Sunday, November 28, 2010

Guitar Riff a day for a year - September ones I like

I've been doing a Guitar Riff a day since mid-august at this website. I popped over 100 of them the other day so I thought I'd go back and check out the ones I liked from each given month.. This was September. As long as I don't repeat myself, I'll be happy.

I like where this one ended up.. Nice and airy..

GROTDFAY 028 2010-09-14 by Zartimus

This was a slap thing, something I'm trying out on the electric. Needs work!

GROTDFAY 032 2010-09-18 by Zartimus

A laid-back thing.

GROTDFAY 038 2010-09-24 by Zartimus

A country thang..

GROTDFAY 042 2010-09-28 by Zartimus

Fast picking. reminds me of a GooGoo dolls tunes.

GROTDFAY 044 2010-09-30 by Zartimus

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You should buy Mark's house.

Buy Mark's house in Barrhaven Ontario, Canada, Planet Earth. It's very roomy. Free disco lessons.

Love and war: Should a married couple be allowed to sleep together in a war zone?

I was just reading an article on Canada's Brig.Gen Menard in Afghanistan facing a court martial over hanky panky with a lower ranking forces member and came across the line "Military regulations prohibits soldiers, even married military couples, from having sexual relations while on deployment".

What? Really? Man. That is harsh. Good thing I never joined the Canadian Military! I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to have sexual relations (we talking Bill Clinton's definition?) at the workplace with my spouse, but hey,after a day's work,  when one is off the payroll, what business does anyone's employer have in trying to control that particular aspect of one's life? Who's to say that a married couple can't co-habitate when deployed to the same theater? This doesn't happen in the US or Canadian Navies apparently, they split them up, but in the army, it seems to happen and the couples are not allowed to touch each other, or acknowledge that they are even married.  I find certain military and para military organizations have way too much control over your life. It appears they can uproot you whenever they want and ship you halfway across the globe and if you don't like it you can quit. Controlling your sex life is just a whole other level. Work should have no place in your damned bedroom. I've heard military people say that it would not be fair across the board for certain members to have date nights while others are stuck far away from their spouses for months at a time but I think that is petty. I'm sure military couples have lots of drawbacks they have to deal with and they should take the good with the bad. We're not talking on a Submarine here, if it's not in your face and other people don't like it they should learn to live and let live.

To be fair, there are probably a good many reasons to split couples up in time of war. God forbid that a spouse get injured in combat in front of their partner and the other individual is not able to grieve and has to keep right on working, all the while absorbed in the loss of a loved one, but it's nothing that isn't happening all over the world as I type this, with bands of guerrilla fighters in dictatorships who are going through much worse things than we can possibly imagine.

The ancient Greeks used to have groups of soldiers who were all sexual partners (the Sacred band of Thebes). They were apparently very bad-ass and if one of them was killed the partner fought savagely to avenge that death. Interesting if you think about it. During the second World War the US appeared to group soldiers together from the same neighborhood, in the thinking that you would band together quicker with people you knew, and had a genuine like for, as opposed to Vietnam, where groups of strangers  wouldn't even bother to learn your name unless you could last at least 30 days first..

 The US military has recently lifted the no sex thing while in a combat zone in Afghanistan and Iraq. Maybe the Canadian military will follow suite. It kind of reminds me of when I was a teenager and I had a friend who worked at McDonalds and they told me of the "No Dating" rule they had there. Staff were not supposed to "hook up" and I guess they fired one or both of you in that case.

It's pretty hard to control human nature. That's millions of years of evolution they're going against..

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jimi Hendrix Experience Tour 2010

I attended the Ottawa leg of the Jimi Hendrix Experience tour last week at the NAC. The two guitarists that got me there were Eric Johnson and Steve Vai respectively but I was pleasantly surprised with the other guys playing on the night. "Burnin" Vernor Reid was there. Remember him from "Living Color"? They had that hit "Cult of Personality" back in the 80's? I never liked him much. I found his lightning fast solos to be nothing more than him tremolo-picking 124 and 134 fingering patterns up and down all six strings in areas on the neck sort of relative to the key of the song. He doesn't really worry too much about being "in the key of anything".. Still, his bass player was great and the singer has a great voice. He reminded me of "Re-run from the TV sitcom "What's happening" though. (this is not a good thing).
 Jimi's original bass player was there. He opened the show with this pirate guitarist, one of the Isley brothers. He can still pound out a baseline and sing!

Eric Johnson came out and did some obscure Hendrix tunes. His sound was awesome as always and his clean sound on the ballad he did killed. I wonder if he drove up to Ottawa (I hear he doesn't like to fly). Eric's not as animated as the other guitarist on the ticket but he lives and breathes Hendrix and I don't think anyone else on the evening got it as right as he did.

The biggest surprise for me was Kenny Wayne Sheppard. he was the one who channeled the spirit of Hendrix that night. He was awesome. He got to do a 15 minute rendition of Voodoo Chile and really did Jimi justice. I'm going to check out some of his stuff now. Also on the bill was Johnny Lang, whom I mix up with Kenny Wayne Sheppard, so know I know the difference. (Kenny Wayne is much better!). Lang seems to play with his fingers and no pick which has always bugged me unless you're Jeff beck or that guy from Dire straights. You limit yourself in this style when you don't use plectrum.

There was a very Interesting Hawaiian guitar`lap steel player who did a great version of Purple Haze with two other guys. I forget his name but he was very cool.

By the time Steve Vai came on i was quite tired of the Pentatonic orgy that had been going on and was looking forward to someone who could play full linear scale melodies for a change and Vai did not disappoint. he was his quirky self and this is the first time I have ever seen him play without his big fan down by his pedal board blowing his hair back like some hooded cobra snake guitar god..

He did things with his guitar that night that I am still trying to figure out..

The sold-out crowd was also impressive. I could not get over how the 16 year old girl next to me knew all the words to some of the obscure Hendrix tunes I had never heard of. Go figure. Too bad that guy died young. I would have liked to have seen the further pinnacles of guitardom he would certainly have achieved.