Tuesday, June 30, 2009

From A Sea Of Salt To A Sea Of Zombies. Issue #108

Where to begin?

First off, today the Free KIRBY KRACKLE Summer-Single, "Ring Capacity" drops so if you would like a copy head over to www.kirbykracklemusic.com and sign up to snag yours!

We'll also be featured this week on www.comicbookresources.com which is the biggest comic book site on the internets! We did a fun interview regarding the album, the new giveaway single and it should be on the front page over next few days. Keep checking...

On July 1st, KK will be featured in SEATTLE SOUND Magazine as an example of the ever-growing genre of "Geek Rock". The photo shoot was a blast and I'll post some photos once they come out next week. I haven't even read it yet, but Jim and I are really excited as it's the first "print media" coverage we've received. Only in 2009 would you say that...

In the last of the KK news for this week, I'll be performing "Zombie Apocalypse" at the Fremont Annual ZOMBIE WALK as the group tries to break the World Record for Biggest Zombie Walk Ever! What does that mean? Well imagine 2000+ people dressed like Zombies and when someone says go they all start walking and moaning around Fremont in mass...it's gonna be awesome! I'm literally losing sleep being excited about the fun surrealism of it all and hopefully when I'm 90 I'll be able to say I rocked a sea of Zombies with my Ukulele. Too Crazy...

Last week Mandi and I set off for Hawaii for my sister Deirdre's destination wedding to her fiance Josh. It was the first time my extended family (grandparents/aunts/cousins) had ever taken a vacation together in my whole life and it was so nice. The wedding was extremely beautiful/Fairy Tale-esque, and the performance of their wedding song went great despite the fact I couldn't look at anyone during it because I would more than likely cry. Crying while singing = UGLY. I thought I was gonna be ok until she and my Dad walked down the isle and then oh man...

While I was there I also had my share of Longboard Lager, got some good wave time in on the board, and wrestled my little brother as much as I could. Upon returning I realized that #1: I don't want to wear pants anymore, and #2: I need to get a pool STAT. Sadly, I don't think either of those things are gonna happen in the near future so I guess I'll just have to head back sooner rather than later! Fred Meyer does have the kiddie pools though...

I don't intend to end this entry on a downer, but I wanted to clear up some confusion and questions that seem to be going around regarding why COLLIDER was replaced by KK for the July 17th Showbox (Market) show. A few weeks ago, Collider disbanded after we all decided that our end goal wasn't the same among other reasons. As with any relationship ending it's a coagulated mix of complexities that I won't go into here, but I more than anything want to thank everyone for supporting the band during it's two-year tenure. It's really bizarre that we just released our album, but that's the way it goes sometimes. I hope that clears some questions up and though the band is no longer together, I hope you continue to enjoy the album we worked so hard on for the past year and a half. :)



Monday, June 22, 2009

KIRBY KRACKLE Records Summer Single! Issue #107

On Sunday, KIRBY KRACKLE and I went into the studio to record our new Summer Single about the DC Universe hero named Green Lantern. The song, entitled "Ring Capacity" chronicles the character in space until being attacked by his arch-enemy, Sinestro. "Ring Capacity" is a reference to his power-ring becoming depleted as the fight goes on until he recharges it and kicks the villain's ass.

If you were a comic nerd you'd be freaking out...trust me. ;)

Regardless, the song rocks the house hard so even if heroes flying through space isn't your thing, I think fans of my music will really dig this song.

The challenge was to record a full song start to finish, and then mix and master it in one full day. Something I had concerns if we could do or not, but really had no choice as people's schedules allowed little room to breathe over the next few weeks and had to be done ASAP. Collider Producer Don Gunn manned the producer/engineer helm again and made my job way easier as all I had to do was focus on the performance. Bryce Francis laid down some beautiful piano lines and drummer Nelson Estes pounded his way through the song like an angry elephant. I'm really proud of it and I think KK fans will embrace it as an evolution of the band.

How can you get this song?

The song will be released on June 30th as a FREE Mp3 download for KK email list members as a thank-you for making the year such a blast so far Jim and I. If you'd like to join the list just head over to www.kirbykracklemusic.com and submit your address to receive "Ring Capacity" on June 30th.

I'm off to Hawaii for a week for my sister's wedding and in the past month she and I wrote a song together for it that I'm looking forward to playing. I'll be sure to take some pictures to post here next week too. :)

Have a good week and thanks for reading!


Monday, June 15, 2009

A Song In Every Burger. Issue #106

I had this whole blog about BBQ/Grilling, the history of, and how much I love it. One of the reasons I may love it is because pop-culture deems it "manly". That's fine with me due the fact that I can't change my own oil or work on the plumbing system. I gotta take what I can get in terms of testosterone credentials...

Then, this morning I woke up with the idea of how grilling/making a good burger and all it entails is in many ways like trying to write a song. It could be made of beef, chicken, fish, or any other NW politically correct obligatory food item of your choice so no one gets offended. You never know...
Not really sure where I'm going with this on a Monday morning, but let's find out together shall we?

THE GRILL (Instrument):
When grilling a burger, this is the main tool much like my main tool is the guitar when I write a song. The Grill doesn't have to be the best around, but it should be nice enough help you come up with a good final product. Your friends might have a better grill than you, but then your friends may also have a heftier weight of Guitar Center credit debt as well. You want to keep your grill clean and kept up, so you can make sure it gets old and scary when lighting it like mine. Rumor has it that John Lennon cooked an outstanding spare rib on his crappy Coleman, so my old Ducane I guess works fine for me.

THE BUN (Intro):
When I think about the intro to a song, I think about the bun. The bun is the first thing that your teeth (where the taste buds are (?)) experience, and like the intro to a tune it should set the mood for the rest of the song/burger. More often than not, an instrumental of the chorus is used which many times can come off dry like a cheap pack of FRANZ that though delicious (and my old stand-by) leaves you wanting more. For guests (you like) I'd recommend a pack of brioche buns from the Macrina Bakery or some yeasty goodness from the Essential Baking company. Your patrons will be in from the start, and like a song you want people to listen to all the way through will impress from the get-go.

THE CHEESE (Verse): After you get past the bun/verse you tune in to what the song is all about and where you get introduced to the mood lyrically/musically. This is the Cheese. Take time with it and work on your choices for a while as I feel it's one of the most important first impressions to the following verses. Since you want to age it a bit, I try to find an aged block of Tillamook Vintage White extra-sharp cheddar. It'll keep the Damn This Is Good! quotient up without getting them to flip the station to "Deliah". That's not the cheese we want...

THE MEAT (The Chorus or "Hook"):
Ahhhh...this is the good stuff! In a perfect world, everything about the cheese should musically and subject wise drip and melt into a seamless gooey mess diving into the Meat, aka the "Hook" or chorus of the song. This is what we all came here for and man it better be good! It all starts here, and if it's funky/boring/sat out of the counter too long...she's no good. Season it, smoke it, but don't burn it. The Meat/"Hook" should be as fresh and flavorful as when you first wrote/bought it, and unfortunately it's when you over-grill it for to long that it loses it's freshness and what it was about in the beginning. A fine line between keeping the song engaging and making sure it's not pink in the middle...

THE BEER (The Bridge):
There's a theory that the bridge can make or break a song, just as there's a theory that a good beer can make or break a burger no matter how good the rest of it is. I would agree with both statements which leads me to several ways of picking a bridge without it overpowering the 2 1/2 tall stack of goodness you've spent so much time on. In writing songs I constantly have to fight predictability and personal patterns much like I would encourage you you to put the Bud Light down and surprise yourself with something different. My current favorites right now are the Raison D'Etre from DOGFISH BREWERY and the Storm King Stout from VICTORY BREWING COMPANY. Both choices get the point across and make a meal better. If only all of my bridges did (sigh)...

THE CONDIMENTS (additional instruments): Once you've got a great base and the song's essence is complete, it's time for the condiments. Much like my old piano and lead guitar traditionally filled arrangements, you can't go wrong with old stand-by's like FRENCH'S mustard and HEINZ ketchup. You know they fit in perfectly and it's not like they can mess it up any more that it may already be. If it works at the core, it works...

THE SMORES and CAMPFIRE: I really don't want to try to pull a metaphor out of my ass for these two endowments and be called on it, so I'll just say that they're important! If you've got a fire going doesn't someone usually wish for smores? If you've got smores, wouln't you want a fire ordered up? I rest my case. This summer we're making the goodness with REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups instead of a regular chocolate bar. AWESOME. :)

Grilling is another form of creativity that I really enjoy! Having a BBQ is a time when you need to be on, and grilling stuff poorly in some ways is like forgetting your words at a show...both suck and your wife will call you on it when the crowd is gone.

There are Grill Masters and Master song-smiths. I am neither,but I always hope to get better at both...

I'm hungry now,



Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Melting Corneas And Rooftops. Issue #105

As I sat down to write this weeks blog post I had to stop and really think due to the fact last week seemed bizarrely long ago. Blame it on the sickeningly hot weather (remember this is NW heat wuss writing), the randomness of the last week or the new workout routine; I feel like I've been in a time warp. Moving on...

Last week kicked off with my eye doctor telling me my left cornea is wearing away at an accelerated pace. Call me paranoid, but the words "eye", "wearing", and "accelerated" don't feel too good when strung together. We're keeping a close look at it due to the fact she told me it's the wear you start seeing in the eyes of seniors and not 29 year-olds. I was told it was very rare but we'll just have to see. "Have to see?" Maybe not, but it seems years of pre-pubescent Helen Keller jokes are coming to bite me in the ass. Better start picking up trash on the side of I-5 STAT. Seriously though, kinda weirded out but it's a wait and see deal. Don't cry for me, Argentina.

Wednesday night I made the trek up to Western Washington University with my friend Reuben to help me in feeling old performing at the dorm common area. I didn't feel too old, but couldn't help but noticing how much had changed since I performed in the exact same spot 5 years earlier. My brother set up the show as he's a freshman at the college, and it was cool for my little bro to play booker for the night. He also took my harassment towards him from the stage with grace and valor. "I'd like to thank my brother for setting up the night. And Ladies, if you don't know who he is please turn and face the broke but sexy disease free young man near the back of the room...."
I also found a T-Shirt that I should of picked up adorned with the phrase, "I HATE LOCAL MUSIC." Decided I wouldn't make many friends with that, but loved it...

On Thursday, KIRBY KRACKLE sent out the press notice that we'll be releasing a new summer single on June 30th as a free MP3 download to our fans for ruling the house and being awesome. Much like my "Vouch For Me" summer single last year, it will only be available by signing up for our email list at www.kirbykracklemusic.com. If this is something you would be interested in receiving, make sure you sign-up and check your inbox on the 30th!

Not being the only fun KK event of the week, Jim and I had the honor of taking place in a photo shoot Friday night to accompany a piece the magazine SEATTLE SOUND is doing on us for their July issue. The magazine has been a favorite of mine for years and so you can imagine my surprise that they wanted to do a special on "Nerdcore Music" this summer highlighting KK. Of course, I always thought it would be cool to appear in the publication but who knew it would take making an album about comic books to seal the deal?! Crazy, and it was crazy fun. I would love to show you the behind the scenes shots, but settle for this teaser so the final product can be a surprise. I will saw it's the only time I've worn a cape on a rooftop... while being encouraged to do it.

Some of my oldest friends and I got together on Saturday to hang for one of our "twice a year" hangouts. I say old in that we went to elementary school together all the way through boy scouts and most of high school. We pretty know everything about each other and even though we rarely talk in-between visits we usually just pick up where our perpetual 12 year-old selves left off. Much like I imagine a movie would write, we started off exactly the same and quite literally have about the 4 farthest corners occupied apart from each other as you can get. Its beautiful, its sad, and its always interesting in the comparison of life notes. I hope that in some deep down place we'll always be close no matter how the years pull us in different directions, but that's part of the cool challenge.

The day after we got together, I was emailed this random quote by someone...

"Take your problems and throw them into a pile with everyone elses. You'll find upon looking at the options that you can't wait to grab yours back."


I am the Walrus,


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pool Junkie Fish Man. Issue #104

No, it's the not the name of a new band...

A couple of months ago I posted an entry talking about how I was really motivated to start running again/exercising regularly. For a couple of weeks I did run regularly, but then got bored of it/weather bad/excuses etc. I stopped running and with all the traveling I had been doing I really wasn't doing anything to offset my love of pie and high-end beer (food of champions).

About a month-and-a-half ago I started having these really vivid dreams about two of the houses I grew up in. One was really small for a 5 person family (700 square ft.), and the other was where I finally had my own room in middle-school and felt like the king of all kings due to my newly acquired independence. I would have a dream every night about these houses. In some, I lived there still and in others I would go and visit in the morning with a Greek family who lived there while they rushed through their morning routine. I think the Greek part came from I was spending so much time with KIRBY KRACKLE band mate Jim, but I digress. I would wake up every morning wondering why the dreams were so frequent and if I should be paying attention to something within them. I thought of what was going on in my life during that time and felt like the common link that connected now to then was the feeling of newness; now with all the KK fun/trips we've been having and back then with falling in love with rock n' roll in general. I also during that time swam competitively in summer swim league/high school and remember feeling really great physically then as a result. I thought I'd try to get back into it and see if it was something that I felt I could commit too again but the only problem is that lap swim took place at 5:30 AM.


So after two weeks of doing it I can honestly say that I feel completely different. My stress level seems to have gone down a lot, I have a more positive outlook in general, and my singing has noticeably improved since I started. That's one of the main reasons I'm going to continue due to the fact I think it's going to drastically help me move into stronger performances/live shows. I'm looking forward to see how I feel a month from now.

And those dreams about my old house? Stopped when I started swimming. Subconscious prodding perhaps, but if I always did what my dreams told me I'd be in jail for running around downtown in a vigilante outfit. Some dreams are best ignored...

As for music stuff this week, I'll be performing for the students at Western Washington University on Wednesday in the dorms.

COLLIDER is now available on iTunes! You can find it by clicking the icon. Collider - Collider

Enjoy the pre-summer!