Archive for June, 2009

I am Galactus, Devourer of Careers!!!

Posted in rants on June 28, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

As I so subtly teased you all earlier in my certainly life changing post in which I list my favorite vocalists, I am recently unemployed.  I was laid off as one of many casualties of the downward spiral that the restaurant I was working at is in the midst of.  So as I have begun the laborious & emasculating process of job hunting I have realized I have brought as much luck to my various places of work as a virulent epidemic of herpes to a whorehouse. 

Of the 15 or so jobs I’ve had in the past 10 years only 3 are still in buisness, or at the very least the location or office has been shut down or moved.  It does make job hunting rather difficult when your completely honest job application seems to be a tale of unverifiable woe.  Even if the employer were to look online and verify any of these aspects of my job history, they would only be able to find the places existed, then suddenly closed, as if by the wrath of a vengeful deity.    So basicly, there is a connotation in my resume that it is a tight web of utter lies, & I’m in actuality an escaped sociopath who’s job history is mostly stabbing people’s grandmothers in the eye.  It also doesn’t help that being a 6’3″, 255 pound (I lost some weight thanks for noticing) scar covered, sweaty beast of a man makes me look like, well, an escaped sociopath who’s job history is mostly stabbing people’s grandmothers in the eye; even when I’m freshly scrubbed.

I’m sure employment will eventually find me, until then I’ll be out there pounding the pavement every day filling out applications until my hands feel like I finished 1st, 3rd & 8th in a jack off competition.  Wish me luck peoples.

Oh, and much like me my truck isn’t working either…  Forgot to mention that.

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Because the internet loves lists: My 13 Favorite Singers

Posted in music, rants on June 28, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

I don’t know why I’ve been doing the list thing so much lately, probably because I’m freshly unemployed (more on that later) so now I’m obsessing on singers; these as always are in no particular order, much like my kitchen right now who’s cleaning I am busy procrastinating.

1. Freddy Mercury, duh.  What hasn’t been said about the late great Freddy Mercury.  I have always been a huge Queen fan, for the cumpulsory Youtube video I actually chose first is a duet with Monserrat Caballe from his “solo” album “Barcelona”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c68W4r93ZOY&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7xmH-Amt2k

2. Bruce Dickenson, as hardcore an Iron Maiden as I am super duh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvPVEKWAY_0&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZhmsgVqWUQ&feature=related  From his solo album Accident of Birth featuring Adrian Smith on guitar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51NziNUoaJQ&feature=related And of course the infamous “Delilah” performance.

3. Elvis Costello.  God I love this guy, fantastic singer songwriter and inspiration.  I also think I love his stuff because I can effectively sing almost all of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AD_wmYI32sM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrcNnIV6FV8  this one I can’t sing, I massacared it last time I tried. Still some of my favorite of his songs are from his collaborations with Burt Baccarach.

4.John Frusciante.  He singlehandedly gave me the courage to get up and sing, now you know who to blame.  I’ve gone on & on in a bunch of posts about this guy so I’m moving on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tKQWvNZT0k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZzSvDNIG_o&feature=related

5. Johnette Napoliano of Concrete Blonde.  I love her.  I just absolutely adore the sound of her voice.  Hands down my favorite female vocalist, she is just so great.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B1sDDKyuXQ  Also the lyrics of this song are incredibly badass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axnCMV-on9Q&feature=related’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG_RPjr0OFE&feature=related

6. Perry Farrel.  Jane’s Addiction & Iron Maiden are my 2 favorite bands, and Perry’s has a one of a kind voice.  His music is a huge inspiration, both with & without Jane’s Addiction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpCCfazKxzk My favorite song actually.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7APuVrKSZc&feature=related

7. Luciano Pavarotti, I’m a huge opera fan and an unintentional look alike but the big man could sing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VATmgtmR5o4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7FGPIRJx6I&feature=related

8. Aretha Franklin, my first exposure to her voice was probably in the Blues Brother’s movie, but there are much worse places to meet somebody.  She is a great singer, songwriter and arranger, just fantastic.  The first video I have is her bravura performance of Nessun Dorma so you can compare with Luciano.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUvJZ26shqc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyolMNsN0Ig

9. Rodger Daltry.  Everybody knows I’m a rabid Who fan, both the band and the Doctor…  Cringe inducing jokes aside, that fantastic manly bellow sweeping over the top of his over the top cohorts, he is one of the great voices period.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYxFGFgwlZM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKUBTX9kKEo

10. Carl Anderson.  One of the few non traumatic incedences in my Catholic School upbringing was that every Easter season the teachers would “phone it in” and play us the movie Jesus Christ Supoerstar and his performance of Judas in it was mesmerizing.  I still think that Jesus Christ Superstar is by head & shoulders Andrew Lloyd Webbers best work.  “Heaven on their Minds” is my favorite of the entire musical, I’ve been working on that song for years and I’m still not ready to sing it live.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytNoiQ8LkS8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lC8fRRCCDWc&feature=related

11. David Bowie.  This guy has done it all, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he counted to infinity twice.  Great singer, songwriter, actor and generally fascinating all around.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JOvgfOkxgQ&feature=related Heroes, my personal favorite.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_cHvtPB2dY&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxJuFwkZAAg  I think this is his most underrated song.

12.  Chris Cornell, from his early work with Soundgarden to Audioslave and his solo work he is a great, great voice.  When I’m writing a song I hear his voice in my head, then I go to sing it & it sounds like Tom Waits getting a prostate exam.  His solo album Euphoria Morning showcases his voice best of anything he’s done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fp8fW__JkRE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aut1VuM2Jiw&feature=related  Preaching at the end of the world is my favorite of all his stuff, I’m a bit of a sucker for anything broadwayesque.

13.  Ritchie Havens.  I love the passion & delivery that this guy has.  That’s it.  He just has a voice that grabs you and make you think that anything he is singing is the most important thing ever at that moment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hT72bL7xocM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQG-xM62tQg&feature=fvw 

 So now that whole thing is done, so now the internet is one list the richer and now I’ll go clean my kitchen.

Logan’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted in Food on June 28, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

The following is the work of Logan the inexplicable, a fun & tasty crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

½ cup of melted butter

½ cup peanut butter

1 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 ½ cup of flour

¾ teaspoon of baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 cup chocolate chips

Mix the ingredients; wet first then add dry, shape & bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

“Kira’s Dutch Topped Red Wine Marinated Apple, Pear Pie; A.K.A. Kira’s Klingon Blood Pie

Posted in Food on June 26, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

For this year’s Lapna (see previous post) Kira declared that she wanted to make John an apple pie so he can get well sooner (he just had surgery & thankfully is O.K.) so Shu & I sort of collaborated with our little girl to come up with this one.

Ingredients, for 2 pies:

2 frozen pie crusts (or make 2 we just didn’t have the energy)

5 small apples, 2 Granny Smith, 3 Golden Delicious

3 pears

All fruit are to be cored & sliced and marinated in a mixture of…

½ cup dark red wine

1 ½ shots of Chamboard or any raspberry liqueur

the juice of 4 limes.

Marinate the above for 1 ½ hours and after that mix in…

5 teaspoons flour

1 cup Turbinado or brown sugar

a healthy dash of ginger

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

3 tablespoons maple syrup

Once mixed spoon into the 2 pie crusts & now it’s time for the Dutch topping of destruction. OOOOhhhhh YEAHhhhh! Sorry, I was trance channeling “Macho Man Randy Savage” for a moment, I couldn’t afford the medication that prevents that…. Where was I? Topping… Yes..

Topping Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup of Turbinado or brown sugar

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

2 cups of butter

10 teaspoons of flour

4 hand fulls of semi sweet chocolate chips. OOOOhhhhh YEAHhhhh! (I really need health insurance)

Mix these ingredients thoroughly and form the top of the pies then bake for 50 minutes at 400 degrees for the glory of the empire!

Dom’s Incredibly Tiny Heart of Targ; A.K.A. Simmered, Marinated Chicken Hearts

Posted in Food on June 26, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

Since tomorrow is Lapna (a traditional Klingon holiday), my family has been graciously invited as usual to our friends John & Joann’s home for a potluck/barbecue thingy.  Each of us (the lovely & talented Kira included) are bringing an offering to share, I myself am bringing my deviled eggs & getting into the spirit of things with my chicken heart appetizer.  What is most important is a lengthy marinade to flavor & tenderize the hearts, if I went any more acidic it would have been a chicken heart ceviche but I don’t trust my supermarket for that level of freshness. Chicken hearts & hearts in general are one of my favorite organ meats and are very accessible to the novice, it is a very lean, slightly tough, & with a dark meat flavor I love; in any case marinate a minimum of 24 hours in the fridge.

Ingredients:

For Marinade:

1 cup cheap ass red wine,

1 cup Mojo marinade (love that stuff, cheap & delicious)

3 tablespoons soy sauce

juice of 3 lemons or limes

2 tablespoons black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cumin

3 tablespoons yellow mustard

2 teaspoons cumin

½ teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons each garlic & onion powder

one onion grated or diced (grated being better since it releases more juices, but I’d hate to make you cry)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shot of rum (optional)

The other stuff:

1 ½ pounds chicken hearts (mine came to $1.37 & I felt it was a decent deal)

one more small diced onion

3 tablespoons of saved bacon fat or olive oil for frying

a few tablespoons of bread crumbs for thickening.

First whisk together the marinade ingredients, then toss in the chicken hearts whole & marinade for at least 24 hours. After the hearts have marinated take a large frying pan and melt the fat (or olive oil) and toss in the diced small onion, then dump in the hearts & marinade into the pan and simmer on medium until the hearts are done, usually about an hour on my crappy old electric range,(low/med on a gas range) adding the bread crumbs to thicken if necessary.  Allow for about an hour of slow cooking depending on the vintage of your stove and it is a fun and tasty appetizer fit for a warrior species. 

Extra credit turn this into dinner by tossing in 1/2 a pound of brussel sprouts, 3 steamed carrots, some cooded potatoes and whatever other leftovers you have lying around with a heaping couple of tablespoons of sour cream and you end up with a sort of mutant hunter’s stew.

Kap Lah!!!

Gregg’s 13 Guitarists, A.K.A. giving my oldest friend 10 solid opportunities to knock the piss out of me.

Posted in music, rants on June 24, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

A few posts ago I did my 13 bass players bit (partially from Gregg’s challenge https://kingbiscuitpants.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/13-bass-players/ )  as a bookend to it I asked him to amass a similar line up of guitarists who had a direct impact on his actual playing he agreed and came back to me about 2 weeks later with his result…  all 3 of them.  Gregg wasn’t being lazy mind you and I truely believe he was up for nights trying to come up with his 13 guitarists who made the biggest impact on his playing, but with his usual talent for understatement he provided me with a confident 3.  Now Gregg’s musical tastes are as broad as mine, and perhaps to a degree it is his modesty that kept him from expanding his list, which I announced that I would certainly be able to fill to the aforementioned lucky 13.  That foolish display of hubris notwithstanding;  I figure that since I have known the man since kindergarten and since I’ve been playing music with the guy since we were 13, I’d be uniquely qualified for the job.  Knowing this I fully expect to catch several flavors of hell for any miss step here but that makes for good entertainment. 

If nothing else these 3 are “correct” since they came straight from the horse’s mouth.

1.  Eddie Van Halen, if you played guitar at all in the 80’s he influenced you no  question.  Regardless your feelings on the band he is one of those player’s that reinvented the instrument, 2 handed tapping, yadda yadda.  The video I attached is special to me because when I saw Eddie Van Halen walking down that library table playing the solo for “Hot for Teacher” it was my first clear realization that “rock & roll is really fucking cool”, even though we both are bigger Sammy Hagar era (OU812) being our favorite Van Halen album.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0XLKcMoXRE

2.  Adrian Smith, Gregg to this day wants to be Adrian Smith when he grows up ; hell, I still want to be Steve Harris when I grow up so I can;t blame him.  But as far as technique, modesty, philosophy & just sheer careful calculation of wonderful arrangements no other guitar player has left so many of their fingerprints on Gregg’s actual playing than Adrian Smith of  Iron Maiden.  I chose to link the song “Stranger in a Strange Land” from the “Somewhere in Time” album (the cover from which I’ve nicked the image in my blog header) as it’s a great example of what makes Adrian great.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UswjjSgayeI&feature=related

3.  Eric Clapton, Gregg actually owns an early 90’s Clapton signature strat (though his birthday is coming up & he desperately wants the Adrian Smith signature Jackson) and of course what other guitarist has had the nickname of  “God” at any point in their career?  He also has stayed current and is as good a player now as at any other time in his lengthy career.  He also is surprisingly adventurous, in fact in the mid 90’s he anonymously released an album of ambient music under the moniker “TDF”,   “Retail Therapy” a rare find where he used the moniker the “X-sample”  I’m posting “Layla” because it is frankly my favorite & the Phil Collin’s song “Rain Down on Me” because that song features a guest solo by Clapton that is my favorite of his solos.  Update, that Phil Collins song isn’t on Youtube because fo copyright bullshit, sorry, good solo though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Raw_y_GGptM

Now that the sure things are past I go down the slippery slope of speculation, so in no particular order….

4.  John Frusciante.  We are actually more influenced by his solo work than his stuff with RHCP; if for no other reason he is the guy who gave us the courage to get up & sing after years of being essentially mute sidemen, Gregg (& I) has learned literally several albums worth of his material and he is a constant inspiration.  In conversation Gregg has even quoted Frusciante in saying (paraphrased, hell I’m remembering a sentance from a conversation I had 7 months ago let alone the specifics, I’m lucky I can find my ass with both hands) “I’m not just thinking about notes I’m really to start thinking about ‘sounds’ “.  John is the whole package, from complexity to minimalism, all with fearlessness & honesty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3YgLNNJjMg   My personal favorite.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zCk-vlf4go&feature=related  I’ll stop now as I can easily spend 10 hours watching & posting Frusciante vids.

5. Eric Johnson.  O.k. I’m reaching a bit here but Eric was one of the first non rock/metal guys Gregg got into & his album “Ah Via Musicom” is really a gem.  His clarity, note choice and precision is something I definately hear in Gregg’s approach, he might not but I see something there.  If nothing else the guy is a very “musical” and underrated musician so check him out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfExO4Qgx7M&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCRhlsILuQo

6.  Frank Black.  We are both huge fans of “The Pixies”, my first introduction to them was their cover of the “Jesus & Mary Chain’s” “Head On” and explored from there.   Being in band situations with Gregg 2 common issues he would focus on were, dynamics & simplicity, therefore pixies.  Besides “Here Comes Your Man” is so damn fun to play.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGXdXcpNsv4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hvi4iA3PnKE&feature=related

7.  George Harrison.  I actually argued with Gregg on this one and he admitted he couldn’t find himself able to really separate Harrison as a guitarist from Harrison “The Beatle”.   Frankly I think that most people have the same problem, what Harrison the guitarist brought was very delicate, well thought, well arranged guitar parts and really as a player that is what Gregg is about, the song & only the song.   Also George Harrison had both the balls and the discipline to not only be influenced by Indian classical music but master (he actually apprenticed under Ravi Shankir) but pretty much singlehandedly champion it in the 60’s, its the sort of thing I could imagine Gregg doing if he got into something and had essentially unlimited resources.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWwrhUX3iTM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vN4PPQDw9H0

8. David Gilmour.  Let me preface this statement with the fact that Gregg has never been a pot smoker, I am saying this without any humor; simply as a factual statement since he his a big “Pink Floyd” fan and that is a statistical anomaly,  his favorite of their albums being “The Delicate Sound of Thunder”.  Again I actually hear the similarity in Gregg’s use of vibrato specificly as well as his note choice.  Gilmour’s solo album “This Island” is also very worth getting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHi46A9A5_w  “One Slip” Gregg’s favorite of their songs and a very underrated one at that.

9.  Slash.  Slash was another of those utterly ubiquitious players when we were growing up, we are both big fans; of course Gregg being a “dyed in the wool strat guy” is always a bit at odds around a Les Paul-private joke.  I hear Slash in Gregg’s non-rock playing; I’ve played a lot of funk, reggae & even Hatian music with Gregg and that’s where I hear Slash’s influence in approach. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqDOsKKhb88

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKTmN2Usn3k&feature=related

10.  Brian May, I freely admit that I might be shoehorning one of my favorites into “his ” list but Brian May is an actual scientist turned musician, like Gregg, and I can easily imagine Gregg spending an entire day adjusting a microphone angle in front of a Vox AC30.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHQk6HFn4rE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOJPvxgkvn8

11.  J. Mascis.  “Dinosaur Jr.” is one of the great underrated bands of that fertile period when “alternitive” wasn’t just a pidgeonhole.  Gregg doesn’t sound like him per-se, but he has often tried to be evocative of J. Mascis’s about to careen off the rails sort of soloing.  I do definately hear an influence in his approach to counterpoint.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6WLkyxySA0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFtJRLXFZxc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgnCD7dkHXU

12.  Dave Murray.   O.k.  I know you’re a fan but you said he wasn’t a direct influence but I say: “Piss off you bloody wanker! I know how much effort you put into learning his solo from “Number of the Beast”.  Maybe it’s because I am 1254 words into something only you, me & Scott will read and I’m getting tired.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBs33lXH06M

13.  Yngve Malmsteen.  Hang in here I have a point.  Piss off I really do!!!  I know while you personally respect his talent and technique; he comes off as everything you find personally distateful as a guitarist, the Goofus to your Gallant so to speak.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aS_IYe5JTZ4&feature=related

Real Posts Soon! Until then I present Paolo Angeli

Posted in music, rants on June 21, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

I have a bunch of stuff I’m about to pound out I swear, including a cheesecake recipe that can open up forbidden inter-dimensional portals to the realms of the “Dread Old Ones” and a review of my favorite Vietnamese restaurant, but I figure that it’s father’s day and since I nearly had a heatstroke today helping my friends John & Joanne clear out their yard some before he has to get lung surgery I can goof off a bit. 

However, while I was busy puttering about on the Internet I stumbled across a video of this instrumental guitarist who is just great and very unusual.   His approach has more in common with Rube Goldberg (weird gadgety stuff & all) than Joe Satriani and he plays this guitar modified with extra strings, optimized for bow technique and weird foot pedal things.  However he does it, check it out, all I know is that he is from Sardinia and makes much better use of his spare time than I do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwnMdmheHyE&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLYAuK_9x_4&feature=related