Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The Simpsons Jam

One day at school, myself, Mike and Mike, we're talking about The Simpsons, a comic strip that was now becoming an animated television sitcom. Mike C had been a long time fan of the creator Matt Groening, so needless to say Mike was excited for this show to premiere. So excited in fact that he invited a few of us over to his place to watch it. This would be the first time I ever stepped foot in Mike's home.

Mikey's place had a very warm, homely feel to it. Pictures of the family adorned the walls and end tables, everything was bright, clean, and in place, almost how you'd expect your grandmas living room to be. We passed through the small kitchen towards the basement door, where I met Mike's mom for the first time. She was a very pleasant and friendly lady, I could see where Michael had gotten his amazing demeanour and composure from. As we headed downstairs I felt like I was being time warped back to the seventies. The basement was all wood panelling with some funky bright shag carpet, and the furniture appeared almost vintage or antique. We settled into the oversized couch and prepared to watch the premiere of The Simpsons.

The show itself was good, but not really memorable. I recall thinking to myself it was cool having an animated show on tv now, especially being a fan of cartoons and drawing my whole life. What really commanded my attention that evening however, was a small, glittery, jazz drum set Mike had in the corner of his basement. I asked him if he'd mind if I played them, to which he gave me the ok. As I started dropping funky beats Mike decided to pick up his guitar and join in. Mike also owned a bass, which he played in E.B.S. but it was Mike Myres who picked it up this day and joined in on the impromptu jam. 

Within the blink of an eye we were a cohesive unit, and we were jamming out some pretty funky shit. The night came quickly, as time flies when you're having fun, so we called it quits. We were all so pumped up over it that we were right back there the next day jamming again. We even started recording the jams on to cassette tapes, which I started bringing home to write and record lyrics over. I think all in all we only ever completed two songs in that fashion, but I had no clue these jams would be the foundation to an on going, growing entity that would manifest itself full form in the years to come...

Monday, 23 September 2013


I missed Fridays post last week due to unforeseen incidents which I have absolutely no recollection or explanation of A.K.A. life. 

Just to bring things up to speed though I have been somewhat lost and sidetracked in the world of Los Santos, to those of you familiar with the grand theft auto video game series. I've been a long time gamer, and fan of the franchise, in fact the gta series is in my favourite top 3 and gta San Andreas is actually my all time fave as far as games go. We shall see if #5 is worthy enough to take that title or not. It's also comforting playing the game knowing my long time friend, and former producer of mine, Steve Donohoe, who I've mentioned in this story before, had his hands in this project on the audio side of things. I imagine all you die hard gamers are enjoying this gem as much as I am! I recommend joining the Rockstar social club as well for the full gaming experience. It's going to be interesting to see what the online aspect holds in store for us.

On the musical front, my side project Street Trash is slowly blossoming. We've released a few more songs which you can check out on our bandcamp site. The first track is called "The cop out" which is us taking straight pot shots at the police, something that's been going on in rap music for decades. The second track we did is called "Freaky Tales" which is our take on a song by West coast rapper Too $hort, who neither of us are personally fans of, but we loved the beat and overall fun concept of the track so we decided we would do our own version of it. Hope you dig!
Also in the works, I'll be dropping the 2nd episode of Heavy Ghetto the video blog this week on YouTube, so keep your eyes open for that. I received some great responses and feedback on the first episode. I was hoping for a few more views, but I hit almost 100 in a week so I really can't complain, and I thank you all. If you haven't seen it please check it out!

 On top of that the story continues here on Wednesday. 
Have a great week everyone!


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Jimmy James

Another friend of mine who was somewhat of a musical influence was my buddy James, who we later referred to as "Jimmy James" the title of a Beastie Boys song. I had known of James since my days in middle school, he was older than me, and my earliest memory of him was seeing him playing handball on lunch one day at school, I was envious of his long, flowing locks and the fact that he had one of the sweetest moustaches you could ever see on a kid in grade 8. By the time I got to high school there he was again, only now his hair was longer than ever. I had also remembered him being a fairly large guy, but here I was now almost a foot taller than him, I guess I had grown a bit since grade 6. 

James was in a few of my high school classes, and he was hanging around with the thrasher crew, so eventually we ended up in the same circle of friends. James was very quiet such as myself, he was the type to just sit back and be observant of a situation, and generally the last person to give any input. Also like myself he would be the first person to laugh at you and point out your short comings in a situation as well. Perhaps that's why we ended up hitting it off so well.

James didn't like school much, and in turn he didn't show up much, to the point that he ended up getting expelled from high school all together. I was somewhat envious that he got to just sit at home now and play video games all day on the new sega genesis console, although part of me also worried about him and his future. I spent many a days and nights at his place, usually smoking and playing sega all night while he continuously spun vinyl on the turn table. Looking back now I guess we had a lot on common. Our quiet nature, strange sense of humour, video games, and music. In particular The Beatles, as we had both been long running fans of the band since  our early childhood. 

Upon first glance one might think James was your typical thrasher, but in reality he wasn't. Sure he loved Metallica as much as the next guy, but James re-opened me up to the roots of this music. Jimmy loved bands like The Who, Black Sabbath, Hendrix, The Doors and of course The Beatles. I'm not sure if his Scottish heritage had anything to do with it but I always felt it did. His biggest guilty pleasure however was Van Halen, that was his band. I remember being overwhelmed the first time I ever saw his bedroom and every single inch of it was covered in Halen pics with the exception of his floor and bed, although his headboard was covered too! 

Two bands in particular that James listened to really stuck with me, Motörhead and The Ramones. Although I was already familiar with these bands, it was through James that I heard the majority of their records, the good, the bad and the ugly so to speak, and through these listenings I learned just how important they both really were. Motörhead was an extremely important band for the shaping of thrash metal & crossover, as were The Ramones that same importance to punk and hardcore. Perhaps that's why I respected James so much, he unknowingly seemed to listen to the most elite and important bands in the history of rock & roll unintentionally, simply because like me, he was just another guy that loved music...

Monday, 16 September 2013

The Myres Mix pt.2

The last band on the mix were very intriguing to me. Musically they seemed almost more Rock&roll than anything, but with a unique edginess to the songs. I had never heard this band before but I had seen a picture of them once in a Thrasher magazine, and I was always fascinated by their image. I decided I'd better go talk to Mike and see if he could shed some more light on the matter for me. His face lit up when I approached him and asked "So what's the deal with GWAR?"

Myre went on to enthusiastically tell me about how he saw GWAR play in Toronto recently and it was the most amazing thing he had ever witnessed. GWAR were a bunch of art students turned rock band who wore these wild costumes. Their whole gimmick was they were from space, but somehow became frozen in the ice of Antarctica. After the hole in the ozone layer occurred from the glam rockers using too much hairspray, the ice melted and they were free to cause chaos and rock the world! 

According to Mike the show was filled with wild and outrageous theatrics. The band themselves resembled monster-like aliens dressed in battle armour, and apparently they were assassinating people on stage, all acting of course, but with blood and gore, the blood even sprayed into the audience on several occasions and Mike was actually wearing his white, bloodstained shirt to support his story. Myre also went on to tell me about how they had a wrestling ring set up on stage, which they held bouts in with oversized insects and other creatures. 

All of this seemed like some type of dream he had, but it was obvious that he wasn't spinning a yarn here, as much as Mike was know to spin a good yarn on a daily occasion. It was hard to take in and fathom mentally, but one thing was clear in my mind...I had to see GWAR the next time they came to play Toronto! 

Friday, 13 September 2013

Back On Track Again

After serious thought and deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that the reason I was getting into so much shit in grade 11 was the mere fact that music had became secondary in my life. It's easy enough for me to pin the blame on bad influences and certain circles of friends, but ultimately it boils down to the structure of song.

After my band split up, it was grey days for quite awhile. I had written Ryan off, Craig was now practically living at Phil's place, and Jerry was MIA now that he had started seriously dating this girl named Cindy. Loosing my band, in turn made me lose focus on the one thing I love more than life!

All that was changing now however, as I focused back on the scene and its happenings. Hanging with the E.B.S. boys was my saving grace essentially. I cherish the memories of myself, Mike and Mike spending our lunch hours rhyming off Paul's Boutique. It was pretty awesome to see Mike C, a guy who had never listened to rap, take great interest in the B Boys, and it was fun for me to see someone getting overly excited about the same things I did once upon a time. Mike really ran with the ball and in no time he had all the lyrics down pat. 

The thrasher crew was also growing at an alarming rate, it was really nice to see all these guys coming together for one common cause, partying! Just like every storm is always followed by the calm, such was the feeling in my own life. I had gotten through a very rough year and it was satisfying to have my head back on my shoulders straight. 

The only worry plaguing me now was the end of the school year. Since the majority of my friends were older than me, most of them would be graduating come June, which meant my grade 12 year that still lay ahead for me in the spring was going to be uninteresting since all my friends would be gone... Or so I thought...

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Tales from the MixTape

Hey everyone, just touching base to let you know quickly that I've been quite wrapped up this week working on new material, mainly Street Trash and my latest side side project, Tales From The Mix Tape volume 2. 

I've totally had the time to write, I just sort of forgot to, so I figured I'd at least make a brief post to explain myself, and to share this link with you. You can check out what I've got completed so far. Hopefully that makes up for the missed blog on wednesday! Enjoy! 

Monday, 9 September 2013

Heavy Ghetto: Take One

Still shot, see video below post.

Greetings once again and welcome back to Heavy Ghetto! If you've been the slightest bit curious as to where the hell I've been this past week, fear not, for I have returned. 

I was a wee bit sidetracked with finishing up at my former place of employment, as last week was my final week. Now that that smoke has cleared and I'm back on track, I'm pleased to announce that episode one of Heavy Ghetto is finally a reality. 

I'm going to keep today's post short and sweet and leave you with the vid, which can also be found on the video page from here forward as more episodes are released. 

I'd be great full for  any feedback & constructive criticisms as well as subscriptions & shares. I hope you enjoy the first instalment, and I look forward to the next one, as well as continuing the story through this blog. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Stay Tuned...

I'm truly sorry for missing Friday's post as I was tremendously busy with work. I also apologize for missing Mondays post too, as I was enjoying the holiday after working 7 days straight and took the opportunity to spend some extra time with my son before he goes back to school.

I'm also currently wrapped up in some major changes I'm making in my life which are hindering the writing process at the moment, but I assure you as of next week everything will be back to normal and back on schedule, and I WILL be launching the premiere of my video blog version of Heavy Ghetto! 

Stay tuned...