…. I’ve got a Mitchell electric guitar which is perfect for an affordable guitar where you can play metal and shred on it.

As a matter of fact, all those acoustic songs that I wrote in the old days… those old ones I have on ReverbNation were all “metal” songs. I just wrote them on acoustic first. It’s just that I never played acoustic guitar like a folk guitar or a country guitar like a lot of players do, I’ve always loved to rock hard on the acoustic. Really, you watch me play acoustic guitar, I’m pounding on the thing which is why I like the string gauge medium sized so they don’t break easily. I play acoustic guitar like that ’cause of all the rock and metal I’ve listened to. I’ve always saw myself as a rock player and not a folk music artist. When you come see me perform, people would expect a quiet sit down type of performance but not with me. I like to play loud and rocking. You can go to youtube and see my old live performances for proof on that.

I’m just tired of the acoustic guitar and just want to do something different by switching to electric guitar. I’ll never give up the acoustic, though. Just been playing electric a lot more.

Kev

Learning to play drums virtually and drum programming… so glad I’m getting into that…

Ever since I got Toon Track EZ drummer, I’ve been learning to play virtual drums on it manually… while using drumming lesson books to learn how. If you want to play drums virtually, it takes time and practice just like a real drum set. Drums seems like an easy instrument to learn, though. Not that hard like some would think.

I’m so glad that I’ve started studying and practicing rhythm and timing in music ’cause it’s so important. If you want other musicians and listeners to take your music seriously, gotta learn how to play in time and play in the pocket.

Because of me studying drum programming and virtual drumming, I’ve become a better rhythm guitarist ’cause of it too. I’ve learned to play various rhythm patterns like quarter notes, eighth notes, various sixteenth notes… using dotted rhythms, playing notes with ties and more syncopation (Off beat rhythms).

If you know your timing and good at rhythm, you’ll be able to play any genre of music. You’ll be able to write songs a lot better too.

When I start songwriting again, I plan to make my rhythm playing a lot more complex by playing more syncopation… off beat rhythm… meaning notes that don’t fall on the 1, 2,3,4 counts on the metronome. I would also like to start experimenting rhythms in odd time signatures too ’cause prog rock bands like Rush, Dream Theater and Yes did that a lot. If you want your music to sound even more interesting.

I believe that I’ve improved on my rhythm and metronome and gotten way better at playing along with a click track.

When I start recording again, you’ll probably notice that my recording skills has gotten a little better.

Playing with rhythm is a blast and I’m loving it. When making music, you don’t have to be a perfectionist but have a good sense of rhythm and people will take you seriously.

I just want to make tight and intense music and to do that gotta have a good sense of rhythm and timing. Be good at counting which I’m getting way better at.

Soon I’ll be writing and recording songs with drums backing up my tracks. Just gotta good get at this EZ Drummer software and working on it everyday. EZ Drummer is good stuff, glad I got it finally.

Kev

There will always be assholes on the internet, just ignore them and be you…

So you have a presence on the internet and you just want to express yourself the best you can by writing your thoughts and be honest about your feelings on certain things. You just want to write your honest thoughts and opinions about certain topics like on a blog, social media like FB/twitter/instagram, youtube and internet forums. You write your thoughts about something and just want to tell your truth… there is nothing wrong with your opinion and out of the blue, some asshole attacks you for no reason. This person is writing all kinds of nasty and harsh things about you and you’re just sitting there like all shocked thinking, “What did I say something wrong?”.

No… it’s not that you said something wrong ’cause you didn’t say anything wrong. There will always be some asshole out there that will try to ruin your day… hoping to make you feel bad and destroy you emotionally and that’s what they do. Cyberbullying and trolling is where I’m getting at and it’s a huge problem. Cyberbully and trolling is even more of a problem today. People are just nasty and negative nowadays. I can now see why some avoid social media like FB and twitter ’cause those sites are nothing but a cesspool for assholes and drama queens, ya know?

I know the feeling ’cause each time I want to post my honest thoughts about something and giving my “opinion”, there will always be some asshole trying to attack me and “troll”.

I understand about “disagreeing” and having differences of opinion, I welcome that with other people, I don’t give a shit but we can discuss things with civility and all. We can discuss things without the name calling, bashing, judging and hating, whatever but people don’t do that nowadays. If you write something people don’t like, you immediately become a bad person nowadays. It’s getting unreal.

It’s okay ’cause the way to dealing with internet assholes is just ignore them and just keep being yourself ’cause they hate that even more. Never bow down and never cave ’cause that’s what they want you to do. Their goal is to make you feel upset and make you feel bad. They intentionally want to make you feel like you’re wrong and they want to make you feel like a “loser” ’cause it’s killing them that they see how honest and real you are. They just want to make you feel bad ’cause they get a kick out of it and it’s amusing to them putting you down. That’s why they do what they do.

When I make an opinion and thought on something, I stick to it, ya know, stick to my guns. No matter what anyone says, never back down. I’ve dealt with assholes online for many years and still go through it today but I’ve gotten way better at ignoring negativity, lol.

It’s just that people do what they do ’cause they are crazy and that’s the end of it really. The way to dealing with internet haters and negativity of any kind is just keep being you and that’s it. Most people want you to be the way they want you to be and you don’t have to. Like I said just keep being you, no matter how mad people get.

Not everyone will dislike who you are, you’ll get some fans/supporters out of it ’cause they’ll respect the hell out of you for being real.

People are just being people… assholes everywhere, you can’t avoid them. When people attack me on my social media or blogs, I just block ’em. They don’t like it but tough shit, it’s my right.

Nothing wrong with being yourself. Don’t let people think that there is something wrong with it.

When I post on a forum, blog or social media… I seem to get a stir going and get people fired up, every time. Not sure why. I guess I’m getting at getting people talking. Maybe some find what I say is controversial and that’s fine. I’m just honest and speak from the heart. Talk like that and people will respond and will get ’em going. Just be honest and wait to see what happens.

Kev

Toon Track EZ Drummer really is nice but did it really need to be $160???

Now that I finally have Toon Track EZ Drummer musician’s software plugin for my DAW, I’ve messed with it for a little bit. The software is really nice. Like the name of the software says, “EZ” aka “easy”… it really is easy to use. To play drum tracks, you can either play drums manually on the virtual drum set or you can drag and drop loops. That’s all it is really.

The drums sound realistic enough ’cause they were played by an actual human drummer. Now I’m gonna have to really learn how to play drums virtually and learn how to program my own drum tracks. I have been learning a little bit here and there and now I’m gonna get into it a lot more.

I have a few drumming lesson instructional books so I’m gonna have to get back into them. I’m planning to buy some more drum lesson books. If I’m gonna use this EZ Drummer software, I may as well study drums and I have.

I wanted separate drumming software as a way so I can put drum tracks behind my songs and hopefully start making full band rock n’ roll songs in the future. Either that or I can just use EZ Drummer for something to practice my guitar playing with and have fun jamming.

Toon Track software is real nice but they don’t really need to overpriced, though. I plan to buy one more plugin by Toon Track very soon… I’m also planning to get their new Toon Track EZ bass. Once I get toon track EZ bass, I’ll be all set to start making full band tracks very soon. I’m also planning on buying IK Multimedia AmpliTube for guitar so I can have some different guitar sounds and effects. Once I get all these plugins and software that I need, I’ll soon be able to start making some serious rock music and I can’t wait.

Like I said before, I’m not gonna be making complex rock music like Iron Maiden and Dream Theater. My rock n’ roll is gonna be very simplistic inspired by Nirvana, the Pumpkins, AcDc, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, etc. In other words, I’m not worried about technical aspects of guitar playing, I just want to make tight as rock n’ roll, ya know? I want to try to make fun rock n’ roll you can head-bang to and even sing along with if I’m lucky enough.

I really do want to make full band rock and doing everything I can to make that happen. Small baby steps. Just getting all the stuff that I need to make that happen. I got new studio setup, new DAW, new electric guitar and everything so I’m getting there. Small baby steps.

I’m also trying to improve my guitar playing along the way.

Anyhow, Toon Track is real nice software, just wish they weren’t so pricey but so worth it, though. Toon Track is pretty hot in the musician’s world and once you actually buy from them, you’ll see why.

I’ve been looking into getting Toon Track software for a long time anyways and glad I’m finally getting into them. Therefor, I’m proud to be their new customer so far anyway.

Kev