New Music

Every once and a while, I get a bug up my ass to listen to some new music. Sometimes this is a good thing, other times not – this is due to the quality of the new music that I select.

I already made mention of the new Chicago album, XXX, which I still enjoy after several full listens. But that was just the start of my new musical onslaught.

I had heard about a band called Coheed & Cambria on a music forum. It was getting mixed reviews, mostly due to the singer’s voice. He’s kind of a cross between Geddy Lee and Mike Patton (Mike Patton = teh awesome; Geddy Lee = gets old quickly). I decided to get their latest release anyways. It was worth it. These guys are pretty talented, somewhat progressive with a heavy edge and have some very creative writing. I later find out that “CO & CA” actually have a running theme/story through all 3 of their albums, so apparently I have to get the rest of the albums. I just picked up the 3rd (I’m going in reverse order), and it is decent. It just hasn’t grabbed me like Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through The Eyes of Madness (4th album’s name), but I still need to listen to it another time before passing any further judgement.

I also picked up the new Lacuna Coil CD, which just didn’t do much for me on the first listen. I think they may have strayed from their earlier formula in order to get some more mainstream recognition. If that brings them success, then that is great. However, it somewhat disappoints me because I liked the freshness of their other stuff. Oh well.

Next up is Evergrey‘s Monday Morning Apocalypse. Hopefully this one won’t be a bust. 3 out of 5 ain’t bad.

Time for an update…

Instead of writing several posts about what is going on with my life, I think 1 post with brief snippets of info will suffice.

1) My job search continues. I have determined that is the greatest job website. I post my resume on there, and people call me about potential positions. After updating my resume 4 days ago, I have had no less than 7 phone calls and 8 email asking to speak with me about job opportunities. Granted, most of them were recruiters/head hunters, but there were some actual companies. Next week is going to be a busy one…

2) In other job related stories, my brother was just fired from his new job at a bank. No reason was given to him, just that “it wasn’t working out.” Apparently, they told the same thing to another employee the day before. I told him to post his resume on Monster. Hopefully, he will have a bit of luck in the same way I have..

3) Saw Against The Natural last night inside of a Zia Record Exchange store. They had to play acoustic (which I was not aware of), but it was good nonetheless. They play again next Friday @ Joe’s Grotto.

Tonight, we see Evolocity, the band that Randall proclaims to be “the best (live) local band in AZ”. Unfortunately, their recordings just don’t do the live show justice.

4) Ben Araiza (remember the name, he will be big) just put the finishing touches (Mixing and Mastering) on a new song called Only if We’re Dancin’. It features the fabulous Tina K on vocals, a voice that completely mesmerizes me. I really love this song. It is totally different from anything you would normally catch me listening to, but everytime I visit Ben’s or Tina’s Myspace page, I have to listen to the entire song. Check it out for yourselves – Download it now.

5) Speaking of new music… I got my hands on the new Chicago CD – XXX (let the pr0n jokes commence). I was interested in this CD because I grew up with the “lite-rock” genre, and Chicago was my favorite band (Side Note: I didn’t even get into Heavier Rock until my purchase of Van Halen’s Balance in 1996. This was a life changing purchase). But they haven’t put anything out in the past 15 years that has been worthy of the Chicago name. This album brings them back. I have listened to the album 3 times in the past 2 days and I really enjoy about 80% of it. It’s good to see fresh, revitalized music come out from one of your childhood favorites. I recommend this album to anyone who likes/liked Chicago in their rock-ballad 80’s heyday.

6) Finally for this post: The Goat. The Goatee is back and looking good 🙂

Hopefully, I can get you some exciting updates in the very near future. Happy for now, Sandii?

Tell me what it is I’m meant to do…

Last night was the RA concert. Freaking awesome as usual. I cannot complain about a RA concert because I have seen them 4 times in Phoenix (including their first Phoenix show at The Mason Jar a few years ago) and they are always great live.

If I did have to mention anything, it would be that they did not play very many songs off of the new album. Most notably missing were Superman, I Lost Everything Today, and Tell Me. Especially Superman, which happens to be in my top 10 all time favorite songs (talk about a song that has it all – mellow, yet heavy; great guitars; INCREDIBLE vocals and lyrics). And there was no encore, in which they could have played any of these songs. But C’est la vie.

Opening up for RA was Evolocity, a local band that kicks major ass. I saw them on Friday night too, but Randall hadn’t heard or seen them yet. 2 quotes from Randall about Evolocity “They Rocked my socks off” and “The Best Local Band I have ever heard.” Now, that’s some high praise.

The Second band… Well, we didn’t watch or listen to them. But from what we could hear, they kinda sucked (this was confirmed later by some friends who did watch them). Nothing was going to top the Evolocity-RA combination.

We had a great time. And no sightings of Dave or Dom, which was kinda weird and yet rather pleasant.

Saturday Night’s Alright

Saturday night was fantastic.

I was lookin’ particularly money for a spectacular event – the Ben Araiza / Chain Link Faith show! And since I was lookin’ money, I was feelin’ money! It had been a long time since us guys (Rickey, Randy, and I) had really been out on the town, and this was the perfect chance to do it.

The show was awesome! Thank you so much Ben and Mikey (and of course Jimi, Phil, TC, Jeff, Mindy, and Jen)! It’s always great to hang out with Ben and Mikey. I got to drink a lot too – Randy played Designated Driver, while I played Designated Drunk (thanks again Randy for the ride and tab). I finally reached my peak at about 12:30, after Ben and I did a shot of Jagermeister and I started in on yet another beer. I felt the Jager kick in. It is at this point that I decide to take a breather… and drunken text message a couple of people!!!

I text Missy: “I am so wasted right now. You should be too :-)”

Then I text Michelle. #1 of 3. I don’t expect a response – I don’t even expect her to still have that phone number. I was wrong, in the good way! Michelle called back. More drunk than I was, but we talked for 20 mins. She called again 2 hours later to make sure that she had actually talked to me, and called again last night to make sure it wasn’t just a dream.

I am extremely glad to have made contact with her again, as she is very special to me. I am even more happy that she is doing so well for herself, even if it does have to be in Elko, Nevada. I hope to see her again in the near future. It has been too long. VIVA SAMURAI SAMS!

In other exciting news, I borrowed a scanner today to scan some older pictures and get digital copies of them (partly for Michelle). I have posted all scanned images over in the Looney Bin section of All 5 new galleries are entitled “RetroYarsh,” signifying that they are older pics and were taken with a film-based camera (whatever that is).

One point Twenty-One JigaWatts!

Mark spent this past weekend in California, where he visited Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood. A couple of his pictures got me thinking about the classic blunder of Doc Brown in the Back to the Future trilogy, where he refers to the amount of electricity needed to power the DeLorean for time travel – 1.21 Jigawatts.

In an astounding revolution (for us techie types), I have discovered that the prefix Giga- can be pronounced either jiga or giga. Either pronounciation is perfectly valid. In fact, Mirriam-Webster’s dictionary shows the pronounciation jiga as the preferred option. The web is full of even more proof of this concept.

Apparently, we just weren’t thinking 4th-dimensionally.

On a different note, here is another picture of Randall and I with Anne at the concert last friday night. Once I have some more photos, I will put them into the Looney Bin archive for all to see. (thanks to Anne for this pic) 

Small World…

Friday night was a lot of fun. Of course, it was also one of the most fucked up nights of my life…

Disclaimer: This may be a long post

Anne Short asked us (Randall, John, and I) to come out to see a friend’s band. John wasn’t able to make it, but Randy and I oblige, and get to see a very cool band – Chamber 8. Anne introduces us to Gary, Amy, Sommer, and Yazmin (along with some other people whom I have forgotten). Also joining the party: Dave, former guitarist for Phoenix Down; and Dominique, former girlfriend of Dave.

So here’s my story.

Yazmin: She seems to be a nice girl, and attractive to boot. She hangs out with Randy and I for most of the night. Of course, we soon find out that she is really only interested in one thing: persuing her budding career in alcoholism… for free. Yes, Randy and I ended up paying for most of her drinks all night long. Final bar tab (for Randy & I, plus a few for Yazmin): $96 (not including the $10 cover charge).

Sommer: She is the lead singer for Chamber 8. That alone turns me on (I am attracted to women who can actually sing). Add to that that she is extremely cute with a fantastic personality… Yeah, Yarsh likey. Sommer led a few of the mosh pit sessions (consisting of 3-5 people) throughout the night, after she had completed her tour of duty onstage. We hung out and shot the shit for the majority of the night (except when we were watching the other bands or moshing). Randy and I ended up going to Denny’s after the show with Anne, Gary, Amy, and Sommer – a few more details about this later.

Dominique: Small world, part 1. I had this premonition that she would be there. Not that I knew of any reason that she would be, but that she would just show up… And she did. It turns out that one of her favorite bands, Hard 8, was also playing that night. Hard 8 was killer; I liked them alot. But back to Dom… She was snapping pics left and right, which is all good. And was acting like we were all good friends. I was able to play nice the entire night, talking when being talked to, etc. But Randy had to get something off of his chest. Towards the end of the night, He walked right up to her, flipped the bird right into her face, and yelled “FUCK YOU”! Then he walked out. I didn’t know that this had happened, but found out shortly after when someone asked me where Randy was and I didn’t know. I found him chilling at my car where he told me what had happened. There was a lot of anger and hatred released for Randy in that single moment. It was probably one of the most therapeutic things he has done in over a year. And he spoke for all of us – including Dave (I think). Besides that, we had a slew of offers from our entourage of hot girls to beat her up. But we told them not to. It’s better that way. She’s moving to Florida. I’m not going to miss her.

Dave: Small world, part 2. Dominique walks up to me and asks how long I had been planning on being at the show. I ask why, and she says that Dave just showed up. I see him – “DAVE!!!,” as I wave to him and then shake his hand. He’s there to see Sectas, another great band. We shoot the shit for a few minutes. There is definitely tension in the air between Randy & Dominique, Randy & Dave, and Dave & Dominique (there was some tension between me and all parties as well… except for with Randy). Of all the places in Phoenix, and all the people to run into, we run into the 2 people that we would prefer to see the least… Just wow.

At Denny’s: Time to go to Jack in the Box for some grub, but we get invited to hang out at Denny’s with Anne, Gary, Amy (who is Gary’s wife, btw), Sommer, and Yazmin. I say it is up to Randy, who has to work in the morning. He says that we go. We get to Denny’s and eat some drunk food. Yazmin is so drunk that she doesn’t come in (which is good because Randy doesn’t want to see her at the time). We chat some more, and eventually I mention that I saw Jeff, bass player of No Rule Six, at the show. Small World, part 3. As some of you know, Nayt – first lead singer of Phoenix Down – became the singer for NR6.

This night, which happened to have a full moon, was quite a trip. It was fun, theraputic, bizarre, traumatic, and just downright fucked up. And I wouldn’t have expected it to turn out any differently.

PS: Thank you Randall, Anne, Sommer, Gary, Amy, Yazmin, Dom, and Dave, for a night I will surely not forget.

UPDATE: Here is a pic of Randall, Yazmin, and me – provided by Dom.

Masking the Sun

On my drive home today, I realized that I had not heard Clouds Over Phoenix* (right-click, Save Target As…) in quite a long time. It seems to be the correct dose of medication for me right now.

I thought I would share it with those of you who may not have heard it before, and those of you who just forgot about it. It’s a great song, and you’ll think so too. If this is not the case, and you do not like the song, you are hereby banned from reading YarshBlog! for the rest of eternity.


*Clouds Over Phoenix © Phoenix Down, 2004

Walking and Thinking

From the air I see your loneliness
You carry on despite your fear
Inside a box you keep your sanity
And it will never seem clear, to me

Over the hills, the light, it flows…
It shows the angels laughing
Where is the love that we’re supposed to find?
Lost in a maze of games so very dark and overwhelming
Lost in these thoughts that seem to rule my mind

A simple spell cast is broken through
The force of life decides to bend
You lay below the sacred stormy skies
And you will write the end… for me

Over the hills, the light, it flows…
It shows the angels laughing
Where is the love that we’re supposed to find?
Lost in a maze of games so very dark and overwhelming
Lost in these thoughts that seem to rule my mind

The door will close and I will be denied
A dagger thrust into my chest
You claim yourself to the victory
But it is I… who will rest, in peace

Over the hills, the light, it flows
It shows the angels laughing
But where is the love that we’re supposed to find?
Lost in a maze of games so very dark and overwhelming
Lost in these thoughts that seem to rule my mind

My mind……

Ra, off of the album From One

Holy music creation, Batman!

I downloaded the free trial of Sony ACID Pro 5 last night and installed it. I really wanted to experiment with some of the looping capabilities, which is something I have never done before. I took a look around the software, played the demo song, and decided to give it a go. But my mouse told me to go to bed instead. The battery was dead in my Logitech MX1000 laser mouse. Fortunately, I got a bit of sleep last night. Unfortunately, all I can think about right now is going home and doing some experimentation. If I come up with anything cool, I’ll post it here.

At least the mouse didn’t die while I was in the middle of my poker tournament.

Happy Happy Joy Joy

You ever get one of those pleasant surprises at the end of a long day? The kind that totally change your day from a negative into a positive? Yeah, I had one of those yesterday.

Not that it was a horrible day yesterday, but just one of those that dragged on and on. When I checked the mail at home, I received my happiness. I received 3 CDs that I had ordered at the begining of the month, expecting them to not arrive until next week (because one of the CDs is not even on the shelves yet). Let me tell you – if you didn’t know, I’m a music junkie. Just look at my “Interests” on the left side of my blog. Music, to me, is the universal equalizer. Music can completely change my bad mood. New music excites me. Writing and playing music does the same thing (and can even magnify that happiness). But when I have a lack of a creative outlet, new music is what I look forward to. Especially from my favorite bands and musicians. And that’s exactly what I got.

A new album from one of my all-time favorite singer/songwriters, Neal Morse. Autographed. That made my day. And the CD is pretty dang good, too (along with his last 3 solo albums and Spock’s Beard albums). This CD, “?”, also has 2 members of my favorite band making appearances, Mike Portnoy (who did all of the drums) and Jordan Rudess (the almighty king of keyboard players, and the player I look up to the most).

The other 2 CDs: Transatlantic: Live in Europe – a side-project “Super Group” consisting of Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy, Pete Trewavas, and Roine Stolt. I have the concert on DVD, but wanted a CD version. Also, Yellow Matter Custard, a Beatles tribute band who performed only 1 show in New York City. This also features Neal Morse and Mike Portnoy. Good stuff.

Finally capping off my happy week news (besides the 3 parties this weekend) is my new membership to the Scottsdale Gun Club. Guns = Hells Yeah! Anyone who disagrees is a bleeding-heart liberal. Yes, I’m talking about you, Michael Moore. I know you lurk here. Cock.