When Are We Rockin' Out Again?!

Fri 17 February 2017

The last time I planned a  day off with my friends, it was awesome.  Blasted music, hung out, kayaked, etc.  Well, I am about to book tickets for my next excursion and I am torn between spending a week in New York or two weeks in different parts of California.  As tired as I am, I love the idea of camping in the woods with my friends, hiking in general, and spending time in nature.  When I hike, especially, I get to... relive my stresses in a different way, in a healthier way.  With a 2-3 hour hike, I not only exercise and burn calories, but my body becomes so tired and exhausted that I succumb to it and sleep the best I have in a while.

After visiting Killer Kayaks, I am eyeing another kayak but not sure if I want to splurge just yet.  It is easy for me to get out of hand with bills and since there is a vacation looming overhead, I'd like to save this $400 and spend it on gas, food, or an amazing experience.  I want to experience some mind blowing music concerts this coming summer and start living life to the fullest.

But then again, it just might be that I'm about to turn 35 and it all feels like a mid-life crisis.  That's part of the reason this space exist: love rock music, love music in general!  It is my goal to share some really cool stuff here.  

Anyway, work early in the morning, so peace out, and I will be sharing some very informative stuff here soon!

Here, get ready for some blast from the past:

What happened to music like this?!

Category: misc


Thank God For Fishing & Alice in Chains!

Thu 15 December 2016

A Much Needed Day at the Bay!

Hopefully, by now, you realize my love for rock and roll among other styles of music.  So, I work two different part-time jobs which can feel like too much sometimes.  About three weeks ago, my head felt like it could explode due to the many projects that were behind schedule. Not only was I overwhelmed and stressed but I was having a mental block. I couldn’t think straight nor come up with new ideas. So, you can imagine the joy I had when my buddy, Tim, suggested we hit the local bay.

"Hell yes!", it was most definitely worth a thought. I mean, I seemed to just pass time and doze off rather than doing something constructive.

Our itinerary included having an early breakfast, picnic, fishing, kayaking, possibly taking a plunge in the water and most obviously relax along the shoreline. This was more than adequate to recharge my system ready for the long week ahead.

After about an hour’s drive, we finally arrived at the local bay and without wasting time, we changed into our kayaking gear ready (my buddy own an Airhead AHTK-2 Montana inflatable kayak) to tackle the waves and ripples. I must say that I soon forgot about my stressful work. Thereafter after we decided to catch some fish as we readied to have a picnic in the lush park along the bay. The girls had carried some buns, salad, snacks they had prepared at home and it was upon the boys to look for the best accompaniment, fish of course. 

Talk about preparing the freshest trout on a small fire then enjoying the soft and sumptuous meat with some home baked pies :) By late afternoon, we were not only tired from the kayaking, fishing. and swimming but also needed a drink to drown the delicious meal. So we decided to go near the joints situated along the shore for some nice entertainment.

Icing on MY Cake!

One of the best moments at the bay was without-a-doubt when they started playing songs by Alice in Chains. This brought back memories of when we were young and had our blood boiling as part of the grunge movement that was evident in the 90s. The first song, “Brother,” has always been my favorite and I still dance to its heavy rock tunes as I listen to its lyrics about the bloodied thorns that are found in the rose planted inside a white vase. If I remember well, Jerry Cantrell, the singer, was quoted saying that this song was symbolic with the relationship he had with his younger brother.

And when I thought I had heard the most memorable songs from Alice in Chains, then “Rotten Apple” started playing. Oh Boy, this song from their 1994 EP “Jar of Flies” really had us screaming our lungs in my friend's room when I was in my 20s.  The nostagia...  I still remember the chorus that talked about eating an apple that wasn’t so real but you still ate it out of innocence. Some people always imagine of the biblical story of Adam and Eve when this song plays...

Listening to songs by Alice in Chains was certainly the climax at the bay and it made me relieve my younger years. Not only did I listen to the best rock acts of the 90s but was also able to feel more rejuvenated and recharged ready for my upcoming projects. You bet I would be back at the bay for some more picnicking, kayaking, fishing and relaxing while hoping that the Alice in Chains songs will still feature in their music menu.

Category: Personal Tagged: a day at the bay

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My Top 5 Favorite Rock Albums!

Sat 05 November 2016

This article is about what, in MY opinion, are perfect albums. A lot of albums seem to have one or two good songs on them (the popular ones they put on the radio), and the rest are just not that good. The five albums I'm going to discuss here were beautifully put together and the artists weren't just doing it to make a ton of money. These artists have more than earned my respect and I could listen to their albums over and over.

You have probably heard of most of them, but if not, run over to iTunes and download these albums... now.  Following are five amazing rock albums:

#1. KEANE – Hopes And Fears

Keane-Hopes & Fears

Keane is an english rock band originally with three members, consisting of a piano, synthesizers, and drums. Their first popular song was 'Somewhere Only We Know' in the U.S. in 2004, but they were already becoming popular in the UK. The album debuted at #1 there and went 9X platinum. They signed with Island Records in 2003 after an executive there heard 5 songs from the album and said “every one of them was brilliant” and didn't want to change them in any way.

I lost interest when the second album came out (it sounded different than the first), but I will always love Hopes And Fears. Every song is perfectly composed, soulful and beautiful, like musical art. After I listened it for the 20th time, I bought a cd of rarities and B-sides, and I loved most of them as well. Listen to the album five times and I guarantee you will love it, but I doubt it will take that long.

#2. CREED – My Own Prison

Creed-My Own Prison

Creed was/is a rock band (it's unknown whether they will come together again), and this album was self-released on this own label, Blue Collar Records, selling 6,000 copies in Florida. In 1997, Wind-Up Records signed them to their label and re-released the album. The first four singles reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, making them the first band to accomplish that with a debut album. It sold over 6 million copies, went 6X platinum and the band won for Rock Artist of the Year in 1998 at the Billboard Music Awards. Their second album, Human Clay, debuted at #1 and sold over 10 million copies in two years.

My Own Prison is an album that questions and struggles with spirituality and faith. It can get dark at times, but therein lies its beauty. People who struggle with dark things/feelings will relate to it pretty well. Every song is beautiful and tackles different issues/scenarios. The songs cover topics ranging from creating one's own prison and being judged religiously, personal unrest, forcing a smile despite losing faith and feeling jaded, feeling trapped in a situation, hatred in the world, etc.

I think the next two albums were great too, but not as perfect as My Own Prison. If you feel jaded or frustrated with the people in this world, have a listen...you'll be glad you did. Even if you don't feel that way, they are still great songs.

#3. COLLECTIVE SOUL – Disciplined Breakdown

Collective Soul-Disciplined Breakdown

Collective Soul is a rock group formed in 1993, and is one of my favorite bands. That being said, I could say every single album is near perfection, and I think they are. I love every single song they've put out and they are still rocking out on tours as we speak!

I love all of Collective Soul's albums, and really, you can take your pick of any album or song and not be disappointed. They can be soulful, deep, playful, energizing, or beautifully loving. They've got songs to please everyone and every mood. However, since I'm talking about perfect albums, I have chosen Disciplined Breakdown, my favorite album of theirs. It was released in 1997 and recorded in a cabin, which explains its soft, graceful, morally driven lyrics and smooth rich sounds. It is pure beauty, and Ed Roland (lead singer) writes about the morals/values I feel most of the time. The songs talk of things such as wanting to have a breakdown but trying to keep it together, betrayal, wanting to learn forgiveness, and waking up by seeing someone's true bad intentions.

Every time I hear of a new album coming out, I'm happy that they are still going and I know I will love the songs. In my opinion, they are one of the best bands out there because they have been around for a long time and are still producing quality songs.

#4. ALANIS MORISSETTE – Jagged Little Pill

Alanis Morissette-Jagged Little Pill

Alanis Morissette is a alternative rock singer-songwriter, producer, and actress. She and producer/songwriter Glen Ballard wrote and recorded Jagged Little Pill, her first internationally released album, in 1995. They didn't expect to sell very many of them until a radio station started playing “You Oughta Know”, the first single of the album. It was an instant hit and went to the top of the charts, with “Ironic” becoming the biggest hit. It sold 16 million copies in the U.S. and 33 million worldwide, making it the second best selling album by a female artist.

The songs on Jagged Little Pill consist of lyrics about a jilted ex, staying peaceful despite what you feel or the situation you're in, everything being a lesson in some way, the ironies of life, and not wanting to be the one to complete someone else. When it first came out, it's all I would listen to, over and over until I knew all the words. Not only are the songs great, but she has such a unique way of singing that you can not find a singer like her. I have to admit I wasn't a fan of “Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie”, but “Under Rug Swept” and “So-Called Chaos” are my second favorite albums of hers. Her voice is beautiful, her personality is beautiful, and so are her song writing skills.

#5. ALICE IN CHAINS – Facelift

Alice In Chains-Facelift

Alice In Chains was (with Layne Staley) and is (with William DuVall) an alternative metal band formed in 1987 by current guitarist/songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original singer Layne Staley. In the 90's, they sold over 20 million records worldwide. The first hit of Facelift was “We Die Young”, which was a hit on metal radio stations. The album did not do too well in its first six months, until MTV released “Man In The Box” to its rotation and it sold 400,000 copies in six weeks and was certified gold.

All Alice in Chains albums, as a whole, are about anger, pain, sadness, and all things that seem unreal. Facelift, however, will have you immersed in a dark void of despair, and it is done beautifully as the perfect angst-ridden album. If you want something more mellow, I would suggest Jar of Flies or Sap (which features Ann Wilson of Heart as a guest singer!).

I'm sure true fans of AIC might disagree, saying that their second album, Dirt, is a better album. That's okay though,  because I think they were all great (with Layne).  In terms of perfection, I will still choose Facelift, with Jar of Flies in close second.

Category: rock

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