Monday, December 24, 2007

Videos from Dec. 17th Quick Before Sinking Gig.

Courteousy of The Epic Beat.

A Muted Soul.

All Along The Watchtower (Can you pinpoint when the arthritis kicked in?).

Warning: High Gear Content! Equipment: StewMade Hendrix/Zappa Tribute, Barber LTD Overdrive, (Watchtower solo: Seymour Duncan Classic Twin tube overdrive/distortion pedal), Boss Digital Delay, Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb RI with 12" blue alnico Jensen speaker with NOS Bremar 6V6GT power tubes.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My College Roomate Composer John Sponsler.

(left: John, middle: Hans Zimmer.)

John and I were college roomates back at Cal State University, San Bernardino in the mid 80's. We both attended music classes and were both in the same band at that time. We had quite the bachelor pad in our dorm room. It was cool because John worked in a video store and so we watched a lot of movies together. John was my introduction into staying up past 11:00 PM during the week.

One movie in particular was a Yes' "90125 Live" concert (no longer in print). It was right when Trevor Rabin breathed new life into Yes and created songs like, "Owner of A Lonely Heart", "Changes", and "Leave It". I think John had seen them twice live that year.

A few years later, John and I had started a band and attempted to get into the whole Disneyland Musical Artists network. Our goal was to be THE band that performed in Tomorrowland Terrace; the stage that pops up out of the ground. We spent many hours auditioning, and practicing in L.A. while living in the same apartment. John is a very driven individual and the only interruption that got in his way was sleep. We could rehearse all the way up until 3:30 AM and then sleep until 10:00 AM the next day. Then do it all over again. We would rehearse at a recording studio after hours.

After we didn't make the audition for Disney, we all sort of went our separate ways; John still forming bands and playing in L.A. I lost touch with John sometime around 1991.

So now I'm finding old friends through MySpace, people I have not talked to in years. I did a Google search of John since I've been reaching old band buddies. Turns out John is a composer/songwriter and has collaborated with many L.A. heavies in producing movie trailer music and movie score writing for televsion and film. John has a writing partner named Tom Gire and they both work under the company name Magic Box and are composers for Brand X. Feel free to check out some of their work by clicking on the many genres on the left. Very impressive.

Magic Box has written music for "National Treasure: book of Secrets", Movie Trailer for "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", the last "Spiderman" movie, commercial spots for Scion, Navy, and Boeing, teamed up with Hans Zimmer for "Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest", the sea battle score for "Pirates of the Carribean at World's End", worked with John Williams for "Memoirs of a Geisha", "Munich", and new music for Sunday Night Football for NBC. John, correct me if any of my facts are wrong.

Trevor Rabin (L), John Sponsler (R)

Most recently, John teamed up with now legendary film scorewriter Trevor Rabin. Yes the former guitarist from Yes that John and I used to watch in our dorms. They completed the second film for Disney's "National Treasure: Book of Secrets".

Best of all, John is a follower of Christ. Very cool. Anyway, check out both sites if you have some time and enjoy some of John's work.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

King Williams' StewMade Review @ Harmony Central.

I know I've posted about "King" Williams before but I just found his review for my '64 J bass replicas that I built back in 2006. Thought I'd share for you bass folks out there. Nice to know I'm building them right.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I Miss The Tories.

The Tories did the theme song to the short lived show "Jesse". The show starred Christina Applegate. I can't find the theme song but if you look up The Tories in iTunes, it's under "Time for You". I highly recommend it. Very "The Replacements" sounding group (Friends theme music).

I don't care for the video much but I love this songs' feel. Funny that they sort of sound like Jellyfish. You be the judge.
The Tories.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Had A Great Time With De-Tension.

Well we haven't played since June '07. Conflicting schedules and everything. It was fun playing again. We have been offered some gigs (finally). I guess a local Plaza is interested in paying us to play about 12 times from February-March '08. I'll have to really coordinate schedules with family, 3 bands and work. I think we should pass on Friday nights. Wrong age group on Fridays ;)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Old Band Websites and MySpace.

I used to be in two Police related bands; Cops in Concert and Cubo (Conduct Un Becoming an Officer). I was in CnC from '85-95 and made two records with them. I joined a breakoff from that group Cubo in '97 from a Cops in Concert Reunion Concert. Basically they were City Policemen who played cover tunes. Cops in Concert did a "Blue Brothers" type show, while Cubo just did Classic Rock live music.

So here's the link which still exists from Cops in Concert (note my Kirk Cameron attire, very 80's). And here's CUBO's Myspace. Pretty funny. Actually, CUBO sounds pretty good if you check out their MySpace.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hey, Anybody Want To Build A Website For Me?

I was fooling around taking pictures of my surfboard guitar before shipping off to it's new owner. I'm really into black & white photography right now. So I created this magazine add mock up. I love it because it's so grainy and slightly retro looking.

It got me thinking I really need a website. It's almost like this blog had created a diversion from me getting my StewMade website up. Ian? What about you?

I have a layout in mind and I registered my domain through Ipowerweb. There are a few templates but I'm so new to html and all that. This is what I've had for about 6 months (StewMade).

Here's my title page that I've created through PrintMaster 12. I have created pages already but when you check the site out before you go live, you can only click on "Previous - Next" rather than click on a tab and link to that page.

Anybody up for it? I have plenty of graphics stored as URLs and stuff.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Hide the Kids for This Video...But Very Funny To Musicians Over 30.

There was a band a few years back called "The Darkness". Serious rock band from England (note the teeth) but pulled out all the stops with every Rock n' Roll/Glam Rock/Hair Metal Rock band cliche. The band pokes fun at their own expense. All of their videos are over the top, tongue and cheek Metal fantasies....that involve space. Kind of like their own Spinal Tap. Lead Singer Justin Hawkins emulates Peter Frampton meets Freddie Mercury (Queen), meets Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), meets David Coverdale (Whitesnake), meets Robert Plant (Led Zepplin). Note the slow-mo, wind in hair guitar solo. Epic Beat, make sure you're not drinking water when you watch this. Warning: there is some sexually suggestive "Austin Powers" style humor in this video.

Here is, "I Believe In A Thing Called Love".

Friday, December 7, 2007

Yeah, It's The Weekend!

Pretty disturbing, huh? Sort of "Black Hole Sun'esque"? But this is how I feel on this Friday....well maybe taken down a few notches.

Great week but lot's of back pain. Talked to the spine doc this week; back injections. If that don't work, we'll be "burning" the nerves in that area. Actually if the injections work, then we know it's an S.I. Joint problem.

There has always been a suspicious sacroilliac joint dysfunction associated with the flattened disc due to the nature of my injury. If the injections work, then after the injections wear off, we'll burn off the nerves that create that sensation of pain.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Unbelieveable CelArts Worship Ministry Experience.

Wow. I'm placing my most uplifting blog to date. This weekend was amazing. Besides having to play with some amazing voices and musicians, there was something in the air about performing this weekend. I was so in "the zone" spiritually. I'm not sure if it was the particular arrangements or God giving me a hug of confidence to get me through this upcoming week.

I was almost moved to tears while performing two of our last songs. The songs I’m referring to; "The First Noel" & "What Child Is This". These were not done in the traditional arrangements that you've heard Andy Williams sing over the years.

I don't know if it was from being in such close proximity so that I could closely hear everything that was going on. While I was playing, I could feel that I was no longer conscious of myself but was able to listen to everything else going on around me. Mind you I was not playing bad notes, but it was like my hands were on auto-pilot. Brad was running straight out of my monitor (reference speaker that enables me to hear the rest of the band), so his notes were moving me to play to my best abilities. Ian, wow, great time and groove that I've never experienced before while Jason was right there on every kick beat (the beat that the bass drum hits, big deal with bass players and drummers).

I dunno, just an overwhelming feeling of emotion came over me while playing. It allowed me to completely relax and do my thing. But those last two songs.....really had to do the man thing and bite my lower lip. I know, corny huh? Something magical about those two songs because it happened with each service, highest sensation at the last service though.

I even got to talk to some people I normally don't get to talk to. It's the most I've spoken to Brad, and I even got to spend some time yakin' with Ian over a breakfast burrito (we found out some privileged information regarding CelArts and the Hub on weekends....hmmmmm.) BTW, who labeled the two salsas at the condiments table as "Macho Spicy" and "Wimpy Mild"?

Thank you for the boost I needed Jesus.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Rehearsal Shots.

Took some pics while at rehearsal at The Grove.