Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Does America's 2nd Amendment make any sense at all?

I'm not American, so I don't know much about their constitution. Other than the 2nd Amendment - 'The Right to bear Arms'. The only reason I know this one is because every time there's a mass killing in the U.S., all I hear about protecting 'our 2nd Amendment rights'.

Why would anyone want to bear 'arms' seems a bit strange to me. Why would you want to collect an object that can kill another human being? Surely if you collect such items, surely you'll want to use it sometime, somewhere, on someone?  And this whole thing about protecting oneself, I understand self-defense, but what about the Police, isn't it their job to serve and protect their citizens? So is it that Americans don't trust the police to do their job?

What is this obsession with guns? Could it be that maybe the forefathers got it wrong? How could a country build their constitution on guns?

I have a few doubts about this whole 'right' thing, mainly - How many persons who own guns successfully defend themselves against criminals intent on doing grave bodily harm? Do they win the battle? How many innocent persons have died at the hands of someone who owned a licensed firearm? How many criminals have used the same licensed firearm against the owner and won? Do persons who own guns become more violent upon acquiring a gun?

And the thing that always gets me is this 'what about the victims who died?' Didn't they have a right to live, but had that right taken away from them because of someone who used a licensed gun to kill and did in fact kill and in such cases, many times over and over again'

I've heard it said that 'Guns don't kill people, that people kill people', well the thing is the gun is the damn tool used to kill another person.

To all the gun owners and members of the NRA (National Rifle Association), I have a request - I'd like you to go to Sandy Hook Elementary school, meet with the parents, spouses, children and siblings of everyone who died and look them in the eye and say that owning a licensed firearm does more good than harm, and that it is your 'right' to protect yourself and that guns aren't the cause of death, it's the person.

What a pack of crap.

Those are not my kids and I don't know anyone in Newtown, Connecticut. But if I had just one wish, it would be that last Friday's shooting never happened, that everyone was still alive, and that all those kids and teachers were getting ready to celebrate Christmas with their loved ones.

But instead, they died too soon because a licensed firearm owner's son went crazy.

I think anyone who still supports the 2nd Amendment should have their head checked.

May all those who died at Sandy Hook School, may they all rest in peace and may their family eventually heal from this horrific tragedy.

God be with you all.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Unrequited love

“Because what’s worse than knowing you want something, besides knowing you can never have it?”
― James PattersonThe Angel Experiment


“To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.”
― Federico GarcĂ­a LorcaBlood Wedding and Yerma


“Because, if you could love someone, and keep loving them, without being loved back . . . then that love had to be real. It hurt too much to be anything else.”
― Sarah CrossKill Me Softly






Saturday, November 24, 2012

Life is fragile

A few weeks ago my dad fell off his bed at 2AM one Saturday morning and blacked out, at least that's what we believe happened. When we attempted to wake him, we noticed blood on the floor, he had cut above his eyebrow, and even though for his age - 79, his skin is rather tender in some areas, we had no idea he would bleed that much. What scared us even more was that he had no clue where he was, how he got there and what time it was.

We took him immediately to the hospital and didn't reach back home until close to 5AM. Nothing was terribly wrong with him, but he was bruised above the eye, in fact he had quite the black eye after the doctor finished squeezing all excess blood out of his cut. Later that weekend, a CT scan was done revealing a small hematoma on the brain, but we were given instructions on what to watch out for, and so far everything seems to be okay with my dad. But that first week was a bit more that nerve-wrecking.

It sure does make you realize how life can change in an instant and nothing ever really is permanent. Only change itself is the only constant. And maybe we are all fooling ourselves into thinking we have a handle on everything, because when emergencies happen, no one is truly totally prepared.

I've been thinking since that incident, no matter how great we may think we are, and no matter how fit we may be in our younger years, no matter what our accomplishments are; when our time comes to get down in age and succumb to the humility of getting older, nothing can prevent that. And no matter what we have and who we are, we will all be affected at some time or another by illness.

If that doesn't give us a reality check, I don't know what will.

Thanks God, for healing my dad.

Cursed Diamond - The Black Crowes

Monday, September 24, 2012

50% Local content on Trinidad airwaves


For the first time in my life, there's a real push for local content on our radio airwaves. This is being spearheaded by a few local artists and various stakeholder groups.

Now, there're folks who argue that they hardly hear local content on radio, there are others who are completely oblivious to what's going on, all they want to hear is 80s' pop music. How clueless can one be really?

Many radio station owners and moderators 'insist' they're playing what people want to hear when in fact they're just playing what will sell their ratings. Other fools argue that local content is below international production standards.

But my take is, if we, local artists/musicians had our 50% local content on all radio stations. I think everyone would be surprised as to just how talented and diverse our local musicians really are. And on top of this, such a push for local content WILL result in more revenue for radio stations and musicians alike. It's a win-win situation.

So let's not be pig-headed, narrow-minded about it, okay radio station owners.

So folks, here's your chance to support local music....and I mean really support....goto this link and sign the petition

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/50-local-content-in-radio-tv-in-t-t.html

Thanks


Sunday, September 16, 2012

What we remember are the bad stuff

You know, I read it somewhere that what we remember over time are hardly ever the good points, but the bad stuff that happens to us.

I had a solo show last night at Fiesta Plaza, Movie Towne. It started off okay, then I forgot lyrics in the first song and had to switch verse three with verse one. No one seemed to notice.

The second song went well, the third one seemed to go over everyone's head. The forth was good, the fifth had a battery malfunction so I switched guitars. I was talking to the audience, they seemed rather appreciative, maybe some were bored, some folks got up and left, others came. I had me a bit uneasy and grateful at the same time. Grateful for those you came and stayed.

Then I played a classical piece, a piece I wrote, all was going well until I forgot a part in the progression, again no one might know because they don't know the song. Then I played a cover and played a wrong note in transition.

Two more originals that went fine, then I played another cover by Soundgarden. 'Mind Riot', I had practiced it relentlessly, and I messed up a part in the ending. Only briefly though.

I ended with the Beatles' 'Across The Universe'. I got the whole crowd to sing the chorus, which was great.

Everyone told me after how great I sounded, I asked all my musician friends if they heard my mistakes, they all said 'what mistakes?'

I know I had a great show by all accounts, but what's sticking in my head are those three or four mistakes. How could I make such silly mistakes, I practiced, I trained, I played scenarios in my head and yet I made foolish mistakes.

Oh dammit!

I guess that's part of being human. I know I'll feel better in a day or two, Right now, I just wish I could do that show over and not make any mistakes. At least every time a mistake happened I recovered quickly, so that was good.

Still, I feel little comfort in that.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Rock in Trinidad - Hope or Hopeless? My review of 2012 Lockdown.

So last night was the 10th Anniversary of the LockDown Festival here in Trinidad and Tobago. This year it took place at Kaydonna Drive-thru in Curepe.

Mostly rock bands, although the tag-line states 'All Star Music Festival'. I reached rather late because of terrible traffic in the Port-of-Spain area, so I missed about four bands. Four bands I really wanted to see, but I had no control over the traffic, and even though there were Police cars that sped through the bumper to bumper crawl (we civilian motorists always have to 'get out of the way' when that happens) to get to wherever they 'claim' they're going, I was stuck for close to 45 minutes.

I arrived just in time to hear a new band perform. All in all, I heard six bands in the space of 3+ hours. So definitely the lineup of bands was solid.

I was really impressed with KIN Sound System, LynchPin and Escobar Project. I missed Gyazette, JOINTpop, Checklist and Goodnight Parliament. The other bands I heard either had sound problems mix-wise and I could quite grasp their set. Maybe my ears are getting old. But anyway.

Here's my list of Pros and Cons of Last night's show:

Cons:
- Sound was not that great, many a time the guitars or bass would just blare out at you. Was a bit deafening at times, vocals were hidden and the drums were absent in a few bands (although I wonder if that was more to do with the bands themselves and their drummers)
- Venue had an 'ant' problem, many folks got bitten (me included) and wow those critters were brutal.
- Because of rain, parking was a bit strange at the venue and there was mud everywhere.
- The last two bands took way too long to get started and folks started leaving (me included)


Pros:
- Changeover times were by and large swift and adhered to by most bands
- The crowd was rather appreciative of ALL the bands and the various styles of music. There were mostly heavy bands but in between all this there was rock/reggae band KIN Sound System doing their stuff and the crowd was pretty good, so kudos to the crowd for being open to all genres of Rock 'N Roll. Well done audience!
- The numbers were pretty decent. As much as the venue was huge, I think the turnout was pretty good.
- There was adequate food, beer and a 'Merch' tent. Finally bands have merchandise to sell and folks were buying.
- All the bands paid their due respect to each other while performing in between songs, which I quite liked. Nothing like brotherhood.
- The caliber of songwriting for each band has come a long, long way.
- No two bands sounded alike.

So overall, even though there is room for improvement, I would say the LockDown festival was a success and the Trinidad rock/metal crowd has come a long way in terms of music knowledge and appreciation.

So things are hopeful for Rock 'n Roll in Trinidad. Now all we need is to have more constant radio play during the day of local, original content and we'll be finally building a vibrant music scene here.

More on that later.....

Saturday, July 21, 2012

My Official Website and Online Store

So, this last two weeks I've been going to bed rather late tweaking html code and I don't know a thing about HTML.

I bought my own domain name and registered a website. Here's the link.

I also put my first solo acoustic CD - 'Side A: Journey Within' online for sale. Here's that link.

I hope you'll check out both pages and give my album a try.

Cheers

What a surprise...I'm going on tour for summer 2012

Life is truly amazing sometimes. I had gotten used to the idea that I wasn't going anywhere this summer. I was gonna keep myself put in Trinidad, close off my guitar classes and practice guitar like there was no tomorrow.

I even wrote out a schedule and was sticking to it (most days).

Ok, so this is not the most exciting of summer plans BUT it was my plan at least.

So, there I was, minding my own business when I got a call on monday night from Kobo Town's leader - Drew Gonsalves. He asked me what was my summer plans and I told him. He then asked me if I wanted to come on tour with the guys for a brief stint in Europe and Canada.

I jumped at the chance.

Any chance to be on tour really. That's every musicians' dream - to hit the road and play music. Now the road isn't exactly a warm, comfy place but it is an experience to behold. And there's a certain freedom to being on the road.

So in the space of one week, my plans have gone from staying home to travelling halfway across the globe to play at various outdoor music festivals in Europe.

What a week!

I can't wait to hop on that plane taking me to meet my bandmates and play music again.

For updates on my touring schedule click here

See you guys on the road...



Monday, July 9, 2012

Soo...what have I been up to...musically

So, it has been a while yes....since I lasted posted here.

What an interesting year. I haven't gigged out much, but the year started off with putting my power trio - SONic REVIVal PROJect on hiatus while I focused on classical guitar studies, I also used the 'break' just to clear my head on my musical direction.

Then I did a gig around Carnival Season backing up Calypsonian Black Stalin and Soca Legend Ronnie McIntosh at a fete (something I've never done before, talk about a different headspace). Not too sure if I could be a 'sideman'. I gotta like the music that I play, and I realize I prefer to create rather than just be a sideman.

I got asked to join two bands - one an original World Beat/Kaiso band. I accepted the offer, then left after a month. I had way too much composing work for various clients to do. And that's something I really like doing, composing, as much as I liked the guys in the band, it was not my music.

The other band was a pop-rock cover band. I never followed up with them. I really can't see myself playing rock covers.

I got hired to back a classical singer while he puts on a tribute show to Andrea Bocelli in a few weeks. Not totally my thing, but the challenge with sight-reading the pieces was what made me accept the offer. Again, it's not something I would do for a living, especially here in Trinidad. Truth be told, I'm not too sure if anyone makes money from gigging here.

Around September last year I started putting all my music up on bandcamp and last month I released my first solo album - Side A: Journey Within' for sale. Now that's something I've never done before.

So here's that link to my online store.

And this month I bought a domain name and started building my own website to house all my musical endeavours. And believe you me, this is a first for me.

Oh sure, I had my own website a few years ago, but it was just for my solo music. This new site with have EVERTHING I've ever recorded and published, all the bands I've ever formed and my solo music, some songs are a bit, umm.....strange but every composer/musician has their own quirks.

It's strange having my own site, because I previously thought my solo acoustic stuff (which was really a sideline project I undertook whenever playing in a band frustrated me) was separate from any band project I was involved.

Lately, I've come to accept them both as two sides of me and each deserve equal attention.

So here goes everything.

When my lil site is up and running I will link the site.

Thanks for reading and listening


Saturday, June 9, 2012

My latest acoustic album available online


So you can hear my latest acoustic solo album and pick up a copy at



Thursday, May 31, 2012

A site that every musician should check out

A friend sent me a link to this site, I think it's brilliant. Thanks Dr. Noa

http://www.bulletproofmusician.com/

On my iPod Playlist #15

These days I'm in a bit of a heavy and progressive mood so....and a lil jazz and hip-hop too

Arrested Development
Cheese
Chick Corea Electric Band
Concrete Blonde
Deftones
Down
Dream Theater
Dredg
The Explorers Club
The Gathering
Helmet
Gordian Knot
Immortal Technique
Imogen Heap
Incubus
Kidney Thieves
Killswitch Engage
Miles Davis
Peter Gabriel
Planet X
Queso
Return to Forever
Ritesh Das & Toronto Tabla Ensemble
Soulfly
Tabla Beat Science



Let's not be too sensitive now

You know, it's kinda sad how touchy people are nowadays. It seems the slightest thing will piss someone off.

A few things to never, ever, ever discuss - religion, politics, abortion, 9/11, world economics, world hunger, the destruction of the Amazon, the raping of Burma, all the various wars around the globe, world poverty, and the list goes on and on. If you try to bring up any of these, you will be met with resistance that this is not a 'nice, warm, fuzzy conversation to have in public'.

In fact, I think the only thing we can talk about is the weather, and that is such a fun, long and engaging conversation.

If you post anything online, heaven forbid you might offend someone with what you post. It's all about being 'Politically Correct'. When did common sense die and get replaced by being politically correct. Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying we should all have the license to be an obnoxious as possible, but good common sense will tell anyone what's the right and wrong way to be.

And if you ask me, we spend so much time as a society trying to not offend anyone that we get nothing done in terms of real social progress. Really, what progress have we made in terms of human connections?

Perhaps if we just accepted a simple fact - that we are all different, and are each entitled to an opinion, whether right or wrong. If we accepted this fact, then we would show a lot more tolerance to differences of opinion and may even excuse people that rub us the wrong way. We could just simply brush it off as 'well, we all have free will and that's their choice, not mine and I choose not to react to it'.

Seems simple enough in theory but in reality, who am I trying to fool here?

Maybe we all need to grow a thicker skin and laugh more and grumble less.

As Van Wilder said 'You should never take life so seriously, you'll never make it out alive'

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Just a lil note about Soundcloud and bandcamp

So I'm starting to post ALL the music I've ever recorded up on soundcloud as well

here's the link

http://soundcloud.com/the-sonic-revival-project

If you've missed the bandcamp link here it is too

www.cescoemmanuel.bandcamp.com

Happy Listening and spread the word!

Thanks


My music on Soundcloud

Cesco Emmanuel

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

All this fuss and in the end all is well



I spent the last year and a bit rehearsing like crazy for my grade 8 Classical guitar exam from the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London) in April of this year. It's the final step before starting the last three phases - Diploma, Licentiate and Fellowship.

So I practiced all the scales, arpeggios, interval scales, broken chords and dissected those three pieces I had to perform for the exam. I played over and over all those troubled areas, stretching my fingers to really fine-tune (no pub intended) all the mistakes.

I tried to sight-read as much as possible. One month before the exam I sight-read almost an hour a day. Sight-reading gives me the chills, I see a new piece of music in front of me and I instantly freeze. So I really tried to do as much of it as possible, just to get my nerves used to the idea. Unfortunately that didn't really help much as fear and doubt took over my sight-reading section in the exam and once again I failed that part.

But, I was able to score almost full marks in everything else and get a distinction! I will be forever thankful. I guess hard work and practice really does make perfect (or close enough)

Sometimes I wonder what this fuss is all about in life. Everything has its' own way to working out. But I guess it certainly helps to do our part as well.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The new way of thinking vs. the old brain

You know, when you start doing things differently, it takes a while to get the hang of the new version. The new version has to do battle with the old version in a sense.

This applies to EVERYTHING in your life.

Maybe it was something that you never thought you could do, something you never thought possible.

However, when such a grand, auspicious, life-changing, miraculous event occurs the first thing that happens is that you sort of stand back and look at yourself in awe. You're beside yourself and are observing your life in shock. Almost as if to say to yourself, 'Oh my God! I'm doing this! yes! wow! It's happening to me! 'Lil old me! I'm doing it!'

And then just as you're getting the hang of it, your brain messes you up, it tells you 'No, no, no, you're not ready to get to this stage, get back to where you were before. RETREAT! Are you crazy? What were you thinking?'

Thus, while you're in the middle of this new phase-shift, you STOP.

You stop in mid-sentence, you stop in the middle of the sight-reading section (music exams here), you stop in the middle of the football game. And you make a fine mess of what you were doing, which was getting busy going with the flow, until your 'brain' got in the way.

Now you have to do damage control for the mess that your brain just created.

If you could just get your brain to not START.STOP.FREAK OUT.PAUSE, then life would just be peachy. If the brain could just shut off for a minute and let the limbs do the thinking, then all would end well.

But no, alas, the brain makes its' own rules and will not listen to you, after all, you're not in charge of your brain. Are you?

Learning to shut off my brain when my limbs are pushing the envelope will be my next big challenge.

But for now, the old brain is having its' way.




Monday, April 2, 2012

It's funny how one thing leads to something else and there we are down memory lane

So as you can see from my last few posts, I put up a few choral videos of hymns sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey and King's College, Cambridge. I went on YouTube to find one thing and ended up in a posting mode. Which is not really blogging, I know.

For some strange reason, I cannot listen to those songs without getting severely choked up. Maybe it's the lyrics, maybe it's how the melody lines intertwine with the haunting organ.

The composers of this great music surely had a gift from God to create such masterpieces.

I have a vivid memory of being in Grandmother's room where she had a 'stereogram' that used to play hymns on a sunday evening. I would go in her room, pull out the threads from the fabric of her 'player' (much to her dismay) and eventually listen to some of the hymns.

I never really understood them, or why she listened to those songs, but now I do. They're captivating - great pieces of music with wonderful lyrics.

Gran, I hope they're playing your favorite hymns everyday in heaven. Thanks for exposing me to this great music.

 Love always, your family here on earth.

Praise, My Soul, The King Of Heaven :: Choir of Westminster Abbey

My Song Is Love Unknown - King's College, Cambridge

Ubi Caritas

Don't believe what people say about you


I read that saying somewhere. Can't exactly remember where, but it makes sense. I mean, after all, why should someone be allowed to tell you 'untruths' about yourself?

If it's anyone who knows 'you' the best; it's got to be YOU! Sure, friends and family can help us get over some 'flaws' in ourselves so that we can become better people, but there's a huge difference in trying to help someone and say something hurtful just for malice. Then the intention is not to help, but harm.

And let's add to that list strangers and co-workers. Everyone has their own opinion on certain aspects of 'your' character.

Now that's all fine and dandy because people are people and everyone IS entitled to an opinion.

And again, if it's to help you, then great, because we all have flaws that need fixing, but if it is belittle you so that the other person can feel better about themselves, then the best thing we can do is just ignore what was said and go along our merry way. Especially if what we're doing is not harming anyone INCLUDING ourselves, then carry on I say!

If we took on everything everyone said, we'd never get anything done.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Music Listening #14

Listening to a lotta jazz these days

Al Di Meola
Alan Holdsworth
Bill Frisell
Carlos Santana & John Mclaughlin
David Gilmore (the jazz guy, not Pink Floyd)
Garaj Mahal
Jaco Pastorius
Jimmy Smith
John Frusciante
Mahavishnu Orchestra
Marc Johnson
Miracle Orchestra
Pat Metheny
Shakti
Wes Montgomery

Being kinder to ourselves

Tuesdays are one of my busiest teaching days. Four classes one after another. In my last class, I have four kids, all at various levels of competency.  I have to take a different approach with each child. Thankfully they all get along just fine.

In the middle of teaching today, I noticed one of the kids getting a bit frustrated over not getting a particular part of an exercise. I said 'Not to worry, these things take time, just keep at it, don't put any time frames in your mind and keep at it.'

After I said that, I wondered just how many times I've set deadlines for myself and when it (whatever 'it' was) didn't happen at that time, I became so mad at me for not accomplishing what I had set out to do.

For example - I normally give myself deadlines for mastering certain techniques on the guitar, when I don't think I'm progressing fast enough, I get so despondent, and stop trying as hard, I lose focus. But I noticed something recently. It's this -  Things don't happen in 'our' time, but they do 'happen'. Eventually, if we keep at it.

Sometimes things happens without us dwelling on it, but at the same time, we should make a conscious/subconscious effort towards the goal. And it could anything. Sometimes we put so much energy into getting something, making something work, that we forget that to a great extent, we don't have control over the outcome. We can only prepare to give our best shot and hope things turn out alright.

With respect to music, I've been practicing more regularly now and certain techniques that took my years to get, I'm now getting the hang of them. Granted it took me a year to get there, and not without the help of a couple of guitar teachers/mentors, but I am getting there. Life has a way of 'fitting' all the pieces of the puzzle around the same time when we didn't think it was possible.

I was so disappointed when certain opportunities didn't materialize last year, but everything is not lost. Those chances may happen this year. I guess the key is to keep on trying, no matter how dismal things may seem at times. Because situations can change, for better for worse. And it doesn't cost anything to think positive.

And of course it helps to have a positive, open mind and a kinder, more patient heart towards oneself.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On my ipod #13

So I have one of those original iPOD Nanos....holds just 2 gig, but I make all these various playlists so I totally dig it....

These days I'm in a reggae/world beat mood, so here's what's on.....

Asian Dub Foundation
Burning Spear
Black Uhuru
Buzzrock
Dezarie
I Jahman Levi
Midnite - Natural Vibes Collaboration
Oliver Mtukudzi
Ali Farka Toure
Toubab Krewe
Sangeeta Shankar
Ustad Shahid Parvez
V. Srinivas
Vishwa Mohan Bhatt

More music again on bandcamp

So I put up another instrumental album again on bandcamp.com.

Check it out when you can. It's mainly music that could be the basis of a soundtrack for film/TV

http://cescoemmanuel.bandcamp.com/album/a-different-view

Look out for another release next month.

Cheers

Cesco

Health is your wealth

Talk about a shock, one of my dad's brothers got a stroke a few weeks ago.

Here was a man, who was slim and trim, walked/ran whenever he could. His diet though, left a lot to be desired, he ate mainly the same thing for dinner almost every night and maybe that was his downfall.

That and maybe his attitude towards certain things in life. He always had a heated opinion on some topic.

I don't know, it's hard to say, and I'm not passing judgement on him, but the fact is my dad's younger brother - 74 years of age got a major blood clot stroke a few weeks ago and to date he hasn't regained his speech.

Who would've thought? He doesn't look his age, and by all accounts he was fit as a fiddle.

The family has been thrown into a bit of a confusion state, which I guess is 'normal' whenever there's a family illness/crisis.

All I can think is your health is really your wealth. And you never really know how long we have here, so make the moments count.

Lord, please heal uncle Max that he recovers soon.

Amen.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Where music has taken me during this past year

I've done a few interesting gigs this last year that I never quite thought possible.

In August 2011, I played classical/flamenco guitar at a fund-raiser for a tenor to get his tuition for university. Because of that performance, I did a solo show at Fiesta Plaza (Port-of-Spain). 

Now, I haven't done a solo gig in years and it sure was fun and interesting.

Later in summer I did a solo classical performance through the Classical Guitar Society here. I heard it's constantly played on a local TV network. That was a different headspace as well.

I was hired later on in the year to back-up another tenor at a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity, but because of space constraints the band did not play the show.

I did a classical guitar duo with my musical comrade John Hussain as part of a Christmas fundraiser for St. Dominics Home for Kids. Our repertoire was mainly traditional Christmas Carols and a medley of our local Parang music. It was great trading solos and charting out our individual parts.

And last night of all things, I played a gig where I backed up Calypsonian 'Black Stalin', and Soca Artiste 'Ronnie McIntosh'. This is something I never thought I would do. For one, I'm not a fan of Soca music at all! And two, I'm not part of that industry. But thanks to a 'subbing' opportunity (Thanks Johnny!), I was able to experience what it was like to be a part of this world, even if just for a brief moment.

Now, I'm not accustomed to all of this. I'm just used to my 'lil rock band format in pubs/clubs, with heavy guitars et al, although I have dabbled with other music genres (all the years I spent travelling with Kobo Town playing our version of ole-time calypso/reggae across the world).

So playing classical/flamenco and then calypso and Soca was a DEFINITE change in scenery. And I must say, it's not what I thought at all.

Each music genre had it's own methodology and each one came with a set of 'informal' rules. Some I liked, others, well......but I had to learn the rules and play along, each one had an adjustment period, it was weird at first and I wasn't sure that I made the right decision in any of the situations. But it was a learning experience and it taught me some valuable tools about music theory/sight reading and being a part of a unit other than a simple three-piece rock band.

The classical world was completely full of stress, not what I thought at all. But in the end, everything worked out. Getting there was another story.

What I liked about the kaiso world was there were no divas or egos on stage last night during our set. The singers were in charge and we followed suit, but we clicked and the moment was beautiful. The crowd dug it and that's all that mattered at that point. We had done our job.

Now, if I could just get a decent heavy /experimental band together like that, my life would be perfect. Maybe there's just too many rock star egos in the metal world, and maybe the stakes are too high in the classical field to give that absolute stellar performance. Maybe in the kaiso world, maybe the singer is not really a diva but a story teller, and maybe the story unfolds on stage with the crowd. 

Maybe I'm just giving a one-sided version to my one time experience in these polar opposite musical genres. But one thing for sure, it was an eye opener.

Still, I like my rock world. 

Old habits die hard.


Monday, January 2, 2012

What I be listening to #12

I was digging up these guys the other day

Charlie Christian (one of the first guitarists to start soloing)
Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny/Dave Holland
Marc Johnson
Bruce Ditmas/Jaco Pastorius
Alien Ant Farm
Family Stand
Blood, Sweat and Tears
Peter Gabriel
Poets of the Fall
Phoenix
Rooftops
Scale the Summit
Second Smile
Zefs Chasing Cara

Happy Hopeful 2012

So happy new year everyone!!!! May this year be the year that everyone puts their best foot forward, excel at everything they do, conquer all obstacles, win all battles and be the best they can be - to themselves and to their fellow man and woman.

I don't know why but I have a lot of hope for this year.

I know all the doomsday people say that this is the last year, that the world ends on December 21, 2012, but I don't believe that entirely. There's all sort of reports that state that out modern-day conversion of the Mayan calender is off by nearly 50 - 100 years.

So.....

But, in the event that this year is it, I don't think it's the end of the world, maybe just the dawn of a new era, the dawn of awakening, of human and social justice. And in that sense, 2012 is the end of the age of materialism, and the awakening of mankind to a better day.

Welcome 2012.