Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Plan-B / New Music

Friday, Nov. 19th 9Pm @ Plan-B in Portland. Diesto's CD release party, Rabbits, Lord Dying, and us, Salvador. Check out Rabbits, as Kirk put it, "it's great Caveman Rock". We're done recording two songs as well, which will be available soon. Until then, here's a 40 sec teaser.

Monday, October 25, 2010


So here's the deal. If you live in Salem and have nothing to do this Saturday, yet feel like joining a party in a costume or not, then here you go. $30 gets you a round trip bus ride to two bars, some free drinks, and live music. Best of all, no one has to drink and drive. More info and schedule below.

Eugene: pick up 6:30 1048 Lincoln St.

Salem: 6pm Start the party at Christy's pre funk party: Christy and Mandi's370 19th St. SE Salem, OR 97301. Bus Picks up at 8 and 8:45

Bar Hop Downtown and Meet at Jonathan's Oyster Bar 136 High St. Bus Picks up at 9 and 10

Final Destination: Jamalia @ The Tuff Ranch.
$30 Dollars includes round trip, beer (micro and domestic) and jello shots on the bus, and of course, the best Halloween experience EVER!

Tickets on Sale Monday, Sept 27 and must be bought in advance. Contact Christy Hey, Austin Rowlader, Andrew Hussey or to arrange.

Here's something creepy a friend and I recorded many years back, in a small spider infested basement to mark this holiday.

Very, very much,
The Dojo Master...

Monday, October 18, 2010

I don't sleep anymore...

There have been a few very long days in the mix for me lately. A 19 hour day of work and recording yesterday and more to come. I feel like I’m not mentally functional a lot of times recently. Lots of recording going on, some things have come easily, while other things seem like there are unworldly forces at work conspiring against anything running smoothly. I do have to say, nothing beats the feeling of recording with your shoes off so far. Hopefully there will be little things to listen to in weeks to come.

Two shows this week, one might be a Halloween type event right across the river from my house off SW MacAdam. Imagine that? I’m hoping for the easiest setup and break down ever. The next day I’ll hopefully squeeze in some more recording and then be at a benefit show with Salvador at the Red Room off 2530 NE 82nd Ave. Jump forward to the next day; more studio time at Toadhouse. Then more shows the following weekend. All gambling on the hope that I don’t totally burn out before then. There's talk of more recording well into November too. So much for taking this year on with a low profile. I guess we can all sleep when we’re dead. Thank you for reading this stupid little rant and this stupid little blog.

This is a show.

Should I post the funny video of a large man playing a tambourine?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Sitar-Caster

So I wanted an electric guitar sitar, but didn't have a ton of money to buy one, and I didn't want to hack apart a usable guitar. I did however have a lot of wood laying around. So with a little filing and adjustments, I made my own easily removable buzz bridge that costs about $0.50 to make. Its mounted by some extra long screws through the pickguard holes that were already there. There was a lot of saddle adjustments to get each string to ring just right with harmonics, and the action isn't super low or anything, but this mod is easily removable.
Here you are, the Sitar-Caster. (I really should mass market these and make some money.)

Here's how it sounds

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


That's right, White Orange is doing a residency at Ash Street Saloon for the month of October, and we're helping them kick it off. I think its been well over a year since we last played Ash Street and almost a year since we played with Mongoloid Village. In case you didn't know, they kind of blow minds. Norska is fun to play with too, so it feels like one big happy family affair, at the place with the dirtiest toilets in town. Much Bier shall be drank I'm sure.

$5 Entry
Friday, October 01, 2010
9:00 PM - 11:30 PM PDT
225 SW Ash St.
Portland Oregon 97406

Monday, September 13, 2010

How I Turned an ES 335 Like Guitar Into a Heavy Metal Machine.

I know, I know. What kind of asshole would try to turn a guitar better know for classic rock, blues and jazz into such a beast? Well, I would I guess. It was only a matter of time before I grew some sort of sick fetish towards pushing a guitar not normally accustomed to heavy music, into something people eventually gave me weird looks for. The thing about these guitars is the fact that they sound great because of their construction and semi-acoustic properties. I’ve always though they could be used for any kind of music, if modified to do so. It also seems to be some industry secret, which many classic records have been recorded with. Even to this day, artists continue to record on hollow bodied guitars in the studio. Pet Townshend did almost all the tracks for the Who on a Gretsch hollow body. Josh Hommee of Queens of the Stone Age even records with a variety of hollow bodies. Myself in fact, did almost all the guitar tracks on a heavily modified hollow bodied Epiphone dot, with Salvador. Lets look at the modifications I put this poor guitar through.
1. Stuffing the f- holes.
At the volumes I played at, these guitars would feedback like crazy and squeal. Being semi-acoustic, I would get acoustic feedback. This does not sound nice in the least bit. The whole top of the guitar would actually vibrate and air would push out of the open f-holes. To stop this, I stuffed the f-holes with foam. I haven’t had a problem since at any volume. Nor have I noticed any tone loss amplified by doing this. I have a feeling the B.B. King Lucille, and guitars like it will be more popular in days to come, as it is hollowed yet lacking f-holes.
2. Drop tuning and bass strings.
One thing I’ve always wanted with extreme drop tuning is clarity. I use to love using a telecaster for open or drop C tunings. But at the volume I play at, I had to find a humbucking guitar capable of staying in tune and having clarity. I found an old 70s Dimarzio Super Distortion that had great sound for this. Plus the output was hotter and they sounded much better than the stock pickups the guitar came with. Then, one day, the band decided to go to drop G. As in GGCFAD tuning. This is too low for most guitar sets. So, I stuck a .60 gauge bass string at the 1st string position. This was about the heaviest gauge I could fit through the tuning peg of the guitar. (Disclaimer: I wouldn’t recommend tuning a guitar in a higher tuning while using bass strings. The tension could severely warp the neck.)
3. Intonation.
In lower tunings, I noticed the string scale on most of the strings needed to be lengthened. I noticed the G string on the 4th string needed the most extension. To do this, I turn the string saddle backwards to add a tad more length to the strings intonation range. The nice thing about tune-o-matic bridges on these guitars is the fact that you can take them apart for the most part and do such a thing.
4. Some wiring modifications.
I’m sure you’ve noticed the volume controls on most guitars are frustrating or worthless. The lower you turn your volume down, the proportionately more you loose treble from your guitars signal. The result is a softer and more muddied tone. I like having controls that function, and it really helps to have a volume control in a band that uses a lot of harmonic feedback or dynamics. To fix this problem I did a “treble bleed” modification. A cheap fix as well. The 150K resistor and .001 microfarad capacitor only cost about $1. Some great details for doing this mod can be found here.
Another wiring modification I did was simple for safety. In as many dive bars I’ve played in, I can’t always trust the place will have proper up-to-code wiring and grounding. Even a malfunctioning amp can electrocute a person. You always run the risk of electrocution. So, to make sure the electrocution, won’t kill me, I made a fuse to absorb the shock. Instructions to make such a fuse can be found here.
Ok, enough geeking out.

You can listen to this guitar on this album I was lucky enough to make with some great guys.  Most of the rhythm tracks were done with this guitar.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I may never buy picks again. Thanks Oregon Lottery.

Well, its 10am and I feel like I haven't slept in days. As a result, I made this. I may have found a source for free picks. Thanks Lottery. I'm sure the lab will turn up more weird crap in days to come.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Helmet, Bison BC

Well, guess I should get off my ass and play a show. It's been a over a month or so of writing and rehearsing new stuff. However, I'm not sure it that will see the light of day just yet. This should be a damn good show to bring us out of our reclusive hibernation on a Monday night. Once again I'm lucky enough to play with yet another band I loved from my late high school to college years; Helmet. It should be fun, and if they don't bring it, well Bison BC certainly will. We've played with them before, and I have to say, they are one of the best metals bands I've ever seen. $15 to get in, but if you email me, I might have a guest list spot. (as in probably 1) Monday, Sept 13th 9pm @Dante's off 3rd and Burnside in Portland

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tomorrow at Rotture. Probably go on at 10pm, I hear there will be a BBQ. $5 at the door starts @ 7pm.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Life as a Vagabond

I finally was able to catch up on some sleep after this last weeks tour. I already kind of miss the road. I’ve been getting the itch for the nomadic life for a while now, and this only gave me a taste of what I hope to more of in the future. I actually didn’t mind the desert, L.A. was a nice change of pace for me, and the Joshua Tree National park is something that inspires the mind. Kirk wrote a pretty good summary of the tour, so I thought I’d pass that along for your enjoyment.

Day 1
11:30 p.m. - head out of Portland towards San Francisco

1:00 a.m - turn back after Aaron realizes he forgot his anti-fungal vag medicine; I get upset then fall asleep sucking my thumb.

6:00 a.m - cross California border where they ask if we have any fruits in the car. Ryan replies to the guard "only me sweetie".

7:00 a.m. – get to Weed, California before we realize that no one brought a pipe. MacGyver one out of a red bull can.

2:30 p.m. - check-in at shitty hotel. we suspect there is either a) a dead hooker lodged in the bed or b) rubber fists and dildos covered in hair & hair jelly under the bed... (b) is confirmed.

2:30-6:00 p.m. - Ryan tries to get some z's while me and Aaron wander through the tenderloin admiring the hobo's yelling across the street at each other. Jameson bottle #1 is purchased. beers at Kimo's are drank before walking back to the hotel.

6:30 p.m. - get to Thee Parkside to load-in. Wayne meets us at the venue after flying in to SF. good thing his doctor wrote him an excuse letter although we aren’t sure that restless-leg-syndrome is a real affliction. talk to Jason and Rafa from Black Cobra for a bit. Shawn the promoter is rad as fuck and helps us load-in and secure a parking spot.

8:30 p.m. - ROCK

9:30 p.m.-1:00a.m. – I suspect that Aaron and Ryan are having hallucinations from lack of sleep and too much booze. Ryan and Wayne decide to walk back to the hotel (a couple miles away), leaving me to babysit Aaron who is giggling like a school-girl. The Gates of Slumber, Slough Feg & Black Cobra kick ass and the crowd is really good for a tuesday night. we talk about how Mike Scalzi is the best frontman we have ever seen on the way home.

1:30 a.m.-2:30a.m. – back at the hotel, Jameson is ingested, and much cigs/weed smoked. sleep.

Day 2
8:30 a.m. – wake up and wander down the street for coffee. no parking ticket is issued on the truck.

9:00 a.m. – get back to the hotel and promptly pour some Jameson in my coffee and watch muted telemundo while the others sleep.

11:00 a.m. – check out of hotel. we decide to head towards the beach and end up taking a nice nature hike to kill time before we head towards Oakland.

2:30 p.m. – enter downtown oakland expecting a war-zone. we are pleasantly surprised when oakland is actually nicer than SF. so much for stereotypes. Wayne checks into his hotel where we promptly stink up his room with two-day old dirty socks and other pungent stenches. shower. I put on a thoughtful face then pass out in the corner.

5:00 p.m. – Wayne analyzes the bible in the hotel room. We flip through Revelations for lyric ideas for the next record.

8:00 p.m. – get to Stork Club. cool little venue with a lot of character. unfortunately there seems to be no food around this part of town. Wayne & I wander into a Korean market that has some bizarre edible sea creatures in it…still hungry.

10:30 p.m. – ROCK

11:00 p.m-2:00 a.m. – hang out with old friends Jason and Johann and meet some rad new folks as well. Oakland weed is good and exacerbates my mild drunkenness. the bands are all really rad.

2:30 a.m. – finally find parking and crash out at lost machine’s apartment. sleep.

Day 3
10 a.m. – wake up and go pick up Wayne from his hotel. I look like Tina Turner after Ike whooped the shit out of her. we promptly hit the road towards LA.

2 p.m. – enter the valley as it starts to heat up. with no a/c in the truck we all decide to pull over and put our bathing suits on. Ryan is already complaining that his fair skin is sizzling and reminds us that he was meant to live in a bog in northern Ireland. This part of California is a dry, deserted place and seems to go on forever.

4:30 p.m. – pass over the grapevine into LA. surprisingly the weather cools down and is mild, although the smog is so thick you don’t even have to smoke cigarettes to get your poison for the day.

5:30 p.m. – check into hotel and take much needed showers. Admire the bar and grill across the abandoned dirt lot from our hotel called “The Happy Ending”. Listen to a recording of our set from the night before. I sound like a stuck pig and the drums sound like Quiet Riot.

7:30 p.m. – head towards the venue. not realizing we are on Hollywood Blvd. we run into the A-Team movie premier and a traffic clusterfuck. jokes about Mr. T and penises exchanged. I spot the “7up guy” and Aaron insists he spots “Bad Guy #4” from Lethal Weapon walking along the street.

8:00 p.m. – arrive at The Relax Bar. Dan, Ryan, Ricky & Phil from Earsplitters greet us in the parking lot and help load our gear in. meet Eddie Solis from It’s Casual who books the venue; super nice fellow. stage is small but inviting and beers are $6. unfortunately, we find out it doesn’t have a full bar and ryan starts to get the shakes.

8:30 p.m. – Jameson bottle #2 is purchased by our new friend Ryan Earsplitters at the local Rite-Aid. I lament that Portland should also sell hard liquor at the local convenience store. We decide the best place to hide it is in the back corner of the parking lot next to some bum poo. I drink a $6 MGD, fill the bottle with Jameson and start passing it around.

11:00 p.m – ROCK

11:30 p.m-2:00 a.m. – meet some more awesome folks. bands are all really good again. Phil, part of the Earsplitters co-op is starting to make no sense and we get the impression he might be blackout drunk. He disappears and passes out next to Dan’s car.

2:15 a.m. – eat at a wonderful 50’s diner called “Swingers”. Aaron’s crazy friend shows up wearing no shirt, Ziggy Stardust makeup and a Coca-Cola cumberbun.

3:45 a.m. – park on Sunset Blvd. sleep.

Day 4
7:00 a.m. – wake up to park the truck and trailer in the hotel parking lot. still no ticket yet.

12 p.m. – get on the road towards Vegas. The Mojave is unforgiving and gives us all farmers tans. It also doesn’t help that wayne rarely goes over 65 mph when he drives. 111 degrees.

5:00 p.m. – arrive in Vegas just in time for rush hour. still 111 degrees. hot enough that every breath you take feels like you are being suffocated. fuck my car for the a/c not working.

6:00 p.m. – check into Fiesta Casino, not too far from the venue. we immediately head for the pool.

7:30 p.m. – get dinner at the “award-winning” mexican restaurant inside the casino. It is immediately clear that this “award” is for shittiness and the magazine which gave the “award” is owned by the casino. I complain to the manager. meal comped.

8:00 p.m. – Bushmills bottle #1 is bought inside the scariest Wal-Mart i’ve ever been in.

9:00 p.m.-2 a.m. – meandered around the casino losing $20 at blackjack in about 2 minutes flat. Me and Ryan polished off the bottle of Bushmill’s quickly. Meet up with Wayne and his brother Chuck who flew in from Boston. many weak drinks later, me and Ryan wander back to the Fiesto where “Guns n’ Hoses” is playing. worst tribute band name ever.

2:30 a.m. – run into some nice folks that are going to the Doom in June fest the next day. Go up to there room and smoke out and shoot the shit for a minute.

3:00 a.m. – sleep.

Day 5
10:00 a.m. – wake up and go to breakfast at Denny’s in the casino. while I’m gone a hooker knocks on our door and asks Ryan if he ordered a girl. He says no, then starts puking from his hangover.

12:30 a.m. – head to venue for load-in at 1. hot as a motherfucker. venue reminds me of a venue I played at long ago who’s name eludes me. we are using a shared backline which poses a lot of problems for us.

3:40 p.m. – ROCK

4:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. – hang out and watch the other bands play. really impressed by a few of them. meet quite a few rad people. drinking beer by the pitcher now.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Flat-Out High Speed Burn To Vegas

Well, in less than two weeks, the band and myself will be departing on a west coast tour with no air conditioning. San Francisco, Oakland, L.A., Las Vegas, and who knows, maybe San Diego. Not looking forward to the 8-9am push off from Portland to San Francisco on the first day, but after that, things should be much smoother. We’re all excited to see and play with Slough Feg again; like little wide eyed children awaiting to hear more dragon stories . We get to play with them twice this time around. The culmination and perhaps high point of the tour might be the Doom Festival in Las Vegas on June 5th. I hope to not spend too much time in Vegas. I can easily see myself going into a hazy Fear and Loathing trip if left there alone for too long. Ending in a “flat-out high speed burn through Baker and Barstow and Berdoo. Then onto the Hollywood Freeway, and straight on into frantic oblivion. Safety. Obscurity. Just another freak, in the freak kingdom.” Lets hope the van makes it through the desert at least. Hope to see some old friends along this road burn.

Also, we found a show review from a guy who runs a real cool music site called That was a good time up in Seattle. I would love to play there more often. The Capital Hill neighborhood on a weekend night is some of the craziest shit I’ve seen in a long time. Trannies, hot dog vendors, drunk college chicks, metalheads, and homeless Jamacan dudes who offer people sips of their beverages, all commingling together. It was a good time. We’ll have to do it again Seattle.

Here’s the review and a somewhat painful stumble through cover of “Going Blind.”

Friday, May 7, 2010


So it comes to an end. Last night we said goodbye to a good friend and someone I’ve had the honor to play music with on and off for the past 12 years really. All the way back from a High School Orchestra sit in and other oddities, to the past three years playing in dives, bars, clubs, and even some festivals. Some great shows, some forgetful ones, some epic ones, some strange ones, but we always had some great parties.

As I’ve learned in recent years, some things can end very anti-climatically. We played a good set. But, the owner didn’t think his club was set for live music. So, the plug got pulled early after the second set and we walked away. Bummer. At least we got to entertain some Marines who just got home and we were able to say “thank you” to them and their service. (Between you and me, my amp was on 0.1 all night till the last song. Then I said “Fuck It,” and cranked it to 11.)

We ended up back at the pad sipping on Permafrost, eating pizza, and laughing. Then we all said our goodbyes, hugged and that was it. Good luck in D.C. Chad, you’re one of the finest Bassist I’ve played with. (And I’ve played with quite a few.)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Best Metal Poster Ever / Party This Thursday

I don’t really have confirmation that this is really happening, or if it just a joke. If you only knew the story behind this poster. I’ll just let you keep that to your own imagination. By far Kirk’s finest work.

I’ll be at a show in Salem this Thursday to welcome some U.S. troops home from Afghanistan. This will also mark the last time I get to play with the Hammer for a while. I’ve been playing with that dude on the Thud Stick off and on since High School. He will be missed. Contact me if you need to know where.

In others news. I broke my slide I’ve had for the past 12 years. R.I.P.

So much excitement lately.

In honor of sexually ambiguous music, here’s a badass Prince performance.